Emperor SpaceSquad's New Ship

Thursday, April 25, 2013
It is with great pride that the Galactic Senate would like to unveil the new ship design of Emperor SpaceSquad. His Excellency has put much thought, deliberation and effort into his first act as Emperor, including designing from scratch the appearance of this beautiful ship. Working closely with his Crystalline designers he was able to craft a masterpiece worthy of his name.  

The new ship design will become available immediately to all Crystalline commanders who research and activate its plans in campaign sectors.

Once again the Imperial Shipwrights have named this new creation in honor of the wisdom and vision that Emperor SpaceSquad has brought to the Echo Cluster. 

Emperor SpaceSquad is proud to present the:

Sapphire Class Space Ship

Tech: 5
Mass: 57 kt
Fuel: 120
Cargo: 30
Crew: 20
Engines: 1
Beams: 1
Bays: 0
Launchers: 1

Megacredits: 390
Duranium: 16
Tritanium: 33
Molybdenum: 39

Advantage Point Cost: 40

Special: Hyperjumping - Can move 350 ly through hyperspace in a single turn using 50 fuel. 

Special note: The Crystal designed hyperjump engines on this ship interfere with webmine tracking capabilities. Any ship at the same location as this ship or travelling with it will not be affected by or stopped by webmines. 

Additional Note: The Emperor has also decreed that each Sapphire Class Space Ship will come equipped with a bottle of Bombay Sapphire Gin on board, the Emperor's favorite Gin. 


There are 43 comments - add your comment
jessilaurn - Friday, April 26, 2013 8:59 PM
A hyperwarping webmine-layer?

You do realise that, even with the small cargo hold, this is problematic for play-balance, yes?

Please tell me this is a joke....
sjharley - Friday, April 26, 2013 9:20 PM
Depends on what it costs to research it doesn't it. I have long wanted the falcon to have torp tube, admittedly web mines capability makes this a bit more fearsome but still the crystals did need some offensive punch.
sjharley - Friday, April 26, 2013 9:22 PM
Though let's just hope nobody wins am championship match as an empire player or we will have cloaking SSD....Or gravitonic Missouri if we get a fed winner.
oko - Friday, April 26, 2013 9:24 PM
I guess it's great for trading, obviously you can get to webbing everywhere quick, now. Space sappers for hire!
azazel - Friday, April 26, 2013 9:28 PM
Check the special note on the description. There's a substantial caveat in there.

Capture one of these and you have the ability to move in web mine fields unhindered.
thin lizzy - Saturday, April 27, 2013 12:15 AM
tested it vs. a mk7 lizard cruiser(what else) - most of the times it will be captured. evil ship ...
silvanos - Saturday, April 27, 2013 1:36 AM
Wow, Crystals have a new best ship, by a long shot
halion - Saturday, April 27, 2013 1:41 AM
wow great design spacesquad!
First glance it appears over powered as some have commented.

However I can assume this will be reasonably expensive to develop.
Even if it is not the counter risk of losing on of these to a capture is a serious consideration.
Loss due to use for early expansion and succumbing to a privateer rob or a late game cloaked capture etc.. risky risky.

Combine this with many developed players taking advanced cloning and one lost sapphire ship could be cloned into a fleet which would spell doom...
now I need to get some more crystal points to try this baby out :)
coldblooded - Saturday, April 27, 2013 3:06 AM
I think a Empire winner would be more interested in something to help combat the cloaking races over a cloaking Imperial Assault ship.
marklein - Saturday, April 27, 2013 5:23 AM
Fun choice, I like it. Cargo hold is too small to be a huge threat but big enough to deliver some good pain. HYP means it's hard for Crystals to supply the ship with any decent backup easily, risk of loss has already been noted, and it's pretty easy to capture.
necroant - Saturday, April 27, 2013 5:42 AM
Looks like one of them alternative PHost shiplist thingies for Rebel.
echoclusterveteran - Saturday, April 27, 2013 6:07 AM
Danggggg talk about a double-edged sword.

