Good morning, commanders. I haven’t held a briefing for a few weeks as I’ve been watching all of you tooling around the test systems trying out the notes from the previous ones.
Before I start – a quick welcome to all the new commanders that have joined us. I know you haven’t yet been sent your ident broadcast chips for your ships which means I will be referring to you by your backer number. Quite simply, I’m bad with names. It’s that, or call you all Bob.
This week, we’re looking at the ancient and dishonourable arts of bounty hunting and piracy.
There are those of you who are happy to join in the military operations carrying on in and around Dahan and Eranin. There are others who are happy to haul 4 tonnes of cargo forward and backward between stations, ekeing out a meager existence until you can afford your Type 6 and then onward to riches.
For the rest, this is just too slow. The people who do that probably fly in slippers and dressing gowns. Smoking jackets are ok. Loafers are ok. The aforementioned attire is not.
So – you have a Sidewinder with two pop guns (yes, that’s right, two – back in early testing, we had to make do with one). You have 4 spaces in your hold. You’ve tried out combat and you’re getting better at it. How to make lots of money, fast?
1. Bounty hunting
There are two kinds of bounty hunting. The first is to identify your co-testers from the Pilots’ Federation – they’re the ones with the hollow symbols on your scanner and point at them until the computer says whether they’re worth money or not. This is a valid choice, though it is worth remembering that like you, they have put many hours in and won’t take kindly to your interference. They might also know how to fly well, and as a result, kill your ship. Much more rewarding and less stressful is to take on the New Pilots’ Confederation (abbreviated here as NPC) pilots that Frontier have drafted to help with the testing.
Where do I find people to bounty hunt?
Back in early testing, it was in the extraction zone. There were rocks to crash into, the ship systems regularly failed and made your computer go on the blink and to be fair, people used to sneak up on you. You made maybe a few hundred credits in bounties each kill and very little cargo.
Now, there are 3 main areas you can hunt.
The first – near the station
This is a bad idea. There are many reasons why, but the main ones are loaded and pointing out from the station entrance. Don’t do it.
The second – “Unidentified signal source”
This is better, but involves a bit of pot luck. There might be grain floating there from the last kill, there might be a brace of Anacondas with ping pong bats waiting to get all 1980’s earth on your hull. Generally, it’s much the same as interdiction – ships will turn up in ones and twos and shoot at you. Sometimes there is gold. If there is, laugh all the way to the station and buy better guns.
The third and final
The Nav Beacon. It’s near the star. It’s where everyone EXCEPT the Pilot’s Federation ships arrive from hyperspace before supercruising to the station. Before you go to your nearest one, you might want to consider which one to choose.
Have a think about it. What do you need nearby? Somewhere to sell the stuff you pick up from killing pirates? Somewhere to cash in all those juicy vouchers?
So – you want to choose a system with an Anarchy or Black Market a short jump away.
OK – what goods are these pirates and smugglers likely to be carrying? If you choose a fishing market, they’ll have fish and aquaponic systems. They don’t sell for much. How about somewhere with a war on? You know. Dahan, or Eranin.
So – we’re choosing Dahan. It’s next to Morgor, people going there seem to like bringing weapons – personal weapons, battle weapons, non lethal weapons, that sort of thing.
Get to the nav beacon and park your tinfoil cheese wedge somewhere until you hear the noise of prey jumping in.
ID the ships one by one – there will be:
- Lakon 6 (full of treasure)
- Lakon 9 (really fat and full – wouldn’t recommend these unless you have bigger teeth, they tend to make holes in you)
- Vipers (no – just NO)
- Cobras (oh, gwan then)
- Sidewinders (easy)
- Eagles (easy)
- The odd Anaconda (you have a deathwish? wait until you have more guns)
and the best of all – Haulers
plus the odd system security versions of each of them. OK, except the Hauler. Even the police wouldn’t take one of those.
So, you’ve ID’d them. Most are honest, legitimate, slipper and dressing gown wearing traders. Until you get your cargo scanner, you won’t be able to work out if they are actually bad to the bone smugglers that need liberating from their cargo. Check for a bounty.
Why check for a bounty? Anyone? Yes, that means you can shoot them without being used for target practice by the feds.
Shoot it. Hurt it. If it has cargo, it will spill its guts. If it doesn’t run away before you kill it, you’ll get a bounty.
Once you’ve scooped the cargo, head to the black market to sell it, then cash in your vouchers. If you’ve picked up 4 personal weapons and a 1100 bounty, you’ll have made nearly 10,000. If you had been trading, that would have been nearer 2000. It also makes you feel like a badass.
The same as the above, but guess what, you’re shooting the ones that AREN’T wanted. You will get a bounty placed on your head, so make sure you don’t do it where a brace of Eagles can scan you. The other NPC ships WILL scan you whilst you’re scooping and they WILL fire on you if you’re wanted. If you get into trouble, Golf Tango Foxtrot Oscar.
That’s as hard as it gets. Go there, scan them, kill them, nick their stuff and sell it. Soon, you’ll have your dream Cobra and can scoop even more delicious goodies.
Once you can afford it, get yourself a K scanner (for bounties outside the system you’re in) and a cargo scanner (to spot smugglers). Explore the galaxy, make sure there’s a black market somewhere nearby and off you go.