The Klingon Empire
The Klingons are an offense-orientated faction. Their ships have higher than average offensive values (and generally weaker shields) compared to other factions in Fleet Operations. Many of their early game vessels rely on pulse armament and have limited firing arcs, and thus are ideal for dealing damage to small targets - like freighters - but not for making mid-battle retreats. Furthermore, upon leveling up, each Klingon vessel gets a small amount of supplies back as a reward for combat. For this reason, purchasing supplies at the Kahless Station is more expensive than the other traditional factions.
Since larger vessels are more efficient, it is thus important to move up through the technology tree relatively quickly and not just rely on smaller vessels even though it may be attractive to do so. Although this can increase the time it takes to end a game, it will use your supplies more efficiently (larger ships gain more supplies back and are less easily destroyed) and allow you to purchase more ships in the long run. Due to the supply costs, each Klingon vessel should be treasured and not thrown away like a Dominion bug would be. Ambushes, hit and runs and freighter hunting will thus become the central pillar to your tactics throughout a game.
Asides from the construction ship and mining vessel, all Klingon vessels either come equipped with a cloaking device or can have one installed after research (the BortaS, Cho’naQ, and Negh’var). Klingon vessels take a long time to cloak (four seconds). Consequently, if you wish to retreat in the midst of big battle, think twice, as most small vessels can lose a subsystem or two if fired upon (the K’beajQ is an exception). Larger vessels like the Vor’cha, LuSpet, Vutpa’ can get away with such reckless behavior. That being said, the cloak can be used to great effect to mount hit and runs and keep your opponent fearful. Often a few cloaked vessels left at an expansion can cause your opponent to retreat. Similarly an uncloaked vessel or two can lead your opponent to strike – whereupon the rest of your battlefleet decloaks and blows them to Sto’Vo’Kor. Klingon cloaking devices consume no special weapons energy.
Klingons prioritize military ship construction and are thus very efficient at it. Not only can they produce warships from their starbase, but the first Klingon yard - the Field Yard - has a unique vessel construction method. By selecting the middle section of a Field Yard you can expand this yard to up to three separate building yards. This is cheaper than building a new Field Yard and makes fast ship production possible in early game. Of course, your opponent’s can simply target the middle section to destroy the entire yard complex. Note that the Field Yard center is also rather cheap - because it comes integrated with a repair facility, it can be used to set up cheap front-line docks.
The second (Battle Yard) and third yard (Imperial Yard) cannot be expanded, but by having three separate main yards you can produce many different types of units at the same time – something the other factions cannot do very well.
Conversely, the Klingon Imperial Empire has a rather inefficient research system. To get to your most advanced vessels you must built the largest amount of stations compared to other factions. Individual researches are also extremely tritanium expensive compared to other factions. All special abilities are researched at research stations. General weapon, shield and vessels speed upgrades are scattered throughout the different research stations.
However, the large number of individual stations can be used to your advantage in different ways. You can easily build yards and research facilities in separate expansions and decentralize your base operations or make them harder to all kill at once. This of course can also bring problems when too many stations in your base may force you to build expensive research stations in tactically unsound locations.