A guide to playing the Red faction. This is based off my playing of Reds.
How to Play Red Faction
Introduction to Reds
The Reds are, like the game states, a incredibly difficult faction to play... As evident of your Terran ships killing their 2000+ P ship, the Mothership with ease. Or if not with Terran, any other of the factions. As for what makes them stand out is their unique block shapes, their lack of a long (or even medium range) weapon, and their healing drones.
The Reds spawn basically everywhere. They can be found in the outer ring of the galaxy often conflicting with Terrans and Farmers, and they can be found in the hazardous middle area of the galaxy, being destroyed by Sentinel and Crystalline ships. The Reds have no stations, by normal, as their factories are only on their Mothership's.
Starting the Reds
You've picked a name, color, and adjusted the world to your desire. So now what?
You click readying everything, and spawn. You go through with the annoying tutorial, and finally press 3 to edit your ship. You check what you have and to your horror, you find.
Everything you have has no health, and cannot be scaled larger or smaller! You also realize there are no squares, only diamond and kite like shapes with weird connection points.
So, you make a monster of a ship that fits that 300 P limit you start with, or more if you upgrade your limit. Or, you go take a look at what weapons/blocks you can unlock. Only to find.
You basically already have everything... except drones, the lasers, and this strange multi-cannon called the Tempest. And there is no shields.
Well, that should have been obvious when you fought the Mothership in your other save with another faction.
Anyways, you let out a sigh and keep going. It's not like it could get worse, or be that bad playing Reds, right? I mean, you as the player already conquered the Crystalline and Sentinel with your other faction. You explore your faction's area until you get to the edge of their zone. You probably met with the Farmers, or the Terran if you kept going outwards in the circle. You engage. Besides, they're just Farmers, they're not that threatening.
You fight, and a single missile comes and hit your ship, and you die. You respawn and decide to take another go, round 2! And you die to another stray missile. Suddenly, a thought came in The Reds suck.
Playing the Reds
You struggled, managing to get enough credits (And not quitting to another faction) to get some more parts and more P to build with. Now, this is where the guide actually becomes a guide and not some retelling of your story with Reds.
Building with Reds is difficult, but one of the most important aspect you need to have Red ships not break apart is to have as much as you can connect. To do this, you will need to get used to the blocks the Reds have.
This ship is an example of connecting parts. It is extremely difficult, but if you can, try to have as much as you can connect to prevent pieces of your ship breaking apart easily.
You also have two very important blocks to your faction that you need to use to your fullest to win fights. It is the Tempest, and the repair drones (Nanoassembly Drone). The Tempest being the best weapon/building block for Reds, and the repair drones being important for the Reds survivability. Tempest are fast-firing short-range weapons with a massive damage output, not to mention they are one of the few blocks that Reds have that can survive a hit or missile. The repair drones, on the other hand, let the Reds regenerate any battle damage basically instantly while not being shot at. So, use those blocks.
Not to say all their blocks are useless. Their lasers are excellent (Albeit, short in range), and their smaller cannons are useful as point defense. Their laser drone is terrible, though neccessary at times when you absolutely cannot fight a target. Since all their blocks have such low mass, any amount of thrusters can generally move your ship. Your building blocks, although weak, are neccessary to add bulk to your ship and allow for quick regeneration.
Lastly, there are really only two ways to design a ship. A close in brawler, or a drone-spam ship. Brawler ships are generally much more effective than drone-spam ships, since their drones are terrible. But, like I said before, sometimes the drones are neccessary.
The Reds are pretty easy to play. There are two ways to play: Gun everything down, or drone spam from range.
For gunning everything down, you can generally spam anything down with your massive amount of guns. Only problem is that that method only works when you are bigger, and not playing against agents (As well as Sentinel, and maybe Crystalline). When playing against ships around your size, your only effective method of attack is to attack first, and kill them before they can fight back effectively. You also, unlike other factions, can really only effectively engage one same-size/P ship at once. So, you need to attack a target first, and alone. The only thing that will scare your ship is anything with a AoE weapon, and melee armor.
For drone spam... Well it's drone spam. You spam drones, and hope to kill whatever you can with your massive amount of drones.
Now, for fighting large agent fleets with multiple targets, you don't really stand much of a chance if you are fighting small ships that can dodge everything you shoot at them. You also don't stand much of a chance if it is a mass of ships with missiles and drones as well as any Sentinel spinner fleet, or Farmer/Tinkerell solar-farm fleets. If in fact you face those fleets, your only option as Reds is leader sniping. If their agent leader ship is alone, rush in and gun that single ship down, and die.
Other than that, that is the extent of Red gameplay... and Reassembly gameplay for that matter.
Tournament Ship Building
You obviously picked the wrong faction. I am not joking, you should pick another faction. Reds are absolutely terrible in a P to P battle, as they focus on either swarming targets or gunning down single, similar size ships in a instant. In a battle where each side is ready to fight the other, Reds will die instantly. So, pick Crystalline for Tournament and color them red if you want a faction with Red-like tournament ship.