Threat Assessment: The Lizard Alliance

This is the ninth 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 Lizard Alliance: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

Overview

Ease Of Command: Novice and Up
Difficulty To Defeat: High
Style: Aggressive

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First Turns: The Robotic Imperium

Most games are won or lost in the first few turns. 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 Robots have a powerful and unique, yet limited, ship list. They are remarkable not only for having not one but two effective heavy carriers, the Golem and the Automa, but also for their ability to control vast swathes of the battleground using their mass minelaying advantage by way of their lone minelayer, the Cat’s Paw. The inexpensive and relatively low-tech medium carrier, the Instrumentality, is the cherry on top.

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It’s Like Christmas – Part II

In the first article of this two-part series, I introduced the concept of “Christmas planets” – those newly-scanned worlds which make you cry out, “Yus!” and unabashedly pump your fists. There’s lots of resources on a map, but these beautiful gifts bring joy to both new and experienced players. They supply every production facility within 2-3 turns and boost entire economies up to 2-3 clusters away. Most planets provide resources for 10-30 turns, but these anti-misers keep giving long into the end game. This article highlights several top-priority Christmas planets.

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It’s Like Christmas – Part I

My childhood contained two Christmases I most remember. The first was spending winter in the snowy mountains of Newfoundland, Canada. — This has little relevance to the article, but it sets the mood rather well. — The second memory – and the more important glimmer of my past – was opening the best gift ever: a Nintendo Entertainment System. As I played Super Mario Bros. for the first time, I felt an odd sense of euphoria. The world filled with wonder and possibilities; and I knew I was special and super lucky to have this gift. Later in my life, this type of joy occurred three more times: finding a twenty dollar bill at an exhibition fair, winning the grand prize from a granola bar package, and receiving an orbital scan from a Planets starship above a world of indigenous Insectoids. These last moments appear as mundane but they felt like Christmas.

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So You’re Doomed. Now What? (A Guide For The Hopeless)

First things first: We’ve all been there. It’s not just you.

The nature of the game is, one person wins. That generally means nine or ten lose — and don’t fool yourself: Unless you’re in the Victory Countdown, second place is just First Loser. All things being equal, nine games out of ten, you’re going to end up in a completely hopeless position. It sucks, but what are you gonna do about it? Cry a little?

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Threat Assessment: The Rebel Confederation

This is the seventh 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 Rebel Confederation: its strengths, its weaknesses, and how best to defeat it in battle.

Overview

Ease Of Command: Beginner
Difficulty To Defeat: High
Playstyle: Mixed

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First Turns: The Cyborg

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 Cyborg field not one but two of the strongest warships in the Echo Cluster. The Annihilation is the most massive and powerful battleship, and the Biocide is a carrier nearly as huge as the Empire’s Gorbie — and with a larger cargo hold to boot. The Firecloud permits instantaneous travel across any distance, and there’s also a passable hyperspace probe that, when coupled with the Cyborg’s ability to assimilate natives, grants them the ability to expand rapidly across any cluster.

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First Turns: The Rebel Confederation

Most games are won or lost in the first few turns. 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 Rebels have a powerful yet limited ship list, remarkable not only for its heavy carrier, the Rush, but also the Falcon, the only efficient hyperspace transport in the Echo Cluster. Their best shield-scratchers are the Tranquility, the Gaurdian, and the Iron Lady, which sets them at a late-war disadvantage against a more balanced race. However, their ability to undermine even the best-defended starbases through Rebel Ground Assault more than balances any slight disadvantage they face on the field of battle.

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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.

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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.

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