The Trader

A Trader earns points for delivering metal to other players. Metal is the lifeblood of the game; it is what drives each player's industry and is what is needed to build ships (or robots). Thus, a Trader is usually welcome anywhere.

As a Trader, you earn 8 points for each unit of metal that you deliver to another player (only 6 points in the Advanced game). You can deliver metal simply by unloading it on another player's world, and you get points for all the metal that you unload, up to twice the number of industry that they have on that world. For example, if you deliver metal to another player's world that has 3 industry, you can get up to 48 points at that world, by dropping 6 metal there, at 8 points each.

You also gain points for unloading consumer goods, at any world (even worlds that you own). Consumer goods are metal that you have converted to valuable commodities such as DVD players and bobble-head dolls; you can convert it as you unload it. You gain the same number of points for unloading consumer goods regardless of the number you unload, so there's no advantage pointwise for unloading more than 1 consumer good at a time. You can unload consumer goods over and over again at the same world, but each time you do, you earn fewer points. The first time you unload consumer goods at a particular world, you earn 10 points. The second time, you earn 8 points; the third time, 5 points; and the fourth time, 3 points. After that you only earn 1 point each time you unload consumer goods at a given world.

As a Trader, you can carry twice as much metal in your fleets as any other player. Most players can carry only one metal per ship, but you can carry as much as two metal per ship. However, when you do this, you have to take your weapons systems offline to make room for the extra metal, so your overloaded ships cannot fire. (You can fire as soon as you get rid of the extra metal, by jettisoning it if you have to.)

Clearly, a Trader will need to work closely with other players to succeed in the game.