Strategy: The Fascists Fork

By: Timo Kreike

Imagine this tactic – let’s call it the ‘Fascist Fork’. I’ve developed it as an unstoppable suicide-attack on an enemy homeworld, but it ended up in destroying _21_ ships in one turn losing only three ships myself. Got your attention now? 🙂

History of the game

I’m playing the Fascists. I’ve got about 60 planets in the south-west corner of the cluster. I’ve exterminated my nearest neighbor on my right side, the Privateers. The closest player on my left is the Colonies. Well that’s not so very close: the distance between my homeworld (Washington #214) and his homeworld (Sanstrisious # 418) is more than 500 LY. He had about 20 planet in a small area running north-south, his homeworld being the center planet.

At turn 45 we still didn’t have any cooperation or agreement of any kind whatsoever and I decided to *do* something.


The main disadvantage of the Colonies is the size of their ships: they are all very small. There are just two ships having a mass larger than 200 kT: the Scorpious and the Virgo. Perfect! Two Glory Devices exploding at the same time will destroy almost an entire Colonial fleet.

I deployed some cloakers and I spied the enemy forces on their planets. My neighbor was using Cobols as transports. There were Little Joe’s for minesweeping and he used Patriots and Cygnus’ as capital ships. There was a Patriot on the cluster near #415. There was a small strikefleet of 3 Cygnus’ on planet #403 or #420. His homeworld was protected by two Virgo’s and some other smaller ships were waiting there: Cobols, Freighters, Lady Royale’s. There were about four or five Cobols running up and down the line 415 – 418 – 123 and further north/south.

When I was expanding my empire I could come as far as planet #136! Around turn 30 – 35 I conquered Ka’Hat (#54) and Upikarium (#467). Both planets were worthless – no minerals, no nothing. When the Colonial player recaptured Ka’Hat I had managed to get the Natives (2 million Reptilian, Anarchy) very, very angry… I destroyed his ship and the planet was lost for either of us for the rest of the game.

                               x            o
               x 415                       
                                        o 54 
           X 418
                 x 403                        o
                       x  420             
                                           o 136

           x 123                               
                             o 467            

o == Fascist planet

54 == Ka’Hat
136 == Organia 3
467 == Upikarium

x == Colonial planet
415 == Scoptor
403 == New Alaska
420 == Bendotex
123 == Scorpious

X == Colonial homeworld
418 == Sanstrisious

I could of course try to Pillage him to death, but those Virgo’s… No, I decided to do an hit and run attack on his homeworld and the two nearby planets to test my Glory Devices. It should have a great psychological impact on my neighbor.

My Ideas

  • Those two Virgo’s would attack an incoming fleet immediately. Hmmm, what about spitting my strike forces?
  • I needed one GD for the strike force of three Cygnus’s and two more for his homeworld. Maybe I could hit some ships (Lady Royale) – but in any case I would destroy 40 – 60 % of his colonist population and structures!
  • Just going in with three Glory Devices would unveil the nature of the attack, and just using the cheaper D19s would also point in the right direction. I used both Sabers and D19s.
  • It would be very unsafe by just using those beam-only ships, so I secured the attack by sending three Victorious Battleships.
  • The final touch: to disguise the meaning of the Glory Devices I called them ‘Fighersweeper’, Fightercatcher’ etc. Very logically, not? I would fool my new opponent by sending a battlegroep: Saber/D19 fight first to kill some fighters of a Virgo/Starbase and the Victorious will finish the job.
  • So I made three strike forces: A. Victorious, Saber, D19 B. Victorious, Saber C. Victorious All GD’s had X-rays. All ships had Transwarp Drives. Strike force A was the main force and should attack his homeworld from the north. Strike force B was intended to smash Bendotex and it’s defending fleet. Victorinous C would come from the south to force the Virgo’s to stay on Sanstrisious.
  • The retreat: the battleships were just protection and should retreat at the same turn the GD’s should explode.
  • One thing was really bugging my mind: defensive minefields. I would expect the Colonial player to lay minefields to stop my three incoming fleets. A single minehit would destroy any D19 and cripple my Sabers. This would surely ruin my tactic. Therefore the spying cloaker (a Deth Specula) was equipped with Heavy Phasers to get rid of enemy minefields. And all Victorious Battleships were filled with torpedos to lay enormous minefields. Yes, even when I was fighting the Colonies I would use offensive minefields – and it worked: you’ll see!

The attack turn by turn

Turn 54

  • The ships with longer waypoints should be on their way first.
  • Victorious C was the first ship to be seen by my opponent: to get to Upicarium (#467) it had to cross the space between #467 and #370 (Dull Planet) Nevermind, it was just one ship and he had seen it before visiting some of my other planets. On turn 54 it was right on his place orbiting #467.
  • Fleet A was gathering fuel and torps on the planets near #136. Planet hopping one by one each following another route, crossing the space between Potatoe (#264) and Organia 3 (#136) one by one it didn’t look suspicious.
  • Fleet B was still on Potatoe.

Turn 55

  • Action! My first single move to Colonial planets.
  • Victorious C went straight to Scorpious (#123) flying 81 LY at warp 9 and is halfway now. This planet was unprotected and passing freighters/ Cobols didn’t stop at it.
  • Fleet B moved to #136 traveling 81 LY and was halfway too.
  • Fleet A assembled at Ka’Hat on turn 55.

Turn 56

  • No enemy counter-attacks to Victorious C.
  • Victorious C captures Scorpious without any resistance. The planet had just 10 clans and 10 defense units. No wonder no Virgo came – it just wasn’t important enough.
  • Fleet B is on Organia 3 and gathers more fuel.
  • Fleet A…it went straight to Scoptor (#415) flying 81 LY at full speed. Another move to fool the enemy, and to pull the Virgo’s off his homebase to protect his important planets in the north. (Those were only protected by a Cygnus, a Little Joe and a Patriot.)

