Sword of the Stars FAQ Table of Contents use Ctrl + F and enter the number to skip to section. 001 Version history (boring) 002 The races 003 The weapons 004 The ships 005 Creating a game 006 General FAQ 007 Copyright stuff (boring..) 008 Contact info 001: 08/26/06 FAQ first written so uhh 0.4 08/27/06 Fixed some incorrect info(oops) || || Added some new info 0.5 002: Time for some useful information about Sword of the Stars. Starting off with the most basic race the Tarka. The Tarka are an honor driven people. In appearance they are reptilian though they are warm blooded. Tarka tend to like larger planets which choosing a location for a new colony. The Tarkan method of transportation is a warp drive. This is the most known system of faster than light travel by most players. Think Star Trek, select ships then select the destination and if you have enough fuel you will be on your way. It is basic but has no real limitations; of course no major advantages either Next we come to the Humans. I won't bother you explaining what humans are, chances are you can just look down and get a pretty good idea of what they look like. The Human transport system is the node jump. Think the TV show Andromeda I guess. The node jump is very fast movement, the fastest true movement in the game. But in order to node jump the star must have a jump point, now almost every star will have at least 1 jump point, but it is usually only to the closest star or 2. So if you want to go to point B you may have to go through point C in order to get there via node jump. Also you cannot refuel in node space so the ships must have enough gas to reach the next jump point in 1 go. For example if 2 stars are 10 light years away, the starting human node engine can only go 9 light years; so the human would not be able to get there. However a Tarka ship even though it can only go 4 light years with starting engine tech can bring a tanker and refuel mid rout and thus reach the star. The node engine is a very nice advantage with its great range and speed, but it is also limited due to node paths and fuel. Up next are the Liir. The Liir are highly intelligent..dolphins. So long and thanks for all the fish. They move by making rapid tiny teleports. You don't actually see it in game, but this method of movement has some very big advantages. All other ships in game are effected by inertia, so if they go on an attack run often they will fly past the ship having to turn around and repeat the process losing valuable shooting time. However since Liir ships never actually thrust forward they have no inertia. Think the Arilue in the Star Control series. This lets them stick close to the enemies in combat, attacking like a pod of ...dolphins. The stutter drive as its called is pretty standard, like the Tarka warp drive it goes from point A to B, however when close to gravity wells (planets/stars) is slows WAY down and when in open space it is very fast. This takes place both in the space map and in tactical combat. When right next the a planet Liir ships practically cant move, but at the far reaches of the combat they circle the target easily. The stutter drive away from gravity wells is the second fastest movement, but the second slowest with close to them. The Liir being the intelligent space dolphins that they are also have access to more tech. And last but certainly not least are the Hivers. Hivers are an insect like race, though they have a regular circulatory system. They never developed a method for faster than light travel, so that star that is 9 LY away takes a long time to reach as a hiver. But of course they have an advantage. The Hivers can set up a gate, when deployed the gate allows 1 turn transportation of ships between gated worlds. So while expanding with Hivers can be slow, trying to break the hiver shell is hard. The unpopulated world you are 2 turns away from suddenly has the entire hiver defense fleet around it the next turn. The balancing factor is that there is a gate capacity, a hiver player must gate many worlds to increase his gate capacity or he will have a hard time moving large numbers of ships around at once. World wise hivers usually have no competition since they prefer the smaller worlds with less gravity that the other races can't live on. 003: The weapons There are a few different branches of weapons in Sword of the Stars, each acting differently and doing different types of damage. Starting with the simplest of weapons the Gauss cannon. The gauss cannon line simply shoots a chunk of metal at the enemy. While not the most damaging of attacks or the most accurate it has an added bonus of pushing the enemy ship a bit. While a single gauss cannon won't do much to an enemy ship; in numbers they can send ships spiraling out of control unable to fight back. Gauss cannons when used against planets have a high effect on the infrastructure and population, in addition the environment does not handle high-speed impact very well and it can raise the hazard rating. Gauss weapons come in a variety of sizes ranging from point defense to an entire siege cannon mission section. - Bursters. The cousin of the gauss cannon, it also fires a solid object however this object is not intended to directly strike the enemy (though it does happen occasionally, and it does a lot of damage. Instead the projectile detonates mid flight and releases a bunch of fletches. Good for tight formations. - Lasers are the other starting weapon, they come in a variety of flavors. Lasers are very accurate and do decent damage. Nothing really special about them, they are a simple and basic weapon. They are small weapon, but make excellent point defense. Beams, beams beams beams. Beams are the heavy laser and come in two different types though each type has a variety of different choices. The first type of beams are the turreted beams. They are VERY accurate and highly damaging. They fire a solid stream of energy and can slice ships apart. The highest level of these beams also introduces some gravitational powers :) The other type