AI War:Getting More Ships
How Do I Get More Ships?
Q: I'm a few hours into the campaign, and I'm at my cap for all of my ship types. I don't have enough ships to defend all my planets AND make effective attacks. What did I do wrong?
A: This is a recoverable situation, especially on lower difficulties, but it's best to try not to end up here if you can avoid it. There are two ways to get more capacity for your fleet: 1) Unlock Mark II and Mark III versions of your existing ship types, or 2) Capture Advanced Research Stations to unlock up to five more ship types.
In an ideal situation, you'll do both. If you invest all of your knowledge in turret, starship, and defensive technology you'll have some great defensive and offensive capabilities, but your fleet will be very, very small. It's usually a good idea to try to unlock at least some Mark II and Mark III ships fairly early on in the game (unless you're a intentionally being a specialist in a multiplayer game with other players who have complementary fleets).
As for the Advanced Research Stations, those can be tricky to capture, depending on the map. But either way, when you are doing your scouting you should be paying special attention to finding these elusive valuables. When you find one, it should become your top priority if it looks at all feasible to capture.