February 2008

F&E Strategy of the Month Continued


My focus is using SBXs to increase XTPs. There was already a great Tactical Note on using colonies to increase EPs/XTPs. Most players think that building a SBX is too expensive. At 73 EPs, 12 XTPs, and four turns to build, they may be right. Consider if you use SBXs to convert X-ships to save on the cost of XTPs you can increase your X-ship production, the SBX saves you an average of half the production cost by converting the X-cruisers.

For example, a Federation CX costs 12 XTPs to substitute for a DN/CVA/BC/CC/CA. Most Federation players of the Winds of Flame scenario will build three CXs and convert another for six XTPs, totaling 42 XTPs, filling in their non-repair XTPs with DDX builds when available. If you have four SBXs, you build the same four ships for 24 XTPs. There is of course the option to overbuild another CX, but for 24 more XTPs, but it is a move only for the desperate. The other races follow the same model.
As X-ships become more common, the availability of XTPs will steadily decrease. By converting starbases to X-technology on the first turn out for the SBX at the rate of one half to two thirds of your available XTPs, you can be building your fleet at a savings of up to one half and producing 30%-40% more ships. The astute player will notice that I will only build the medium X-ships for conversion to X-scouts, as needed.

By converting instead of building, you will be setting up your X-economy with basically attrition units. With the ratio of X-ship attack factors divided by XTP used to produce them equaling greater than one, i.e., a Federation CX costs 12 XTPs to produce, 6 to convert and has an X-attack factor of 12. X-production efficiency is 12/12 = 1. Conversion efficiency is 12/6 = 2.