Didn't play them for a long time now as diplomacy is not yet fully fetched so found a couple of things:
- - Torpedo Destroyer cannot mount torpedo - this might be since the torpedo/missile change
- - Trade ship has been mentioned to be unbalanced:
I actually find that is is well balanced at least right now: A transport with 8 cargo space costs 131/44, while a Trade ship with 15 cargo space costs only 214/73 when stripped of armor and tank battalion holds. If it would cost the same per cargo hold units it would cost: 146/83 so it is definitively worth it.
- - The trade ship is also worth producing for tanks: Normally two Troopships would cost: 542/148, while the Trader design delivers the same results with a single ship for resource cost of: 494/133
- - The Trade ship also has an additional system and armor slot which is unique for Phidi as their combat ships can thus serve double duty in the trade pool. This is a great design idea and we'll get back to this later as there is a problem here: when mounting Science stations, the resource bonus only applies outside of the Trade pool. As soon as the ship is sent to the pool the research bonus disappears, which is a shame as it would be a great tactic for Phidi to generate research from their pool. Hope that this is a bug and not a design choice and gets fixed
- - Armor does not make much since for any of the Trade/transport focused ships that I can see, as these ships do not have combat functions and will not be attacked/can and should retreat - though we can just strip away the armor our selves so its fine
- - A minor anomaly but when uploading a pop unit to the Trade ship first and then a tank battalion, there is a number two on the Tank icon. Might be referencing the overall unit number but is confusing at first: when disembarking there is only a single tank deployed as it should be
- - Its a nice visual treat for each race to see what a transport is carrying: tank or population. This is visible also for Phidi transports but not for Trade ship, which stays the same design when empty or loaded up with tanks/pops. This is strange as it uses the exact same design on its sides as the Transport does so figured it could utilize the same art when loaded up
- - Find the Cruiser to be too familiar design-wise to non-combat specific ships. It is too close for comfort for me to the Transport, Trade ship and Armed merchant nose making the designs look too similar
- - Armed Merchant I do not get: they cost almost triple of a transport carrying only two medium mounts and a Warp Lane Amplifier. So the first one makes sense as it makes it more cost effective then two destroyers not to mention an additional transport, but why the Amplifier? Seems like the intent was to have these ships function as a kind of privateer unit, harassing enemies away from the main fleets, but they do not have PD (without sacrificing offense) or shield capacity to back this role up... It is so strange. I just use them for transports and if need be call upon them to defend a planet from incoming offensive (which does not utilize their amplifier at all but seems to fit their design and cost). Maybe their design intent is to be an all-in-one solution for trade, offense and transport requirements?
Generally the faction is neat but diplomacy victory needs to become a thing in order to make them truly shine as the multi-task capabilities of their Trader and Armed Merc ships require a generally peaceful play-stile not considering their general affinity towards peace and generating influence to close deals and alliance more easily.