About Gnerphk

I am The Gnerphk, writer extraordinaire, opinionated, radical, and extremely humble by nature.

First Turns: The Fascist Empire

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 Fascists are at once the race with the weakest ship list and the broadest. They share the weakest battleship (the optimistically-named Victorious) with the Crystals but lack their fleet carrier; of the four cloaking races they build the worst cloaking ships with the highest cost and smallest holds. In Standard they have access to Fast Beams, but the 1-point hull penalty on their Glory Device ships robs them of the queue dominance attainable by their Classic brethren.

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Threat Assessment: The Fascist Empire

This series of anonymous reports was intercepted in transit to an unknown force outside the Echo Cluster. After emergency review by the Senate Committee on Military Classification, these redacted versions were approved for immediate publication. They can be used to acquaint the unfamiliar with the Eleven Races of the Echo Cluster, but also they should be read by commanders of each respective race so they can review their own vulnerabilities in the face of this new and unknown external threat. In this dispatch we focus on the Fascist Empire: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

Overview

Ease Of Command: Veteran or Higher
Difficulty To Defeat: High
Style: Aggressive

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Riding The Ghost Train

[Scene: Filthy Side Street, Charmed World]
[Music: “Let The Good Times Roll” on a scratchy L.P.]
[Shot: Train horn, discordant chord, D# major. Camera pans up past a sign reading “Single Resident Occupancy”, then across the elevated rail line and zooms in on an open window. Two men are inside, talking; one’s dressed for the street, one for the gutter.]


“How often do the trains go by?” he asked out of curiosity.

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Morale: A Mechanism

EDITORIAL

The following article is a personal opinion, and in no way represents the position of the Planets Magazine. It is merely a suggestion, presented as a seed for discussion. -G

All the literary masters of the military arts, from Sun Tzu to Clausewitz, Machiavelli and Vegetius, Patton and Guderian and Stormin’ Norman Schwartzkopf, write extensively about morale as a factor in warfare. Guns are fired by men, and if the man has broken, he won’t fire. It’s a simple equation, and it has driven innovations in tactics since the dawn of modern warfare.

The primary purpose for formations and battle lines is so each soldier can keep watch on his neighbor and make sure he doesn’t retreat (or, perhaps, advance in the wrong direction). The sergeants are in the rear to catch shirkers and turn them back around. And, while the famous “charge” scene in “Enemy At The Gates” is completely, absurdly fictitious, it’s not unknown in history for deserters to be shot en masse.

Machine guns are for deserters, not the enemy!
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Get Rich Quick!

Have you ever sat down to a game full of excitement, played out the first dozen turns or so, and been suddenly and entirely frustrated by the absence of decent natives? In how many of these games were you forced to compromise on shipbuilding entirely too much, sacrificing engines or torpedo and beam tech to produce a second-class fleet?

Let me put it another way: Did you ever win without native luck?


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How To Jam The Queue – And When

We now have three different queue systems where this topic is applicable, and the thought of jamming the Queue is becoming more and more confusing. What’s getting stranger even than that is the curious circumstances of the newest Queue (if you keep track of them as they go by), in that it can sometimes be a greater advantage to keep it flowing smoothly at one time, then paused, then flowing again; or, if you have several bases all ready to build at once, you might well prefer a one-time massive construction surge.

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On Keeping The Pot Boiling

A few of you have expressed interested in how Planets Mag works — some with an eye to contributing content, others no doubt from idle curiosity. The simple truth is, alas, that we’ve got no idea ourselves. We keep writing, and people keep reading, and these are good things.

There’s more to it, mind; it’s a valuable rule to remember that everything is always more complex. So if you’re interested in the process, feel free to keep reading. If on the other hand you prefer to think of it as “magic” and just plan to enjoy the fruits of our labor… well, you too can keep reading, because this is exactly one of those products of which we are (for better or worse) so immensely proud.

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Planets Without A Subscription: A Guide

There are several rules to playing Planets Nu without paying for a subscription. I’m going to start with the first one.

Rule 1. Don’t.

Most things in life, you can maybe cut some corners and save a couple bucks here and there, and it’s worth it. There are some exceptions to this rule, for example: Durable, comfortable shoes tend to cost more than the cheapest, but the difference in price pays for itself in a couple of years because they won’t be worn out by the time you’ve replaced the plastic junk ones twice over. Plus later in life your back and legs will thank you. On this same list can be found such items as a good mattress, the right toilet paper, tea that isn’t made from dust and sweepings, filtered water for your coffee, and Planets Nu.

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