There are two types of ships in PlanetWars: dropships and bombers. Dropships increase Influence gain and bombers can destroy influence and infrastructure on a planet without the need for a ground battle. There is a factory for each ship type which provides an income of 0.5 ships per turn. Ships are usable by the owner of the factory as well as players with a military power role. Each factory also increases the deployment limit (number of ships that can be sent at once) of that ship type by 3.
To use dropships click on a planet in the main view, select the Starships tab and enter a number of dropships to attack with. You can only send dropships to neutral or opposition planets adjacent to your own (unless you have warp cores). The dropships will be used in your faction's next invasion of that planet and provide a +1 Influence bonus.
Usually dropships and invasions can only be sent to adjacent planets. With a warp cores any planet without warp jamming can be attacked by a dropship. Factions can use dropships over distant planets to launch one time invasions to attempt to gain a foothold deep in enemy territory. Dropships also affect the default invasion options given provided when a faction gains the initiative.
Groups of bombers can be sent to planets through the Starships tab. Like dropships they must be sent to planets adjacent to your own unless you use warp cores. Also like dropships they are single use only.
Bombers work best when used in groups:
- Each bomber has an additive 10% chance to destroy a structure and an additive 80% chance to remove 1.2 IP.
- Bombers will not destroy IP belonging to their own faction.
- Anti-bomber structures destroy a fixed number of bombers on approach.
- Bombers can bomb a planet.
For instance; 15 bombers will destroy one structure, have a 50% chance to destroy another, and remove approximately 14.4 IP.
A Warp Gate produces 10 Warp Cores after powering up and then disappears. This makes warp cores a very expensive strategic asset. Each Warp Core can send one dropship or bomber anywhere in the galaxy. The Warp Jammer and Ancient Artefact structures prevent warp attacks on their planets. Dropships can only be sent in multiples of 10.
It is useful - at least unless you expect two battles to be easier to win than one - to save up enough cores to send at least 17 dropships, since this allows the planet to be captured in one fully successful attack against an unfortified planet. Of these, 15 dropships are required to bring the expected influence gain on victory to 50; 1 to counter decay that will happen before planet is allowed to change hands; and one to bring influence over 50 and ensure capture.