The easiest way for me to kill these creatures guarding nice to awesome systems is to MIRV nukes. This requires 3 levels of chem techs now. The usual plan is to use Frigates (FF) as they can be built cheaply and won't be much of a loss when killed. The early ships will raise your fleet level on the history graph and may be enough to prevent aggressive super races from thinking you're weak and helpless and attacking early. So your FF needs battlepods and then in ICE it will support 31 space. A 2-shot MIRV nuke with 3 chem techs can be upgraded to everything. Save space and don't use ECCM which you don't need vs these monsters and take up 15 space so you can include 2 missiles per ship. I guess I don't need armored but leaving it out won't help me put another useful missile onboard and I will want armored vs an early AI enemy. I don't worry about space academies for these FF as many will be destroyed anyhow and a couple may end up refitted as scouts to further explore once I colonize my new system. So your monster FF has 2-two shot MIRV nukes that are FST and ARM. I put the basic computer on my FF's, it doesn't cost much, but may not be needed. Minimal monster FF fleets seem to be: DRAGON: Use 11 FF and run away after shooting or this guy will kill too many FF's on it's second turn. Shoot your 2nd salvo and run away again. HYDRA: Use 17 FF! This bad boy will kill 4 of your FF instantly and then 6 more next turn since he has energy absorber and will shoot stored energy at 2 more plus the 4 he kills with his weapon. Charge him to make sure missiles which now do 48 rather than 64damage finish him with the 2nd salvo quickly to prevent a 3rd turn. For those playing Vanilla, you still want to use monster FF but you need fewer.