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Strategy Guide by Mars Jenkar / plague006

Version: 1.11 | Updated: 01/22/2006

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                            Stars! (v2.7i for PC)                            |
|                                  FAQ v1.11                                  |
|           Written by "plague006" (Matthew Heguy) and Mars Jenkar            |
|                           Last updated 1/21/2006                            |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
"plague006" Matthew Heguy
Original Author
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
"Mars Jenkar" (real name not shown)
Guide Caretaker
Email: pizNO_SPAM_PLEASEman2000@yahoo.com
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

=================
TABLE OF CONTENTS
=================

- ChangeLog                                                     CHG-00
- Introduction                                                  ITD-00
 \-- Acronyms                                                   ACN-00
- Race Creation                                                 RCC-00
 \-- Basic Principles                                           BSC-00
 \-- Page 1                                                     PG1-00
 \-- Page 2                                                     PG2-00
  \--- Hyper-Expansion                                          PG2-01
  \--- Super-Stealth                                            PG2-02
  \--- War Monger                                               PG2-03
  \--- Claim Adjuster                                           PG2-04
  \--- Inner Strength                                           PG2-05
  \--- Space Demolition                                         PG2-06
  \--- Packet Physics                                           PG2-07
  \--- Interstellar Traveller                                   PG2-08
  \--- Alternate Reality                                        PG2-09
  \--- Jack of All Trades                                       PG2-10
 \-- Page 3                                                     PG3-00
  \--- Improved Fuel Efficiency                                 PG3-01
  \--- Total Terraforming                                       PG3-02
  \--- Advanced Remote Mining                                   PG3-03
  \--- Improved Starbases                                       PG3-04
  \--- Generalize Research                                      PG3-05
  \--- Ultimate Recycling                                       PG3-06
  \--- Mineral Alchemy                                          PG3-07
  \--- No Ram Scoop Engines                                     PG3-08
  \--- Cheap Engines                                            PG3-09
  \--- Only Basic Mining                                        PG3-10
  \--- No Advanced Scanners                                     PG3-11
  \--- Low Starting Population                                  PG3-12
  \--- Bleeding Edge Technology                                 PG3-13
  \--- Regenerating Shields                                     PG3-14
 \-- Page 4                                                     PG4-00
 \-- Page 5                                                     PG5-00
 \-- Page 6                                                     PG6-00
 \-- Alternate Reality                                          ANR-00
- Gameplay Tips                                                 GMP-00
- Contact                                                       CTC-00
- Credits                                                       CRD-00
- Legal                                                         LGL-00


=========
CHANGELOG                                                       CHG-00
=========

v1.11 - January 21, 2006
--
Added some points contributed by mark hawkman.  A few other minor adjustments 
as well.
--Mars Jenkar

v1.10 - January 11, 2006
--
First update since I began taking care of this guide.  Fixed up a few 
points, and added to certain sections of the guide.  Claim Adjuster PRT has 
been rewritten.  All additions by myself have been integrated into the whole of
the guide.  Changed the format slightly.
--Mars Jenkar

v1.04 - July 1, 2005
--
A few minor points were contributed, and now added by Mars Jenkar and Hugh
Manatee.
--plague006

v1.03 - June 13, 2005
--
A few rewrites, and now I'm finally satisfied with the product. Don't expect
any further revisions.
--plague006

v1.02 - June 1, 2005
--
Reformatted guide to my new standard.
--plague006

v1.01 - May 14, 2005
--
Made several small changes to formatting and corrected several spelling and
grammatical mistakes.
--plague006

v1.00 - May 2, 2005
--
Initial release, everything is complete, and because this is a guide for a very
old game, I doubt I will make any revisions except correcting typos I notice in
the future. If interest returns to this game, I will create an FAQ section.  
--plague006


============
INTRODUCTION                                                    ITD-00
============

This is a guide on all things Stars!. It's an old game, but still very fun, 
with a degree of complexity rarely seen in today's games.


========
ACRONYMS                                                        ACN-00
========

Several acronyms are used throughout the guide to cut down size and keystrokes.
They are:

AxB  - Number of slots x(times) number of components - A is the number of slots
       on the Hull of this type, and B is the number of components that can be 
       entered into the slot
AoS  - Armor or Shield - A slot on a Hull that can accept either Armor, or a
       Shield
ARM  - Armor - A slot on a hull that can accept only Armor
EC   - Electrical Component - A slot on a Hull that can accept only an 
       Electrical Component
ENG  - Engines - A slot on a hull that can accept only Engines
GP   - General Purpose - A slot on a Hull that can accept any component except
       Bombs, and Engines
INIT - Initiative - The Initiative of a Hull or Weapon
MC   - Mechanical Component - A slot on a Hull that can accept only a 
       Mechanical Component
PRT  - Primary Racial Trait - The main trait of a race; limited to one per 
       race.  Includes Super-Stealth, Claim Adjuster, Alternate Reality, etc.
PWR  - Power - The power of a Weapon
RNG  - Range - The range of a Weapon
SHD  - Shield - A slot on a Hull that can accept only a Shield
TL   - Tech Level - The level of technology you've reached in a given research
       branch
WP   - Weapon - A slot on a Hull that can accept Torpedoes or Beam Weapons
WoS  - Weapon or Shield - A slot on a Hull that can accept Torpedoes, Beam
       Weapons, or Shields


=============
RACE CREATION                                                   RCC-00
=============


================
BASIC PRINCIPLES                                                BSC-00
================

One race will not cover all situations
--------------------------------------
You'll need to create a unique race for each game, to compensate for variables
such as universe size and density, winning conditions, and opponents. An
example is Silicanoids (hyper-expansion with full environmental immunity) Vs.
Rabbitoids (inter-stellar travelers with cheap engines). In a tiny universe,
cheap engines are detrimental since a ship's engines are usually the best means
of travel. Also in a tiny universe the Rabbitoids might only have 3-5 planets
they can easily inhabit (1 of 9 planets) whereas the Silicanoids will be able
to colonize every planet within 10-15 years. An inverse example would be the
same 2 races, but in a huge universe. With a large array of planets, the
Rabbitoids would be able to find habitable planets and would have much better
travel capabilities than the Silicanoids. The Silicanoids have a huge empire,
and it would be very difficult to defend, since they can't use Stargates. Also,
attacking the Rabbitoids would become a problem since they can gate in a huge
defense fleet in a year's notice.

Every point is precious
-----------------------
Leave no point wasted, every single one will help you win a game. Make sure you
need every trait you choose (see pages 2 and 3), and make sure you take every
penalty you can bear (You should choose either Advanced Remote Mining or Only
Basic Remote Mining, but never both or neither.).

Experiment
----------
It's fine and good to read descriptions of everything and think you understand
the implications, but try selecting options you normally wouldn't and see how
it actually affects your strategy.

This is just a guide
--------------------
Mine is not the word of God, I may be wrong, feel free to add any revisions you
feel should be made. Contact info near the end of the document.

One part art, one part science
------------------------------
The algorithm used to balance race creation is more complex than I'm willing to
figure out. It's as much about feel as it is calculating what point will yield
the greatest reward. While a certain trait may be nearly free for one race, it
may mean a huge sacrifice to obtain for another race.


======
PAGE 1                                                          PG1-00
======

There is a little more to this page than might meet the eye. As mentioned in
the basic principles, your race should suit your needs. Every facet of it
should be suited to the situation.  This starts on page 1.

RACE NAME: You give your race a name - simple enough
PLURAL RACE NAME: The plural form of your race's name (usually add an 's')
PASSWORD: You can give your race a password, if you so choose, you might want
  to assign a password to your race if you're playing on the same computer as
  your opponents, or are playing against someone who might have access to your
  computer. Keeping the details of your race a secret is more important than 
  you might think. "Know thy enemy" and when possible, deny knowledge of your 
  own race to others. It's harder for an enemy to prepare a defense against 
  your race when they know nothing about it.

