Battlecruiser 3000AD (walkthrough)

Battlecruiser 3000AD

v1.00, 5 August 2003

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            Battlecruiser 3000AD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)




1. Preface
- 1.1 Credits and Legal 
- 1.2 Version 
- 1.3 Notes 
2. Introduction
- 2.1 What is the game? 
- 2.2 Who developed Battlecruiser 3000AD? 
- 2.3 What are the minimum requirements? 
- 2.4 What different versions are there? How can I tell what version I have? 
- 2.5 Where can I get the game, patches and manual? 
- 2.6 Why so many versions? Did it really take ten years to develop? Tell me 
some history... 
- 2.7 What about the flame war? 
3. Tutorial
- 3.1 Introduction 
- 3.2 Interface familiarisation 
- 3.3 Basic navigation and flight 
- 3.4 Logistics 
- 3.5 Basic combat 
- 3.6 Fleet operations 
- 3.7 Shuttles and cargo 
- 3.8 Trading 
- 3.9 Planetary operations 
- 3.10 Station capture 
4. Gameplay
4.1 Flight 
- 4.1.1 Is there a map showing all flux field links? 
- 4.1.2 Are there any hidden planets? 
- 4.1.3 Can I automatically plot a route via flux fields? 
- 4.1.4 Why am I stuck in space? How do I leave nullspace? 
- 4.1.5 How much fuel is used by hyperspace jumps? 
- 4.1.6 I ran out of fuel and have lost control of my ship. What can I do? 
- 4.1.7 Do afterburners and retrorockets use extra fuel? 
- 4.1.8 How do I orbit a planet? What's ORBSCAN? 
- 4.1.9 Can I stop my autopilot bumping into other ships? 
4.2 Space Operations 
- 4.2.1 Why can't I manually aim turrets upwards? 
- 4.2.2 Can I completely destroy stations and ODSs? 
- 4.2.3 What does the Minelay order do? 
- 4.2.4 Do AI ships break the speed limit? 
- 4.2.5 Can I capture enemy ships? Can I beam troops onto them? 
- 4.2.6 Why does Fleet Command and Control not work? 
- 4.2.7 When using Fleet Command and Control I ordered a ship to return to a 
station. Why can I not re-launch it? 
4.3 Crew and Support Craft 
- 4.3.1 How can I stop intruders stealing shuttles and interceptors? 
- 4.3.2 What does the airlock do? 
- 4.3.3 How do I raise crew AI level? 
- 4.3.4 Why don't my crew stay off-duty when I tell them to rest? 
- 4.3.5 Why won't my crew leave the galley? 
- 4.3.6 Why don't the deploy and collect orders work when issued from the 
Tactical Launch Menu? 
- 4.3.7 Why does my shuttle not deploy the ATV? 
- 4.3.8 How do I replace a destroyed mining drone? 
- 4.3.9 Can I buy a new ship? 
- 4.3.10 How do I recover a support craft that is so damaged it cannot move? 
- 4.3.11 Why do support craft not recharge? 
- 4.3.12 How do I switch between interceptor pilot seats? 
4.4 Cargo and Trade 
- 4.4.1 How do I find things in Debris Fields? 
- 4.4.2 Can I sell or hide illegal items? 
- 4.4.3 How are trade prices calculated? 
- 4.4.4 How do I steal cargo or artifacts? 
- 4.4.5 Can I unload all my mining drones whilst in station? 
4.5 Planetary Operations 
- 4.5.1 Why do my Battlecruiser's sensors not work correctly close to the 
- 4.5.2 Where are the starbases? 
- 4.5.3 Can I dock at starbases? 
- 4.5.4 How can I move a waypoint which has been placed below ground? 
- 4.5.5 Why don't my OTS weapons hit? 
- 4.5.6 How can I assure I make planet-fall on the light side of the planet? 
4.6 Other 
- 4.6.1 Can I communicate with other races? 
- 4.6.2 Why does the game start on the 4th April? 
- 4.6.3 Can violations be cleared? 
5. Techniques and Strategies
- 5.1 Fast flight 
- 5.2 Remote piloting 
- 5.3 Battlecruiser or Interceptors...? 
- 5.4 Battlecruiser combat 
- 5.5 Destroying capital ships 
- 5.6 Interceptor combat 
- 5.7 Starstation attack 
- 5.8 Ground attack 
- 5.9 Mining 
- 5.10 Trading 
- 5.11 Salvage 
- 5.12 Crew 
- 5.13 Advancing time 
- 5.14 Upgrades 
6. Advanced Campaign
6.1 Introduction 
- 6.1.1 Terminology and campaign structure 
- 6.1.2 Objectives and rewards 
- 6.1.3 Artifacts and upgrades 
- 6.1.4 The AI problem 
- 6.1.5 General notes 
6.2 TOD1 M1/5 - Diplomatic Escort (Majoris) 
- 6.2.1 Overview 
- 6.2.2 Events 
- 6.2.3 Artifact: Hyperion Subspace Device 
- 6.2.4 Strategy 
6.3 TOD1 M2/5 - Diplomatic Security (Majoris) 
- 6.3.1 Overview 
- 6.3.2 Events 
- 6.3.3 Strategy 
6.4 TOD1 M3/5 - Diplomatic Escort (Majoris) 
- 6.4.1 Overview 
- 6.4.2 Events 
- 6.4.3 Strategy 
6.5 TOD1 M4/5 - Operation Hostile Takeover (Zerin) 
- 6.5.1 Overview 
- 6.5.2 Events 
- 6.5.3 Strategy 
- 6.5.4 Fleet Command and Control 
6.6 TOD1 M5/5 - Operation Grab (DaisyMae) 
- 6.5.1 Overview 
- 6.5.2 Events 
- 6.5.3 Strategy 
- 6.5.4 Artifact: Tacyon Anagram Shield 
- 6.5.5 Artifact: Celestial Orb 
6.7 TOD2 M1/5 - Tactical Operation (Empirian Raiders) 
- 6.7.1 Overview 
- 6.7.2 Events 
- 6.7.3 Strategy 
6.8 TOD2 M2/5 - Evacuation (Starball) 
- 6.8.1 Overview 
- 6.8.2 Events 
- 6.8.3 Strategy 
- 6.8.4 Why does the Vagrant not appear? 
6.9 TOD2 M3/5 - Hostage Rescue (Pixan) 
- 6.9.1 Overview 
- 6.9.2 Events 
- 6.9.3 Strategy 
6.10 TOD2 M4/5 - Operation Star Strike (Sygan) 
- 6.10.1 Overview 
- 6.10.2 Events 
- 6.10.3 Why didn't I get Fleet Command and Control? 
- 6.10.4 Strategy 
6.11 TOD2 M5/5 - Operation Ghosthunt (Reingard) 
- 6.11.1 Overview 
- 6.11.2 Events 
- 6.11.3 Strategy 
- 6.11.4 Artifact: Enhanced Nav Module 
6.12 TOD3 M1/5 - Planetary Strike (Moon) 
- 6.12.1 Overview 
- 6.12.2 Events 
- 6.12.3 Strategy 
6.13 TOD3 M2/5 - Search and Destroy (Covert Fleet) 
- 6.13.1 Overview 
- 6.13.2 Events 
- 6.13.3 Strategy 
- 6.13.4 Artifact: Karanian Mark IV Reactor 
6.14 TOD3 M3/5 - Tactical Strike (Antis) 
- 6.14.1 Overview 
- 6.14.2 Events 
- 6.14.3 Strategy 
- 6.14.4 Artifact: Trans-Matrix Cloaking Device 
6.15 TOD3 M4/5 - Defense Shield (Starpath) 
- 6.15.1 Overview 
- 6.15.2 Events 
- 6.15.3 Strategy 
6.16 TOD3 M5/5 - Tactical Escort (Falkerie) 
- 6.16.1 Overview 
- 6.16.2 Events 
- 6.16.3 Strategy 
- 6.16.4 Artifact: Phased Array Ion Disruptor 
- 6.16.5 Artifact: Just Another Cyborg 
6.17 TOD4 M1/1 - Tactical Strike (Gammulan) 
- 6.17.1 Overview 
- 6.17.2 Events 
- 6.17.3 Strategy 
- 6.17.4 Artifacts: RANDOM and RANDOM Decoder 
- 6.17.5 What now? 
7. Xtreme Carnage
- 7.1 Introduction 
- 7.2 Level 1: Fighter Intercept 
- 7.3 Level 2: Fighter Intercept 
- 7.4 Level 3: Transport Attack 
- 7.5 Level 4: Cruiser Strike 
- 7.6 Level 5: Deep Strike 
- 7.7 Level 6: Tactical Support 
- 7.8 Level 7: Tactical Strike 
- 7.9 Level 8: Fleet Intercept 
- 7.10 Level 9: Command Intercept 
- 7.11 Level 10: Final Conflict 
- 7.12 Bonus Level 
8. Editing and Cheating
- 8.1 How do I cheat? 
- 8.2 How do I install custom scripts? 
- 8.3 What's the GBS? 
- 8.4 Got any GBS tips? 
- 8.5 Can I play without enemies? 
- 8.6 Can I play as an Insurgent? Are there other ACMs? 
- 8.7 Can I change the player's ship type? 
9. Technical Issues
- 9.1 Have you got any tips getting BC3K to run under Windows ME, 2000 or XP? 
- 9.2 Why does the freeware version ask for the CD? Why is it running in debug 
- 9.3 Why does the freeware version installer try to install the game to the 
wrong hard drive? 
- 9.4 After installing the game all I see is a black screen. What's the 
- 9.5 Why does BC3K start to run slowly or suffer frame rate reduction at 
certain points in the game? 
- 9.6 Why does the game crash on or after saving, particularly during the ACM? 
- 9.7 Can I change the resolution? 
- 9.8 What does CRTL+A do? Why can't I speed up the game? 
- 9.9 Why can't I find bases on planets? 
- 9.10 Why do my crew get stuck on decks? 
- 9.11 I ordered my shuttle to tow my battlecruiser and now the battlecruiser 
has disappeared. Why? 
- 9.12 How do I backup or copy a save game? 
- A. Acronyms 
- B. Hidden Flux Field Links 




1.1 Credits and Legal

This FAQ was written by Tim Howgego (also known as timski), copyright 2002-
2003, unless otherwise stated. Errors and suggestions related to the content 
of this document should be reported to tim (at) capsu (dot) org. Please put 
"BC3K" somewhere in the email subject field. This FAQ draws on material posted 
on usenet (primarily and ), 
the official site , fan sites including , and 
several others that are no longer online, and many of the gaming sites that 
have carried editorials on the game over the years - contributors are noted 
with the relevant text. 

You may copy and repost this FAQ, but the content of the document, including 
the credits, must remain unchanged. Informing the author that you are hosting 
it is appreciated, but not mandatory. Ensuring you host the most recent 
version is also appreciated, but not mandatory. Intending hosts should be 
aware that very little has ever been written about BC3K that didn't upset 
someone - this is "a game" like no other. Battlecruiser 3000AD copyright 1989-
2000 3000AD, Inc. All rights reserved. 3000AD, Battlecruiser 3000AD, 
Battlecruiser 3020AD, Battlecruiser Millennium, GALCOM, Galactic Command, 
Xtreme Carnage, VRnGine, ACM, AILOG, SCI-LINK, game characters and associated 
logos are the copyright properties of 3000AD, Inc. 3000AD, Battlecruiser 
3000AD, GALCOM, Xtreme Carnage and associated logos are the trademark 
properties of 3000AD, Inc. Other trademarks and copyright are owned by their 
respective trademark and copyright holders. This is not an official FAQ. It is 
not endorsed or authorised by the game's developer or publishers. The author 
is not affiliated to the game's developer or publishers.


1.2 Version

This is version 1.00, 5 August 2003. I have had this text half-written for 
what seems like a lifetime. Much like the game, this FAQ will never be truly 
finished. The tutorial and walkthroughs should be complete. I think the most 
commonly asked questions are answered, but inevitably a few grey areas remain.


1.3 Notes

This FAQ is written for Battlecruiser 3000AD v2.09. This is the final version 
of "Battlecruiser 3000AD" (BC3K, sometimes Battlecruiser Legacy), and 
represents three years worth of patching from the first release. This FAQ does 
not cover Battlecruiser-anything-else (Millennium, Generations, Online, the 
other online, 3020AD, Redemption, 3030AD, 3050AD, Battlecruiser Commander, 
Strike Pak, Skirmish Pak, Battle Zone, Tactical Engagement, Tactical Command, 
Project ABC, etc - at the time of writing only the first one exists as a 
stand-alone title - all the others were ideas, working titles, or test code). 
Earlier versions of Battlecruiser 3000AD are similar to v2.09, but with 
important differences. Early releases (Take Two's North America 1996 v1.0 and 
GameTek's European 1997 v1.01C4) were regarded by some as unplayable, missed 
certain features, and were poorly documented. Later releases prior to v2.08 
(the early 1998 free v1.01D7C and Interplay's late 1998 United States re-
release v2.0) are playable, but omit a few features. This FAQ does not aim to 
repeat information given in the documentation accompanying v2.08/9 in the form 
it is originally given, and does not aim to fill the large gaps in the release 
documentation. Similarly it does not address questions related to the plethora 
of bugs and missing features in the earlier versions. Although certain 
information may be of use to anyone playing an earlier version, I strongly 
recommend you download current documentation, patches, and/or the entire game, 
and play with that instead. 

BC3K was (is) possibly the most complex thing ever conceived as a computer 
game. It attempted to create a hybrid of multiple 1980s and 90s space 
combat/sim/strategy game styles - open-ended Elite, mission/pilot orientated 
Wing Commander and similar, capital ship-level Privateer, strategic Carrier 
Command, strategic ground battles, first person shooter, roleplay... That mix 
of play-styles, learning curve "that makes the North Slope of Everest look 
like a bunny hill" (Dean Gordon, writing for GamesDomain), and an "un-manual" 
(Tom Liam McDonald, writing for GameSpot) left many hard-core gamers lost. As 
Chuck Smith comments: "You might also like playing the 'game' within the game: 
trying to figure out how to play." It attempted to generate the kind of 
persistent universe that a decade later is technologically difficult. Much of 
its alleged underlying technology was questioned by some writers. For example 
its much-hyped "Neural Net" AI was brought into question by Tom Liam McDonald 
and Keith Zabalaoui's article, "The Neural Net that Wasn't - The Quest for 
Artifical Intelligence in Battlecruiser 3000 AD" published in Boot magazine, 
March 1997. While BC3K contains a campaign (storyline/mission) mode, this does 
not meld seamlessly with the persistent universe in the way most players 
expect. Global events occur regardless of how the player performs their 
missions. To quote the v2.0 3rd edition manual: "Nothing you do affects the 
grand scheme of things nor does the world revolve around your existence." All 
these factors were frustrated (something of an understatement) by the fact 
that upon release the game did not work. 

Aside from its initial un-play-ability, the design of BC3K (and more recently 
the Battlecruiser series as a whole) continues to spark debate. In the eyes of 
many, there is no game here at all: BC3K is simply a universe simulation 
devoid of gameplay. Some are critical of how the features are implemented - to 
quote CNET Gamecenter (upon awarding BC3K the title 2nd Worst Game of All Time 
in October 2000), "the game itself redefined the term nonintuitive." Others 
conclude the game tries to do too much and consequently fails to do any one 
thing well. And then some players enjoy it. 

The topic "BC3K FAQ" has a history all of its own, related to the long-running 
lack-of-manual-saga. Kyle Reed started writing a BC3K FAQ as early as 1995, 
but appears to have lost interest upon release, and I have not found any text. 
Developer Derek Smart issued the first official FAQ in November 1996 
(available here, ), 
although it is primarily a guide to avoiding bugs and missing features. The 
FAQ evolved into a technical FAQ, with no gameplay content. As far as I am 
aware, the only 'fan' based work is by Nai-Chi Lee ( ) - although that 
has little to do with the game, see What about the flame war? below. 

The manual had a somewhat mythical, highly contentious status for many months 
following release. 80-85,000 manuals were printed in November 1995 but 
superseded by an extra year of development. Mark Seremet, then Take 2 
president, writes (on AOL): "The game has actually gone through 2 other manual 
prints. We were unable to complete the product and, thus, the manual fell 
victim to vaporware." The second unreleased manual was a "Systems Handbook" 
printed for the anticipated January 1996 release. Take 2 offered to distribute 
these in October 1996. DreamsRyou leaked an electronic copy of the manuscript 
at this time, much to Smart's displeasure. On the manual Take 2 shipped with 
the game, Smart writes (usenet, December 1996): "The pamphlet that was out was 
courtesy of Tom Rigas (Take2 producer). The first time I ever saw the 'manual' 
was THREE weeks after the game shipped." Mark Seremet had directly 
contradicted this on AOL forums, sparking a very public breakdown in relations 
between developer and publisher (see Why so many versions? Did it really take 
ten years to develop? Tell me some history... below). The (lack of) 
documentation became a focus for much of the bitter dispute surrounding the 
release of BC3K. 

Smart had requested the help of fans in producing a manual immediately 
following release (source - AOL postings), but later preferred to write it 
himself. Take 2 includes a file "walkthru.txt" in some later versions, 
intended as a quick-start guide. GameTek included a tutorial for the first ACM 
mission at the start of their manual, which is something that the later Smart 
manuals avoid. Usenet posts of the time suggest that these were entirely 
written by GameTek, however much of the other text is shared with the Smart 
manuals. The later are structured like operating manuals, rather than guides. 
Smart's first full (albeit 'preview') manual was released with v1.01D7C, late 
in 1997. The v1.01D7C manual includes a blank page titled "Appendix F 
Walkthru", with a small note indicating the page is being worked on. By the 
time the final series of (complete) manuals appeared, the walkthrough appendix 
had been dropped. By November 1998 a tutorial was Derek Smart's "top priority 
- I have attempted to do one but the game is so deep that a half-assed one 
won't do." At the start of 1999 a short file emerged containing about 30 tips, 
not structured as a tutorial. The tips file never developed further, and 
eventually disappeared from the documentation. In January 2000 the planned 
tutorial for BC3K was finally dropped in favour of a future tutorial for 
Battlecruiser Millennium. Daniel Moritz part-wrote an in-game training script 
for BC3K, but it was not completed, and I cannot find a copy of it. 

