Attack fleet construction guide
From Starfleet CommanderAtlas:
The fastest transport ship made available after Pulse 5. Although its cargo capacity is small, don't underestimate its power in speed. It's speed is equivalent to that of the Apollo after Pulse 5. For situations where a fast strike is needed, the Atlas is perfect for the job.
A slower transport ship, however with a higher cargo capacity. If your fleet contains Ares or Prometheus, use the Hercules over the Atlas. In all other cases, use the Atlas. However, if you just want to transport resources from planet to planet, the Hercules provides less hassle.
The most inexpensive combat ship, also one of the fastest and makes for great cannon fodder to draw fire away from your bigger, and more powerful ships.
The second most inexpensive combat ship. While it is slower than the Artemis, it also is stronger and tends to last longer than its smaller counterpart. The Artemis and the Apollo aren't really used to destroy enemy ships either way. Apollo's are another source of cannon fodder.
The fastest ship by far made available to you. It works great for situations where you need to strike a target in quick succession. It has rapid fire capabilities against Artemis and Missile Batteries, making it the perfect choice against targets who favor Missile Batteries as their primary line of defense, or targets who like to use salvos of Artemis to blanket the crossfire against your opponents' more powerful ships.
Probably the one ship that will make up a large part of your fleet. The biggest downside with the Athena is that it barely has any rapid fire capabilities, although it packs a punch in firepower. It's also one of the only ships that doesn't need hydro to construct, making it easily the one ship that is easily produced in great numbers. It is also the second fastest ship in the fleet.
Fleet destroyers. They have rapid fire capabilities against Atlases, Hercules, Apollo's, Poseidon's, and Athena's. Its speed is the same as that of the Athena making it great for semi-fast attack runs. Its shield output is the second best of all the ships. The downside with the Hades, its firepower is significantly less than than most warships making it particularly weak against Ares and Prometheus.
The biggest downside to this Ship, of course is the speed. It is best to build it, after you have Warp 8. It is the slowest combat ship by far, which is understandable of why a lot of people tend to avoid building it, but don't underestimate its power either because it has its uses against other fleets as well. It has rapid fire capabilities against Missile Batteries, Lasers, Pulses, and Particles which saves the hassle of having spent thousands, possibly millions on IPM's. In the fleet, notice how the Ares and Prometheus have the highest shield output of all your ships. (With the exception of the Zeus of course). Shields recharge to full after every round. Thus your Ares can absorb a ton of damage, enough to make your other, bigger and more powerful ships to last longer in battle. The Ares also has a higher hull rating making it much harder to destroy and makes for a perfect meat shield. It is also one of the ships that the Hades does not have rapid fire against.
The only ship that has rapid fire against the Hades. It also has rapid fire against Lasers. Its shield strength matches itself evenly against the Ares and it also has a greater hull rating than most ships and it packs the most punch. Although the Prometheus lacks rapid fire capability, its high firepower is enough to make it slightly effective in the field against both fleets and defenses alike despite its slow nature.
Of course, by far the most powerful, slowest, expensive, and insane ship possible. It has rapid fire over literally everything except Plasma's. One thing of note. A person only needs a minimum of 7 Plasma's to make a 100% draw with a Zeus assuming that both sides have close to the same weapons, armor, and shield tech levels. The defender would need a minimum of 35 Plasma's under the same conditions to destroy a Zeus. In situations such as these, it makes sense to use IPM's to destroy the Plasma's. Once the Plasma's are down, send in your fleet. The Zeus is incredibly slow, but it also makes for a great fleetsaving tool and self-defense mechanism.
Getting started once your first ships are built
When you start the game, it can seem quite long before you start to accumulate decent amounts of ressources to build your mines, ships, pay for new researches and defenses. Here are tips for newbies for a quick start in the game.
Step 1: Get about Level 5+ AI
Step 2: Build about 20 Atlas
Step 3: Build about 20 Probes
Step 4: Get up early in the AM
Step 5: Probe inactive players around your location - keep an eye out for "ind" status.
Step 6: Launch Atlases @ juicy, undefended targets. Remember, you get 1/2 res - so, if they have 10K res, you send 1 Atlas. If they have 20K res, you send 2 Atlas. And so on.
Step 7: Wait for the "battle" reports (no battle because they're undefended.)