0.0 Table of Contents
- The Galaxy
- The Game Map
- The Game Turn
- Homeless Empires
- Abandoned Empires
Star Empires is a turn-based strategy game of space conquest. Each player controls a collection of worlds and ships spread across the galaxy -- a star empire. Worlds produce resource units (RU), which are spent building and repairing starships, which, in turn, are used to destroy other players' starships in order to take over more worlds. The object of the game is to take over at least half the RU production in the galaxy. The only problem is that all the other empires out there want the same thing as you.
Each Star Empires session is played over a series of turns. At the start of each turn, your game map shows the current state of the galaxy. You have until the next turn's deadline to negotiate and scheme with other empires and issue a set of orders for your ships and worlds. When the turn deadline arrives, all empires' orders are processed in a series of phases, and updates are made to all empires' maps accordingly. Turns continue until one empire (or alliance of empires) meet specific victory conditions and the game master (GM) declares a winner.
Your empire lives in a roughly circular galaxy organized as a set of hexagonal sectors. At the start of the first turn your game map shows only your starting sector and the few nearby sectors that you can scan. Your telescopes alone can not tell you what wealth lies in unknown space, so in order to expand your empire and increase your income, you must send forth your ships and explore the galaxy. As you travel through the galaxy, you'll encounter a variety of objects:
Worlds are the source of wealth throughout the galaxy. Owned worlds generate resource units, which are used to design, build, and repair your fleet of starships.
At the start of the game you control only one world, known as your homeworld. Every empire must maintain a single homeworld if it possesses any worlds at all. An empire's homeworld is not subject to interdiction by foreign empires (although it can be blockaded). If an empire's homeworld is conquered, it will automatically be relocated to the next suitable world.
Ships are the vessels that each empire builds as it explores the galaxy and expands its empire. Ships come in a variety of configurations, but serve two basic purposes:
- exploration -- your ships gather information about the galaxy via two types of scanning: short-range scan (SRS), which reveals detailed information about any sectors that your ships occupy, and long-range scan (LRS), which reveals fewer details about nearby sectors within scan range of your ships. Each ship has a scan rating that determines how many sectors distant it can gather LRS data.
- combat -- your ships are used to attack other ships in order to conquer and defend worlds in your empire. The number of guns and defense points (DP) that your ships possess will determine their relative strength in combat.
See the section on Ships for more details about them.
Scattered throughout the galaxy are networks of interconnected wormhole portals, collectively known as wormnets. Your ships can travel via wormnet portals to distant portions of the galaxy in a single turn. Every ship with at least one operational engine is capable of wormnet travel. Until one of your ships travels through a particular portal, your empire knows nothing about it, and your exit from the portal will be determined randomly. Once your ship has traveled through the portal your empire will acquire the navigation data for that portal, which allows non-random travel thereafter. Navigation data may be shared between empires.
The prudent wormnet traveler should be aware of some interesting portal characteristics:
- Some portals function only as entrances or exits, but not both, thus leaving the unwary traveler stranded on the far side and forcing him to take the slow route home through normal space.
- Wormnet portals can become unstable and collapse altogether for some number of turns. Ships may not enter or exit through a collapsed portal; any ship that attempts to do so simply fails to traverse the wormnet and remains in its origin sector.
Nebulae are great clouds of interstellar dust that interfere with ship scanners. Ships cannot gather LRS data for items within a nearby nebula, although the nebulae themselves do show up on LRS; only by entering the nebula sector will its contents be revealed on SRS. Nebulae thus make an effective place to hide from enemies. A ship occupying a nebula sector has an effective LRS radius of zero, regardless of that ship's actual scan rating, so the nebula confers some degree of blindness along with the cover it provides. Note that nebulae do not block your long-range scanners' ability to see sectors beyond them; they obscure only the nebulae sectors themselves. That is, a nebula one sector away from your ship will not prevent it from scanning a regular sector on the other side of the nebula (i.e., two sectors away from the ship).
It is entirely possible that nebulae can hide worlds and wormnet portals. Once a nebula sector has been explored, any objects discovered therein will be known to you, but since there is no way to scan into nebulae sectors from afar, your scan data of those items will immediately become stale as soon as your ships leave that nebula sector.
2.5 Ion Storms
Ion storms wreak havoc on all ship systems, causing damage to ships just as if they had been hit by enemy fire. The stronger the storm, the more damage a ship will suffer while it remains within the storm's sector. Each ion storm is rated with a number that indicates the amount of damage per turn that all ships in that sector will suffer. Note that there is no upper limit on this rating, and even the heartiest ship may find itself amid a storm that can destroy it in one turn. In addition to inflicting damage ion storms act as nebulae for purposes of interfering with ship scanners.
Note that some ion storms fluctuate in strength from turn to turn, yielding a corresponding change in the amount of damage they inflict.
Your empire's map is a representation of the galactic sectors that your empire can currently or has ever scanned. All explored sectors are included in your map, whether they are visible (currently occupied by one of your ships), scanned (within scan range of, but not occupied by, any of your ships), or stale (once scanned or visible, but not currently so). A sector for which you have no information other than its coordinates has unknown status.
The sectors on your map are labels using the oblique coordinate system, wherein each sector is identified by a pair of numbers written as (oblique, y). The oblique coordinate identifies a sector's position diagonally "northwest" or "southeast" of the origin, while a sector's y coordinate identifies its position "north" or "south" of the origin. In a typical Star Empires session your empire's homeworld is at the center of your map, identified as sector (0,0). It's up to you to figure out where your empire is relative to the others. Each galactic empire defines its own coordinate system, so "north" to your empire, may be "southwest" to another.
Your empire's map contains a variety of information about your empire organized by sector:
- Unknown sectors are those which have never been visited or scanned by your ships. Only the coordinates of these sectors are known to you, although you may learn additional information about them by communicating with other empires.