LEFTOVER ADVANTAGE POINTS:
--------------------------
SURFACE MINERALS - You gain 10kT of surface minerals for every leftover point
  (i.e. 20 points, 200kT of minerals). As if that wasn't enough, Stars! weights
  the distribution in favor of the rarest mineral. (i.e. you have a lot of 
  Ironium and Boranium, you'll get mostly Germanium). Great for a race that 
  requires a fast start, such as Hyper-Expansion, since you have the extra 
  resources right away.
MINES - You gain one additional mine for every two advantage points. Extra
  mines can be recommended to someone who needs to start expanding quickly, 
  since you will be able to focus more on building ships and factories, and not
  having to worry about mines/minerals as much.
FACTORIES - You gain one additional factory for every five advantage points.
  This is a good choice for races who have poor population resource creation,
  (i.e. One resource created for every 1200 colonists) because you get extra
  resources to work with in the beginning, it can help make up for the
  deficiency.
DEFENSES - You gain one defense installation for every 10 advantage points.
  I'll just be honest, for 10 advantage points, you can get 100kT of surface
  minerals.. a defense installation only costs 15kT minerals and 75 resources
  (5/5/5/75). You can find better ways to spend 10 points. Even if you feel you
  might get bombed in year 3, 5 defense facilities, will not save you.
MINERAL CONCENTRATION - Increases the concentration of the rarest mineral on
  your home world by 1% for every 3 leftover points. Seems like a good choice
  for long games...however, your homeworld will never have a mineral 
  concentration problem; even when concentration should be 0, you mine as if it
  were 30. (When viewing the popup for the mineral, the concentration is listed
  as HW, HomeWorld).

RACE EMBLEM: A choice of no consequence to gameplay. It's simply an
  identification tool like race name.

======
PAGE 2                                                          PG2-00
======

PRIMARY RACIAL TRAIT

===============
HYPER-EXPANSION                                                 PG2-01
===============
Starting Advantages:
- One armed Scout
- Three Mini-Colony ships
Exclusive Hulls:
- Mini-Colony (1 ENG, 1x1 MC, and 10kT cargo) 150mg fuel, 10 ARM
- Meta Morph (3 ENG, 1x8 GP, 4x2 GP, 1x1 GP, and 300kT cargo),
  700mg fuel, 500 armor, 2 INIT
Exclusive Engine:
- Settler's Delight - Warp 6 for free, but only for Mini-Colonizer hull
Exclusive Component:
- Flux Capacitor - increase beam damage done by ship, by 20%
Inherent Abilities:
- Growth rate is double the value specified in page 4
Limitations:
- No Stargates
- Maximum population limit on a planet is half what it would support for a race
  with your environmental requirements (i.e. 500,000 max on home world as 
  opposed to 1,000,000 for other races on their homeworlds)

The Good:
The Mini-Colony hull is great for early-game seeding of planets, especially
with the accompanying Settler's Delight. The Flux Capacitor can be very helpful
if your ships are based primarily on beam weapons. A doubled growth rate means
you can cut growth rate in half and get huge advantage points to add to other
areas.

The Bad:
The Meta Morph, while a nice Hull, is not much better than the Galleon in most
respects. The Settler's Delight is an amazing Engine, however it can only be
matched with the Mini-Colony Ship. Having your maximum population cut in half
means you need to colonize (and later defend) twice as many worlds as everyone
else to keep up with their population and production capacity. The loss of
Stargates is a big loss until late in the game when ships are too big to be
easily gated, and warp 10 becomes an alternative.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
The Hyper-Expansion race is one that must constantly expand, as the description
in the race creator says. You need to colonize twice as many planets to match
other players' populations and production capacities. The major problem is
trying to keep all those planets properly defended without the use of
Stargates. You need to manage a huge number of planets and an even larger
number of fleets. Hyper-Expansion races in a tiny or small universes, thrive on
starving the enemy of planets to inhabit. While a normal race might have six
planets colonized, a Hyper-Expansion race can easily have colonized 20-30
planets. In a maxed research game, the Hyper-Expansion races have nothing to
offer except the Flux Capacitor, which is only marginally effective since most
ships use Torpedoes and Capital Ship Missiles late in a long game.

  mark hawkman noted:
  I wouldn't underestimate the offense capabilities of HE races. Battleship
  designs that use Flux capacitors are quite effective when you pair the
  capacitors with the higher end Beam weapons. Also they're usually cheaper 
  to build than Missile based designs. And they don't use up Ironium any 
  where near as quickly. I've found that the main weakness of using only 
  Missiles is the massive amounts of Ironium you need for the high end ones. 
  Also in long drawn out games, the HE races can go and build ship yards at 
  their many planets and build a massive enough fleet that "defending" the 
  planets becomes a relatively relatively minor issue.

The Boiler Plate:
Great for small universes and short games, but loses effectiveness in huge
universes and long games.


=============
SUPER STEALTH                                                   PG2-02
=============
Starting Advantages:
- TL 5 in Electronics
- One Scout
- One Colony Ship
Exclusive Hulls:
- Rogue (2 ENG, 2x1 EC, 2x2 GP, 1x3 AoS, 1 Scanner, and 500kT cargo)
  2250mg fuel, 450 armor, 4 INIT
- Stealth Bomber (2 ENG, 2x4 Bombs, 1x3 EC, 1x1 MC/EC/Scanner)
  750mg fuel, 225 armor
Exclusive Components:
- Pick Pocket - 80 l.y. scanner that allows theft of enemy cargo (must be at
  same location as enemy to see/steal cargo)
- Chameleon - 160/45 scanner with 20% cloak
- Robber Baron - 220/120 scanner that allows theft of enemy cargo from fleets
  and planets (must be at same location as enemy fleet/planet to see/steal 
  cargo)
- Shadow Shield - Shield strength: 75 and 35% cloak
- Depleted Neutronium - Armor strength: 200 and 25% cloak
- Transport Cloaking - 75% cloak for unarmed hulls
- Ultra-Stealth Cloak - 85% cloaking
Inherent Abilities:
- All ships and starbases built have inherent 75% cloak
- Travel through minefields one warp faster than stated limit
- Gain research by spying and combining it with your research. Gain resources
  in each field equal to 1/2 the average spent in that field by all races
  (including yours) while at least one other race exists

The Good:
The Rogue is a ship that easily outclasses two Privateers. As well, two Rogues
outclass a single Galleon, making it a good armed transport the whole game
through. The Stealth Bomber is a ship on the brink, which is to say, it has
little to recommend it over the B-17; however, it is an improvement. For an
extra 5kT of Germanium and 25 resources, you get 350mg fuel, 50 armor, and 3
EC. The Pick Pocket and Robber Baron do exactly what they should the whole game
through. Equipping a Chameleon in a ship is a simple way to increase its cloak
without trading serious functionality away (plus, it's a penetrating scanner,
which is great in combination with No Advanced Scanners). Transport Cloaking is
in the same boat as the Chameleon. Since it will be equipped on non-combat
hulls, you're not losing any functionality. 75% free cloaking on all ships and
starbases built has no downside, and is really the crux of Super-Stealth.
Traveling through minefields one warp faster is a great advantage when
comparing speeds of warp 4 vs. 5. The research gain is a huge ability since it
has no drawbacks, and extra research data can only ever help.

The Bad:
The Shadow Shield, and Depleted Neutronium are nice, but are quickly made
obsolete by better Shields and Armors. The Ultra-Stealth cloak is the best in
cloak technology, however it's not likely to replace Battle Computers on your
warships except in very select circumstances.  (An "Overcloaker"-type ship,
a Nubian filled with Ultra-Stealth Cloaks, can be very useful in hiding very
large attack fleets, so it retains some use.)

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
The thief Scanners that Super-Stealth receives are useful for 'liberating' 
enemy cargo. If you find a big enemy mining operation, you can severely hamper
their efforts, while gaining great rewards for yourself. The Rogue Hull is a 
great armed transport hull, and really never becomes obsolete. Although cloak
is never perfect, you can usually attack and run without ever being seen on
scanners. Your biggest advantage as a Super-Stealth, is that you can usually
focus on growing your empire before you need to start actively fighting an
enemy, since they won't be easily able to detect where you are. Your second
largest advantage is in research, since you gain a bonus each year, from other
players' efforts.

