Where would I go to read up on the nuts and bolts of formal alliances - can’t see anything in the Codex.
Formal alliances cost $150 to initiate, and must be accepted by the other party.
That is done in secret, but breaking a formal (Declaring War) is announced to everyone.
Once you have an alliance, you gain scanning data from your ally. Most beneficial in Dark games, but gives you great strategic overview of more of the map. Note that if one of their carriers leave their scanning range on the way to a target, you will not be able to see it, while they still can.
You may also share ships with your ally. Ships you send to their stars become their ships, including the carrier. All orders on that carrier are void. They will not drop all when they arrive, so don’t expect their own carriers to be able to pick them up, they must manually transfer those ships.
For right now, that’s it.
There is an entry in the help, there is a ? beside the option to offer someone a formal alliance as I recall. Has some data there, but you are right, there is nothing easily found on the topic except on the forums; it would be handy to add an entry on alliances from the main menu of help items…
Watch out for involuntary sharing. In a current game, I went to help an ally by sending a huge force to retake a star he had lost. He managed to cobble together a defence by stripping all the stars in the neighbourhood and retook the star an hour before i got there.
Poof, 20% of my ships were suddenly my ally’s.
This wasn’t terrible for me (he was going to use them up on the same foe I would have), but it made it clear that alliances can be used offensively :-).
that is a risk tlwest. they could also betray you by getting you to share ships and then break the alliance. That reminds me of two other points.
It takes 24 Ticks to break an alliance, ships that arrive before that will transfer to your enemy.
If you and your ally arrive at the same enemy star at the same time, they will ‘get confused’ and fight each other in a round robin fashion. Thats about the best way to describe the mechanic Jay used to simplify the complicated case of multiple players with different alliances all converging at the same point and time.
(If I’ve understood your description of the incident) could this just have been a misunderstanding between you (he set in motion the retaking of his star without either of you noticing that you had already sent a fleet to do exactly the same thing)?