- Stale sectors are those which were once visited or scanned by your ships in past turns. For these sectors you will receive limited (and likely out-of-date) LRS information, including:
- - world names, production values, and last known owners
- - wormnet portal names
- - nebulae and ion storm indicators, including the last known rating of each storm
- Scanned sectors are those within scan range of your ships, but are not directly visible. For these sectors you will receive the same LRS data that you receive for stale sectors, but with current information, including:
- - current world owners and RU stockpiles
- - current collapsed statuses for wormnet portals
- - current rating of each storms
- - the total number and tonnage of foreign ships present, identified by the owning empire (if their transponders are transmitting to you) or as "unidentified" (for those ships that are not)
- Visible sectors are those which contain your ships. You will receive detailed the same current LRS information that you receive for scanned sectors along with details SRS data, including:
- - current world blockade/interdiction statuses
- - foreign ship names, owners, class types, damage statuses, and recent activity
Also available to your empire is a variety of non-sector-specific data, including:
- A news section summarizing the latest developments since the last turn was updated
- A set of ship designs possessed by your empire
- A list of ships that you own
- A list of all known worlds and who owns them
- A list of foreign empires with whom you can communicate
Your empire must design and build ships to move around the galaxy and conquer worlds. Most ships are conquering ships, meaning that they are able to maintain possession of an unowned world. Other ships (such as missiles) are not conquering ships and can only be used in tandem with conquering ships.
4.1 Ship Components
All ships have a rating for each of five components:
- Guns are the number of shots a ship can fire in combat during one turn. Guns always hit their target when fired. All ships have at least one gun.
- Damage Points (DP) represent the total amount of damage (from things like enemy guns or ion storms) that a ship can sustain before it is destroyed. Every ship has at least one DP.
- Engines represents the number of sectors a ship can move in one turn. Some ships may have an engine rating of zero and are thus immobile.
- Scan is the number of sectors distant that its long-range scanners can see. A ship with a scan rating of zero can see only the sector it occupies on short-range scan.
- Racks determine the total tonnage of cargo (missiles or other ships) that the ship can carry. A ship with no racks cannot carry any cargo.
These five components taken together define a ship class. For example, you might design a frigate class that has 20 guns, 15 DP, 4 engines, 2 scan, and 0 racks.
The following additional ship statistics are computed automatically for each ship class based on its components:
- Cost is the number of RU required to build one ship of a given class. In order to design a new ship you must pay a one-time design fee that is half this cost. See the Research phases of the game turn for more information.
- Tonnage is the mass of the ship. For all ships except missiles, tonnage is computed based on the class' components. For missiles, the tonnage is part of the ship's design, since the tonnage directly affects the cost. One tonne of mass occupies one rack.
- Auto-repair (AR) is the number of DP that will be repaired automatically during the Auto-Repair phase of the turn. In most cases this is one-tenth of the ship's DP, rounded down, but always at least one.
- The Operation Rating (OR) of a ship is a measure of how functional its systems are and is defined by how much damage a ship has taken. A ship's OR is computed with this formula:
OR = √(current DP/original DP)
As a ship incurs damage, its guns, engines, and scan ratings are multiplied by its OR and rounded to the nearest integer (possibly zero). (Racks are unaffected by ship damage, since they represent a structural component of the ship, rather than a functional system.) Until a ship is repaired, it operates at this reduced efficiency.
For example, suppose a frigate (defined above) sustains 10 DP of damage against its original 15 DP. It's OR is
OR = √(5/15) = 0.5774
The other ship components are multiplied by its current OR to yield these operational values:
Guns: 20 * 0.5774 = 12 operational guns
Engines: 4 * 0.5774 = 2 operational engines
Scan: 2 * 0.5774 = 1 operational scanner
4.2 Hull Types
Every ship is constructed from one of a set of basic hull types. A hull type represents a broad classification of ships that perform similar functions, for example, scouts or transports. Each basic hull type determines the initial rating of each ship component, its base tonnage and cost, and how expensive it is to customize a ship with additional components. In general, you can add as many components to a basic hull type as you can afford, although some hull types have a maximum rating for certain components.
Capital ships are large ships with heavy firepower and defenses. They can carry an impressive number of guns and DP, but it is relatively expensive to add engines, scanners, and racks to a capital ship.
|Additional cost||Additional tonnage|
Gunships are the smaller complement to capital ships. They carry a large number of guns, but trade defenses for e
ngines in order to be first on the scene. They have relatively few scanners or racks.
|Component||Base Rating||Additional cost||Additional tonnage|
A missile is a special type of one-shot ship that is loaded onto a carrier's rack and then fired at a target. Missiles are destroyed when they are fired in this manner. Missiles have no engines, scan, or racks ratings, and all missiles have only one DP. Only the guns component is configurable. Unlike other hull types, a missile's tonnage is a configurable parameter, which allows you to determine how big a missile class is (and therefore how many racks an instance of that missile class will require).
New missile classes are exempt from the one-time design fee.
|Component||Base Rating||Additional cost||Additional tonnage|
|Guns||8||See below||See below|
|DP||1||Missiles have 1 DP|
|Engines||0||Missiles have no engines|
|Scan||0||Missiles have no scanners|
|Racks||0||Missiles have no racks|
|Base Tonnage||1||Configurable for missiles only|
An orbital is an immobile ship, typically with heavy DP, a fair number of guns, scanners, or racks, and no engines at all. Orbitals are useful for defending owned worlds and confer some special benefits to friendly ships at those worlds:
- You can repair damage to orbitals for a cost of 3 DP for 1 RU during the Repair phase (instead of the usual 2 DP for 1 RU cost).
- Orbitals fully repair for free any friendly ships that are loaded onto them during the Repair phase.
A starbase is a special type of orbital that each empire possesses at its homeworld at the start of the game. In addition to the standard orbital benefits, starbases provide these additional benefits:
- A starbase negates all ion storm damage to all friendly ships in its sector.
- A starbase cannot be self-destructed.
