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One of my Situation Log missions involves investigating crystalline debris. My fleet is not yet strong enough to reliably kill one without losses, but if I swarm them with my entire fleet (of 5 ships) I can crush a single entity and only lose a single ship. I'm not in a position to do this a second time (never mind three more), so I figured I'd send in a science ship to scan this single bit of debris.

Unfortunately, despite the other three entities making no moves towards my ships (unless I get close enough to engage) my science ship only complies with my orders for about a second before I get the message "Evading hostile fleet" and it heads for the nearest friendly star system. The one bit of debris I have will timeout before I can mount any kind of serious offensive against the other three to clear them out.

I've tried having my military ships escort it in the hopes that their presence would override the cowardly nature of my science ship, but to no avail. Is there any way to force my science ship to make that scan despite the presence of the hostile fleet, or will I have to abandon this debris?

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Set their behaviour to passive.

You can change a fleets behaviour in the fleet window (bottom left), can't provide a screenshot right now, but should be easy to find.

There are three options:

  • aggressive: fleet automatically attacks hostiles
  • passive: fleet won't attack on its own, but will defend itself
  • evasive: fleet retreats as soon as enemies appear.

non-combat ships are on evasive by default and as such they will run immediately, when a hostile is in the system. I recommend setting them to passive while exploring, but evasive, once you get in a war.

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  • Note that explorer ships set to passive will get murdered by hostile alien entities if they get too close, or if the entity is an aggressive type (IE, amoebas, some Crystallines) – Shadur May 20 '16 at 7:09
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    It would be awfully nice if the passive option worked differently for armed and unarmed ships. If armed, will defend itself. If unarmed, will take evasive action if attacked. It seems stupid that a science ship will just keep on surveying while it's being actively shot at in passive mode and flee immediately even when not being attacked in evasive mode. – Holly May 31 '16 at 18:16
  • It's not that the passive science ship will keep surveying, but more that it's stuck there until emergency FTL is available. So, it just keeps following it's orders until it can retreat which it will do if it's able to and still alive. – Ellesedil Feb 8 '18 at 17:16

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