Several internet sites claim to be selling a strategy guide for BC3K called 
"Battlecruiser 3000AD official GALCOM technical papers". Ed Dille, the 
'author', informs me that Prima Publishing cancelled project shortly after 
BC3K was released, and the book was never published. Dille's company (Fog 
Studios) had a promotional relationship with the game's developer for the two 
years prior to release. 

BC3K is hard to research. A lot has been written about the game, but very 
little transpires to relate to BC3K v2.09. Usenet archives are full of posts 
about 'the game' (for example, alone has 24,000 threads 
archived by Dejanews/Google), but to quote Pat Lundrigan (in 1997), "I think 
I've read a couple a hundred posts about BC3K and maybe two were about game 

So, why am I writing this? Some have questioned my insanity, but... BC3K is a 
fascinating bit of software. Intriguing in concept; almost impenetrable in 
practice. Where most games will occasionally stump players in the minutiae of 
gameplay, BC3K stumps them at every turn. What little knowledge that does 
exist is fast disappearing, and very soon BC3K will mean nothing more than its 
development history, which is close to a legend already. As a set of operating 
instructions, the final manual is in many ways excellent. But BC3K is still in 
dire need of a guide to play, to complement those operating instructions. That 
is primarily what this FAQ aims to provide. It fails, of course. All it does 
is help expose what lies under that impenetrability. You will still need to 
try and find a game down there yourself.





2.1 What is the game?

The term "the game" has several different meanings in the context of 
Battlecruiser 3000AD: (1) The software as variously released, patched, and re-
released, played either as a game or a game of trying to understand the game 
(this is the main focus of this FAQ). (2) The design idea behind the game - 
what it could be rather than what it actually is. (3) The development history, 
hype and associated vapourware status of BC3K, and later internet/usenet 
flamewars centred around developer Derek Smart (see What about the flame war? 
below). The core game (first meaning) gives the player command of a starship 
(battlecruiser), fully crewed and equipped, and leaves them in a relatively 
hostile galaxy to do more or less whatever they want. BC3K is as much about 
strategic command and management of the ship's resources, as it is about 
flying around responding to events. BC3K has spawned several other titles in 
the series, including Battlecruiser Millennium.


2.2 Who developed Battlecruiser 3000AD?

BC3K was primarily developed by Derek Smart and his company, 3000AD Inc., 
based in Florida, United States. Various other people and organisations have 
had an influence on certain parts of the game's code over its development 
history - see Why so many versions? Did it really take ten years to develop? 
Tell me some history... below.


2.3 What are the minimum requirements?

The original (Take 2) release version was touted as: Pentium 60MHz, DOS 5.0 or 
Windows 95, 8MB RAM, 50MB hard disk space, 2x CD-ROM, SVGA Graphics Card. The 
slightly later GameTek version simply specifies any Pentium Processor, but my 
personal experience of trying to play it with a Pentium 100 suggested greater 
processing power was needed - indeed the game is capable of heating up a 
Pentium 500, so the more processing power, the better. The v2.0 minimum 
requirements are: Pentium 166, Windows 95/98, any 2D video graphics card with 
2MB memory [some sources advise 4MB] (optional 3DFX Voodoo based card), 165MB 
hard drive space, 2x MPC-11 compliant CD-ROM, 16MB RAM, mouse and sound card. 
Pentium 200+, 32MB RAM, and joystick are recommended. Windows ME, 2000 and XP 
are not supported, with mixed results reported by those attempting to run BC3K 
using these operating systems - tips are contained in the Technical Issues 
section below. An OS/2 version of BC3K was considered as early as 1996, but I 
have no evidence it was produced.


2.4 What different versions are there? How can I tell what version I have?

The main release versions are as follows: 

- Demo v1.0, 1992. This was previewed in Computer Games Strategy Plus #18, May 
1992. Possibly not released publicly at the time, but was re-released by Smart 
around 1998. 
- Demo v1.01/v2.0/v3.0 (varies by source), 1993. Public freeware release. Demo 
versions include basic space simulation, document but often note as "inactive" 
certain battlecruiser management features, and seem to omit strategic or 
ground operation aspects completely. 
- v1.0, October 1996, published by Take 2 in North America, although a few 
copies found their way to other countries. Silver boxed, with 30 page manual, 
and widely regarded as unplayable. 
- v1.01C4 (also v1.01R4C?), March 1997, published by GameTek in United 
Kingdom. Subsequently released to other European countries with translated 
manuals, but no in-game translation. Silver boxed with a small fighter graphic 
on the front, with 80 page manual and keyboard reference card. 
- Demo v1.01C5 (?), May 1997 (?), released on the cover disc of Computer 
Gaming World. Unconfirmed limitations: "Free Flight, Xtreme Carnage and 1 ACM 
mission all taking place in only two space regions containing up to 4 
- v1.01D7C (also v1.97?), February 1998, free version (commonly without 
opening video), which featured on several video game magazine cover disks. The 
v1.01D7C patch was originally completed in November 1997 but the release of 
the free version was delayed due to legal action involving Take 2. The free 
version can only be patched to v1.04B (for 3DFX cards only). A CD containing 
v1.01D7C was also sold via the internet. 
- v2.00, December 1998, published by Interplay in North America as a budget 
title, alongside a Star Trek game. 40 page printed manual, with the rest on 
the CD. This is sometimes referred to as the Developer's or Deluxe edition, or 
version v1.1. Around this time $10 CD upgrades from v1.x to v2.x were 
available via the internet, but these were discontinued during 1999. 
- Demo v2.0, May 1999 and January 2000. The first is based on v2.00, the 
second on v2.09. Unknown limitations. 
- v2.07/2.08, 1999, published by Interplay in North America. Packaging 
identical to v2.00 - from the technical FAQ: "Though the box may say v2.0, it 
may contain v2.07 because the game has had several manufacturing runs." 
- v2.08, October 1999, published by GT Interactive in Europe. Dark blue box 
with watercolour picture of battlecruiser, and 142 page manual with appendices 
on CD. Included Map Pak. 
- v2.08, March 2000, published by Jack Of All Games in Oceania. 
- v2.09, July 2001, freeware internet release. Contained everything, including 
modifications and game-builder script. 

Various patches were written in-between these releases - precise details of 
which are no longer particularly relevant. 3DFX support was first added to the 
game by patch v1.03E, March 1998. The last major v1.x patch was 1.08B, July 
1998, although a series of 1.09 patches ending in v1.09D were released late in 
1998 to preview v2.0 features. The last v2.x patch was v2.09, January 2000. 
v1.x are primarily DOS based, v2.x only run from Windows (albeit essentially 
still looking like DOS based). While in space, CTRL+V will display the current 
version number.


2.5 Where can I get the game, patches and manual?

The final (v2.09) version is available as freeware from several sites 
including , and . The file is about 
135MB. You should also apply the patch available here, http://www.the- or , which removes the CD check 
when running without debug mode and fixes a glitch in the opening animation 
sequence. This freeware version defaults to debug mode - in order to play the 
game fully, use the previous patch and then launch the game with debug mode 
off. See Why does the freeware version ask for the CD? Why is it running in 
debug mode? below for further explanation. 

The final set of manuals (including appendices) can be downloaded here, , along with patches from v2.00 and 
v2.07 (North America re-releases) to v2.08, v2.08 (re-release elsewhere) to 
v2.09 (final), and a compendium of modifications, cheats and editing tools. 
Patches need to be applied in order. There are no patches from 1.x to v2.x 
available. A few games sites have some older patches in their archives, for 
and (search for "Battlecruiser" within the 
patches/demos section, which reveals many older files). The later still has 
the 1998 freeware version available for download in ten parts - (take care to unzip this in 
such a way that creates empty subdirectories, and clear debug information by 
pressing F1 twice once you have launched).


2.6 Why so many versions? Did it really take ten years to develop? Tell me 
some history...

BC3K probably has a longer, more colourful history than any other single video 
game. Tom Liam MacDonald, writing in Boot Magazine: "Battlecruiser 3000 AD 
went straight from long, troubled development to being the most unplayable 
title ever released." Its post-release history was more remarkable: Amidst the 
law suits and usenet flame wars, three years worth of patching eventually 
produced something close to a finished game. This section is just a summary of 
what could probably fill a book if fully researched, although the truth will 
probably never be known, as MacDonald comments on usenet in October 1997, 
"facts around this particular game wind up like Alice through the looking 

Developer Derek Smart wrote his version of events here, in 1999. A similar development 
history is also contained within the v1.01D7C 'preview' manual, which can be 
found here, 
. A slightly different interpretation is offered by Bill Huffman, - only the 
first part is particularly relevant to BC3K's history, the later half tending 
to focus on the flame wars. Huffman has also collected various usenet source 
material here, . A third 
analysis of events surrounding the game is offered by Dean Gordon in "A 
Battlecruiser Named Desire" - (with some further 
uncached usenet posts on the subject here - ). Many others have 
been involved along the way, some of whom have never stated their 
interpretation of events. 

BC3K was originally conceived in 1989, when Derek Smart lived in the United 
Kingdom. The game first emerged in a 1992 demo. From Stephen Poole, writing 
for GameSpot: "Smart had already talked one magazine [Computer Games Strategy 
Plus] into running a large feature on BC3K, probably the first and only time 
anyone's run a feature story on a game that didn't ship until four years 
later. By the time 1993 Winter CES rolled around, Three-Sixty Software had 
acquired the game and scheduled it for release in April 1993. It wasn't long 
before Three-Sixty went bankrupt." A publisher called Velocity picked up BC3K, 
before splitting up and the game falling to Mission Studios. Derek Smart 
writes: "For three years I was chasing technology. Great games came and went 
and Battlecruiser 3000 AD was still in development. Review followed review, 
still no game in sight. By late 1994, the delays, slips and technical 
difficulties finally put a strain on the limited financial resources of 
Mission Studios." 

After a period with Intracorp, the publishing rights finally landed with Take 
2. In the year that followed, BC3K continued to be hyped, whilst showing few 
signs of actually being completed. Nai-Chi Lee notes that, "Ads for BC3K 
appeared in magazines as early as 1993. Naturally, BC3K became the longest-
running vaporware joke among Internet gamers." GameSpot later ranked BC3K 
number one in their Vaporware 'Hall of Shame' - - "If you had to use a single 
product as an example to help you explain the concept of 'Vaporware' to a 
newbie, this would be it." Dean Gordon writes: "The game became bogged down by 
its own ambition, as Derek Smart ... saw more and more games and wanted them 
incorporated into his own." Smart himself admits a certain over-enthusiasm in 
a usenet post of April 1996: "Due to inexperience, I simply went overboard on 
my first outing. Once it started, I couldn't stop myself." 

Release dates for Christmas 1995 and early 1996 came and went, with 
advertising campaigns and empty promotional silver boxes in stores, but no 
software. A beta version leaked out which reinforced the notion that 
development reality did not match the hype. By April 1996 Take 2 had taken 
development in-house in an attempt to get something produced for the end of 
that year. Smart's comments give a flavour of the development environment: "By 
August 1996 we were already talking separation, at least they were, because 
I'd had enough and was thinking divorce with full intentions of taking the 
furniture, the cutlery, the car, the jewelry and the dog. In the end I did 
just that. Anyway, the Take 2 producer [Tom Rigas] and his gang were getting 
heat from New York. I wasn't getting heat from anyone because I wasn't 
listening. Period." Philip R. Spagnolli, former Take 2 employee, albeit with 
no direct involvement in BC3K, commenting on usenet in December 1996: "Take2's 
flight engine [named Chase] was added ... but most of the code was sheltered 
from the programmers due to the nature of Smart's desire to keep his special 
code secret. Much of the cool stuff like the supposed neural net would not 
work with the Take2 flight engine." 

The precise circumstances surrounding the release of the game are the stuff of 
legend: attacks on office Coke machines, computers being confiscated, 
completed code being ignored - it is hard to know what to believe. It is 
widely acknowledged that the game was incomplete, untested, and effectively 
unplayable out of the box. The US release is reputed to have had a return rate 
of 70-90%. The worst irony of all was that it had been extensively hyped as 
"the last thing you'll ever desire". As Daniel Evans writes, "the problem was 
simply: how good could a game be that wouldn't even install?" 

As an aside, the associated advertising campaign by GameTek rates 3rd in M. 
Evan Brooks' list of the worst video games advertising at . Jonathan Normington writes: "I remember 
noticing a couple of months back [from February 1997] that GameTek seemed to 
have flooded UK gaming magazines with tacky adverts - the Joanne Guest 
BC3000AD one, a picture of a bloke sitting on a pile of bones, one with some 
sort of comedy penguin... they told me absolutely nothing about the game they 
were supposed to be advertising." You can view an advertising graphic here, . From the Joanne 
Guest FAQ ( ): "That was 
not the only version of the advert. For the more 'laddish' magazines (for 
example, PC Zone) one or two alterations were made. For a start, the caption 
'She *really* wants it' was added, and in this version of the photo it looked 
like she wasn't wearing any panties (the game box obviously obscured the 
interesting area). This had the effect of getting the game talked about, but 
not necessarily in the way that the advertiser had hoped: complaints were made 
to the ASA [Advertising Standards Agency] who handed down a judgement that the 
advertiser should desist from that style of advertising." Later a third 
version appeared with the words "censored by publisher" written across the 
main image. 

Dean Gordon comments: "[Smart and Take 2] both knew that they were releasing 
an incomplete and unplayable product and yet no empirical evidence exists that 
either warned gamers until after the fact." Relations between Smart and Take 2 
boiled over into public disagreement immediately after release. Mark Seremet 
(Take 2 president), writing in October 1996: "And there you have it, perhaps 
the most incendiary feud ever to take place in a public forum between a game 
developer and publisher. Stay tuned, somehow we don't think we've read the 
last salvo." Indeed. Things degenerated into legal action, details of which 
cannot readily be described here. Take 2 and Smart finally 'buried the 
hatchet' 26 months later in a joint press release. Take 2 bought both Mission 
Studios and GameTek, and have said relatively little in public about the BC3K 

Derek Smart writes: "I decided to set up a support network of supporters and 
gamers to help fix the game. Take Two, the publisher, has never participated 
in this endeavor, leaving the game for dead." Almost any other game would have 
died there and then. But BC3K refused to die. The game was slowly patched up 
by its developer, assisted by his fans. 

GameTek originally delayed their European release in anticipation of the 
complete v1.1 (what later emerged as v2.0). Chris Vallely, GameTek tester 
wrote in December 1996: "The US release of this game was deemed by us to be 
not of the required quality. We have experienced difficulties with games of 
this nature before [presumably Frontier First Encounters], so are particularly 
eager to ensure that this product is as good as we can possibly make it." 
Derek Smart writes: "Take Two continued to ship the dud US units in the US and 
even to international countries; causing problems for GameTek who were then 
forced to release v1.01C4 of the game in March in the face of dropped orders." 
While v1.01C4 was just about playable out of the box and came with a manual 
that attempted to explain the basics of the game, it was far from complete or 

Gradually the game was patched until by the end of 1997 it had started to 
resemble a finished product. Version v1.01D7C was given away free at the start 
of 1998. Budget (boxed) releases followed, which eventually incorporated 3DFX 
support, full fleet command and control, and planetary surface maps. 
Development of BC3K finally ceased at the start of 2000, more than 10 years 
after it started. In 2001 BC3K was released as freeware. 

Development shifted to a variety of sequels, which eventually delivered 
Battlecruiser Millennium in November 2001 (provisionally titled 3020AD), and a 
theoretically multiplayer "Gold" version in March 2003; although not before a 
massive multiplayer ("Battlecruiser Online") and first person shooter add-ons 
had been considered. Occasionally the Battlecruiser franchise shows signs of 
being ended. A project codenamed 'ABC' was announced around 2000, widely 
thought to be an acronym for 'After BattleCruiser' (although there were plenty 
of other less complementary explanations ;-) ). Derek Smart's comments help 
explain why Battlecruiser is still being developed: "BC3K was not designed to 
be a one off title. All the engines it has were written from the ground up and 
that's where my investment lies. To this day, the core of BC3K does not even 
use 50% of what the engines are capable of." Dean Gordon posed an interesting 
question back in 1998: "Would the gaming world forget Smart's annibulus 
horribulus if he just delivered a finished game that worked?"


2.7 What about the flame war?

Erm. I was afraid you were going to ask about that. Flame wars are public 
disagreements between people of opposing views that become personal attacks. 
Flame wars are not uncommon on the internet; but flame wars that last more 
than 7 years and generate tens of thousands of threads are. The duration and 
scale of these exchanges makes them hard to ignore. They have had a lasting 
influence on what for want of a better word we might call the "Battlecruiser 
community". A compendium of background to the flame wars by Bill Huffman can 
be found here, . Nai-Chi Lee wrote an 
entertaining FAQ in 1997, an archive copy of which can be found at - although the text 
takes the same title as this document, it contains no information about the 
software at all. These flame wars started on AOL and Compuserve forums and 
usenet in the years prior to BC3K's (anticipated/hyped) release; moved 
entirely to usenet around the time of the release, where they are best known; 
before drifting onto other internet based forums. They are not primarily about 
the game. Rather, they are inspired by the developer's "unique style in public 
relations" (as Bill Huffman describes it).





3.1 Introduction

BC3K greets most new players with a brick wall. This is particularly true for 
anyone that tries to play without reading the manual from cover to cover... 
twice... or is used to games designed with gentle introductory stages, in-game 
help, or tutorial levels... none of which BC3K has. This section is designed 
to provide such an introduction. The tutorial aims to introduce all the most 
important concepts and techniques in the game. It avoids describing different 
interfaces and systems one at a time, which is roughly how the manual is 
structured. Instead this tutorial is structured around topics and operations. 
It does not introduce *every* aspect of the game, nor does it have as much 
detail as the manual. Ultimately, you will need to read game documentation and 
try different things for yourself. If you would rather play than spend a week 
reading and randomly experimenting, this section is for you. 

The later parts of the tutorial are quite advanced. These parts contain a few 
examples that might be regarded as spoilers. I think the balance - between 
explaining the basic concepts of the game and explaining absolutely everything 
- is about right. 

