The Birdman Republic - Guide
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The Birdmen are the major cloaking race in VGAP4. They are master spies and very secretive. Even their bases, pods, and wings are stealthy. Their fleet is well designed and allows many options for destroying your enemies. The key to playing the Birdmen well is to embrace their flexibility. Birdmen troops are stong in ground assault, Deth Speculas and tranports with large guest capacities are great for boarding, Voltar G fighters are excellent for taking out base shields, the Super Laser provides a direct punch, and the World Crusher Missile death from afar. This a good race for novice players as Birdman stealth can help keep you alive long enough to get past initial mistakes. In expert hands, this race is one of the deadliest.
- Cloaked Ships. Birdmen engines make only half the normal Sensor Profile noise. Additionally most Birdmen ships have a Cloaking Device and can fully cloak.
- Cloaked Minesweepers. Bird minesweepers make no Sensor Profile noise, allowing the Bright Heart to sweep enemy mines cloaked.
- Cloaked Bases. Birdmen bases have a sensor image of 20, compared to 800 for most other races and are highly resistant against Probe Launchers.
- Cloaked Pods. Birdmen assault pods have a sensor image of 100, instead of the usual 250.
- Cloaked Fighters. Birdmen Fighters are more difficult to detect than normal fighters.
- Spying. The Birdmen are master spies. High Guard on enemy ships do not protect against Birdmen spies attempting to steal plans.
- Praetorian Master Spies. AKA "The Three Stooges". Once the Birdmen have over 10,000,000 colonists the three Praetorian Master Spies will attempt to steal the Universal Friendly Codes of other races. The more colonists and happier your colonists are the more often they give you the UFCs. You will get 0-3 players UFC per turn, with an average of about 1 per turn. This UFC can be used to travel safely through enemy minefields and stops enemy from auto intercepting you, until the code changes. 20% of the time the Masters do get the wrong code. You just need to test the code before a fleet use it, a ship at warp 190 in enemy minefield is a good test. Unregistered players cannot use this feature.
- Plasmatron N6i. These units dig and process ore without any happiness penalties. Useful to move them from planet to planet in large numbers. Best purchased mid-game once money is more abundant. Plasmatrons lower the combat effectiveness of enemy assault units and fighters.
- Labor Camps. A key instrument of the Birdman economy. Hunt down prisoners as soon as possible.
- Avalor Station. Cloaked ships are immune to the Hull Plan Napper on Privateer Meteors. This makes the Avalor an ideal platform for building ships using alien plans. Plans on cloaked ships are not immune to the Crystal X Field.
- Darkwing/Darkwing G. Cloaked World Crusher Missile ships and wonderful in a fight. Weapons on the Darkwing G have an extra 1000 armor arc against enemy Birdmen targets and do double armor damage against all enemies. Nanovirus Bomb can be used to convert Cyborg into natives. A useful economic or military tool.
- Superior Super Weapon Choices - Only the Birds through the Darkwing have access to both a Super Laser and a Protomatter Cannon allowing the ultimate in terraforming. If they get a Scalar Wave Damper they will have only super planets - watch out. Add to that the prospect of a Transphased World Crusher Missile and the Birds late game can be a bear.
- No Gravitonic Minefields. The Birds have no native ability to stop enemy Hyperdrive ships. Cloaking ships and cloaking bases provide some protection as enemy HYP races may not know where to send their forces.
- Lack of Hyperdrive capable ships.
- Vulnerable to fighter races.
- Ship scanners make double the normal Sensor Profile noise.
- Use your starting Skyfires to rapidly expand. Drop life pods off on planets with large Contraband stockpiles, build a Pod Launch Pad, and boost smaller life pods and supplies to nearby planets for mining.
- Once you reach Hull Tech 6, strip the engines off your starting 3 Skyfires and use them to build 6 Transwarp Deth Specula Class Frigates.
- Build dozens or even hundreds of Neutronic Fuel Tankers and send them out to scan the universe. Free Ghipsoldal-built engines help a great deal. Even tankers with slow engines are useful for keeping an eye on your home territory.
- Build a couple Fearless Wing Class Cruisers early on to take advantage of their Bioscanners and Spy Scanners.
- Fighter Wings begin firing their weapons in combat on tick 25. Ships cannot return fire until tick 50. Voltar G's have missiles with a range of 1200 helping to ensure the enemy is in range during those pivotal 25 ticks. Create hordes of Voltar G wings made of only 10 fighters each. Watch and laugh as they decimate your enemies helpless juggernauts. While a bit costly to set up, this is a very efficient method of dealing with an enemy who uses large capital ships. Avoid fighter and swarm races with this strategy. It is critical to set QUICKSTRIKE to avoid moving into sandcaster and PD range!
- Use cloaked Bright Hearts to lay cloaked Barbitic Minefields near enemy shipyards. Detonate your minefields the turn your attack fleet moves in, thus destroying the defensive minefields protecting your target.
- Mineral Generations (Late Game) Take a convenient uninhabited (by the birds) Super Laser it turn 1, Protomatter Cannon it turn 2. Drop 600,000 Colonist with 1651 Supplies, 4175 MC, 600 food, 1 Medical supply and 1000 Plasmatron N6i Turn 3. Build 600 farms, a pod pad, 150 Factories 6 cities and a government Center turn 4. Send 1000 MC to your Galactic Bank each turn thereafter. Pod off 600 food a turn as well as all the minerals. After about 20 turns boost pods into orbit just before the planet explodes, pod everything but the buildings into orbit and then protomatter again to start the cycle all over again.
By the point in time that you have access to Super Lasers and Protomatter Cannons, a well-played Birdman should have at least a few hundred thousand prisoners. Rather than using Plasmatrons to quickly mine the minerals generated by the HD Stress of the new planet, why not use labor mines? With the new way labor mines work, you get 3 MCs per type of mineral the labor mine excavates, and the Protomatter planets are generating kilo-kilotons of all 4 of them. Using labor mines on these worlds is pretty much the only way you will ever maximize the earning potential of the labor mine. -- Sphere
- The Solar Federation and The Lizard Kingdom These races own Lokis. Feds are more dangerous as their Tachyon Emitters can expose your normally resistant Resolutes and Darkwings. Shut them down before they have an opportunity to trade this technology with other races.
- The United Enforcement Authority with their Tachyon Emitter and exploding gravity minefield, not mentioning their war fleet moving with a Pax to your major bases.
- The Privateer Bands aren't as large a threat to you as they are to other races. But don't take it for granted that they can't board your ships because you are cloaked. If they scan you once, they can use the old data on your ships to board if you they can predict your location. Easy to do if you've just attacked them. The really good news is that you'll find them very easy to take out early on. Send some Bright Hearts and a couple Fearless Cruisers armed with Blaster Cannons or Anti-Matter Guns and bombard their Homeworld. Very profitable. Bring enough Sand Casters to deal with their fighters and this should be an easy mission. As a bonus everyone else in the universe will love you for it.
- Fighter Races. Any of the major fighter races are a threat to you. Birdman fighters are best against ships, not against enemy wings. Keep your ships armed with Sand Casters and anti-fighter point defence at all times.