A few years ago (1997, to be exact), a close friend of mine set up a 'Starfire Empires' campaign which I was fortunate to participate in. From the start, I saw my empire in a role-playing perspective, rather than as a bunch of spreadsheets. Not good from a bookkeeping point of view, but it did make for a wealth of background material.
Sadly, the campaign has been in hiatus for a long long time, and I am not optimistic about it ever restarting. Too many people dropped out for various reasons (myself included, though there were only two others left), not least of which was that after 30-odd turns none of the players had made any form of contact with each other. Too much accounting work to build up a decent empire, and definitely too long to wait for the real action to start.
Anyhow, here is the story of a feisty and (for me, at least) rather endearing star-faring race known as the Fa'ehung.
WHO ARE THESE GUYS?
Customs & Culture
The Consortium Defence Force
Who Are These Guys?
Name: Faehung (pron. FA-ey-HOONG)
["Fa'ehung" is a jumble of 'Water Dragon' in Mandarin Chinese]
Racial Data: Chauvinism 46, Militancy 45, Determination 42, Outlook 43
[Extremely middle-of-the-road stats, I know]
Speciality - The fundamental design philosophy of Consortium ships and bases is modularization, with components laid out for simple access and ease of replacement. For this reason, the Consortium only pays half the normal hull cost for refits, and all items built are automatically prefabricated at no extra cost.
Furthermore, large units can be simultaneously built in separate components at several yards. One additional turn is required to reassemble these components at one shipyard. This means that if one big ship is needed IN A HURRY, it can be completed in just two turns, provided the shipyards are available.
In the long term, it is more efficient to build ships / bases in the usual manner, but this alternative can be extremely useful.
Physical - The Faehung (pron. FA-ey-HOONG) are bilaterally symmetrical, warm-blooded bipeds, with an average height of 1.4 metres and weight of 80 kg. There are two sexes (male & female) and they are oviparous. From a Terran point of view, they are dinosaurian in appearance, with scales (and vestigial armour-plating), a long (semi-manipulative) tail, prominent teeth (denoting a carnivorous ancestor), and strong legs (well-suited to leaping, less to running).
Arms and hands are well-developed (four digits - two thick fingers and two opposed thumbs), and the cranial capacity is within established norms for most sentient races. The primary sense is visual (binocular, tending towards the infra-red) with eyes being well-protected by both armoured ridges and transparent second eyelids. Their lifespan is roughly the same as a Human.
Certain features vary amongst the Faehung. Skin coloration can be shades of dark green, grey, brown, black, red or even orange. Multiple colours are known, although uncommon, with striping or spotted effects being the usual pattern in such cases. There also many genetically-based physical variations - tail length, eye size, a third (or even fourth!) eyelid, webbing of the digits, varied dental patterns, metabolic differences, and so on. In earlier times, certain of these features were the traits of specific tribal or family groups - started via evolution and genetic drift, and then amplified further (in some cases) by selective breeding. In modern times, discrimination on the basis of these features is unheard of (other than in humour).
Finally, Faehung have no real concept of day and night. Rest and sleep take the form of cat-naps of 1-3 hours at irregular intervals, totalling about the same as the more normal sleep patterns of other beings. Faehung groups will never sleep all at the same time - at least one will always remain awake. Otherwise, most of the group would feel ill at ease. In modern times, this seems pointless, but is a carryover from ancient times when at least one member of a tribe / family would always keep watch while the others slept.
Environmental - The homeworld of the Faehung is both unusual and harsh. It is the innermost planet of the secondary star of the Nexus binary system. Because the planet is tide-locked with its primary, there is a narrow zone attaining Class T conditions. The sheer unlikelihood of this situation has led to speculation as to whether the planet (and/or the Faehung themselves) were artificially created.
Tidal stresses make earthquakes commonplace (though vulcanism is almost unknown), and the terrain is mountainous, with only a few lake-sized bodies of water. Interaction between the two extremes of climate also makes violent storms common.
Within the habitable zone, the geography is mainly akin to savanna, tending towards desert on the light side. A few valleys harbour environments akin to rainforest / jungle, but they are a rarity. Since the darkside gets faint light from the main star of the system, it is not totally uninhabitable but is predominantly tundra or icecap. Even now, it is sparsely populated, and strange lifeforms continue to be discovered there.
It seems likely the Faehung regard most other planets as boring when compared with their homeworld.
History - The early history of the Faehung is as bloody as that of many other sentients. They evolved as hunter-gatherers, organizing into small family groups. Harsh planetary conditions and a lack of resources meant that the majority of these tribes lived in a state of perpetual war.
Towns and cities began to emerge in the Late Medieval Era. It has been said, on Earth, that every type and style of government to ever be used (or even imagined!) had its equivalent in at least one of the city-states of Renaissance Italy. Something similar could be said of the Faehung at this point in their history.
Political power began coalescing into three factions. First, and foremost, were the traditional houses of nobility. Second were the religious orders. Third were the just-emerging merchant guilds.
Warfare became increasingly vicious as the nobles and the priests vied with each other (and amongst themselves!) for dominance. Over several centuries, they would batter each other to total exhaustion, leaving the merchant guilds (amid considerable support from the war-weary populace) to become rulers of the planet.
As the guilds consolidated their power, it became clear that things could not continue as they had. It was eventually decided (after several failures) that, since they were businessmen, the guilds would approach the matter of government as businessmen, rather than trying to think like philosophers or warriors. It is from this time that The Consortium traces its beginnings.
Faehung are, by nature, curious. That, and the need for more resources (plus a lack of any other outlet for expansion or even curiosity), led them to space flight. The settlement of Planet 3 (The Guardian) was a drawn-out process taking almost a century. It raised living standards substantially (both directly and via spin-off technology), but proved the need for a better-organized fleet.
Society - The Consortium is one part Communism, two parts Democracy and three parts Corporation. The result is a remarkably smooth-functioning organization, which invariably confuses everybody else.
All citizens have what can best be called a portfolio of shares in The Consortium. These shares represent social standing, retirement benefits, voting power, and a host of other things. They can increase (via awards for heroism, long service, contributions to society, accrued savings, etc.) or decrease (generally as punishment for certain crimes). They cannot be transferred from one citizen to another (and most would consider the idea distasteful - somewhat like the Terran notion of wearing unearned medals).
There are two groups (or, arguably, castes) whose members lack any kind of portfolio. The first are those found guilty of heinous crimes such as embezzlement, perjury, corruption (by Faehung standards, all one and the same!), or murder. These individuals (assuming they survive!) are permitted basic care, but are unlikely to ever again hold any position of trust (individuals can redeem themselves, but this is extremely rare).
The second group holds quite good standing in Faehung society, consisting of the freethinkers, non-conformists, artists, philosophers and so forth. Whilst members of this caste cannot be elected to anything more than an advisory role in government, they are granted a certain amount of leeway in their actions, and contribute much in creativity and new ideas. Some Faehung who have risen to great status have retired to this caste (returning their own portfolios to The Consortium).
Psychology - Cautious optimists. The Faehung have many qualities - as a society and as individuals - which seem contradictory. They are deliberate in their actions, preferring to think matters through, but are not afraid of seizing the initiative. Individualism is valued, but so is contributing to the well-being of the race and The Consortium.
They seem mild-mannered, but possess an irrepressable sense of humour (with strong tendencies towards the biological), and have little time for pretension or long-windedness - which would be a main cause of friction with certain other beings. Whilst very proud of their own culture, they do not take themselves too seriously and are fairly receptive to new ideas.
Motivations - Advancement - both collectively and individually - via trade and peaceful expansion. Berserkers / Conquistadors are regarded as socially inept, grossly immature, untrustworthy, and dangerously unstable. The Faehung have had plenty of experience with these types in their own history.
In general, the Faehung are looking forward to communicating with other races and other cultures. But their optimism is not blinding them to the less cheery possibilities.
Strategy - The Consortiums main intent is to establish a buffer zone around their home system. Each system adjoining Nexus is to explored and (where possible) settled. Once this area is established, The Consortium will look towards exploration and expansion further afield.
Tactics - Theories abound, but facts are scarce since the CDF lacks experience in the real thing. In light of their weapons capabilities, the logical approach (at this stage) would be using missiles to pound enemies at long range, before committing laser-armed units at the decisive moment. The possibilities continue to be explored via exercises and wargames.
Justice: Faehung justice makes an honest attempt at being stern, but fair, with specific rights for accused, accuser and any injured parties. Punishment for misdemeanours or for non-violent crimes usually involve taking a percentage of the guilty partys portfolio (the more serious the crime, the bigger the percentage). Crimes such as corruption, embezzlement and perjury are equivalent to treason. Beings found guilty of such invariably forfeit their entire portfolios. These and violent offenders may also be subjected to personality alteration or, for particularly heinous acts, the death sentence.
In the Faehung language, there is no difference between Law-enforcer and Auditor.
Debating: The Faehung traditional debate is a combination of verbal jousting and stylized wrestling. Both participants don heavy protective gear, then present their arguments (and launch rebuttals) while grappling, shoving, pummelling and throwing each other.
This is a carryover from the duelling codes of ancient (and not-so-ancient times), though deliberately inflicting any significant injury now is considered, at best, a grave social faux pa and, at worst, grounds for criminal charges. In either case, the offender forfeits the match. Shouting down an opponent or physically preventing him/her from talking are also against the rules.
This is not to say that Faehung will resort to violence in any disagreement. On the contrary, this form of debate is only considered appropriate for recreation, politics and (occasionally) academic matters, and only with the mutual consent of both parties beforehand. A refusal to fight leaves no stigma, other than the implication that the individual may not be as committed to his / her viewpoint as claimed. Where there is an obvious physical disparity between participants, various levels of handicapping are used.