Scary?  Yes.  But it seems like it would only be safe to use it late in the game where you could hyp into where you wanted the web and immediately hyp back out, because it's simply not an option to have something out there that makes other people's ships immune to webs.

And remember the fuel demands – Crystals never have enough fuel (the webs drain all the fuel from everywhere around) and it costs 100kt for a 2-way hyp-jump.

My preliminary assessment: This is a strong addition to the Crystal fleet, it does not disrupt game balance, and I predict that expert players will build very few of them and only late in the game, likely with PBP, to accomplish very specific tactical purposes.  For those players who use this ship very carefully, it could be a game-winner.  On the other hand, for someone who decides the Sapphire looks like a good slot filler and builds dozens of them (instead of the standard Opal and NFC slot-fillers), the Sapphire could reap utter destruction, particularly if they decide to jump them around.
emork the lizard king - Saturday, April 27, 2013 10:53 AM
Interesting and balanced for campaign games.

Early game:
* Big but risky weapon. Can give you the center and hinder expansion of other races significantly. But if captured and cloned ... nearly game over. Sapphire clones will be most valuable trading objects.
* Possibility to early visit a far away ally for base exchange. Don't underestimate this ability.
* Possibility for early disruption of a nearby enemy. Laying a web of 30 M7 around a Robotic homeworld in turn 10 can be devasting.

Mid and late game:
* Money is always a problem for the Crystals and money transport is so much easier with a hyperjumper. This hyperjumper will additionally lay annoying webs along the way.
* Even 30 Mark 8 won't make much difference when you fight a war with huge webs. But for the hardworking Crystal leader who fights with exactly placed small webs this ship is great. Move it into position in your safe home territory and then jump to the point you want to lay. This way you can totally ignore the best counter strategy against Crystals - regular space mines.
* Laying webs in the enemies hinterland and disrupting his transport routes is another mean application for this ship.

Me as a Crystal would like to have 10 of these fine ships in the late game for exact and safe web placement and money transport. In the early game it depends on the situation (far away ally, early enemy to disrupt) and your play style (aggressive/defensive, solid/expansive) how useful this ship is.

Btw: This ship is not suitable for games where you have more than one Crystal. Staff, keep this in mind if you think about campaign giant meeles or campaign team games.
deathstroke - Saturday, April 27, 2013 11:39 AM
In melee games, I suppose the ship does not disturb another Crystal's webmines? Do we have capture one ship per player?
theduke - Saturday, April 27, 2013 12:47 PM
to strenghen a strengh is ok I think. To add totally new technology (HYP) to a race is fearfull. To add a new technology to a feared (webs) ship design... not correct! As jessilaurn allready mentioned...
bondservant - Saturday, April 27, 2013 2:24 PM
Thank you Emperor SpaceSquad for an ingenious ship that gives us Crystal Commanders a high-reward ship. And since I also play other Races just as much, I also value the fact that it is a High-Risk ship as well for the Crystals.

Easy for enemies to capture and then clone -- and once they do have a Sapphire Space (nice name), they make the web minefields useless against them and against anyone they share the ship with in the galaxy. Certainly these ships have to be treated as GOLD by the Crystalline or their game is lost. And the Cloaking Races have the greatest chance to capture one -- Cloakers can come in - capture one of these ships - and HYP it out. Finally, on the paranoia front, the Crystal commander will have to truly trust another player before working closely with them -- knowing that it would be easy to betray and turn on a Crystal ally once they have a Sapphire Space in their possession.

BUT -- big upside too in having the ship, with several advantages that have already been described well in this thread. It allows the Crystal to lay a web minefield in a surprise location against the enemy. The result is allowing the Crystal to be more aggressive early on and late in the game, rather than the usual slow defensive approach to victory. It indeed adds the fun factor to playing the Crystal. Early on it also allows them to expand faster (at great risk). And it helps transport MCs across distances, boosting the economy (although thru trade/capture I normally have HYP ships eventually for this purpose when I play Crystals).

