Any existing ships increases cost of building new ships.
yes but how much ??
what is the formula
in an early game when you have enough fingers to count your ships (could depend from species..
how can you say if it his better to have some more old hulls to take battle damages and be killed before the new ships
against the increasing costs to build the new ships
for example if my new robot ship with 50 hull point is x% more costly because i kept 2 large ships with their 50 hull point (2x25)
it could be better to have 3 ships and 100 hull point and some more small guns in combat rather than 1 single robot buld 1 turn earlier
it's not bad too focus on research in the beginning but choose short time research to have results soon
for example it is a very bad idea to look for plasma gun in the early...
you have to mix long term purpose research (increase research/production/population)
with some military research
some research tips are there http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... =28&t=9954
you have to keep your production busy and planed you research in this purpose
never lost any production point
for about 20-30 turn make "civil" production like outpost ships, some scouts and some tech production
when this first ships will be produced you should have get some research battle upgrade
you have to build some combat ship with at least a few research upgrade at this point
another option, i you have a planet on a shock point where the ennemy will come
you can raise the planetary defense (not so costly for the first steps) and leave no defense ship
let the ennemy be wounded by your defenses then make a quick jump to fall on him the next turn to kill him
so you can kill him with a lower fleet than his
do not forget to fall back you ships for repair (need a drydock)
it is free too repair a ship and far less costly than building a new one...
if the battle is not over after a year check you fleet and backoff the most damaged to save them (only if their depart won"t cost you the victory)