Fleet Stacks: The Missing Colonies Of Man

Articles Of War, Supplemental

In this series of brief supplements, we examine not ships as individuals but when working together as a machine, in task groups or battle formations. These articles presume familiarity with the concepts of Battle Order and Left vs. Right Combat.

The Colonies, like four other races, field a heavy carrier that can take on any single vessel in the Echo Cluster on relatively equal ground. The Virgo has the further advantage of being cheap to build (minerals-wise) and arm (free fighters). However, the rest of the Colonial fleet is composed largely of vessels too lightweight to be allowed out on their own.

In consequence of this, in an appendix to the Dreadlord Manual of antique fame, Doug Suerich proposed grouping a Patriot with a Little Joe and a Cygnus. When employed properly, he contended, this trio could be deadly against most foes. Unfortunately, what was true in 1994 has not withstood the test of time; against cloakers, who can select their targets through Intercept, such a group can gain no advantage from stacking, and against even medium carriers, battleships, or battlecruisers, they’re simply flying to their deaths — a gift to any adversary who chooses to seize it.

Instead, we shall focus on ship stacks that function

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First Turns: The Privateer Bands

Most wars are won or lost long before the fighting starts. This series concentrates only on those critical few turns leading up to the Ship Limit as a key to achieving long-term goals necessary for victory.

Overview:

The heaviest warship buildable by the Privateer Bands is the Bloodfang Class Carrier, a passable medium warship but hardly a vessel designed to stand in the line of battle. The Privateer’s preferred venue is in fact elsewhere, in the area of speed, mobility, robbery, and ship capture. Thus, uniquely among the Eleven Races, the Privateer is in a very real sense less dependent on their own economy than their neighbor’s.

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On Luck In Practical Warfare

The following essay is an excerpt taken from Col. South’s upcoming book, his commentary on “The Art Of War”, and is exclusively available to readers of the Planets Magazine. The original essay was based on the text of a speech delivered before the Federation War College on Charmed World shortly before the first League War.

I’ve been studying Sun Tzu my entire professional life, from the Academy on. He’s the ultimate authority on the art of war, and in crisis after crisis in which I’ve found myself, his “Art Of War” has held the answer. Thirteen short chapters, less than twenty thousand words, dating from long before the age of space flight — and yet it is as valid and useful today as when it was first written.

If there exists a factor in warfare which Sun Tzu neglects, however, it must certainly be that of luck. I’ve seen too many people die due to random chance, too many attacks fail due to the influence of the unforeseeable, to neglect the power of luck in combat — and yet all he ever observes on the subject is that to rely on it is to lose. 

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The Joy Of Spam

Wall Of Spam Surrounding Homeworld

In Classic we spam SDSFs; in Standard we spam starbases. The point of either is to bank PBP for later — while, potentially, removing the potential for future builds from your opponent’s fleets. The only format these tactics are useless in is PLS.

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Making the Grade: Strategic Mine Laying

Due to focusing on my studies, it has been months since my last article on Christmas Planets. I have a break between semesters, so I am taking time to write an article which might help players choose which race to embrace — if you are one of those who likes to focus on just one race. This piece examines the capabilities of the eleven Echo Cluster races to control the battlefield with minefields, i.e., strategic mine laying, and it assigns a letter grade to each race based on three skill categories: long term sustainability, countermining potential, and minefield specialisation.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Minefield
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The State Of The Magazine: Update

From the desk of the Editor

Good morning, Planets Nu! We’re back!

We had a post-Christmas hiatus planned here at the Mag in order to permit both Talespin and myself to focus on other, pressing projects. While Talespin’s schooling is going well, I regret to say that the release of my book continues to be delayed. As well, and much to my personal disappointment, the planned guest contributor failed to materialize, and we’re left with a script for a lengthy Planets comic strip and some samples but no actual art.

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Threat Assessment: The Lizard Alliance

This is the ninth in a series of anonymous reports that mysteriously appeared on the Editor’s desk. These redacted versions were approved by the Senate for immediate publication, to be read by commanders of each respective race so they can review their own vulnerabilities in the face of the unknown external threat that commissioned the studies. In this dispatch we focus on that faction known as the Lizard Alliance: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

Overview

Ease Of Command: Novice and Up
Difficulty To Defeat: High
Style: Aggressive

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On Double-Edged Swords

EDITORIAL

For a while now, I’ve had a personal, private theory about why it is that the Evil Empire keeps losing. After all, on the face of things they do have the single best ship in the game, a wide variety of support carriers, free fighters, a hyperspace courier, and an innate advantage that gives them complete information about the static defenses of their rivals. On paper, there’s simply no reason for them to ever lose.

Except, of course, they do. A lot. And I’ve got a theory about why — one that’s made me unpopular a time or two.

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Threat Assessment: The Privateer Bands

This is the eighth in a series of anonymous reports that looks like it could go all the way to eleven — perhaps even twelve. These redacted versions were approved by the Senate for immediate publication, so they can be read by commanders of each respective race in order that they can review their own vulnerabilities in the face of the unknown external threat that commissioned the studies. In this dispatch we focus on that faction known as the Privateer Bands: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

Overview

Ease Of Command: Expert
Difficulty To Defeat: Moderate to High
Style: Highly Aggressive / Swashbuckling

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