The Boiler Plate:
The Super-Stealth race has no real pitfalls, there are no limitations on what
it can build or do, only advantages. It's also very fun to sneak around while
enemy fleets are none the wiser. Don't be mistaken though, when push comes to
shove, a Super-Stealth player has no problem standing and fighting. It's just
that when a Super-Stealth player does decide to make a stand, the enemy never
knows how many fleets might be just a few l.y. away as insurance. Super-Stealth
works well in almost all universe sizes, and winning conditions.


==========
WAR MONGER                                                      PG2-03
==========
Starting Advantages:
- TL 5 in Weapons
- TL 1 in Propulsion and Energy
- One armed Scout
- One Colony Ship
Exclusive Hulls:
- Battle Cruiser (2 ENG, 2x2 SHD/EC/MC, 1x4 AoS, 2x3 WP, 1x3 GP)
  1400mg, 1000 armor, 5 INIT
- Dreadnought (5 ENG, 2x4 AoS, 2x6 WP, 2x8 WP, 2x4 EC, 2x8 ARM 2x5 WoS, 1x2 GP)
  4500mg, 4500 armor, 10 INIT
Exclusive Weapons:
- Gatling Neutrino Gun (PWR: 80 RNG: 2 INIT: 13 Extra: 1280 mines/year, hits
  all targets in range)
- Blunderbuss (PWR: 592 RNG: 0 INIT: 11)
Exclusive Abilities:
- 1/2 square movement bonus in battle
- Colonists attack better
- All weapons cost 25% less to build
- Learn exact design of ships as soon as they're scanned
Limitations:
- Can't build mine layers or lay minefields
- Can build SDI or Missile Battery defenses only

The Good:
The Battle Cruiser is more than twice as effective as a normal Cruiser. A
Dreadnought is more than twice as effective as a Battleship. The Blunderbuss is
the premiere 0 RNG weapon. A 1/2 square movement bonus is a big advantage in
battle. Having colonists that attack better than other races' furthers the War
Monger's cause. 25% cheaper weapons also is a valuable asset. Learning a ship's
exact design is a huge asset in creating ships specially designed to counter
other players' designs.

The Bad:
The inability to create minefields is a huge drawback, as is the lack of highly
effective planetary defenses. The Gatling Neutrino Gun is only marginally
effective, since most ships will be using Torpedoes and Capital Ship Missiles
when you get this weapon.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
The War Monger is designed for attacking, pure and simple. It has the biggest
and strongest ships. The Dreadnought being unmatched by any other ship with
maxed tech, and the Battle Cruiser dominating most of the mid-game. The loss of
good planetary defenses is more than compensated by the fact that your ships
should make quick work of any bombing fleet. The loss of minefields is a big
one, having an ally that can create minefields for you is nice, but if that
option doesn't present itself, you can rest in the knowledge that your ships
should still be able to make quick work of any enemy fleet anyway. One of the
strongest abilities the War Monger has is learning the design specs of any
scanned enemy ship, since you can create a design of your own to counter the
threat.

The Boiler Plate:
The War Monger is geared to carnage, and carnage it can inflict. Effective use
of the Battle Cruiser and Dreadnought Hulls should allow you to seriously keep
enemy races at bay. Even in short games though, abilities such as 25% reduction
in weapon costs, 1/2 square movement bonus, and better attacking colonists will
carry through the length of any game. If you can find an ally (preferably a
Space Demolition race) to lay minefields for you, then you've basically
compensated for your only pitfall.


==============
CLAIM ADJUSTER                                                  PG2-04
==============
Starting Advantages:
- TL 1 in Energy, Weapons, Propulsion
- TL 6 in Biotechnology
- Ship capable of terraforming other players' planets from orbit
  Exclusive Components:
- Orbital Adjuster - modifies planet environmental conditions from orbit, also
  a 25% cloak
Exclusive Weapon:
- Retro Bomb - de-terraforms planets, immune to planetary defenses
Exclusive Abilities:
- Terraforming is free (and temporary). Each year, all planets are terraformed
  to the limit of your terraforming technology. Planet reverts to natural state
  if your colonists abandon, or are otherwise forced, from it.
- Every so often, a planet's vital stat (Gravity, Temperature, or Radiation)
  will automatically adjust itself toward the race's ideal.

The Good:
Terraforming is free, and temporary, so at least if you lose a planet, they
have to terraform it. You can de-terraform enemy planets and terraform allied
planets for them. Plus, the fact that you don't have to "pay" for terraforming,
and the fact that it is instant, means that in the short run you save on
resources that could go toward mines and/or factories, and since your 
population will grow quickly on a terraformed world, your productivity will
grow far more quickly than it would for a normal race.  Also, planets colonized
by Claim Adjuster races will sometimes randomly adjust the underlying values of
one vital stat toward the race's ideal by 1%. This will slowly make the planet
more habitable to the Claim Adjuster race as it lives longer on it, and these
changes to the underlying vital stat are permanent.

The Bad:
While specializing in terraforming seems like a bad thing at first, it actually
helps with productivity in the short *and* long run.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
A Claim Adjuster is a great ally to have, since it saves a lot of time and work
terraforming new worlds. The fact that the terraforming of its own worlds is
free saves resources on one end, and the fact that it is instant allows them to
be more productive over a period of time. Those advantages, combined with the
gradual adjustment toward the Claim Adjuster race's ideal, make this PRT a 
prime candidate for so-called "monster" races that are a bit slow in starting,
but become nearly unstoppable by the mid-to-late game.

The Boiler Plate:
If you shrink the habitable range of the planets while keeping it centered, but
allow for terraforming capabilities later, you can gain a good deal of 
advantage points that you can use elsewhere to pump up the growth rates, max 
factories, etc. Add the Total Terraforming trait, and this capability can 
become downright terrifying, even in the early game.  Properly used, this 
racial trait can become very difficult to stop once it gets going. Plus, the 
Claim Adjuster's "remote" terraforming capabilities make it a very powerful and
much-desired ally in long games.


==============
INNER STRENGTH                                                  PG2-05
==============
Starting Advantages:
- One Scout
- One Colony Ship
Exclusive Hulls:
- Super Freighter (3 ENG, 1x2 EC, 1x5 AoS, 1x3 EC, MC, Scanner, and 3000kT 
  cargo) 8000mg fuel, 400 armor
- Fuel Transport (1 ENG, 1x1 SHD)
  750mg fuel, 5 armor, manufactures 200mg of fuel/year, and ships in fleet heal
  % faster
Exclusive Components:
- Croby Sharmor - Shield strength: 60 plus 65dp armor
- Fielded Kelarium - Armor strength: 175 plus 50dp shield
- Speed Trap 20 - mine that stops ships over warp 5
- Jammer 10 - 10% chance of deflecting torpedoes
- Jammer 50 - 50% chance of deflecting torpedoes
- Tachyon Detector - reduces effectiveness of other players' cloaks by 5%
Exclusive Weapon:
- Mini Gun (PWR: 13 RNG: 2 INIT: 12 Extra: 208 mines/year, hits all targets in
  range)
Exclusive Abilities:
- Colonists defend better
- Ships heal faster
- Planetary defenses cost 40% less
- Colonists on freighter reproduce at 1/2 of their maximum rate, beaming down
  excess babies when orbiting a planet you own (and into space when you're 
  not?)
Limitations:
- Weapons cost 25% more than for other races
- No Smart, Neutron, Enriched Neutron, Peerless, or Annihilator bombs

The Good:
The Super Freighter will replace all other freighters easily, if you play a
long game. Jammer 10 is great early game, and Jammer 50 is a huge advantage if
you play a long game. The Mini Gun is the first Gun beam weapon available, and
is a good asset early in the game. Your colonists defend against attacks very
well, and your starbases repair at 15% yearly (as opposed to 10% for others).
Planetary defenses are 40% cheaper (it will save you about 200kT of each
mineral and 400 resources over 100 defenses). Colonists reproducing on
freighter is a huge asset I'll talk about in detail in the full analysis.

