The Crystal Confederation

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The Crystal Confederation race icon from VGA Planets Nu

The Crystal People are a silicon based life forms about 3 foot tall, with no limbs and a metallic color. They have two large glowing eyes in the middle of their polyhedron form.

Larger Crystalline ships are moderately powerful and tend to favor beam type weapons. They have several small ship types that are useful in exploring planets and capturing freighters.

Their main weapon of choice is the dreaded web minefield. They use these fields to trap enemy vessels, drain them of fuel and then tow the victim home after it is out of fuel to force it to surrender using a tow capture.

Race Characteristics

  • Can lay Web space mines that entrap enemy ships and drain fuel.
  • Web mine immunity. Crystalline players can never be web drained, and can never strike a web mine!
  • Have a Terraforming ship that heat up planets to 100°C. The Onyx Class Frigate
  • Likes desert worlds.
  • Can Tow Capture fuelless ships.
  • Can not clone ships.
  • Population immune to Glory Device

Strategy Guides

The Scorpius War. A crystalline war log by SpaceSquad

Racial Abilities

  • Lay Web Mines

Will convert torpedoes into Deep space Web mines that entrap enemy ships and drain fuel.

  • Tow Capture

Try to tow mission will board and take control of fuelless ships, requires two engines. Can be prevented by using FC 'nbr'.

Campign-mode Advantages:

Ability to lay mines (or web mines if the webmine advantage is active) from starbases.

Ship List

See The master ship list for a list of The Crystal Confederation ships.

Important Ships

  • Opal Class Torpedo Boat: This ship has two main purposes that are often combined - as a scout, and as a web tender. Generally built with Mark 4 or 7 torps (depending on cash/mineral supply), it is practically never used for combat, save for capturing freighters via an x-ray laser and the "ntp" friendly code. One of the most useful functions of this ship occurs late in the game when it is often handy to "adjust" a large webfield a small amount to prevent invading ships from minesweeping it from the edge. This is best done by an Opal (with perhaps a few items in its hold) sweeping said minefiend with the "msc" friendly code, thus shrinking the field by a tiny but well controlled amount. This technique can bring even the largest fleets to a virtual standstill.
  • Ruby Class Light Cruiser: This is your workhorse! With 370kt cargo it more useful then a MDSF. You can use it for tow capture and web mine support.
  • Emerald Class Battlecruiser: This is your linebacker! You can use it for nearly everything, Cargo Transfer( 510kt Cargo), Web Mine laying and fighthing. With its 8 beam / 3 Torps you can take out all non Borg, non Starbase planets.
  • Onyx Class Frigate: This ship is generally built in groups for the purpose of heating important planets, but also can be used in the same manner as the Opals, except with greater firepower and minesweeping capabilities. Even if sacrificed to destroy a small or medium carrier's fighter supply, it often will pay for itself (though if that is its only function, a Garnet might serve better).
  • Diamond Flame Class Battleship: Expensive in Moly, but worth. Can kill all midsize torpers. Best used in Combo with a Crystal Thunder. Build some with Distruptors and Gamma bombs to capture enemy Cobolts and Fireclouds.


Overall Strategy

Web Mines

Strategic Webmines to secure a front line
Tactical Webmines to trap and capture a Baseship

Web mines are the most feared weapon a Crystal player has. They are best for strategic defence as they are hard to sweep. There are various strategies for how to best deploy web mines.

Generally speaking, several small overlapping fields are most awkward for an enemy to navigate, but there are also times when a large one with a ship to "tend" it (see Opals above) proves even more effective.

Also note that it is possible to lay concentric web fields by laying them in different race IDs via the "mi*" friendly code (though the web drain in such cases is not cumulative, only the chance of striking a mine), and that web drain affects ships orbiting planets and/or ships that have yet to actually strike a webmine (but are of course within a web field).

Early Game

Care and feeding the planets

As Crystal your clans grow best at 100°C but you are also able to maintain more clans on cold planets (1° to 14°) than all other races (beside the rebels). So how do you use this advantage?

Most players just drop 1 clan on non-native planets, they use a scout or a the initial MDSF to claim those rocks and plan to visit them some day later to build mines and factories. They usualy concentrate on the native planets and leave the rest aside. By turn 20 they are happy that they have +40planets in the scorelist, but in real, they have 20 productive native planets and 20 rocks with 1 clan.

As your webs are expensive, you need a strong eco, so you can not leave these rocks aside. As Crystalline, you have your Rubys and Emeralds that serve as exelent freighters. Your aim is to have 101 clans on every non native planets, so you can build 101 factories and 101 mines. Why 101?? Because the ratio of clans and factories is 1:1. If you want more factories you need far more clans. You can go to 200clans then your mines ration will still be 1:1 (200mines) but you will only be able to build 110 factories (1:1,8) As a Crystal you can support 101 clans on every planet that has more then 0°

How to get 101 clans on your rock?

