The Blitz tournament currently underway is a different format than Blitz. It has Campaign advantages enabled, which significantly changes the race balance (see Campaign Blitz guide). The tournament also has twice as many planets (30) and a bigger map. This gives it a much lower planet density (closeness together of planets). This means you need warp 9 engines because you must travel longer distances than in normal Blitz games. This tournament also has more natives (80% of planets have natives instead of 55%). This means you have more MC in this game to spend than normal.
Blitz is a 1 on 1 short game (average 15-30 turns), with 16 planets instead of the usual 500. It can be played at Planets Nu. Blitz games will end when a player resigns, a player misses three turns in a row, or one player has 90% military score. Playing Blitz will not affect your tenacity.
It is a great way to learn the game for new players. This is because you get quick feedback for your decisions, instead of having to wait many turns (which can take weeks) before your learn if your decisions were good or bad. Because resources are limited, it also forces you to make the best use of resources that you can, which teaches you how to make ships in an efficient way. Blitz also lets you play more games, because the games are quite short. This gives you more opportunities to try different races and new strategies.
- These games do not have Massive Meteor Impacts (https://planets.uservoice.com/forums/136520-general/suggestions/2485223-massive-meteors-should-never-be-in-blitz-games).
Tips for Playing Blitz
- It is usually best to stick with warp 7 engines. Upgrading to Tech 10 engines is very expensive (2400 MC), and warp 9 engines cost a lot more minerals and MC. When needed, you can always overdrive your warp 7 engines to warp 8 or 9. Since big carriers have more engines, warp 5 engines work well since they're cheap, and they can be overdriven to warp 8 in a pinch (with virtually the same fuel efficiency as warp 6 or warp 7 engines!). You'll usually want to tow a carrier with a faster ship anyway, so you can use even cheaper engines if you want.
- Economize! Only build what you need. Do not waste minerals on high-tech beams if you don't need them. Do not waste money on engines if you don't need them. (E.g. a defending ship can have warp 1 or warp 5 engines, which are cheap). Do not put Mk. 7 torps on your ships if you can't afford the MC.
- Rush strategies usually work well.
- Avoid over-expanding and over-investing in planets. It is difficult to defend your planets in Blitz, so pick a couple planets that are important and defend them. You usually want to defend planets with good natives. To defend against ground combat races (Lizard & Fascist), defend your high-income native planets by putting a lot of clans on them or maintaining minefields. Expanding too far and building too many mines will cost you a lot of MC which could be used to build ships instead.
- Don't be surprised if an enemy tech 10 Warship arrives at your Homeworld by turn 7 and sometimes even earlier. Monitor the scoreboard to look at the military score of your opponent. This can inform you if your opponent has built a large ship that turn. (The Military Score Calculator can help you estimate what size of ship an enemy has built.)
- In general, you don't need a second starbase. There are exceptions to this rule, however. (E.g. Fascists can benefit from more starbases because this allows them to build many D19b glory device ships.)
- Every time a native planet is conquered, the native population is reduced by 25%. To avoid losing too many natives, avoid re-taking a native planet with ship combat. Instead, drop clans on it, which will not reduce the native population.
- Plan ahead to have resources to keep building a ship every turn. It's easy to run out of Duranium or Molybdenum (or Tri if you are a carrier race).
Suggested opening strategy
- Use your MDSF to go to a planet within one jump at warp 9. Try to go to a more distant planet (close to 81 LY), since your other ships will have warp 7 engines and can't explore as far as the MDSF. Load 100 clans, 100 supplies and 700 MC so you can build factories and mines as soon as possible. (Use BDM friendly code to drop MC on same turn as clans/supplies).
- Consider an offensive rush by building an attack ship on your first turn.
- If you do not rush, build an LDSF to find a native planet as soon as possible. If there are no planets within 49 LY, you can probably overdrive to warp 8 or 9. (Some races might prefer to build a warship with a big cargo for colonizing instead, such as an Emerald or Nebula).
- On your homeworld, build max factories and mines. (If you are Lizard, you won't need as many mines; 200 is fine).
- On your first turn, tax your homeworld to -30 happiness. After that, let the population grow until happiness returns to 100. This will help your population grow, and increase your tax income quickly. In practice, you will need to tax whenever you need money, so it's OK to tax before happiness returns to 100.
- The best races in Blitz are arguably Lizards and Rebels. Robots, Feds and Fascists are also competitive.
- Evil Empire and Cyborg are considered the weakest races in Blitz. Crystals are difficult to win with, but playable (build small webmine fields instead of big ones).
- Avoid Privateer if you don't want a Rock-Scissors-Paper game. They are easily beaten by Fed, Lizard and Fascist.
Build Mk. 7 torps early, since you can afford them with double tax income. Deploy minefields to protect against cloakers. A Missouri rush is a reasonable strategy. Be sure to build a ship every turn--you can build ships with cheap engines/weapons early and upgrade them later the super refit mission, when you have more money/minerals.
Use your LCCs to do ground attacks and freighter raids to disrupt their economy. You can use your economic advantages to overwhelm an opponent. E.g. by spamming T-Rex's with warp 7, x-rays and Mk. 4 torps. Since your ships can take 150% damage, it will cost your opponent more MC to kill a T-rex than it costs for you to build it.
