By bitmask@innernet.co.za

Introduction

While there are other guides available for the Klingons, I think that they all seem to miss some of the Klingon player’s greatest assets. As a result I often see the Klingons being picked last or not at all, since most players see them as very difficult to play. In my opinion there are other races that are far more difficult and less exciting to play.

The Klingons have very few natural enemies and they can do almost everything well. Their biggest drawback is their lack of a large carrier ship, but that is easily remedied by using fleets of ships and Glory Devices.

In this guide I will look at the race’s strengths and weaknesses as well as some general tips on how to play the Klingons.

 

Initial game and your Economy

As with any race in VGA Planets, the game is won or lost on economy. You can have the best race, but without a good economy you will not get to the top. This should be your top priority until just before the ship limit is hit. If you have a good economy all the other things like ships, allies and scouting will fall into place.

To get a good economy going you will need to send out some scouts early (D7s work well) to find those good planets and then populate those planets using LDSF. Scouts should drop a clan on every planet they visit and move on. Scouts staying at a planet for more than 1 turn to get fuel, drop supplies/money, etc. will get you to falling behind very fast. As soon as you find a good planet you need to send a LDSF with clans, supplies and some credits to populate it. Try to populate your good planets fast by not taking a detour to populate other smaller planets as well. You will have time for the smaller planets later.

Any planet with more than 1000Kt of any mineral and at least 50% extraction for that mineral is a good mineral planet and should get at least 100 clans, 100 supplies and credits as soon as possible, except if it is desert or ice planet.

Any planet with Natives and a government that is not anarchy, pre-tribal, early-tribal or tribal type and with good temperature is also a good planet. If the natives are Bovinoids then that planet is also good no matter the government type. These good planets (with natives) should get as much clans as you can give them in order to taxes the natives effectively, but not to the detriment of good mineral planets. Good planets that do not have at least 100 clans or do not have enough supplies to start building factories should be your first priority. Then if any good native planets do not have 700-1000 clans, that is your next priority. Lastly, you should populate the rest of the smaller planets with 50 -100 clans and some factories, depending on what resources and climate they have.

A LDSF can populate 10 good planets (minerals or natives) that the scouts have found. For this I load 1000 clans, 200 supplies and 600Mc on it, but it depends on the planets you plan to visit. Each good planet will receive 100 cans, 20 supplies and 60Mc and with it build 20 factories. If you want to get good planets producing faster, load extra MC for it, assuming it does not have good natives. If a planet does have natives you can opt to tax and not drop money from your LDSF, though you will lose a turn before you get those taxes so I don’t normally do this.

In order for your Star Base to produce optimally you will need good stocks of all three mineral types as well as money. Make sure you build supply lines back to your SB for each of these minerals, but don’t let these supply line ships move with empty cargos.  Clans go out from your Home World or Star Base and minerals should return. This is not only for freighters and all other ships with any open cargo space moving on the supply line should also be utilized. On average, you only have 80 turns\moves per game, so make them count!

Create distribution points for your supply lines. Distribution points would normally be my next SB or good planets that supply a nearby SB, though this does not have to be. Deliver bulk clans to the distribution point with your large freighters, then pickup minerals and return. Your scouts return to the distribution point with minerals and pickup clans to go out to the outlying planets. This way, your freighters are not so vulnerable by sending them to the outlying planets and you also do not have to escort them that much, freeing up other much needed ships. You need to populate and get your planets going as soon as possible. This also helps to get your freighters with minerals back to your SB faster, which means you can build new ships faster.

Economy will also be the top priority of all the other races if they don’t want to be left behind– this is where the Klingons can do the most damage.  In fact, the Klingons were born for this!

 

Abilities and Tactics

The Klingons are an offensive race. You need to take the war to your enemy in his backyard. Luckily, the Klingons are the best race for this. All other races will have to put in much more work to resupply their fleets fighting a war at a distance, but not you. Fighter building races either have to return to their SB to restock with fighters, or need large amounts of supplies to build fighters in space which then cannot be used to fix ship damage. Torpedo races need to have a lot of credits to make torpedoes. Klingons fleets will have trouble not having cargoes full of supplies and huge credit stashes on their ships from pillaging their enemies.

Most other guides might say that Glory device ships are the Klingon’s biggest ability. If that is the case then I can understand why people think the Klingons are difficult to play. Glory devices are difficult to use correct offensively if you do not know where your enemy ships will be the next turn. However, that is where all the other Klingon abilities come in.

The combination of these abilities is the Klingons best asset.