- A world in the same sector as a friendly starbase cannot be interdicted or blockaded.
|Component||Base Rating||Starbase||Additional cost||Additional tonnage|
|Engines||0||0||Orbitals have no engines|
A transport is used to carry several smaller ships. It has plenty of rack space and engines, a moderate number of DP, and relatively few guns or scanner. Note that the generic term carrier refers to any ship that contains cargo but a transport refers to a specific hull type.
|Component||Rating||Additional cost||Additional tonnage|
Scouts are fast ships designed to collect a large amount of scan data. Their light structures limit the number of guns, DP, and racks that can be added to them.
|Component||Rating||Additional cost||Additional tonnage|
|Guns||1 (max 5)||exp(guns/5)||exp(guns/5)|
|DP||1 (max 5)||exp(dp/5)||exp(dp/5)|
|Racks||0 (max 1)||exp(racks/1.5)||exp(racks/2)|
A wing is a cheap, immobile ship that must be transported to its destination. Attack wings favor more guns, while defensive wings favor more DP. Wings have no engines, scanners, or racks.
Wings are tactical combat ships and are unique in that they always receive damage first in a combat theater. That is, until an attacker has destroyed all of a defender's wings, none of the defender's other ships will receive damage.
|Component||Rating||Additional cost||Additional tonnage|
|Engines||0||Wings cannot have engines|
|Scan||0||Wings cannot have scanners|
|Racks||0||Wings cannot have racks|
4.3 Ship Classes
You can customize each hull type to create unique ship classes. Your empire's ship classes will not be known to other empires unless you give the design to them, or they salvage the design from one of your destroyed ships. When you first encounter a foreign ship of an unknown class, you will be able to tell only that ship's class name, tonnage, and operational rating. All other characteristics will remain to be discovered.
At the start of the game your empire knows the basic designs for each ship category. There are three ways that you can add new classes to your list of known ships:
- You can design new ship classes. Your empire must pay a one-time design fee equal to half of the cost of an individual ship of that class (rounded up). Missiles are exempt from this one-time design fee. See the Create Ship Designs phase.
- Class designs can be given to other empires without cost to either party. See the Give Ship Designs phase.
- The wreck of a ship destroyed in combat can be salvaged (under specific conditions), examined, and reverse-engineered, also without cost. See the Salvage Ship Designs phase.
You can build a ship on the same turn during which you research, salvage, or receive that ship's class design. New ships can only be constructed at non-interdicted worlds which you own, and the necessary RU must be present on the world where you plan to build. One of the dangers of interstellar combat is that an enemy can take possession of your worlds that are slated to build new ships; in this case, the pending build orders become void.
4.4 Ship Names
Every ship has a unique serial number (SN), which is a seven-character identifier of the form
XX is a two-letter code uniquely identifying the owning empire, and
abcde is a random and unique five-character string of hexadecimal digits. The game server will automatically determine your empire's two-letter code based on its name, ensuring that all empire codes in the same game are unique. For example, a ship owned by an empire called "The Culture" might have the serial number
For convenience you may give your ships unique names, and you may refer to any ship by its handle, i.e., either its SN or its name.
Each ship possesses a transponder that transmits its current location to its owner. These transponders can be set to one of two states:
In public mode, a ship's transponder transmits its information to all empires, known or not. Public transponders are often used early in the game to identify your ships to unknown foreign empires and establish initial contact.
In private mode, a ship's transponder transmits its location only to its owner. To all other empires that ship will appear on their LRS only as unidentified tonnage. You can adjust a private-mode transponder to transmit on foreign empire's frequencies, allowing them to discern that ship's owner and class on their LRS. Private transponders are often used to reveal your ships' locations only to your allies.
Star Empires is, at its core, a game of interstellar diplomacy. At first you will be alone in space, but as you explore you soon will encounter your nearest neighbors and potential opponents. Whether you attack immediately or forge a strong alliance is, of course, your choice. A neighboring emperor with a vast armada of cruisers and destroyers is certainly cause for concern -- unless he thinks your armada is bigger than his, or -- even better -- if he's on your side. Deception, compromise, disinformation, intel sharing, backstabbing, and coordinated planning require constant communication with the other empires of the galaxy.
Make good use of your empire's lines of communication. Talk frequently with your allies lest they begin to mistrust you -- at least until you are ready to betray them. Talk also with your enemies, for you may learn useful information from them, or even settle your differences and become allies. Even an empire whose power is fading can be a thorn in the side of the dominant empire if you lend a helping hand, and several small empires acting in concert can swiftly dismantle a single larger opponent who suddenly finds himself fighting on several fronts at once. Remember also that you can send messages anonymously. A well-placed anonymous word can make all the difference when it comes to cementing your plans.
The events of each game turn occur in a series of phases. You submit a complete set of your empire's orders for all phases of the turn. When the turn deadline arrives (or sooner if the GM has received orders from all empires) all orders for all empires are processed simultaneously, one phase at a time.
Updates are run at regular intervals with enough time in between to allow for negotiations, strategy, and submission of orders. Typically this is once per week, but the GM always has the option of setting a more aggressive schedule.
The game server maintains a dedication rating (DR) for each player (not empire). Your DR increases by one if you have submitted your orders before the turn's deadline. If you miss a turn's deadline, you will lose three DR. Although your DR has no direct impact on the game, it is a representation of how reliable a player you are, and can affect whether or not you are invited to join future games. If you think you're going to miss a deadline, please let your game master know, rather than let your DR slip. If a player missed a turn deadline without letting the GM know, the GM has the option to declare that player's empire abandoned. See the section about Abandoned Empires.
While the turn update is in progress, the game server will not accept any orders for or allow communication among empires. Once the update is complete, players will be notified and may access their updated empire information.
Each phase of the turn is described in detail below.
The Astronomics phases are where all map adjustments are applied by the GM. There are no player orders to process here.
6.1.1 Remove Map Objects
During this phase the GM can remove any map objects (worlds, portals, nebulae, storms, ships) as part of a particular game scenario.
