Tim's Galaxy Tips and Tricks

Written by Tim Hughes

Game Phases

Initial Expansion

The young Galaxy when all worlds except homeworlds are empty is usually characterised by very rapid expansion and claiming of territory. There are three common strategies

  1. Rapid colonisation and exploitation of all local worlds.
  2. Colonisation of a small number of worlds which are very rapidly developed.
  3. Construction of a fleet and assaulting a neighbouring race.

Local Conflicts

As the number of empty worlds diminishes the pressures between empires rise and local conflicts break out. A number of races will not survive.

Middle Game

The larger empires begin to form as do important alliances and power structures. Technology will usually start to rise as will the size of fleets.

The End Game

Eventually either one player or an alliance of players will gain sufficient momentum to overcome all others.

Basic Skills

Order Processing and Turn Evaluation

The order of phases within a Galaxy turn is as follows:-

Points of particular note are:-

Controlling ship groups

Issuing Multiple Orders to a Group of Transports

For beginners the most tricky problem encountered in Galaxy ship control is how to split groups and control the fragments. Consider the player with a group of 10 transports (number 123) who wishes to load 3 with COL and send them to A, load 4 with CAP and send them to B and upgrade the rest. The important guiding principles to remember are:-

So in the example the player would issue the following orders:-

Moving and Fighting

Units which are ordered to move do not fight in any battles at their world of origin. They are deemed to enter hyperspace before the initial combat phase

Routes and Autounload

Routes are very useful for keeping ones empire running smoothly, especially when it gets large. However, routes are also useful in the initial phase when rapid colonisation of worlds and efficient use of transports is required. There are several points worth noting about routes:-

Dormant positions

It is an unfortunate fact of Galaxy life that some players will give up part way through a game. Some players never get started, others give up after a few turns and some give up when the going gets tough. These positions can be a goldmine particularly when they are poorly defended.

Ship Design


The classic unarmed scout design is:-

Drone 1 0 0 0 0

Which is both cheap and the fastest design you can build.


The different type of transport which are commonly used are


Battle Mechanics

A good way to understand the mix of designs present in a balanced fleet is to consider the possible phases of a Galaxy battle:-

Of course, some battles result in stalemate after the Flak Clearance phase, especially if lightly gunned and heavily screened raiders are involved. In other cases the key exchanges occur early resulting in a one phase Flak Clearance battle. Border skirmishes in the early game often consists only of a Core Battle where two or three units on each side just slug it out.

Battles are not symmetrical in their phases. The aim in Galaxy fleet design and deployment is to progress to the Core Battle and Final Exchanges as rapidly as possible whilst restricting the enemy to the Flak Clearance phase.

Ship Calculations

The single most important calculation for warships is the effective strength of their shields. This is not stated explicitly in the Galaxy Rules. Rather it stems from rearrangement of the p[Kill] equation.

Effective Shield Strength =

(ShieldMass * ShieldTech * BattleMagic) / CubeRoot(ShipMass)

where BattleMagic = CubeRoot(30) = 3.107232505954

As a guideline here are some typical ship masses and the effective shields strengths by the percentage of ships mass devoted to shields.

Ship Mass Shield %age Effective Shield Strength
1 100 3.1072
5 20 1.8171
  30 2.7257
  50 4.5428
  100 9.0856
20 10 2.2894
  20 4.5788
  30 6.8682
  50 11.4471
  100 22.8942
50 10 4.2172
  20 8.4343
  30 12.6515
  50 21.0858
  100 42.1716
99 10 6.6496
  20 13.2993
  30 19.9489
  40 26.5985
  50 33.2481
  60 39.8977
  70 46.5474
  80 53.1970
  90 59.8466
  100 66.4963
198 10 10.5556
  30 31.6669
  50 52.7781
  100 105.5562

The important things to note here are the 100% shield levels for the mass 99 and 198 ships (you could also calculate 297 and 396) these give an idea of the size of weapons needed to guard against being outgunned by a very heavily shielded enemy ship.


The mechanics of Galaxy combat are simple. The random allocation of targets means that fleets can benefit from the presence of expendable screening units. Consider two fleets with a small warship each. If one side adds, say 10, flak units its chances of victory are vastly enhanced. The cheapest flak is the "1 0 0 0 0", however this is easily destroyed and in the long term is not much good. More useful is 1 0 0 1 0 or any variation X 0 0 Y 0 (where X and Y are adjusted to give an appropriate mix of speed and shield strength). As the game progresses you will need a ready supply of hundreds of units of flak supporting your main battle fleets.