Planet Immunity will mean your enemy will have to send ships to counter your attacks. So whichever planets you attack, it will see ships drawn to them. This is perfect for a glory explosion.

Your fleets should only ever attack your enemy ships when it will fit you, so remember to check your primary enemy status that you set on your ships each turn.

Planets that you do not attack directly should be pillaged by your fleet. This will fill your ships with supplies and credits which you can then use to restock your torpedoes or fix any damage on your ships. Pillaging a planet will draw enemy ships to your location(s) which are perfect for a glory explosion. If you can find your enemies’ good planets and pillage them, you will severely hamper their development.

The Pillage Mission also gives you a distinct combat advantage: You can choose on which side of combat you want to be. In order for your enemies to stop your ships from pillaging, they have to attack you– so they have little choice on the VCR side. See Donovan’s Help Pages on Left/Right side VCR. In short, against carriers the D7a, D7 Coldpain, Ill Wind, Valiant Wind and Saber will want the right side. For the rest and against torpedo ships you will always want the left side (Note that with the TList1.1 ship list, the Deth Specula will want to fight from the right).

Pillage Home world: if you can sneak up to your enemy home world early on, a surprise Pillage you will win you half the battle. If you also have backup ships and can keep your pillage ship at their Star Base, then the battle is over. No money on the home world will prevent your enemy from building anything. For this, I recommend a Coldpain backed up by 1 or 2 Ill Winds. Keep the Ill Winds out of sight until you can Pillage the home world, then move them in as soon as you can.  Most races will only have smaller ships early on; the Ill Winds can take care of them with little difficulty. I recently used this against an unsuspecting Empire player. He had only one Gorbie and one SS Cruiser that could win an Ill Wind. A few well-placed Glory explosions and the Empire no longer had large ships to defend with. I then pillaged on all of his star base worlds and he could not build anything new– by turn 23, the Empire was dead and I received 3 new star bases for free.

Ground Attack is another useful ability. Don’t wait to pillage a planet until all the enemy clans are all dead, it will just take too long as only a percentage of clans are killed each turn. Rather, it is best to drop clans and take the planet with a ground attack as soon as the enemy clans are low enough. You can use Tanascius Tool or Echoview to find out how many clans you need for a ground combat. Taking your enemies’ fully loaded Star Base with a ground attack is a thrill that should not only be reserved for the Lizards!

Glory ships (also called “poppers”) are great for cloaker defense and even better than a Loki. Unlike the Loki, none of the other races are immune to glory ships. Also unlike a Loki, there is no way for a cloaked ship to detect a glory ship until you are on top of it, which by then will be too late. Glory ships also don’t have to be escorted. Of course, it goes without saying that you can only use a glory ship once, which means you will need more glory ships than you would need Loki’s, but the upside to this is that you will have more positions covered by glory ships than you could have had covered with a fleet of Loki’s.

Glory ships with fuel and without fuel behave differently. Use this to your advantage. Ships without fuel will not fight and have no mission, but the FC of trg/pop and primary enemy will still work. If you want the glory ships to only trigger cloaked ships then tow them without fuel. If they do have fuel they will also fight and you can use the Kill mission and you will not have to set a primary enemy. This is only good if you are sure who you will run into. If you run into a nest of cloaked Privateer ships when you have kill set to another race, you’re in trouble.

Minefields are a useful tool to any race. For the Klingons a minefield laid at a good spot will break up an enemy fleet and hamper their movement.  Don’t use them too much as you have better tools at your disposal, but don’t make the mistake of not using them at all.

Minefields, of course, are also your enemy’s biggest defense against you since it will limit your movement, information and pillage ability.  If your enemy doesn’t start laying minefields as soon as he finds out you are his neighbour, however, then he should be your first target– unless that race has Loki’s, which can also limit your progress.

Scouts are normally only used in the first part of the game and later reduced to credit runs. For the Klingons, scouts that can cloak are very valuable throughout the game. When you attack your enemy, you need advance knowledge of your enemy ship movements, numbers and positions; otherwise, how else will you know when and where to POP that glory device? Keep your scouts one or two turns ahead of your attack fleets. Even better, I recommend having two rows of scouts. The first should be on planets that are two turns ahead of the fleet and the second on planets that are one turn ahead. This will give you ship movements– not just ship locations– which are far better if you need to predict where ships will be next turn. Even scouts that cannot cloak are very useful for pillaging your enemy planets.  Everything in your fleet is a weapon in your arsenal– Use them!