The tutorial uses free-flight mode. Unfortunately, the somewhat random 
appearance of hostile craft means that a newbie-safe environment cannot be 
guaranteed. If you have the misfortune to be attacked prior to combat 
training, or have some unforeseen emergency occur, simply reload or startup a 
new character to continue on with the tutorial. The first 10-15 minutes of 
Free Flight mode are normally safe, so consider pausing the game whilst 
reading this text (in space, press Pause), and only unpausing (press Esc) to 
do things in-game. Such a technique should maximise the amount of 'safe time' 
you experience. An alternative, once the basic flight is known, is to travel 
to Moon region, which tends to be far quieter than others around Sol.


3.2 Interface familiarisation

Ensure your version of BC3K is *not* in debug mode. Check this by examining 
the batch file used to launch the game - probably bc3k.bat. Open it in a text 
editor. The final line ("bc3000ad...") must not have the switch /d1. Debug 
mode makes various tweaks that will not be obvious to start with, but may 
introduce details that contradict parts of what follows. 

Launch BC3K. Once you have set your configuration accordingly (in 
particularly, setup any joystick), Start New Game. Create a character in one 
of the slots (avoid the first slot, since saving to this can be buggy). Select 
Free Flight and Exploration Mode from Miscon and accept the career. You are 
now logged on at Galcom HQ, a station orbiting Earth. The Galcom icon in the 
top-right is the main menu. You can access several features from here - we 
will examine these later. For now, Log Off and go to the launch bay. Now 

This part of the tutorial introduces different screens and explains why you 
might wish to use them. Avoid the temptation to click buttons or press keys at 
random, particularly when on the bridge: You may accidentally set a mode or 
system into operation that will make subsequent instructions hard to follow. 
Once the launch sequence is complete you will see the bridge of your 
battlecruiser. The bridge is a pilot orientated view, the general look and 
feel of which it shares with many other space/flight simulators. You can 
toggle the bridge graphic on and off using F1 (other F-keys give different 
views of/from your battlecruiser - F1 will bring you back to the bridge). 

Left-click on a blank part of the bridge screen to show the Command Menu. You 
can save/quit, access many ship systems, and issue certain orders from this 
menu. The game pauses whilst in this menu. You can also pause by pressing the 
Pause key, and un-pause again by pressing Esc. You can save the game at any 
time whilst in space, aboard your battlecruiser. You cannot save while docked 
at a station or while piloting other craft. 

The precise layout of the bridge screen is somewhat cluttered, and a lot of 
the text will not mean much initially. The general layout is: 

- Center left = Percentage gauges and on/off switches for main battlecruiser 
- Center middle = Battlecruiser flight indicators. 
- Center right = Status/order craft and vehicles. 
- Bottom left = NID (Navigation Interface Display). High-level navigation. 
Target larger objects like planets, and order probes. 
- Bottom middle = Tacscan (Tactical Scanner). Local-level navigation. Target 
smaller objects such as other ships. 
- Bottom right = CVD (Computer Video Display). Multifunctional display, used 
to watch one particular aspect of operations in detail. 

Some systems can be set on/off/more/less/whatever by left clicking on the name 
or display area. Where there are multiple options, a menu will be shown. Most 
of these options will be covered in subsequent parts of the tutorial. Many can 
be set using either the mouse or keyboard. While mouse commands are often 
easier to use, try to learn the equivalent keyboard commands too. Other craft 
use only keyboard commands to achieve many of the same operations. 

BC3K has a real-time strategic command view called Tacops (Tactical Operations 
Computer). Access this by pressing ALT+S [...think Strategic...] or Command 
Menu--Systems--Tacops. You will see a 3D representation of your current area 
of space (Earth) and everything in it. If we had probes deployed in other 
regions of space, we could view those alternative regions too. Craft are shown 
on the right of the screen much as they are on the bridge. One can zoom to a 
particular location by left-clicking on the map, and zoom out again by right-
clicking. To observe the surface of a planet (for example, Earth), click on 
the planet and zoom to it until the menu gives an option Observe. Select 
Observe and then select one of the surface zones shown by red squares. Once 
can then zoom right down to view each building. To zoom right out again, 
select Zoom To--View Local region from the left-hand list. 

Pressing Esc reveals the Command Palette. The Command Palette is used to give 
specific orders to craft and units, including setting waypoints. The 
Hold/Update button on the Command Palette pauses the game while still allowing 
you to look around - rather useful in a battle. Pressing Esc again returns you 
to the bridge. 

There are many people onboard your battlecruiser. You can see what they are 
all doing via Perscan (ALT+P or Command Menu--Systems--Perscan). The left-hand 
side lists named personnel, the right lists everyone else (mostly marines). 
The format of each listing is: Name - Life Factor - Fatigue Factor - Location 
- Current Order. This list updates real-time, so you can watch your crew 
wandering about your ship. This screen is useful for showing crew location at 
a glance, or keeping track of any intruders. You cannot issue commands from 
this screen, just watch. Return to the bridge by left-clicking once with the 
mouse or pressing Esc. 

Open the Logistix screen (ALT+E [...think Engineering...] or Command Menu--
Systems--Logistix). This is the first in a series of linked screens which show 
the internal workings of your battlecruiser and a few other things. Whilst in 
these screens the rest of the game is paused. Move between these screens using 
the menu under the Galcom logo in the top right. You can return to the bridge 
by clicking on the Galcom logo or selecting Log Off from the menu below it. 
The first level of submenu appears in the bottom left. The Logistix screen has 
three submenus: 

- Crafts: Examine current damage by component, and order repairs or upgrades. 
- Cargo: Lists battlecruiser cargo. This does not include items which are 
notionally on your battlecruiser, but installed somewhere other than the cargo 
bays, such as missile ready to fire or cargo in shuttle cargo bays. 
- Power: Allocate available power to systems. Allocating power may not 
automatically turn the system on if it is off, but a system needs power 
allocated first before it can be turned on. 

The Tactical screen (if you were previously on the Bridge, ALT+T or Command 
Menu--Systems--Tactical; in this case select Tactical from the Galcom menu in 
the top right) has four submenus: 

- Crew: Assign crew to jobs. Select different categories of crew from the 
drop-down menu at the top of the screen. 
- Launch: Prepare support craft for missions. 
- Loadout: Slightly chaotic mixture of moving cargo and crew between the 
battlecruiser and its weapons (and similar) bays and other vehicles and craft. 
- Medibay: Lists occupants of the Medibay, allowing treatment to be 
administered and clones to be made if required. 

Certain features overlap slightly. For example, pilots can be assigned to an 
interceptor via the Crew or Launch screens. 

(And yes, there are lots of features called Tac-something, and all do 
different things.) 

The Navitron (if you were previously on the Bridge, ALT+N or Command Menu--
Systems--Navitron; in this case select from the Galcom menu) shows the planets 
of the current system. Right-click to show the whole galaxy map, and left-
click on a system to show the planets within it. Do not select a planet yet 
(if you do accidentally, you should clear the course set by returning to the 
bridge and pressing X). 

The Roster shows the abilities of you and your crew, alongside various 
statistics and medals earned. Miscon is the overall mission description you 
first saw when you started the character. The Commlink lists every broadcast 
communication you have received and comments made by your officers. Most 
entries consist only of a pair of lines, however during the ACM (missions) you 
will receive detailed instructions here too. Return to the bridge by clicking 
on the Galcom logo or selecting Log Off from the menu below it.


3.3 Basic navigation and flight

You can continue this part of the tutorial straight from the previous, or 
start over and re-launch. After launch, your ship will be put into autopilot. 
"A/P" is flashing centre left of the bridge view. Press A once or click on the 
flashing A/P to get manual control. The battlecruiser should move in response 
to you moving the joystick (or whatever you are using to control the ship). 
Engine thrust can be set using the joystick throttle, pressing keys 0-9, or 
clicking on the box with numbers in it just to the left of dead centre and 
selecting the desired thrust level. 

In addition to regular engine thrust, you have a hyperdrive and 
afterburner/retro-rockets. The hyperdrive allows huge distances to be covered 
very quickly, but each jump by your battlecruiser has a fuel cost associated 
with it. The afterburner will increase your speed beyond the maximum thrust, 
and must be applied manually. Retro-rockets may be used to slow the ship down 
again, or even put the ship into 'reverse'. 

To demonstrate these features, target the Debris Field. Do this by selecting 
NID (left click on the box in the bottom left) Target--Hazard--Earth Debris 
Field. Set the CVD (bottom right) to Target Camera (use the menu or press V), 
and you will see the target displayed. Now press SHIFT+9 and your crew will 
orientate the ship and put it into hyperspace. (Why _9_? In early versions 
there were nine different hyperjump factors, but all the others were 
eventually taken out.) You will drop out of hyperspace about 500 clicks from 
the target. You can check the distance on the NID (bottom left) if it is in 
Map mode. You could cruise to the centre of the Debris Field using regular 
thrust, but it will take a while. Instead, fire the afterburners by holding 
down ` until the thrust level (box with numbers in it just left of dead 
centre) reaches about 2000. Drift into the Debris Field until you are about 
150 clicks from it. Then apply retro-rockets by pressing TAB, until you come 
to a stand. (In order to see the debris in this debris field, switch to Tacops 
and back again - ALT+S twice. The quirks of debris fields will be covered in 
more detail later.) 

Large bodies and navigational features, such as the Debris Field, are targeted 
using the NID (bottom left). Smaller items, such as stations and ships, are 
targeted using Tacscan (bottom middle). Select Galcom HQ from the Tacscan 
(bottom middle, Tacscan--Targets--Friendly--Earth Ter Mil GalcomHQ). If this 
target cannot be found, check that you are in SPC mode - SPC will display in 
the bottom right on the Tacscan - if it says SUL, press K once to change the 
mode to SPC (SUL shows only craft that belong to you, SPC shows everything in 
space). Once targeted, SHIFT+9 as before. If nothing happens, you should wait 
for your hyperdrive to charge (see the series of circles filling on the right 
hand side of dead centre). You will emerge about 70 clicks from the station. 

Manual flight and autopilot flight use different means to select targets. 
Select Halley's Comet using the NID (Target--Hazard--Earth Haz Halley's 
Comet). If you engage autopilot by pressing A or clicking on A/P, you will not 
jump to Halley's Comet. Instead select the comet either by clicking on the box 
with numbers in just above dead centre (Hazard--Earth Haz Halley's Comet) or 
select from the Command Menu (BC Orders--Orders--Fly To--Hazard--Earth Haz 
Halley's Comet). Now engage autopilot by pressing A or clicking on A/P and 
your ship will jump to Halley's Comet (again, you may need to wait for the 
jump-drive to charge up first). On arrival, deactivate the autopilot. 

A better way is to change a target selected using the NID or Tacscan to a 
target the autopilot understands by re-assigning it to the Flight Path 
Designator. Select Galcom HQ using Tacscan (you may have it selected already). 
Press F once or twice until you see "FP: Ter/Mil GalcomHQ" displayed just 
above the centre of the screen. Activate autopilot and you will be propelled 
back to Galcom HQ. You may also notice the rectangular boxed effect guiding 
you towards the target. You may not automatically be put into a hyperjump (in 
this mode, short distances tend to be flown conventionally). You can always 
force a hyperjump by pressing SHIFT+9. Deactivate autopilot before you hit the 

Thus far, the autopilot has been in Direct mode (shown Direct next A/P on the 
bridge view). Direct mode is used to conduct simple procedures, such as flying 
from A to B. Your ship also has an autopilot mode called AI. In this mode the 
crew will fly the battlecruiser without detailed instructions from you. For 
example, you can assign them to patrol this (Earth) region. Issue a Patrol 
order from the Command Menu - BC Orders--Orders--Patrol. Click on Direct on 
the bridge view to change it to AI, or press SHIFT+A. Your battlecruiser will 
now proceed to patrol the region by hyperjumping between different locations 
in this region of space. This particular procedure mostly wastes fuel - it is 
a simple example of how the AI autopilot functions. After making a jump or 
two, deactivate autopilot (press A or click A/P). 

Time to leave Earth. You may have noticed a series of jump points linking 
Earth with other planets around Sol. There are several ways to use these to 
travel between different regions of space. The first method is entirely 
manual. In the NID target the Pluto jump point (bottom left, Target--
Navigation--Earth To..Pluto). Assign the jump point to the Flight Path 
Designator by pressing F once or twice until you see the text "FP: To..Pluto" 
just above the centre of the screen. Ensure you are not in autopilot (no A/P 
flashing). SHIFT+9 to hyperjump to the jump point. Now manually fly towards 
the red glow in the centre of the jump point. Don't worry about hitting the 
jump point structure - you cannot be damaged by it. You must have the target 
assigned as Flight Path Designator - simply flying towards it without 
targeting it correctly will not work. You must not have weapons systems active 
(IOD on the left-hand side of the bridge view should be displayed in red - if 
you accidentally activated it and it is displayed in green, press W once to 
turn it off). If you make the jump successfully, you will see "Verifying 
current location... Sol/Pluto... In Terra Quadrant" flash across the top of 
the screen. The word Pluto can also be seen towards the bottom of the left 
hand part of the bridge view. 

Links between systems often use wormholes. Wormholes function in an identical 
way to jump points - jump techniques that work with one also work with the 
other. Single jumps can be automated using the autopilot. Jump to Centris in 
Alpha Centauri using the autopilot: Either target the wormhole to Alpha 
Centauri using the NID and then assign to the Flight Path Designator (bottom 
left, NID Target--Navigation--Pluto To..Alpha-Centauri..System; then press F 
until "FP: To..Alpha-Centauri..System" is displayed towards the top of the 
screen), OR assign the order Jump At Pluto To..Alpha-Centauri..System to your 
battlecruiser (for example, Command Menu--BC Orders--Orders--Jump At--Pluto 
To..Alpha-Centauri..System). Once the jump point is targeted, engage the 
autopilot. This method involves less effort than flying yourself, but does not 
allow tricks such as applying afterburner to reach the jump point quickly - 
this can be critical if you are being attacked, so it is useful to know how to 
do it manually. Once you have arrived in Centris, deactivate the autopilot. 

In addition to jump points and wormholes, regions are also linked using flux 
fields. Flux fields allow jumps to be made in similar ways, however the 
destination is somewhat random. For this reason they do not form part of the 
standard means of navigating between regions, and to use them you must jump 
manually (the first method used to jump at jump points in this tutorial). Flux 
Fields theoretically provide short-cuts between distant systems. For example, 
the Flux Field in Ylisia, Omega Eridani, potentially allows ships to reach 
Alpha Cygni, a journey that would require almost 40 jumps via conventional 
means. In many cases there is a chance of arriving at either a supernova or a 
black hole. Supernovas are just empty systems - they allow you to re-jump 
without causing any problems (there is one exception - see Are there any 
hidden planets? below). Black holes cause near-instant death. Appendix B, 
Hidden Flux Field Links below, contains a list of such links. 

Navigating across the galaxy one jump at a time could rapidly become annoying. 
Instead use the Navitron to plot a course. Press ALT+N or select Navitron from 
the Command Menu--Systems--Navitron or NID--Navitron. Select Sol if it is not 
already visible, then click once on Earth and Log Off via the Galcom icon. The 
NID will now display something like "Waypoint 1 of 2, Next Jump Region: Sol, 
Pluto, Destination: Sol, Earth". Engage the autopilot and watch as your ship 
uses a series of jump points to reach Earth. Once you arrive in Earth, 
deactivate the autopilot. 

Not all regions can be targeted using the Navitron. One such exception is the 
Moon. Once you have arrived in Earth region, use the autopilot to jump at the 
Earth To..Moon jump point. Once you have arrived in the Moon region, 
deactivate the autopilot. 

Finally, dock. Fly to station Genesis (Friendly--Moon Ter Mil Genesis). To 
dock, fly within 25-30 clicks of the station, with the station targeted. Once 
in range, press ALT+D to dock. Docking itself is automatic. At some stations 
you will not be able to dock during a battle (you may get a message "docking 
clearance has been refused" if their are enemies on your radar - this is very 
unlikely at Genesis).


3.4 Logistics

You may follow this tutorial directly from the previous, which ended docked at 
Genesis, Moon. Alternatively, start a new character. Most of what follows is 
the same regardless of where you are. 

Log On (from launch bays, Centcom--Logon). The in-station display is similar 
to the Tactical/Logistix display in your ship. Navitron, Miscon and Commlink 
screens will all be familiar. The Engineering screen looks similar to that on 
the your ship's Logistix and the general function is the same, but it uses 
station resources to conduct repairs. The Tradcom is a station-specific 
screen. As the name suggests, you can buy and sell cargo here. You can sell 
anything in the cargo bay of the ship you docked with (in this case, your 
battlecruiser). You can buy anything the station has in stock, so long as you 
have the money and appropriate cargo space free. The Tradecom screen also has 
a submenu called Info. This gives information about the local planet and its 
economy - this will be explained further in the context of trading. 

Trade items can roughly be divided into expendables (used in the normal 
operation of your ships), repair materials, replacement parts, upgrades and 
everything else (assorted trade goods). The two essential expendables are: 

- Nutripaks: Food served onboard battlecruiser. 3 per day per man (about 350 
per day with default crew). 
- Radine (mineral): Powers battlecruiser's nuclear reactor. Used by hyperjump 
engines and in routine reactor operation. 

Other expenables you are very likely to need are: 

- Combat Kits: 'Prep' marines. Also feeds teams on planets (1 per man per 8 
- Iridium (mineral): Powers battlecruiser cloak. 
- Plutonium (mineral): Powers battlecruiser shield. 
- Radiation Control Unit: Clears radiation from one deck (following a 
radiation leak). 
- Vacpak: Treat infectious disease among crew. 
- Medpaks: Treat injured crew. 

In addition, weapons (missiles and mines) and probes may be expended during 
normal operations. Radine and Nutripaks are the only two you absolutely must 
have to keep your ship operational. Others are clearly required to conduct 
specific operations or deal with certain emergencies. 