6.1.2 Move Map Objects
During this phase the GM can move any existing map objects (worlds, portals, nebulae, storms, ships) as part of a particular game scenario.
6.1.3 Add Map Objects
During this phase the GM can add any map objects (worlds, portals, nebulae, storms, ships) as part of a particular game scenario. New ship classes can be added during this phase, as well.
6.1.4 Modify Map Objects
During this phase the GM can make modifications to existing map objects (e.g., change world production values, ion storm ratings, or ship damage) as part of a particular game scenario.
6.1.5 Remove Known Items
During this phase the GM can remove knowledge of worlds, portals, nebulae, ion storms, ship classes, or foreign empires from any empire. The affected empire will no longer be able to make use of the removed items. Of course, the affected empire can regain the knowledge of any item through normal game play.
6.1.6 Add Known Items
During this phase the GM can make portals, worlds, nebulae, ion storms, ship classes, or foreign empires known to any empire in the game. Map objects become known to an empire just as if the empire had scanned the object.
6.1.7 Stabilize Portals
At this point any previously collapsed wormnet portals reform and function normally.
6.1.8 Collapse Portals
At this point any collapsing wormnet portals are disabled, preventing travel through them. A portal can collapse even if it has just stabilized on the same turn.
6.1.9 Fluctuate Ion Storms
At this point all ion storm ratings are updated based on the fluctuation pattern of each individual storm (if any). Storm ratings can fluctuate according to cyclic patterns, or randomly up to the initial rating of the storm. A storm that fluctuations to strength zero is not destroyed; it merely remains dormant (and is equivalent to a nebula) until it later fluctuates above a zero rating.
During the Logistics phases, you can prepare your fleet for the coming turn's actions.
6.2.1 Unload Ships
At this point you can unload any loaded ships from their carriers, which frees up rack space in the former carrier . If you have issued a fire order for a loaded missile it will automatically be unloaded during this phase in preparation for use.
Abandoned Empires: Any loaded conquering ships will be unloaded at friendly worlds, or at worlds where they will be used in combat (see below). Loaded missiles will be unloaded if they are to be used in combat at foreign worlds; otherwise, they will remain loaded.
During this phase you can load your ships onto your carriers. The ships to be loaded must be in the same sector as the intended carrier, which must have sufficient free rack space to hold the cargo ships' tonnage. Loaded ships cannot move under their own power, scan surrounding space, or attack other ships, with one exception: a missile can be fired only if it has been loaded onto a friendly carrier. (See the Fire Guns phase for details.)
If a carrier ship is destroyed all cargo ships loaded onto that carrier are also destroyed, regardless of DP.
Note that nested loads are prohibited, i.e., you cannot load cargo onto a carrier which is itself loaded onto a third ship.
Abandoned Empires: Abandoned missiles will be loaded onto any available friendly racks, starting with the missile having the most guns and the carrier having the most free racks, operational rating, and tonnage (sorted in that order).
All ship-to-ship combat occurs simultaneously during these phases.
During this phase, you may destroy any of your own ships. A self-destructed ship is immediately destroyed, and cannot fire any guns, although it can be the target of enemy fire (since all combat happens simultaneously). A loaded cargo ship cannot be self-destructed, but a carrier can be self-destructed, which results in the immediate self-destruction of all of its cargo.
A ship which is self-destructed cannot be salvaged by other empires. Additionally, for every five tonnes (or fraction thereof) massed by the destroyed ships and cargo, every other unloaded ship in the same sector receives one DP of collateral damage (i.e., self-destruction of less than five tonnes worth of ships will cause one DP of collateral damage to other ships in the same sector, self-destructing six to ten tonnes will cause two DP of collateral damage, and so on). All self-destructed tonnage in a sector is totaled together, regardless of owner, in order to compute the collateral damage to all unloaded ships in the sector. Loaded cargo does not receive collateral damage directly, but it will be destroyed if its carrier is destroyed due to collateral damage.
Note that only ships that are self-destructed are exempt from salvage; any ship destroyed by collateral damage can still be salvaged.
You cannot self-destruct your starbase; however, a starbase can be damaged and destroyed by collateral damage.
Abandoned Empires: Abandoned non-missiles will be self-destructed at foreign worlds if it appears that there are enough foreign guns present to destroy those ships, and if it appears that the abandoned ships will not also be able to destroy all of the foreign ships. If it appears that there are enough foreign guns present to destroy only some of the abandoned ships, then only those that would be destroyed by the foreign guns (ordering the abandoned ships by the criteria in the Fire Guns phase) will be self-destructed. The remainder will be moved out-sector.
During this phase any attacking ships will fire their guns and missiles at targets in the same sector. Each gun fired always hits its target and inflicts one DP of damage. A ship may fire any, all, or none of its guns in the same turn against one or more targets in the same sector, but a ship may not move and commit guns to an attack on the same turn.
22.214.171.124 Combat order
Combat is handled at a tactical level by your attackers' battle computers so you only need to specify which ships are attacking and which empires' ships are to be targeted. Your attackers will automatically coordinate their guns and missiles in order to destroy the target empires' ships in an efficient manner. You can instruct your attackers to target enemy ships in order from largest to smallest (or vice versa), according to the following criteria:
- The ship with the most (or least) remaining DP will be targeted first.
- If two ships have the same remaining DP, then the one with the larger (or smaller) operational rating is targeted first.
- If two ships have the same OR, the the one with the larger (or smaller) tonnage is targeted first.
- If two ships have the same tonnage, then they are targeted alphabetically by handle.
Wings are targeted automatically before all other ships according to this same criteria, and missiles are targeted after all non-missiles, starting with the missile that has the largest (or smallest) tonnage.
Attackers are activated in the following order:
- Ships are activated in order from the fewest unfired guns to the most unfired guns (in order not to activate ships that are not needed).
- If two ships have the same number of unfired guns, then the one with the fewest functioning guns is activated first.
