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Combat Basics

Starships —> Combat —> Combat Basics

During the Host Run, starships and planets that are in the same location have the ability to fight if so ordered and to defend themselves if attacked. If there are multiple combatants in a single location, the engagements will occur in sequence according to the Order of Battle, and damage and ammunition expenditures will carry over from one engagement to the next, with all starships fighting first and planets fighting last, according to the Host Order of Combat.

Each individual engagement is fought with the same steps regardless of participants. Two starships fighting will begin combat at maximum range (58000) and each move closer together at a fixed rate; a starship fighting a planet will move at the same fixed rate but from a lesser range (54000) toward its stationary target. Two moving starships, therefore, will reach minimum range (3000) in approximately half the time as a starship and planet will require.

Individual weapons systems will each activate and fire at certain preset ranges, doing an amount of damage which will vary based on their power, the effective combat mass of the enemy target, and (in the case of beam weapons) their percentage of full charge. Any weapons systems not present will, of course, not fire; torpedo tubes without torpedoes and fighter bays without fighters likewise cannot launch.

Combat Between Starships

A starship is considered defeated when it reaches 100% damage (or, for Lizard vessels, 150%). A starship may also be captured. This occurs when its crew drops to 0. If this happens, a "prize crew" of 10 is placed on the captured starship. That crew does not come from the crew of the capturing starship.

Surviving starships will recharge their shields only between turns. Any damage they take to their hulls must be repaired in some other fashion. Starbases can repair manually, or a starship's crew can repair itself automatically using onboard supplies.

Combat Against Planets

Planets are captured at 100% damage, at which point the defending colonists are neutralized and all defense posts are destroyed. If there is a starbase, it is scuttled by the retreating colonists. Ships whose crews are depleted in battle against a planet but are not destroyed by its defenses are instead annihilated as they re-enter the atmosphere, or impact the planet's surface, as planets cannot effect a capture. Planetary damage and fighter loss destroys planetary defense posts; starbase damage depletes starbase fighters and points as well as causing damage that must be repaired via the Repair Base starbase mission.

If a planet is captured by a starship and there are natives on the planet, 25% of the natives will be killed and the native happiness will be decreased by 20 points. The lower happiness could cause additional loss of natives if it causes the natives to enter a civil war.

Certain races give specific limited advantages to their starships, starbases, or planets when in combat. These can be found here.

More detailed information on this subject can be found in Jan "Sirius" Klingele's definitive article, Master At Arms, which is offsite.

Note: There are known glitches in the existing combat engine which will, under certain circumstances, prevent some weapons systems from activating. This is a carryover from the original game, and it has been left in the combat engine by design, as an unintended consequence of certain combat complexities. Over time and by force of tradition, this has been given the status of an "unintended feature".