are fixed beams. These are massive beams they draw from the ships power and thus slowing it down. But they can do major damage to anything they hit. While they can't rotate on their own like the other beams and thus only what is directly in front of the ship can get hit, they are a powerhouse. Both lasers and beams when used against planets effect population mostly, they damage the infrastructure a decent amount but not like gauss weapons, they have a minor effect on the environment. - Energy cannons are pretty simple. They fire a blob of stuff (the stuff depends on your tech level). They are rather inaccurate like gauss weapons and don't have a neat side effect of bouncing a ship around, they fit in medium turrets and do good damage. Energy cannons deal pretty decent enviroment damage and good pop damage. - Emitters are the basic lightning discharge weapon. They come in 3 different sizes and have pin point accuracy. They don't do a lot of damage per shot, but the shot can arc to nearby enemy ships. This can be extremely effective vs. early destroyer swarms. - When used against planets emitters do nothing. As the game designer pointed out, planets tend to strike themselves with lighting quite a bit, so lightning weapons don't have much of an impact. - Torpedoes are long range and very deadly. They gain strength over time, but will detonate before hitting the target if enough time goes by. Torpedoes can be shot down, but they do excellent damage. - Missiles are very long-range weapons, the longest in game. Missiles are automatically upgraded when you research improvements for them, which is nice since you don't have to retire old ships. Missiles can be shot down, but they travel very fast and in numbers are very damaging. When used against planets they attack population, infrastructure and the hazard rating. They do the most damage to the environment for the most part. - Bio missiles are fun tools. Directly they cause no damage to planets (though if the missiles happen to ram a ship mid flight they cause decent damage), but if they reach the planet bad things happen. What happens depends on the type of virus you have loaded, but it ranges from mass population eradication to causing massive anarchy to mind washing the populace to following your command. The bio missiles in flight can be shot down, and you can research the vaccine to the virus but you are not guaranteed to get the vaccine in every game. - Mines are simple for the most part. Mine layer moves forward while placing mines. If an enemy ship gets near the mines they track, swarm, and detonate causing high damage. The higher tech mines have other effects such the mine acting as a small but effective gravity well disrupting missiles and such. - Tractor beams don't do damage, they hold stuff. I know its weird. - This section will be updated with more details with weapon damage listings, fire rates and so on. Also all techs and tech chains will be updated. 004: The Ships. Ships in Sword of the Stars come in 3 sizes, starting with Destroyers, then Cruisers and finally Dreadnaughts. Destroyers are the smallest and easiest to modify, though they can't carry a lot of weapons they can be designed to fill a variety of specific roles such as missile spoofing or sensor jamming. Cruisers are up next they can hold A LOT more weapons than destroyers, and due to their size they can do some roles than destroyers can not such as mining operations. But cruisers cannot perform some roles that destroyers can. Dreadnaughts are last, they are very expensive and carry a lot of weapons, they carry a lot of weapons; they carry a lot of weapons. Dreadnaughts are very limited in the roles they can perform; there are no colony dreadnaughts any dreadnaught fuel tankers. But the 1 thing dreadnaughts do they do very well. Dreadnaughts made things dead. A single dreadnaught can take on a fleet of cruisers, and carries enough weaponry to silence a planet in a volley or two. Platforms also come in the same 3 sizes. A planet can have up to 10 of each ship class orbiting it for a total of 30 platforms. However planets have to be a certain size or larger in order to support larger platforms. Size 1 - 3 planets can only support Destroyer sized, 4 - 6 can support destroyer and cruiser and 7+ can support all 3. Needless to say attacking a world with 30 platforms orbiting it releasing wave after wave of missiles at you is very hard. Non-platform ships are divided into 3 sections. A command section up front, this section has many different types each offering different weapon sizes and locations. In addition some command types offer special bonuses like extra scanning range or increased turning. The mission section is where the bulk of weapons are and where the role of the ship is determined. If you want a mining ship you select the mining mission section, if you want a general combat section you select the armor mission section. The last section is the engine section, each engine will move the ship at different speeds, in addition the higher the engine tech generally the better it is armed. Platforms are just 1 section nothing to change, just make the weapon load out what you want. If you have researched them under certain sections you can apply upgrades. These affect that section but also increase the cost of the ship. Some examples are a reflective coating which has a chance to reflect incoming laser fire, or extra hull plating. 