Repair materials encompass general purpose repair minerals, general purpose 
spare parts such as Droids, Tools or repair kits, and specific subcomponent 
spare parts such as an AI Interface. These are often used to patch up light 
damage, and are commonly used for deep-space running repairs. The spare parts 
list on the Tradcom also whole replacement systems and vehicles, such as a new 
Bridgeviewer or ATV. Some of these 'whole system' replacement parts are 
primarily of interest as upgrades - 'better' battlecruiser reactor, engine, 
shield and armor (these are covered in more depth below). 

Battlecruiser storage is not unlimited. You may note from the Tradcom screen 
that you have 2 cargo bays and 2 weapons bays. Each item type may only be 
placed in one specific bay: If one bay is full, it does not follow that you 
will be able to start placing excess items in another bay. Fuel is stored 
separately - up to 25,000 Radine (reactor/hyperdrive), 10,000 Plutonium 
(shield) and 1,000 Iridium (cloak). Shuttles have additional cargo space, some 
of which is taken up by ATVs and Drones by default. Shuttle space cannot be 
accessed in-station unless you docked with the shuttle itself. Once in space, 
cargo and vehicles can be swapped around between vessels, to optimise cargo 
space depending on how you wish to use those vessels. More on shuttles 

If you have continued this tutorial straight on from the previous one, you may 
be starting to run out of Radine. Ensure you have at least 100 units of Radine 
to avoid reactor... problems ;-) . Buy some more if needed. All that joy-
riding comes at a price. 

Launch and de-activate the autopilot. 

Your battlecruiser has two sources of power - nuclear and solar reactors. 
These are shown as NRE and SRE on the left hand side of the bridge view. The 
nuclear reactor is the primary source of power, and cannot be turned off. To 
gain full power from the solar reactor, you must align your ship to the main 
star in the system (in this case, the sun) - pitch, yaw and rotate the 
battlecruiser until the SRE gauge on the bridge view is close to full - the 
solar panels are on the top of your ship. It is impractical to realign the 
ship in this way whilst travelling or in battle. The solar reactor is 
therefore primarily a backup system, useful for when you want to have 
absolutely *every* system operating or when the nuclear reactor is damaged. 

Open the Logistix screen (ALT+E or Command Menu--Systems--Logistix), and then 
select Power. The left-hand side of the screen shows current power outputs and 
requirements. The right-hand side allows you to change the power allocated to 
specific systems. Aim to redistribute up to 100 units of power (the output of 
the nuclear reactor) between systems. This is conventionally done by reducing 
the power to the systems you use the least. For now turn the cloning module 
off (you will rarely need to clone anyone) and reducing solar reactor power 
slightly (it's a backup system that you do not need at the moment). Increase 
the Engine to full power. Further fine-tuning will generally only be required 
if the nuclear reactor becomes damaged. 

Use the Galcom menu to move to the Tactical screen, and select Crew. No crew 
are required for basic operation of the battlecruiser. However, if you want to 
be able to respond to emergencies onboard or use other craft, you will need 
your crew. Regular crewmen are described in detail by chapter 19 of the 
manual. Here is a short summary of their primary roles: 

- Pilots: Fly interceptors. 
- Systems Engineers: Heavy engineering and repairs. 
- Flight Engineering: Ready interceptors. 
- Medics: Anything health related. 
- Marines: One-to-one ground/'deck' combat. 

There are a range of benefits to having officers on-station which vary by 
officer. Typically crew under their supervision will act faster, and you will 
get better information reports alerting you to potential problems. 

It is important to realise that you start the game with a ship-load of 
rookies. Note their low artificial intelligence (AI) ratings. Early in the 
game they will take longer to act, and have a greater chance of messing things 
up when they do act. 

You can micromanage every last crewman if you wish. Chances are you will end 
up doing that quite a lot anyway. Some functions will be ordered by your 
officers if they are on-station. For example, when intruders beam aboard your 
ship, your combat officer may assign fresh marines to search the ship looking 
for them. Crewmen also have minds of their own, and if they get too fatigued, 
may go off-duty to rest. 

Bring all the Systems Engineers on-station by selecting Tactical--Crew--
Systems Engineers, viewing assignment, and changing the assignment of those 
engineers that are currently Off Duty to On-Station. Since the Tactical screen 
is frozen in time, they will not act until you return to a real time screen 
such as the bridge. Log Off back to the bridge, and then use the Perscan 
(ALT+P or Command Menu--Systems--Perscan) to watch these Systems Engineers. 
You should see them move through different locations on the ship, eventually 
arriving at Engineering. Note that it takes a minute or two from the time you 
changed their assignment to them actually arriving at their designated 

Why have we got all those engineers on station? Because we're about to inflict 
some damage upon ourselves >:) . Target the nearest station (probably 
Starpath) and manually fly towards it. Aim to hit it at full thrust. Try to 
inflict some light damage on the battlecruiser by bouncing off the station a 
few times. (Occasionally collisions will throw your ship off at almost 
infinite speed. If this happens, select a target in Tacscan, assign it the 
Flight Path Designator (press F) and activate autopilot. This will reduce your 
speed to zero before jumping back. If you drift off the 'edge of the map' 
(which will happen if you do not act quickly), you will enter Nullspace. 
Nullspace contains a flux field back to real space (the last area you were in) 
- target that instead and jump back through it like a jump point.) 

Once some damage has ben inflicted (it is almost certain that a few systems 
will be sustain light damaged after a few bumps), go to the Logistix screen, 
select Crafts, and then BC. Now examine each deck looking for damaged systems: 
The relevant percentage will be below 100%. Light damage is still displayed in 
green as fully operational. Medium damage is displayed in yellow, and heavy 
damage in red. Click on the system and you will see the option to Repair, 
along with a list of repair materials. The repair may not need all materials 
on the list, just those shown with Need above 0, highlighted in yellow. Find a 
damaged system that you have the materials to repair. Click on the bar 
labelled Repair. Now assign engineers to the job using the small arrows. When 
you return to a real-time screen, repairs will start. Some systems may be 
replaced rather than repaired. Sometimes replacement is quicker, although may 
require more expensive materials. In some cases the system will have been 
destroyed and replacement will be the only option. You can keep a rough eye on 
repair progress by showing the Damage Status in the bridge view's CVD (bottom 
right) - this does not show all systems, just the most important ones. For 
precise detail, examine the Logistix screens again, but remember that the game 
is paused whilst in that screen, so no progress will be made on the repair 
while you are watching. 

Such repairs require repair materials to be available on the ship, and Systems 
Engineers to undertake the work. An alternative is to dock at a station and 
let the station undertake the repairs using its own staff and supplies. At 
most stations you will need to pay for this service. At Galcom HQ such repairs 
are free. Depending on the circumstances, Galcom HQ may be a long journey or 
may even be temporarily destroyed; so one cannot always rely on it. In all 
cases, station repairs take time to complete. During this time your crew will 
continue to operate, and may become quite fatigued if repairs take several 
hours. There are solutions to this problem, including sending them off-duty or 
to the Medibay before docking. However, the time delay due to repairs is also 
commonly used to help crews gain experience from being on-station without you 
having to play those hours yourself. Appropriate techniques are discussed in 
the context of Advancing time, below. 

The same technique used for repairs can be used for upgrades. Only reactor, 
engine, shield and armor can be upgraded with standard equipment. In ACM mode 
you will also find artifacts, including upgrade other systems such as weaponry 
and cloak. Upgrades are listed from worst to best (the starting ship already 
has the worst, so don't bother to 'upgrade' from worst to worst ;-) ): 

- Reactor: Lattis/NB, Megatron, Lattex/NB, Tanis Spec, Eyestar, Trellis, 
(artifact - Karanian Mark IV). 
- Engine: Starcry/S, Crumicron, Diringer, Omicron/1, Numega. 
- Shield: Spectrum/A, Linear Spec II, Linear Spec III, Linear Spec IV, 
(artifact - Tacyon Anagram). 
- Armor: Titanium Level II, Titanium Level III, Titanium Level IV, Titanium 
Level V. 

Standard upgrades variously improve your defenses and reduce fuel 
requirements. The primary advantages of upgrading are: 

- Reactor: Less Radine use in jumps (Lattis/NB uses 30, Trellis uses 5). Less 
Radine used in regular operation (Lattis/NB uses about 1 per minute, Trellis 
uses about half as much). 
- Engine: Less Radine use in jumps (Starcry/S uses 25, Numega uses 5). 
- Shield: Increased total shield strength (Spectrum/A gives 1500, Linear Spec 
IV gives 3750). Less Plutonium used in regular operation (Spectrum/A uses 
about 0.5 per minute, Linear Spec IV uses about half that). 
- Armor: Increase total armor strength (Titanium Level II gives 1000, Titanium 
Level IV gives 2500).


3.5 Basic combat

This part introduces non-fleet battlecruiser combat systems and techniques. I 
suggest you start this part of the tutorial with a new character (quit to the 
main menu, delete the old tutorial character and start a new one). If you have 
been following the previous parts your ship will probably be damaged and 
running low on fuel, which will make this section either hard or almost 
impossible. When ready, launch. 

The battlecruiser itself has both offensive and defensive systems. The 
primarily defense is the shield. Once the shield is penetrated armor and hull 
are damaged. Once armor and hull are gone the ship explodes. Quite a lot of 
damage to individual systems will occur long before the armor is down, and the 
armor/hull may be damaged while the shields are still up if you are rammed. 
Current shield, armor and hull strength are indicated by SHE, ARM and HUL on 
the left hand side of the bridge view. 

The shield is set very low by default. Raise shields to full strength by 
pressing SHIFT+] or left-clicking on the SHE indicator on the left hand side 
of the bridge view and setting full. Shield strength can be modified in 
increments by pressing ] (increase) or [ (decrease), or using the bridge menu 
just mentioned. Shields can be turned off by pressing SHIFT+[ . A small amount 
of fuel (Plutonium) is expended simply by having the shield up. 

You have an anti-missile defense system called EMD (Electro Magnetic 
Disruptor). It has a chance of jamming incoming missiles, causing them to fly 
in a straight line. Its use prevents you launching missiles and makes it 
somewhat hard to see. Toggle it on and off by pressing E or left-clicking EMD 
on the left-hand side of the bridge view. 

Marines may be used offensively during planetary operations, but in space 
their role is defensive. Occasionally an enemy craft in the sector will beam 
intruders aboard. You cannot do the reverse - you cannot beam your troops onto 
their ships. Marines can be used to kill intruders by assigning Searching 
orders to marines on the Tactical--Crew screen. Marines must first Prep for 
Combat, so ideally should be given On-Station orders a few minutes before you 
need them, to ensure they are ready to fight straight away. (By default, 10 
Marines are ordered On-Station when you start a new character - you will hear 
your Combat Officer announcing that Marines are ready for deployment during 
the first few minutes of play, meaning that they are ready for combat.) 
Intruders may seek to sabotage ship systems or steal craft such as 
interceptors. The former can only be prevented by your Marines killing or 
injuring the intruders first. The later can be prevented by turning off power 
to the Launch Control on the Logistix--Power screen - obviously this prevents 
you launching craft yourself. 

The cloaking system is not exclusively a defensive tool, but it is often used 
as one. The cloak renders you invisible to other ships unless you launch a 
craft or fire a weapon. The cloak uses 10 units of Iridium per minute - 
approximately 50,000 credits a minute to maintain. After about 7 minutes under 
cloak, radiation levels will build up on your ship to the point where your 
crew start to become 'radiated' and certain decks need to be cleaned up using 
Radiation Control Units to prevent radiation spreading further. Once the cloak 
is de-activated, radiation levels will gradually decline, so the cloak can be 
effective if used occasionally for short periods. The cloaking system can be 
toggled on and off by pressing SHIFT+C or left-clicking on the word Cloak on 
the bridge view. 

There are two main battlecruiser offensive weapon types, each of which has a 
semi-automated variant: Lasers and missiles. The battlecruiser has a primary 
laser called an Ion-Disruptor Array (IOD), normally targeted and fired from 
the bridge view. It has quite an effective secondary set of three automated 
laser turrets called Passive Target Acquisition (PTA). The primary missile 
firing system is normally targeted and fired from the bridge view. This is 
supported by an automated missile firing system called FATAL (FAst Target 
Acquisition and Lock). 

The weapons system must be activated by pressing W or clicking on the IOD icon 
on the left-hand side of the bridge view. This will change the central part of 
the bridge view display from the default NAV mode to TAC mode. TAC mode adds 
various weapon related information to the display and removes some information 
relating to engines and navigation. 

The main Ion-Disruptor Array (IOD) is a simple case of point and shoot. Pulses 
of energy will shoot from the gun, hopefully hitting the target. One can 
change the intensity of the shot by left-clicking on IOD on the bridge view, 
and changing the percentage (one can also use ' and ; to increase and decrease 
intensity). A high percentage does more damage, but has a longer recharge 
time, a low percentage does little damage but recharges quickly. By default 
the IOD will fire straight ahead. The IOD can be decoupled (and re-coupled 
again) by pressing Scroll Lock. Decoupling creates an extra targeting ring and 
adjusts the angle of fire so that targets do not have to be dead-centre to be 
fired upon. Decoupling is most useful when the battlecruiser is already on a 
fixed vector (such as under autopilot between points in space), since targets 
can be fired upon without changing the position of the battlecruiser. The poor 
dogfighting ability of your battlecruiser means that the IOD is still 
primarily a weapon to be used against large targets such as other carriers or 

Passive Target Acquisition (PTA) is better suited to dealing with smaller 
targets. With weapons systems active, press P or left-click PTA on the left-
hand side of the bridge view. This activates three laser turrets, that will 
automatically select nearby enemy targets within their arc and range of fire, 
and shoot them. You have the option to man one of these turrets yourself (F5-
7, F1 to return to Bridge), but they are normally best left as automatic 
systems. The intensity of PTA lasers can be changed using SHIFT+' to increase 
and SHIFT+; to decrease (the lowest possible setting turns the system off), or 
left-clicking on PTA on the bridge view and selecting a setting. Low intensity 
gives rapid fire but at short range, high intensity gives a slower rate of 
fire, but greater range. 

Basic missile use involves selecting a target using Tacscan (bottom middle in 
bridge view). Turn weapons on (press W) if they are not already. Use Backspace 
to cycle through your missiles. The currently selected missile is displayed as 
text just below dead centre, with type and name, for example "STS Vagrant". 
Mines appear here too, which behave slightly differently and dealt with later. 
You can see all available missiles in one list by selecting Weapons in the CVD 
(bottom right). Missiles can be loaded into the launch bays from storage using 
the Tactical screen: Select Tactical--Loadout--BC--Weapons (or Mines) and 
switch weapons between the store on the right and launch bay on the left. Back 
on the bridge, having selected the missile, you need to get a lock on the 
target. Point your ship towards the target so that the target is within the 
circle in the centre of the display. Now wait for the rectangular symbol that 
is dancing around on the screen to lock onto the target. Once the target is 
locked, fire the missile by pressing the spacebar. 

Common missile types you will use are: 

- ATA = Air-to-Air: Use between ships in planetary atmospheres. 
- ATS = Air-to-Surface: Use from ship in planetary atmosphere to attack ground 
- STS = Space-to-Space: Use between ships in deep space. 
- OTS = Orbit-to-Surface: Use from space to attack planetary ground targets. 
These are nuclear devices designed to destroy whole areas of a planet. 

Among Space-to-Space (STS) missiles (those you use the most initially), you 
will find two main types of guidance system - Continuous Tracking Logic (CTL) 
and Automatic Tracking Logic (ATL). In the first case (CTL), you must keep the 
target selected until the missile hits or is otherwise destroyed. The second 
type (ATL) is a 'fire-and-forget' missile, which uses it own targeting systems 
after launch. Missiles also vary in range, time taken to lock onto a target, 
and damage. Full details are contained within appendix D of the manual. 
According to Derek Smart, "missiles lose their effectiveness with range". 

The battlecruiser has an auto-firing system for certain missiles called FATAL. 
Designate a target to the FATAL system by targeting it in Tacscan, selecting a 
missile and pressing D. Up to 8 missiles/targets can be assigned to FATAL at 
one time. Press X to clear the target from FATAL. Only STS-Vagrant or STS-
Ralix missiles can be assigned to FATAL. They will be automatically fired when 
anything designated FATAL comes within range. Both missiles are short range 
(15-20 clicks) and have the longest lock time of all STS missiles, but both do 
quite a lot of damage. FATAL is best used in relatively close combat 
situations, where you are primarily using your laser (IOD) rather than taking 
time locking and firing missiles manually. Targets can be assigned to the 
system in advance, often while you are jumping to engage the enemy. 

A few other offensive toys are available, notably mines. These are potentially 
useful when you need extra defensive firepower at a very specific point 
(perhaps around a station or jump point). Leech mines explode when a ship 
comes too close to them, causing damage. Crab mines fire laser shots at enemy 
ships. Mines have a finite lifetime - typically around 10-15 minutes. Mines 
are deployed as missiles, but there is no need to target anything first. 
Deploying Leech mines without bumping into them can be dangerous... 

Time for some combat. Set a course for Lennen in Sirius system. Make as many 
preparations as you feel you need for battle - for example, re-adjust your 
power setup, set shields to full, and assign some marines to Searching. The 
first jumps around the Sol system should be uneventful. You will pass through 
a wormhole into the Sirius system. In this region, Lyrius, you should see an 
enemy (red) contract on the radar, and a warning noise will sound. Don't 
panic, it is probably just an orbital defense system (ODS) which poses no 
threat at this range. When you arrive in Lennen, you will be attacked. The 
region contains an enemy station, Pixan, which will launch various fighters 
against you (S24-Ravens, Starfighters, L-Fighters and similar). 

Quickly enter Tacops (ALT+S), press Esc once to show the Command Palette, and 
then press the Hold button on the palette - this will pause the game whilst 
allowing you to see the situation. 

With the action paused, take a moment to look around the region using Tacops. 
Click the Full button on the Command Palette to show the whole sector in the 
default view. Your ship will be shown in green in the bottom right corner of 
the Tacops screen, close to the jump point called To..Lyrius. Zoom in slightly 
on this area. Zoom in by left-clicking, out by right-clicking. Your ship will 
appear as a green box surround by three numbers, your ship name and 
designation (Terran/Military). The left-side number is your shield level, the 
top-side number the overall ship integrity as a percentage, and the right-side 
number is the armor strength. The same format is used when you target ships in 
Tacscan. If you close the Command Palette by clicking on the map, and hover 
the mouse over your ship, you will see this information explained, alongside 
your ship's current (or last) order, probably FlyTo. 