This also explains why Debating is the most popular sport in Faehung schools, and why Political Broadcasts rate so highly in The Consortium.
[I ripped this idea off a scene in the 'Martha Washington / Give Me Liberty' graphic novels. Somehow, the notion of combining political debate with professional wrestling is one I find extremely appealing. Both sides would undoubtedly gain from it.]
Business: Faehung take business matters seriously. But there is no resemblance to the trade-oriented races found in the legends and fiction of some other cultures. Such beings are invariably stereotyped as ruthless, unethical and wholly motivated by greed.
In contrast, Faehung think in the long term, emphasizing ethics and truth in advertising. The reasoning is simple. Customers continue to trade (and yield profit) as long as they remain happy. Unhappy customers go elsewhere, and may even attempt revenge.
This does not mean that Faehung are pushovers, since they understand unethical activities (such as corruption, lying, cheating, standovers, etc.) very well. But such things are considered a form of warfare, not trade.
[My own idea. I find the typecasting usually associated with capitalism and free enterprise to be troubling and deeply objectionable. Yes, ethical businesspeople can and do exist. To the anti-capitalists, your alternative is totalitarianism, pure and simple - either the Communist sort or "politically-correct Fascism". Neither of which I support.]
To summarize, getting into a barfight with a Faehung is not a major concern. Giving one a bad cheque is a different story......
Thumbnail descriptions of the various settled systems of the Fa'ehung.
1 (Home) - Type T (HabInd 7, Tidelocked), 1 moon. VLG* (Homeworld).
3 (The Nurturer) - Type T (HabInd 9). LRG*.
4 (The Guardian) - Type T (HabInd 5), 1 moon. LRG*.
7 (The Outliers) - Asteroid Belt. 240 x OUTPOSTS*.
New Hope 
3 - Type T (HabInd 7), 3 moons. SML*.
A 1 - Type T (HabInd = 4). MED*
A 2 - Type T (HabInd = 2). MED*
A 3 - Type T (HabInd = 10). SML*
B 2 - Type T (HabInd = 6). LRG*
B 4 - Type T (HabInd = 9). SML*.
1 -Type T (HabInd 2), 2 moons. SML*.
2 - Type T (HabInd 2), 3 moons. SML*.
3 - Type T (HabInd 10), 3 moons. SML*.
Hot Line 
3 - Type T (HabInd 4), 1 moon. SML*.
B 2 - Type T (HabInd 10), 1 moon. SML*.
Darkcrests Leap 
2 - Gas Giant (2), 3 moons. Lunar SETTLEMENT*.
3 - Type I, 4 moons. 2 x Lunar SETTLEMENTS*.
B 2 - Type I, 1 moon. Lunar SETTLEMENT*.
2 - Asteroid Belt. 60 x OUTPOSTS*.
B 2 - Type T (HabInd 2), 1 moon. SML*.
B 3 - Type T (HabInd 1), 3 moons. SML*.
1 - Type T (HabInd 8), 1 moon. SML*.
2 - Type T (HabInd 5), 2 moons. SML*.
3 - Type T (HabInd 6), 1 moon. SML*.
B 1 - Type T (HabInd 8), 2 moons. SML*.
B 2 - Asteroid Belt. 60 x OUTPOSTS*.
Cold Heart 
3 - Gas Giant (2), 5 moons. 3 x Lunar SETTLEMENTS*.
4 - Type I, 4 moons. Lunar SETTLEMENT*.
8 - Type I, 2 moons. Lunar SETTLEMENT*.
B 1A - Type T (HabInd 8), 3 moons. SML*.
B 1B - Type T (HabInd 8), 3 moons. SML*.
B 1C - Type T (HabInd 8), 3 moons. MED* [I.C.C.].
B 4 - Asteroid Belt. 120 x OUTPOSTS*.
Allocation of PCFs to inhabited worlds -
2 per Outpost, 3 per Settlement, 5 per SML, 10 per MED, 15 per LRG+, +5 for Homeworld and ICC.
Cool ideas I spent points on, and what happened to them.
PROJECT: JUGGERNAUT - Before Tractor/Presser Beams, I was trying to figure out ways for my ships to move stuff around, either by encompassing the objects in their drive fields or by physically pushing.
Eventually, the Ref ruled that this was just impractical at that Tech Level. But the research did provide an "in" for the development of Jump Carrier engines.
PROJECT HYDRA - The product, Missile Bays, are based on the VLS (Vertical Launch System) that many present-day warships have for firing various types of missiles. Each Mb takes up one interior space and the space for one External Ordinance Rack. Hence, a Corvette with 16 Hull can have up to 4 Missile Bays if it forgets about XOs.
Each Mb can hold up to six spaces of missiles, launched all at once with the same negative DM as for XOs. The original Missile Bays were restricted in that a ship fitted with them could only fire off one Mb per turn, but it is now possible to fire off ALL MBs at once(!). In the case of a Missile Boat, this can mean up to 24 (twenty-four) birds in one salvo - deeply scary by anybody's standards, and that's even before factoring in goodies like Datalink.
Now for the bad news. Missile Bays cannot be reloaded in combat, and must be loaded at similar rates and restrictions as for XOs. If hit when loaded, they explode. If hit when empty, they collapse. At the present stage of development, they cannot "selective fire", meaning that when you shoot with a Mb it's with everything in it at a single target - not so bad against the big boys, but a real pain if facing massed fighters.
Anyhow, this component has been installed on a large portion of my fleet, and has even spawned a specific class of ship - the Missile Boat [term from GDW's 'Imperium']. They're small, fast, cheap, numerous, and can be lethal foes under the right circumstances (always hard to achieve). Never got to see these guys in action, but it would have been interesting.
I then started wondering about possible countermeasures against massed missile fire, such as my Missile Boats were capable of. Seemed sensible to do my own research, just in case an opponent also came up with it or (horror of horrors!) started fielding their own Missile Boats. That's where the next two ideas came in. Never got to fully develop them, but both showed definite promise.
PROJECT POOKA - A missile decoy, either carried on XO racks or in a Boat Bay. Released when under missile attack. The releasing ship would go into a reduced emission mode, and the incoming missiles would home in on the decoy instead. Based on the 'Wild Weasel Shuttle' of Star Fleet Battles (also by Task Force Games).
PROJECT DUCKHUNTER - A thumping big short-range anti-missile missile, probably carried on XOs or in an Mb. Enhanced radiation warhead, ineffective against properly-shielded warships but able to burn out sensors on missiles and small craft if close enough (ie. in the same hex, or maybe even adjacent as well). The idea was to fire 'Duckhunters' into incoming swarms of missiles or small craft, in hopes of "thinning them out" by blinding a siginficant percentage. We were definitely making progress on this one.
PROJECT PHAROS - The idea of which I am proudest. In 'Starfire', most empires depend on messages being carried on chains of communications buoys running from planets to satellites adjacent to Warp Points, and back again.
This bothered me. For crying out loud, NASA reprogrammes space probes out past Jupiter, using only ground-based facilities!!!! What is wrong with this picture?
Project Pharos. Imagine a large space station in planetary orbit, with one or more large laser arrays (each the equivalent of three standard Lasers) and a special command centre ( [CIC*] ). Messages get beamed via the laser array to a smaller similarly-equipped starship at the Warp Point, which then passes it on to an identical ship on the other side. Messages come from outsystem in reverse. Other ships and stations exist insystem in case proper line of sight between planet and WP is not possible.
Advantage - No long chain of commbuoys to keep repairing / replacing, or to worry about removing in the event of invasion. Basically just two manned ships / stations per link per system.
The CDF operates on the principle of Dont Start Wars - Just Finish Them!. It is a truly unified service, with the naval, aerospace, and army components all regarded as part of a greater whole. To attain Command or Flag rank usually means having at least elementary qualifications in all three branches.
The system of ranks closely parallels that of most other races, the difference being that there is no true barrier between commissioned officers and non-coms. Instead, there is an intermediate class (best described as akin to senior NCOs / Warrant Officers). There is nothing to stop anyone with enough talent from working up through the ranks from Junior Spacehand to High Commander.
Officer ranks -
· Senior Lieutenant
· Star Lieutenant
· Senior Captain
· Fleet Captain
· Star Captain (Commodore)
· Senior Admiral
· Fleet Admiral
· Star Admiral
· High Commander
CDF Standing Orders
The primary duty of all Consortium Defence Force units is to preserve life, and to maintain the freedom and well-being of the peoples of The Consortium and its allies as a whole. This takes precedence over all other orders.
All of the following come with the qualification ...except when a specific unit is directly ordered to the contrary...
(1) Units equipped with Military Engines will, during normal operations, restrict movement to no more than half their maximum speed (thereby eliminating the risk of major failure). This speed may only be exceeded in emergencies (naturally!), and/or at the discretion of the commanding officer (and s/he had better have a damn good reason!!!!).
(2) Units entering an unexplored system should do so at Alert readiness.
(3) Units undergoing refit or repair should remain at Stand-By readiness.
(4) All other active units should remain at a minimum of Normal readiness.
(5) In the case of (3) and/or (4), drills or exercises may be conducted which alter the usual readiness states to a higher level.
(6) Whenever possible, magazines, Missile Bays and XO racks are to be kept loaded, and if depleted are to be reloaded at the earliest oppurtunity. The standard loadout for each magazine of a CDF warship will consist of two ADMs and ninety-two SMs. Preferred placement for ADMs should be on XO racks, though limitations of some designs may make this impractical.
