The terminology found in tables describing ship sections is as follows.
Crew is a ship's health for purposes of boarding. Let's say a Zuul is performing a boarding action against a Human Cruiser with a Standard Command, Armor, and Fission layout. The Command section will have 10 crew, the Mission section will have 30 crew, and the engines will have 15 crew. This means the example Human ship has 55 crewmen.
Each Zuul boarding pod carries 24 soldiers. If one pod sticks to the Human ship, the game pretends that each soldier can engage one crewman. 55-24=31. If the pod is blown off the side of the Human cruiser, it is assumed all Zuul soldiers are killed and they do not count towards the boarding action any more. It'll be like they didn't attach in the first place. If two Zuul pods attach, their numbers are combined, 24+24=48. 55-48=7 remaining Human crew.
The most noticable effect of boarding pod attachement is manuevering loss. Boarded ships seem to lose a large value off their tactical speed and so tend to drift with whatever momentum they had to start with. Weapon refire rates may be modified, but this is difficult to observe.
When the third Zuul pod attaches, the Zuul soldier count rises to 72, outnumbering the Human crew count. At this point, all Zuul soldiers breach at the same time and trade their lives 1-1 with the Human crewmen. 72-55=17 Zuul soldiers left over on the Human cruiser. Soldiers are not trained in much besides shooting, they won't be able to actually fly the captured ship. However, they will man any gun turrets and fire on any targets of opportunity. Captured ships don't cost any command points and will drift until they are destroyed or the combat round ends.
Destroyers are too small for boarding pods to attach, and the game doesn't recognize them as having any crew. For lore purposes, find a similar cruiser layout to the destroyer you're interested in, divide its crew count by 3, and you'll have a rough approximation of how many crew would be on that destroyer.
This represents the structural integrity of the ship. Each section contributes towards this total. For example, a Human Standard Command, Armor, Fission Cruiser would get 2,000 health from its command, 3,300 health from its armor, and 1,600 health from its engine, resulting in a health total of 6,900. However, in game each section's health is tracked individually. Depending on where the shots land, each section will take disproportionate amounts of damage from individual hits. Further, Cruisers and Destroyers can suffer the destruction of ship sections when an individual section's health points are depleted. This results in numerous penalties. For starters, all weapons on the destroyed section become inoperable. All crew on the destroyed section are considered killed for boarding purposes. All manuever bonuses that may have been on that section are replaced with hefty manuever penalties. If the section had a specialized purpose, that will not be available after the section's destruction. Most notable are the loss of engines sections, which prevents course corrections. The other sections will have enough reaction thrusters to turn a ship with a broken engine, but the ship itself is effectively dead in space. In effect, the destruction of a ship section replaces that section with a different section entirely, with new and massively worse statistics in all categories.
Destroyed sections remain destroyed after combat, and can only be restored by expending repair points on them equal to their health total. Repair points come from Repair and Salvage sections, Support sections, planetary population, and Repair stations, and are refreshed at the end of every turn. Note, if an engine or tanker section is destroyed and then repaired, it loses any fuel that was in storage. Mining sections which harvested ore, were destroyed, and then repaired will also lose their payload.
Further, destroyed sections lose the benefit of any armor or coating that was applied. Reflective Coating will stop bouncing lasers, Adamantite Alloys will stop bouncing ballistic weapons, and Stealth Armor will not hide the ship at strategic range. Any damage done to the destroyed section seems to be applied, but it's unclear whether the damage is applied to adjacent ship sections or to the two remaining sections equally.
For the purposes of ship death, a ship will fall apart when two of its three sections are destroyed. Take our example Human Cruiser. A meticulous commander with accurate weapons can precisely deal 2,000 damage to the command section, then deal another 1,600 to the engine section, destroying the ship without touching the 3,300 health mission section. Instead of the actual health total of 6,900, this commander managed to reduce his target's effective health to 3,600.
On the other hand, it's entirely possible to have the ship survive with actually 2 health points remaining, so long as those two health points are distributed across any two sections.
Dreadnoughts do not suffer section destruction, and do not fall apart when any two of their sections are reduced to 0 health. The entire vessel's total health needs to be reduced to 0. This, in addition to the dramatically larger section hit point totals, is why Dreadnoughts are so durable.
Health totals can be increased by applying one of the four armor technologies to a section. These are Polysilicate Alloys, Magnoceramic Lattices, Quark Resonators, and Adamantite Alloys. Not all sections can accept the more advanced armors. The delicate tools of a Repair and Salvage ship can only be reinforced by Polysilicate Alloys, leaving such ships far behind the primary combat ships in terms of health points by the end of the game.
Mass is a limiter. It determines how much force must be applied to a ship in order to accelerate, decelerate, or turn it. Compare it to Tactical Speed for straight line acceleration/deceleration, compare it to Turning Speed to see how fast the vessel can rotate.