Towards the centre of the map you will find a planet, and several enemy 
contacts. The shield and armor values give an indication of the type of vessel 
- values up to about 500 are typically fighters, around 1000 typically 
carriers or similarly heavy ships, values of several thousand are normally 
stations. Other information can be extracted at a glance - for example things 
with the order "Standard Orbit" will not attack you unless you are within 
their range because they have no control over their movement. Ships attacking 
you will normally display your name when you move the mouse over them, for 
example "SAD Myship" - the enemy has seek and destroy orders, and it is 
seeking and destroying Myship. During long battles consider returning to 
Tacops to check that no new threats have appeared. It can be quite easy to get 
involved with combat and not notice _that_ second battle-fleet that just 
jumped into the region until it engages you... 

Do not attack the station (Pixan) or ODS near the planet. Instead fight some 
of the enemy close to the jump point you arrived at - let them come to you. 
Don't remain entirely stationary, nor remain in autopilot: Around a third 
thrust on manual control is ideal. You can cycle targets quickly using , and . 
or target nearest enemy (M), nearest attacker (N), or nearest in front of you 
( / ). Remember, you must be using Tacscan to see enemy craft - not the NID. 
When firing at a targeted enemy ship you will notice red and green boxes 
around the target. The red box indicates where the target is now. The green 
box attempts to calculate where the target will be by the time your laser 
shots reach it. Consequently you should aim at the green box. Don't try to 
shoot down missiles - only target ships. Targeting missiles is quite an easy 
mistake to make initially, since the names will not mean much to you. It may 
be helpful to display a picture of the target in the CVD (press V or select 
Target Camera from the CVD (bottom right). Missiles also normally appear as 
white contacts, where as enemy ships are red contacts on the radar. 

Targets here are mostly small and fast moving. Limited dogfighting with the 
main IOD may work, but use of PTA and EMD will be more effective overall. 
Watch your shield level - unless you happen to get rammed, you won't take 
damage while your shields are up. Hyperjumps can sometimes be a good method of 
buying yourself some extra time to boast shields or review the overall 
situation in Tacops. If things get really hot, you can always jump out of the 
system - enemy ships rarely follow. Also remember you can pause or save during 
the battle. Heavily damaged enemies may attempt to flee, so consider following 
them by hyperjumping after them. Take care, because in this case they will 
tend to flee to Pixan station, potentially dragging you into range of the 
station. In some cases ships will be disabled and will emit an SOS, or drop a 
cargo pod - ignore these for now. 

The station has a finite number of fighters to launch against you - up to 30 
in this case (the station has other heavier craft, but does not normally 
launch them until you get closer). With a little skill, you should be able to 
dispose of all these fighters or send them limping back to base. So if you 
died or got beaten up, feel free to restart and try again. Each enemy ship you 
kill rewards you with experience points. The precise value varies by ship type 
and owner - manual appendix B gives a full list. There is no experience for 
damage, only kills. Experience points eventually lead to promotion. The only 
promotion to make much of a difference is that to Supreme Commander, since it 
allows you to control almost the whole Galcom fleet. That rank is a little way 
off yet ;-) . 

This battle only allows you to try different tactics against a certain kind of 
enemy - battles against other capital ships require a slightly different 
approach, notably greater use of the IOD and avoiding the enemy ship ramming 
you. Many battles mix ship sizes, requiring slightly different tactics again. 
And, of course we still haven't used our interceptors - read on.


3.6 Fleet operations

This part of the tutorial covers the use of probes and interceptors, and 
advanced techniques for assigning orders from Tacops. Although four 
interceptors cannot truly be considered a fleet, the same basic techniques may 
later be applied to other ships under Fleet Command and Control. One can even 
opt to order your own battlecruiser's actions to via Tacops. You can play on 
directly from the previous part of the tutorial if you wish, or start a new 
character. If you were heavily damaged in the last battle, you should start a 
new character. 

Jump to Jupiter, Sol and halt. Now launch a probe. From the NID (bottom left) 
select Probes--PRB-1--Launch. Then (again) from the NID order the probe to 
jump to Lyrius in Sirius (Probes--PRB-1--Jump At--Jupiter To..Sirius..System). 
After a while you will see the message "probe has reached its destination" - 
this may take some time, since probes travel at a leisurely pace and often 
miss jump points on the first pass. Now open Tacops (ALT+S) and left click on 
PRB 1, shown in yellow on the right hand side of the screen. Select View Probe 
Region (Lyrius). You will see real-time strategic information about activity 
in the region as if you were there yourself. From this screen you can both 
watch ship movements and give detailed orders any craft you have in the 
region. The only thing you cannot do is observe the planet's surface. To 
return to your home region (Jupiter) select the probe again from the righ-hand 
list, and then select View Local Region (Jupiter). 

Probes can only make a limited number of jumps depending on their range (long 
range 8 jumps, medium 6, and short 4). Once in a region they will patrol, 
sending back real-time information, including a message each time a ship 
enters or leaves the region (unless you opt for Silent mode, which can be set 
from the NID or Tacops probe menu). There is a chance they will be shot down, 
but this is quite rare - it is easier to sneak a probe into an enemy system 
than any other craft, and the probe will normally last a lot longer. You may 
have up to 10 probes active at one time. This might allow comprehensive 
coverage of one area of space, or (when distributed across the galaxy) just 
enough to spot most major fleet movements across the galaxy. Unwanted probes 
can be destroyed using the Detach option. Probes are loaded using Tactical--

As mentioned earlier, you have four interceptors and eight pilots to crew 
them. Each interceptor requires two pilots. Look at Tactical--Launch and 
browse through the first four craft on the list (Int-1, Int-2, etc). You 
should find all your pilots are already assigned to interceptors, and those 
craft are ready to launch. The list on the right-hand side of the screen shows 
pilot statistics. Immediately important are DF (Dog Fighting ability) and BA 
(Bombing Accuracy). For now, try to shift the pilots around so that whose with 
the highest dog fighting (DF) scores are pilots, and those with the lowest are 
co-pilots. Pilots are responsible for flight and most combat. Co-pilots 
primarily monitor the radar and may activate anti-missile systems. The combat 
skill statistics and AI (Artificial Intelligence) for all these pilots is low 
- yes, we are about to send rookies out in expensive combat craft, and yes, 
the odds of them bringing them back in one piece are quite low ;-) . 

The interceptor Assignment option changes the missile loadout the interceptor 
launches with. It does not restrict the orders that can be given once 
launched, merely pre-empts the order by trying to assign appropriate weaponry. 
You also have the option to over-ride the automatic loadout by turning Auto 
Arm off and setting your own loadout from Tactical--Loadout--Int--Int-n. A 
full list of automatic interceptor loadouts is given in chapter 23 of the 
manual. For now, consider that Intercept is the only all-space-based loadout; 
Strike, SEAD and CAP are planet-only loadouts; and the others mix planetary 
and space weapons. This part of the tutorial is space based only, so I 
recommend you use the Intercept loadout. 

Return to the bridge view and launch IC-1. Left-click on IC-1 on the right-
hand side of the screen and select Launch--Intercept (this menu also allows 
the assignment/loadout to be changed). Alternatively press ALT+F1 for a simple 
launch (other F-keys launch alternative craft). Left-click on IC-1 on the 
right-hand side of the screen again, select Orders--Patrol. IC-1 will now 
patrol the current region (Jupiter) looking for enemy ships to attack. It will 
jump between jump points in the region. A useful tactic to help interceptors 
survive is to assign a second interceptor as escort. Launch IC-2 (ALT+F2). Now 
left-click on IC-2 and select Orders--Escort--Friendly--Earth Ter Mil IC-1. 
IC-2 should now follow IC-1 around. You can watch them both on Tacops (ALT+S). 

While interceptors may be piloted by your pilots (essentially the computer), 
you can also take direct control yourself. First, ensure your battlecruiser is 
ordered to do nothing, since while you are away your crew (the computer) will 
take control. Select Command Menu--BC Orders--Orders--Halt. You may also wish 
to raise shields and turn weapons and PTA systems on to give your 
battlecruiser some protection should the enemy attack it. Don't expect these 
measures to be combat effective against anything more than the odd fighter - 
they give you enough time to regain command should you need to. 

Press ALT+F1 or left-click on IC-1 and select Switch To. You are now in the 
cockpit of IC-1. The basic controls are similar to those of the battlecruiser, 
except commands are entirely keyboard driven and there are slightly fewer 
indicators. For example, only one 'scanner', Tacscan or NID is shown at a 
time. By default you are in Tacscan, which means cycling targets using , and . 
will only ever show targets such as spacecraft and stations. To show targets 
such as jump points, press J to select the NID and J again to cycle through 
NID screens. To return to Tacscan press K, and K again to cycle through 
Tacscan modes. In space, Tacscan has two modes, SPC and SUL. SPC shows all 
appropriate targets, SUL restricts the list to ships you own - in this case 
the battlecruiser and IC-2. Another useful key to know is L, which cycles 
through different CVD modes. Between J, K and L you can access almost all of 
the same information available on the bridge view of the battlecruiser. There 
are a few short-cut commands to jump to certain screens, such as V to show the 
target camera view of the target: Ultimately familiarisation with the keyboard 
template pays dividends. 

The interceptor has fewer strategic commands available. For example, one 
cannot issue orders to other ships without entering Tacops (ALT+S). Activating 
the autopilot will cause the interceptor to carry out its original order, in 
this case to patrol the region. If you wish to perfect your dog fighting 
skills, once this part of the tutorial is over, quit to the main menu and 
select Xtreme Carnage. Xtreme Carnage is pure interceptor-to-enemy combat, 
allowing you to experiment without worrying about your battlecruiser - see 
section below for further notes and walkthrough. For now, press Esc to return 
to your battlecruiser. IC-1 will automatically revert to its former order 

Interceptors and similar craft do not use fuel, but they must be charged. You 
can see the current Reactor Charge towards the bottom of the Tactical--Launch-
-Int-n screen (this is also shown on the bridge by selecting CVD--Craft--Int-
n, but the value shown there may not be accurate). Pilots become fatigued, and 
inevitably craft will take damage and need repair. Order the two interceptors 
back to the battlecruiser. Either issue the order RTB to each interceptor 
separately (left-click on the name on the right-hand side and select Orders--
RTB) or call them all back using Command Menu--BC Orders--All Interceptors--

When the interceptor(s) dock, Flight Engineers will ready them again in 
preparation for re-launch. Interceptors cannot immediately be re-launched. If 
the interceptor has little or no damage, and enough flight engineers and the 
Combat Officer are on-station, readying will start automatically. This is 
indicated by the colour of the craft on the right hand side of the bridge view 
turning to yellow. If the craft is heavily damaged (normally having a critical 
system inoperable) it cannot be re-launched until heavily damaged parts are 
repaired. In this case, it will appear in red, and Flight Engineers will not 
start to ready it. Readying can be controlled via the Tactical-Launch screen. 
No more than two Flight Engineers can ready one interceptor; two typically 
take 6-8 minutes. Readying does not repair craft, merely charges their 
reactors, reequips missiles, and cleans dead enemy off windshield. Repair is a 
separate process, conducted by Systems Engineers and controlled using the same 
Logistix--Crafts interface as battlecruiser repairs. 

The bridge interface is quite effective at issuing simple orders to 
interceptors. Tacops is a far more powerful, detailed method of control. 
Return to the bridge and open Tacops (ALT+S). Press Esc to show the Command 
Palette. Freeze the game by pressing the Hold button - this will avoid 
anything else happening while assigning orders. Waypoints are used to build a 
set of orders for a craft or unit, which they will automatically carry out 
once launched. Waypoints contain two elements: a location and an action. The 
craft will first travel to the location, then carry out the action, then move 
to carry out any order in the subsequent waypoint. 

Select IC3 from the lower-left of the Command Palette - cycle through units 
starting with BC using the arrow buttons on the palette or left-click in the 
box and select IC3 from the list. Add Waypoint 1 near Jupiter: Zoom close to 
the planet (stay in space, do not observe). Click the Add button on the 
Command Palette. Select the type of operation from the bottom box, in this 
case the default Proceed To Next. Click the Place button. Now click once 
somewhere near the planet to locate the waypoint. A white waypoint marker 
labelled "[1] IC3" will appear. Since you are attempting to create a point in 
3D space using a flat screen, precise positioning can be somewhat difficult. 
Try to not rotate the map, and place the waypoint only in the centre of the 
screen - this will tend to create the point 'in the middle' of space. Once the 
point is placed, you can rotate the map slightly, click and hold down on the 
point, and move the mouse to move the point to a slightly different location. 
Since there is no physical target here, just an area of space, precise 
positioning is not particularly important. 

Specific objects can be assigned as waypoints. Create Waypoint 2 by clicking 
the Add button again. Now find the Grazer ODS orbiting Jupiter - do this 
visually or by left-clicking Zoom To on the right hand side of the screen, and 
selecting Friendly--Jupiter Ter Mil Grazer ODS (if you cannot spot it, it is 
possible that it has already been attacked and is offline - check under the 
Other or Disabled categories). Next click the Target button on the Command 
Palette, and then click on the ODS until a waypoint appears (a white "[2] 
IC3") - sometimes the target does not take immediately, try clicking round the 
edges of the target. Set the order to Patrol. 

You can review the waypoints by cycling through them. Assignment/loadout can 
be selected from the Command Palette - Intercept is perfect. Unfreeze the game 
by clicking the Update button on the Command Palette. Click the launch button 
on the Command Palette - just once, there is a chance the game will crash if 
you click it twice quickly. Watch as IC3 (hopefully) flies the course. If the 
pilot's chatter becomes annoying, they can be muted by left-clicking IC-3 from 
the right-hand list, and selecting Gag Pilots. If enemy units appear, IC3 may 
break off from its orders. Once the threat has passed you might need to remind 
its pilot of the waypoints by left-clicking IC-3 from the right-hand list, and 
issuing the Order, Resume Waypoints. Resume Waypoints can also be used if you 
place a new waypoint after the interceptor has launched and need to alert the 
pilot to the new waypoint. When the final waypoint has been completed, the 
craft will return to base. A final extra waypoint could be set as a Halt or 
Wait order if you did not want the interceptor to dock. One can create loops 
by making the final waypoint order Repeat Actions. Full explanations of each 
order are given in chapter 18 of the manual. 

Waypoints can only exist in sectors you have current Tacops information for. 
This normally means sectors in which your battlecruiser or probe(s) are 
stationed. Since we have a probe in Lyrius, waypoints can be set there. View 
Lyrius region (left-click PRB 1 from the right-hand list and select View Probe 
Region). Find the enemy ODS near the planet, "Mul Rai Trancor ODS". Now setup 
a single waypoint for IC4. Hold to freeze the action while you are doing this 
if you wish. Add to create the first waypoint. Click the Command Palette 
Target button, and then click on the ODS. Change the order to Strike. Strike 
instructs the interceptor to make a passing attack at the target primarily 
firing missiles. If no further waypoint is assigned, as will be the case here, 
the interceptor will automatically return to base once it has run out of 
munitions or the target is neutralised. 

With the waypoint setup, return to real-time (Update if you used Hold 
earlier), and launch IC4. IC4 should immediately jump to the Lyrius and attack 
the ODS. With a little luck, the ODS will be destroyed or disabled, and the 
interceptor will return undamaged.


3.7 Shuttles and cargo

You may continue this part of the tutorial directly on from the last if you 
wish. If you have played several tutorial parts in succession, it may be 
easier to start a new character: As time passes you will start to run low on 
Radine and enemy attacks will become more frequent - while you might benefit 
from combat practice, such attacks tend to distract from the main aim of the 

The battlecruiser has a complement of four shuttles. Shuttles operate in a 
similar way to interceptors, except they have no offensive capability. Instead 
they are primarily cargo carrying craft. They can also be used to carry 
people, vehicles, and mining drones, and may be used to collect cargo and tow 
stranded ships. 

Shuttles require at least one crew-member onboard, but it is not particularly 
important what type. Shuttles do not need to be crewed by pilots. I recommend 
using single Marines to man shuttles because you rarely need all 40 unless you 
are undertaking ground operations. A good alternative shuttle pilot is a 
Flight Engineer - you do not need the majority of those for preparing 
interceptors. Select crew with AI in double figures for the task. Crew can be 
assigned to shuttles using the Tactical--Crew or Tactical--Loadout--SH--SH-n--
Team. The former more clearly shows the AI of the crew-member assigned. Assign 
one crew-member to each of the four shuttles. 

Each shuttle has a total cargo capacity of 2000 units. By default, 1500 units 
of this space are occupied by an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) and a (mining) 
Drone. View Tactical--Loadout--SH--SH-1--Cargo. On the right-hand side of the 
screen, the currently loaded ATV and drone are displayed (ATV-1 and Drone-1). 
These will be of use in the future, but not during this tutorial, so unload 
them onto the battlecruiser by selecting None instead of ATV-1 and Drone-1. 
Repeat this for all four shuttles. Drones and ATVs do not appear to occupy any 
cargo space on your battlecruiser - presumably they just clutter up the flight 

Fly to Mars, Sol. Target the Debris Field (via NID), and fly towards it. Fly 
the last 500 clicks manually. Once you are within 100-200 clicks of the 
centre, halt. Briefly enter Tacops (ALT+S) and exit it again back to bridge 
view so that the debris displays correctly. Debris fields may contain a 
mixture of asteroids, cargo pods and mines. This debris field does not 
normally contain any mines, but does contain a lot of cargo pods, making it an 
ideal spot to experiment. If mines do appear, it may be possible simply to 
avoid them. Other options involve giving your battlecruiser or interceptor(s) 
Minesweep orders. Take care when deploying interceptors to clear minefields 
because your rookie pilots often collide with the mines and asteroids, 
damaging their craft in the process. 