(7) Communications between the ICC and units will be maintained via the Lasercom system, and relays of starships and cutters. Units assigned to the protection of Warp Points will keep at least two cutters ready at all times.
(8) In the event of an emergency (such as the arrival of unknown forces through the WP), all cutters available to the guarding unit are to be launched. One of these cutters will immediately proceed at best possible speed to the closest known CDF unit or world to give warning, and from there to the ICC. The other Cutters will keep station on their mother unit at maximum communications range and await further developments.
(1) Where space is available, vessels and bases shall retain supplies for at least 2 Strategic Turns of operation.
(2) These reserves are not to be used except where there is no other choice and, if used, should be replenished as soon as possible.
(3) In the event of a vessel being isolated (and thereby forced to rely on its own reserves), the crews primary goal should be to be to either rejoin its own fleet or, if that is impossible or impractical, to return to Consortium space as soon as possible.
(1) Data leaving the Nexus system is to be limited to whatever is needed for the units intended mission and its safe operation.
For example, explorers will carry standard ID cyphers (updated regularly), necessary navigation charts, basic ship recognition info, maintenance manuals, exploration procedures, fleet regulations (including standing orders), and some entertainment material. They would not require blueprints for the CDFs capital ships, or the latest details on scientific research.
(1) When faced with an unexplored warp point for the first time, at least two (but no more than four) vessels should be selected to make the initial transit.
(2) Upon emergence on the other side, one vessel must immediately return in order to report safe transit. The remainder of the exploration force may then follow.
(3) If no vessels from the first group returns, the exploration force should not send any further units into that warp point unless / until ordered otherwise. The warp point should be marked as forbidden until properly investigated.
(4) Where planets have been found that may be of colonization value or of other interest to the Consortium, the Consortium should be informed as soon as possible, in order that necessary steps can be taken.
First Contact -
(1) Personnel shall observe caution in any contact situation.
(2) Units must not take offensive action unless the other side (in the opinion of the local commander) attempts, intends or inflicts deliberate harm on The Consortium, its vessels and/or citizens, and any allies thereof.
(3) All attempts at peaceful contact by other beings are to be answered - with courtesy and (where possible) honesty.
(4)(a) In the event of First Contact in a non-Consortium star system, the local commander should keep the number of vessels involved to an absolute minimum (two or three) - one doing the actual communicating, and others to remain at maximum sensor range and await developments. Vessels in excess of this number should be withdrawn the way they came - if possible.
(b) If a Contact situation should arise within Consortium space, every step must be taken to communicate with the newcomers as soon as possible. However, they should not be permitted to penetrate further into Consortium territory under any circumstances. Alien vessels that attempt evasion or ignore communication attempts should be warned by signal (if possible), warning shots (if necessary), and attack (as an extreme last resort).
(c) The initial goals of communication should be to ascertain the intentions and capabilities of the other empire, whilst making clear the Consortiums own intentions (peaceful expansion, whilst respecting each others boundaries).
(d) No sensitive data should be given or demanded during Contact - this includes details such as technology, location of key systems, system defences, fleet deployment, etc.. If directly asked about such things by the other side, the response should be a polite refusal.
(e) A Political State of Non-Aggression should be aimed for initially, with a view towards higher levels of friendly interaction later. Negotiations should proceed at a pace that will not generate negative DMs.
(f) Consortium units will honour all provisions of any negotiated pact, alliance or peaceful interaction.
(g) In the event of a race proving unfriendly or simply uninterested in communication, Consortium units should withdraw from that system as soon as possible.
(h) When encountering a new race but managing to remain undetected, Consortium units should maintain this secrecy whilst gathering data. Priority should be given to ascertaining the races capabilities and likely reaction to First Contact. There should be no interference with the culture unless / until either side attempts contact, whereby standard procedures shall apply.
(i) If more than one empire is encountered at once in the same region, no favourites should be played or sides taken in any disputes between them. Consortium units should gather as much data as they can about all concerned.
(j) Nothing in these orders prevent CDF units from gathering sensitive data about other empires if the oppurtunity presents itself (ie. via rescue, salvage, etc.), provided there is no coercion involved. The exception is, of course, any empire known to be openly hostile towards The Consortium, in which case, units are expected to use any and all means at their disposal.
CDF BATTLE TACTICS
The CDF is, first and foremost, a peacekeeping organization. This means that if CDF units must fight, they are expected to WIN!
In the ideal battle situation (recognized as a rarity), the CDF fleet will be organized as follows:
· If available in significant numbers, the fleets Missile Boats will be grouped into one independant group, known as the Skirmish Force. Dependant upon circumstances, the Fleet Commander may choose to allocate other ships to this group as well.
· As the enemy forces approach, or are approached by, the CDF fleet, the Skirmish Force will make one or more hit-and-run attacks.
· Where possible, all vessels should try for a firing solution of at least 70% before firing long-range weaponry. If enemy fire is proving particularly effective, any firing solution in excess of 50% is acceptable.
· Preferably, overkill should be avoided. An enemy vessel is, in all probability, ineffective once it has taken in excess of 75% damage. Furthermore, it may prove more costly for the enemy to recover and repair one heavily damaged unit rather than replace it outright. (Think of the resources expended in recovering a crippled warship from the battlefield, towing/escorting it to a safe haven, and rebuilding it - all while still paying maintenance for the darn thing)
· If the enemy force consists of a large number of smallish ships, Missile Boats may choose to switch to independant targeting and fire no more than one Missile Bay per round each.
· If the enemy has only a few ships, one massive broadside may be all thats needed. If thats the case, do so.
· If the enemy deploys units to counter the Skirmish Force, a portion of missiles may need to be expended on the way on. If such a tactic was expected, some units may deploy as a counter-countermeasure.
· During the Skirmish Forces attack run(s), the Main Force will remain a short distance behind (4-7 hexes?) and provide supporting fire. Main Forces long-range weapons (notably its ADMs) will be used against enemy targets during the Skirmish Forces attack run. Enemy vessels that may interfere with the Skirmish Forces effectiveness should be top-priority targets at this stage.
· General Priority Targets For All Units: 1. Large warships; 2. Specialist vessels (eg. command, logistics, intelligence, etc.); 3. Anything else. Also note that it is arguably better to cripple half of a fleet rather than moderately damage all of it, or destroy a quarter of it.
· Given that individual circumstances will vary, Fleet Commanders will use their own judgement as to which of the above ideas to use or ignore.
Description - Primitive-looking. Vessels, and bases, are tough structural frameworks (spherical, cylindrical or barrel-shaped), with components simply being attached or detached as required. Those vessels configured for atmosphere are as graceful as aerodynamics require, but still manage to have a (to non-Faehung) certain clunky quality.
Originating on a world prone to major seismic upheavals means that the Faehung prefer their engineering works to both be and look solid. A scarcity of resources for much of their early history mean that Faehung systems are built to be as cost-effective and versatile as possible.
For example, some of the Vortex Class Probes of the Consortium Defence Force are up to four generations old. As components wear out or become obsolete, they are simply replaced. Building ships that cannot be upgraded, or scrapping excess hulls (as opposed to mothballing against future need) are, to the Faehung, appallingly wasteful practices.
Ship Names - When establishing the CDF, the Faehung had no wet-navy traditions to draw inspiration from. Instead, the practices of their ground and aerospace forces were adopted.
The naming of a spacecraft - whether battlecruiser or cutter - is a serious matter. Traditionally, the matter is voted upon by the crew upon completion or commissioning of the vessel. This explains why a Faehung launching ceremony is an interminable process, resembling a small political convention or a trade union meeting. There are debates, formal motions, nominations, open discussions, petitions, proposals, and so on - with everyone from cook to captain having a say.
The good news is that the name must be settled within only a few hours - and a ship with no name is extremely bad karma. Changing names is almost as bad. Alteration of an existing name is barely acceptable (and is only done in the most extraordinary of circumstances).
Officially, the new vessel only uses its allotted number. The right to 'officially' use its name must be earned (in game terms, either posthumously or when the crew attains Crack status). Shipnames are of almost infinite diversity - they can be in-jokes, puns, classic quotes, historical references, religious, symbolic, bawdy, cryptic, weird, philosophical, humorous, bloodthirsty, or any combination thereof.
There is also an official list of what are known as Honour Names - names held in particularly high esteem for one reason or another. When the ship is the first of an entirely new class, or very high hopes are held for the crew, an Honour Name is customarily offered (and usually accepted). Otherwise, prior to the Naming Ceremony, crews may petition the High Command for an Honour Name (either specific or not), which may or may not be granted. Earning the Honour name, in either case, requires considerable effort (in game terms, such a crew must rise to Elite or be particularly heroic).
The following are designed using the 'Starfire' system. In many cases, there is a "Line" version (currently in service), and a "Refit" version (being considered as of the end of the campaign).
Once again, my approach was more of a role-player than of cost-effectiveness. Missile-armed warships usually have at least one energy weapon. Vice versa as well. Most ships of cruiser size or bigger have at least one marine contingent and a shuttle bay. Just seems to make sense that a warship is as versatile as possible.
Oh, and some may ask why the classnames all start with "V". A common theme was needed, and I came up with a bunch of cool-sounding names using this idea. Captured ship classes all use "I" names instead, for which I also had a range of cool-sounding names. No reason, just my weird sense of humour.
Probe (Vortex - SC)
SAXHH(I)HQs(I)(I), AC, 2 x XO, 1 x CD
SC , Cost = 121, Maint = 18.