The Bad:
The Fuel Transport is quickly obsolete to the Super-Fuel Xport. Croby Sharmor
and Fielded Kelarium are both only effective for a brief period, and then
quickly obsolete. Speed Trap 20 is nice, but at only 20 mines/year it's hard to
create a large minefield. The Tachyon Detector is great for detecting cloak,
but it usually can't be incorporated in a conventional warship, or utility
ship. Increased cost of weapons aren't a huge detriment, but a burden none the
less. The loss of Smart Bombs has to be compensated by building a few extra
bombers.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
I personally like playing Inner Strength races, they're not the most effective
at attacking enemy fleets and planets, but it's very easy to defend planets you
do own. One of the greatest traits it has, is reproducing colonists while in
freighters, this can be used to great effect on worlds whose populations are
nearing the cap. Because the population growth will stagnate, you can fill a
few freighters, and have them help the planet reach its cap, then send them
around and help the growth of other planets. The Super Freighter is great for
trading with Mystery Traders, since it only takes 3 ships. The Jammer 50 is a
huge asset in long games, since its nearest competition is the Jammer 30,
giving you a big edge against Torpedo users.

  mark hawkman noted:
  I've found that a very effective strategy for IS is to use Freighters to 
  overpopulate all of your planets. True the extra colonists can't use 
  factories but they do contribute to your work efforts.

The Boiler Plate:
It's a great complement to a War Monger, since an Inner Strength race can
maintain all the infrastructure (i.e. Super Freighters ferrying minerals and/or
colonists). This is a race more geared towards reaching winning conditions
through tech levels, production capacity, and owning planets, rather than large
numbers of capital ships and conquest.


================
SPACE DEMOLITION                                                PG2-06
================
Starting Advantages:
- TL 2 in Propulsion and Biotechnology
- One Scout
- One Colony Ship
- Two Mine Layer ships (one standard, one speed trap)
Exclusive Weapons:
- Mine Dispenser 40, 80, 120 - Maximum safe speed: Warp 4
- Heavy Dispenser 50, 110, 200 - Maximum safe speed: Warp 6
- Speed Trap 20, 30, 50 - Maximum safe speed: Warp 5
Exclusive Hulls:
- Mini Mine Layer (1 ENG, 2x2 Mines, 1x1 MC/EC/Scanner)
  400mg, 60 armor, doubles efficiency of all mine laying pods placed in it
- Super Mine Layer (3 ENG, 2x8 Mines, 1x3 AoS, 1x3 MC/EC/Scanner, 1x3
MC/EC/Mines) 2200mg, 1200 armor, doubles efficiency of all mine laying pods
placed in it
Exclusive Abilities:
- Mine fields act as non-penetrating scanners. Cloaks work as an absolute 
percentage against mine scans. (75% cloak = 25% chance of detection/year)
- Can travel through enemy mine fields 2 warps faster than safe limit
- Can remotely detonate Standard minefields
- Mine fields decay at 1% per planet per year enclosed in mines. All other 
players' minefields decay at 4% per planet per year
- Learn exact design of any enemy ship that hits a mine

The Good:
Selecting the Space Demolition race will give you the most advantage points of
any other. The Mine Dispensers of every size and description you get as a Space
Demo race are almost all unique to you. The two hulls, which are excellent mine
layers, are the only two of their kind, and are exclusive to you. Your
minefields work as scanners, and you can travel 2 warp speeds faster through
other players' minefields. You can remotely detonate your own standard
minefields, and they decay more slowly than others'. You learn the exact design
of ships that hit your mines.

The Bad:
You have no edge in any aspect of fleet combat.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
Almost all mines, and every Mine Layer ship, are yours exclusively. Allies you
have will absolutely love you for giving them 1000 l.y. minefields around their
planets. You are truly king (or queen) of all things minelaying. While you
have no advantages once in combat, your minefields should restrict enemy
movement enough that you can prepare anything you need to, before their fleet
reaches you. You learn the exact design of any ship that hits your mines. This
is perfect for finding out what an incoming attack fleet is made of (if your
mines didn't already destroy them) so you can properly prepare a welcoming
party. Remote detonation of minefields is sometimes overlooked. With it, you
can lay a minefield near a enemy transport lane, heavy in traffic, and when
they're all traveling through it, detonate it. It will severely damage all
ships in the minefield at the time (yours and theirs), but not your Mine
Layers. You have no limitations or real disadvantages to your race.

The Boiler Plate:
You get extra advantage points during creation of your race, you have no
disadvantages. You control enemy movement on a whim. You are king of the
minefields.


==============
PACKET PHYSICS                                                  PG2-07
==============
Starting Advantages:
- TL 4 in Energy
- Two planets with Mass Driver 5 (in non-tiny universes only)
- Two shielded Scout ships
- One Colony Ship
Exclusive Components:
- Mass Driver 5,6,8,9,11,12,13
- Mineral packets have built-in penetrating scanners with range equal the
  square of their warp speed
- Energy Dampener - slows all ships in combat by 4 INIT points
Exclusive Abilities:
- Miner packets are smaller and cheaper to build
- Sense all players' mineral packets in flight, regardless of location
- Learn the exact design of any enemy starbase that uses a mass accelerator to
  receive a packet you fling
- Planets receiving mass packets have a 50% chance of a 1% improvement in an
  environmental attribute. For every 100kT of a mineral not caught, there is
  also a 0.1% chance of the overall planet value improving by 1%.

The Good:
In the beginning of the game, it's very helpful to have two Scouts in different
parts of the universe. It's also helpful to have the Mass Drivers to scan the
surrounding planets much faster than any other player can. A Packet Physics has
several useful abilities, such as the built-in scanners and terraforming
capabilities of their packets. Seeing other players' packets is useful for
determining the size of their empire, and where their planets are. Learning the
exact design of an enemy starbase can be very useful if you intend to attack.
A warp 13 mass driver allows you to fling your packets 69% faster than a
"standard" Warp 10 driver, and far faster than any non-MT ship in the game.
This in addition makes it more difficult to stop your packet bombardment of
enemy planets.  (The fact that your effective range is increased doesn't hurt
that either.)

The Bad:
The Energy Dampener isn't as useful as other EC. And using your mass drivers
to scan near the beginning of the game will give away the locations of both
your worlds to other players. You'll have to figure for yourself whether the 
tradeoff of information is worth it.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
Packet Physics races are good at keeping minerals at even levels between
planets, meaning you can more easily colonize planets with even the lowest
mineral concentrations. They have good terraforming potential using packets,
and can send the exact size of packet they need. Knowing enemy packet locations
is useful for gauging the enemies' disposition of planets, even if you've never
sent a scout to that region of the universe.

The Boiler Plate:
It's fun to hit a planet with warp 16 packets, but aside from that, the
advantages of Packet Physics aren't spectacular.


=====================
INTERSTELLAR TRAVELER                                           PG2-08
=====================
Starting Advantages:
- TL 5 in Propulsion and Construction
- Two planets with 100/250 Stargates (in non-tiny universes only)
- One Scout
- One Colony Ship
- One Destroyer
- One Privateer
Exclusive Components:
- Stargates with unlimited range and capacity
- Anti-matter Generator - acts as a 200mg anti-matter fuel tank and generates
  50 mg of fuel every year
Exclusive Abilities:
- Can transport minerals and colonists in fleets through Stargates. The cargo
  weight is not taken into account when determining the fleet weight versus the
  gate's limits.
- Exceeding the safety limits of Stargates is less likely to kill your ships
- Stargates cost 25% less
- Stargates reveal planetary statistics on all other planets with Stargates in
  range
Limitations:
- Mass Drivers are only half as effective at catching minerals as their
  rating, are less efficient at flinging minerals, and all mineral packets that
  are flung will decay, regardless of speed

The Good:
The Anti-matter Generator can be effective when used on transports. 25% cheaper
Stargates with no limits!