005: Creating a game. Click single player then select custom. The next screen with have a bunch of boxes and sliders. At the upper left you can select the shape of the galaxy, this simply changes the location of the stars, to the right of that you will see a big box showing you what it will look like. Below the galaxy box you will see a slider marked number of stars. This is obvious enough, increasing the number of stars will increase the number of stars; bet you can't guess what lowering the number of stars will do. Below that you will see 4 boxes with a picture of each race. If you want a play a game with only certain races you can turn them off. To the left of that you will see number of planets, remember you count as a player so if you want to play against 1 AI then select 2 players. Below that are options for random encounters and alliances. To the right of that is an AI difficulty box, and to the right of that are options to increase the number of starting colonies, money, and technologies; also there is a slider to increase the research and economic rates, moving these to the right will increase your income/research rate. A yellow box is what you currently have selected. Clicking on create game will bring you to another screen with yourself and a box for each AI. Click on setup for each box to determine the race/player icons for each player, if you want to turn off an AI you can click the icon that says AI and it will close the spot on, click the red mark in the box to turn the AI back on. Leaving the players untouched will result in random race. Click on launch and the game will begin. OR instead when you click on single player you can select scenario. Each scenario has different preset rules and objectives, be sure to read them. If you want to create a multi player game the same applies, but you can leave blank spots for human players. If you don't lock a spot human players can join and take over the AI mid game. 006: General FAQ What does ____ mean? DE: Destroyer CR: Cruiser DN: Dreadnaught SotS: Sword of the Stars Node line: The path between 2 stars that only humans can see and use. I'm player hiver and it won't let me move my fleet between gated worlds, it makes me plot a sub light course. You need more gates deployed, each deployed gate adds 3 to your gate capacity, to move a destroyer takes 1, a cruiser takes 6 and a dread takes 12. So to move a fleet of 10 cruisers would require 60 capacity. You can see your current use and capacity at the top of the screen. Gate capacity tech increase makes each gate add 6 to your max. - Can I steal enemy tech? Sort of, you can research repair and salvage ships, when built they have a chance of obtaining tech from destroyed enemy ships. This chance is very low and even after obtaining the new tech it can take a very long time to research, and there is no guarantee you will get something useful. You NEVER gain enemy engine tech. - Why can't I research ____ I did last game? What tech you get is random; there are a good number of core techs that you get every game no matter what, for example the ability to build dreads and cruisers. But most weapons and such are not guaranteed. Also sometimes you will get a shortcut between techs and sometimes not. For example you may be able to research UV lasers right after red lasers, other times you have to research green lasers and then you can get UV lasers. - Is there a way to automatically refuel ships with a tanker? Yes, select a fleet with a tanker in it and click the special button. Then select auto refuel. With the uncomming patch this is on by default. - There is a fleet inbound, can I see what's in it? Depending on your tech level and if you have a ship with deep scanning at a nearby star you can see different details of ships. If you right click on the enemy fleet you will get some information ranging from X ships to the amount of ships, their type, and how the fleets are organized. - Can I see the details of weapons from the ship design screen? At the time of writing no, but if is included in a patch to be released soon. - When defending a planet where do my reinforcements go? They appear at about the 3 o'clock position assuming that 12 is the view you started with. The reasoning is that you wouldn't want your reinforcements flying from the surface into an ambush. I don't agree with how it is, but it's just how it is. - Why can't I select my ships in the sensor screen? You cannot at first, however with a low-mid level tech you can. - How can I move the view around my ships/enemy ships? Mouse over (don't even have to click, just mouse over) and press the F key, this works on ships, planets, missiles, torpedoes, and such. Or you can press the TAB key, this will cycle between your ships. - I met another race and my ships didn't fire, wtf? It is intentional; at the top left of the screen you will see some fleet commands and a red button. Click the button to turn your weapons on. This ONLY applies to the first time when you meet another race. You don't want to say hi by shooting plasma at them do you? - I researched AI tech and now I'm losing colonies and ships and I can't build AI command sections, what's going on? When you research any of the AI techs there is a rather high chance that an AI rebellion will start, this will randomly take over colonies. Above the AI command section/factory/administration is a tech called AI Virus. The AI virus wipes out the AI, when you research it you lose all bonuses with the AI tech and will still be unable to use the AI command section for example. You will also have to reaquire the colonies the AI took over. However if you are lucky you will get a random tech above the AI virus named AI slaves. The slave tech will give you control over the AI again letting you use the AI command section, factories and administration. - Where can I get additional information? Well you have a few choices; my FAQ here which will be updated with more and higher detailed info. Gamefaqs.com of course and the official website swordofthestars.com - 007: Copyright 2006 Daniel Geller This guide is intended for the use by fellow gamefaqs users and visitors, it cannot be used on any other website than gamefaqs.com without my permission. 008: Contact info, questions, comments, shooting the breeze. Hmm I guess I will go with my AOL mail Please send any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Also please be sure to include in the subject line its about Sword of the Stars. When I check it I quickly delete the standard crap, and "Hey I got a question" will be deleted. I will do my best to respond to your question/comment and then I will include it in the guide for other people.