- If two ships have the same number of functioning guns, then the one with the smallest operational rating is activated first.
- If two ships have the same OR, then the ship with the fewest total guns is activated first.
- If two ships have the same number of total guns, then the ship with the smallest tonnage is activated first.
- If two ships have the same tonnage, then they are activated alphabetically by handle.
- Missiles are activated only as needed if your attackers do not possess sufficient unfired guns to destroy all targets.
If a target ship is of an unknown foreign design, your battle computers will not know how many guns are needed to destroy that ship before the battle commences, and you will not know until the battle is over if you committed (or even possessed) enough guns to destroy it.
126.96.36.199 Firing Missiles
An attacking missile expends all of its guns against a single target and is destroyed. A missile must be unloaded from a carrier on the turn it is fired. You can explicitly unload a missile (during the Unload Ships phase) before you fire it, but if a loaded missile is fired, the game server conveniently issues an automatic unload command for it during combat. If a missile is unloaded and not fired on that turn, it must be reloaded on a subsequent turn to be used (and it is also fair game for being attacked like any other unloaded ship and for salvage purposes).
Note that firing a missile is not the same as firing its carrier's guns. That is, a loaded missile can be fired, leaving its carrier free to move to another sector in a "hit-and-run" attack. It is possible during the Logistics phases to unload one missile, load a second missile in the same rack space, and then fire both missiles during the Fire Guns phase.
188.8.131.52 Attacking Wings
Wing-class ships occupy a special place in combat scenarios in that an attacker must destroy all defending wings first before non-wing defenders can be attacked. This represents the wings' tactical maneuverability in the combat theater. If the attacking ships possess sufficient guns to destroy the defending wings, then any excess guns will inflict damage on the remaining defenders. Since missiles impact only a single target, no excess damage carries over to another ship if a missile destroys a defending wing.
Abandoned Empires: Abandoned ships will always fire at non-allied ships present at friendly worlds, or at ships belonging to any empire which fired on the abandoned empire during the previous turn. Abandoned ships present at foreign worlds will fire guns if they expect to destroy all foreign ships present. Abandoned ships between worlds will fire upon any empire targeted by either of the above two criteria. If multiple empires are targeted in the same sector, the abandoned ships will first fire upon the empire having the fewest remaining DP (or tonnage if there's a tie).
6.3.3 Apply Combat Damage
All combat damage is applied simultaneously to all targeted ships at this point. The operational rating of a damaged ship is reduced according to the damage it sustains. As a ship's OR decreases, that ship's guns, engines, and scan ratings all decrease accordingly, and the ship will be able to fire fewer guns, move fewer hexes, and scan fewer sectors until it is repaired. It is entirely possible for any or all of these ratings to be reduced to zero. A ship with a zero gun rating is no longer considered a conquering ship. A ship with a zero move rating is immobile. A ship with a zero scan rating has only SRS ability and cannot scan beyond the sector it occupies.
6.3.4 Remove Destroyed Ships I
At this point any ship which has self-destructed or which has received damage equal to or greater than its remaining DP is now eliminated from its owner's fleet. Any ship loaded onto a destroyed ship is also destroyed (and may be fair game for salvage).
Note that a ship destroyed in this phase collects SRS data only up to this point (and collects no data for events during phases later in the turn).
6.3.5 Auto-repair Ships
During this phase each damaged ship repairs some of its damage, increasing its DP by its auto-repair (AR) rating. These repairs happen automatically and cost no RU. A ship's operational rating (OR) is correspondingly increased by these auto-repairs. A ship can never be auto-repaired above its original DP value.
Note that auto-repairs are always visible to any empire which has an unloaded ship in the same sector.
6.3.6 Determine Ownership I
At this point all conquering ships in any world's sector are used to determine that world's owner as follows:
- If any world's sector contains no conquering ships, then that world becomes unowned.
- If any world's sector contains conquering ships belonging to exactly one empire, then that empire gains control of that world.
- If any world's sector contains conquering ships belonging to more than one empire, and the world's current owner is not among them, then that world becomes (or remains) unowned.
- If any world's sector contains conquering ships belonging to more than one empire, and the world's current owner is among them, then that empire retains ownership of the world.
Thus, once you take possession of a world you must leave at least one conquering ship in the same sector in order to retain ownership. Any RUs stockpiled at a world remain on that world when a new owner takes possession or when that world becomes unowned. If the current owner loses ownership of a world, all existing shipping lanes to and from that world are canceled immediately.
All ship movement, including travel through wormnet portals, occurs simultaneously during these phases.
During this phase you can transmit wormnet portal navigation data to other empires with whom you are in message contact. The navigation data given is the same as that acquired by actually traversing the portal, i.e., it allows safe navigation through that wormnet to that portal.
When you receive navigation data for a new portal you will automatically be able to tell if that portal is (or is not) connected to any other portals for which you have navigation data. Receiving navigation data does not reveal any portals in the same wormnet that are as yet unknown to you.
You can transmit data only about portals which you have traversed or for which navigation data has been given to you on previous turns, and the recipient can make use of the given data on the same turn it is received. The location of the given portal will appear on the recipient's map using their local coordinate system. It is not necessary for the recipient to have scanned that portal's sector, but the recipient will not know what else occupies that portal's sector until they scan it normally.
6.4.2 Move Ships
During this phase any ships that you have instructed to move will jump to their destination sector if their operational rating permits such travel. A ship's operational engine rating determines the maximum number of sectors (hexes) that a ship can move in one turn. Ships jump straight to the destination sector without acquiring scan information for the intervening sectors. There is no stacking limit to sectors; any number of ships from any number of empires can occupy a given sector.
Note that a ship damaged in combat may not have sufficient operational engines to move to the specified destination. In such cases the damaged ship will not move at all, so be careful when planning movement for a ship under attack. A ship cannot move and fire in the same turn.
