For thousands of years, mankind plied the vast space between the stars in slow, massive generational starships.
The basic concept of the game is you toggle between ships with the [ and ] keys and move them around with the W A S D keys.
You can also move ships back and forth on the Z plane using the Q and C keys.
Despite the fact that in reality space is very large, ships collide when moving with other ships and planets.
These collisions represent not physical blockage per se (except for planets), but interactions between your ships and the objects they are colliding with.
Depending on context, the ship may be able to take an action: a numbered menu of available actions is shown on the GUI after collisions.
To issue one of these actions, you press the number key corresponding to the action on the menu. This action will then go green, that represents the action is assigned to the ship.
When you end the turn, all ships will execute their actions in an arbitrary order. Then you can once again move and issue new commands next turn.
Your main concern as fleet leader is resources, which are shown at the bottom of the screen.
The grey blocks are Metal, the green leaf is Food, the red bubbles are Fuel, and the purple icon is Knowledge.
- Metal is used for repairing ships hulls, which are made of extremely high-strength carbonize nanosteel, and firing torpedoes, which are nuclear warheads requiring the processing of massive amounts of ore. Metal is also used for building Androids.
- Food is consumed every turn, the more people you have in all of the ships of your fleet combined, the more food is consumed. If you run out of food, a random % of the crew on every ship in your fleet will starve every turn. Food is also consumed when building Clones.
- Fuel is consumed whenever you jump the fleet, and is required in order to jump at all. The more ships that are in your fleet, the more fuel will be consumed by each jump. Small ships use less fuel than medium ships, and large ships use more fuel than medium ships. Fuel is also consumed by launching fighters.
- Knowledge is consumed by jumping to a Silencer Core, and is required to jump to a silencer core. You must jump to, and destroy, all seven silencer cores to win the game.
2.1 PLANETS AND RESOURCES
Although you can search stations for small amounts of Metal, Food, and Fuel, and board Silencers to gather small amounts of Knowledge, you mostly will gather resources from planets.
- Metal is gathered best from Vulcan worlds and least from Dead worlds, by ships equipped with Miner subsystems.
- Food is gathered best from Terran worlds and least from Desert worlds, by ships equipped with Harvester subsystems.
- Fuel is gathered best from Gas Giant worlds and least from Ice Giant worlds, by ships equipped with Skimmer subsystems.
- Knowledge is gathered only from rare Ruins worlds, by ships equipped with Research Pod subsystems.
Each of a ship's subsystems gather resources, so ships with more than one subsystem will gather resources very rapidly.
All gathering operations have a 5 turn total spin-up time. This means it takes 5 turns to reach maximum production.
This represents the ship having to land on the world (or cruise in its atmosphere in the case of Fuel), set up equipment and so on.
Everything you can do to the game has to be done through ships. Because of this, if there are ever no friendly ships, you lose the game.
3.1 CREW & HULL
A ship is destroyed, and turns into scrap, if its hull ever drops to 0. A ship can no longer be commanded if its crew ever drops to 0.
However, when a ship drops below 50% of its maximum crew, it will begin having to make random rolls to execute actions, and will do nothing if the roll fails.
The lower the crew, the higher the failure chance.
Max crew and hull, for the 3 ship classes, are as follows:
- Large: Hull/Crew Max: 400
- Medium: Hull/Crew Max: 200
- Small: Hull/Crew Max: 100
Hull can be Repaired, by ships using the Repair action, and crew can be raised or lowered by transferring crew between friendly ships.
Ships can be equipped with packaged equipment called Subsystems, allowing them to execute certain actions beyond what is available by default.
All subsystems stack: the more of them a ship carries, the more effective that action will be.
Subsystems can be transferred between ships, and ships can only carry a maximum number of subsystems based on class, as follows:
- Large: 9
- Medium: 6
- Small: 4
The subsystem types are as follows:
- Harvester: Allows gathering of food.
- Skimmer: Allows gathering of gas.
- Miner: Allows gathering of metal.
- Research Pods: Allows gathering of Knowledge.