The Bad:
You lose the most advantage points choosing this race. Having weakened Mass
Drivers puts this race at the mercy of packet bombardment.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
This race is the most expensive for a reason. Unlimited Stargates are a huge
draw. Moving fleets of Battleships across the largest of universes in a single
year makes Inter-Stellar Travelers dangerous -- very dangerous. It's important
to remember that even an Orbital Fort can have an Unlimited/Unlimited Stargate
equipped.

  mark hawkman noted:
  Them being able to move their fleets quickly doesn't make a large 
  difference unless you try to pick away at them. If you attack with a large 
  scale invasion they'll not be able to simply assemble an Uber fleet as 
  they'll have multiple planets to defend simultaneously.

The Boiler Plate:
Lots of fun to play, but it takes a lot of time to get that Unlimited/Unlimited
Stargate, and it's important to remember to keep up on your defense until you
have it. The longer a game goes on, and the larger the universe, the more
effective this race becomes. They become nearly unstoppable if they gain the
Jump Gate from a Mystery Trader. (The Jump Gate allows a ship to jump from
space to a Stargate. Range and weight restrictions are based on the destination
Stargate.)


=================
ALTERNATE REALITY                                               PG2-09
=================
Because alternate reality is so unlike all other races, I will address all
aspects of the race in a later section (Check the Table of Contents).


==================
JACK OF ALL TRADES                                              PG2-10
==================
Starting Advantages:
- TL 3 in all fields
- Two Scout ships
- One Colony Ship
- One Medium Freighter
- One Mini-Miner
- One Destroyer
Exclusive Components:
- Scout, Frigate, and Destroyer Hulls get a built-in Scanner with a range
  equal to 2N/N light years, where N = 10 x Electronics TL (i.e. TL 5 in
  Electronics -> 100/50 l.y. scanner) *It works out to an extra 20/10 per TL*
Exclusive Abilities:
- Improve all 'Costs 75% Extra' fields to TL 4 if the box on Page 6 is checked.

The Good:
The Scout, Frigate, and Destroyer get built-in scanners. A fairly large
starting set of ships.

The Bad:
The Frigate and Destroyer Hulls become obsolete early-mid game, so the built-in
scanner becomes obsolete. The 'Costs 75% Extra' bit only helps if you penalize
your research on Page 6.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
While it can be said that the Jack of All Trades race is just that,
generalized, you're better off taking Claim Adjuster since you at least get
some kind of advantage.

The Boiler Plate:
It's generic, so there're no disadvantages. That said there a bunch of race
without disadvantages that you would probably be better off playing.


======
PAGE 3                                                          PG3-00
======

SECONDARY RACIAL TRAITS


========================
IMPROVED FUEL EFFICIENCY                                        PG3-01
========================
This gives you the Fuel Mizer, Trans-Galactic Mizer Scoop, and Galaxy Scoop
engines and increases your starting Propulsion tech by 1 level. All engines use
15% less fuel.

Don't combine this with 'No Ram Scoop Engines', as you will lose the Trans-
Galactic Mizer Scoop and Galaxy Scoop engines.

This is a nice trait to have, especially in long games, the Trans-Galactic
Mizer Scoop is great because it allows stress-free warp 10 at Propulsion level
16, and the Galaxy Scoop really can't be beat, giving you warp 9 for free and 
warp 10 for about 70% fuel. As well, engines using 15% less fuel is a great 
help. If you can afford it, it'll help short, medium, long games, and any race.


==================
TOTAL TERRAFORMING                                              PG3-02
==================
Allows you to terraform by investing solely in Biotechnology. You may terraform
a variable up to 30%. Terraforming costs 30% less.

Don't combine this with any kind of environmental immunity. Short and medium
length games generally won't see any great benefit from this trait. This trait
can be a great help in long games however, since you will be able to terraform
a lot of planets that weren't habitable by you earlier in the game. The bigger
benefit though, is that any planet that is habitable to you will generally be
terraformable into a 90% or higher value planet. This trait is more helpful the
more restrictive your environmental constraints are, however can be helpful for
any race to increase the value of all planets.

Space Demolition can use this trait well, because its minelaying technology
makes use of Biotechnology anyway.  And Claim Adjuster can use this trait to
increase their effective habitable range even further than normal, allowing for
the creation of a so-called "monster" race.

  mark hawkman noted:
  This is also nice to use with IS. with IS you can shrink your habitability
  and go around colonizing planets that aren't currently habitable. In that
  plan you can use Freighters to give the planet a growth rate even if the
  planet isn't habitable.


======================
ADVANCED REMOTE MINING                                          PG3-03
======================
Gives you three additional mining hulls, and two new robots. You will start the
game with two Midget-Miners. Don't pick 'Only Basic Remote Mining' with this
option.

If you don't select this, I would recommend choosing 'Only Basic Remote
Mining'.

In a short game, this ability will give you access to the Robo-Midget-Miner and
Midget-Miner which, while it may seem are equal to the Robo-Mini-Miner and
Mini-Miner, gain a huge edge in cost and weight. Medium length games will see
the  Miner Hull and  possibly  the  Robo-Ultra-Miner  (Which  is  much  more
cost-effective than the Robo-Super-Miner). Long games will see the Ultra-Miner
Hull and the Robo-Ultra-Miner, which will strip a planet bare in a matter of
years.

  mark hawkman noted:
  I usually don't use this unless I'm playing Alternate Reality most of my
  other races just don't need mining that bad..

-- Continued in 'Only Basic Remote Mining'.


==================
IMPROVED STARBASES                                              PG3-04
==================
Gives you two new starbase designs. The Star Dock allows you to build light
ships. The Ultra Station is a formidable weapons platform. Your starbases cost
20% less and are 20% cloaked.

The 20% reduction in cost alone may make this trait attractive to some. The
addition of the Star Dock is nice for early game, to build Destroyers, however
Cruisers may be too heavy depending on how they're outfitted. It can still 
build most unarmed ships however. The Ultra Station is nice for anyone who 
doesn't trust their defensive fleets to handle what's coming, or for those 
races who have a higher value on their starbases (Such as Packet Physics races 
or Inter-Stellar Travelers, or ESPECIALLY Alternate Reality). It never hurts to
have extra defense at home. That said you should carefully weigh the cost of
this trait, it can be pricey for some races.

  mark hawkman noted:
  once again [as with Advanced Remote Mining, the only PRT I tend to use it
  with is Alternate Reality (AR)]... maybe with [Interstellar Traveler] but 
  there's not much else that needs [starbases] that bad. AR finds the Ultra
  stations to be VERY useful.


====================
GENERALIZED RESEARCH                                            PG3-05
====================
Your race takes a holistic approach to research. Only half of the resources
dedicated to research will be applied to the current field of research;
however, 15% of the total will be applied to all other fields.

Sometimes this trait will cost you points, sometimes reward.

This trait should generally be avoided in short games, where you need to focus
every research point. In medium games it's more dependent on the race you want.
In long games I would strongly recommend this trait. Let's examine what it does
closely, it applies 50% to your current target, and then adds 15% of the total
to each other field. That gives you 115% return on your research investment. If
you consider researching Biotechnology a 100% waste, you're still getting a
100% return. So it might be worth it, if you get extra points for selecting it.
If you don't mind waiting a little longer for a specific piece of technology,
and really see the process as gradually getting everything, you'll be well
rewarded. This trait combines well with Total Terraforming, since you receive a
tangible return on Biotech investment. Also may combine well with Bleeding Edge
Technology, since you will be researching everything a little faster.

*Special Note*
While I mention in my opinion/analysis of Generalized Research you get a return
of 115% on resources budgeted, my count gives 125% (6 fields, 1 @ 50% 5 @ 15%
50+75=125). The game's help file says 115% percent, so I'm at a loss. If
someone would like to clarify this, please see the contact info near the end of
this file.