Proposed Refit: 3xSo,3xA1,Z(i)H(I)X(I)HQs(I), AC, 2 x XO, 1 x CD
These vessels are a sentimental favourite, with most of the CDF having begun their careers aboard them. Cramped, temperamental and obsolescent, the Probes continue to do sterling work. The simple robust construction makes up for their other shortcomings.
Command Cruiser (Viceroy - CC)
12 x XO, 6 x CD, 1 x PCF-2a, 2 x ct, 2 x st
Hull = CA, Cost = 686. Maint = 103.
12 x XO, 6 x CD, 1 x PCF-3a, 2 x ast, 2 x ct
A variant of the Vengeance CS. The first Viceroy was originally intended as a command ship for the main fleet, but was quickly superseded by the more advanced Viscount Class CB. Subsequently, CCs have taken on a new role as the flagships of the CDFs exploration fleets, where they have proven to be an outstanding success.
Clipper (Vespucci - DC)
6 x XO, 3 x CD
DD , Cost = 479. Maint = 74.
Designed for long-range exploration and courier duties.
Explorer (Verity - EX)
SSAAZ(I)XDH(I)Xr(I)HQs(I), AC, 4 x XO, 2 x CD
CT. Cost = 238. Maint = 36.
The original design formed a basis for the widely-produced Venom Class Missile Boats. With new technology, and with an increasing need for deep exploration, the Verity Class will have ample oppurtunity to prove itself.
Advance Scout (Velocity - SA)
SoSo,3xA1,Z(I)X(I)HXr(I)HQs(I), AC, 3 x XO, 2 x CD
ES. Cost = . Maint = .
A proposed low-cost alternative to the Verity Class Explorer
Courier (Violet - EC)
SAX(I)HQs(I)(I), AC, 2 x XO, 1 x CD
ES . Cost = 114, Maint = 17.
With the increasing volume of Consortium space, a need for dedicated messenger ships has evolved. The Violets greatly resemble the old Vortex Probes (although much improved in most respects), and are the smallest starships in the CDF. They are also the first ever built specifically for the Courier Service.
Comm Picket (Valdez - CP)
SSSAAAAX[Bbm]XrLLLQ[CIC*]H[CC]DHLh(Iic), 8 x XO, 4 x CD, 2 x ct, 1 x st.
CL . Cost = 492, Maint = 74.
Part of Project Pharos, these units will be permanently based at eqach end of every significant WP in Consortium Space, where the CC and hefty Laser array will relay communications into and out of the system. Technically a starship, but in reality more of a self-propelled Base Station.
Comm Nexus (Vigilant - CN)
16 x XO, 8 x CD, 1 x PCF-2a, 4 x ct, 1 x st.
BC . Cost = 1196, Maint = 179.
The keystone of Project Pharos. At least one of these units is intended for each of the Consortiums major worlds, where they will relay communications and act as a defensive base.
Colony Transport (Voortrekker - CF)
SA(IcIc)10xQ(IcIc)10xH,5xQ,Lh(IcIc)[Bbl]Lh,5xH,5xQ,LhLh(IcIc), AC, 3 x st
FR , Cost = 481, Maint = 36.
Designed from the outset to cope with the demands of colonizing new worlds, these freighters are larger and more expensive than comparable vessels, but are expected to prove more effective in the long term.
Hauler (Vadenda - SF)
SAA(IcIc)[Bbl](IcIc)35xH(IcIc)QHQLh(IcIc), AC, 3 x st
FR , Cost = 415, Maint = 31.
Replenishment Ship (Vagabond - AO)
8 x XO, 4 x CD, 1 x st
Hull = CL . Cost = 450. Maint = 67. Refit Cost = 113.
Sometimes known as the Blockade Runner.
Barracks Ship (Venus - BV)
Z(II)QHQHX(II)Q[Bbm]PrQHQ(II)QHQHWaMgLhQH(II)XrQ[Bbm]DQHQHDcLh(II)[Bbm]QHLQHQ(II)DcQHLh(II), AC, 16 x XO
8 x CD, 4 x ct, 4 x ast, 1 x PCF-3a
Hull = BC . Cost = . Maint = .
Mobile Harbour (Valet - HF)
SSAA(Ic)(Ic)QH[CHS1]Lh(Ic)(Ic), AC, 6 x XO, 1 x CD
Hull = FR 
Cost = 308. Maint = 46.
Tug (Valkyrie - TG)
SA,7x(Ic),[Bbs](Ic)PrQHLh(Ic)(Ic)(Ic), AC, 6xXO, 2xct, 3xCD
DD, Cost = 238, Maint = 36.
The TGs initial purpose will be recovery, rescue and salvage. When the CDF begins large-scale building and deployment of base stations, it will be Valkyries that move them around.
(Vindicator - STG)
SA,11x(IcIc),QHPr[Bbs],3x(IcIc),PrQHLh,3x(IcIc), AC, 16xXO
2 x ct, 8 x CD
BC, Cost = 626, Maint = 94.
Nicknamed Raintrees Nightmare, there is very little, short of an actual planet or moon, that one of these monsters could not move. The design originated as a theoretical study into the size limitations of an effective tug, and rapidly took on a life of its own.
Spaceyard (Vulcan - SY)
SSSAAAAQ[Bbl]LQHQH[SYx]Lh, 1xct, 2xst
SS , Cost = 781, Maint = 8
Standard construction unit.
Mobile Shipyard (Versatile - MSY)
SAHQ[Bbs](3xIc)[SYx]HQLh(3xIc), AC, 20 x XO, 2 x ct
BB . Cost = 1807, Maint = 211.
Not the most satisfactory of CDF designs - it is slow, cramped, and unbelievably vulnerable. Its only advantage over the more spacious Vulcan Class Spaceyards is its mobility.
Large Shipyard (Vancouver - LSY)
2 x ct, 5 x st
SS . Cost = 3709. Maint = 74.
Mobile Machine Shop (Van Gogh - MMS)
SSAAAZQ[Bbs](Icic)(MSx)QH(Icic)HLh(Icic), AC, 9 x XO
5 x CD, 1 x st
CL . Cost = 459. Maint = 69.
Large Mobile Machine Shop (Venezuela - LMS)
AC, 20 x XO, 10 x CD, 3 x st
BB . Cost = 1532. Maint = 230.
Mini Hauler (Van Rijn - LF)
SA[Bbs]HHBHHHH(Ic)HQs(Ic),AC, 1 x st
FR , Cost = 136, Maint = 10.
Intended as a logistics ship - carrying supplies to CDF units in remote locations.
Standard CFN Freighter (Vera Cruz - FT)
FR , Cost = 212, Maint = 16.
Jump Carrier (Verne - JCT)
SSAAZQ(2xJc1)Pr(Jc1)17x@(2xJc1)Q(Jc1)HLh(2xJc1), AC, 6 x CD
CA. Cost = 909. Maint = 136.
The Verne Class is the culmination of Project Hercules - a vessel capable of carrying loads far in excess of a warp points usual capacity - and touted as the solution to the Athol Problem.
Super Carrier (Vishnu - JCS)
2 x ct, 20 x CD.
JN. Cost = . Maint = .
Admiral Raintree's latest project. Enough said.
Armed Scout (Visitor - ES)
SAXL(I)H(I)Qs(I), AC, 3 x XO, 2 x CD.
Hull = SC. Cost = 141. Maint = 21.
So,3xA1,Z(i)WaMg(I)X(I)HQs(I), AC, 3 x XO, 2 x CD.
Originally intended as a replacement for the elderly Vortex Class Probes, these ships are particularly elegant in appearance (by Consortium standards).
Sloop (Voyager - SL)
SSAAXQH[Bbl]PrL(I)QH(I)(I)Lh(I)(I)(I), AC, 5 x XO,
1 x PCF-2a, 4 x ct, 1 x st, 3 x CD
DD . Cost = 322. Maint = 48.
SoSo,3xA1,ZQ(I)[Bbm](I)XPr(I)HL(I)DcQ(I)HLh(I), AC, 5 x XO,
1 x PCF-3a, 2 x ct, 1 x ast, 3 x CD
Long regarded as a classic within the CDF, used for every task imaginable. Versatile, reliable, roomy - they are likely to be around for a long time to come.
Intruder (Viking - IN)
6 x XO, 3 x CD, 4 x PCF-3a, 2 x ast
Hull = DD . Cost = 431. Maint = 66.
6 x XO, 3 x CD, 4 x PCF-3a, 2 x ast
This vessel follows Consortium requirements (and the Faehung penchant for multiple roles). In peace-time, its main purpose is planetary survey prior to colonization. In war, it acts as a troop-carrier for the main fleet.
Destroyer (Victory - DD)
SSSAAAZ,4xMb(M1)WMg(I)(I)LHQ(I)D(I)Lh(I)(I), AC, 2 x XO, 3 x CD.
Hull = DD . Cost = 306. Maint = 46.
Z(I)WaMbWaMg(I)L(I)Q(I)Dc(I)H(I)Lh(I), AC, 3 x XO, 3 x CD.
Hull = DD . Cost = . Maint = .
The CDFs first true warship. Very basic design - firepower, speed, protection, and not much else. Maneuverable, dependable and well-regarded.
Shuttle Tender / Training Ship (formerly Destroyer Leader) (Vanguard - ST, formerly DL)
8 x XO, 4 x CD, 2 x ct, 6 x ast, 1 x PCF-3a
Hull = CL. Cost = 645. Maint = 97.
