AI War:Are Turrets Useful?
Why Would I Unlock Turrets Instead Of Mobile Ships?
Q: Turrets don't increase the capacity of my mobile military forces, which seem to be the most useful ships. Why would I ever choose to upgrade turrets instead of my mobile ships?
A: Well, this is always a judgment call, and varies by situation. In most cases, if you are in a position of strength it does in fact make more sense to upgrade your mobile military. However, turrets tend to be stronger than their mobile counterparts, and may fill a niche not covered by your current forces -- the big tradeoff is that they are fixed in one position. So if you're struggling under the blows of incoming enemy waves, or if you have a lot of hostile wormholes to guard, one way to salvage the situation is to unlock higher tier regular turrets, basic, MLRS, tractor beam, or some more advanced turrets; counter-missile, tachyon beams, fortresses -- whatever makes sense. Check their hull-type bonuses and figure out which kind you need. Most Mark I turrets are available knowledge-free and cover every hull type.
This might save you from losing some planets that you would otherwise lose, but it will come at a cost of some offensive strength. Similarly, upgrading turrets might make sense if you are having trouble establishing a beachhead on an enemy planet (often a core or home AI planet) -- so from that angle, upgrading turrets at the right time could even be part of a path to victory. The general rule of thumb is to leave turrets and defensive ships as one of the lower research priorities unless you have a compelling reason to do otherwise -- and when you DO have a compelling reason, as you inevitably will if you play on higher difficulty levels, you'll be glad those turrets are there!