Shuttles are launched in a similar way to interceptors. One can left-click on 
the shuttle name on the right-hand side of the bridge view or Tacops view and 
select Launch, or press ALT+F5-8, or launch them from the Command Palette in 
Tacops. You may also select Command Menu--BC Orders--All Shuttle--Launch, but 
launching all shuttles simultaneously can result in all your shuttles 
colliding and being destroyed (not a good way to start any operation :-/ ), so 
I favour launching them separately. There are no automatic loadout options (if 
you look in Tactical--Launch--SH-n you will see an Assignment option, but that 
appears not to do anything in particular). 

Launch SC-1. You should be surrounded by cargo pods. Some of these contain 
goods, some do not. Target a cargo pod using Tacscan. Press V once or twice 
until the CVD (bottom right) displays both the camera image of the pod and a 
list of its Cargo Manifest. If the manifest reads "Cargo Manifest 0/0" 
(nothing), look for another pod until you find one with cargo. If the manifest 
covers more than one page, use , and . to cycle pages. Now order SC-1 to 
collect the cargo using Command Menu--Current Target--SC-1 Collect. Do not 
left click on SC-1 on the right-hand list and issue Orders--Collect--Cargo - 
it does not work. You can instead issue this command from Tacops, even setting 
a waypoint "Collect cargo", however Tacops clutters up the display with 
asteroids by default making it hard to find the correct pod (although these 
can be hidden by customising Tacops Options). If you read on you may realise 
such detailed orders are not generally needed. The shuttle will fly towards 
the pod. When the shuttle arrives at the pod it will load the cargo onboard, 
and the pod will disappear. Order SH-1 home (for example, Orders--RTB, but 
there are several methods). 

Unlike interceptors, shuttles do not need to be readied between launches. So 
long as they are crewed, they can be re-launched an instant after they have 
docked. Once SH-1 has docked, open actical--Loadout--SH--SH-1--Cargo. Unload 
the cargo. One can work through each of the cargo screens manually 
transferring cargo from shuttle to battlecruiser, or simply click Unload All 
Cargo at the bottom of the screen. 

The Cargosweep order can be assigned to shuttles to automated the process of 
recovering cargo pods. Launch SH-1 and give it Cargosweep orders (from the 
right-hand list, left-click and Orders--Cargosweep). Cargosweep orders can 
also be issued from within Tacops. Once the first pod has been loaded, launch 
SH-2 and give that Cargosweep orders. I suggest separating the launches in 
this way to reduce the chance of both shuttles chasing after the same pod, 
which they tend to do if both start from the same place. This not only wastes 
time, but may cause collisions. 

Cargosweep covers all pods in the region on your radar. This will mostly be 
pods in the debris field, but may include others dropped by ships during 
combat. Any pod left floating around in space may be salvaged, regardless of 
previous owner. Shuttles will seek out all pods regardless of cargo, so 
Cargosweeps are slightly slower than assigning targets manually, but far 
easier to manage. Cargo pods in the debris field only show while you are 
within 200 clicks of the centre of the field. If you leave the area, the pods 
'disappear'. The debris field will slowly be emptied of cargo pods until there 
are none left. At this point (or just before it) shamelessly abuse the way 
debris fields are generated by switching to Tacops and straight back to the 
bridge view again. This will regenerate the debris field. (There are other 
methods to get this to happen, such as saving the game, but the 'Tacops 
switch' is the easiest.) So long as you remain in the debris field, switching 
to Tacops once in a while, the debris field will produce an endless supply of 
loot :-) . 

Keep an eye on the volume of cargo your shuttles are recovering. The easiest 
way to do this is to Select Craft--SH1 or 2 in the CVD (bottom right). This 
display includes cargo as a percentage of total space, and also allows you to 
monitor reactor charge and damage. Once they start filling up, order them home 
(RTB), move the cargo onto the battlecruiser, and send them out again. 

Shuttles load cargo pods using a tractor beam. Your battlecruiser is also 
fitted with a tractor beam. While you cannot use your battlecruiser to load 
cargo pods, you can use the tractor beam to tow large objects, notably ships. 
Shuttles can also tow ships using their tractor beams. Launch SC-3 and order 
it to Halt. Target SC-3. Lower your shields and turn and face the shuttle. 
Turn the tractor beam on by pressing T or left-clicking TRB on the bridge 
view. Slowly thrust towards the shuttle. When you get just under 1 click from 
the shuttle, the tractor beam will lock on. You now have the shuttle in tow. 
Because this is one of your ships, you will be asked if you wish to attempt a 
recovery (text at the top of the screen). Press Y (yes) to dock the ship, N 
(no) to keep the ship tractored. The tractor beam can be disengaged at any 
time by pressing T or left-clicking TRB - the tractored ship will drift free 
again. You must keep your shields down while using the tractor beam. You can 
tow ships into hyperspace, through jump point, almost anywhere you can go they 
will follow. You can order any shuttle to Tow another ship, even your own 

Tractoring/towing has several uses. The most important is to recover one of 
your craft that has suffered a critical system failure, such as a destroyed 
engine. Ships that have issued an SOS signal or are shown as disabled on the 
radar may be towed back to a station. When you dock with such a ship in tow, 
you will be given the option to surrender the ship to the station. If you opt 
to surrender the ship, you will be rewarded with experience points and credits 
- the amount is dependent on ship class and owner, and shown in the manual's 
appendix B. These rewards are rarely enough to justify hauling the ship far, 
but sometimes worth the effort if you were 'heading that way anyway', or there 
is a non-hostile station nearby. 

While your cargosweep is ongoing, monitor passing shipping. Specifically look 
for unescorted neutral (blue) ships (not cargo pods). Examine their cargo 
manifest in the same way you examined the cargo manifest of the cargo pods 
(basically target and press V once or twice). If you see a ship with cargo, 
you can potentially steal its cargo. One method involves attacking the ship - 
when the ship is destroyed it normally drops the cargo as a pod. Instead of 
attacking, mug the ship. With the ship targeted, from the Command Menu select 
Current Target--SC-4 Collect (or whatever shuttle you wish to use). If the 
shuttle is not already launched, it will launch, and then proceed to try and 
mug the targeted ship. Whether it succeeds partly depends on whether the other 
ship remains in the region long enough. Since the appearance of such ships is 
somewhat random, you may wait hours for the opportunity - don't. Instead, 
watch for the opportunity to steal on future trips: You should keep at least 
one shuttle crewed ready for such an event - having at least one shuttle ready 
to launch is a good strategy regardless, since you never know when you might 
get a chance to grab a rogue cargo pod or need a shuttle to tow another ship. 

There is quite a lot of skill involved in the effective use of cargo space. 
The battlecruiser's cargo bays are not universal - you can only store certain 
items in certain bays (complete data is shown in appendix S of the manual). 
Shuttles, and less so ATVs and the Transporter, can store any type of cargo 
(other uses ATVs and Transporters are explain fully later in the tutorial). 
Consequently if you want to store a lot of an item such as a particular 
missile, Shuttle space is essential. For example, you may favour STS-Vagrant 
missiles. Each one occupies 25 units of space, but they can only be stored on 
the battlecruiser ready to fire (up to 20) and in Weapons Bay 2 (up to 10). 
One shuttle can store up to 80, and you have up to four shuttles available. So 
while overall battlecruiser cargo capacity is higher, Shuttles and similar can 
play a useful balancing role. There are two disadvantages to such tactics: (1) 
Obviously a shuttle packed full of missiles is not going to be much use for 
anything except on-board storage. As these tutorials are hopefully 
demonstrating, a couple of empty, flight-worthy shuttles can be useful assets. 
(2) When docked at a station in your battlecruiser, you can only access the 
battlecruiser's cargo bays, not those of craft or other areas onboard. This 
may mean buying, launching, rearranging cargo, docking, buying, and so on. 

By this stage you have probably amassed a shuttle load of loot. Load a spare 
shuttle (I will assume SH-3) with cargo you wish to sell (loading the shuttle 
is the opposite procedure to unloading it). Try to include some high price 
items - manual appendix S contains a list of typical price levels - 
alternatively load a range of weapons and spare parts. As you learn more about 
the game, you will start to appreciate which of these items are likely to be 
of use to you and which will not. Attractive sounding items like SAL and SAM 
weapons transpire to be ground combat vehicles that you cannot even use - but 
they typically sell for more than 100,000 credits each. Avoid illegal items. 
At this stage keep them on your battlecruiser. If you dock them at a Galcom 
station they will be confiscated, you'll be fined, and a violation added to 
your record. You will inevitably pick up illegal goods. There are many way of 
handling them, including simply jettisoning them again. To jettison an item in 
your battlecruiser's cargo bays, select Logistix--Cargo, select the item, and 
use the eject button that appears on the right hand side of the screen. Don't 
jettison cargo whilst you have shuttles operating a Cargosweep - they will 
just pick the cargo up again. 

When ready launch SC-3 (or whatever shuttle you just loaded). Order the 
shuttle to Fly To Starpath station (friendly station in this region). Give 
your battlecruiser orders to Halt (Command Menu--BC Orders--Orders--Halt) to 
stop them doing anything whilst you are away, and consider activating shields 
and PTA systems. Now switch to SC-3, either by pressing ALT+F7 or left-
clicking on the name on the right-hand side and selecting Switch To. The 
experience of piloting a shuttle is very similar to an interceptor, except you 
have no weapons to worry about. Target Starpath and fly towards it. When you 
get within 25-30 clicks, dock by pressing ALT+D (just as you would in a 
battlecruiser). Enter Centcom and Log on as normal. As you might expect, the 
main difference is that you can only access your shuttle and its cargo. Sell 
as much of your cargo as the Tradcom will allow, and launch. On launch press 
Esc to return to the battlecruiser. Time spent in station trading does not 
count towards the overall game time. So while you may have spent several 
minutes looking at station screens, only the time spent docking, launching, 
and switching to and from the shuttle is registered. This means that your 
total game time away from command of the battlecruiser may only have been a 
few seconds.


3.8 Trading

This part of the tutorial introduces trading and the use of shuttles to run 
simple trade routes. It logically follows on from the previous part, indeed 
you can leave your battlecruiser and pair of shuttles sweeping for cargo in 
the same spot if you wish. If you are starting this part with a fresh 
character, you will need to raise starting capital by selling most of your 
spare parts - ensure you keep Radine, Plutonium and similar cargo required for 
normal ship operations. Then launch, jump into Mars region, 'park' your 
battlecruiser with Halt orders, and crew your shuttles. 

In an earlier part of the tutorial probes and waypoints were used to direct 
craft between different regions. An alternative is to 'fly blind'. This method 
involves ordering the craft to Jump At jump points. Once the craft arrives in 
the next sector, simply order it to Jump At or Fly To the next point on the 
route without ever seeing the full radar situation in that region. In this way 
we can steer a craft across several sectors without using probes or physically 
entering the cockpit. Only the final few seconds of docking procedure with the 
destination station require us to pilot. 

Order SC-3 to Jump At Mars To..Earth (which shuttle you use does not matter, I 
will assume it is SC-3). Now move the mouse over SC-3 on the right-hand side 
of the bridge view. Do not click, just hover. On the bottom line of the 
display you will see the line "Range To To..Earth" - watch the numbers 
countdown followed by the shuttle making a jump to Earth. Once the shuttle has 
jumped, left-click and select Orders--Fly To--Friendly--Earth Ter Mil 
GalcomHQ. (This *must* be done from the bridge view - if you attempt it from 
within Tacops the contact list is that for the region you are in, not the 
region the shuttle is in - I'm not sure why.) Again let the mouse hover over 
SC-3 until you see it is on the final approach to the station. Then switch to 
SC-3 as before for the final docking procedure. In the unlikely event of 
attack, you might wish to jump into the cockpit and take evasive action, 
notably fire up afterburners. Often the craft can rush across the region or 
perhaps be ordered to jump back and lurk in a nearby sector until trouble dies 
down. Take care to switch to the shuttle before it reaches its target and 
dock. Sometimes BC3K suffers a logic flaw and automatically docks the shuttle 
with your battlecruiser when the shuttle reaches a station, even though the 
battlecruiser is in a completely different region. At other times the shuttle 
rams the station and takes damage. 

This method is best suited to fairly short runs across relatively safe areas 
of space: Shuttles are too fragile to routinely jump past sectors with enemy 
stations in unless you are prepared to jump into the cockpit every so often. 
Although the constant monitoring and reassignment of orders may at first seem 
a pain, it is quite easy to conduct alongside low-intensity operations such as 
Debris Field cargosweeps. Time you spend docked in the station does not count 
towards total time in space unless you stop to make repairs in-station (which 
you must not do using this method), so if you time switching between ships 
correctly, you might only be away from the bridge for a matter of seconds. 
Shuttles use no fuel, so can trade effectively without sucking up hundreds of 
units of Radine a trip. Lastly, you can keep one or two shuttles on trade 
routes while you use your battlecruiser for something else - making money 
without needing to use a battleship to undertake such mundane tasks. 

There are a few tricks to ease the pain of constant re-ordering. One is 
positioning your battlecruiser at the end of a route, guiding the craft out 
one jump at a time, but simply ordering the craft to RTB on the return leg. 
Another option is to position probes at one or both ends of the route, assign 
a single waypoint at the other end of the route, and give the craft Resume 
Waypoints orders. Although not technically a feature, one can access the 
Navitron from a shuttle and set a course it will follow. Known methods include 
switching to the shuttle, entering the Roster (ALT+R) and then selecting the 
Navitron from the Galcom menu, or switching to the shuttle, entering Tacops 
(ALT+S) and then selecting "Nav" from the Command Palette. Although you are 
actually seeing the battlecruiser's Navitron, routes set in this way are 
accepted and flown by the shuttle. 

You are paid a salary, but it will not cover your operating costs, and 
certainly won't allow you to buy upgrades. You need to make extra money, at 
least at the start of the game. Trade exists within the game as a means of 
making money. There is no obvious strategic value to trade that I can 
determine, with no clear relationship between a cargo being delivered and 
availability of other cargo via production, or anything of that nature. 

Every item of cargo has a base price. This base price is affected by two 
factors: (1) Inflation and (2) Technology class. These two factors vary by 
station. At Galcom HQ select the Tradcom--Info screen. Infl(ation) level is 
"0%". Zero inflation means there is no inflation modifier on the price - zero 
inflation will tend towards lower prices relative to elsewhere in the galaxy. 
Class level is "AD". This means AD-vanced technology items are this station's 
specialty. Specialty items modify the base price downwards. Non-specialty 
items (everything else, in this case all non-AD categories) modify the base 
price upwards. The combination of zero inflation and AD specialty means that 
currently this is probably the cheapest place in the galaxy to buy AD items. 
What are AD items? Manual appendix S lists the class of each item - AD 
includes most weapons and certain battlecruiser parts such as cloaking 
equipment. Alternatively, move the mouse over the buy/sell buttons in the 
Tradcom to display the relevant statistics. When selling, look for a 
destination where AD items are not the speciality, and ideally inflation is 
slightly higher, thus creating significant price difference and profit. There 
is no taxation on trade, so any price difference is profit. 

For a full explanation of trade equations see How are trade prices calculated? 
below. It is relatively easy to make money by trading at the start of the 
game, so unless you are curious, you do not need examine the detailed 
mathematics. Be aware that Technology level (in the case of Galcom HQ, 3, on a 
scale 0 to 5) influences the production capability and hence the availability 
of goods. Also consider that inflation changes over time, and only inflation 
levels at the start of the game are known. Technology level, class, and 
starting inflation are included within manual appendix E. 

Precisely what AD items you buy depends how much money and space you have 
available. Consider Deflector Arrays, Cloning Modules, Solar Reactors, OTS-
Bugnors. There are two non-AD stations in Sol: Genesis, Moon; and Gazer-1, 
Pluto. (The appendix lists the later at 40% inflation, but this was modified 
by an early v2.x patch and not changed in the appendix - both stations offer 
10% inflation initially.) Load up and launch. Esc back to battlecruiser and 
guide SC-3 to Gazer-1, Pluto using the same method you used to travel to 
Galcom HQ. Gazer-1 is a neutral station listed under Other radar contacts. 
Switch to the craft to dock. 

You should be able to sell the cargo for around a 30% mark-up without any 
operating costs. There is a logical return run of HT items - consider Laser 
Arrays, Solar Panels or Medibays. You could return to Galcom HQ, but an 
alternative non-HT station with a higher inflation rate will give a better 
price. Load up and launch for Starpath, Mars. On launch you can either guide 
SC-3 jump by jump, or order it to RTB - when the shuttle appears in Mars 
region, order to fly to Starpath instead of the battlecruiser. Dock with 
Starpath and sell everything. In two trips you should have increased your 
credit total by about 50%, using just one shuttle, in perhaps less than 10 
minutes of in-game time. Who needs money cheats ;-) ?


3.9 Planetary operations

This part of the tutorial can be continued on from the previous part, or 
started with a new character. It introduces ground operations, including use 
of drones and vehicles, troop deployment and ground battles. You must have the 
Map Pak installed, which adds buildings and units to the surface of planets. 
v2.08 and v2.09 distributions include this by default, earlier versions may 
need it downloaded and installed. Without the Map Pak you can try some but not 
all of the techniques, however only mining drone deployment will have any 
purpose. The ground operations code contains a few glitches, and if you are 
unlucky the game may crash, so make regular saves during this part of the 

Sell some of your spare parts to raise credits if you need to, and buy two OTS 
missiles (any type will do for the purposes of this tutorial, for example OTS-
Tanix). If you are continuing on from the previous part of the tutorial, use 
your docked shuttle to buy these missiles, launch, dock all your shuttles, and 
fly the battlecruiser to near planet Earth. If you have restarted, launch from 
Galcom HQ and stop. Once in position, order your Battlecruiser to Halt. Raise 
shields and activate weapons and PTA to give your ship some protection against 
any enemy ships that appear. In Tactical--Crew call another 10 Marines (20 
total) on-station. Crew Shuttle 1. 

