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.


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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Crystals Young and Old

The Spirit of a New Confederation

The spirit of a thing is that which survives changes in circumstance. The spirit of the Crystal is that of The Snare. The Crystals have a unique technology around which their entire fleet and all strategies must be constructed. Web mines drain fuel, paralyze enemy operations, force them to waste valuable time sweeping, and allow the Crystal to harvest the survivors for their own fleet. However, the opponents of the Crystal are not likely to just march their ships into Crystal space. They must rather be goaded into it, smothered, or caught unawares. Crystal success hinges on the effective implementation of ensnarement tactics.

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