Quite often when moving fleets around hostile gravity wells, they will stray near a valid target and engage them in a pitched battle.

However, I would like a fleet to avoid a battle unless specifically told otherwise. The 'Fleet stance' toggle button does not seem to have the intended effect- setting it to 'Evasive' causes an FTL jump to be triggered if a hostile fleet is present in the same system; however targets are still engaged with wild abandon.

My intent is to try and get a fleet caught behind enemy lines home safely. It has a small head start on the much larger doomstack pursuing fleet:

A painting entitled, "The Admiral's Quandary"

But since it is retreating through enemy systems, it will likely get caught up on a station near the FTL exit point, whereupon the pursuing fleet will be able to catch it and do significant damage even before the emergency FTL spools up.

How can I get this fleet home safely, without it stopping to engage a pitiful-but-obviously-very-strategically-important research station along the way?

This has a clear second type of use as well: if an interdiction fleet - say one that has a battleship with an FTL inhibitor - wants to hold an enemy fleet in a system for destruction, it would be handy if you could give the fleet a clear order1 to engage that fleet first and foremost, and not the mining station that happens to be in between the two fleets.

1: I know fleets in Stellaris are supposed to have a fairly large degree of autonomy, for example in regards to battle engagement doctrine, so this behaviour may be intended.

It's just unfortunate that the autonomy they have means engaging pointless targets, or equally comically the thinking that goes "Hey, my fleet is equipped with long range armaments and theirs is short. RAAAGH LET'S CHARGE TO RAMMING DISTANCE!"

  • 3
    I don't have access to my game right now but if I remember well, in addition to "Aggressive" and "Evasive", there is a "Passive" stance (or something like that) where the fleet does not engage enemy fleet if you don't tell it to do so
    – Gilles V.
    May 19, 2016 at 9:55
  • @GillesV. Good thinking, but unfortunately 'Passive' also causes the "Let's kill anything nearby or in our path" behaviour. It does mean that the fleet won't self-directedly seek targets in the gravity well, and is the default stance for fleets AFAIK.
    – bertieb
    May 19, 2016 at 10:16
  • 3
    According to the Dev Diary #18 : "Passive stance will, like the name suggest, make your fleet only engage in combat when enemies are within weapon range." so it's indeed not what you want. forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/…
    – Gilles V.
    May 19, 2016 at 10:24
  • Seems there is no way to tell a fleet to ignore targets, so I'm accepting @Dulkan's answer
    – bertieb
    May 26, 2016 at 14:49

1 Answer 1


If there is a station directly at your exit point, you are out of luck, but your fleet should destroy it quickly. The likelihood you'll encounter a station at the edge of engagement range at your exit point is minimal. But if that happens, there simply is nothing you can do, except hoping you can hit emergency ftl before your fleet destroys the station and get away with minimal losses. Comment is initiated and emergency ftl is forced, when two fleets clash, even if it is a puny mining station with barely any weapons, that's just how the game mechanic works. If you have to move through an enemy system you can only try to avoid the stations by moving around them.

Since you use hyperspace travel, which has no cooldown and no requirement where to be inside a system, even if you were to exit at a hostile military station, your ships could spool up their hyperdrive directly from the spot they entered the system at to jump to the next one right after destroying the station. Since those stations usually are in the middle of the system you should have enough time to get out.

By the way, why do you detour to Ascella? From your current system there is a hyperlane directly towards Thirimora.

  • +1, but you should at least mention the Passive stance in here. It will still result in them "defending themselves" if any enemy comes within range, but at least they don't seek things out.
    – DCShannon
    May 19, 2016 at 15:11
  • "If there is a station directly at your exit point, you are out of luck" Sadly there is, and the pursuing ships are hot on my tail; so much so in fact, that I don't want to cancel the spool-up to Ascella! So that plucky station will distract my ships from running away just long enough to be taken down to about 50% health I reckon, and that's before considering the emergency FTL will probably jump them the wrong way...
    – bertieb
    May 19, 2016 at 16:40
  • Actually there may be a solution somewhere in here- the pursuing fleet is so close it enters FTL just as I do. I could bounce between Ascella and Takharam until a supporting fleet turns up. Risky, but better than letting the brave-Sir-Robin-ran-away fleet be torn to shred by the doomstack.
    – bertieb
    May 19, 2016 at 16:45
  • @bertieb: This isn't exactly the question you asked, but you could buy some time by jumping back into the system the enemy fleet is in. In theory, you'll be on the opposite side of the system and the enemy doomstack will stop their FTL jump and putter across the system to attack you. Just time your jump back out for when they're about in the center of the system and you should be able gain some distance.
    – Ellesedil
    Feb 8, 2018 at 17:29
  • @Ellesedil Yes, a good point-- if it's not already near jump-out point :)
    – bertieb
    Feb 8, 2018 at 23:47

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