The Crystals way of life
[Home]    [Strategy]    [VGAP-Index]

The Crystals are much, much better than most people suppose.

Make an alliance with a fighter race is crucial for the Crystals: only than they can make efficiently use of their torp/carrier combo, the Diamond/Crystal Thunder pair!
In my ARENA game all races get 2 free fighters each turn/SB (Empire: 8) so its ideal for the Crystals, but even without that, one could exchange fighters against wefields (= torps) with an ally.

The Crystal Thunder shares the same problem like the Patriot: only useful and deadly if fully loaded. But beside that there's no other race that have it both way: a medium battleship and a medium carrier! ("medium" means it's affordable to build lot's of this battlegroups and they are reasonable in fuel consumption too!).
In fact if you manage your economy wisely you could afford to fight *solely* with such combos (let the Diamond always fight first!!) and you should try and see what the Diamond alone does against undefended bases or medium sized battle ships  :-)

Let's compare the Crystals ship list to the other races:

Feds: good torpedo ships but the Kittyhawk with only 65 units cargo space (almost useless as a combo).

Lizards: mostly even with the Crystals but nevertheless, IMHO, a bit weaker in a head to head fight: T-Rex only 5 tubes/Madonzilla only 5 bays!

Birds and Fascists don't have a *real* carrier

Privateer: no good torp vessel/only 4 bays at the Bloodfang; okay they rather steal than fight in their own ships - I know!

Cyborg: very nice, but expensive and don't ask at the filling station for the bill... (They've the Firecloud for chunneling? Well, how much of this monster pairs you could've *equipped* at, say, turn 50? 5 or 6? Don't know I've never played the Borgs myself, but the Crystals could have equipped more than 20 of their Diamond/Thunder-groups.)

Empire: no real battleship; the SSFrigate is weaker than the Emerald...

Robots: dito

Rebels: the Guardian is impressive but a cargo bay of 20 ?

Colonies: no torpedoeship. 

So much for the introduction; maybe you see already what I'm trying to say:

The Crystals aren't the race to lay only webs, webs, webs and die in the meanwhile from boredom, waiting that someone will get stuck in their minefields. Their attack potential is sufficient to play them aggressive as well! And just in case you've underestimated your opponents forces you'll have the reassuring certainty of your webmines! 5% hit propability per LY (host configurable) / drains at least 25kt fuel/turn = four overlapping fields will drain 100kt fuel per turn!

Webfields give you the comfort of a relatively security against
1) the Birds
2) the Privateers
3) the Lizards
that's very valuable!

Last but not least: the Emerald: *Huge* cargo space, reasonable mass so it's a good armed freighter. With its _eight_ beams and (okay: only) three tubes it's as well a good planet taker.
To lay minefields I'm using rather a Ruby (lots of them); you don't need all the cargo space of an Emerald to lay mines - remember the 5% hit propability of a webmine ---> the fields only needs to be 1/5 in size, compared to regular minefields, to get a fair chance to catch an enemy ship ~ (20-30 ly).

One of the drawbacks of the Crystals is their need for molybdenium. But you can see it as an advantage as well: search for a planet with Bovinoids in the vicinity of one of your starbases and build a Merlin Alchemy ship there early in the game. Than you can concentrate on converting supplies to molybdenium and transport it to your base. You will need only small amounts of the other minerals to build your ships.

Here's the shiplist for the Crystals (it contains only the ships that I found useful for them):

                     Tech                           #    #  Empty  Max    Max    #    #
CLASS             Req  MCr  Tr  Dr  Mb  Eng Crew  Mass  Fuel  Cargo  Main Aux
Opal TorpedoBoat 2   60  29   12  20   1    25     67     55     19    1   1T
Ruby Light Cruiser 3   95  47   32  43   2  136   120    390   370    4   2T
Emerald BattleCru. 6  390  71  52  93   2  258   180    480   510    8   3T
Onyx Frigate         8  280  35  25  95   2  320   153    150    10    8   1T
DiamondFlame      9  410  93  70 390   2  570   451    400    90   10   6T
Crystal Carrier     10  480   61  42 233   4  422  320    290     80    6   8F

Beside of fighters try to trade, borrow or steal a cloaking ship with good minelaying capabilities. Because you can't clone ships you should rather try to trade some of them (MBRs from the Privateers would be ideal!). Than you have the possibility to lay unexpected webfields infront of an approaching enemy fleet or in the heart of enemy territory.

Just my thoughts, Max.

[Home]    [Strategy]    [VGAP-Index]   [Impressum]