This is the eleventh 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 Solar Federation: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.
Ease Of Command: Veteran
Difficulty To Defeat: Hard
General: The Solar Federation has, over the centuries, come to embrace a wide variety of races and cultures from across the stars. They are a highly inclusive people with a scientific bent, and natural gifts for engineering, improvisation, and luck. While many find their highly structured form of government intrusive and confining, others delight in the cosmopolitan nature of their society
Identification: First will come their emissaries, smiling and peaceful. A small fleet of light ships will appear on your border, spreading out gradually to every unpopulated world, even terraforming those which at first glance seem unsuitable. Gradually, their ships get larger and more powerful, until finally you’re faced with massive stacks of battleships, all armed with top-of-the-line weapons and extra chrome.
And they’re still smiling at you.
Fleet Composition: The Federation has one of the broadest and, in some ways, weakest ship lists in the Echo Cluster. They have a specialized tool for every purpose, including Lokis for anti-cloak protection, a bioscanner, and two different terraformers. The Nova Class Battleship is one of the heaviest armed warships in the Echo Cluster, but has a deceptively light hull and low cost; the Missouri is even lighter yet almost as heavily armed. Rounding this out is the Kittyhawk, a carrier that would be nearly useless without the Federation’s specific combat advantages.
Strengths And Weaknesses:
Economic: A massive bonus in received taxes gives the Federation a massive boost to early ship construction. This is partly countered by severe restrictions on their mineral mining ability, but once they have their first Merlin they can become an economic powerhouse. Add to this their Super Refit ability, which can save vast sums in starbase technology investments, and the Federation swiftly becomes the strongest production force in the cluster. They do, however lack a fleet fuel hauler.
Military: The Nova Class Battleship is designed to stand in line of battle against all comers, and the Missouri is almost as tough. The Kittyhawk is cheap yet powerful; its major weakness is a decided lack of fighter capacity. But the true deadliness of the Federation fleet comes from its crew advantage, which makes damaged ships fight nearly as well as undamaged, and Federation carriers spew fighters like mad.
NOTE: Advanced Federation factions can gain access to a wide variety of advantages, not least of which being top-end Quantum Torpedoes, which can painlessly eliminate light ships and provide a tremendous advantage against smaller starbases. They also have a broad list of variant ship hulls. It’s entirely possible they’re the most versatile and advanced faction in the Cluster.
- The Federation, unable to construct the NFC, has no dedicated fleet tanker.
- During the early stages of a conflict, Federation commanders often stockpile empty hulls rather than producing functional warships. This can make them vulnerable to early attacks, and even believable feints can hurt their production.
- Unless they gain an ally, the Federation has no easy way to reduce well-fortified 200/60 starbases.
- Loki-proof cloaking races (the Birds and Lizards) can still get past Federation cloaking defenses.
Trade and Alliances:
- The Loki, Eros, and Bohemian are all low-cost high-value trading ships.
- Most Federation commanders will swap their Super Refit ability for top-end hulls.
The Federation benefits most from allies with cloaking technology, heavy carriers, and free fighter construction advantages. Their abilities make them a match for any other race.
The Solar Federation is perhaps the single most advantaged faction in the Echo Cluster. Their ship list is broad and somewhat weak, but their advantages are perfectly tuned to what they can construct. Even novices can command the Federation with relative ease, and in the hands of an expert they become truly deadly.
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