 

Ships

SMALL DEEP SPACE FREIGHTER

This is mostly a useless ship. Only build it if you cannot build anything else so that you can recycle it next turn for a Priority Build Point (PBP). You will need the PBP’s to build glory ships after the ship limit. See the SMALL TRANSPORT for an alternative build. In TList ship list it has more cargo, but you are still better served with other ships. Sometimes it might be better to tow this ship along for extra cargo space instead of recycling it. Don’t fill the ship queue with these and keep them around unnecessarily.  That’s just wrong.

D7a PAINMAKER CLASS CRUISER

I recommend buying a D7 Coldpain instead– it is a far superior ship for similar costs. In the TList ship list, however, it has double the fuel and triple the cargo hold to make it an excellent scout/armed transport or towing ship, though note that it still cannot cloak.

LITTLE PEST CLASS ESCORT

I would rather buy a D7 Coldpain, Deth Specula or D19b Nefarious for similar costs. In the TList ship list, the Pest become a cheap scout with long legs; even so, don’t build more than 2 or 3.

NEUTRONIC FUEL CARRIER

You may need 1-3 of these depending on your universe and the planets you own. It is a great fuel carrier, but consider that a D7 Coldpain has only half the fuel tanks but can also cloak and Pillage, so it is a more versatile alternative.

MEDIUM DEEP SPACE FREIGHTER

It may be useful, but don’t build more than 1 or 2.  LDSF are a better option if you have the Duranium available. In the TLIst ship list it has more cargo room, but still not enough for longer cargo trips.

D7 COLDPAIN CLASS CRUISER

This ship is extremely versatile. It cloaks, scouts, pillages, gathers information, transports fuel, it can tow and steal unguarded freighters. It’s not the best combat ship against larger ships, so choose when you fight and when not. You cannot have enough D7 Coldpains! I build 2-3 in the first turns with X-Rays and Mark 4 torpedoes as scouts before the first LDSF’s are built. Thereafter build them with Disruptors and later with Mark 7 or Mark 8 torpedoes. Use them as scouts, pillagers, towers– anything except fighting that you are not sure you will win. It is just too valuable to lose in a fight.

SMALL TRANSPORT

These ships are of little use normally, however if you are attacking an enemy it can be useful as a cheap ship to pillage planets. If you cannot build anything else and plan on building a SDSF to recycle for PBP’s, you can construct a small transport for 17 minerals and 15 MC more instead. You only need 1 cheap beam on it in order to pillage with it.  Tow it to outlying enemy planets where there is no danger of attacks to free up your D7 Coldpains for their more important jobs, but don’t build many. In the TList ship list it has a much larger cargo hold for similar price. Even more reason to build it instead of a SDSF if you cannot build anything else.

ILLWIND CLASS BATTLECRUISER

This is a great ship. A pair of Illwinds can destroy an enemy home world in the early game. They are great against most medium warships. They have the best mine sweeping ability, a large fuel tank and large cargo hold. You should have at least 1-2 by turn 15. In the TList ship list it has 3 torpedo tubes to make it more powerful.

D3 THORN CLASS DESTROYER

This is not the best ship in its class. It has low mass, low cargo and low fuel. Rather, build the D7 Coldpain or Deth Specula. In the TList ship list this ship will be worth building: it has better mass, fuel, cargo, tubes and beams.  If your game is using the Tlist, I recommend building this before building the more expensive Deth Specula to take out planets or other medium ships.

LARGE DEEP SPACE FREIGHTER

You will need a good fleet of these for your economy. Build at least 2-3 by turn 7 to populate your good planets and more later as your empire grows. This is the ship for your supply lines. The larger your empire, the more LDSF’s you will need. Build at least one for every SB you have and more if you are not using the Teleport or Starbase+ add-ons.

VALIANT WIND CLASS CARRIER

This ship is not that useful for the Klingon’s way of battle. You might have a use for it as a ship for trade to your ally, though generally I do not build these. In the TList ship list this is a very nice little carrier. Think of it as a more powerful Patriot, but with none of the drawbacks. If you have the extra money to fill it with fighters, your enemies will get a huge surprise. It will kill 3 Patriots in a row or a Kittyhawk or Madonnzila. In a TList game you should build a few of these. What else are you going to do with all that Pillage money?