One interesting effect is that players may be putting higher-tech beams on their pre-ship limit ships. In order to build more ships during the early game, it seems most players create nearly all of their ships with Disrupter beams or lower (with many of them being x-ray lasers) -- it may be time to rethink the wisdom of that approach.

I researched this fine ship today (taking almost all of my remaining MCs to do so). But since I have already researched all the other Crystal ship designs and Crystal advantages, I have not yet found a way to get down to only 450 points. I will have to ponder this a bit more. And decide if it is worth me giving up 40 Nu Advantage Points to actually include them in my fleet in my next galaxy as the Crystalline Confederation. I am pretty sure I will find a way .. if for no other reason that it sounds like fun to have them.
mentar - Saturday, April 27, 2013 7:40 PM
I like the idea of the double-edged sword... and I can already :)

There is however one clarification or change I'd like to request: IMHO this ship should only extend its special anti-web capabilities if it has at least 1 fuel on board. It should be possible for a Crystal to exchange it against a precious cloaker via cloaked intercept - otherwise I can already see Borg cubes towing this thing everywhere with 0 fuel, essentially giving the Crys the option to either not use it in the first place or simply die.
mentar - Saturday, April 27, 2013 7:41 PM
... and I can already think of various amusing uses for it. (was what I wanted to write)
coldblooded - Saturday, April 27, 2013 7:45 PM
I think this looks more like a Robot Ship than a Crystal Ship lol.
emork the lizard king - Saturday, April 27, 2013 8:03 PM
I support Mentar's suggestion that only fueled Sapphires grant safe web passage. In my opinion the Sapphire should have at least 1 KT of fuel after movement. Otherwise one could always let it run out of fuel to make cloaked intercepts impossible.
ted - Saturday, April 27, 2013 8:31 PM
The ship is great! As non crystal player all time i waste so much time on the crystal before i finally break him. I forseen that most crystal player will build many of this ships because they think they can be like spideman and jump arround to pump a few mines out and think this is it. But, to manage a crystal area you WILL make some mistakes and with this ship you have to make only ONE of it. :)

I think this ship give the crystal 3 advantages but nothing to fear. Moneytransfer, the ability to enter enemy area (with or without minefields inside) and secure them before a emerald is in intercept reach to increase the field and of course the ability that you can jump to a ally for minelaying help.

joshua - Saturday, April 27, 2013 8:38 PM
Just FYI, although not explicitly written in this post or on the description the Sapphire must have at least 1 fuel for it's anti-webmine functions to work. (already coded that way)
azzazzello - Sunday, April 28, 2013 3:29 AM
Joshua is it 1kt at beginning or end of turn? If it is pre-intercept then you just run it out of fuel every turn.
tom n - Sunday, April 28, 2013 4:44 AM
Interesting idea and nice design, but I have issues:

If it DOES decide to wander to the mid-map and lay some webs, as a single engine ship it can't tow-capture, correct? So then I would need to send a 2-engine ship 5 turns into open space to go grab it.

Add the huge danger of losing even ONE of these to a strong rival and it makes it too risky to explore the map after turn 5 or so.

I agree strongly with emork that it's main use would be a slot filler (but at mass 57, it will use 2 PBP, correct?) and to HYP money around.

So then I have to ask myself if it's worth 40 precious Campaign Points to build a HYP ship? With all due respect, I will probably pass and hope to steal one, or a few Falcons.
joshua - Sunday, April 28, 2013 5:05 AM
@azzezzello at the beginning of movement it must have 1 fuel. So yes, you could run it out of fuel. (risking mine hits if it flys itself of course)
spacesquad - Sunday, April 28, 2013 5:39 PM
Some enemies think it´s overpowered and some Crystallines are afraid to use it. What more can you ask for if you plan to design a double sided sword?
Joshua, thanks for your input and guidance, I am sure we designed a well balanced baby.

