Ashtar's Guide to the Holy Draconian Empire
 The Draconian Empire
The underdogs of VGA planets universe, a race disgraced by all.
- Lowest growth rate
- Few ship devices
- No alchemy
- Low happiness
- No ships faster than 120 ly
- Only have barbitic minelayers
- Low Ordnance holds
- Few ships able to mount 60 tons weapons +
- No (large) turbo array accessibility
- High molybdenum consumption
- Lack of decent transports
- The list goes on…
Why would a General want to lead them?
Well, we can talk about the obvious government center bonus which is nice, anyone with half a brain will understand the need to spread as many of theses on as many mining planetoids.
If we would talk about general strengths, it would be:
- Lot of minesweepers/layers able ships
- Low cost hulls
- Low tech super-weapon able base ship
- Good starbase with general utility devices
- Good space fighters able to travel on their own
- Good mechs
- Boarding laser accessibility
- Prisoner Camps
- Good looking ships
Let’s not kid ourselves, a General who focus on his weakness and stick to standard strategies won’t make the most out of this race. The above is not enough.
My first advice would be to view the Dracs as a hybrid between ships and fighter race. And secondly, understand that this race needs to be aggressive in order to survive.
Let’s take a look at the ships in our arsenal ( If ships are left unmentioned it is intended that way, you won’t use them) :
Cerberus Class Frigate: This ship is more important than you might think. It is the ideal choice to escort fighter wings for fuel support on long trips, raids on enemy lesser worlds and clear the way for fleets. You will use them in combination with fighters.
- Best one engine ship available
- Minesweeper / Minelayer ( Emergency deal only 500 ord, no pod to reload.)
- 8 small weapon and good enough stats for a ship this size
- 70 mc hull cost = expandable
Dreysen Class Cruiser: This ship is not a first choice for combat purposes although it is able to defend itself in it’s class if decently armed. Which should not happen unless used as an orbital bombardment support ship ( 60 kt allows heavier weapon). It’s main use is to try to take on a role the dracs are cruelly lacking. This is your transport ship.
- Tech 3, which makes it available earlier than higher tech ships
- 330 cargo and 3 pod bay
- 110 speed, granted it’s not 120 but that don’t happen until tech 5 ( see Mizar )
- Be warned, this ship cannot tow more than 100kt ( Eridanus comes to mind )
Eridanus Class Frigate: This ship is mostly a canon fodder with a high attack bonus. For Orbital defense or if you must, a torpedo launcher platform although I recommend the Balka Vanguard for that role. Still, it’s the best choice in mass number to defend orbit early with cheap weapons. It will see action early on as you will do just that, fit as many cheap weapons you have in storage to support your prisoner raiding fleet.
- 90 Atk with 4 large, good ship to fit your heavy lasers or other normally useless weapons.
- 140 mc is a cheap hull, Corber 350-400 shield + exotic is enough, 2 I25 engines.
- Tow those around to soak enemy fire, escort Dreysens, etc.
Scimitar Class Destroyer : Best minelayer until tech 8, should be used in combo with the Vanguard. Good combat ship if you are using small weapons exotics. If not, use a similar Eridanus configuration and tow them around as support.
- 130 mc is a cheap hull
- 12 small weapons with 60 atk and 60 evasive
- 1700 ord
Balka Class Vanguard: Backbone of the fleet early and mid-game. Better when armed with photon torpedoes. First ship to offer 120 ly speed. This ship should tow your scimitars + Eridanus around and ressuply them in ordnance. It have a pod bay for extra ordnance or serious ground invasions. This ship should form the most of your forces until higher techs and even then, you will still have lot of those around. The bioscanner will also be a must to find asap thoses ghips and amphibians you absolutely need combined to a 370ly scanner.
- 4000 ord and 1 pod bay
- 120 ly
- 70 Atk bonus and 40 evasive, 150 armor.
Mizar class cruiser: This is an upgraded Dreysen ( unless you love the straight cargo room). This ship pretty much offer the same as the Dreysen but with one more pod bay and a speed of 120 ly. It also have an impressive 60 evasive factor wich can make it potentially useful in certain combat situation. It however don’t have the fuel tank of it’s predecessor and have no defense point.
- 120 speed, 60 atk
- 4 pods , minesweeper/layer
Krait Class Dread Star : What is there to say that is ain’t obvious. This is your flagship. Some will want lot’s of thoses, myself tends to have 1 per fleet. A good general use his resources where they count and see to use his tools for what they meant for. This is a siege weapon or a defense station. Nemesis torpedoes are only good if your fleet is made up entirely of capital ships or using this ship alone ( wich would be stupid ) since you will kill your own fighters.
As a siege weapon, you will want this ship equipped with powerful engines, don’t be shy, you can use more than FTL 90 for power and fuel economy. I prefer myself sturdy FTL 110 with good generators for both previous reasons. It is to be equipped with 4 PPCs and 16 photon torps, turbo lasers pd. When this ship takes off, it is to attack a specific target ( Baseshield ) or reinforce key locations acting as an advanced shipyard. It’s solar gamma ray will solve baseshield problem and soften up even a borg. Speaking of borgs, don’t become one and only have theses.
I can’t stress it enough, if you don’t have an abundant molybdenum resource, I would not have more than 1 to 3 for their intended role. Theses are useless to intercept enemy ships.
Draco Class Star Base : You should have at least one per high mineral planets with positive delta stress to raise the stress value with the mining drill for more and more minerals. As a low growth race, you will want all planets farmed and all your food. Temperature control device on it allow you to do that. The dracs don’t have alchemy so you should at least elect 2 to 3 planet to become mining asteroid after they exploded with a couple of those in orbit. It is necessary to have a balance between that and farming-gov worlds.
It can replace a whole small shipyard when used at the front, remote location and with a government center plus a mobile fighter factory. Have the 15 000 colonist onboard for extra credits and defense against boarding. There is lots of use to it if you like to use starbases in military operations.
AD-22 Marauder: Could fight if equipped but it won’t happen. Too costly in Moly. It’s main and only use is it’s boarding laser. Should be equipped with disruptors and best engines to board effectively.
Hydra Class Light Carrier: Well it’s a carrier. This ship will be making wings of fighters from base you don’t have a Draco orbiting. It’s only other use is if you want to travel your fighters faster than 90 ly or are too lasy to form them in small wings. This ship should be considered as a 100 mc transport with 2 pods, don’t waste money on it trying to make it a war ship. 120ly speed.
Organic Ship: Transport ships, best guest capacity for it’s role. Boarding operations once your AD-22 uses it’s boarding laser. I would favor the Oberth for it’s point defense and cargo room plus minesweeper/laying. Organic have less engines, might be more resilient, not convinced. If you have blaster canons lying around or cheap 60 tons weapons, threat yourself. I would not spend much on those tough unless they carry HG. They might become obsolete for all other roles except assisting boarding operation.
Fang Class Destroyer: Good choice for a torpedo ship. Need 3 engines, that’s the main con for this design but low mineral and hull cost somewhat, make up for it. This ship is perfect for interception mission and escort missions. It is a pure warship. It’s low cost, atk and evasive factors and 4000 ordnance allow for cheaper configurations.
- 40 Atk and evasive, 8 launchers, 5 point defense.
- 120ly speed, low mineral cost and hull cost at 200 mc.
Polaris Class Fighter Builder: Deep space fighter factory, use it in orbit of asteroids where you have some Dracos. Let’s face it, you won’t have many if any of those until late and if and only if you are running a deep space operation. If there is a colonial in the war, trade comes to mind.
Rostov Class AA Gunship: This ship only have one use, and one use only. Fodder. Meat shield. You won’t place good engines nor good equipment on it. Despite low ord of 500 ( wich really cripples the design) , turbo lasers you won’t place on it.
10 flakes cannons or Vulcan guns, an average shield like a corber 350, I-25 engines at best and we could not care less about the rest: pulsed lasers, heavy lasers if you want to but it’s luxury. Forget the idea of sand casters, no ordnance for that. Flakes version are to be used against fighters and Vulcan guns against enemy ships. I favor Vulcan guns. The idea, shoot down enemy fighters, stop the enemy torpedoes.
Pegasi Class Cruiser: Good all around ship. Able to use above 50 tons, blaster canons, etc. I am convinced it is the best transport you can have. 10 pod bay and decent guest. It cannot lay maximum minefields but will definitely lay 3500 ord. Useful as a mine layer patrol ship, mineral-food transport. It’s low 65 drag factor makes it a favorite over Oberth and Organic ships. A versatile ship that should be used to drop minefield along the supply routes it will run and protect.
Westfalen Class Dreadnought: The Westfallen is an obsolete ship that have no use unless stretched by mineral cost, under an imminent attack or in need to have a cheap mobile drydock platform where it’s extra 2 fighter bays might also be welcome. I would use it as a cheap mobile starbase with cheap equipment but good engine.
Titus Class Dreadnought: All in all, the Titus is the way to go. The Titus is the ship that will escort your dreadstar, the ship that will lay those maximum radius minefields and the ship that will carry your PPCs, Gatling and Plasma bolts in battle. This is your standard fleet leader with a good enough mass to soak damage. Let the more specialized ships deal the long range damage UNLESS facing enemy with lot pd, where you might want to consider 10 Photons Torps.
- 10 point defense, 10 large and 20 small
- 6 pods, 900 cargo
- Maximum yield minefields
Edit: Under current rules, I found out this ship is more than good with an exotic atk bonus, Ram setting ( +40 atk ) and 10 photons launchers for the simple fact it’s mass is above 450tons which means it can almost ignore most of the enemy minefield.
Kalinin Class Carrier and Artemis Class Star Gate Builder: Kalini does it’s job as a carrier, 10 fighters bay of 40 fighters each. At later stages you will want them to carry your numerous wings in battle. Artemis is obvious, building gates.
