Cheap Engines

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A lesser racial trait, Cheap Engines trades speed and reliability of fleet movement for spare advantage points and reduced engine cost.

Because of the unpredictability of engines failing to engage, particularly when the fleet will be needed in a battle, this LRT is not very popular.

The 10% chance of failing to engage applies only if the fleet owner has this LRT. Ships can be built by a player with CE and transferred to an ally without CE. They will then move normally without the risk of failing to engage. This can be useful in team games.

Another hidden use of CE is the targeting headache which can be occasioned by the ship engine refusing to engage. In such a situation, the CE player ship will remain stationary but their pursuers will be forced to move to or toward their estimated destination as normal. While in normal games this would never be a problem since ships always arrive at their estimated destination, CE players locked in an hopeless pursuit do have a small hope of throwing their opponent of course which can lead to awkward situations, especially regarding to fuel usage. While still marginally beneficial, this advantage has never been considered to be very helpful in the course of a game when compared to the headache of the CE player himself in relation to his ships not reaching the desired destination in time.

A known bug (and a cheat), starting from version G and partially solved in version J, consist in the CE UR combo. Usually used in team games, two allied players pick one of the two LRT. The CE players, using his 50% cheaper engines advantage, build cheap ships consisting only of an engine and a cheap hull (like a scout sporting only an engine) and then transfer the ship(s) to the UR player for scrapping. Since transfered ships does not retain the special advantage(s) or disadvantage(s) of a given player, the transfered ship(s) act like normal ships that the UR player then scraps for more resources than what was used to build the ship in the first place. Since version J, transfered ships (including Mystery Trader ships) are now considered as 30% cheaper when scrapped, ultimate recycling or not. To be able to use this bug, one would need to have both the CE and UR LRTs... Which would be possible but quite useless in the course of a whole game considering the high cost of UR versus the gains and the headache that is playing with CE.



  • Up to 80 advantage points
  • Engines are 50% cheaper
  • Start with propulsion tech one level higher than normal


  • When traveling at warp 7, 8, 9 or 10, there is a 10% chance that the engines won't engage.

See also