The Solar Federation - Guide
The Solar Federation - often referred to as 'The Feds' - is to some degrees 'the average' race of the game. The Feds need time to build their economy. But if they can, they will be able to swarm you with ships.
- Fed Photon Torpedo Tubes (PTT): Aside from racial bonuses to accuracy, Fed Photon Torpedoes will be able to punch through point defense fire half of the time (even if the PTT was hit by PD it may still hit the enemy ship).
- A Fed PTT shot will nearly always hit (even ships with high evasive bonuses) and Fed PTT's have a chance of at least 60% of not being shot down by enemy PD.
- Scotty Bonus: Federation ships with at least one High Guard are able to take advantage of the "Scotty Bonus" while in combat. Each tick in combat provides a 1% chance that all system damage will be repaired, a 3% chance of 10% hull damage being repaired, a 5% chance of 20 points of shields being restored, and a 2% chance of all weapons damage being repaired. This only works if the ship has less than 90% system damage.
- Boarding: Fed ships are highly resistant to Boarding actions. They cannot be boarded unless they have 50% hull or 50% system damage (even if a boarding laser is used). Fed High Guard have a huge advantage in defending boarding actions.
- Federation boarding parties are able to board enemy ships without hull or system damage and without a Boarding Laser.
- Note that Federation boarding resistance is a function of their shields - ships without shields or that cannot raise their shields for some reason (e.g. no fuel) lose their resistance.
- Economy: The Fed economy is a two edge sword. If you have some space and time to expand you can grow to a very powerful race. The Fed Agrovator and your Colonists are your economic backbone.
- Good Scanners: You have useful ships with a good scan range. Use this wisely to see your enemy before he come to close. In addition you are the only race who can detect ALL cloaked ships with the Tachyon Emitter.
They have several weakness, some more or less evident.
- No Gravitonic mines. Fed are very exposed to a HYP attack. They lack any defense against HYP races like The Evil Empire, The Rebels or The Solorian Unity so they have only two ways to overcome this weakness: Trade or capture a ship with Gravitonic Mine Dropper or do a massive attack against any HYP races that are close. The HYP races have one weakness that a Fed player could take advantage of - they have a hard time protecting their empire from normal warp ships (and Feds have lots of them that are very cheap and fast).
- Economy. Their economy is stronger than in the past, thanks to the Fed Agrovator's change, but that change is a weakness that an enemy could use. The Fed economy needs to have lots of bases at the same level (or higher) than the others and, as the number of farming worlds grow, they start to be more and more open to attacks because all those farming worlds cannot be defended easily. Early in the game a Fed should have "some" farming worlds but, as the game goes on, a Fed player will likely build as many farming worlds as he can. This makes the Fed economy one of the biggest decentralized economies. A Fed will have a lot of important bases and no-one can defend this much territory easily. In later turns, Fed players will need to waste a lot of resources to defend their territory or decide to be very aggressive and leave their bases relatively defenseless.
- Ground war. Any enemy troop with an rusty axe could kill hundred of fed troops with the latest phaser technology :). Accept it, most of the races beat the hell out of you in a ground battle even if the forces are at a ratio of 4:1 to your favour.
- Training. I recommend that a Fed not build training bases until he can build 100 Training Centers or even 150 in one go. A Fed needs HG but for he must train crew and troops first to get them and this is incredibly slow if he does it with a normal number of Training Centers compared to other races. I usually wait until turn 15 to make a big training world when the cost in colonists/cash is right for my economy.
- Spy. One good way to waste your cash. Fed spies surrender to a small boy threatening them with a stick :). Sometimes one of your spies really achieves something, but do not expect it to happen very often.
- Scotty Bonus can be a problem in some inexperienced fed players. Each time the ship hull is hit, some crew die. You win the combat (all ship damage is magically repaired by Scotty) and you end up in another combat without checking that your ship may have lost some of its crew. You must always send some crew pods with your fleets to replace crew on ships. It's the same for all races but with federation it's very common to end combats (that you win) with no damage to your ships (armor is the only damage). When you open your turn with 30 ships in your fleet, you do not see any red color in any damage columns so it's very easy to forget to check the crew.
- no hyperdrives
- no cloaking ships
Some useful ships:
- The Nocturne Class Destroyer is extremely cheap, has a Barbitic Mine Dropper and a Mine Sweeper Array, can mount two Photon Torpedo Tubes and is available at hull tech 2.
- The Bohemian Class Survey Ship and Eros Class Research Vessel carry terraforming devices.
- The Terra Class Star Base has Ore Processing facilities along with a Long Range Mine Detector, some terraforming devices and a Laser Mining Drill. All available at hull tech 4.
- The Vendetta Class Frigate is the Nocturnes big brother. Lacks the mine laying/sweeping devices, packs a heavier punch.
- The Banshee Class Destroyer has a Barbitic Mine Dropper, a Mine Sweeper Array and a pod bay, and can lay bigger minefields than the Nocturne or the Loki. The heavy miner of the fleet.
- The Nebula Class Cruiser has four pod bays and the best scanners in the fleet.
- The Loki Class Destroyer has a Tachyon Emitter, a Barbitic Mine Dropper and a Mine Sweeper Array (and a pod bay). It also has a lot of small weapons (no large weapons), a good number of point defenses and high attack and evasive bonuses. It is one of the best swarming ships in the game.
- If confronted with an enemy ground assault, don't be afraid to pod off your citizens and run away before the enemy blockades your base.
- The Medium Deep Space Freighter is a weapon against HYP races. A weapon, are you mad? Yes, this Freighter is one evil weapon against a HYP race. You know that a ship is going to attack one planet? You can send a large fleet to fight against the enemy fleet but sometimes you can pod off all your colonists to minimize the damage when he destroys that base and you can prepare a trap. A Medium Deep Space Freighter with only one I-25 Impulse costs 200 MC. Build a lot of them and load them with 3.000 troops or 10 HG + 2990 troops. As Fed you can board the enemy fleet using only those little ships. I have seen three of my little Freighters boarding and capturing an enemy Deliverance without problems. You lose the base but you have moved your Freighters at least 7 LY away. The next turn head back to the planet at top speed, you can board their ships before a combat can occur. At a cost of 200 MC per Freighter, the size of the trap is merely limited by the number of troops available. Try not to laugh too loudly :D.
- The Fed Agrovators (assault unit) produces 1 food and 10 mc per farm at a base. Use these to your advantage to increase your income and growth. Your starting freighters can carry one pod and tow another of up to 100 mass. Have an Assault Pod dock with the freighter and tow 100 agrovators to a colony. Bring enough resources for farms, factories, government center and a city or two.
- Feds are a peaceful race. Fight only when you have to defend yourself or when you benefit from a battle (because you need to expand or want to have a Planet/resources).
- Try to make alliances when ever possible and trade with other races. You need a defence against Hyperjumpers. So try to get your hands on Gravitonic Mine Dropper or Grav Well Generator equipped ships.
- Colonists are important for your economy! Use Tank-O-Tronic Systems and Undercities to boost your growth rate.
- You have a poor mineral mining rate. Use the Terra Class Star Base as mining vessel.
- Use swarms of medium-sized ships buffered by Exotic Techs for fleet combat in order to take full advantage of the Scotty Bonus.
- You have cheap and efficient swarm ships! Use them in large numbers and use the Groups control screen to to manage them (to reduce micromanagement). Don't forget to have HGs on board of every warship to get the Scotty Bonus.
- Use 'Stand off range' = >900 for all your ships armed with PTTs and use the same attack Vector for a swarm (try to find a vector which is a far as possible away from the vector of your enemy). Your ships are more efficient when they are close together in a battle.
- You have very good scanners, use them! A good Fed player have many Planets who needed to protect. That's why it is so important to detect enemy fleets before they reach your territory. So you can send your swarms to these regions and you can prepare your defence.
