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Fleeing - everything you need to know

Fleeing - everything you need to know

With the imminent arrival of auto-boarding, the ability to get the hell out of Dodge when would-be attackers show up has never become more important. Understanding everything from how turns are processed to what items to install and what settings to use is therefore imperative to all captains.

When is a ship actually stopped for combat?
The mechanic for actually leaving combat is itself straightforward – if the ship attempting to avoid combat has a resultant combat speed greater than any other ship targeting it, it will leave combat without being stopped for combat.

If a ship was involved in combat on the previous day, irrespective of whether it retreated from the battle during the battle or not, it is entitled to automatically leave the location of the battle, if it is able i.e. has engines/drives, crew etc.


Each day, all positions with turns to be run on the day are added to the main processing list. This is then ordered randomly (after first accounting for sequencing) and then processed with the entire orders of the first position in the list being dealt with before moving onto the next position.

In the case of squadron orders, each position processes the set of orders one at a time, i.e. all leaving orbit then all moving before each performs a jump.

Ignoring exceptions such as special actions, running out of TU’s etc, this means that if a ship is at the top of the list, it can in theory move through half a dozen systems, scan an enemy and stop for a battle. When this occurs, the enemy ship may still have orders to process. They are still processed and the enemy ship, if having orders to move from the location, will do so. When this happens it will cause a skirmish battle.

From the perspective of the ship that was stopped due to running into an enemy, their turn report will read something like this:
Code:

Information

-----------
Date 37.3: PIR pirate (51864) is leaving combat, opening fire at maximum range.
Attacking PIR pirate (51864)
----------------------------
Round 1: 2 Tractor Beam mkIIIs
- 1 hit - 0 [0] damage - 84%
- Tractor beams reduced positions speed by 2.94%

Post Battle Summary
-------------------
Ship hulls have taken 500 damage (2.5%)



From the perspective of the enemy ship, their turn will show something like this:
Code:
>TU 300: Leave Orbit

Escaping combat zone, incoming fire from HEF pir killer (70835).
Returning fire at maximum range.

Incoming Fire from HEF pir killer (70835)
-----------------------------------------
Round 1: 2 Tractor Beam mkIIIs
- 1 hit - 0 [0] damage - 84%
- Tractor beams reduced positions speed by 2.94%

Post Battle Summary
-------------------
Unlocking HEF pir killer (70835), could not target with any weapons.
Ship hulls are undamaged

Continuing normal movement:
Leaving Orbit.



Calculating Combat Speed
When attempting to leave combat all that matters is the speed of the escaping ship. This is based on engines that contribute to combat speed, i.e. only Thrust Engines and Combat Engines. This is because escaping combat is more about rapid acceleration and manoeuvring around the enemy so as to be moving in the opposite direction out to a suitable distance to achieve an ISR micro-jump or taking advantage of the curvature of the orbit to remain out of range.

The hull strength of the ship therefore plays a big role in determining how much shearing stresses the ship can be placed under. Lighter hulls have lower shearing tolerances. Their combat speed is multiplied by their integrity modifier. This means that heavy hull ships (x0.5 integrity mod) will have combat speeds 4 times higher than light hull ships (x2 integrity mod) presuming all other factors being the same.

Speed determined from the total output for :
Thrust Engines e.g. mkI = 1000
Combat Engines e.g. mkI = 1500
Rocket Boosters e.g. mkI = 2000 - but only if the ship is set to ‘flee’ or ‘drop cargo and flee’. Rocket boosters are very much an underused item.

If the ship is fleeing, this output total is doubled.

It is then reduced by tractor factors of positions attempting to engage the ship (a thrust engine is effectively equal to 10 tractor beams, equating to a tractor to engine mass ratio of 5).

This raw output is then divided by the total mass of the ship, including armour, hulls and cargo.
To this any officer flee skill bonus is added.

Finally, this is multiplied by the hull type modifier of the ship and again by the integrity of the ship.

Hull type modifiers are as follows:
Heavy 2
Normal 1
Light 0.5
Xlight 0.25

Heavy hulls, despite requiring 200 production and having 200mu’s of materials in their composition are only 100mu’s and have a hull type mod of 0.5. As such thrust engines within a heavy hull ship are effectively 8 times better than in an Xlight ship. When designing a fleeing ship therefore think in terms of what sort of combat speed the attacking ship is likely to have and try to get your basic combat speed to be slightly more than half this (as your speed will be doubled for fleeing).