You can specify movement orders for individual ships or for groups of ships in the same sector. Individual movement orders are useful in a combat zone when you want to move each ship to a different destination. Group movement is useful when you want to move some group of the ships in the same sector to the same destination. If a ship is damaged before moving, it's possible that it will not possess enough operational engines to reach the designated group destination. In this case, the damaged ship will be dropped automatically from the group and will not move; the remainder of the group will move normally.
Abandoned Empires: Abandoned ships which are present at foreign worlds (and which are not ordered to self-destruct or fire) will move along the shortest routes (including wormnets) toward the nearest friendly world (choosing the world with the highest friendly-DP-to-foreign-guns ratio in case of a tie). Abandoned ships between worlds will hold their positions for the first turn of abandonment, but will move on subsequent turns toward the nearest friendly world. An abandoned ship with a scan rating of three or more will be deemed a scout/scanner, and will always hold its position between worlds.
If a ship ends its move in a sector that contains a wormnet portal and has at least one operational engine, then it may traverse the portal as part of its movement. You may specify an exit portal, but unless you have acquired navigation data about both the entry and exit portals, your exit portal will be determined randomly. You can specify an exit portal for which you expect to receive navigation data from another empire on the same turn, but if the donor empire fails to provide you with this information, your exit portal will be selected randomly.
Once you have traversed a wormnet, you will receive navigation data for both the entry and exit portals of your journey. You may then navigate safely between those portals without error. You will not know if there are other portals connected to that same wormnet unless you continue to explore random exits, or until another empire gives you the navigation data for those other portals.
If a wormnet portal collapses altogether, all movement into or out of it is canceled.
6.4.4 Acquire Navigation Data
At this point your empire acquires updated navigation data for any new wormnet portals traversed this turn.
Any ship that ends its movement in a sector containing an ion storm suffers damage equal to that storm's rating. This damage is equivalent to attack damage from enemy ships, and reduces a ship's operational rating or can destroy it in the same fashion. Starbases confer full protection from ion storms to friendly ships in the same sector.
6.4.6 Remove Destroyed Ships II
At this point any ship which has received damage from ion storms equal to or greater than its remaining DP is now eliminated from its owner's fleet. Any ship loaded onto a destroyed ship is also destroyed (and may be fair game for salvage).
Note that a ship destroyed in this phase collects SRS data only up to this point (and collects no data for events during phases later in the turn).
6.4.7 Determine Ownership II
At this point, world ownership is determined again, using the same procedure as described in the Determine Ownership I phase. The two separate ownership phases allow an attacker to take possession of a world after combat is resolved before the defender's reinforcements arrive during the Movement phase.
6.4.8 Relocate Homeworlds
If an empire's existing homeworld has been conquered this turn, its homeworld is automatically relocated at this point to the next safest world, as follows:
- The safest world is considered to be the world owned by the same empire that has the highest ratio of friendly DP to foreign guns.
- If there is a tie for safest among one or more worlds, then the world with the highest friendly DP count will be selected.
- If there is still a tie, the world with the highest production will be selected.
- If there is still a tie, the world closest to the previous homeworld will be selected.
- If there is still a tie, then a world will be selected randomly from the remaining candidates.
Homeworld relocation ignores blockade and interdiction rules. Additionally, the newly selected homeworld will have its production doubled for the current turn.
If the conquering guns present at any world are strictly more than three times the DP of the conquering ships belonging to the world's owner, then that world is said to be interdicted. No designs, builds, or repairs can take place at an interdicted world, nor can any RU be shipped offworld (as per blockades). This interdiction remains in place from turn to turn until the above condition is no longer true.
Note that it is the total number of foreign guns, regardless of owner, which determines the interdiction; thus, it is possible for multiple empires to interdict a world (possibly by accident) that none of them could interdict alone. Missiles are not included (by either side) for purposes of determining interdiction.
An empire's homeworld cannot be interdicted (although it can be blockaded).
If the foreign conquering guns present at any world are strictly more than twice the DP of the conquering ships belonging to the world's owner, then that world is said to be blockaded. No RU can be shipped offworld from any blockaded world; this restriction remains in place from turn to turn until the above condition is no longer true. A world that is interdicted is also blockaded, but the reverse is not necessarily true.
Note that it is the total number of foreign guns, regardless of owner, which determines the blockade; thus, it is possible for multiple empires to blockade a world (possibly by accident) that none of them could blockade alone. Missiles are not included (by either side) for purposes of determining blockades.
During the Research phases, new ship classes can be salvaged and designed, and designs for ship classes can be given to other empires.
At this point you can attempt to salvage the design of any ship that has been destroyed on this turn in the same sector as one of your ships. You will salvage a destroyed ship's design automatically if all of the following conditions are true in the same sector:
- The destroyed ship was not explicitly self-destructed. You can salvage designs for ships destroyed by enemy fire, collateral damage, or an ion storm, or was destroyed when its carrier was destroyed.
- The destroyed ship was not a fired missile.
- The destroyed ship was destroyed on the same turn as the salvage attempt.
- The salvaging empire possesses conquering guns in the same sector as the destroyed ship that total strictly more than three times the total remaining DP of all conquering ships in the same sector that belong to the same empire as the destroyed ship. That is, a sufficient foreign force will prevent you from salvaging designs belonging to that empire.
- The salvaging empire possesses the most conquering guns of all empires present in the sector containing the destroyed ship.
Each destroyed ship is evaluated using these rules, and if they are all true, then the destroyed ship's design is added to the salvaging empire's list of known ship classes for their future use; otherwise no salvage can take place for that particular ship. Only one empire may be the salvaging empire in a given sector, although it need not be the empire that destroyed the salvaged ship; in the case of a tie, no salvage takes place in that sector. If the salvaging empire already owns the salvaged design, then no other empire receives that design on that salvage attempt. Note that any cargo loaded on a destroyed ship is also fair game for salvage.
