The Naalu Collective
I call these guys the skin heads. The Naalu Collective was almost a hidden race to my group. We easily played 10 games before someone picked this race. They have a few advantages which make them original. The first is that you always go first. This can be good or bad depending on what you need. If attacked the Naalu ships can retreat before battle begins so don’t worry too much about your fleet getting hit but bigger ships. Just run away. As with all races that start with one carrier get your ships out asap and then wait for the production card to be played and build that second carrier. They don’t start with much technology but their fighters all get +1 on all combat rolls so focus on getting advanced fighters as a final technology. They will be saweeet if you get them to that level.
Knowing that you always go first can be a great advantage if played correctly. At the end of a round you can leave units open knowing that no matter what strategy card you chose you’re still first in order of play. This allows you to reinforce your weakest areas before they are attacked when a new round begins.
A good way to work the Naalu is to push a few scout ships out in front of your main fleets. If they are attacked you can retreat them into the main force. This makes a nice buffer between you and all other players. If someone does attack one of your scouts retreat them into the main force nearby and wait until the next turn. Then use your zero initiative ability to kick them hard before they can reinforce. Carriers with Naalu fighters can be more devastating than a War Sun to a space fleet. The disadvantage to always going first is that you can’t really sit back and watch the board. You must act and keep enough in reserve to handle all other players turns.