|5.4 Choosing Your Ship|
|Depending on your rank and experience, your faction's central command will allow you a choice of warships and support craft. As flexibility is vital for any fleet, you are not limited to a single ship that you "own". At any time, you can return to a shipyard or home gate and select a new ship.
To select a new ship, locate a planet with a shipyard on it (CTRL+Y will target the nearest shipyard), and then orbit the planet. With the shipyard targeted, press CTRL+U twice to return to the ship selection screen.
While the central commanders have attempted to provide effective ships for the fleet, they also realize that individual commanders may prefer alternate loadouts. While the shipyards cannot yet construct ships to individual specifications, you may store your ships in a personal storage "garage". These garage ships may be spawned at the shipyard they were docked at, or at your home gate. Each ship class has a unique role, which will be detailed in the next subsections.
|The scout is designed to move quickly. Its jump drive is highly fuel-efficient, and recharges rapidly. Scouts can place beacons on enemy ships, allowing retreating ships to be tracked and destroyed. Scouts are also excellent decoys. A fast-moving scout near an enemy planet can draw away enemy defense base fire, allowing the rest of the fleet to safely get into position for a troop landing. While the scout has very little firepower, it is still a vital component of a balanced fleet.
|The frigate is the largest warship that can be obtained from the Home Gate. Frigates are especially useful in scenario play, as they can be used to harass enemy engineers, and prevent the enemy from building the all-important shipyard.
|The destroyer attempts to balance speed and firepower. It is an excellent escort ship for cruisers and dreadnoughts, able to strike opponents quickly and allow the larger ship to focus on its primary mission. Destroyers are capable ships in the right hands, and a skilled pilot can make a destroyer into a formidable weapon.
|The cruiser is the first true stand-alone vessel of the line. While not as powerful as the mighty dreadnought, the cruiser still mounts a wide array of weapons. Cruisers can easily stand alone as battleships, but perform even better when integrated into a fleet.
|The dreadnought is the embodiment of power in DarkSpace. The massive racks of weapons on these ships strike fear into the enemy. The powerful generators on the dreadnought class ships allow for far more powerful beam weapons to be mounted than on lesser ships. Most dreadnoughts have at least one fighter bay, allowing a small measure of long-range power. While the dreadnought is powerful, a group of smaller ships working together can remain out of its effective range and emerge victorious.
|Slow, heavily equipped and armored, and the biggest bulls-eyes around. If you had to pick a ship that is easy to hit with even the slowest weapons, it would be the station. However, if you flew too close to one, you would learn that it is not the easiest target in space. Boasting incredible short-range weaponry, the station can destroy anything that gets close enough. However, the station itself is extremely slow. The primary function of a station is fleet support. They are able to reload and repair friendly ships, as well as to shield them from damage. Stations are the core of a long-range assault fleet as well. Their wormhole device allows the creation of a temporary portal between systems. This wormhole can be used by all ships, making its use somewhat risky.
|5.4.7 Supply Ship|
|No serious invasion fleet travels without a supply ship, or a fleet of them. While these ships have little offensive power, they are often considered priority targets on the battlefield. These ships have the ability to repair hull and armor, and fix damaged systems. As if that wasn't enough to turn the tide of battle, they can also rearm depleted ammunition stores and refuel jump drives. With a few supply ships around, your fleet will last a lot longer.
|5.4.8 Engineering Ship|
|The engineer ship is the single most important ship class in DarkSpace. Without the engineers, a faction would be limited to defenseless planets orbited by mere frigates. The engineer in required to build every planetary structure. A newly captured system is worthless until an engineer arrives to build up the infrastructure and defenses.
|The transport serves one function, and serves it well. If you need troops or cargo moved from place to place, the transport is the best choice. With ten cargo bays, or space for ten troops, the transport can move a planetary invasion battalion into place quickly and efficiently. As a result of the massive space devoted to cargo, these ships are light on armor and armament, and require the protection of warships to stand a chance at making it to orbit around an enemy world.
|The extractor is basically a modified transport that sacrifices cargo space for mining equipment. The extractor can mine resources from planets and asteroids. These ships are crucial to obtaining resources for engineers to quickly construct a system.
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