During this phase you can create new ship designs. Designing new ships requires prototyping and testing by your empire, the cost of which is equal to half the cost of the ship itself (rounded up). This is a one-time research fee that will be deducted from the RU stockpile at whichever world you specify. New missile designs do not require the one-time design fee. See the Ship Design page for more details.
Once you have paid the design fee, you can build new ships of that type starting on the same turn. The new ship design can also be given to another empire on the same turn that it is created. You cannot design a new ship class on a world during the same turn that you take control of it, nor can you design on a world that is interdicted.
During this phase you can share your known ship designs (either those you created or those salvaged from other ships) with any other empire with whom you are in message contact. The recipient(s) will receive the designs immediately and will be able to build ships of those classes on the same turn.
Individual ships are maintained during these phases. New ships can be built and existing ships can be repaired. Transponder settings are also established at this point.
During this phase you can build new ships for your fleet. You can build ships only in sectors containing a world you own, and the requisite number of RU must be present at that world. If you lose ownership of a world before this phase, or if you fail to stockpile the necessary RU, the build instruction will be canceled. You cannot build ships on a world during the same turn that you take control of it, nor can you build on a world that is interdicted.
Unique serial numbers are assigned automatically to each ship built. You may give a name to each ship you build, although those names must be unique for each ship in your empire.
Abandoned Empires: Abandoned empires always build on any world where there are stockpiled RU. New ships to be built will alternate between the class which has the most DP that can be afforded and the most guns that can be afforded (choosing the cheapest design in the case of ties), until no RU are left with which to build.
You can use the this phase to repair a damaged ship beyond what it can auto-repair on its own. You can repair two DP for each RU spent, but you can never repair a ship beyond its original DP rating. A repaired ship's operational rating is correspondingly increased by these repairs. You cannot repair ships that belong to another empire.
Damaged ships can be repaired in any sector, but you must specify which world will supply the RU for the repairs. You may schedule contingency repair orders for ships which you expect will be damaged during the upcoming turn, but if that ship is not damaged (or if it is destroyed) then no repairs will be performed, and the RU earmarked for those repairs will sit idle. A world cannot fund a repair operation on the same turn that you take possession of it. Note that repairs are always visible to any empire which has an unloaded ship in the same sector.
If a world is blockaded (but not interdicted), then ships belonging to that world's owner can still be repaired in that world's sector, but the RU on that world can be used to fund repairs only on that world. That is, since the blockade prevents RU from being shipped off-world, they cannot be used to fund repairs elsewhere; however, the lack of interdiction does not prohibit repairs at that world itself.
If a world is interdicted (and therefore also blockaded), then no ship belonging to that world's owner can be repaired in that world's sector (regardless of where the RU funds come from), and RU at that world cannot be used to fund repairs anywhere at all. That is, the interdiction prohibits that world's owner from conducting repairs at that world, and the implied blockade prohibits that world's RU from being shipped off-world for repairs.
You can repair an orbital at a ratio of three DP (instead of the normal two) for each RU spent. An orbital automatically repair fully any friendly ship loaded within it, regardless of any interdiction present in the same sector.
Note that the empires enforcing a blockade or interdiction can repair their ships at the site of the blockade or interdiction so long as the requisite RU are available from some other (unblockaded) world. Repairs can always be performed in empty space sectors that do not contain worlds, regardless of the empires present.
Abandoned Empire: Any RU which cannot be spent on building new ships will be used to repair damaged ships, starting with the ship that has the smallest operational rating (or fewest remaining DP if there's a tie).
During this phase you can toggle ship transponders from private mode to public mode, or vice versa. A ship with a private transponder is visible on foreign LRS only as unidentified tonnage and will appear on shared scan data if that ship has not been concealed from the recipient empire. A ship with a public transponder always reveals its owner and class on foreign LRS and on any shared scan data. By default a ship's transponder is set to private mode when it is built.
Abandoned Empires: Abandoned ships will always enable private transponder mode.
During this phase you can reset any private transponders for your ships so that they conceal themselves from the empires you choose. If you conceal a ship from an empire, that empire will see that ship on LRS only as unidentified tonnage (and will be able to see its owner and class only if that ship appears on the other empire's SRS). Further, that empire will not see your concealed ship at all on any scan data that is shared with them (unless, of course, they can scan that ship normally via their LRS or SRS).
Note that a ship with a public transponder cannot be concealed from any other empire; you must first toggle that ship's transponder to private mode.
Abandoned Empires: Abandoned ships will always be concealed from all foreign empires.
During this phase you can set the private transponders of your ships to identify themselves on LRS or shared scan data only to empires you choose. The selected empires will be able to see those ships' classes and your identity as their owner on their LRS or on any scan data you share with them. All other empires will see those ships only as unidentified tonnage on their LRS and will not see them at all on shared scan data (unless they could normally scan that ship with LRS or SRS). Note that you cannot identify ships to individual empires if those ships transponders are in public mode; you must first switch their transponders to private mode.
A ship's private transponder settings remain in effect until you alter those settings explicitly via subsequent identification or concealment orders, even if you that transponder to public mode and back again to private mode.
Note that loaded ships are never visible to foreign empires, regardless of their transponder settings.
During these phases you can establish shipping lanes in order to move resource units from one world to another.
6.7.1 Produce Resource Units
During this phase each owned world's RU stockpile is increased by the production rating of that world. Production does not take place on unowned worlds. Interdictions and blockades do not affect production. There is no limit to the amount of RU that can accumulate on an owned world.
If an empire has relocated its homeworld to a new location this turn, that world doubles its production for this turn.
At this point you can pool any or all of your stockpiled RU to a world that you own. This is a convenient way to gather all of your RU in one place and then disburse them as you see fit. RU at blockaded worlds cannot be shipped off-world for pooling purposes, but RU can be pooled to a blockaded world.
Abandoned Empires: Abandoned empires pool RU at the owned world with the highest friendly-DP-to-foreign-gun ratio.
