by: M.S. Smith
; edited by: Eric Stallsworth
; updated: 4/17/2012
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The Trader Emergency Coalition is the race that mostly closely represents humanity in Sins Of A Solar Empire. Like most "human" races in strategy games, they are designed to be fairly balanced. TEC units tend to be well rounded - but don't think that means they're a master of none.
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What's A TEC?
The TEC is basically your standard "common human" strategy game race. They represent a well ordered society that feels industrial overall. In terms of research and overall strategy, the TEC has a lot of economic advantages, but in terms of their units, their military is very robust. Their units are well rounded and straight-forward. They lack the wonderful support cruisers that other races get, but their backbone frigates and cruisers are versatile, powerful, and cheap to build.
This guide only covers combat units. Units like constructors and colonization ships are not included, but they are simple and don't vary much from one race to another.
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Arcova Scout Frigate
None of the scout frigates are exciting - they are used to scout, and that's about it. The Arocva does have a bit of an ace up its sleeve however, and that is a researchable special ability called Timed Explosives. With this ability, the Arcova can attach a powerful explosive to a structure that does 1200 damage. Three Arcova are enough to take out many structures. The Timed Demolition rush has been used with some effect, as the Arcova is easy to slip behind enemy lines and are rarely seen as a combat threat. Pulling it off does require that you be good at micro-management however, because the Arcova is weak and will explode at the slightest hint of danger.
Cobalt Light Frigate
The Cobalt isn't a bad ship, really. It has a respectable amount of hitpoints and shielding. It is fast, useful against most targets, and cheap to build. All of these traits seem to add up to a good unit, but ultimately the Cobalt is overshadowed by the Javelis, which is just as cheap and packs a ton of firepower. Despite being a basic unit, the Cobalt actually comes into its own in the late game, when missile frigates are more easily countered. The Cobalt's special ability - Sabotage Reactor - also becomes useful, as it disables the abilities of the target for a limited period of time.
Javelis LRM Frigate
A zergling for space. I'm not kidding. The Javelis is considered to be a bread-and-butter unit for early-gaming rushing. It is cheap, it is easy to research, it has long range and a lot of firepower, and the units most suited for countering missile frigates don't become available until later in the game. Once fighters become available and cruisers start to become common, the Javelis does lose a bit of its edge. But even in the late game, it is considered a staple unit, as large groups of missile frigates put out a ton of damage. The Javelis is particularly effective in large battles thanks to the Cluster Warhead ability, which gives the Javelis splash damage when activated.
Krosov Siege Frigate
It's a siege frigate. It bombs planets. It isn't much different from the siege frigates the other factions have, although it is notable for having a very useless ability, known as Heavy Fallout. I believe that as of the release of the Entrenchment expansion, this ability - which reduces planet growth by 30% - still has the unfortunate drawback of remaining in effect even after you capture a planet.
Garda Flak Frigate
The Garda is the resident anti-strikecraft unit, built to ward off enemy fighters and bomber. It fulfill its role very, very well - only a couple Gardas are required to knock a dozen strike craft out of commission before they cause much damage, which is impressive, considering how must carriers cost. Even better, the Garda is impressively well armored and has a large number of hitpoints, which makes it a good tank unit. Some people use them as a counter to missile frigates because of this - in a straight up fight, the Garda can shrug of the small missiles, which are better suited at taking down lightly armored targets.
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Percheron Light Carrier
The Percheron can carry two squadrons of strike craft. TEC's strike craft are middle-of-the-road, and include the same Fighter and Bomber types found among all the races. Fighters are best used against lighter craft, while Bombers fair better against capital ships and cruisers. Both are a good counter to missile frigates, making the Percheron a solid choice if faced with a missile frigate spammer. The Percheron has no weapons of its own however, and it's lightly armored, so be sure to keep it away from enemies.
Hoshiko Robotics Cruiser
The Hoshiko Robotics Cruiser is a mobile repair pad. Its repair ability gives an edge in combat, but it's most useful as a logistical vessel. With the help of a few Hoshiko Cruisers, any TEC fleet can be back up to full fighting strength within a few minutes of a major conflict. This is a major advantage in terms of mobility, as other races usually have to head back to find a repair structure at a friendly planet. The Hoshiko can be upgraded with offensive Demolition Bots. This is not a must have, but it slows the target by 200% and increases weapons cooldowns. This is useful when chasing a fleeing enemy fleet.
Cielo Command Cruisers
When it comes to support Cruisers, the Cielo is a bit of a dud. It's purpose is to deliver two special abilities. One - called Embolden - gives friendly ships an 10% quicker weapons cool-down and increases shield regeneration. The other - Designate Target - causes an enemy vessel to lose 25% of its damage reduction. Neither ability is a must-have, and when combined with the fact that the Cielo's offenses are every bit as dangerous as bowl of laffy taffy, the Cielo isn't very appealing.
Kodiak Heavy Cruiser
The Kodiak is a solid heavy cruiser. It lacks fancy tricks - its only special ability, Intercept, simply makes it go faster for a short period of time - but in return it receives a great deal of hitpoints, heavy armor, and a respectable price tag. In fact, I'd say the Kodiak is probably the best of all the heavy cruisers in terms of efficiency, and as a result it isn't hard to load your front line with the Kodiak. It should be noted however, that despite its impressive strength, building the Kodiak for sheer knock-out power is not a good idea - missile frigates are better for that. The Kodiak should be built as a front-line skirmisher, keeping pressure on the enemy and off of your more vulnerable frigates and support units.