Ships and Combat
Flagships and Supports
Two distinct types of ships exist in Star Ruler 2:
Flagships are large ships that can operate and be given orders independently. A flagship is at the core of each of your fleets.
Support Ships are smaller specialized ships that are always assigned to a Leader. They cannot operate independently and are generally assigned to flagships or planets.
In order for a support ship to be assigned to a leader, the leader must have enough remaining Capacity. A flagship's blueprint decides how many supports it can sustain in its fleet.
Ship construction usually happens on planets. The planet uses its local Labor generation to pay the ship's Labor Cost over time. When the full labor cost is paid, the ship is completed and appears in the planet's orbit.
To construct a flagship, double click a planet and click a flagship in the ships build list on the right.
With a flagship building, click one of the support ships to add 10 of that design to the fleet under construction. Support ships are built in parallel to flagships and may not all finish before the flagship does. In that case, remaining supports are added to the fleet as ordered supports and constructed while it remains in the system.
Flagships and other leaders that are already finished can still order new supports, transfer supports to other leaders and scuttle their existing supports.
If a fleet has supports ordered to be constructed for it, they will be automatically created over time by any planets or shipyards you control in the system the fleet is in.
If support ships die, they are recorded as 'ghost' support ships in the fleet; the fleet remembers its original composition so that it can easily be refreshed.
Double click a fleet to manage its support ships. Each type of support ship in the fleet will be represented by a separate group box.
To transfer support ships between fleets, select the first fleet and right click the fleet to transfer to, then select the 'Transfer Support Ships' option. You can drag the support group boxes between the fleets to transfer them, and use the scroll wheel while dragging to change the amount of ships being dragged.
Ships will automatically fire on hostiles in range, and fleets not told to hold position will try to attack other fleets near them.
Damage is dealt roughly from the direction the shot came from. Damage will hit hexes in a line, continuing until all the damage has been dealt or the line exits the opposite side of the ship. Ships are destroyed when their last bridge tile is destroyed and they can no longer be controlled. A ship's aggregate total hitpoints is provided as a convenience, but does not directly determine its survival.
Aside from individual ship hitpoints, an orange fleet Combat Strength bar is provided. This strength value is based on the health and average damage output that the fleet currently has.
When a leader gets destroyed, its support ships will try to find nearby leaders to join instead. If there are no leaders with free support capacity left the support ships will eventually expire and be destroyed, being unable to sustain themselves independently.
Every fleet also has a Supply bar. Supply represents an excess of materials, fuels and ammunitions required for combat operations.
Supply is drained by ships firing their weapons or by laying siege to a planet. Fleets regain supply while they are in systems you control that are not currently contested.
Fleets that get below 50% of their supply capacity start losing effectiveness: losing damage output, repair rate, and other various elements of their operations. Fleets that reach 0 supply will still operate but will do so at half their normal effectiveness.
Colonized planets have Loyalty. Loyalty represents the level of resistance a planet's population will show to being taken over by a different empire.
Planets primarily gain loyalty when upgraded to a higher level and by having high level planets near them. Planets close to an empire's center are thus harder to conquer.
If a planet's loyalty is reduced to 0 by an enemy it can be claimed. Reducing loyalty to take over a planet is the standard means of capturing a planet.
When at war with an empire you can conquer their planets by laying siege to them.
A fleet positioned in an enemy planet's gravity well will automatically lay siege to it. Besieging a planet is a big drain on a fleet's supply and fleets without supply cannot lay siege to planets. If multiple fleets are sieging the same enemy planet the supply drain will be spread between them.
Allied fleets in a gravity well protect against sieges and prevent loyalty from being lost until they are destroyed.
After a planet has reached 0 loyalty, right click it and select 'Claim Planet Ownership' to convert it to your empire.
Planets that generate Defense automatically produce support ships in their gravity well. These support ships can be transferred and used in the same ways as regularly constructed supports, but are produced completely free of charge and cost no maintenance.
A planet with defense can be ordered to produce defense ships for a different system. Supports produced this way are spawned on planets in the target system rather than the source planet. Planets can only export Defense to systems they can trade to.
To target a system for defense construction, select a planet with Defense and right click the star of the system you want it to produce support ships for. Select 'Build defense for system...' to begin exporting the planet's defense generation.
Exporting defense is a great way to arm your frontier systems without breaking your budget and can be used to replenish fleets if they suffer losses in combat.
A system's glow is an indicator for the state of the system:
Contested - Combat is happening in this system.
Conquering! - You are laying siege to enemy planets in this system.
Under Siege! - Enemies have besieged your planets in this system.
Protected - This system is protected from sieges.