Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Galactic Civilizations IV

GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #56 - Ship Types

Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 By BATTLEMODE In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

Ship Types are a way of classifying the base model hull that a Ship Class is built upon, and hold their own special bonus too. We took a look at Ship Classes last week, but today we’ll go through the various Ship Types available in Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova, including those added in the new Warlords expansion.


While Colony Ships, Constructors and Miners are all technically Ship Types too, we’re just going to focus on combat vessels this time around.

Ship Types can be organised according to their Hull Size, from Tiny up to Huge, and with Warlords you’ll have access to two Types in each Hull Size category. Each type has an inbuilt ability that distinguishes it from the other types.

We’ll take a look at each one in ascending order using some of the default Torian hull models for illustrative purposes. I like the Torians, they taste great!

Remember, you can completely change the way these models look with our extensive cosmetic ship designer tools. Also, the suggestions I’ve made for usage are just that: suggestions. In line with the GalCiv series' famous principle of Play Your Way, you can customise your Classes to work pretty much however you want, but each Type does have an immutable characteristic bonus that gives them a very distinct flavour.

The smallest ships in the game are two Ship Types in the Tiny hull category, the Fighter and the Bomber. These smallest of combat vessels have a low mass, so less components, but are relatively fast and cheap to produce compared to larger hull sizes.


Here are the statistics for Tiny hull sized ships: they’re fast, manoeuvrable and initially don’t have much space for components, at least until the eggheads in your science department figure out military component miniaturisation! They’ll not take much punishment, which is why you’ll be fielding them in large numbers.


The Fighter is generally intended to kill other Tiny hull sized ships, but in greater numbers can swarm larger vessels too, and has a +25% Evasion ability, which helps it stay alive since it can’t usually field a lot of defensive components. If you’re fielding Bombers, you’ll often want Fighters to protect them, and they’re just a useful, cheap multipurpose ship right through the game.


The Bomber gets a +10% Damage bonus and is generally intended to take on capital ships of all kinds, which it can be very effective at when used en masse providing their defensive systems aren’t too powerful (although Operational Abilities can compensate for this, particularly its default Giant Slayer).

You’re not restricted to loading it with missile weapons though, and if your idea of “bomber” is massive laser damage, knock yourself out! They’ll need protecting by Fighters and Frigates, as usually you’re going to be top-loading them with weapons and there won’t be much room for shielding or armour. When they’re massed, protected and with a bit of Tech behind them, Bombers can really chew through enemy fleets very quickly.

Next up we’ve got the Small hull sized Ship Types.


More Hull Integrity than Tiny ships but a lot slower, these generalists are designed to hunt anything from Tiny to Medium sized warships, and bigger if you get creative with them. They’ve got room for more weaponry and defensive systems too.


The Frigate comes with a +25% Accuracy bonus and by default is intended on hunting the Tiny types of ship, where that extra accuracy will help reduce enemy evasion down to a manageable level. They’ll then switch up to taking on other Small hull sized ships, and can be well equipped to do so.


The first of the Warlords DLC additions comes next: the Corvette. With a +25% Hit Point bonus to boost its Hull Integrity, it’s well suited for hunting larger ships. These are Cruiser-killers, and while they’ll not intended to go up against larger ships one on one, in wolfpacks of three or four they’ll be a real menace to Medium hull sizes, perhaps those traveling alone to replenish a depleted fleet. Their default Targeting Priority is the very largest of ships, and this highlights that they can even threaten Dreadnaughts and Carriers if properly designed and fielded as part of a well rounded fleet.


Medium hull sized warships show a remarkable increase in both Hull Integrity and the Mass of components that they can field, and are the first of the Ship Types that can comfortably carry the larger components, such as a Slipstream Accelerator (for a +1 Move for the entire fleet), while still holding enough weaponry and armour to remain competitive in a fraught fleet action. They’re also not a whole lot slower than Frigates or Corvettes either. With that extra Equipment Space, you can really go to town with designing interesting ship builds with these guys.


The classic Cruiser has, by default at least and until you mutate it to your whims, taken on an anti-strike craft role. With a +10% Weapon Range boost, it’ll target enemy ships before they get into range and can be an effective way to thin out Fighter swarms before they get in to do damage with Kinetic weaponry. This is just one use though, you’ll figure out dozens of roles for your Cruisers as their vital statistics allow them an incredible flexibility.