8 x XO, 4 x CD, 8 x ast, 2 x ct, 1 x PCF-3a
The Vanguard Class was superceded as a Flotilla Leader by later designs. The only completed example of this class has been radically altered to provide training and testing facilities for CDF shuttle operations.
Strike Cruiser (Vengeance - CS)
7 x XO, 6 x CD, 1 x PCF-2a, 2 x ct
Hull = CA . Cost = 697. Maint = 105.
LQDc(II)HLh(II), 8 x XO, 6 x CD, 1 x PCF-3a, 1 x ast
Hull = CA . Cost =. Maint = .
The CDFs first capital ship. Intended primarily for long-range combat, but able to cope with a wide range of situations.
Battlecruiser (Vendetta - BC)
11 x XO, AC, 1 x PCF-2a, 2 x ct, 1 x st, 8 x CD.
BC , Cost = 1000, Maint = 150.
12 x XO, AC, 1 x PCF-3a, 1 x ast, 2 x ct, 8 x CD.
BC , Cost =, Maint = .
Essentially a stretched Vengeance, incorporating many features of that class, as well as several improvements originally proposed for the Valhalla class. The vessel has done exceptionally well in simulation.
Battleship (Valiant - BB)
16 x XO, AC, 1 x PCF-2a, 2 x ct, 10 x CD.
BB . Cost = 1210, Maint = 179.
17 x XO, AC, 1 x PCF-3a, 1 x ast, 10 x CD.
BB . Cost = , Maint = .
The original design and construction of this vessel has been more acrimonious than that of any other in Consortium history. Nicknamed Raintrees Folly, after its chief proponent, Star Admiral Raintree (the formidable head of the CDFs Advanced Research Division), it is nearly double the cost (and firepower!) of a CS, but 20% slower.
Missile Boat (Venom - MB)
CT , Cost = 121. Maint = 18.
Proposed New Class (Venom II):
The design is brutishly simple. The concept of a cheap warship, only good for one salvo before withdrawing to reload, is still regarded with suspicion by most Fa'ehung. However, there are the indisputable facts - four datalinked MBs have the potential to wreck a BB at medium range, for less than a third of the cost. Venom crews describe their duty as Nine minutes of waiting, one minute of glory, and fifty minutes of running away.
Attack Cruiser (Valhalla - CA)
12xXO, 6xCD, 1 x PCF-3a, 1 x ast
CA . Cost = 913. Maint = 136.
12xXO, 6xCD, 1 x PCF-3a, 1 x ast
Originally, this class was wholly beam-armed, but studies suggested a need for compromise. It is intended to complement the Strike Cruiser, with an emphasis on close-in combat.
Fast Destroyer (Vandenberg - DF)
SSSAAAZ(I)WMg(I)Q(I)D(I)L(I)D(I)DHLh(I), AC, 6 x XO, 3 x CD.
DD , Cost = 370, Maint = 56.
Z(I)D(I)WaMg(I)Dc(I)L(I)Dc(I)QHLh(I), AC, 6 x XO, 3 x CD.
DD , Cost = , Maint = .
The Victory class Destroyer is an admirable design, but is intended for a primarily offensive role. Requirements for a similarly sized vessel to act as part of the fleets defensive screen has led to the Vandenberg class. The Fast Destroyers offensive capability is comparitively sparse, but the missile defences are exceptional.
Corsair (Veritech - DR)
4 x XO, 3 x CD, 1 x PCF-2a, 2 x ct.
DD , Cost = 398. Maint = 60
6 x XO, 3 x CD, 1 x PCF-3a, 1 x ast.
The Veritech class Corsair marries the versatility of the Voyager class Sloop with the roomier hull of the Victory class Destroyer. The result is a vessel capable of a wide range of functions, either independantly or as part of a fleet. Whilst not excelling in any specific role, there are high hopes for the success of the class.
Destroyer Escort (Vampire - DE)
2 x ct, 6 x XO, 3 x CD
DD , Cost =. Maint = .
The Vampire Class DE is designed for such duties as convoy escort, customs inspection, and rescue. Its use of commercial engines is particularly noteworthy - these ships are not intended for the line of battle, but must be able to keep up with convoys of merchant vessels.
Missile Carrier (Vostok - LMB)
1 x PCF-3a, 2 x ast, 20 x CD
MT. Cost = 3715. Maint = 558.
The Vostok class is configured for nothing more than attacking or defending contested warp points. Its all-or-nothing design has earned it the semi-official nickname of Large Missile Boat.
Bombardment Cruiser (Viper - BCM)
AC, 8 x CD.
BC , Cost =. Maint = .
Warstar (Valley Forge - WM)
PrLhF(6xIc)FHDc[Bbs]QL[CIC]HLh(6xIc), AC, 32 x XO
2 x ct, 2 x ast, 2 x PCF-3a, 20 x CD
MT. Cost = 4726. Maint = .
The Valley Forge class is purely and simply the most heavily armed and expensive warship in Consortium history. Standard commercial engines were fitted to this design, due to their reliability.
Attack Monitor (Virago - AM)
LQDcHLh(5xIc), AC, 1 x PCF-3a, 1 x ast, 2 x ct, 24 x XO, 16 x CD
LM. Cost = . Maint = .
The Virago Class is another consequence of Project Hercules and the findings in the Athol system - a warship that can be carried by the Verne class if needs be.
Battleship (Command) (Intrepid - BBY)
QFDcL(III)Dc[CIC]HLh(III), AC, 20 x XO 1 x ast, 10 x CD
BB. Cost (As New) = . Maint = .
AC, 20 x XO 1 x ast, 10 x CD
Battleship (Attack) (Indefatigable - BBZ)
DcFQLDc(III)HLh(III), AC, 20 x XO 1 x ast, 10 x CD
BB. Cost (As New) =. Maint = .
(III)PrFDcFQLDc(III)HLh(III), AC, 20 x XO 1 x ast, 10 x CD
Monitor (Attack) (Invincible - LMZ)
(5xI)F[ECM]FD(5xI)FDz[CIC]HLh(5xI), AM1, 33 x XO 1 x ast, 17 x CD
LM. Cost = 3576. Maint = 536.
Command Battlecruiser (Viscount - CB)
AC,16 x XO
1 x PCF-2a, 4 x ct, 1 x st, 8 x CD.
BC, Cost = 1245, Maint = 188.
(II)[CC]HLh[CIC](II), AC, 16 x XO, 1 x PCF-3a, 3 x ast, 8 x CD.
BC, Cost =, Maint =. Refit Cost =.
This design replaced the Viceroy CC in large-scale fleet operations. There were suggestions that a BB hull would have been more appropriate, but costs and the superior speed of the BC made it a more logical choice.
(A turn-by-turn summary).
After decades of planning, with high hopes and cautious optimism, The Consortium begins the greatest endeavour of its history. No Faehung can even begin to imagine what lies ahead....
The Consortiums tentative explorations of three promising Warp Points yield mixed results....
Exploration Fleet 1 (Commodore Cityhunter commanding) discovers a habitable world in the New Hope system. Compared with Home, this planets climate and geology are almost boring, but the ecology and general conditions make it ideal for colonization. There are also three additional Warp points leading out of the system.
Exploration Fleet 2 (Fleet Captain Ridgeback commanding) enters a system that crewmembers name Cold Heart. There are no habitable worlds around this lone, dim Red Dwarf, just planets of gas, rock and/or ice. Two Warp Points lead elsewhere. The systems economic value is limited.
Exploration Fleet 3 (Fleet Captain Redeye commanding) makes what is arguably the most exciting discovery of all. The region this unit arrives in is empty space - light-years from the nearest star and with no further warp points detected. An extremely unpromising start, with the area being named, appropriately, Dead End. The fleet is preparing to leave when an observant scan tech reports a faint repeating radio signal. The origin of the signal proves to be a small object nearby, travelling at a sizable fraction (6-7%) of lightspeed. In a daring maneuver, two cutters from SL 06 successfully intercept and recover what proves to be an alien artifact.
The object is similar to a missile, but considerably larger than CDF standard and of definite alien manufacture. Particularly noteworthy is that, instead of a warhead, the artifact carries a well-shielded computer databank and may have even been capable of traversing warp points unassisted.
Initial analysis of exterior damage and certain materials place the artifact as having been derelict for centuries, possibly longer. Severely abraded markings give few clues as to the makers. Superior technology is evident in materials and design.
Since it is the first indisputable evidence of non-Faehung intelligence, the artifact attracts much speculation, especially regarding the data it may hold. Interest is rekindled in the so-called Ancients Theory, which speculates that the Faehung race were the product of manipulation by aliens. Variants of this hypothesis suggest that the entire Nexus system was rearranged for the benefit of the Faehung or, conversely, that the Faehung were geneered to fit the system(!).
Most Faehung are secure enough in themselves to consider such matters to be of intellectual interest only. The simple fact of a spacefaring race with superior technology and unknown intentions is fascinating, perhaps even cause for concern (though not, as yet, fear).
Scientists begin analyzing (and arguing about) everything to do with the artifact and its contents. In the CDF, defence preparations are intensified, exploration units fine-tune their sensors, and everybody checks the regulations regarding First Contact.
The Consortiums first interstellar colony is founded on the third planet of the New Hope system (0286). As a precaution, a detachment of troops and a sizable quantity of supplies are also established on the planet.
Three of the CDFs newest Scouts (ES 07, 08 & 09 - Visitor Class) are also deployed to the system, with additional ships to follow. It is accepted that they cannot hold against a serious attack, but should be able to warn the Defence Fleet if all else fails.