==================
ULTIMATE RECYCLING                                              PG3-06
==================
When you scrap a fleet at a starbase, you recover 90% of the minerals and some
of the resources. The resources available for use the next year. Scrapping at a
planet gives you half the starbase amount.

In short games, not very useful. In medium length games, useful if you plan to
build a lot of Destroyers early, then replace them with Cruisers later (or some
other large scale overhaul). In a large game, useful if you plan on having
several large force overhauls. If you have several other positive traits, such
as Fuel Efficiency, Total Terraform, and Advanced Mining, this trait can cost
upward of 100 pts.


===============
MINERAL ALCHEMY                                                 PG3-07
===============
Allows you to turn resources into minerals four times more efficiently than
other races. This may be performed at any planet you own.

Short and Medium length games will almost never benefit from this. Long games
may benefit somewhat. Even with this trait, alchemy is still very expensive. A
better bet, may be trying to get the Genesis Device from a Mystery Trader. As
with Ultimate Recycle, it can be very expensive.


====================
NO RAM SCOOP ENGINES                                            PG3-08
====================
No engines which travel at Warp 5 or greater burning no fuel will be available.
However, the Interspace-10 engine will be available. This drive travels at Warp
10 without taking damage.

Short games may not suffer very much from this trait, since Ram Scoops only
become available at Propulsion 6.  (Exception is the Fuel Mizer, but it is not
eliminated with NRSE, oddly enough.)  Medium games will usually gain the 
advantage of the Interspace-10, and so it may be beneficial to them. Long games
probably suffer the most. The Interspace-10 is available at Propulsion 11, then
they get no engines until Propulsion 23 when the Trans-Star 10 becomes 
available to all.  During those 12 TL, players without this handicap will be 
moving along carefree with free warp 7-9, while you're hoping you don't run out
of gas in deep space.  Avoid in a long game, give it consideration in short and
medium games.


=============
CHEAP ENGINES                                                   PG3-09
=============
You can throw engines together at half cost; however at speeds in excess of
Warp 6, there is a 10% chance the engines won't engage. You start with
Propulsion one level higher than you would otherwise.

This can be useful in short games, the reduced engine price will make ships
cheaper to build, and you won't be hitting high warps anyway. Medium and
especially long games should avoid this like the plague. It essentially
restricts travel to warp 6. I can only promise that if you use this, any time
you absolutely need to run from something at high warp, the engines will stall.


========================
ONLY BASIC REMOTE MINING                                        PG3-10
========================
The only mining ship available to you will be the Mini-Miner. This trait
overrides 'Advanced Remote Mining'. Your maximum population per planet is
increased by 10%.

If you don't select this, I would recommend choosing 'Advanced Remote Mining'.
Generally your race is either geared towards heavy remote mining, or no remote
mining at all. Inter-Stellar travelers as an example, can be either miners or
non-miners. If they can inhabit 1:3 planets or more, they're not, since they
can just shuffle minerals around quickly and easily with gates. However if they
only inhabit 1:9, then each planet may be better mining the worlds around them
instead of putting a drain on the few controlled planets.


====================
NO ADVANCED SCANNERS                                            PG3-11
====================
No planet penetrating scanners will be available to you. However conventional
scanners will have their range doubled.

Sometimes this trait will cost you points, sometimes reward. Having your
scanners' ranges doubled is tempting. The pitfall is that you lose track of
fleets hiding in orbit. The choice is the same for any size universe, and any
length game. Your scanners will have HUGE range in long games, 1240 l.y. for 
the Snooper 620X, but again, you never know what might await you at a planet.

However, it can be more useful to certain races, because even with this trait,
they will still have some "scanners" with penetrating capabilities. For
example, for Packet Physics, the built-in scanners of their packets are still
penetrating. And for Super-Stealth, the Chameleon and Robber Baron scanners are
still available and retain their penetrating capabilities.

  Hugh Manatee noted:
  Any race that gets a free penetrating scanning ability or component keeps 
  it even if they take No Advanced Scanners. i.e. Jack of All Trades has 
  penetrating scanners on their frigates/destroyers/scouts, regardless of if 
  this option is chosen. This applies equally to packets flung by Packet 
  Physics races, and scanning planets with stargates, within range of a 
  Stellar Traveler's stargate.


=======================
LOW STARTING POPULATION                                         PG3-12
=======================
You will start with 30% fewer colonists.

Under no circumstances select this, you will handicap yourself beyond recovery.
A short experiment I did, showed a race with 20% growth starting with 70% of
its population take 9 years to catch up to a race with 15% growth and its
population unpenalized. It may not seem like too long, however I didn't have
them sending out any colony ships (which you would absolutely be doing at the
beginning of the game). Colony ships would affect the planet with less
colonists more, further slowing the time to catch up.


========================
BLEEDING EDGE TECHNOLOGY                                        PG3-13
========================
New techs initially cost twice as much to build. As soon as you exceed all of
the tech requirements by one level, the cost drops back to normal.

Miniaturization occurs at 5% a level and pegs at 80%.

Sometimes this trait will cost you points, sometimes reward. Regardless of the
length of a game, bleeding edge has very little positive to add. It grants you
5% miniaturization for every TL above requirement, but without this trait, you
still get 4%. Cap with this trait is 80% and 75% without. All items with TL 26
will always cost double (Nubian Hull, Anti-Matter Pulverizer, Omega Torpedo,
and Annihilator Bomb).


====================
REGENERATING SHIELDS                                            PG3-14
====================
All shields are 40% stronger than the listed rating. Shields regenerate 10% of
maximum strength after every round of battle. However, your armor will only be
50% of its rated strength.

Sometimes this trait will cost you points, sometimes reward.

In a short game, this will get you killed, since the Destroyer can't equip
Shields, you're basically fighting at 50%. In games of medium and long length,
this option should seriously be considered. Having strong shields can be used
to a large tactical advantage since shields regenerate 10% each round of
battle, and recharge fully every year.

(Note: mark hawkman correctly states that a shield can fit into the General 
slot on a Destroyer, but that in turn cripples offensive capabilities, since 
the general slot is often used for more weaponry.)


======
PAGE 4                                                          PG4-00
======

POPULATION GROWTH FACTORS

GRAVITY
Range: 0.12g to 8.00g
It's somewhat interesting to note if you put the smallest possible bar on the
right side, the range is 3.20 to 8.00, but on the left side it's only 0.12 to
0.31.

TEMPERATURE
range: -200C to 200C

RADIATION
Range: 0mR to 100mR
The midpoint needs to be 85mR or higher to not be affected by Radiating
Hydro-Ram Scoop engines. Actually hard to do, you need a range of 70mR to 100mR
or very similar. Very restrictive, only 1:3 planets have radiation that high.

MAXIMUM COLONIST GROWTH RATE
Range 1% to 20% (Note: 40% with a Hyper-Expansion race, although it won't be
listed as such)

Choosing a balance between Grav, Temp, and Rad is dependent on the race you
want to create. A Hyper-Expansion race can trade a lot of its growth rate in
favor of full immunity, since it gets double growth. Races such as Interstellar
Travelers don't need to colonize as many planets, since their gate system
allows them to easily travel between a far-flung empire's various stars.

The game creates the conditions of planets at random, but slightly weighted to
the center. The exception is Radiation, which is completely random. Which means
you might want to grab some free points by moving your radiation bar to a side.
Also, if you're going to choose a single immunity, you should make it Radiation
to increase habitable planets (if you keep Grav and Temp in the center, the
randomness of Radiation is compensated for). You can also use Radiating Hydro-
Ram Scoop as colonist transports with Radiation immunity.

It should be noted, that when you select environmental conditions at the
extreme ranges, you're restricting the number of planets you'll be able to
inhabit, but you're gaining advantage points. Also, planets with conditions in
the extreme have a good chance of being super-rich in one or more minerals. It
figures that the volcanic planets with blood boiling radiation also have all
the good stuff we want.