During the first turns, you want to find your 10mio Bovinoid Unity planet, but you won´t. So make the best out of this 68°C rock with average minerals you just found. You have sent your initial MDSF with 160clans and 40 Supplies and drop 15 clans and 4 supplies, using the Growth Calculator to adjust the numbers. Its a basic start for a rock, they have supplies, they can grow and you can concentrate on the good native planets at first.

Later, if you have a ship available you can visit the rock again and "upgrade" it to 101clans and build 101 factories and mines. If you eco is running and you have free capacity on your freighters, you can even remove clans from a rock if they have grown to more then 101 clans. Remove the extra clans and bring to another rock that has less then 101 clans.






Most races are excellent allies for the Tholians - their web mining ability compliments every other race (except perhaps the Cylons), and every other race has either an economic (cash, fighters) or strategic (cloaking) ability that the Crystals are also in need of.

The Solar Federation

An excellent ally - the Tholians need cash for webfields, the Feds often need protection.

The Lizard Alliance

Also an excellent ally for similar reasons as the Fed.

The Empire of Birds

A great ally, as the Birds are often vulnerable alone, and a cloaking web layer is a Crystalline wet (er, dry?) dream.

The Fascist Empire

A great ally as well - can plunder for cash, can provide cloakers.

The Privateer Bands

The best possible ally, assuming the Tholians do not wish to simply destroy them instead (being arguably the race most capable of doing so).

The Cyborg

On paper, not a particularly compelling ally, but in practice they often prove one of the best - the Borg need protection to grow, and the Tholians need Cube Ship muscle and cash from the many fast growing Cyborg colonies.

The Crystal Confederation

The Evil Empire

A moderately useful alliance. The Empire lacks minelayers, but can provide a certain amount of fighters and of course Dark Sense.

The Robotic Imperium

A great alliance for the Tholians, but the Robots are generally not in great need of web mines unless facing the Colonies. In that case, however, it is a match made in the Heavens.

The Rebel Confederation

A decent alliance: fighters/Falconing/GTA(both for enemies and friends) for web mines. The Emerald is also a major upgrade for the Rebel's minesweepers.

The Missing Colonies of Man

Perhaps the best "free fighter" alliance: the Crystals gain all the obvious things (figs, Cobols, even Lady Royales) and if the Colonies are being ganged up on (as often happens), web mines can make a huge difference.



The Crystals are strong on defense, but their heavy fighting ships are not the heaviest or most cost effective. The Crystal theme has to be that the best offense is a good defense.

The Solar Federation

The Feds can upgrade their beams to sweep your minefields, and their second heaviest ship, the Missouri, is nearly the equal of the Crystal Diamond Flame heavy torpedo ship. However, the Fed fuel tanks are not that large and they lack the Neutronic Fuel Carrier for battle group support.

The Lizard Alliance

Your web mines can prevent the Lizard cloakers from getting in to drop clans on your planets. Overall though, the Lizards are a powerful race.

The Empire of Birds

The Birds have a good number of beams for webmine sweeping, but the webs can be a good defense against cloakers, since even being in the web minefield drains fuel.

The Fascist Empire

The Fascists have lots of beams on ships that are not that expensive. They are relatively well equipped to deal with you.

The Privateer Bands

Webmines are the best defense against the Privateers. And the Privateer ships don't have a lot of beams for sweeping. If you can take control of some of their ships and turn them back against them, they're in big trouble. However, be aware that if you have a Meteor out of fuel in a webmine field, there may be another waiting there to rob you when you come to tow.

The Cyborg

The Borg cubes have large enough tanks and enough beams to give you major problems. The webs are only going to slow them.

The Crystal Confederation

Because the crystals have web mine immunity, you'll have to fight other crystalline players some other way!

The Evil Empire

Imperial ships have a good number of beams.

The Robotic Imperium

The Robots can't counter-mine the webs, so you don't have to worry about that. Fuels is always scarce for the 'bots, but if they are fully fueled, they will have plenty of fuel to get through he web fields. However, Robot mine sweeping capability is poor.

The Rebel Confederation

The Rebels are dangerous to you because they have a limited capability to bypass the webs. The Falcon, if he does his calculations right, can jump directly onto your planets and perform Rebel Assault. You will have to counter this by having a ship defending each planet (e.g. Onyx, Opal, or Topaz, doesn't need to have full armament or good engines).

The Missing Colonies of Man

Fortunately the Colonial fighter minesweeping doesn't work against webs. However, the Colonials have Cobols to generate fuel on the move, and the Virgo has 10 beams.

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