Elsewhere, the Third Exploration Fleet makes yet another noteworthy discovery. The Utopia binary system is a treasure trove, with two habitable worlds, abundant resources, and a plethora of warp points. That Fleet Captain Redeye can always be counted on to find the interesting stuff becomes something of a joke in his own unit and in the rest of the CDF.
On Home, analysis of the Dead End Artifact continues, with speculation rife as to what may be held in its databank. Lively debates about it, the Ancients Theory, variants thereof, and a host of vaguely connected issues, all dominate the Tri-D Networks. One formal debate, featuring several reknowned academics, becomes so heated that all participants end up in jail, or hospital, or (mostly) both.
Finally, The Consortiums Supreme Council and Chamber Of Representatives decides on a system of discovery bonuses for CDF personnel involved in exploration. The Third Exploration Fleet does particularly well out of this.
Scientists begin deciphering data from the Dead End Artifact. The artifact was designed as a last-ditch means of carrying recordings and messages from spacecraft facing imminent destruction. Its builders were a short solid bipedal race from a civilization slightly more advanced than The Consortium. At the time of launch (approximately 9,000 years ago!), the aliens were unsuccessfully defending a high-tech system (arguably their home) from invasion.
Whilst certain specifics (such as the nature of the invaders, the aliens culture / history, etc.) are as yet undeciphered, fascinating technological advances have been discovered. Most significant are details for a focused gravitonic repulsor system (colloquially, a Presser Beam).
The 3rd Exploration Fleet astounds everybody (not least of all themselves!), by discovering yet another Warp Point nexus (File Number 6099, named Notagain). Unless what is known about Warp Points is totally inaccurate, The Consortium must exist in a particularly unusual region (a nexus of nexii, as one scientist quips).
Implications from this discovery are varied. Likelihood of First Contact with other starfaring races within this generation has increased by an order of magnitude (whether this is good or bad, no one can say for certain).
Secondly, the sheer quantity of systems within two WP transitions of Nexus could make The Consortium extremely powerful economically - assuming the situation can be fully exploited, and that said situation is as unique as is believed.
Finally, there are the security concerns. The Dead End artifact proves the existance (past or present) of one warlike race, and the proliferation of WP nexi makes The Consortium a tempting target. As yet, the CDF cannot adequately police all known Warp Points and barely has the resources to protect the Nexus system. This is despite almost doubling the number of combat-oriented vessels in the last three months.
In short, The Consortium has to rethink its policy on everything - colonization, military spending, economic development and technological research. Each was getting a fair slice of a limited budget, but now there is clear justification for massive increases in all of these areas.
On a more positive note, intensive technological research has raised productivity and placed The Consortium on the verge of several major breakthroughs.
The growing number of interstellar colonies touches something in the Faehung collective psyche. Despite steadily rising living standards at home, there is a surge in the number of Consortium citizens interested in living on a new world. Colonization plans are moved forward.
Exploration Fleets One and Two continue exploration. In response to concern about system security, Exploration Fleet Three searches the Nexus system for uncharted warp points (none are found, which alleviate some concerns).
The Dead End Artifact yields further data. Its builders called themselves Dvergar (whether this was the name of their race, their empire, or both, is still unclear). The drive readings for their starships indicate that they use (or used) the same basic principles as the Consortium. Their foes are referred to as Octopeds, regarded as both hideous and totally ruthless.
Somehow, the Third Exploration Fleet achieves the impossible - finding something that may well overshadow all of its previous discoveries. Something so dramatic that Fleet Captain Redeye immediately dispatches a ship at emergency speed back to Nexus to bring in a scientific team.
The secondary star of the Trinity system has three habitable worlds - all of identical mass, and equidistant in the same orbit! Further investigation indicates that the three planets each have three similar moons, utilize the same biochemistries in their ecologies (although somewhat diverged over several millennia), and even have the same water- land ratios!
The chances, of such an arrangement evolving naturally, are so minute that sentient intervention seems the only possible answer. But the scale of it...... and what of the builders? Other than their impossible handiwork, there is no evidence that the system was ever visited by other sentients. There are no structures, artifacts or even ruins to be found.
Who were the builders, how did they build such a thing and, more to the point, why??? Explanations abound, with the Ancients Theory taking on new life. One religious group claims that the system is intended as the new home for the Faehung race. Others wonder if it is a long-term experiment, with the creators checking progress every million years or so. Theologians and academics that have only just uneasily come to terms with the Dead End Artifact now have a completely new set of problems.
All things considered, the Trinity system is a prime candidate for colonization, and, despite the misgivings of a few, there are no shortage of Faehung willing to colonize the system. A team from the Rosetta Foundation, assisted by two CDF starships, begin a study of the system.
Early reports from the Trinity system indicate that the geologies (and rotation, and geography) of the three habitable worlds match each other almost exactly. Too exactly, perhaps? They do not match the geologies of other planets in the system.
Implication - the Trinity worlds were not simply terraformed, they were constructed. The logistics, industry, and technology required for such an undertaking are almost beyond comprehension. Debates amongst scientists and theologians rage, and continue to amuse everybody else....
Fleet Captain Redeye of the Third Exploration Fleet receives a well-deserved promotion. In fact, a fortuitous error at HQ sees him promoted two ranks, to Admiral. He becomes one of only a handful of officers thus honoured in Consortium history. The High Command chooses, after investigation, to let the extra promotion stand.
Exploration Fleet Two (Fleet Captain Ridgeback commanding) makes a notable achievment. With the discovery and exploration of the Farpoint system (File No. 8279), they have travelled further from home than any other Faehung in history. As Ridgeback herself points out, it is a record that will surely be broken.
The Supreme Council and the Chamber of Representatives convene a special session to discuss the Consortiums progress and future. Two unique individuals address the gathering. The more dramatic is Star Admiral Raintree (outspoken head of the CDFs Advanced Research Division), who calls for support of his vaunted Super-ships (nicknamed, by a few, Raintrees Folly) to strengthen the Consortiums defences.
Milder, but somehow more arresting is Professor Stargazer, of the Rosetta Institute, who reveals his vision for communications within the Consortium. His concept, called Project: Pharos, is for interplanetary-range laser communicators, mounted in specially-designed ships and bases. Current plans for networks of drones and short-range commbuoys are rejected as too expensive and definitely too labour-intensive.
Despite their expense, the Consortium government approves limited production of Raintrees super-ships and orders further research into Stargazers proposal.
The Rosetta Foundation makes further discoveries about the Trinity system. It has now been confirmed that all three habitable worlds were fabricated from material taken from two separate planets, both believed to be Type ST.
This detail is extremely interesting. Despite the accepted view that they should be considerably more common than Type T, Type ST worlds have yet to be found in Consortium space. Adherents to the Ancients/Forerunner hypotheses claim that this only confirms that someone is building habitable worlds for the Faehung. The question is, why?
All three Exploration Fleets begin an ambitious program of exploration, probing Warp Points from the New Hope, Notagain and Utopia systems. The Colonization Division undertakes its most ambitious program to date - the mass movement of thousands of colonists to all of the inhabitable worlds of the Utopia system. The key to this feat is to be the Valet Class Mobile Harbour just entering service with the CDF.
Closer to home, Admiral Hammerhead is promoted to Senior Admiral for his sterling work in organizing and training the CDF Defence Fleet. Commodore Cityhunter is promoted to Admiral, and Fleet Captain Ridgeback to Star Captain for their contribution to the exploration of Consortium space.
Construction of Star Admiral Raintrees prototype Super-ship is delayed, and runs considerably over budget, as new technology is incorporated into the design. Particularly noteworthy are the Courier Drones which are based on the Dead End Artifact (said by some to have started it all).
Excerpted from the Official Log of Admiral Redeye, commanding the Third Exploration Fleet -
8207.4: Fleet has safely transited the closed Warp Point into this system, a binary star catalogued as number 3742. Advance Team (SCs 107, 109 & 142) reports high levels of electromagnetic broadcasts from all of the planets detected so far, plus readings similar to those from our own drives. This system is heavily populated by aliens with spaceflight!
8207.5: No obvious reaction from the inhabitants, who do not appear to have detected us - yet. In accordance with CDF directives, the Third Exploration Fleet will remain on the fringes of the system, and secretly gather data, prior to attempting contact.
8213.1: SC 131 has found something. What initially was thought an asteroid has turned out to be a derelict ship of tremendous size (nearly triple the size of a BC!). They are investigating further, with SC 133 and SL 05 assisting.
8234.3: The derelict has been so heavily damaged that we can only speculate as to its original configuration. Its interior is radioactive, so much so that only volunteers in heavy-duty radsuits can safely enter, and only for limited durations at that. Indications are that the craft has been in its current state for over four thousand standard years. Investigations continue.
8339.2: It was inevitable. One of the aliens freighters came close enough to detect us. We immediately initiated First Contact procedures and, fortunately, they seem willing to communicate.
8440.7: Several alien ships are heading in our direction. It is likely that they will find the derelict shortly. Their reaction is uncertain, so I have ordered the evacuation of all personnel and ships from that area.
8442.1: Commendations appended for the investigators of the derelict. Despite dangerous conditions and limited time, they successfully gathered considerable data about the vessels structure. In the course of evacuation, they also salvaged over a dozen large missiles of extremely advanced design. Communications with the aliens continue, and two of their ships have now reached the derelict.
8461.5: Communications with the Minuan Taures, as they call themselves, have progressed to exchanges of visual displays and simple words. They are physically imposing - over twice the size of any Faehung, and at least three times the mass. Like us, they are upright bipeds, though with major anatomical differences - no tail, external ears, short hair instead of scales, and what appear to be large horns.