Growth rate is highly dependent on game length and race. In a short game,
you'll need a higher growth rate more than anything else so you can keep
colonizing and attacking other players' planets. In medium and larger length
games growth rates can be slid to 13% or even 12%. 11% is on the slow side, but
experiment freely and see what you can work with. Also, certain races won't
need growth rates as high as others.

I personally often tweak environmental and growth rate to squeeze in everything
I want in my race. Try for at least 1:5 planets with most races though, and 13%
growth rate. As always, experiment and find your flavor.


======
PAGE 5                                                          PG5-00
======

RACE EFFICIENCY

The guts of your race's production and mineral extraction.

One resource is generated each year for every <variable A> colonists.

Every 10 factories produce <variable B> resources each year.
Factories require <variable C> resources to build.
Every 10,000 colonists may operate up to <variable D> factories.

<variable E> Factories cost 1kT less of Germanium to build.

Every 10 mines produce up to <variable F> kT of each mineral every year.
Mines require <variable G> resources to build.
Every 10,000 colonists may operate up to <variable H> mines.

Ranges:
A: 700 - 2500 (increments of 100)
B: 5 - 15 C: 5 - 25 D: 5 - 25
E: Checkbox
F: 5 - 25 G: 3 - 15 H: 5 - 25

Let's take a look at what the numbers mean. We'll assume A=1000 B-H all = 10
and that the population of our planet is 100,000 (no more growth).

Year 1 we have 100 resources to spend (100,000/A) so we'll build 10 factories
(100/C). Year 2 we have 110 resources (100,000/A + 10/10*B) so we'll build
another 11 factories (110/C). Year 3 we have 110 resources (100,000/A +
21/10*B). Now we'll skip ahead a bit. Year 7 we have 200 resources (100,000/A +
100/10*B) and we build 20 factories (200/C). Year 8 we have 200 resources. Why
not 220? Between years 7 and 8 variable D came into play, which says 100,000
colonists can only operate 100 factories.

I hope it's a little clearer how all the factors relate to one another. It
should be noted that making factories more efficient (B) costs more than being
able to operate more factories (D). I'll demonstrate it quickly.

Population 100,000 A=1000 B=15 C=10 D=10
Maximum Factories: 100
So, 100,000/A + 100/10*B = 250

Population 100,000 A=1000 B=10 C=10 D=15
Maximum Factories: 150
So, 100,000/A + 150/10*B = 250

Where's the difference? The extra 50 factories each cost 10 resources to
build.(And an extra 3-4 kT Germanium each.)

Mines work in the same way, but you should remember that the more mines you
build, the faster the concentration of minerals will be depleted. If your mines
are efficient (F), that will not decrease mineral concentration faster. It's
strictly the number of running mines. There's a few things to look at in this
little puzzle though. In a long game, a planet will run out of minerals
(mineral concentration will be 1). A planet with more mines, will be able to
extract more minerals from a concentration of 1, than a planet with less mines
working more efficiently. Then there's alchemy to consider, which is creating
1kT of each mineral for 25 resources (or 100 resources if you don't have the
racial trait).

Variable A: The most expensive alteration you can make, getting it to 900 is
  recommended, but if you can't do it, 1000 is just fine. The cost from 1000 to
  900 is around 200 pts. This is your first priority if you can get it.
Variable B: Don't let this drop below 10. This is your third priority.
Variable C: You shouldn't raise this above 13 unless A < 1000, in which case
  not above 16. This can be traded for lowering A, checking E, or raising B.
Variable D: Don't let this drop below 10, unless B > 13, in which case not
  below 8. This should be your fourth priority.
Variable E: It will help you significantly if you can get this box checked, a
  lot of planets will be weak in Germanium, and every kT you can save will 
  help, especially on new planets which will need it for their new factories.
  It will reduce the cost of factories in Germanium from 4 to 3. This is your
  second priority.
Variable F: Efficient mines will help slow concentration loss, but once you
  lose the minerals in a planet this becomes somewhat obsolete. Don't drop this
  below 9.
Variable G: Cheap mines won't be a priority, since you can trade these points
  for better factories. The maximum is 15, I usually don't go higher than 13.
Variable H: If you want to conserve your mineral concentration, you can drop
  this to 8 or 9, but only if F is > 11. If you read my notes on mine 
  efficiency vs. mine quantity, alchemy, and all that, then you can decide on
  your own if you should go above 10 mines per 10,000 colonists.

======
PAGE 6                                                          PG6-00
======

RESEARCH COSTS

The six fields of technology can be either penalized, costing 175%, or
handicapped, costing only 50%.

You can get a single technology to 50% for around 40 points (worth it), however
a second will cost you around 130 (not worth it). If you're so inclined, you
can trade one technology at 175% for another at 50% without losing or gaining a
single point. A lot of people don't like Biotechnology, so you can penalize it,
and handicap (as an example) Propulsion and Construction for a total cost of
around 40 points.

What technologies (if any) you should alter here, are completely specific to
the race you want to create. In general, Energy will gain you Shields quickly,
Weapons yields...uh... Weapons, Propulsion yields Engines, Construction grants
Hulls, Electronics presents you with ECs, and Biotechnology with Terraforming 
options and minelayers.

The checkbox for "All 'Costs 75% extra' research fields start at Tech 3" is
usually a bad idea. Primarily since you're not likely to have more than one
penalized field, and checking it costs more than you gain from a single
research penalty.

  mark hawkman noted:
  I find that setting all of them to 175% usually give me enough points to
  be able to off-set the increased cost by increasing my production
  abilities.  But Alternate reality get energy set to 50%.


=================
ALTERNATE REALITY                                               ANR-00
=================

As promised, everything you wanted to know about Alternate Reality, but were
afraid to ask.

Exclusive Hull:
- Death Star - the largest starbase ever known
Exclusive Component:
- Orbital Construction Module - contains viral weapons capable of killing 2000
  enemy colonists per year and that colonizes worlds by turning into an Orbital
  Fort
Exclusive Abilities:
- Lives on Starbases only, not planets
- Starbases are 20% cheaper to build (not cumulative with Improved Starbases)
- Population acts as natural miners and scanners
- Remote mine own planets (since they live in orbit)
- Maximum population is determined by the size of starbase, not the planet
- Planetary resources grow as Energy TL increases
Limitations:
- Cannot build planetary installations
- Interstellar travel kills 3% of colonists in the fleet per year

The Good:
The Orbital Construction Module doubling as a bombing tool is a nice thought.
Cheap starbase construction (but there's nothing cheap about a fully loaded
Death Star). You can remote mine your own planet. The Death Star is the coolest
thing you can ever see in a battle. You can have up to 3,000,000 colonists
orbiting a single planet.

The Bad:
It costs a lot to build a fully decked Death Star (128 weapons, 100 shields)
even with a 20% discount. In the incredible event that your Death Star is
destroyed, you also lose up to 3,000,000 colonists along with it. Even though
you live in orbit, you're still subject to a planet's conditions. You lose 3%
of your population in transit.

The Ugly, Full Analysis:
The Alternate Reality race is way out there. You almost certainly want to marry
them to the Advanced Remote Mining trait, since you can mine your own planets.
Minerals run out fast though, when you remote mine. Losing 3% of your colonists
in transit is a huge hit to take. Having your resource production hinge on your
Energy TL really makes you commit to developing it almost exclusively.

The Boiler Plate:
Design an AR race at least once, and see for yourself what it's like. You will
be somewhat surprised.

SECONDARY TRAITS
Advanced Remote Mining is very helpful, since you can remote mine your own
planets. The fallback is that you can quickly strip the mines bare from a
planet using remote mining.  This is especially useful on the homeworld, where
the concentrations never drop below 30, allowing for insane amounts of minerals
being mined.  (Mine, all mine!  *Hem*...sorry.)

Improved Starbases is almost forced on you, since you want the Ultra Station
and Star Dock as stepping stones and for the 20% cloak. It's too bad you lose
out on the 20% discount.

Mineral Alchemy might be something to consider heavily because as mentioned
before you will likely be remote mining your world and will quickly reduce the
mineral concentration.

No other secondary traits have very different perspective from AR. Standard
rules apply to them.

EFFICIENCY
You can only adjust a single setting here. Range: 7-25. Lower is better, 10 ->
9 costs about 200, 9 -> 8 about 220. I'll revisit this under FACTORIES.

SCANNERS
Scanning Distance = SQRT(Population / 10)
So at 100,000 colonists the scanner is 100 l.y. At 3,000,000 the scanner is
548/274 l.y. Ultra Station and Death Star have penetrating scans at half
distance of standard

FACTORIES
Resources = Habitability_Value x SQRT(Population X Energy_Tech_Level /
Efficiency_Coefficient)
You can lower the Efficiency Coefficient when creating your race. Some examples
will demonstrate how the factors relate to each other.

Hab_Val = 1 (100% = 1, 50% = .5) Population = 750,000 Ener_TL = 7 Coefficient =
9 Resources would equal 764. Change Coefficient to 10. Resources = 724. With
Ener_TL = 14. Resources = 1024. Now with a maxed out planet Hab_Val = 1 Pop =
3,000,000 Ener_TL = 26 Coefficient = 10. Resources = 2793. With Coef. = 9.
Resources = 2944

MINES
The game's help file says Mining = SQRT(Population)/10. So at 100,000 colonists
you have 32 mines. At 3,000,000 you get 173 mines: SQRT(3,000,000)/10 = 
1,732/10 = 173 mines.


=============
GAMEPLAY TIPS                                                   GMP-00
=============

Early game
----------
In the early game your main focus should be seeding as many planets as
possible. You'll need to build several scouts before anything else, to find as
many habitable planets as early as possible. If you chose the Improved Fuel
Efficiency trait, your first research target (if you don't have access to it),
should be Propulsion to gain access to the Fuel Mizer Engine. The Fuel Mizer
will significantly help colonize and scout distant planets. If your primary
trait is Inner Strength, you should remember that your colonists will grow
(Usually about 1 kT / year in a standard Colony Ship).


Mid Game
--------
Your main focus will be building defense and attack fleets, all the while
balancing that with constant growth. It is important to remember that the
player that stops expanding his empire, limits only himself. If you stop after
controlling 50 planets, you will be no match for a player who controls 80.
While I recommend constant growth, you still have to balance it with proper
defenses. A colony of 2000 colonists with no fleets in orbit will easily fall
prey to any passing bomber of colonist transport.


Late Game
---------
At this point your main focus should be making sure all your ships are using
the top technologies available to them. You should still be increasing the
number of planets you control, all the while properly defending them.

Production Templates:
This is simply what I use, feel free to adapt it to your style, or ignore it
completely. I use four levels of production to divide planets and not
overburden them.  --plague006

Default            Level 2             Level 3            Level 4
Min Terraform (3)  Factories (10)      Factories (60)     Factories (200)
Factories (3)      Mines (10)          Mines (60)         Mines (200)
Mines (3)          Max Terraform (10)  Defenses (3)       Defenses (100)
Don't contribute   Don't contribute    Max Terraform (10) Max Terraform (200)
                                       Contribute         Alchemy
                                                          Contribute

When a planet reaches Level 3, I usually add a Planetary Scanner to the top of
the queue. When a planet reaches Level 4, I usually add a Starbase to the top
of the queue.


Minefields
----------
Minefields are important regardless of what race you're playing. Minefields
essentially restrict enemy movement, especially around your planets. This gives
you a great advantage, since you can engage the enemy fleets at your
convenience.


Mystery Traders
---------------
Mystery Traders are a huge asset, but it can be difficult to gather enough
ships to cover the 5000kT demand before you have access to the Large Freighter
Hull. Some of the better components you can gain from them include the Jump
Gate, which allows you to gate from deep space to a Starbase's Stargate. The
range and weight limits are dependent on the destination Stargate. But probably
the greatest item you can buy from the trader is the Genesis Device....


Genesis Device
--------------
The Genesis Device has big tech requirements, Energy, Construction, and 
Biotechnology need level 20, and level 10 for Weapons, Propulsion, and 
Electronics. It costs no minerals to build, but 5000 resources. The Genesis 
device works like this: Your factories, mines, defenses, and planetary scanner
are all destroyed. Your population and Starbase remain unaffected. The Gravity,
Temperature, and Radiation are all recast, meaning they're randomized. As I 
mentioned before, Gravity and Temperature as weighted to the center, so if you
need planets in the extremes, and you found one, the Genesis Device will likely
give you a deadly planet. As well as your environmental factors, all mineral 
concentrations will be recast, which is a huge boost to any planet that has
been strip-mined. If you have full immunity to all environmental settings, and
all mineral concentrations are 1, you have nothing to lose.  Even if that's not
the case, it could still be worth it (especially if you're a Claim Adjuster).

An important note to make, is that before you build the Genesis Device on a 
planet, keep enough freighters in orbit of that planet to hold as much as 75%
of the planet's population. (If you have the Claim Adjuster race, drop that
amount to the lowest possible habitability after terraforming.) The reason 
behind that is when you recast the planet, the planet's value will likely be
lower than what is currently is, and you can potentially lose hundreds of 
thousands of colonists to overcrowding. 

When using the Genesis Device, one year before the completion of the build, 
evacuate as much of the population as possible (without extending the build 
time of the Genesis Device). Then when the planet is recast, land as many 
people as the population limit will allow, and on the planet itself, build 
nothing but terraforming, you need that value at its maximum, in a minimum of 
time, so you can send the colonists back to the planet. It takes much less time
for a planet of 900,000 to rebuild, than a planet of 100,000.


=======
CONTACT                                                         CTC-00
=======

Mars Jenkar
-----------
I am now the official caretaker of this guide, so please send any information
to me. If I've missed something, or if a website not authorized for this guide
is using it, please contact me at pizNO_SPAM_PLEASEman2000@yahoo.com.

(Oh, and in case you didn't get my little hint above--NO SPAM, PLEASE.)

I've kept plague006's old contact info, just in case, but please send all
emails concerning this guide to me.


plague006
---------
If you want permission to host one of my guides, or want to report seeing one
of my guides at a website not explicitly authorized to host it, please email me
at plague006@plague006.com with the subject "Copyright".

If you want gameplay help, you can email me at plague006@hotmail.com with the
game's name in the subject line.

I can sometimes be found on UnderNet, using the nick p6, or plague006.


======
CREDIT                                                          CRD-00
======

CJayC - for posting a guide for a decade old game on the premiere website
  dedicated to gaming guides
Jeff Johnson & Jeff McBride (of Mare Crisium) - for making a game that is so 
  rich and detailed it stands the test of time
Empire Interactive - for publishing a game that is so rich and detailed it
  stands the test of time
Rogier 'Konradius' van Vugt - whose FAQ dedicated to Mystery Traders I
  consulted to verify my own findings
Superboc - whose FAQ dedicated to Race Creation I consulted to compare to my
  own analyses and suggestions
Hugh Manatee - who contribute a point I missed in my original writing, which
  can be found under "No Advanced Scanners"
plague006 - for writing the guide in the first place.
Mars Jenkar - for contributing points to this guide, and later for taking it
  into his care.


=====
LEGAL                                                           LGL-00
=====

The following sites may post this guide:

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IGN FAQ's..........faqs.ign.com
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CheatChannel.......www.cheatchannel.com
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If you found this guide on a website not listed above, please contact Mars
Jenkar (see the contact section for details).

This document may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for
personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise
distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on
any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited,
and a violation of copyright.

Stars! is copyright (c)1995-1998 Mare Crisium and Empire Interactive. All 
trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their 
respective trademark and copyright holders.

This guide has not been authorized by Mare Crisium or Empire Interactive and
should not be considered "official".

This guide is copyright (c)2005-2006 Matthew Heguy; copyright (c)2006 Mars 
Jenkar.

[EOF]

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