Fleet / Resource Saving
Fleet Saving is the act of sending your ships and resources on missions for set periods of time in order to protect them from attack while you are not actively playing the game. This could be while you are sleeping, at work, or any other time you are away from the game for an extended period of time.
The term Resource Saving generally refers to the same technique, but means adding your resources to the equation.
This technique is an important part of Starfleet Commander, unless one is in Neutrality (p) Mode, Diplomacy Mode or Vacation Mode. (Diplomacy mode is not available in Starfleet Commander Hired Guns, Conquest, Nova, or Extreme; Vacation Mode is not available in Conquest or Nova.) If you are not protected by one of these modes, you are open to attack at any time, and eventually someone will destroy your ships and plunder your resources.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you should always have enough cargo space to hold all of your resources during a fleet save, in order to leave as little as possible on your planet while you are away. So make sure you have enough cargo space to hold all of your precious resources. Cargo ships like Atlas Class, Hercules Class and Carmanor Class hold the most resources for the build and fuel costs. Zagreus Class and Dionysus Class also have high cargo capacity and allow using harvest mission to FRS.
Fleet / Resource Saving - Long Duration
There are 4 basic techniques used to save your fleet / resources:
- Send your fleet and resources on a harvest mission, by either clicking on a debris field in the Galaxy Screen, or by manually entering coordinates (go to the Fleets screen, type in the coordinates of the planet you want to Harvest from, and make sure "Harvest" is selected in the options). This is the most optimal method, as it allows your fleet and resources to return to the originating planet.
- This method requires a recycler, either Zagreus Class or Dionysus Class.
- In most cases, you will want to click the "Select All" button to select all of your ships, and the "Max" buttons beside all resource types to include them as well.
- Note the displayed time is the time it takes to get to the debris field or harvest coordinates, so if you need to be away from the game for 8 hours, send the mission on a 4 hour trip. You can send the mission on a 30+ hour trip within your own system, so in most cases that should be enough. If you need more, send it a number of systems away, or even to another galaxy (though at this point you may want to consider Diplomacy Mode).
- This is perhaps the most effective/efficient method, as it can be used to both Fleet-Save and Resource-Save at the same time, as you can send all/any other ships on a harvest mission as long as one Zagreus or Dionysus is included in the fleet. It also requires no further actions from the player. Just select a time that is half what you need the fleet and resources to be saved, and the job is done. Also, as the Zagreus, and especially the Dionysus is rather slow (in comparison to other ships) the fleet can be sent only a short distance while also achieving a long mission duration, resulting in a relatively small hydrogen consumption. The reduction in hydrogen consumption can be further improved on by decreasing the speed of the fleet. An ideal mission to FS and RS would be done at 10% speed while at the same time lasting the desired time, resulting in the minimum cost while also achieving the desired time-frame. It also has the advantage that oracles can not detect harvest missions, so your FS/RS fleet can not be seen in transit, so a raid can not be timed to land just after your fleet & resources arrive back.
- Deploy your ships and resources from one planet to another. This method can be used when you want to deploy these ships to a different planet than which they came from.
- Adjust the flight time to fit the time that you will be away from SFC. Your ships and resources will stop at the destination planet, so there will be no return trip.
- Use the Transport function. Using this function will send your ships out, drop the resources off at the target planet, and return your ships to the origin planet.
- Note that your resources will be deposited at your destination planet, and keep in mind that they will be vulnerable to plunder while your ships return to the origin planet. If Transport is your only option (such as when you do not have any colonies), you can send your fleet on a long trip to another players planet, and recall it when you get back. You will however have to wait for the same duration as the fleet was gone.
- Adjust the flight time to half the time that you will be away from SFC, as this is a return trip. If you want an 8 hour save, decrease the time to a 4 hour trip.
- Find an inactive player with (i) or (I) next to their name. Use an espionage mission to make sure they don't have any ships or defences at the target planet, and attack them with a return trip duration that suits your needs.
- You cannot send resources with an attack mission, so this method will only save your ships. If using this method for your ships, you will probably want to use one of the other methods above to save your resources.
- Keep in mind there is a a possibility, however unlikely, that the inactive player will come on-line while your attack is en route, or a player could group defend the inactive and destroy your fleet.
In all cases, the hydrogen cost of the mission is minimized when slower speeds are used, both by turning down the speed percentage, and by including at least one of the slowest possible ships. So, for instance, even if you are using Zagreus for most harvesting, you may want to build a Dionysus (when available) to reduce FRS cost. Zeus Class is slowest ship in the game, apart from Hephaestus Class Attack Platform, which opens an additional method of FRS: simply load all ships and resources onto it and deploy.
Fleet / Resource Saving - Attack Avoidance
A variation of any of these methods is a way to avoid losses if you are actually on-line at the time of the attack. You can select a harvest, deploy or transport mission and select all your ships and as much resources as you can carry and execute the mission moments before the attacking fleet arrives. After the attack is over, you can recall the fleet. If you do a harvest mission to your own planet, and the attacker has timed poorly, you can pick up resources left when his ships hit your defences. If you do not have a recycler, you can just deploy your ships to their current planet and they'll spend a few minutes in orbit while the attacker gets nothing but your defenses.
Resource Saving - Build/Research
Spending your resources on ships or defenses, or tying them up in buildings or research are also effective ways of saving them. Buildings and research can be cancelled, making them easy ways to temporarily protect your resources.