Technology seems more advanced than ours - ship-mounted gravitonic beams were used by them to move the derelict insystem. Their ship designs do not resemble the derelict in any way. Also, judging from the highly-developed state of their system, perhaps they have been unaware of Warp Points until now.
Communications progress well. The reactions of the Minuan Taure seem very close to our own - extreme interest tempered by caution. Hopefully we can find common ground for friendly relations, and perhaps a few answers.
Communications with the beings of the Minos system proceed. It transpires that Minuan Taures is the name of both their star system and their government - the real name for their race are Knossans.
Diplomacy proceeds well enough that the aliens reveal something of their own investigations into the giant derelict - remains of a crewmember have been found! A description is provided, along with a request for any additional data that the Consortium can provide.
The data tallies almost exactly with the so-called Octopeds, leaving Consortium officials with a quandary. Information from the Dead End Artifact could prove advantageous to friend or foe. It is hoped that the Knossans will become friends, but there is no guarantee.
After deliberation, the Consortium government decides to risk a full release of data from the Dead End Artifact to the Knossans. As Star Admiral Raintree puts it, Lets hope we dont regret it later. Rumour has it that the redoubtable head of Advanced Research did cartwheels when he first saw the engineering data from the Minos Derelict.
Approval is given for a new class of starship, intended for use specifically by the Courier Service. The smallest vessels in CDF service, they will also help train CDF recruits in construction techniques and basic starship operations.
Finally, the single most expensive military project in Consortium history begins when funds are approved and allocated for development of the Anti-Drive Missile.
Relations with the Knossans continue to improve. A significant factor is the Consortiums release of data from the Dead End Artifact. Groundwork is laid for the Treaty Of Newhope, allowing a high level of trade between the two empires. The Knossans remain cautious, but consent to a Faehung Trading Outpost in their system.
Interestingly, the Knossans share one key trait with the Consortium - both governments are corporate-based.
Closer to Home, research into the Trinity system reveals that the systems reorganization took place approximately six million years ago, and the focussed gravitonic repulsor system (Presser Beam) finally becomes a practicality.
Having contacted one alien race, and with other contacts certain to follow, the Consortium re-evaluates existing security arrangements. From various governmental agencies, three new organizations are formed. These are CACA (Consortium Anti-Crime Agency - responsible for matters of internal law-enforcement); NANCIE (Navy ANalysis, Cryptography, Investigation and Espionage - covering military matters); and FAG (Foreign Auditing Group - a spin-off of the Rosetta Institute, covering matters of external security).
BB 01 & 02; BC 01 & 02; DL 01; IN 01-06;
CF 01-15; SF 01-04; LF 01; HF 01, 02; AO 01; CB 01; CC 01; CS 01-05; CA 01-02; SY 01-29;
MSY 01-04; SL 07-24; ES 20-22; ES 01-19; SC 157, 158
Exploration Fleet 1:- SL 01 & 02; SC 01-52; EC 01 & 02.
Exploration Fleet 2:- SL 03 & 04; SC 53-104; EC 03 & 04.
Exploration Fleet 3:- SL 05 & 06; SC 105-156; EC 05 & 06.
Nexus Courier Service - 40 x ct
Interregnum Budget - 224,840 MgC; Monthly GPV - 26,945
Starting CFN Capacity - 5,389 x H ; 2,695 x Q .
Government Pool - 390 x H ; 270 x Q.
Weapons Loadout - 41 x Mg
*+50% I.U.s For all SML+ Worlds within the Consortium
 [+6,094.8 GPV] 101,580 MgC
*+50% I.U.s For Nexus Asteroid Belt [1,920] [+3,456 GPV] 57,600 MgC
*Miscellaneous Refits (Bring all vessels to standard) - 1,313 MgC
Assault Shuttle 5,000; Datalink 8,000;
DSB Control System 7,500; Laser Buoy 7,000;
L-R Scanners 6,000; Machine Shop 3,000;
Point Defense 5,000.
*CFN Expansion Requirement - 1,910 x H, 955 x Q
Standard CFN Freighter Cost = 211 MgC (6 x Q, 12 x H ea). Therefore, minimum 160 hulls (rounding up) would be required to achieve parity with the increase in I.U.s. Purchase 200 Hulls (excess to go to Extra CFN Pool) Utilizing Rule 15.04.01 means that this would cost me 4,220 MgC.
*Refit of all Probes with Military Engines, XO Racks and Courier Drones -
157 x 23 MgC = 3,611
* Allocation of PCF-2s to inhabited worlds -
1 per Outpost, 2 per Settlement, 5 per SML, 10 per MED, 15 per LRG+,
+5 for Homeworld and ICC. Total of 638. 2,552 MgC
* Purchase Of 4th Exploration Fleet 7164 MgC
* Purchase of 3 x CC, 8 x DD 4178 MgC
Balance Remaining - 1,122 MgC
It is a time of reflection and reappraisal for the Faehung. It has become clear that the rest of the Galaxy is a far more uncertain place than believed possible. As the Consortium consolidates its gains and decides what to do next, exploration is temporarily halted.
As the government plans for the next century, the Faehung sense of adventure inspires many ordinary citizens to migrate to new worlds, with the Trinity and Utopia systems proving popular destinations. With greater affluence and a massive increase in habitable space, the Faehung population undergoes its largest outward surge in history.
All of the CDFs ships are upgraded - with further changes likely. In addition, the Exploration Division have its capabilities expanded even further with new ships and the formation of a Fourth Fleet. The revamped High Command reorganizes planetary defences and increases the efficiency of the Consortiums Freight Network.
Project Hydra, a secret weapons research project, comes to fruition. Retro-fitted Hydra Missile Bays could more than quadruple a starships missile launch capability. The disadvantages are vulnerability to combat damage, and the lengthy reload time.
Simulations indicate that Hydra would be most effective as the sole armament of a new type of warship. Missile Boats, as they are called, would be about the size of a Corvette, low-cost, mass-produced, deployed in large groups, and armed solely with Hydra. Many Faehung are troubled by the very concept of attritional units.
The restart of the Consortiums exploration program is marked by a message from the reknowned 3rd Fleet. There is a worrying lack of detail, just an urgent request for a scientific team. Ships carrying experts from various fields are immediately despatched.
Closer to home, the first of the Missile Boats are built. Many Faehung are still unhappy about the implications of this class, designed as they are for total war. But, if the worst does happen, the Venoms will be ready, and can provide vital cover whilst the rest of the fleet is upgraded.
Details about the 3rd Fleets most recent discovery arrive. The system they are in is littered with wreckage and potential artifacts. The potential for further major technological breakthroughs cannot be denied, as is the possibility of Octoped involvement.
Closer to home, the build-up continues and construction begins on the first ships of Project Pharos.....
The material salvaged from the Tombstone system is an absolute treasure trove of exotic substances and valuable components. Believed to be of Dvergar origin, they are possibly the remnants of a massive space battle that took place millenia before. The boost given to the Consortiums economy and to scientific research is expected to be enormous. The implications otherwise are worrying.
One discovery is especially alarming. The remnants of a ground base - irrefutably not Dvergar, and only 104 years old - is found on a moon. Recovered is a large and incredibly sophisticated computer bank. That it was laid out for eight-limbed operators suggests that the computer was made by the Dvergars adversaries, the Octopeds.
It is seen as an absolute priority that the secrets of this latest artifact be unlocked, and as soon as possible. Given its technological superiority beyond anything Consortium scientists have even dreamed of, this task will not be easy.
Elsewhere, work begins in earnest on Professor Stargazers dream, Project Pharos. When completed, the Consortium will have a truly efficient and effective trans-system communications network.
The first vessels of Project Pharos are launched, amid much fanfare.
The fitting of new technology to Consortium warships continues, as does the production of Missile Boats. Admiral Raintree, in a move that surprises no one, proposes warship and battlestation designs twice the size of the current Battleships. Resistance to this concept centres on the time that would be needed to repair or refit such vessels. A number of smaller new designs are either proposed or started.
A defensive military alliance with the Knossans is sought.
Project Pharos is officially inaugurated, with the establishment of a permanent ComLink between Nexus (83335) and Utopia (8028).
The Minoans agree to a military treaty with the Consortium.
A special committee of scientists and military officers begin speculating on the next generation of defensive systems for the Fleet.
Command Cruiser High Guard, flagship for the renowned 3rd Exploration Fleet, boasted a modest conference room adjoining the Main Bridge. Given the Fleets eventful career thus far, that room had usually been the least used of the ships facilities.
Today, the conference room was fully utilized by Redeye, the Fleets commander; Spikecrest, the Fleets Chief Scientist; plus Tailbiter and Longstride, respectively the High Guards Captain and Tactical Officer. In addition, a live holographic projection showed Medical Doctor Razorclaw, Chief Engineer Darkstorm and Chief of Marines Fisher in the temporary shelter established on the planet below.
All were tense and many, if they were honest with themselves, were more than a little worried. The 3rd Exploration Fleets knack for finding the unexpected had done it again....
Darkstorm rubbed one shoulder. He had only just removed his environment suit, and still had a catalogue of itches to work through.
What we have are fifteen Battleships, mothballed in a camouflaged facility on the surface of this planet. Their configuration does not match anything we have on record for the Octopeds or Dvergar, nor do they appear to be Minoan.
Redeye came to the point. Any indications as to the builders?
Doctor Razorclaw took up the discussion. None, Admiral. Their mothballing process covered everything that might have given us a direct clue; including computer records, furnishings and consumables. I can surmise that they were slightly larger than us...
