(TEC) I now have a fleet of a Capital main battle ship, 6 frigates and some heavy close range cruisers. I'm in the process of making a second one of these fleets as it seems pretty effective at beating down their main force. My second fleet is the long range support one, made up of mostly missile frigates, undecided on a capital ship for it. My last fleet has a Capital spacecraft carrier and a few smaller carriers, kept way at the back. I also have a couple of repair ships, should I add these to fleets or keep them back?
Should I not go so crazy with capital ships? I just LOVE them and end up building the rest of the fleet around them.
If I were you, if you have repair platforms at the planet being attacked, I'd consider sending at least the cap carrier and maybe even the other carriers to the front of the gravity well. They have tons of hull, can withstand quite a lot of damage, and the ship they're most weak to (light frigates: the Pirate Rogue) are rarely sent in significant quantities, I think.
Since repair ships need to be very close to your own damaged ships to be used, your repair ships should be up front. If you're TEC, they're Hoshikos: even if they're attacked and die, they'll be well worth their cost.
I would recommend not using "fleets" at all because (among other things) the game seems to often tell ships in a fleet to "reform fleet" even while in the middle of a firefight, meaning that your ships'll move to some new position instead of focusing on attacking enemy ships. Alt-clicking and shift-alt-clicking to select ships and give orders is a little more efficient I think.
Capital ships are nice for their abilities and for their ability to take damage, but often do relatively little damage of their own. Combat-oriented frigates and cruisers do more damage per supply and per cost.
Also, any advice on gathering crystal? I've upgraded gathering it, seems to help some, but still never enough. I have so much metal I end up selling it. Better to put it into buying cheap frigates?
Crystal, being relatively uncommon, is one of the reasons players often try to get close Ice planets as soon as they can, because Ice planets have between 2 and 4 crystal rocks to place extractors on.
Unless you're playing a very long game, I probably wouldn't get more than the first two crystal extraction upgrades, because the research costs quite a lot (especially in terms of crystal) and takes a very long time to pay off.
If you're looking for more crystal, try capturing any crystal neutral extractors in the neutral gravity wells, which give you a significant amount of income. (you know how to capture those?)
If you're TEC, you can research Favored Client Discount and buy crystal from the black market at heavily discounted prices (down to around 320 credits/100 crystal, which is excellent). If you have a lot more metal than you need, of course sell it to the black market too.
If you're finding yourself needing crystal in almost all of your games, that probably means you're researching a whole lot. Unless you're fighting against the more insane AIs (cruel and vicious), not that much research is needed.
I wonder how many frigates to a fleet most people use? Currently I'm using about 10 per capital ship. I assume this is an extremely bad idea?
Unless it's the late-game, you probably shouldn't have more than 2 or 3 capital ships - everything else should either invested in regular frigates, which have more damage output.
Oh. Important question I can't find an answer to. I've found an area with only one mineable asteroid in it. It doesn't have any place to put a colony. The asteroid is currently in enemy hands, but I can't figure out how to take over this for myself.
I've built a starbase in this neutral zone, I was going to use it as a major defense line before they get to my main defense planet. Then explore the other route from my defense planet with a sizeable force. Is that a waste of a starbase? Is it better to have them orbiting planets? I'm guessing the starbase is on its own, and I can't build turrets?
That's a neutral extractor. The only way to capture a neutral extractor is to send a colony frigate to it and use the "Capture Extractor" ability.
If you're going to invest in an expensive starbase, I'd probably put it at a planet because planets with repair platforms can keep the starbase alive indefinitely. If you build a starbase in a neutral gravity well, it'll be more easily destroyed, depending on what kind of fleet the AI sends at you.
I'd love to get into the multiplayer but I fear I'd be wiped out in an instant.
Everyone, even those who've played against the AI for months, gets wiped out when they're just starting multiplayer. Playing against humans is extremely different from playing against the AI.
But we REALLY need more people willing to come play online. You don't even have to fight other humans if you don't want to - it's pretty common for there to be what's called a "Comp Stomp" in which humans partner up and fight a number of AIs. But please consider playing online - PM me, I'll be happy to teach you what you need to know to be a decent player.