Tugship & Slingshot

Utilizing (maybe abusing) Stellar/Slipstream generators

Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2019

TL;DR: Stellar / Slipstream acclerators stack additively and having many in a fleet can push the fleet to ridiculous speeds. A ship in such a fleet can be warped to a long distance away, like a slingshot.


I have recently found 2 overlooked modules to be extremely useful.

A ship with a Stellar acclerator adds 2 speed to the whole fleet it is in and Slipstream adds 4. Each ship can only have 1 of each at most. Multiple copies of these modules will stack additively.

These modules take very little space. In early game u can put a Stellar Acclerator into a tiny hull to make a Tugship. The tugship will only take up 1 logistics point. Having 10 tugships in a fleet will add 20 to its speed. This can be used to move around colony ships and constructors very quickly, even if they have no engines themselves.

Later when u research Slipstream acclerators, u should have enough space to put both in a tiny hull, perhaps with a Stasis Field module. (+12 range fleetwide) This advanced tugship will increase speed by 6, while still taking up only 1 logistics point. Having 10 advanced tugships in a fleet will push it to a ridiculous speed of 60 tiles per turn, warping it from one side of the map to the other side in a single turn. With this speed u can take over a smaller faction in 2 turns. If this isn't enough, u can simply add more tugships.


Technical detials:

In the game, moving a ship will cost 1 move point per tile, which can be affected by starbase modules and nebulas. For each ship, moving points are capped by speed, and recharges to full at the start of turn. So a ship new to the tugship fleet won't get its new moving points immediately, it needs to wait for the next turn to get its moving points. On the other hand, a ship ejected out from the fleet will have its moving points capped by its original speed and lose all of the moving points.

However, if a ship moves out from the fleet to somewhere, it will retain its extra moving points until it stops moving. This means that it can move very far before losing the extra speed, potentially to the other side of the map. I call this a Slingshot as it shots the ship to anywhere u want and the ship returns to normal afterwards.


The actual steps to utilize a slingshot:

1. Design a tiny hull ship with a stellar acclerator + a slipstream acclerator. This is a tugship.

Don't put stasis field generators on the tugships, put life support on the target ship instead. The target ship will lose any bonus from the slingshot upon arrival, and u may need to move it around the destination.

2. Build 10+ tugships and put them in a fleet.

The actual number depend on the map size and how far u need the target ship to go. You can always add more later. 

Unless u have researched all the logistics tech, put this fleet in a starbase/planet/shipyard for better throughput.

3. Put the target ship(s) in the slingshot fleet and wait for 1 turn.

4. Select the target ship(s) and move them to the destination directly.

If u have enough tugships in the slingshot, the target ships will arrive at the destination directly and still have full movement points.


Additional thought: 

1. When citizens are sent to a planet, they go in a slow and weak ship, which is quite vulnerable. Will putting a Slingshot in the capital planet work?

2. I have heard that AIs also use your designed ships. Will they use this? Obviously it would be very dangerous if they do so: they can shot a transport ship into any of your undefended planet at anytime, so u have to defend every of your planet.

Of course u can prevent this by cramming your tugship with equipments, and since the AI doesn't have all the ship mass bonus, it won't be able to build this ship.

3. What would happen if two players are using slingshots against each other in pvp?