The Negotiator’s Parables

Lessons in Planets Diplomacy

Once upon a time in a sector two feet in front of my eyes, I tumbled down a wormhole and found a universe that was flat, the stars bright but still, and cows, worms, and iguanas lived on tiny white dots in the black. To my right, I saw a flock of birds caught in webs and a lizard eating a shoe. On my left there were many soldiers, some nearly human and others part machine. They were caught in an endless war of lies and blood. I averted my eyes.

It was then that I noticed the cricket on a rock near the path. He wore a dress shirt and a tie. As odd as it was, it was stranger still when he asked me to sit. He taught me about Space War and spoke of the Grand Queue. The wisdom of the cricket opened my mind and I decided to pass it on… to you.

Continue reading

First Turns: The Crystal Confederation

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 Crystals have one of the worst ship lists in the Echo Cluster. They share the record for weakest battleship (the Diamond Flame) with the Fascists, but they do supplement that with an inexpensive third-rate fleet carrier. A wide variety of minelayers, tenders, scoopers, sweepers, and tow ships all contribute to the primary Crystalline mission of covering the Cluster in a continuous field of vibrant Web.

Continue reading

Commander Koski’s Anti-Horwasp Guide (aka SIR MF)

The Horwasps arrived in the Echo Cluster years ago, yet no proper guides about fighting against them were available — until now. The outcome is clear in games: Either the players fear the Horwasp too much and let them grow too strong, or they charge toward them recklessly, losing ships in vain.

Continue reading

Threat Assessment: The Robotic Imperium

This is the sixth anonymous report analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of one of the Eleven Races. These redacted versions were approved by the Senate for immediate publication, to 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 Robotic Imperium: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

Overview

Ease Of Command: Veteran
Difficulty To Defeat: Average
Style: Defensive

Continue reading

First Turns: The Lizard Alliance

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:

While the Lizard fleet technically has the weakest battleship in the T-Rex, this is more than made up for with the increased ship durability granted by the Lizard Crew Bonus. Similarly, the too-light Madonzilla can act as a support carrier in fleet battles, and the undergunned Lizard Class Cruiser fights as well as a battlecruiser in most situations.

Continue reading

Threat Assessment: The Cyborg

This is the fifth in a series of anonymous reports analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the Eleven Races. These redacted versions were approved by the Senate for immediate publication, to 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 Cyborg: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

Overview

Ease Of Command: Expert
Difficulty To Defeat: Low To High
Style: Aggressive

Continue reading

First Turns: The Empire Of The Birds

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 Bird Empire, like the Crystals, has the weakest economy of any race in the Echo Cluster. For their survival they rely on the justly dreaded Dark Wing, the only cloaking battleship; however, absent extreme luck, they will rarely produce enough before the Ship Limit — and, even if they do, the ability to cloak gives a battleship no extra survivability against heavy carriers. The Birds have little hope in direct combat.

Which is why their ship list and abilities were designed to excel in indirect tactics.

Continue reading

Threat Assessment: The Crystal Confederation

This is the fourth in a series of anonymous reports that, redacted, 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 Crystal Confederation: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

Overview

Ease Of Command: Expert
Difficulty To Defeat: High
Style: Defensive

Continue reading

Threat Assessment: The Empire of the Birds

This is the third in a series of anonymous reports that mysteriously appeared overnight on the desk of the Editor. 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 Empire of the Birds: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

Overview

Ease Of Command: Master
Difficulty To Defeat: Moderate
Style: Aggressive

Continue reading

The Mercenary’s Code

It has long been evident that trades involving racial benefits offer disproportionately valuable rewards. Free Fighters, Super Refit, 4x Minelaying, and Fighter Sweeping cost little to provide and can win the war for anyone who accepts. Now, with the advent of the new Nerf Crystals, it has become apparent that some new means of trading for services should be attempted.

As always, the Planets Magazine staff are eager to selflessly throw themselves into research for new content, and, not willing to abandon tradition, when I was given Crystals in the War, I created an experimental format: the neutral mercenary.

Continue reading