Battle Ships

A classification of the units typically used in Galaxy as follows:-

Primary Guns

Primary guns are typically mounted on large warships of mass 99 or greater. Some typical designs are:-

Staff        33.0000 1 33.0000 33.0000 0.0000
Defender30S  25.0000 1 30.0700 44.9300 0.0000
Squid        33.0000 2 30.0000 21.0000 0.0000
C236         40.0000 1 36.0000 32.0000 0.0000
White_Knight 30.0000 1 30.0000 39.0000 0.0000
Base72        0.0000 1 35.0000 32.7000 0.0000
HomeDef       0.0000 1 50.0000 49.0000 0.0000

Secondary Guns

Secondary guns can be singly mounted on small ships or heavily shielded or fast large ships. Multiple secondary armaments are common on larger ships. Some typical designs are:-

Basilisk  42.0000 3 16.0000 25.0000 0.0000
BC1       30.0000 3 15.0000 30.0000 0.0000
Rhino     30.0000 3 15.0000 30.0000 0.0000
Swift     55.0000 2 15.0000 21.5000 0.0000
Sabre     34.0000 1 15.0000 50.0000 0.0000
Octopus   33.0000 9 10.0000 16.0000 0.0000
Dix       33.0000 7 10.0000 26.0000 0.0000
6Shooter  33.0000 6 10.0000 31.0000 0.0000
Charger   44.0000 2 10.0000 40.0000 0.0000
Guardian   0.0000 3  9.0000 81.0000 0.0000
Epee      20.0000 4  8.0000 21.0000 0.0000
Raider    14.0000 1  8.0000 11.0000 0.0000
Gboat      2.0000 1  7.0000  4.4600 0.0000
HCM5      16.5000 2  5.6000  8.0000 0.0000
Wolf       5.0000 2  5.0000  5.0000 0.0000
Gun2       5.0000 1  5.0000  6.5000 0.0000

Tertiary Guns

Tertiary guns can be mounted on very small ship or flak. There most common occurrence is on larger ships in very large multiple installations. Some typical designs are:-

H1B1            0.0000 137 1.0000 30.0000 0.0000
Pepper2        33.0000  89 1.0000 21.0000 0.0000
Wiper          33.0000  79 1.0000 26.0000 0.0000
Swatter        33.0000  65 1.0000 33.0000 0.0000
Router         44.0000  33 1.0000 38.0000 0.0000
Gunship25x1-6S  6.3600  25 1.0000  5.6800 0.0000
Incisor         3.0000   1 1.0000  1.0000 0.0000
Speck           0.0000   1 1.0000  0.0000 0.0000
Flek            1.0000   1 1.0000  0.0000 0.0000
Cleaner        33.0000  53 1.5000 25.5000 0.0000
H1B2            0.0000  68 2.0000 30.0000 0.0000
H2M3b          60.0000  59 3.0000 50.0000 0.0000
Battle2        33.0000  21 3.0000 33.0000 0.0000
Attack1        21.0000   1 3.0000  9.0000 0.0000
Scout           5.0000   1 3.0000  6.0000 0.0000
Nipper          2.0000   1 1.3000  1.6000 0.0000

Raiders and Specials

From time to time peculiar situations arise which can be exploited using special ship designs. Differences in technology frequently play an important part in the design of specials. Here are some special situations and the designs used to exploit them:-

Guardian 0 3 9 81 0

Swift 20.5 1 1 28 0

Pack 4.1 0 0 0 1

Sting 15.5 1 1 3 0


Total War

Galaxy is a game of total war. In order to defeat all of its opponents an empire will need to carefully marshall all of its resources. Broadly there are three skills on which an empire must concentrate:-


The most basic point is that you should talk to your neighbours, near and far. It is exceptionally difficult to fight successfully more than one opponent at once. An empire's diplomacy must be aimed at:-


An empire must develop an adequate industrial base where fleets can be constructed and technology researched. In general an empire with greater industry will eventually overcome its enemy, assuming that its military deployment is not rash. The balance between fleet construction and technology research is delicate  The benefits of technology can be summarised as follows:-

In developing an empire's industrial base it is necessary:-


An empire will need balanced fleets able to deal with both the immediate threats and new situations which may develop. It can be helpful to identify key worlds in a region. Key worlds are those usually with high economic value which also afford good staging positions from which fleets can reach a variety of nearby worlds.

In general a smaller empire must consider attacking a larger belligerent neighbour on his own territory. Lightly defended worlds, if they exist, must be destroyed or at least harassed. Larger empires are faced with a greater area to defend and it is sometimes possible that they have overextended their resources. It is necessary to try to reduce their industrial base as they will surely destroy you if allowed to develop their empire to its full potential undisturbed.

Raiding can be an effective strategy. Raiding can either use specialist ships or perhaps a small fleet of five or six battleships plus flak. Raiding forces should move quickly from world to world destroying what they can before they are trapped into a pitched battle. A heavy raiding force can be used to divert enemy resources ahead of or in combination with a major offensive.