DETH SPECULA CLASS FRIGATE

This is a great heavy hitter in situations where you’re assured not to have to fight more than one battle, or using it as front-line ships. It also makes a good planetary raider. When the Klingon has a need for a good hitting cloaker, the Deth Specula can often fill roles that the Coldpain cannot. If used for extended missions, it is often worthwhile to escort with a Coldpain to resupply the heavier hitting Deth Specula. Do not build too many. In the TList ship list, this ship receives more cargo room, fuel and tubes. It loses two beams, but you should still build and use them for the same reasons.

D19b NEFARIOUS DESTROYER & SABER CLASS FRIGATE

 

These are your glory device ships and should be built in numbers. If you can, choose to build the Saber above the D19b for less damage to your own ships in a glory explosion. They are great scouts, great for towing, great for escorts, great for mine sweeping, but best for fighting or decloaking as glory devices. Build them for the usage you have planned for them. Use cheap engines with only 1 cheap beam if you only plan to pop them. Use with a good mix of beams (X-Ray/Disruptors or better) and Tech 5 or other engines if they should mine sweep or as cruise missile. Build them with Warp 9 engines if you plan to tow with them. In the TList ship list the D19b only needs 1 engine and, while it cannot tow anymore, it is now much easier/cheaper to build with better engines.

NEUTRONIC REFINERY SHIP

The Neutronic Refinery Ship can give you fuel.  One will be useful but two might be a waste, depending on your game.

SUPER TRANSPORT FREIGHTER

This ship could be useful in some scenarios, but don’t build too many. Use it to build a new SB or take an undefended enemy Home World by clan drop. (With 200 defenses on a planet, the Klingons can use this ship to take a planet with up to 3500 clans. With only 20 defenses it can take a planet with up to 19 000 clans.)

VICTORIOUS BATTLESHIP

This is a fairly inexpensive battleship, but has problems. With its small fuel tank it will be out of fuel in about 4-5 moves. It is also one of the smallest battleships in the game. You will need to use glory devices to soften up the big carriers prior to battle. Every Victorious should be towing a Saber or D19b, which in addition to the glory device for battle will also give it 150Kt extra fuel capacity (~2 turns worth). Each Victorious should also be carrying 20 supplies for each D19b glory device that will be used (half that if you are using the Saber). Whenever possible, try to match a higher ID glory ship with a lower ID Victorious towing the popper. In the TList ship list this ship has two more beams and a little extra cargo space to make it stand equal against a Darkwing, except that it cannot cloak. You will need many of these.

MERLIN CLASS ALCHEMY SHIP

The Merlin is a useful alchemy ship. Depending on the game setup and if you find Bovinoid natives, build 1-3 of them in each game or one for each Bovinoid planet you own.

 

Allies and Enemies

When you find a new race as a neighbour it is always a good idea to review the race guides for that race. It will give you some idea of what they are thinking with your own race as an enemy/ally. It is always good to have an ally to cover your back and the Klingons can use any help to make fighting those heavy carriers easier. Too much of a good thing is bad however, and without any enemies your game will be very boring!  So first choose an enemy and then choose an ally (if you want one). Make sure you always have an enemy. The Klingons are a very boring race to play without any enemies. When allies and/or NAPs are allowed, try to secure one border with a reliable neighbour so you can concentrate your efforts in the other directions. If you get the Star Trek Klingon ”fight everyone and everything” mentality, you will die. You usually build two D7s in the first two turns to send them out looking for Home Worlds to pillage. When you find out who is there, pillage one and make friends with the other. A reliable ally that is a bad match to your race abilities is better than no ally at all.

 

Feds

The Feds are a well-rounded race. They have good small, medium and large ships, with most being torpedo ships. They have Loki ships, so your cloakers will have to be careful around those. As an ALLY they have little to offer the Klingons with similar sized ships except perhaps for the Nova and Super Refit ability. They also have lots of money which you should not need. As an ENEMY choose your battles well. An early strike from you is not really feasible. The Feds will be attacking in groups of ships which will make your Glory ships more effective, but their shield repair between battles can hurt your glory effects. Fed planets are also a good target for pillage and will produce high amounts of money. Feds are better as Allies than Enemies.

 

Lizards

The Lizards are a cloaking and ground attack race with similar size ships as the Klingons. Hiss will also give the Lizards lots of money. They have Loki ships, so your cloakers will need to watch out for them. As an ALLY they are not that useful to you as they have many of the same weaknesses. Their carrier is much better than yours if you can perhaps use that. As an ENEMY the Lizards can attack your freighters with their cloakers or they can do a ground attack. They are more resilient against damage so you will have to use more Glory ships to get the same effect, but most of their ships are smaller. Lizards are better as Enemies than Allies.