- Until you have a defence against Hyperjumpers you need to use fleets with Auto-Intercept missions.
- Try to rebuild planets from asteroids to generate new minerals and a planet with high soil rating. Take a look here' for more information.
Being without strong starting ships or defence vs fast (HYP) attack races you should always race to have PTT ships to defend your HW. This can be done by turn 10 with 1 000 000 starting colonists, and 5000 starting mc. You have only yourself to blame if you do not have a lot of Nocturnes with PTT and ord on-board by turn 10. Most games will have more starting colonists and money, making it possible to have PTT armed ships before turn 10.
 Building up your Economy
To keep it short a well developed economy is very important for success especially when playing the Feds.
Try to transport enough food to your important worlds so you can maximize your colonist growth rate. Colonist are very important they are your main source of money. And be aware that a city is nice to get money out of your colonists but every city decrease your growth rate by 0.2% and it consume 2 Food. So it is good on short term to build as much cities as possible, but on long term it will cut your growth and so you income. So find a compromise between cities and growth.
You should look for planets with high soil to build up farm worlds. Food is important in every game with a high food consumption (means each 100,000 Colos eat 1 Kt of Food) and you make some cash with your Fed Agrovator. At the beginning of the game the agrovators gives you cash you need for the Galactic Bank. So your Farm Worlds produce the food for your home world and makes money which you should transfer to the Galactic Bank to upgrade your Tech Levels. It is important to reach the Large Weapon Tech 7 as fast as possible to get PTTs but it is also nice to reach Planet Tech 5 to get resorts (why? you will see if you read further) and Planet Tech 13 to get Undercities.
In the beginning you should set your Tax rate to enslavement but as soon as your happiness on your home world is at 300 you should switch to complex tax until the happiness drops below 250. When you reach planet tech 5 you can build Resorts together with the PSP and the Government Center you can hold your happiness to a stable value of 300 and you can use complex tax all the time (1 to 2 Resorts on each Planet are enough for this).
If you play in a game which seems to run for more than 50 turns you should also think about methods to forming new planets with your Protomatter Cannon. This planets are important to push your economy in late games. You need the high soil to feed your colonists and the minerals to build swarms of ships. But you can't form new planets without asteroid fields so you need to destroy some planets. There are several ways to do that as feds you normally bound to one way you have to use the mining method.
- They will bleed the Feds dry with their hit and run tactics, stealing your food and fuel (Fed ships have small fuel tanks).
- Even though they cannot board your ships, if they are not heavily damaged, you still have to take care of their Lady Royales that are capabale of simply removing the crew off your ships.
- Make sure to lay lots of Barbitic Minefields. They can cause heavy damage to Meteor Class Blockade Runners jumping in and trying to fly away at high warp speed.
- If a Meteor ends its turn in one or more of your minefields, simply detonate it and finish it off. If you lay your minefields wisely, you can even detonate more than one at a time.
 HYP Races
- You have no defence against hyperspace-capable ships. This makes you very susceptible to Evil Empire ground assault (especially in the beginning) if you do not get a defensive fleet early and PTT armed Nocturnes by turn 10 or sooner.
- Their minefields, Insectoid Nest, Gun Zero and Eye of Madagon make them a dangerous enemy.
- Against Gun Zeros use Nocturne Class Destroyers with PTTs and Micro Sand Casters + Flake Cannons as Point Defense. Do not think that the Nocturne is a bad ship, I have seen five Nocturnes killing a Instrumentality fully loaded with fighters without any problems and sixteen destroying three Instrumentalitys with their fighters. The key is to use a lot of ships firing PTT at the same time. PTT is a great weapon in the hands of the Feds and the Nocturne has +50 attack bonus so Holo Decoys do not much harm to its accuracy.
- A Medium Deep Space Freighter with a Resupply Pod will carry a pod with ordnance, repair units or Fuel for the Nocturnes.