- Torpedo Bay: Allows firing of torpedoes, an attack that uses only Metal.
- Fighter Bay: Allows launching of fighters, an attack that uses fuel and crew, and does greater damage than torpedoes.
- Clone Lab: Allows creation of new crew using Food.
- Droid Factory: Allows creation of new crew using Metal.
- Repair Bay: Allows repairing of ships.
- Scavenger: Allows harvesting of Metal from scrap.
- Assault Suits: Allows boarding of enemy ships, using Crew. Boarding only kills crew, which can turn an enemy human ship friendly. You can also board Silencers, this will have a chance of returning Knowledge, but it does not damage the Silencer at all.
- Jump Drive: This allows you to start a jump. The jump will execute at the end of 5 turns, and will take all nearby ships in the fleet with you to the next system. This costs fuel for each ship. Small ships use less fuel than medium ships, and large ships use more fuel than medium ships.
- Tech Lab: This permits the Develop ability, which can use Knowledge to develop a Subsystem to have enhancement level II, II, or IV. These bonuses give the subsystem greater efficiency. The overall effectiveness of that subsystem is increased. The ability must be targeted on a subsystem on the same ship, you can transfer it away afterward.
3.3 SHIP POLITICS
Ships are either in fleet(Green), friendly(Blue Grey), or enemy(Red), and stations can either be friendly or enemy.
Enemy ships will attack you if they have weapons, and can be turned Friendly by attacking them.
There is a random chance of changing friendly based on the amount of damage inflicted, a ship will automatically turn friendly if the crew is wiped out.
Friendly ships that are not in fleet cannot be commanded until you add them to the fleet by pressing Z.
However, once you add them to the fleet, they will begin consuming food and they will jump with you to new systems, consuming fuel.
However, your own fleet can interact with friendly ships, by taking subsystems and crew.
This is not looked upon kindly by these ships, since they fear you will leave them behind in the jump, which you may well intend to do.
There is a random chance whenever you do this that the ship will turn hostile, so be extremely cautious taking crew or subsystems from heavily armed ships you have not yet added to fleet.
3.4 NON-SUBSYSTEM BASED ACTIONS
- Give crew.
- Take crew.
- Give subsystems.
- Take subsystems.
- Search Stations, which will yield either resources or an abandoned ship, on a successful search.
Stations will have between 0 and 3 searches total, and success is random.
However, when searching a non-abandoned Station, there is a random chance on each search your search party will run into a gang of disgruntled station crew and get into a fight, costing lives on both sides.
Remember, station crew can turn at any time: they never have a guarantee of being taken along with the fleet when you jump.
At any time, regardless of what subsystems they are carrying. However, except for crew ops, all these actions still require a roll if crew is below 50% maximum.
After 5 days, Silencers will begin appearing in the system.
They are small ships with less than 100 hull typically and are armed with weapons that discharge 6000K plasma bolts capable of melting through the nanosteel armor of ships easily.
Additionally, all Silencers are of a "flight", based on and created by one of the seven Cores. When you destroy the associated Core, you will render that form of Silencer extinct.
However, the other Cores will increase production to compensate, so this will not reduce the net total number of silencers.
This is why it is important, if you have a choice, to destroy the flights of silencers you deem most dangerous.
The flights of silencers are:
- Destruction(Green): These silencers are armed with unstable neutronium warheads that do additional hull damage.
- Death(Blue): These silencers are armed with neutron beams, that can cause additional crew death on ships.
- Dischord(Red): These silencers awaken sleeper agents planted in the crew of the target ship, causing it to turn against the fleet.
- Famine(White): These silencers destroy Food when they attack.
- Greed(Purple): These silencers destroy subsystems when they attack.
- Ruin(Black): These silencers destroy Metal when they attack.
- Ignorance(Gold): These silencers destroy Knowledge when they attack.
Destroying silencers, or any ship, yields no benefit except a hulk that can be salvaged for scrap metal.
When all 7 cores are destroyed, the silencers will be unable to produce any further ships and this effectively wins the game for the player.