Surprise there, muttered Longstride. She remained slightly irked that the Faehung seemed destined to be the shortest starfaring race in the Galaxy.
....but were probably tripedal in configuration, the Doctor finished.
Redeye shot a quelling look at Longstride, Darkstorm, what about their capabilities...?
His Chief Engineer almost shrugged. Without being flippant, Admiral, it could almost be a classic Bad News, Good News situation. The bad news is that these ships are superior to anything we have. Defences far superior to ours, a few new tricks with their engines, and very advanced weapons.....
The good news? That was Spikecrest.
Darkstorm looked a little happier. First, no Missile Bays. Maybe they dont bother - but they have XOs, so I think it just didnt occur to them.
Secondly, no Modular Construction techniques such as we use. That means it takes them a lot longer to build even one of these monsters.
Thirdly, and I think this is the most important. The systems on these ships are advanced and include things we havent thought of.....but there is nothing here we cant duplicate. Id bet my stripes on it. The technological advancement is no worse, and maybe less, than the leap we took from early starflight to current levels.
Tailbiter almost smiled (he had a reputation to maintain). Good news, maybe. But Im bothered by what we didnt find. This is valuable hardware, but there are no security measures, no pickets or patrols. Why????.
Great Gods, what a farrago, Marine Lieutenant Bentfoot thought. His station on the bridge of High Guard dutifully relayed to him all the details of what was proving to be a bitch of an operation. Marines and selected engineers planetside to check and prep the alien battleships. Ships to boost those hulls into stable orbit via an intricate ballet of presser beams and brute force. Merchant vessels waiting to clamp onto those hulls, and commence the long haul to Consortium space. Combat vessels riding shotgun on the whole thing. Scouts, Probes, shuttles and cutters in all directions, examining the rest of the system in obsessive detail.
To cap it all off, they had just found even more potential salvage in what was left of those moons that had blown up (thank the Gods there had been nobody on them at the time!). The bad news was that they didnt know what further boobytraps might also be there.
It was going to be a long deployment.......
Even more salvage is found in system 0714. Twenty-four Light Monitors, of the same origin as the battleships also found there. Heartbreakingly, they are too large to safely transit the WP back to Consortium Space. Consortium shipyards find themselves close to gridlock under the massive quantity of salvage that can be ferried in.
Great Clouds Of Magellan. Blackfoot, commander-in-chief of the Consortium Defence Forces, intoned with awe. What IS this monster?!??
It was difficult to do more than gape at the holographic schematics displayed, in a spartan room deep below CDF HQ on Homeworld. I should be shockproof by now, he told himself. Especially considering who this came from.
The only other being present smiled benevolently, obviously proud of his audiences reaction. Raintree, head of CDFs Advanced Research Division, one of Blackfoots most trusted friends, and often his worst nightmare.
She is a beauty, eh? was that worthys cheerful offering.
Beauty!!! Blackfoot winced and sought control. He touched controls and rotated the offending 3-D image. A freak is more like it. Cruiser hull, in the weirdest configuration I ever saw. Over half the tonnage is taken up with these strange docking clamps cross-connected to the drive. What IS this?
The solution to the Athol salvage problem. Raintree became totally serious. We want to recover those alien warships. This is the way. The only way.
His superior gestured skeptically. How?
Several years ago, we were working on ways to extend or alter a starship drive field, so it could physically push other vessels. The effort was called Project: Hercules...
I recall the name. I thought it was a failure.
Yes and no. Altering a drive field so radically remains beyond our capabilities. But, we did get a very interesting spin-off. An alternate stardrive system which tests showed to be much less efficient than the standard system, but its advantage is that it can bypass a warp points size limits.
By how much?
That smile again. Enough so that this freak can safely carry one of those monitors through that tiny WP.
But each of those monitors is twice the size of the warp point - and triple the size of this ship!!!
Turn 30 (Revised Calendar):
A Minoan Courier Drone is recovered from an area nowhere near their space. Examination dates it as being there prior to contact with the Consortium. The only possible conclusion is that, contrary to what was originally thought, the Minoans have been exploring warp points for some time. Further implication - the Minoans may in fact be considerably larger in extent.
Given the current friendly relations with the Minoans, this revelation may not be cause for alarm, but certainly calls for caution in future dealings with them.
Improvements to Datalink and a more advanced Point Defense are implemented in the CDF.
Elements of 4th Exploration Fleet approach the four outer worlds of one system, only to witness the sudden destruction of those worlds. The phenomenon is identical to what was witnessed in the Athol system. Detailed analysis indicates that both events were immediately preceded by a neutrino pulse - possibly an FTL communications system.
In the case of the most recent event, the mass of the worlds debris would appear to be considerably greater than what was indicated prior to their destruction. Further investigation is necessary.
Even more developments...
The recovered Minoan Courier Drone mysteriously disappears whilst being examined, totally baffling Consortium scientists. The Minoans come clean about their empire - they are in fact several times larger than the Consortium. The increase in trade revenues is expected to be dramatic.
The 4th Exploration Fleet continues to investigate system 8198, where the remnants of the four destroyed worlds are now forming particularly rich asteroid belts.
Doing all this will be expensive.
I know, but it has to be done.
I agree. The upgrades to our planetary forces are long overdue, and de-mothballing those old colony transports to augment the Merchant Service is an excellent idea. Some of my staff arent so happy about giving those haulers to the Merchant Service as well.
They can carry a lot of supplies, but are extremely vulnerable. The Merchant Service can make proper use of them. For Fleet support, we need something bigger, faster, and capable of self-defense. I have a few ideas.
Of that I have no doubt. I confess I am surprised. You postponed Project Valley Forge?
Some new technology to incorporate. Construction of the first unit will begin very soon. Any more word from our Minoan friends?
Bits and pieces. Still waiting on full data. Whatever these JRill are, they are not Octopeds, Builders, Forerunners, or Dvergar. The fact that our neighbours took it for granted that we knew already is the most interesting part of all this. The Minoan evidently fear them, and given the size and strength of their empire....
Nexus (83335) - Utopia (8028):
CN 01 > CP 01 > CP 02 > CN 02
Nexus (83335) - Notagain (6099) - Murgatroyd (5218) - Canaan (1847):
CN 04 > CP 03 > CP 04 > CN 05 > CP 12 > CP 13 > CP 14 > CP 15 > CN 08
Nexus (83335) - Cold Heart (8318) - Trinity (8966):
[CN 01] > CP 06 > CP 07 > CP 08 > CP 09 > CN 06
Nexus (83335) - New Hope (0286):
[CN 04] > CP 10 > CP 11 > CN 07
Defence Fleet (Admiral Hammerhead Commanding) at Nexus 
CB 01; BB 01 & 02; BC 01-04; IN 01-06; CS 01-04;
CA 01- 04; DD 22-23; DF 02-06; ES 42-57, 61-81;
SC 157 & 158; ST 01; MB 2009 - 2015 & 2020 - 2132; EX 01-09; AO 01; STG 01.
Task Force: Intrepid
SL 24, 26 & 27; MB 2001-2008 (Detached From Main Fleet)
Contingent from Rosetta Institute.
Task Force: Solace
JCT 01; DF 01; ES 40 & 41
Task Group Alpha: DR 01; ES 17 & 18.
Task Group Beta: DR 02; ES 19 & 20.
Task Group Gamma: DR 03; ES 31 & 32.
Task Group Delta: DD 17; ES 33 & 34.
Task Group Epsilon: DD 18; ES 35 & 36.
Task Group Omega: CS 05; DD 19 & 20; ES 37, 38 & 39.
Exploration Fleet 1 (Admiral Cityhunter Commanding):
CC 01; SL 01 & 02; SC 01-52; EC 01 & 02.
Exploration Fleet 2 (Commodore Ridgeback Commanding):
CC 02; SL 03 & 04; SC 53-104; EC 03 & 04.
Exploration Fleet 3 (Admiral Redeye Commanding):
CC 03; SL 05 & 06; SC 105-156; EC 05 & 06.
Currently Attached to TF Intrepid
Exploration Fleet 4 (Fleet Captain Starbuck Commanding):
CC 04; SL 07 & 08; SC 159-210; EC 07 & 08.
Minoan Taure Diplomatic Group: SL 09 & 10.
Nexus PG: DD 01 & 02; SL 11 & 12; ES 08, 09, 23 & 24; TG 01.
New Hope  PG: DD 03; SL 13; ES 01; TG 02.
Canaan  PG: DD 21; ES 21 & 22.
Majestic  PG: DD 04; SL 14; ES 02.
Ninevah  PG: DD 05; SL 15; ES 03 & 25; TG 03.
Haven  PG: DD 06; SL 16; ES 04 & 26.
Hotline  PG: DD 07; SL 17; ES 05.
Darkcrests Leap  PG: DD 08; SL 18; ES 06 & 27; TG 04.
Redeye  PG: DD 09; SL 19; ES 07 & 28.
Notagain  PG: DD 10 & 11; SL 20; ES 10, 11 & 29; TG 05.
Utopia  PG: DD 12 & 13; SL 21; ES 12, 13 & 30.
Cold Heart  PG: DD 14; SL 22; ES 14.
Trinity  PG: DD 15 & 16; SL 23; ES 15 & 16; TG 06.
Utopian Special Group: SL 25; MB 2016-2019.
Hothouse  PG: DD 24; ES 58, 59 & 60
TO MERCHANT FLEET:
SF 01-04; 3 x Brand-new CFN Freighters
Exploration fleets to conclude explorations this turn, then head for home.
TF Solace to system . Pick up one LM, and return to Nexus.
To the Minoans - Who/what are JRill?