Commander’s Briefing 3

OK – let’s say you paid even a little bit of attention. Maybe you did some trading, maybe you shot stuff until your virtual credit balance looked warmer than CMDR Braben’s trademark jumper.

What can you buy?
A new ship. Here’s a hint – if you spend every penny on one of these and leave nothing in the bank, there are a few consequences:

1. You won’t have any money left to try out the trading notes above. Which means you won’t earn any more cash

2. You wont’ be able to afford to give it some teeth. Which means you can’t go bounty hunting. Which means you won’t earn any more cash

3. When you (inevitably) ignore this briefing and boost inside a station, your shiny new toy will blow up. Then you’ll realise you can’t buy it back from the salvage yard. Then you’ll be given a beaten up old cardboard Sidewinder and a pop gun. Which means you won’t earn any more cash.

So – before you spend your money. Earn more of it. Enough that you can carry on without having to cry into your instant soup sachet.

When you have enough, you can buy:
An Eagle – cheap, fast, no cargo space, can’t shoot past its own nose from two of the weapon mounts but you’ll feel cool. Usually far too cool as they’re all faulty and fly around making space colder.

A Cobra – only REAL pilots fly Cobras. They do everything. With not much style. You can arm them, you can trade in them, you can hold wild parties in them.

A Lakon – You’re richer than is sensible. You’re going to be buying a large bus. You might as well paint a target on your backside saying “cut me open, I’m full of gold”. If you can’t fly properly yet, you’re going to crash it into a station entrance and look stupid. Not for anyone in a hurry. People will ram you as you come into the station. the crazy docking controllers will send you to pads that you hardly fit on for giggles. Then they will change their mind.

An Anaconda – Nasty thing. Well armed. Lots of space for trading. People will fly behind you and use your engines as target practice. Handles better than it looks. If you get blown up, will cost you a few internal organs to buy back from the scrapyard. If you get blown up full of cargo, it will cost even more.

One of the Zorgon space trader scows. You can’t have this yet. Maybe next week. It carries more, it isn’t very well armed. It’s the opposite of an Eagle. i.e. “Not Cool”.

Right. Let’s say you want to spend cash ON your ship instead of FOR a new ship.
Gimballed lasers – lazycannons. Perfect for turning Eagles into big piles of feathers whilst flying with your eyes closed.
Fixed lasers – great if you can fly. If you can’t hit a barn door from the inside, I would suggest having more lessons against those cans until you can use them.
Beam lasers – all broken. The Frontier supply officer got his units muddled up and they do little more than tickle at the moment. Don’t bother until the new shipment arrives next week. The supply officer has been reprimanded
Multicannons – You can shoot whilst staying cool. They run out. Good if you’re running cold and sneaking up on other commanders. Very good at pinging off hulls.
Missiles – Buy these as a weapon of last resort. They make the difference between getting home in one piece (but poor) and paying out a load of money. Very very expensive to re arm.
Railguns – Only for the very precise. 3 of them on an Eagle and Federal Fighters are one shot space targets. Re-named Sneezecannons by Commander Kerrash.

What about defensive arrangements?
You can make your hull tough, really tough or all shiny and reflective.

Other stuff?
You can put scanners on your ship. Some do a Father Christmas job and work out who has been naughty or nice, but instead of giving presents, you can give the naughty ones a good kicking. Others peek inside a ship to see whether they’ve brought YOU a present. If they have, shoot their gaping cargo scoop off and nick whatever appears. If they object, you’d better be ready to defend yourself. Oh, and you’ll become a popular person. Everyone will want to give you a suntan using their latest weapons.

If you’re wearing flares, or bermuda shorts and flip flops in the cockpit, or the shirt from your favourite sports team, you might consider a heat sink. You can use it to temporarily look a little cooler. They have a mind of their own, sometimes deciding that they can’t bear you looking like that any longer. In which case, “Heat Sink Deployed” will echo through your cockpit and you’ll need one of Commander Braben’s jumpers for a bit.

For the old timers out there – no, we don’t have ECM systems. Or extra energy units. Weapons of mass destruction are banned by galactic convention and you can’t mash the TAB button any more.

Right – any questions? I’m bored of the sound of my own voice and I need a beer. If you’re not flying, you’re buying.


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