This Articles of War document was decrypted and translated as a study model for Echo Cluster strategists. These intelligence briefs describe employable tactics and complementary ship combinations for the eleven races.
The underlying purpose of the this series is to encourage commanders to consider what happens before the game transitions to the end game. We often build our fleets with one thing in mind: maximum power, all the way — hooyah! Beyond theory, the majority of actions which lead to victory are done within the first forty to sixty turns; moreover, eight races have their best chance of winning if they gain a significant advantage before the transition to the final slog. Those first fifty turns can be used for more than just building ships and whipping the local indigenous populations. It’s the perfect time for Tech 1-9 to go forth and shine.
Imperial Intelligence Services – CLASSIFIED
0128 NU Year — IIS 41/A22
TO: Grand Moff Terrapin
FROM: Admiral Piety
Fleet Formation Intelligence Report
The following is a summary of IIS data on the tactics and flying formations of enemy warships. It is presented to all sector generals to aid in the war effort against enemies of the Empire.
Targeted Location: Rodu 9 sector, outlying planets
Encounter Type: sneak attack, pillage, economy disruption
Forces Involved: D7 Coldpain Class Cruiser, D3 Thorn Class Destroyer
In the Rodu 9 sector, a tandem team consisting of a cloaking cruiser and a lightly-armed destroyer crossed into the Hudrak-12 cluster. To quickly cover territory, the former towed the latter and they cloaked when crossing open regions of deep space. While their earlier moves were visible, both vessels vanished as they neared our borders.
Our forces expect the raiders to reappear and pillage multiple unsuspecting worlds before a defense mobilizes. Pre-assessments calculate significant damage to local infrastructure unless minefields are established.
Targeted Location: Karelia system, core production planets
Encounter Type: subsidiary strike, destruction of civilian facilities, resource depletion
Forces Involved: D7 Coldpain Class Cruisers, Ill Wind Class Battlecruisers
Deep in the Karelia system, recorded video revealed three cloakers applying “scorched earth” tactics to Imperial worlds. Our troops responded, but they were routed by three battlecruisers swiftly advancing behind the vanguard. Ground assaults and planetary attacks followed pillaging; moreover, the trespassers slaughtered all of our colonists, agitated the indigenous populations, jettisoned minerals into space, and slipped into the night carrying thousands of MegaCredits. The Fascist knack for avoiding planetary battlements allowed these barbarians freedom to target resources, civilians, natives, and production buildings.– It was appalling to note that no quarter was given. — As a result, precious resources did not reach space docks and ship construction was drastically slowed.
Imperial analysts conclude D7s supplied by IWs is a formidable combination and, when both are on the offensive, the duo threatens to permanently cripple regional economy. We cannot ignore this threat.
Targeted Location: Lola 23a region, MegaCredit-rich planets
Encounter Type: theft, economy disruption, hit-and-run incursion
Forces Involved: D7 Coldpain Class Cruiser, hyperdrive probes
In the Lola 23a region, Imperial spies observed a cloning facility in the Er Rakis planet cluster. The Fascist scientists reverse-engineered probes from a secondary empire. The hyperdrive vessels joined forces with hidden vessels to rob our more lucrative outposts. These thieving Coldpains penetrated our front lines and provided visual confirmation for hyperjumps targeting planetary orbits or warpwells. At times, both cloakers and probes successfully pillaged our colonies, but the key to this tactic was the ability to make 150-LY escapes with thousands of cash. Planetary commanders confirmed that our planets were helpless against the attackers and stressed a need for more orbital defense ships.
At 0600 this morning, the Lola 23a regiment launches frigates and light carriers to deal with these interlopers. But, the Fleet Admiral wishes to convey a concern about the thinning of our combat lines.
Targeted Location: Sector 294118, enemy core
Encounter Type: frontal assault and attrition, territorial penetration, logistical support
Forces Involved: D7 Coldpain Class Cruisers, support flotilla of Neutronic Fuel Carriers, Ill Wind Class Battlecruisers, Super Transport Freighters, alchemy ships, and escorts, i.e., Victorious Class Battleships
The Regional Commander in Sector 294118 experienced a relentless onslaught of cloaking pillagers. As clans and money dwindled, the Menace encroached on critical planets. Our battlecarriers prepared to intercept the attackers, but our scouts failed to determine how the Fascist cloakers continually pressed their advance without fresh supplies. Sensor sweeps and Dark Sense discovered no hidden bases or fuel depots, but our agents among an allied race ascertained the position of a flotilla of Fascist ships. Analysts determined that this supply convoy camouflaged itself above an uncolonized planet. Earlier scans of this planet indicated that Amorphous natives once dominated the surface and a glory device decimated the entire population.
Sector 294118 is overrun by the Fascist armada. As we speak, our forces withdraw and the Regional Commander undergoes an inquiry about his error to leave this “rock” unattended.
Targeted Location: Praesepe 5 sector, developed planets
Encounter Type: ground assault, blockade run
Forces Involved: D7a Painmaker Class Cruiser, Super Transport Freighter
At 0400 this morning, Imperial listening posts lost contact with our forward supply base in the Praesepe sector. Final communications from the fifth planet spoke of a massive transport blocking out the sunrise and tens of thousands of Fascist terrorists rampaging the capital. Upon further investigation, our analysts learned this vessel was towed through a minefield by a small-but-tough cruiser. The assault force evaded Praesepe 5’s defense posts and over half a million colonists died.
Senior advisors suggest our base commanders anticipate an increase in these types of attacks. As Fascist vessels are immune to planetary defenses and their ground assaults are almost as brutal as the Lizards, the threat of large quantities of troops is very real.
Targeted Location: News Mars sector, expansion territory
Encounter Type: planet destruction, avoidance of capital ships
Forces Involved: Victorious Class Battleship or Ill Wind Class Battlecruiser, Deth Specula Class Frigates
IIS received bad news from the New Mars expansion. After taking severe losses at the hands of two well-armed warships, the assigned regiment retreated. A single battleship combined with one frigate to lay waste to our expansion. A witness believed he spotted two cloakers, but they never showed at the same time. No below-max defenses or starbases stood a chance against the enemy’s Fast Beams and only our capital ships possessed the power to bring the duo down.
Sector generals report the Imperial fleets cannot intercept these Fascist attackers because they only strike when our heavy carriers are engaged elsewhere. Cloaked cruisers are scouting and eliminating minefields, while battlecruisers and battleships tear through our planetary defenses. The losses currently seem insignificant, but the constant drain on our economy is costing us the war.
Field agents unanimously agree the Pillage mission is the race’s most dangerous weapon. To defend against this violent act, the Empire must prepare escorts, minefields, and patrols. Furthermore, logistics officers should note that this tactic feeds the aggressor’s war machine, at once stealing from and smothering our colonies. We can make no mistake: The Fascist leader to most fear is the one who brandishes the Big P without reservation.
To the Fascist initiative, pillaging is so vital that the D7 Coldpain Class Cruiser establishes itself as fleet Alpha Dog, even above the Victorious Class Battleship. Able to employ cloaking, planetary immunity, fast beams, minelaying, towing, ground combat advantage, and pillaging, the D7 is accepted by our analysts as the most versatile ship in the Echo Cluster. As the backbone of a Fascist advance, it’s clear why it flies as vanguard of any attack formation.
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Thanks for reading. – TS
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