This ship will speed up the Crystalline game play, positively or negatively that´s up to you. It will allow you to play more aggressively and it can prevent that you hide behind your web. It´s just a tool, now go out and use it Commanders!
oko - Sunday, April 28, 2013 6:02 PM
spacesquad, perhaps you could illuminate what you wanted to accomplish with this ship, a bit more in detail?
emork the lizard king - Sunday, April 28, 2013 6:18 PM
After thinking a little bit more about it, there is one thing I fear because of this ship: high risk for game over can lead to more drops.

In general I'd like to have a long running game like planets not decided by single capture/battle/diplomatic actions but by a long row of good or bad decisions.

Also, I just noticed that a campaign meele is already ongoing. I assume you can use the Sapphire in this game. It means that one bad Crystal can spoil this game for all other Crystals. Does someone responsible think about this problem or is it regarded as non-existent?
mentar - Sunday, April 28, 2013 7:05 PM
I'm a bit less worried about that. I'd expect less drops from Crystal players than from Crystal victims, so while I can see your point, balancewise it sounds fine to me.

Besides, this would actually be a reason for a Crys to drop normal mines over the webs ;) ... to defend against Sapphires supposed to run out of fuel at destination. And you still have the cloaked intercept for the other case, so it _is_ manageable.
Anonymous - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:57 AM
My favorite VGAP race gets the coolest ship. Whoho. :)
spacesquad - Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:24 AM
It´s just a ship and there is no right or wrong way of using it, i wanted everyone to make his own mind about it before i share my view.
Two points before i publish a more detailed description:
1) Keep in mind that in campain games your Starbase can sweep webmine. A big disadvantage to the Crystall offensive power.
2) Check out the new source of information in the planets universe www.planetsmagazine.com and the interview on the Sapphire Class
folher - Thursday, May 2, 2013 1:12 PM
Do the emperors have to design a ship for the race they won with? Or do they have the option to design a ship for another race.
tom n - Thursday, May 2, 2013 2:10 PM
Must be for their winning race.
azzazzello - Thursday, May 2, 2013 2:11 PM
I am guessing that once we have repeat Emperor, they would be asked to design a ship for one of the other races.
johnqpublic - Thursday, May 2, 2013 2:38 PM
Given that there is an advantage cap in campaign games, having multiple ships for the same victor race doesn't seem to be a problem. You'll have to decide which one(s) you allocate your points to at game start anyway.
emork the lizard king - Thursday, May 2, 2013 2:43 PM
My idea: It's hasn't to be a ship, it could also be an ability. In the unlikely event I should be allowed to design one I have a little Lizard mining ability in mind. Absolutly no game-changer but useful and - for the creative - with various applications. Exactly the thing to spend your spare 5 advantage points for.
emork the lizard king - Thursday, May 2, 2013 3:12 PM
Btw, Azzazzello, are you sure that the latest Emperor ship isn't designed for "the other races"? :)
azzazzello - Thursday, May 2, 2013 3:38 PM
Ha, very true which relates to my other point I was going to make. All abilities that are derived from winning a championship game are designed to be a double edge sword - I am guessing that if Joshua allows you to build an ability - it would have to have some negative effect as well.
folher - Thursday, May 2, 2013 3:40 PM
Thanks, i'm obviously nowhere near winning a championship match :)
tom n - Thursday, May 2, 2013 4:41 PM
As far as the "Double Edged Sword", where is that evident in the Dungeon Class Stargate? I know it's expensive to research, but how likely is the Stargate to be used against the owner?
echoclusterveteran - Thursday, May 2, 2013 5:16 PM
The Dungeon Stargate is a double-edged sword because any ship can use it, not just Cyborg. It's hard to move, and it's very easy to rob, steal, capture, destroy, disable, or disassemble. While I have not used one or seen one in use, I think that the only possibly unbalanced aspect of the stargate is its mass, yielding 20 PBP on destruction.

I hope to build one sometime before the year 2113.
godrik - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 4:42 PM
Any one have a reason as to why you wouldn't be able to use the hyperjump feature after building the ship? There is no hyperjump button available in the gui like there is with the borg probe.

I've scoured the interwebs but found no info.
jessilaurn - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 6:40 PM
Set friendly code to "HYP

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