Drop Cargo and Flee
This works by ejecting a lot of chaff out into the surrounding space with sufficient noise and random trajectories that is can for a very short time hide the true vector of the ship from the engaging enemy. The chance of escaping combat through the use of a chaff cloud is based on the relative mass being ejected to the surface area of the ship. A factor of 20 is sufficient to guarantee success.

A barge has a surface area of 90, therefore ejecting at least 1,800mu’s of cargo is sufficient for them to escape. If insufficient mass is available, the chance of escaping through the use of the chaff cloud is based linearly on the ratio of amount to amount needed. In the case of the barge for example, having 450mu’s of cargo to dump gives the ship a 25% chance of escaping.




As a heavy hull ship has a relatively low install space compared to other hulls they rarely have sufficient cargo space to effect automatic success at escaping through this means.

Tractor Beams
Tractor beams have their output negatively applied to whatever position they hit. They effectively fire ‘pre’ combat, insofar as they effect the target’s thrust output for the purposes of fleeing. They also reduce the speed of a ship for dodging purposes making it easier to hit.

Questions
Is a position that retreated on a previous day subjected to skirmish on the next day?
No

If all positions retreated in the previous day, is the location still treated as a battle location on the next day, as such are all the positions able to leave without being stopped?
The location is no longer a battle location and treated as above.

Do cloaked ships still get the battle delivery attacks?
No

How many positions can be stopped by a picket?
1 (though ships having on patrol flagged may cause them to stop of their own volition if supporting/defending the ship initially stopped – depends on their lists)





 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Meklan Unleashed on Mobile Bay

Mad Dewiek scientist Dr Kala released a number of Meklan on the busy world of Mobile Bay in the Yank system. Thousands of civilians have been killed in what is treated by DEN warlords as an amusing practical joke. Rather than take any responsibility for their affiliation’s reckless behaviour, a DEN lord rumoured to be half-meklan himself quipped he would nuke the planet whilst another merely saw it as an opportunity to test some of his greener troops in combat. Surprisingly, the KAS planetary defence force was up to the job of repelling the insidious incursion. Questions remain whether further meklan are stored elsewhere on the planet and whether anybody will challenge the Dewiek’s lack of care for the lives of innocents. Probably not, given how even the mighty IMP are now cowering from a fight with the DEN (see inside this edition).


 
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Who is behind the AFA?

Following the large scale holiday attack by the AFA against the FET the question of who is behind the attacks has been raised once again. What is clear is that the AFA is using ships that were transferred from the GTT to the IMP. The organisation and expertise of the operation also reduces the pool of potential candidates. Few can go from commanding a handful of broadswords to half a thousand warships and significant army logistics without a long stint in one of the more combative affiliations. With the DEN’s allies the HEX in close relations with the FET and no recent history of animosity between the aliens and FET, at least since the departure of former one-eye big-bun Norozov, it would be a bizarre turn of events if they were behind these attacks. Frankly, there’s no point dancing around it. The IMP are clearly behind the AFA. The question is what can anybody do about this move of significant Imperial resources to a black-flag agency?


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Fox Effects Fantastic Turnaround

With his feet barely under the table, Xavier Fox has managed to dramatically turn things around at the GTT. With year-on-year sales figures up by 23%, manufacturing up 42% and ship production increased by 36%, the megacorporation is running at full steam with noticeable impact on local economies across the Stellar Empire. Political analysts also note that after a period of retrenchment following the disastrous leadership of Ike Krieger, investment in defence is at a five-year high. After such bullish growth, the trick will be for Mr. Fox to recruit C-level executives fast enough to match his ambitions. It is notable in temperament, the current crop of GTT politicals do not exhibit the monomaniacal xenophobia of their predecessors and have resisted repeated provocations by the DEN to enter a pointless spar before they have re-established superiority against the foolhardy aliens.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Felini flounder in Winter against superior Dewiek forces

The FEL have managed to get their asses kicked by the DEN yet again after provoking the definitely “not cute or cuddly” Dewiek in the Crossley system. The furry punching bags had bought a civilian flagged outpost in the system, without permission or under certain conditions depending on who you ask, and then had the gall to reinforce this error by positioning warships in orbit. The famously patient warlord Halvor did not buy the story these heavy hull armed ships were merely transports and sent a pack to clear the orbit. The mouthy yet green Felini fleet commander Pr'prz fancied his chances against what looked like a light complement of DEN warships and ordered his own warships to engage in the neighbouring Winter system. The result was predictably a wipe out of the FEL forces consisting of forty-seven capital warships at no loss to the DEN. Once again, a series of calamitous decision making resulted in Felini lives being wasted by a leadership barely fit to clean a litter tray. The otherwise untested Halvor can now claim some victory ale although with his penchant for picking on creatures as weak as Gracians, it’s not exactly clear how much glory this new breed of Dewiek warrior can claim against the legends of old.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Dastardly Dewiek Disregard Yank Neutrality