 

Birdmen

The Birdmen have excellent cloaking ships. As an ALLY the only nice thing is that their Dark Wing Battleship can cloak—ask for trades. For the most part, however, the Birdmen have very little to offer you. As an ENEMY they can try to do cloaked intercepts, but with the amount of Glory ships you will have, this should not be a problem. Expect mostly Dark Wings and Resolute Class Ships to be attacking you, and prepare for that. Birdmen are better as Enemies than Allies.

 

Privateers

The Privateers have Gravitonic ships and can Rob. Every player will find a need for Gravitonic ships. As an ALLY even small Gravitonic ships make excellent Pillage ships. The Privateers can also Rob any ships that are too big for you to fight. As an ENEMY they should not be an issue for you with all the Glory ships you should have. One Glory explosion will destroy most of his ships. Privateers can go both ways as Enemies or Allies, although I would attack as a first option.

 

Borg

The Borg has large ships and a large economy, but is vulnerable in the early game. As an ALLY you can supply cloakers and medium ships with lots of money while he can supply large battleships and carriers as well as Chunneling. It’s a win-win combination. As an ENEMY the Borg is an easy target early on. If he starts building those big ships you will need to put a lot more effort into your battles. Borg can go both ways as Enemies or Allies, but decide early in the game.

 

Crystals

The Crystal web minefield can stop any fleet. They also have the tow capture ability. As an ALLY the Crystals don’t offer much in terms of ships, but their web mines can be a great asset. Fleets stuck inside web mines are easy targets for Glory explosions and cloaking web layers are just the greatest thing with surprise web mine popping up everywhere. As an ENEMY your ships with large fuel tanks can sweep those webs better than anyone else, provided you build them with good beam weapons. Otherwise, make sure ships with smaller fuel tanks have cloaked support. Crystals are better Allies than Enemies.

 

Evil Empire

The Empire can Dark Sense and have the largest ship in the game. As an ALLY they can offer you some large ships that you lack as well as info on planets with good natives that you can pillage. In return you can offer good medium ships and a nice battleship as well as lots of money to build fighters for his carriers. Pillaging Probes can be very nice. As an ENEMY your Ill Wind can take out all but his 2 largest ships and he will have trouble building ships or fighters with all the pillaging going on at his star bases. The Empire is better as Enemies than Allies, although as allies you are a great mix.

 

Robots

The Robots have cheap minefields and free fighters. As an ALLY the Robots can offer minefield cover, free fighters and large carriers while you can offer cloakers for mine laying and Glory ships. As an ENEMY your large amount of beam weapons should clean up his minefields easily, but those large heavy carriers pack a big punch. Be sure to bring lots of Glory ships to the fight. Robots are better as Allies than Enemies.

 

Rebels

The Rebels have Rebel Ground Attack and free fighters. As an ALLY the Rebels and Klingons fit very well. You offer Pillage, cloakers, money and good Minesweepers and the Rebel Offer RGA, free fighters, Hyperjump ships and large carriers. Make sure when you pillage and RGA the same planet that the lower ID ship pillage and the higher ID ship RGA for the best effect. Very Nasty! As an ENEMY you should watch out for the Rush Carriers. The rest of his ships can be dealt with using Glory ships and minefields. Rebels are better as Allies than Enemies.

 

Colonies

The Colonies have free fuel, free fighters and fighter mine sweeps. As an ALLY the free fighters and big ships will help you, while cloakers and Glory ships is what you can offer in return. As an ENEMY you should treat them in a similar way as you would the Rebels, with the exception that minefields will be of no use. Colonies are better as Allies than Enemies.

 

Best Enemies

  1. Empire
  2. Borg
  3. Privateers
  4. Lizard
  5. Crystals
  6. Birdmen
  7. Federation
  8. Rebels
  9. Colonies
  10. Robots
Best Allies

  1. Rebels
  2. Colonies
  3. Robots
  4. Borg
  5. Empire
  6. Crystals
  7. Privateers
  8. Federation
  9. Birdmen
  10. Lizard
Attack vs Ally(ally at top)

  1. Rebels
  2. Colonies
  3. Robots
  4. Federation
  5. Crystals
  6. Borg
  7. Birdmen
  8. Privateers
  9. Empire
  10. Lizard

 

Final thoughts

 

You might not win every game with the Klingons, but you will have plenty of fun keeping the other players from winning. One Klingon captain on a ship with a Glory device summed up the Klingon philosophy like this:

“If we can’t beat you, we will blow you up with us!”