I regularly field at least two or three types of Cruisers with doing a different job in my fleets, from screening against Fighters and Bombers or hunting Battleships, to providing extra Sensor packages or the more exotic weaponry added in Warlords recently.


The new Destroyer, added in Warlords, is a different beast. With a -10% Weapons Cooldown for an increase damage output it excels at killing things, especially with its default +10% attack bonus from the Operational Ability Focus Fire, where it’ll rapidly thin out Frigates, Corvettes and pretty much anything else that gets in its way.

I had fun throwing a bunch of Railguns on these monsters early on, and adding Targeting Computer to increase their accuracy, setting them to target Frontline Combatants then watching them chew through anything smaller than a Battleship with relative ease.

Excellent fun! But they’re also there to complement your Cruisers too: have the Cruisers equipped to kill Tiny ships, and the Destroyers kitted out to kill whatever is hunting those Cruisers, and you’ve got a strong two-ship combo right there!


The Large hull sized ships are next, and you’ll note they’re tougher, hold more gear and are slower in combat, but not by a whole lot. Be warned, these are deadly ships and not to be underestimated by their bulk. They’ll take tonnes of weaponry, shielding and armour, and pretty much anything else you care to load onto them. This makes them versatile and formidable in a battle.


The Battleship is your tank: with +10% Armor it excels at soaking up damage and smaller ships will have trouble doing lasting damage to it unless they’re either very technologically advanced or they’re specifically fitted to take out Battleships and other very large Types. It can also throw out an unbelievable amount of damage very quickly, with the potential to load enough weaponry to take down the very largest and best armoured Ship Classes in the game.


The Warlords expansion now adds the Command Ship, which is one of the more unusual Types in the game right now. Although as large as a Battleship it’s not designed for front line brawling, instead sitting in the back providing support to the rest of the fleet with its Command Ship ability of 10% Weapon Cooldown to all allied ships in battle. Now think how fast those Railgun Destroyers you built are going to be firing? There’s a cost though: the Command Ship has 50% less Hull Integrity than a Battleship, so it’s defaulted to not engage enemy ships unless you change its Targeting Priority manually.

Get creative with this thing! It’s a good chassis for any fleetwide-buff components you’ve got, or if scripted away from Return Fire Only, would be a good housing for special effects such as the Time Dilator, Shield Bubble and so forth.


Almost twice as large as the Large hull sized ships, the Huge Types are monsters designed for one purpose only: crush your enemies, see them driven before you and to hear the lamentation of… alright pipe down Conan, we get the idea!

With that much equipment space, a Huge hull is a one ship army, and can probably be used that way still if you so desire, although be aware that v2.5 and Warlords has added a lot of mechanics now to make hunting these intergalactic leviathans a little easier (swarms of high tech Bombers with Giant Slayer might do it, especially if it’s not well kitted out to deal with that many ships all at once).


When a Dreadnaught looms into view, the battlefield goes silent, pretending for a moment that sound is possible in space of course. Its only real downside is its speed, and the fact that it can get swarmed by a lot of smaller ships, but with +10% Shield Strength as its ability, it’ll take a lot of punishment before you even get to its armour or HP.

Even more so than the Battleship, the Dreadnaught can field so many components that your only really limited by your imagination when it comes to designing and planning its role in your fleet. Whether you go all in on firepower, tank damage from other large ships or field a whole host of fleet boosting abilities, the Dreadnaught is the centrepiece of your navy.


The Carrier is our final Ship Type, added to the game for free in the v2.5 Ares update, and has a very special ability. As expected, it delivers Fighters and Bombers into battle but comes with no Operational Ability as standard.

You can kit it out like a Dreadnaught if you want but you’re likely building this thing for those strike-craft it brings to a fleet action, providing an important screen for the rest of your fleet and perhaps overwhelming your enemy with their superior numbers. The Carrier is a terrifying element to add to your armed forces and will fill your rivals with fear!

Well, that was a lot of Ships Types! I hope this developer journal whet your appetite and planted some ideas into your mind about some of the cool stuff you can do with ship and fleet design in Supernova.




Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals