Game Turn Checklist

by Rick Glover (aka Magik on Drewhead’s)
Comments and Suggestions Welcome

For a Word [TM] version - click here

"Guidelines for bureaucrats:  (1) When in charge, ponder.  (2) When in trouble, delegate. (3) When in doubt, mumble."
                        James H Boren 1925-
                        American bureaucrat   

Each turn will be a little different, especially when at war; however, this checklist will give you a basic list of things that you need to complete to feel secure in knowing that you did everything that you could do in a turn.  This is not race specific at all, so you will have to make adjustments according to your race selection.

I have included things that are “Optional” that don’t need to be done every turn or that some people just don’t touch.  Also you will see “Do once”, which usually only has to be adjusted once per object but this may change in war

When I was trying to learn just the basics of this game I ran across a problem with my memory - it just didn't seem able to remind me of  what to do next?
So I produced a checklist for myself


Read your  messages.

a)   The tax report has value in that it tells you if your colonists and natives are gaining in happiness.  If not then you should probably do something about it unless it is a strategy of yours to lower their happiness.  The happiness adjustment does not include structures that affect happiness such as Government Centers or Public Space Ports.

b) The resource report will tell you whether or not you can continue to build items and lay minefields.  Have at least 1,000,000 colonists on every planet to make sure that you have your fair share of resource points

c) Optional: Keep notes    (with your homeworld as the Hammer) of things like Native Distress Calls so that you can track down the enemy this way.



Optional: Adjust your tax rate.  

At around turn 8 you will probably want to start maximizing your happiness to help avoid spy attacks that will begin on turn 11.


Optional: Send messages. 

Respond to your allies or better yet to your enemies.


Do once: Review options.  

These are the game options dictated by the host.  Make sure that you understand the options that will affect your growth and your race’s special abilities.


Read all logs

These logs are details of what occurred with all of your equipment.  If anything special happened, this is where you would find it.  Combat happens in the VCR, but you will see a log entry of “Red Alert! Combat Alert! Shields Up!” when your ship was in combat (and lived). This is also a good time to select bases using the Hammer then turning on new structures (see base actions below).  Optional: Keep notes   (with your homeworld as the Hammer) of anything special.


Watch your VCR recordings.  

NOTE: There will not be a recording of combat where a ship or base is not damaged.  You will get an entry in the messages , but no VCR.


Review map for enemy contacts. 

This is probably the step that will adjust the entire rest of the turn.

a) Use the   button to attempt to see the movement of enemy ships.

b) Optional: Keep notes   (with your homeworld as the Hammer) of what you think is going on so that you will remember next turn.

c) Optional: Detonate minefields with enemy ships within them.


Ship actions. 

a) Transport cargo onto/off of ships. 
You only get one transport per ship per turn, so make it good.  Use ship groups   to apply the changes to multiple ships when possible (like a stack of 6 freighters that all are doing the same transfers at the homeworld).  Make sure that you are transporting with the correct target.  I’ve made the mistake of changing my waypoint, but not the transport target and it took a while to figure out that I was trying to transport with a planet 80 LY away.

b) Set waypoint(s)
Assign a waypoint and adjust the speed. Intercept enemy ships or your own units to join them.  Tow pods and other ships.  Set capture and kill targets for VCR combat.  Use ship groups   to apply the speed to a group of ships when possible.  When you have a fleet of ships you can use the Fleet Command   to have ships assigned to a fleet leader automatically follow that leader.

c) Adjust ship devices
Some devices go hand-in-hand with transporting goods (like food to supply converters, supply to metal converters, etc.) and other ship devices modify the Mission tab.  NOTE: Newly built ships may start with cargo that you don’t want/need them to have.  You should transport these things off first so that they are available at the base for any other ships at the same base on the same turn.

d) Lay or sweep minefields
It would be a good idea to look at your existing minefields to see if their energy level is low (10 or less) and if so send a ship within 200 LY to recharge it with command code REC.

e) Optional: Adjust command codes
This usually goes along with ship devices, for example BDM for beam down metals and money after a ship has converted supplies into metals.

f)  Optional: Keep notes   (with your ship selected) of what you want to remember to tell your ship to do.  Keep the notepad open as you perform ship actions.

g) Optional: Under the Fleet tab, make a ship a fleet leader then you can use the Fleet Command   to save a lot of micro-management.  Fleets can follow the leader automatically as well as share ordnance, fuel and repair units.

h) Do once: Set attack modes.  Attacking enemy ships is a good setting to have if you have weapons, otherwise flee. Use ship groups   to apply the changes to similar ships.

i) Do once: Set missions.  This is where you can turn on/off scanners and program auto-intercept.  Some devices use this screen to adjust their settings.  I recommend turning off auto-intercept while in enemy territory.  You will probably end up running through a few minefields as you chase around freighters and bases.  Use ship groups   to apply scanner settings to similar ships.

j) Do once: Set damage repair.  Turn it on so that your ship will repair itself after combat. I would recommend turning on all settings except for Repair Armor.  You will quickly deplete your repair units on armor rather than your engines and other vital systems if you have this switch on.  It is cheaper to repair armor if you have the time (in turns) to spend repairing it.  To quickly get the ship into combat readiness, you should build armor at a base and either move the ship there (and end your turn there) or use an outfit pod to send the armor to the ship.  If the ship has pod bays, they should probably be filled with an outfit pod with armor and a resupply pod with repair units and ordnance.

k) Do once:Set ship name.  Usually something that doesn’t give too much away to the enemy is good.  Also, something memorable or funny may be helpful.