Turn 57

  • Utter Joy! Read on… All three strike forces remained intact. There were no Colonial activities whatsoever.
  • Victorious C was on Scorpious and couldn’t be intercepted by the Colonial player.. it is halfway Sanstrisious and Scorpious now. It’s waypoint lies between Sanstrisious and New Alaska.
  • Fleet A went to 1755, 1505. This waypoint would allow any defending Colonial ships to Intercept it from Scoptor. As there were just small ships on that cluster, the Victorious could easily destroy them.
  • Any Intercepts from other planet would end up in deep space. Intercepts that were most likely would come from Sanstrisious. However as the distance between 1755, 1505 and Sanstrisious is 83 LY, intercepting ships would end up 2 LY next to fleet A. And 83 LY would be the enough for next turn: 81 LY + warpwell! Nice touch eh?
  • Fleet B crossed the space to Bendotex and it halfway now.

Turn 58 ….

  • Fleet A delivered their exploding presents at the Colonial homeworld. The Victorious laid a large minefield and retreated 81 LY to the northeast. This Victorious was intercepted by a Patriot from Scoptor and a Virgo from Sanstrisious. The Patriot hit a mine and was destroyed (BONUS!), the Virgo was hit also and took 16% damage.
  • The two Glory Devices exploded ( FC ‘pop’) on his homeworld and destroyed 4 Lady Royale Class Cruisers, about 3 Cobols, some freighters and neutronium carriers and a couple Gemini’s. A Virgo and a Merlin were also damaged (32% and 24% damage). A great number of colonists and planetary structures were destroyed.
  • An Onyx also exploded on his homeworld. The Colonial player traded a Cobol for an Onyx with his former enemy the Crystals. Two turns before the attack I had contacted the Crystal player asking him for the reason behind his ship flying to the Colonial homebase on its own.
  • As the Crystal player already received his Cobol he couldn’t care less what happened to the Onyx, and he would continue to fly it to the Colonial homebase unless he was given other orders by the Colonies. 🙂 The Onyx exploded when it reached Sanstrisious…

Back to my attack:

  • Victorious C laid a minefield too and proceeded to New Alaska. It destroyed three heavily armored Cygnus Destroyers and took the planet with little difficulty. The ship took damage but with the supplies lying on the surface this could be repaired.
  • Fleet B got into some trouble. 🙁 The Saber exploded on Bendotex destroying nothing than colonists and structures. The Victorious laid an enormous minefield to protect the Glory Device and was out of torps. Right at this point it was attacked by three more Cygnus Destroyers. The battleship destroyed all three but took 83% damage.
  • And indeed the Colonies laid a large minefield around Sanstrisious. This defensive minefield however was easily destroyed by my minefields laid by strike force C and A (in this order! Mind the IDs – Victorious C had a lower ID than A.) The remains of the Colonial minefield was swept by the spying cloaker with Heavy Phasers. My remaining minefield destroyed the Patriot and damaged an intercepting Virgo (see above).

Turn 59 and beyond

  • The retreat wasn’t quite planned but it was performed with the same elegancy as the attack.
  • Bendotex was undefended now, and reinforcements from Sanstrisious couldn’t reach the planet in time… Victorious C jumped from New Alaska and took Bendotex easily. The second Virgo from Sanstrisious had been repaired by the starbase and warped to Bendotex also. (Ended up 20 LY next to Bendotex.:-)
  • The cloaker rescued Victorious B from being slaughtered by the second Virgo. A newly formed battlegroup of Victorious B, C and the cloaker retreated to Organia 3, still followed by the second Virgo. (The Virgo was destroyed there by my reinforcements, losing a Saber and a fresh Victorious.)
  • The first Virgo (still damaged) kept following Victorious A, but ran out of fuel near Sheegupt (#143). (I followed & calculated the fuel usage of the Virgo and I kindly informed my new enemy of the amount of fuel in his fuel tank. 🙂 The Virgo then retreated to Scoptor (#415).
  • Man, this move really flushed the Ship Queue! I gained about 40 PBPs and that turn I built about 5 brand new battleships. I never had that many friendly messages from other players patting me on the back as then.. 🙂

The Balance

I lost 5 ships: four Glory Devices and a Victorious, three of which I had set to explode myself. I got enough PBPs to build lots of new ships. All three Victorious Battleships lasted to the end of the game, the two that were damaged in the attack were repaired on a nearby starbase. I destroyed 18 Colonial ships and a Crystal ship.

And the Colonial player? He thought Combat would happen before Glory Device explosions. He’ll never forget it again. The Colonial player lost half his fleet. He had only 4 Cobols left on his planets way down south to act as transports. There were no Gemini’s and Sagittarius’s left so he had to build his fighters in his Virgo’s. There were no freighters to recolonize New Alaska and Bendotex so he had to tow his Merlin with his Virgo to bring some colonists from his halved population of his homeworld. And he was feeling very, very sorry for the Onyx he never got.. 🙂

This tactic has weak points as all tactics have… The enemy for instance could remove his low mass ships from his planets. But how does he think he will defend his planets/starbases? The only races with more than 2 hull types heavier than 200 kT are the Empire and the Robots…

You could learn from this what you want. I’ve called it Fascist Fork, and that’s exactly what it is: a fork with three of the most deadly weapons of the Fascists functioning as tips. You will use the Fork to stab your enemy hitting his most spicy spot. Not his weakest spot: you sure want to put your fork in some meat, don’t you? Maybe you just could at least remember the 83 LY technique…. it involves some calculating (Pythagoras) but it’s really very nice.

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