In Tacops, zone to Earth and Observe the planet. The planet's surface should 
be familiar ;-) . The map is divided into climatic zones (purple lines), blue 
boxes (race/caste areas of control), and smaller red boxes (mission zones). 
Mission zones contain specific buildings and units. Other parts of the planet 
may be regarded as generic. Zoom in on one of the mission zones (red boxes). 
Each zone contains a series of compounds. Zoom in on a compound. Most 
compounds contain buildings, and many also contain ground units. When you 
first zoom to a compound it may at first appear to be empty. To pan around 
left-click, hold, and move the mouse. To rotate, right-click, hold and move 
the mouse. If all that detail is missing, you do not have the Map Pak 
installed - I suggest you quit now and download/install it. 

Each shuttle can be loaded with one mining drone. Drones may be placed on the 
surface of any planet, and will proceed to automatically trawl the surface 
mining minerals. Each drone can mine up to 1000 units, but will typically take 
about 3 hours to do so (the manual states 8 hours, but 3-4 is more common). A 
full load of minerals can be sold for several million credits and there is no 
need to watch or guard the drones. Drones can provide bonus credits without 
too much hassle, but are clearly not suited to those wanting to make credits 
quickly. Zoom back so the whole surface is visible. From the Command Palette 
(press Esc), select SC1. Add a waypoint with the order Deploy Mining Drone. 
Place that waypoint somewhere in the Sahara desert (the large yellow area in 
the centre of the map, controlled by Ter/Mil). Do not place it in a mission 
zone. In Tactical--Loadout--SH--SH-1--Cargo (the Tactical screen can be 
accessed directly from the Command Palette by pressing the Tac button), check 
that Shuttle 1 has Drone-1 loaded. Once the crew-member has manned the 
shuttle, launch SC1. The shuttle will launch and head for the planet. Once it 
reaches the surface it will appear as a contact on Tacops, drop the mining 
drone as a new contact on the surface, and then return to the battlecruiser. 
You can now zoom in on the mining drone and watch it crawl around the surface. 
You can quickly see how much cargo space the drone has left from Tactical--

Most buildings on the planet's surface are targets or background 'filling'. 
Some planets have star bases. These are the planetary equivalent of orbital 
star stations. Finding them normally requires reference to manual appendix V 
(pzone.pdf) and lot of trial and error. Enter Tacops and observe Earth. Click 
the Hold button from the Tacops Commmand Palette. From that manual appendix 
you can get the co-ordinates: 10888N, 8331E. Hover the mouse on the surface 
and the co-ordinates will be displayed in the bottom right of the screen (this 
is very slightly inaccurate when viewing areas in detail, but perfectly 
accurate at planet level). The mission zone you are looking for is number 10 
(in what is now southern Russia, just to the north east of the Caspian sea). 
The only in-game indication is the addition of "ZSBase1" in the zone name and 
possibly the red box flashing. Zoom to the mission zone. The zone is 
characterised by a large lake. On the right (eastern) side you will see a 
smaller lake. Zoom in to the eastern side of the lake, but don't enter any of 
the compounds. Most of the contacts in the lake are naval units. In the south-
east corner of the lake there is a large collection of buildings. In the 
centre of that group you will find a contact labelled "Ter Mil Earth" - this 
is the star base. The building is quite distinctive - two launch pads protrude 
from its sides. Target the building, and add it to the priority list (from the 
right hand list, left-click on Priority, then Add One--Recently Observed--
Earth Ter Mil Earth, or left-click on the target itself, and select Add To 
Priority List). The priority list is a useful way to store several important 
or hard to find targets. Add a waypoint for SC1 on the star base (give a Halt 
order). Unfreeze the game (Update). Launch SC1. Immediately return to bridge 
and then Switch To SC1 (ALT+F5). 

Engage autopilot if it is not engaged already. The shuttle will autopilot 
itself into the Earth's atmosphere. Once it reaches Earth it jumps straight to 
the area above the waypoint. If you do the same manually without a waypoint, 
you can arrive anywhere on the planet. Once the surface is visible, press A to 
take the shuttle out of Autopilot. Atmospheric flight is similar to space 
flight, with a few important differences: 

If you cut thrust, gravity will take over, with predictable results. If you 
get too close to the ground, your ship will scream "warning" at you. By 
default, you ship flies in FTOL mode (thrusting forward). By pressing Caps 
Lock, thrust will change to vertical, VTOL. VTOL is clearly useful in 
overcoming gravity. After switching to VTOL, half thrust will keep you at 
about the same altitude, less will lower you, more will raise you slightly. 
You can move forwards by pushing forwards on the joystick. To land, in FTOL, 
roll and pitch so that the craft is aligned with the horizon. Cut thrust to 
bring yourself to a stop. Switch to VTOL and let your craft sink towards the 
surface. Just before you hit the ground, raise the throttle to about 50%. To 
take off again raise the throttle above 50%. Alternatively, press SHIFT+E to 
land under autopilot, and disengage autopilot to take off. 

Tacscan has two planet-specific modes, AIR and GND. Cycle them by pressing K. 
AIR will allow airborne craft to be targeted, GND targets units and buildings 
on the ground. These work with everything *except* star bases. If you select 
GND and cycle through the targets you will never find the star base (Ter/Mil 
Earth), because such bases are not treated like other ground buildings. 
Instead, select GND mode using K in Tacscan, then switch to the NID by 
pressing J. Press J again until the left-hand monitor shows a brown coloured 
surface mini-map. Now cycle the targets using , and . - you should be able to 
target Ter/Mil Earth. Docking is identical to orbital station - fly within 
about 25 clicks and with the building targeted, press ALT+D. 

There are few reasons to use planet bases instead of orbitals stations - the 
only reason commonly cited is to sell the contents of a mining Drone without 
leaving the surface - this still requires a Shuttle on the planet. There are 
several reasons against, notably difficulty in targeting and inability to dock 
battlecruisers. When ready, launch. 

When you wish to leave the Earth, point the craft up towards space and apply 
full thrust in FTOL mode. At an altitude of around 190,000 you will 
automatically return to space. Alternatively press O once above cloud level 
(around altitude 10,000) and then press Y (yes) to return to space. Target 
your battlecruiser in Tacscan, SHIFT+9 to fly towards it, and then ALT+D to 
dock when close. 

Any craft can enter a planet's atmosphere, but battlecruisers are not well 
suited to it. Notably the battlecruiser's radar system does not have AIR or 
GND options. It can still inflict quite a lot of damage using PTA systems. 

Enemy bases on planets may be attacked using conventional means (troops, 
interceptors, etc) or by orbital bombardment. Orbital bombardment requires 
Orbit-to-Surface missiles. Open Tactical--Loadout--BC--Weapons, and swap two 
loaded missiles for OTS weapons from the right-hand list. From the bridge, 
target Earth in the NID, and either fly to within 300 clicks of it, or assign 
Earth to the Flight Path Designator (F) and engage autopilot, which will move 
you close to the planet and hold you there - not technically an orbit, but you 
will remain at the same distance from the planet. Don't enter the Earth's 

Open Tacops, and observe Earth. South America (towards bottom left) contains 
three Insurgent mission zones (Ter/Ins). Zoom to the southern-most zone of the 
three, "Mission Zone 9 (Zone 10)". You should find several compounds, some 
containing mostly regular buildings (cities), others with factories, and some 
with assorted military facilities. Zoom to a military compound (these tend to 
be small and flashing). From the Command Palette, click OTS, then Target. 
Click on a building in the compound. The missile will then lock onto the 
target. When ready, launch. You can watch the missile's progress by left-
clicking MisCam on the right hand side of the screen. Alternatively just wait 
and you may be treated to birds singing followed by a spectator's view of the 
explosion. All the buildings in the compound should be 'neutralised'. You may 
gain around a thousand experience points for the 'kills', depending on what 
the compound contained. This is perhaps the easiest way to gain rank for the 
super-rich - at around one million credits a missile, 'nuking' planetary 
targets is expensive. Feel free to use the second OTS missile to attack 
another hostile target in the area if you wish. 

The easiest way to move a small number of Marines to the surface of a planet 
is to use the Transporter. In Tactical--Loadout--Trans--Teams, assign two 
readied (on-station) Marines to the Transporter (the maximum possible is 10). 
Wait for them to arrive at the Transporter Room. Enter Tacops, and find a nice 
empty part of planet Earth. Click on the Trans button on the Command Palette, 
then click somewhere on the surface of the planet. Finally click Deploy. The 
two Marines will fade in. Zoom in to see them. You can potentially set a 
waypoint for "Trans Team". You may need to issue the order Resume Waypoints - 
ideally set such orders before deploying. You will probably experience one of 
the main difficulties with planetary command and control - placing waypoints 
on the ground, rather than in the sky or below the surface. The most reliable 
way I know to get points on the surface is to ensure you use only a perfect 
top-down view. Instead of clicking with the mouse (which tends induce a degree 
or two of rotation in the map), place the mouse cursor where you want it, and 
press + and - keys to zoom in and out, and the arrow keys to pan around. 
Finally place waypoints with the cursor in the centre of the screen. It's an 
art ;-) . To beam the transporter team back to the battlecruiser, press the 
Evac button on the Command Palette. Returning Marines will go off-duty unless 
they have contracted a medical condition (infection, radiation sickness, etc), 
in which case they make their way to the Medibay for treatment. The 
Transporter can also be used to move up to 1500 of cargo. There are not common 
reasons for moving cargo via Transporter - cargo can only be beamed to an open 
area of ground, not a building or craft. Since there are few times when you 
only want to move a few Marines at once, you may find the Transporter is more 
effectively used for additional battlecruiser cargo storage. 

An alternative means of delivering personnel and ATVs to a planet's surface is 
to use shuttles. In Tactical--Loadout--SH--SH-1--Cargo, check that ATV-1 is 
loaded. In Tactical--Loadout--ATV--ATV-1--Team, assign 4 (readied) Marines to 
the free slots. Wait for them all to walk to the Shuttle/ATV. In Tacops, 
Observe Earth. In the north-west corner (currently Alaska), you will find 
"Mission Zone 0 (Zone 1)". Zoom to it. The map should include a small lake in 
the centre, on the northern side of that lake is a large compound. Use the + 
key to progressively zoom into the area. This is a mixed civilian area, with 
friendly (green), neutral (blue) and hostile (red) buildings. There should be 
no military units visible. Create a waypoint for SC1 on the ground just to the 
north, with the order Halt. (In theory, the order Deploy ATV can be assigned 
as a waypoint. Some players suggest placing two waypoints, the first a Proceed 
to Next, the second the order to deploy. I have not got this to work reliably, 
so suggest you deploy ATVs manually.) 

Launch SC1, and Switch To it (ALT+F5). Once you see Earth's surface, take 
control of the shuttle and land it on the surface. The lower-right side of the 
main shuttle HUD display contains several words which one may left-click on 
with the mouse to reveal further menu options. Left-click on ATV, then select 
Deploy ATV-1. Then Switch To ATV-1 by selecting ATV again from the shuttle 
menu, and Switch To--ATV-1; or pressing ALT+F9. Controls are similar to other 
craft. Press W to access the ATV's weaponry. Feel free to drive around and 
shoot some enemy buildings. 

ATV-1 contains four marines, and only one is needed to drive. Three can be 
assigned to an Away Team, a small unit of soldiers who can roam the planet's 
surface. Left-click Crew, then select ATV. Now tick the boxes next to the 
bottom three Marines in the list. Select Transfer To--Away Team. Left-click 
Crew--Away Team--Deploy--ATV-1 Team to deploy the marines. 

Left-click Orders, and select Halt, to prevent the ATV doing anything for the 
moment. Open Tacops (ALT+S) to view the area. Set a waypoint for those marines 
- ATV1 Team. Give them a Search and Destroy order, with the waypoint set as 
one of the enemy buildings. Left-click on each and issue the order Resume 
Waypoints. They should now neutralise the building. 

The easiest way to extract marines is to give them RTB orders. These can 
either be issued by ordering each marine separately, or you can Esc/Switch To 
the ATV, left-click Crew then Deployed Teams, tick the marines, and Orders--
RTB. Away Teams treat the craft that launched them as their base, so long as 
that craft remains nearby (important caveat). 

Once the marines have returned to the ATV, extract the ATV. Set a waypoint for 
a shuttle, targeted on the ATV1 with the order Extract ATV1. The shuttle will 
swoop in and grab the ATV. Ensure you use a shuttle that does not currently 
have an ATV on board (in this case, SC-1 is perfect, just clear its old 
waypoint). If SC-1 has been waiting nearby, an alternative method is to order 
ATV-1 to RTB. One can even target SC-1, drive towards it, and when you get 
close be switched straight to the cockpit of SC-1 (this is by far the hardest 
method to get right). 

If a marine should die, they can be replaced later at a station by hiring a 
new marine. The same applies to System and Flight Engineers, and Medics. Only 
officers and pilots can have replacements cloned (in the Medibay). 

There is much more to ground battles than this tutorial covers. You have many 
more marines, and extra ATVs and shuttles at your disposal. Marines can be 
deployed direct from shuttles, without ATVs. If you attack surrounding 
compounds you will come up against hostile ground units. You may wish to call 
in interceptor air cover. Consider using some interceptors with Combat Air 
Patrol orders (CAP), and some with Suppress Enemy Air Defense (SEAD), with 
missile loadouts to reflect these orders. Clearly, command and control of 
ground battles can become very complex. 

While most ground operations are based on the methods used in this tutorial, 
there are some oddities to watch out for. For example, if you send shuttles or 
ATVs home leaving marines on the planet alone, those marines will not respond 
to RTB-style orders when the craft are re-launched. The correct method for 
extracting troops in these circumstances is described in chapter 18 of the 
manual - in short, CTRL+left-click on the marine to mark it for extraction, 
and then send a shuttle in with an Extract Team waypoint set nearby. 

If you wish to continue this ground battle, you can, but this tutorial will 
not cover all the options in detail. Planetary operations are among the most 
complex aspects of the game to control, but are very rarely needed in play. In 
short, do not be concerned if you do not understand the finer points of 
controlling ground battles. You can ignore them for now, and come back and 
experiment at leisure. 

The final stage should be the recovery of Drone-1 from the surface of Earth. 
This is a simple case of assigning a waypoint targeted on the drone with 
Extract Drone-1 orders. The shuttle extracting the drone must not be carrying 
a drone already (preferably use SC-1). Once the shuttle has extracted the 
drone, unload the drone from the shuttle, and then unload the contents of the 
drone into the battlecruiser's cargo hold. The majority of minerals are of 
little use to you and should be sold at a station.


3.10 Station capture

The final part of the tutorial covers attacking and capturing stations. I 
strongly recommend you start a new character for this part, unless your ship, 
support craft, and crew are still fully operational. 

Localised fleet battles rarely have any effect beyond the region they are 
fought in. The loss of an enemy ship stops one enemy action, it does not stop 
the enemy from simply launching new fleets and coming back. Stations are 
theoretically more important to overall galactic strategy. Every enemy station 
taken out of enemy hands makes the enemy less of a threat. Stations can both 
be destroyed (in the hours that follow they will be rebuilt) or captured (in 
the hours that follow the enemy will attempt to recapture them). In the later 
stages of the game, once you have reached Supreme Commander rank and gained 
Fleet Command and Control station capture becomes very useful: their resources 
can be turned against their former owner. Battles for stations bring a whole 
new dimension to the game. 

Station attacks using a single battlecruiser are possible, but not easy. 
Before starting, you should upgrade your ship with the best non-artifact 
upgrades, and purchase additional munitions. This will mean making some extra 
money, maybe trawling debris fields looking for upgrades. You must procure and 
install a Linear Spec IV shield (~750,000 credits) and Titanium Level V armor 
(~1 million credits). An upgraded reactor (Trellis at ~5 million credits) and 
engine (Numega at ~1 million credits) are highly recommended. Also have enough 
money to buy extra STS missiles and enough fuel to move, be shielded, and 
cloak (starting volumes are just about sufficient for the station attack). 
Precisely how you proceed with this first stage is your choice - many methods 
have already been outlined in previous parts of the tutorial. Start to treat 
this preparation period as a 'real' game: Deal with hostile threats that 
appear, start to manage your crew rather than accepting the launch default 

The target for our attack is Pixan, in Lennen, Sirius - you may recall the 
region from the basic combat training. This station's defenses are typical of 
others in the galaxy (manual appendix R lists the starting armaments of each 
station). 'Typical' still has about five times as much firepower and defensive 
capability as the best battlecruiser: In a stand-up fight, you will lose. 
Consider these points: 

(1) You can more-or-less choose when to engage and disengage. The station lies 
in an orbital trajectory - it won't give chase. It will launch support craft 
against you if given the chance (fighters at range, heavier ships close-up), 
but with care, those can be engaged outside the effective range of the 
station's fixed weaponry. Each station has a finite number of support craft 
and missiles, so it is possible to exhaust much of its offensive capability 
prior to making an assault on the station itself. 

(2) Most stations fire missiles once you get within under about 100 clicks of 
the station. At this range, EMD and simply moving will avoid almost all 
damage. At under around 40-50 clicks, IOD gun turrets becomes effective - the 
closer one gets the less movement alone will be able to evade them. 

(3) Stations can be damaged using laser fire (IOD, even PTA) or missiles 
(including those assigned via FATAL). The relatively large size and slow 
movement of stations means the battlecruiser IOD fire may be able to hit as 
far away as 50 clicks. When firing missiles at 'safe' range, stations stand a 
chance of shooting them down. Missiles can be deployed via Interceptors with 
Strike orders, but the casualty rate is often disproportionately high relative 
to the low damaged caused. 

(4) You can cloak. Cloaking is an excellent way to get into position without 
being shot at. Firing will force you to de-cloak, and you cannot remain 
cloaked for more than about 7 minutes without having to deal with radiation 
problems onboard your ship. The main disadvantage is the cost of Iridium 
(cloaking costs about 50,000 credits a minute). 

(5) You can get into the station's blind-spot, a point where their turret guns 
cannot damage you effectively. Finding the correct spot can require some trial 
and error. For example, Pixan is star-shaped, but on closer inspection it may 
be seen to have two main layers with a thin gap between them. Position 
yourself in the gap and you should be protected from the station's gun 
turrets. Some stations designs, such as Spectre and Gammula, have more obvious 
gaps in the centre of the station. Clearly holding position is an art - the 
station is both rotating on its axis, and slowly rotating around the planet. 

