About Gnerphk

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

First Turns: The Evil 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.


The Evil Empire fields one of the strongest warships in the Echo Cluster. The Gorbie Class Battlestation is the most massive and powerful battlecarrier available to anyone. The PL21 is a passable hyperspace probe that, when coupled with the Empire’s ability to Dark Sense, gives them the ability to project force intelligently across any cluster. Finally, the Super Star Destroyer is capable of capturing an enemy starbase intact without a battle.

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The New Tanks

With the A.I. debate in every news source these days, sometimes it’s tough to keep perspective. Planets Magazine is proud to present this short, (hopefully) fictional vignette to remind us that, at the end of the day, even an A.I. is only a machine, and it has no choice but to follow its orders. We hope you enjoy it.

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The Transition

In Planets, like chess, there’s that hectic opening period where we rush out these patchwork abomination hulls any old how and just have to cope with for the rest of the game. There’s the serious middle game, which is all about optimizing logistics and supplying manufacturing hubs. Eventually, somehow, we arrive at the endgame, where one ragtag fleet end is battling the barrel-scrapings of another through exhaustion and out the other side.

It’s that ‘somehow’ on which I’d like to focus for just a moment: that poorly-defined transition point between the middle and the beginning of the end.

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Threat Assessment: The Solar Federation

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
Playstyle: Detailed

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The Lucky Stripes Job (The Operative)

My office door was swinging open, slowly and quietly. Now, you gotta understand: I’ve got a squeak in that door that I’ve been training up for years now, and every time the super fixes it I put it right back in. It’s one of the hidden alarms of a professional paranoid, and the fact that someone had troubled to silence it had me on instant alert. With my left hand I turned a page to cover the sound of my right unclipping a slugthrower from under my chair arm. The door had stopped; it was now or never time.

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NuNiverse Review, Part 2

So this is Christmas
And what have we done?
Ingenii’s over
Nectaris just begun…

There’s been a lot of vehement opinion and even, I daresay, some very real anger expressed at a few of the recent changes to the game. While this always serves to keep the conversation active in the Feed, it also has an impact on player retention — a topic close to all our hearts, I’m sure. After all, if new players stop coming and old players keep going away, our beloved game won’t last long.

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How To Lose


(Part of this was presented in Planets Con 2022.)

It’s long surprised me that nobody has yet written the authoritative Guide on how to lose a Planets game. Considering all the writing devoted to sure-fire paths to victory, this should be a shoo-in, an automatic next-best-thing for the ne’er-do-well writer just itching for something new to write about. And yet, nobody seems to have done so — until now.

Let’s remedy that lapse, shall we?

Sit back until you’re resting comfortably, have your flight attendant bring you a relaxing beverage, and brace for impact, people. You’re about to learn How To Lose.

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The Results Are In!

NOTE: This was a poll, and the results are non-binding.

The balloting for the preferred new name for the Faction Formerly Known As The Fascists has finished, and the count is proceeding even as we speak. (Once we’re done, I’ll replace this paragraph and insert the final results below. It will take a while.) has finally been completed!

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Election Time!

The polls and suggestion box were designed to determine the answers to certain questions. We used these answers to design a ranked-choice ballot to determine the most popular name among our players. The final decision, as always, rests with the developers, who own the game; our job is simply to collect the popular opinion and inform them of what that is. After that, the decision rests in their hands.

For an explanation on how Ranked Choice Voting works, please see this helpful article on our sister site, The Not Fake News.

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