During this phase you can transfer RU from your worlds' stockpiles to other worlds in the galaxy. RU can be distributed from their origin world to one or many destination worlds. For example, if you own a world that has a stockpile of 12 RU, you can transfer six RU to destination A, four RU to destination B, and leave the remaining two RU at the origin world. RU can be transferred off-world during the same turn that you take possession of the world, so you can set up a tentative order to transfer RU from a world that you plan to acquire in the coming turn.
If you are the owner of both the origin and destination worlds involved in the shipment you need only specify the number of RU you wish to transfer. If you wish to send RU to a foreign empire, you must also indicate the intended recipient empire, as well as the destination world, since that empire might not own the destination world at the time the shipment occurs. If the intended recipient does not own the destination world, the transfer order will be canceled. You must be in message contact with the recipient empire at the time your transfer order is submitted and the destination world must be known to you (though not necessarily current scanned). The recipient will know that your RU have been delivered, but will not know which of your worlds supplied the RU.
RU transfers are executed in the order that you define them. If a world's stockpile does not have sufficient RU remaining to match a given transfer order, the remaining RU in the stockpile will be sent for that order, and all subsequent transfer orders for that stockpile will be canceled.
If a world is blockaded, no RU can be transferred off-world from it, but note that a blockaded world can still receive RU transferred to it. Any unsent RU remain stockpiled, without spoilage, and carry over to the next turn.
Abandoned Empires: Abandoned empires never transfer stockpiled RU.
During these phases all ships gather scan data, which can be shared with other empires.
At this point, you can withhold any scan data that you may have been sharing with other empires. The other empire(s) will no longer receive scan data from you from turn to turn.
Abandoned Empires: Abandoned empires always withhold scan data from all empires.
During this phase you can authorize other empires to access scan data that you collect later in the turn. This data access remains in place until you deny that same access in a future turn.
You can authorize a foreign empire to access your scan data at any of these levels:
- by sector -- the authorized empire(s) will be able to access scan data only for the individual sectors that you specify
- by ship -- the authorized empire(s) will be able to access scan data only for sectors directly scanned by the individual ships that you specify.
- by ship class -- the authorized empire(s) will be able to access scan data only for the sectors directly scanned by all ships of the classes that you specify.
- all data -- the authorized empire(s) will be able to access all of your scan data.
If any of your ships in the shared sectors have been concealed from the recipient of the scan data, those ships will not appear at all in the shared scan data; otherwise, the recipient empire will receive data about those ships as if they appeared on the recipient's SRS. Of course, if the recipient can normally scan your concealed ships on LRS or SRS, they will receive the appropriate information about them. Information about foreign ships is always transmitted in shared scan data.
6.8.3 Collect Scan Data
At this point each ship collects short-range scan (SRS) data for the sector it occupies. Long-range scan (LRS) data is gathered by all ships for all sectors within range of their scan rating, as allowed by the the presence of any nearby nebulae and ion storms.
Destroyed ships (including missiles) generate only SRS info for the sector in which they were destroyed, and only through the Remove Destroyed Ships phase in which they were destroyed. For example, a ship destroyed in combat cannot scan ships that were moved into or built/repaired within the destroyed ship's sector since those actions occur after the scanning ship was destroyed. No LRS data is ever available from a destroyed ship, and, similarly, destroyed ships never appear on LRS for other ships. All destroyed ships in a sector, including cargo, will appear on the SRS of any empire that has a ship in that sector.
Loaded ships report neither SRS nor LRS information, nor do they appear on LRS. They appear on SRS only for their owners.
6.8.4 Share Scan Data
At this point any scan data that you have collected this turn is shared with any empires that have access to your empire's scan data. Shared data is merged with the recipient's map using the "most visible" status of each shared sector. For example, if a sector is visible to you, but has only scanned status on the recipient's map, then it will appear as visible to them; however, if the shared sector is stale on your map, it will still appear as scanned on the same recipient's map.
Only scan data that your ships collect directly will be shared with the authorized recipients, i.e., any data given to you by empire A will not be given to empire B.
Sharing scan data does not share information about ship designs, portal navigation data, message contacts, or ships that you have explicitly concealed from the recipient(s).
6.8.5 Record New Map Objects
At this point any new map objects (worlds, portals, nebulae, or ion storms) that have been discovered by your empire are added to your map. Any known map objects whose sectors have become stale on your map are not forgotten, but you will not receive any current information for these objects.
An empire is considered homeless if it no longer has a homeworld. A homeless empire probably will have little direct effect on the game as it continues, but can still play a minor role, since homeless empires can share portal navigation data and ship designs as per usual. Homeless empires can continue to send messages to other empires with whom they were in message contact.
The GM need not wait on orders from an homeless empire in order to processes a turn's order if that turn's deadline has arrived.
Note that an homeless empire can still possess conquering ships and could possibly retake control of a world. In this case, the empire would no longer be considered homeless.
If a player does not submit orders before the deadline, the GM may consider that empire abandoned and implement a set of default orders so that the game may proceed without the missing player (who will continue to lose dedication rating points until they return or a replacement is found). Default orders will be generated using the abandoned rules section under each phase, which assume a defensive posture in the hope that some player will assume control of the abandoned empire in the near future.
Star Empires was designed and coded by John Miller, but it owes a lot to several people.
The original game (SE 1) was crafted by Roger Lincoln, and first implemented among the folks at this site by Damian Hammontree (SE 2). Earl May was the mastermind behind SE 3-D (with help from John Miller, Bob Johnson, and Pete Meyers). John Miller wrote the SE 4 implementation, which ran for several years before the server folded. This version is SE 5.
The following folks helped design and playtest Star Empires over the years, and otherwise contributed good ideas, web assistance, moral support, and fun times:
It's been pointed out that Star Empires bears a striking similarity to a game called Galactic Conquest written by Adam L. Gruen in the late 1970s. Roger Lincoln claims that Adam's game was called actually Star Empires way back when and says, "Please give all due credit to Adam."