The governor of a MRC outpost in the Yank system reports that a 400-hull DEN warship called Grey Hunter Axiom entered orbit of Spritzer and opened fire with weapons of mass destruction (WoMD) against a platform, outpost, ground party and ship. Reports indicate significant casualties to Kastorian personnel both in space and on the ground. The KAS Junta is gruffly warning, with a slightly indifferent air, that everybody better stay out of the sector of the outpost for their own health. It is unclear what measures the KAS have or will take against the DEN on this matter. Such a breach of Yank neutrality has in the past caused the Dewiek to froth at the bit against the Empire for their disregard of ‘civilised’ norms. Their current silence on this matter speaks volumes.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Yenni-bodies Pirates?

A PIR outpost was miraculously discovered by an IMP freighter, of all things, in the Yanni system with several Javelin class warships in orbit. After noticing the IMP freighter and seeing the public post by Jack Jones on subspace, the PIR decided to flee and leave a combined force of IMP and FET forces to capture the outpost. A brain damaged three-year old commentator who still believed in the goodness of people and Santa Claus was quick to commend the IMP on their good work, dismissing those who thought it no more than a convenient clearing up operation signifying* completion of operations in the nearby FET claimed systems of Graydown, Canth and Onissian by IMP puppet Edward Lowe. Meanwhile, the Wolf Lord Lyceum summed up the view of many when he screamed, “What is this amateur b*llshit?” into an uncaring universe.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Crowe Coups Self

The IMP Viceroy Tiberius Crowe has finally achieved something in his unremarkable tenure by relinquishing even the semblance of wearing big boy pants and instead, appointed Jack Jones as Patrol Commissioner, salty spokesperson and policy maker for the Empire. Crowe will now join CIA Director Laton in riding the special bus to work where the two of them will enjoy long pleasant afternoons sipping cups of tea. Actually, just tepid fruit-scented water as neither of them can be fully trusted with a hot kettle. Occasionally, they might be visited by equally dynamic war “veteran” Admiral Bridge to enjoy mimes presenting the latest comics from the Howl. Meanwhile, Jones is putting pressure on the FET and will soon no doubt find a pretext to deploy his vast mercenary forces against anyone else who is seen working too closely with his most hated of enemies, the HEX.


 
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Highlord Aadolf Loses Control As Dewiek Break Peace Treaty

Around one hundred DEN warships have launched an attack on a small GTT destroyer squadron of forty ships in the Daggern system. Two GTT ships were destroyed and another fifteen suffered noticeable damage. CEO Xavier Fox issued a restrained but angry statement demanding the DEN explain themselves. Highlord Aadolf’s buffoon-like response amounted to “Dewiek be Dewiek, let’s drink and forget about it.” Cold comfort for the dead crew onboard the GTT ships and their families. Especially, as seems likely at this time, the Empire will settle for some bloody money instead of retribution.


 
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The Worm Turns

The FET have reduced relations with the IMP to neutral. Sneezy boss Cu Chulainn took the bold step of putting 1 and 1 together by linking recent mercenary attacks in their systems with the IMP scouts seen loitering for some time and refusing to move. Even bolder, hints that they believe “a certain Imperial citizen” is responsible for Edward Lowe’s entire underhand operation were voiced loudly enough that the handsome but hard of hearing Tiberius Crowe had to take note. He was seen grappling in trademark fashion with his skin tight jacket, pulling it down over his partially concealed middle-aged girth, as he sat to issue a terse public statement. Exactly who this citizen may be was left unnamed and no news channel subject to Imperial laws would dare unmask the villain. Luckily dear readers, we are not subject to phony Imperial laws. It’s Jack Jones everybody. Jack Jones, butcher of Naplians and fancier of silver long johns.


 

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I’ve played on and off for approximately 10 years, over a 20 year spell. After some interesting debate on the in-game forum, I did wonder what, exactly, has kept drawing me back to the game, when for so many others I’ve generally lost interest after a few months.

Ultimately, I think it is a combination of automation (that allows the game to handle thousands of positions to interact on a daily basis) coupled with Special Actions (that allow the story arc to develop in a way that could not be catered for by a set of predefined list of available orders).
-Zigic