Savings Cost Edit
The up-front cost to your treasury to construct a ship. Payments are made in a single lump sum when a vessel is placed in the production queue, and if you don't have the cash on hand you will go into debt. If the interest payment on your debt exceeds your income, your financeers will begin to foreclose, scrapping ships and abandoning terraforming projects. If you are not solvent at the end of 10 turns of cost cutting, you are declared bankrupt and you lose.
You may get a full refund on any ship by removing it from the production queue, even if it's 99% complete.
Several technologies can reduce a ship's savings cost, including Waldo Units 10%, Orbital Foundries 5%, Orbital Drydocks 5%, Cybernetic Interface 5% and Expert Systems 10%. It's unclear as to whether the cost reductions are absolute or cumulative, but each individual technology's % reduction is listed. Orbital Drydocks only applies to Cruisers and Dreadnoughts.
Industrial Cost Edit
This is how difficult a ship is to build. Some ships amount to thick plates wrapped around some turrets, others are highly advanced electronic and energy systems complicated beyond all reason. Every planet (and one ship) has a fixed amount of Industrial Output(IO), referring to how much Industrial Cost can be paid by a planet in one turn. IO is determined by a combination of a planet's resource count, population count, infrastructure, technology, and orbital infrastructure.
Small or simple ships can often be produced en masse in one turn. Large or complex ships may need to be constructed piecemeal over several turns. Regardless, IO is never lost between turns. If a hypothetical ship has 100 Industrial Cost, and you're building two of them at a planet with 101 IO, then the first ship will be built on the first turn, and the second ship will be 1% completed in that same first turn.
There's several technologies which affect Industrial Cost. They are Waldo Units 15%, Cybernetic Interface 20%, Expert Systems 15%, Heavy Platforms 10%, AI Factories 50%, and Gravity Control 30%. These increase the IO of all planets by a certain percent. They are cumulative, and all together increase IO by 240%.
Waldo Units also decreases Industrial Costs directly, making it 10% easier to build things.
Finally, Repair Stations and Command Stations add 10% IO to a planet, cumulative with all of the above.
Tactical Speed Edit
To see how quickly a ship you're designing will accelerate or decelerate, total all its section's mass and compare it against its total Tactical Speed. Tactical speed also determines a ship's maximum velocity in combat velocity, and this is not reduced by mass. Be careful with very high mass and very high tactical speed ships, they can occasionaly crash into something due to their poor control. If they collide with a planet, they will break up in the atmosphere.
Some sections have negative Tactical Speed. This is not a mistake. Using these sections actually reduces the acceleration, deceleration, and top speed of a ship.
When a ship is making most course corrections involving its Tactical Speed, the main engines will visibly ignite. For example, when a ship accelerates or turns under speed, the engines will ignite.
Turn Speed Edit
Completely different from Tactical Speed, Turn Speed affects how quickly a ship can rotate and bank. When looking at a ship design, divide its total mass by its total Turn Speed to get a relative estimate of manuever capabilities. The lower the number, the lower the turn time.
Ionic Thrusters Edit
Ionic Thrusters increases a ship's total Turn Speed by 25% and a ship's total Tactical Speed by 50%.
Liir Exception Edit
The Liir are in a class of their own with regards to manuevering, able to turn and accelerate disproportionate to what their numbers suggest. Generally speaking, a Liir vessel will always be pointed where it wants to go and moving in that direction at its top speed. However, you can still compare your Tactical Speed to their's to arrive at relative top speeds.
Further, Liir manuever appears to be affected by distance from a planet in tactical combat. The further away they are, the slipperier they get. In Deep Space interceptions, this means they can pick exactly where, when, and how they wish to engage.
S/M/L Mounts Edit
Small, Medium, and Large weapon mounts. These numbers refer to the total quantity of barrels which each section presents. Cruisers will often link together close groupings of small weapons into banks, a grouping of identical weapons that share a target. Dreadnoughts often do the same, but with small and medium weapons.
Weapons can be put into mounts larger than they're intended for. This results in a multiple barrel varient of the weapon with identical range, damage, and accuracy statistics, but more than one shot per firing. A Small weapon in a Medium mount gets 2 barrels, a Small weapon in a Large mount results in a 3 barrel version. Medium weapons can be upscaled into Large mounts, resulting in a double barrel version. This can be useful for a player with insufficient research. For example, if you didn't unlock Heavy Antimatter Cannons, you can still put two Antimatter Cannons in a large mount and get some of the effect.
Humans often put dedicated, unswappable heavy missile launchers on their Dreadnoughts. If any are present on a particular section, it will be noted in this column.
Special Features Edit
The rightmost column will contain information specific to this particular section. This could be fuel capacity, repair capability, command quota, or specialized weapon information like how many Torpedoes, Heavy Beams or Railguns go on the section.
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