Wing actions. 

a) Set waypoint(s).  Send wings to protect bases or dock with warships

b) Do once:Set attack modes.  Wings that you want to set for Close to Point Blank should not also be set for Quick Strike.

c) Do once: Set missions.

d) Do once: Set wing name.


Base actions. 

a) Build new ships.  At the beginning of the game, this is usually freighters, but soon warships will be built in mass quantities.  You need to use the Base | Ship screen to build ships with the extra high-tech parts that you start the game with.  Otherwise, use Quick Build .

b) Buy parts.

Build new wings.                                                                                                                                                                   

Buy armor to replenish armor blown away in combat.  See “Set damage repair” above.

If you can’t use Quick Build  for some reason, predict which parts you will need for next turn for ships then purchase them here.  This is also where you will buy parts for an outfit pod to upgrade the technology of the equipment on a ship or to replenish its armor.

c) Build structures.  You have MC and supplies to spend on building base structures.  This will have to be adjusted if you go back and change your ship transports above, so be careful.  Example: If you build some structures then decide that you need more supplies on a ship that you are sending out then the structures that you have queued will not get built the way that you want them to.  It is a good idea to not spend more than you have since the results are almost unpredictable.  NOTE: The amount of MC here does not take into consideration any Government Center transfers or ships that will arrive this turn and perform a transfer, so leave money for those items according to your priority.

d) Adjust structure switches.

Do once: Turn on/off structures.  Most structures are not turned on after they are built.  You can do this on the Overview screen also.

Adjust Factory output.  NOTE: If you lowered it to save MC then you may want to increase it again.

Turn Terraformers on if the planet’s climate is not within acceptable range.  The Terraformers will move the climate towards the race’s favored climate.

Adjust Ship Repair Shop production.  1 Duranium becomes 100 Repair Units.

Adjust Ordnance Plant production.  1 Supply + 10 MC becomes 100 Ordnance.

 vi. Form a fighter Wing with your Air Attack Base and activate it.

 vii. Do once: Turn the Base Shield ON.

 viii. Do once: Turn off Med Lab.  I haven’t found a use for this, but if you do, ignore this step.

Play the Contraband market.

Sell unwanted contraband.

Buy needed contraband.

Consider buying Lerchin Spices (popular for attracting Amorphous natives).

Consider buying Kerria Crystal Artifacts (popular for attracting Ghipsodales and allow Robots to train High Guard).

f) Launch Pods.  Some ideas are to use them for colonization, supplying ordnance and repair units to the front lines, supplying MC to bases with government centers, supplying space building facilities with metals, and assaulting planets and ships with troops.

Life pods for colonization (colonists, crew, troops, and high guard).

Resupply pods for colonization (supplies and MC) and supply points for war efforts (ordnance, repair units, MC, and fuel).

Gold pods for moving contraband.

Native pods for moving natives (that have joined your base) around.  Native pod launch occurs before Insectoid Nests can turn them into Insectoids.  I recommend that you do not fill a native pod to capacity since they tend to breed while in a pod.

v) Construction pods for moving metals around to shipyard planets.

vi) Assault pods for taking over ships or planets.

vii) Outfit pods for upgrading the technology of ships.  These pods are also useful to send to a ship that has its armor heavily damaged.


Headquarter actions. 

Set spy options.

Adjust funding.

After turn 10, start spy attacks on the enemy.

Upgrade tech levels.  If you don’t have enough money in the central bank for the technology upgrades this turn, then you can set Government Center(s) to transfer funds (Base | Switches screen) and it will take effect before technology is purchased when the turn is processed.  Note that transfers do not show up as a reduction in available MC on the base screens.

Buy exotic technologies.  These are ways to spend that extra cash that you have to improve the functionality of all of your units in some way.  You will need to have money in the central bank to pay for these.  Government transfers on the same turn will not help for exotic techs.

d) Do once: Change your ID.

e) Optional: Use Ministers to change friendly codes for bases, ships and wings.  Ministers overall are a major time saving feature so that you don’t have to micromanage later in the game.  NOTE: When you use a feature such as transfer 75% of all MC from bases to the Central Bank then that will only take effect for this current turn.  It will not be 75% on the next turn; it will remain at the same flat sum being transferred as the prior turn.


Race actions

This window is useful for tracking down the player number of the enemy by matching it to a ship, base, wing or pod owner then send them a nasty message.

a) Do once: Review statistics of your enemy

b) Do once: Adjust settings for game allies.


Optional: Data Grid information gathering. 

a) Check for planets with high Hyper-Dimensional Stress (600-900).  Prevent explosions with ship devices (when available) or move colonists off.

b) Check for bases with 1000+ excess metal, food, fuel or ordnance and pod it to an appropriate planet.

c) Check for bases that need resources.


Optional: Use the   button

and Make CSV File to create a set of CSV files that you can load into a database or spreadsheet program to view your game data in different ways.


Optional: Use the   button

to easily visually view the natives on planets that you have a good scan of.  You can also view metals, contraband, and much more.