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Capturing Civilian Ships
If your empire is at
with another empire and meets an
Civilian Ship (such as an unarmed trade ship)
from that empire with a Military Ship then you will attempt to capture it.
If you have marines on your warship there is a much higher chance of
capturing civilians spaceships.
There is a possibility that the enemy
space ship will self destruct to avoid capture, this chance is increased if
the empire owning the spaceship is at
with your empire.
Capturing Military Ships during Battle
To capture a Military Ship, it must be immobilised (i.e. its dodge must be 300) and then
boarded by Marines.
There are a few ways for a ship's dodge to drop to 300:
There are a range of defenses which defend against Tractor Beams, including Pressor Beams.
- Its sub-light drive may be so badly damaged that its dodge drops to 300.
- It may be immobilised by being hit by enemy Tractor Beams.
- Finally, large ships might be poorly designed and naturally have a dodge of 300, although
the game will warn you of the risk of being boarded if you design such a ship.
There are a range of defenses against Marines, including AutoCannons, Lasers and Marines of your own.
Captured Ship Orders
When you capture a spaceship you will get a report of what orders it was
currently on. The captured ship is taken off those orders and will await
your orders. It is very helpful to capture a ship on trade orders, as this
will often reveal an enemy's home world.
Your ships and units are able to make a hostile takeover of another empire's
hulk or civilian unit.
This occurs when:
To do this, your empire must be
with or at
with the empire which owns the hulk or civilian unit.
- a Military Unit captures a world; the Military Unit will
attempt to capture all civilian units and hulks on the world.
- a ship / unit uses the "capture" order.
If the ship / unit attempting to capture has a higher
of the empire owning the hulk or civilian unit on the world where the
hulk or civilian unit is located, then the hulk or civilian unit will be captured.
Attempting to capture an empire's possessions is considered a
Your empire's Military Presence (MP) on a world can be from 0 to 4:
- Level 4 - Military Units on the world
- Level 3 - Military Ships or SDIs on the world
- Level 2 - population living on the world
- Level 1 - Civilian Units and Civilian Ships on the world
- Level 0 - nothing on the world (except hulks and sleepers)
If you are
to another empire, then that empire may capture your
hulks and civilian units.
To do this, issue the capture order ("ca") to a ship / unit at
the same location as the hulk or civilian unit.
If you know the location of a HULK (whether by surveying it or as a result
of a recent battle) then there are 2 ways of capturing it.
You can capture it by collecting ("co x") it with a ship or by using the
"ca" (capture) order. The HULK can then be transported to a one of your
planets for examination where you can use the "la" (launch) order to remove
it from your spaceship.
HULK  is on 15B. Your home world is 13C.
SHIP [ 10] TRADE 8 mo 15b co 15 mo 13c la 15
Note that HULKs may have been lying on a world's surface or floating
derelict in orbit for many centuries. Who knows what might be inside...
they may not be entirely safe to enter unarmed. Ships without marines to
send in and unarmed civilian units attempting to capture HULKs do so at
their own risk.
If the hulk is defended, then you may fail to capture it
(see the section on
Capturing Enemy Possessions
You may wish give the "an" (analyze) order to a Hulk or spaceship
which has unknown technology on it. To do this you send it to one of your
planets with eco levels and enough BURPS to be able to afford to carry out the
analyze order. All the ships technologies that are unknown to you will become
theoretical possibilities. The price of analysis 5% of the amount that it
would cost to build the spaceship ignoring any modifiers.
section 13.2: undeveloped technology cost modifiers).
Once you have analyzed a hulk or captured ship with unknown technologies on it
you are allowed to build copies of it.
Disposing of a Hulk
After having finished with the HULK you may wish to dispose of it by using
the decommission order ("de"), this will generate some BURPS at the HULKS
location as long as there are some eco levels present.
An alternative to decommissioning the HULK when you have analyzed it is to
instead give it the "fi" (fix) order. This will repair the HULK and make
it into a fully functional spaceship again. You can only do this if the world
that it is on has enough BURPS to afford to fix it. The price is 50% of the
amount that it would cost to build the spaceship excluding
undeveloped technology cost modifiers.
Swapping Technology by Building Hulks
You may also build your own HULKS. The purpose of this is to be able to
swap technology with other empires or to give them a powerful spaceship
that they would not be able to create themselves. HULKS are built for 60%
of the price that a spaceship of the same design would cost including undeveloped
technology cost modifiers. The empire that you give this hulk to will then
also be able to fix this hulk and have a working spaceship very soon. Usually
this is not the best way to swap technology. The best way is to use data
crystals which are small and cheap.
Note that it is not possible to build spaceships or HULKS if they contain
technology that you have not developed or at least have as a theoretical
possibility. The way that you can obtain this is by analyzing a hulk or
spaceship that has that technology, or through the normal process of
technological research. For more information see