Fighter wings should be set up in 9 AD light fighter and 1 axe bomber OR 1 single axe bomber when made from orbiting ships. The heavy fighter will rarely be used altough being a good fighter and still a good choice.
Reasons is it is the cheapest wing at 470 mc and also the most effective, using the 300 tick range of the axe bomber missiles and protecting it against enemy fighters. Drak fighters are heavily armored and are dangerous enough in good number still capable of traveling at a speed of 90ly on their own.
Mechs: A core of Hover tanks and a fraction of Armed androids is the way to go. Both are cheaper than 100 mc, 55 and 90 respectively. They will support your ground troops wich might have trouble against some races when the time comes to make prisoners.
Now that we know our ship list and what ship do what, we can start.
 Late Game
To resume all the info on ships, know most of it is mainly useful at early and mid stage of the game. You will find out at the late game that your fleet will be made up of Titus, escorted either by Fangs or Pegasis for their higher ordnance and number of large weapons and point defense, the latest as turbo lasers. The lower atk value will be offset by RAM and battle computer exotics as well as the sheer number of photon launchers you will have in the sky. At that point you survived early game and have a prisoner economy, if you can’t win I cannot do anything for you.
 Early Game
I won’t go in the economics as I mentioned. Your economy is your prisoners. Fail and you die. So this strat is centered on just that.
- Planetary tech 2, for pod launchers (obviously also build a gov centers).
The main force of the fleet as mentioned will be Balka class vanguard ships with their escort in tow. But for now, Eridanus will have to back your starting ones as you have already 4 of them. So we will raise our techs to have them as effective as they can be, bang for the bucks
- Hull tech 4
- Large weapon tech 7 ( This takes TOP priority for dracs: Photon launchers )
- Shield tech 7
- Point defense tech 3
- Tech 19 engine ( You will be probably traveling with Thyliums for a while )
You will focus first on planetary tech 2. Then it’s large weapon and hull tech all the way until you reach the wanted goal as soon you can move money in central bank to continue upgrade thoses. As soon your numerous gov centers are enough to support the techs, your homeworld should stash money.
Use the starting Balkas to set up government centers and factories while raising your techs. Any planets within 200 ly have to see civilization and it’s bureaucracy ( gov centers ). They all produce supplies for future labor camps. The Kraith is to be upgraded with better generators and the starting tech 10 shield, sand casters to be removed by the 2 particles in storage.
Form one single fighter wings with your starting fighter and send it on the border where you plan to attack from for prisoners, have a balka move along it at 80 ly one turn if refuel is necessary while setting gov centers. Kraith is to make 1 fighter wing per turn using 1 single axe bomber with replenish.
As soon as you hit tech 4 hull and torp launchers, build as many photon launchers, 12 is a minimum, and 10 corber 350-400. You will be using the 3 pairs of starting engines and build 7x2 I-25. Add 20 flake canons, 120 ish pulsed lasers, 4 AM guns and couple of cheap generators.
Build 3 Eridanus with photons and warp 105 and 2 dreysen using AM guns. Build 5 more Eridanus using the parts you prepared. All in all, you should have 3 towing ships and 7 escort ships. Your starting Balka should be now back to your homeworld at that precise time.
Have Enough ground troops for an invasion. Use the balka and Dreysen pod bay to store troops and extra ordnance/repair.
You now have a fleet of 14 ships, 7 towers and 7 escorts, several wings of 1 axe bomber. We are turn 10-12 if you did not screw up. Time for invasion. Kraith will guard the home. Meet with your main fighter wing at borders.
Your fleet should move at around 100ly per turn and then 80 ly so the main fighter wing can follow once you hook up with it. Head for your target, make waypoint to keep destination somewhat a secret.
As soon you are within 100 ly of the enemy core worlds, spread all bomber wings to ground strike as many farm worlds as possible. This will take out pod launchers and bring havoc, cutting any means of escape.
Your goal is making prisoners before anything else. Turn on the +100 exotic shield emitter and even the +300 if you can for the turn you attack. Hit the homeworld, your main fighter wing is to try take out the baseshield if you feel you can’t take the ground or simply as anti-fighter. One of your balka should head out to a farmworld in case your main fleet fail so you don’t lose all.
If there is no way you think you can take out the enemy homeworld, invade as many farm worlds as possible up to 7 of them if your small fighter wings did their jobs at disabling pod launchers. Get back home with the loot and prisoners asap.
Meanwhile you are slowly building up a new fleet of photon equipped ships to form a second wave and reinforcement. You should also build some dreysen to act as transports. You have prepared labor mines and camps spreaded all over the place. You have built cheap minelayers and laid defense perimeter.
As soon prisoners enter the camps, you are in good shape. Reinforce your empire with many ships and raise your techs with the earned money. It’s time to build Titus, fangs and pegasis. Time for fuel exotics , you will use Thylium thruster more than you would like.