Birds are a bit weak, but can win with a skilled player. Building a Dark Wing (warp 7, heavy blasters, mk.4) on your first turn works well as a rush. Load 100 supplies on your Dark Wing in case of a mine hit, which will allow you to stay cloaked and able to raid his weak ships. You can use Swifties to change your opponent's planets' friendly codes to BUM, which will steal his money. To defeat carrier races, cloak-intercept his carriers, then tow them to your starbase, where a Dark Wing + Starbase combo can defeat the carrier. You can also simply tow his carriers away with a ship that runs out of fuel, and then is refueled by a cloaked ship doing a cloak-intercept mission.
Pillage is a great mission. If you can pillage your opponent's homeworld once, that will probably win the game. Pillaging opponent's native planets is also a great way to cripple his economy. Your cloakers can effectively raid his economy, by attacking freighters or with ground attack. Use D7s for ground attack. Deth Specs are good for mine sweeping, attacking starbases and early game rushes. Glory devices are great vs. cloaking races, and can also ruin an opponent's homeworld or native planets. Use glory devices with your Vickies to make up for their weakness.
Rock-Paper-Scissors race. Against a competent opponent, you should always lose vs. Feds, Lizards, Birds and Fascists. Robots might be an even match, since they have large mine fields which restrict your movement (and hence your ability to rob). You can easily beat Crystals by spamming Meteors with disruptors and no torps (to avoid giving them a cloaked minelayer if captured). You have a good chance to win vs. the other carrier races and Cyborg.
While considered very weak, the Cyborg are not totally hopeless in the hands of a skilled player. One strategy is to use your Fireclouds to rush the enemy. To rush, build 2 Fireclouds, then an Annihilation (with cheap engines, plasmas and Mk.4 torps). Send your first FC forward without being seen (you may need to overdrive). To avoid your FC being spotted and killed, send the Anni up with chunnel after a couple turns. You can tow the rest of the way (use beam up fuel mission) or else try another chunnel. It is important to defend your large assimilated native planets, since if your colony is destroyed, your millions of colonists will be killed. It is possible to win the game with only 1 or 2 colonies (easier to defend), as long as those planets have the minerals you need. Dropping clans on your opponent's native planets can also assimilate his natives, thus ruining his income. Be careful chunneling from your homeworld, since any newly built ships will be chunneled away after being built.
Unlike big games, in Blitz you cannot usually win with large webs because your econ is small and they're too easy to sweep. The exception is when there's an ion storm, which makes them unsweepable and therefore devastating. A well-timed web field with an ion storm can win you the game. Otherwise, don't expect to capture many enemy ships with large webmine fields. Use Opals to lay many small minefields to delay and frustrate your enemy and defend your colonies. To win the game you will probably need conventional forces to win, so build Emeralds and Diamond Flames. Make sure you have a lot of Moly, or you won't be able to build Diamond Flames.
Arguably the weakest Blitz race. Your best hope to win is to rush. Since you have Dark Sense, you will know exactly where the enemy's homeworld is, and not waste time finding it. On your first turn, you can build an SSD with warp 9 and Heavy Blasters and try to rush his homeworld for an imperial assault mission (bring the 30 starbase fighters along). Alternatively, you can try to tow a Gorbie to his homeworld, and use Starbase Fighter Transfer to send some fighters forward to it later. Realistically, EE doesn't have much chance against a skilled player.
Your large minefield bonus is very powerful. Consider building a Cat's Paw on your first turn with 157 Mk.4 torps (maximum minefield size) and sending it up to lay a large minefield near your opponent. This can impair your opponent severely in the early game. This forces them to spend time and resources on good minesweepers instead of colonizing or attacking. If your opponent does not prepare sweepers, they can find themselves with freighters destroyed/damaged from mine hits, and unable to sweep mines due to lack of resources. Laying mines will buy you time to colonize and find duranium to build carriers. You can use your Cat's Paw to scoop the minefield back up to impede the opponent's sweeping efforts, then re-deploy at a later time hoping to catch his ships in transit. Rushing with an Insturmentality is another possible strategy (especially if your opponent expects you to lay minefields instead), but is arguably riskier.
Your best advantages are Rebel Ground Attack and your planet immunity. If you can find opponent's homeworld, a single turn of RGA mission can ruin their homeworld's econ and win the game. If you are fighting another carrier race, having RGA and planet immunity forces the opponent to defend with ships and to set primary enemy, which gives you left side advantage. This advantage is decisive against other carriers. You can also use Falcons to HYP to your opponent's worlds, possibly succeeding in an RGA against a crucial planet, and scouting where their homeworld might be.
Colonies are a respectable Blitz race but weaker than Rebels since they lack RGA. Defending your colonies with Virgos might be difficult since you will need several colonies for different resources and you will not have many Virgos. An early rush with a Virgo towed by a cobol is a reasonable strategy, especially since you can sweep any minefields in your way with your fighter minesweeping ability.
Bugs / Issues
Occasionally when you start a Blitz game, the map is uneven. In extreme cases, you will see 4 planets on one side of the map, and 12 on the opposite side. In this case, delete the game and re-create a new one. In general, it is best practice to check a game's starmap before another player joins, to make sure the map is fair. If it seems very uneven, you can delete the game (only before turn 2) and re-create a new one, with no penalty.