You can opt to destroy a station - just keep on firing... Once the station is 
destroyed, it will slowly be rebuilt, during which time its owner cannot use 
it. You will be awarded experience points for destroying the station - 2,000 
in the case of Pixan. (Manual appendix B indicates that 250,000 experience 
points are awarded or destroying station Gammula, but I found it only gave the 
standard Gammulan station 'payout' of 5,000.) 

Alternatively, fire at the station until it omits an SOS signal. It will do 
this *just* before it would otherwise be destroyed. Timing is critical, so I 
strongly advise you to make a save beforehand, when the station is just 
heavily damaged. Capturing a station can be immensely frustrating, so be 
prepared to try the final stage of the battle a few times. Reduce the 
intensity of your IOD (40% almost always works for me) and turn off PTA to 
deal the last damage in a controlled way. Once the SOS is emitted, immediately 
dock to the station (ALT+D) and press Y (yes) to capture. On docking, the 
station will change allegiance to your race/caste. Re-launch immediately. The 
station should slowly repair. Sometimes it is possible to dock with a station 
that is then destroyed when you launch from it - if the target appears as 
Disabled, rather than Friendly, reload and try again. You may need to be 
defended whilst it gets its systems back online. Station shields recover in a 
matter of minutes. Its hull takes hours to be rebuilt. Capturing should net 
you a Combat Shield medal and 5,000 experience points. You cannot capture the 
station's inventory. 

Later in the game, when you have the rank of Supreme Commander, any craft the 
station did not deploy in battle are captured along with the station. They can 
be used to form a fleet - they will be listed as assets when you examine the 
station in Tacops. Careful use of cloaking and missiles makes it theoretically 
possible to capture a station with almost all its support craft un-launched. 

Well, what are you waiting for? Capture Pixan...





BC3K is not particularly intuitive, so this section could be rather long. Many 
gameplay questions are answered by the manual, although it is easy to miss 
certain information - try keyword searches of the electronic manuals that come 
with v2.x. Ensure you have the most recent set of manuals and appendices - see 
Where can I get the game, patches and manual? above. This section does not 
specifically deal with issues dealt with by the manual, or techniques covered 
by the Tutorial above.



4.1 Flight

4.1.1 Is there a map showing all flux field links?

Yes. Pugwash produced such a map. It can be downloaded here, . Appendix B, Hidden Flux Field 
Links below, contains a list of useful routes.


4.1.2 Are there any hidden planets?

Yes. Supernova-1, linked from Obsidia, Vega Eridani, contains a planet named 
Stargazer. None of the other supernova systems do. Powercow writes: "Derek 
Smart commented that it was going to be the homeworld of a new race called the 
'Odsidians' (maybe Galaxians)." The planet has one mission zone that appears 
to contain colonist buildings from various races. If you have the Hyperion 
Subspace Device in operation you can access a hidden system called Garidian 
IV. This contains three regions - XC1, XC2 and XC3, which include the planets 
Farstar, Trion, Hellseye and Satini. This is the same system used in Xtreme 
Carnage mode.


4.1.3 Can I automatically plot a route via flux fields?

No. Flux fields must be flown through manually, and as such a route cannot be 
plotted via them. Eclipse adds: "When you tell it to go through, the AI goes 
crazy looking for a way to accomplish the task without using the Flux Field."


4.1.4 Why am I stuck in space? How do I leave nullspace?

If for some reason you find yourself stuck in a part of normal space, the 
easiest method of escape is to target and then jump to a distant object, such 
as a jump point. Nullspace is BC3K's way of handling space beyond a region. 
Once you enter nullspace you will find a single flux field which you must fly 
through to return to the previous 'real space' region. In earlier versions, if 
you entered nullspace with AI ships targeting you they would continue to try 
and find you, slowing down the game, which in turn made it hard to jump out 
successfully. That problem seems to have been removed.


4.1.5 How much fuel is used by hyperspace jumps?

Only your Battlecruiser uses fuel during jumps, not support craft. Radine is 
used upon each jump. In older versions, 10 units were used per jump, but this 
is now modified according to equipment fitted, as shown in the table below. 
The Radine usage for the appropriate reactor and engine is summed:


Equipment      Radine Used
Lattis/NB       30
Megatron        25
Lattex/NB       20
Tanis Spec      15
Eyestar         10
Trellis          5
Karanian         0
Starcry/S       25
Crumicron       20
Dirimger        15
Omicron/1       10
Numega           5


4.1.6 I ran out of fuel and have lost control of my ship. What can I do?

Use a shuttle to buy additional Radine. In the meantime you can turn your ship 
180 degrees to help it slow down. You can also align your battlecruiser so the 
solar reactor is working at maximum efficiency - this will provide enough 
power for critical systems such as life support and shuttle launch control. 
Once you have fuel on your ship, you must restart the nuclear reactor using 

An alternative option may involve towing. A tow can be requested by pressing 
CRTL+S, but this is expensive and likely to be slow. Apollon comments: "I also 
launched the shuttle, but instead of just running to the base to buy Radine, I 
towed the whole battlecruiser home. The shuttle's tractor beam is immensely 
powerful, and it holds on the battlecruiser even when you hyperjump."


4.1.7 Do afterburners and retrorockets use extra fuel?

The manual states the battlecruiser uses additional fuel; but in my 
experience, not significantly more. On support craft there is no fuel usage - 
the use of afterburners and retrorockets decreases available reactor power, 
potentially affecting your ability to fire the main laser.


4.1.8 How do I orbit a planet? What's ORBSCAN?

Early versions of BC3K theoretically had a command that put craft into orbit 
around a planet. This feature does not exist. The same limitation applies to 
ORBSCAN mode for probes, intended to put the probe into orbit and allow it to 
observe the surface of the planet. Although not a true orbit, it is possible 
to simply stop (halt) at about 200-300 clicks from a planet, and remain at 
that distance: The planets are turning on their own axis, but they are not 
orbiting anything else, so your position relative to the centre of the planet 
will remain the same.


4.1.9 Can I stop my autopilot bumping into other ships?

No. Not without taking control yourself. The problem is worst when following 
ships through jump points - both tend to try and occupy the point in space, 
with the inevitable bumps that normally cause light damage. Perfect collision 
avoidance is said to be beyond the AI. The best tactic is to drop out of 
autopilot when you see another ship in your path and take manual control. Or 
just accept the damage.



4.2 Space Operations

4.2.1 Why can't I manually aim turrets upwards?

This affects manually operated Battlecruiser turrets, which appear to 
automatically re-centre when using the mouse, making manual targeting very 
hard. Aramike01 answers: "Some of us have been complaining about this since 
the beginning of time. Nothing you can do about it."


4.2.2 Can I completely destroy stations and ODSs?

No. All such platforms repair themselves. That's the theory, anyway. Some may 
momentarily disappear as radar contacts, but they normally return within a 


4.2.3 What does the Minelay order do?

When issued as a general order, from the v2.0 tips file: "They [craft with 
this order] will lay mines around the entry anomalies to the region, as well 
as in random locations." The aim is to keep newly arrived hostile ships busy. 
When attached to a waypoint, mines are laid around that waypoint. Only your 
battlecruiser can deploy mines, not interceptors.


4.2.4 Do AI ships break the speed limit?

Yes. Derek Smart explains: "The ships moving faster than their max speeds is 
not a cheat per se. It is a design decision in order to minimize the length of 
time required to breach vast distances."


4.2.5 Can I capture enemy ships? Can I beam troops onto them?

You cannot beam troops onto enemy ships. The enemy can only beam troops onto 
your ships. Occasionally during missions other ships will claim to be beaming 
troops onto enemy ships or stations, but these acts are primarily scripted 
storyline. You can capture ships by tractoring them, however you cannot 
physically take control of them. Such a captured ship can be delivered to a 
station for a small reward.


4.2.6 Why does Fleet Command and Control not work?

You must either be Supreme Commander yourself, or have 'Karl Reines' as a 
guest on your battlecruiser. 'SCMDR Karl Reines' is not the same as 'Karl 
Reines', and will not grant Fleet Command and Control, see Fleet Command and 
Control in the ACM walkthrough below. In addition, communication and tactical 
systems/officers must be working/on-station. Left-clicking on FLEET in Tacops 
will show the reasons why Fleet Command and Control is not available.


4.2.7 When using Fleet Command and Control I ordered a ship to return to a 
station. Why can I not re-launch it?

From the v2.0 tips file: "NPC ships also have to be 'ready' before they can 
launch. Therefore, ships that dock will not be immediately listed in the 
platform's manifest until they are 'ready' to launch." I remain to be 
convinced ships are ever available for re-launch - I have waited more than a 
week in one case.



4.3 Crew and Support Craft

4.3.1 How can I stop intruders stealing shuttles and interceptors?

Remove all power from the launch control. This prevents the intruders leaving, 
although they may still attempt to sabotage ships' systems or injury your 
crew. Assign marines to Searching. If Resnig is on-station he will do this, 
but he may not act quickly or assign enough marines to search. Ideally you 
should already have some marines on search duty ready to deal with any 
intruders, particularly if you are operating in hostile space. The location of 
intruders can be seen on Perscan (ALT+P). You cannot assign marines a specific 
area to search. Marines will generally kill intruders outright. Badly injured 
intruders will head towards the Medibay. You can send some marines to the 
Medibay to deal with the injured intruder.


4.3.2 What does the airlock do?

From the v2.0 tips file: "Though BC3K v2.0 has a new 'airlock' location, it is 
not activated. The idea was for the marines to press a button and eject an 
intruder into space through an airlock."


4.3.3 How do I raise crew AI level?

Rico Jansen writes: "Get them to work, meaning having them on-station. Doesn't 
matter if you have, for example, your flight engineers drinking coffee on the 
job all day until they bulge. AI will rise." You cannot send them to the 
ship's library. They may visit the library when off duty, but this occurence 
is very rare, and not a good strategy for increasing AI. AI development is a 
very slow process. It will take more than a week (and hence potentially weeks 
worth of play time) to raise crew AI to 100%. There are some strategies for 
Advancing time - see below.


4.3.4 Why don't my crew stay off-duty when I tell them to rest?

Officers and pilots bring themselves on-station when their fatigue factors 
drop back to zero. There is no way to keep them off-duty unless they are 
fatigued. However, you can prevent them from ever coming on-station by sending 
them to a location such as the Medibay, Transporter or ATV, where they will 
wait and not do anything. When officers are on-station they will ensure at 
least 10 of each type of crew they are responsible for are on-station. If 10 
are already on-station they will not call up additional crew. It is therefore 
possible to rotate 20-strong crews - 10 on, 10 off - while keeping the officer 
on-station and allowing half of your crews to stay off duty at any one time. 
Such a tactic also prevents crew quarters from becoming overcrowded. As with 
officers and pilots, crew assigned to locations such as Medibay, Transporter 
or ATV, cannot be re-assigned by your officers. On-station means just that in 
all cases except Medics. For example, if you have 10 marines on-station and 
you assign 5 to Searching, Resnig will try to call another 5 marines on-
station. Medics are an exception to this rule, possibly because the Medical 
Officer only ever assigns the Searching order.


4.3.5 Why won't my crew leave the galley?

You have probably run out of food - Nutripacks. Crew will try and eat 
approximately once every 8 hours. Their life factor will drop by a few 
percent. When you let them off-duty they will head for the Galley, eat, and 
then return to their Quarters. Sometimes they will make several trips to the 
galley over the course of a few minutes. If they get to the Galley and there 
is no food, they may wait there for food to be served.


4.3.6 Why don't the deploy and collect orders work when issued from the 
Tactical Launch Menu?

Derek Smart writes: "Those deploy/collect orders in that menu, do NOT work. In 
fact, they were only put there for debug purposes." Issue these orders via 


4.3.7 Why does my shuttle not deploy the ATV?

The problem relates to waypoint placement. If the waypoint has been placed 
below or above the ground, the shuttle will attempt, fail and then discard the 
order. Steve Schacher writes: "In very simple terms, the problem is that the 
contours of the surface are such that sometimes the waypoint is actually above 
or below the true surface by just enough to make it impossible for the shuttle 
to reach it. If the waypoint is a little bit above the surface, the shuttle 
will not deploy an ATV while still in the air. If it is below the surface, the 
shuttle will never reach it." Some players never have any problems with 
waypoint placement. Others fail to find the correct spot. Tactics like 
ensuring the map is not rotated and waypoints are placed from a perfect top-
down view, or finding an area of flat ground, may work. An alternative is to 
send the shuttle to the correct part of the map, switch to it, and deploy the 
vehicle manually (see the Planetary operations tutorial above).


4.3.8 How do I replace a destroyed mining drone?

Purchase a new drone from a station and launch. Open Tactical--Loadout--SH--
SH-n--Drone. Select different drones from the list until you see one that 
reads "Drone [number] - Destroyed". Now click "Replacement from inventory" 
(from Pugwash). The drone must be confirmed as destroyed. If it is simply 
cannot find it or for some reason it cannot be retrieved, you cannot replace 


4.3.9 Can I buy a new ship?

The battlecruiser cannot be exchanged. You can buy replacement support craft, 
however these can only be used as replacements for destroyed Interceptors, 
Shuttles or ATVs. You cannot have more than four of each. To replace a 
destroyed support craft, purchase a new one at a station, launch, select 
Tactical--Loadout--[Craft], and select Replace [Craft]. If you lost crew when 
the craft was destroyed, pilots or officers can be cloned in the Medibay; 
other crew can be hired (purchased) at stations.


4.3.10 How do I recover a support craft that is so damaged it cannot move?

Use a shuttle to tow it back to your battlecruiser. The shuttle will deliver 
the craft to the flight deck, where System Engineers can be set to work 
repairing it. You cannot send System Engineers to the stricken ship, they only 
conduct repairs when on the battlecruiser.


4.3.11 Why do support craft not recharge?

There is a discrepancy between the charge level shown via the bridge view CVD 
and the charge level shown under Tactical--Launch, notably for Shuttles. The 
charge status of the former never seems to increase, only decrease with use. 
There are no reported cases of support crafts' reactors ever running out of 


4.3.12 How do I switch between interceptor pilot seats?

When in the pilot seat, press F4 to switch to the co-pilot seat. Press F1 to 
switch back to the pilot seat.



4.4 Cargo and Trade

4.4.1 How do I find things in Debris Fields?

Fly to within 200 clicks of the centre of the field in your battlecruiser. If 
nothing appears on the radar, switch to Tacops and back again quickly. Debris 
fields only contain debris while your battlecruiser remains there. You cannot 
enter a debris field, launch shuttles to cargosweep the field, leave, and 
expect the shuttles to be able to find cargo pods. Some debris fields contain 
a high proportion of empty pods. The manifest of the pod can be checked by 
targeting the pod and pressing V once or twice.


4.4.2 Can I sell or hide illegal items?

Illegal items can be docked and sold at any station listed as illegal under 
manual Appendix E. "Illegal" items are those considered illegal by Galcom, so 
no Galcom stations deal in illegal items. If you dock at a legal station with 
illegal cargo in your hold, you will normally be reprimanded. Papi suggests 
several methods of dealing with this: "(a) Pack your illegal items in shuttle 
and launch it with, for example, cargosweep order, and then dock with the 
station; or (b) jettison the illegal items prior docking (you can do it 
through Logistix computer) and collect them after launching with your shuttle. 
There's danger that someone will collect it before you."


4.4.3 How are trade prices calculated?

Rico Jansen writes: "The prices to buy and sell are not fixed (they change 
over time) and can differ across the entire known BC-universe. The prices are 
determined by the economy on the planet/moon. More precisely, prices are 
dependant on the inflation level and technology class of the economy on the 
planet/moon. There is no difference in buy and sell prices. You will not loose 
money if you somehow bought too much of an item." 

Manual appendix S includes the technology class and standard price of all 
trade goods. Manual appendix E shows the technology level, technology class, 
and initial inflation rate for each station. Technology level affects the 
overall availability of goods. Technology class is the specialty of the 
station - normally one of AD(vanced), H(igh)T(ech), AG(riculture), 
M(i)N(erals), or RO(botics). Inflation values are shown 0-5 in the appendix - 
actual inflation values multiply these by ten - for example, 4 indicates 40%. 

Rico Jansen continues: "Prices are determined by summation of the effects of 
inflation and technology class on the standard price. So the price is: the 
standard price (STDP), plus the additional inflation (0..5 * 10% or the 
TRADCOM inflation value)*STDP, plus the class price reduction/increase (-
10%*STDP for specialty, +10%*STDP for non-specialty). 

"Or in equation form: 
price_of_station's_specialty = STDP * (100% + inflation_level*10% - 10%) 
price_of_station's_non-specialty = STDP * (100% + inflation_level*10% + 10%)" 

For example, compare Radine (base 'STDP' price 2,500) at Galcom HQ, Earth (AD, 
0% inflation) and Genesis, Moon (HT, 10%): 
- Galcom HQ = price 2,250: (100% + 0% - 10%); no inflation, specialty. 
- Genesis = price 3,000: (100% + 10% + 10%); 10% inflation, non-specialty.


4.4.4 How do I steal cargo or artifacts?

Target the ship carrying the item, and press V until the manifest is 
displayed. Assuming there is someone ready to pilot a shuttle, order the 
shuttle to steal the cargo in one of two ways: (1) Bridge view Command Menu--
Current Target--SC-n Collect, or (2) in Tacops, zoom to the target, left click 
on it, and select the Collect option. Rico Jansen adds: "Make sure that 
shuttle isn't carrying it's drone and ATV around with it. Or else it will be 
likely that stuff will be left in the victim craft. ... You can't steal 
someone's cargo if you have Fleet Command and Control, which is hardwired when 
you have debug mode enabled." See Why does the freeware version ask for the 
CD? Why is it running in debug mode? below for further explanation of debug 
mode. The shuttle also needs adequate spare capacity to carry the item. You 
cannot tractor or steal cargo directly into your Battlecruiser using its 
tractor beam - you must use a shuttle.


4.4.5 Can I unload all my mining drones whilst in station?

No. You should unload as much as you can from the drones into your 
Battlecruiser's cargo hold before docking. If you run out of space, you will 
need to dock, re-launch, unload some more, and then dock again. The majority 
of minerals are placed in Cargo Bay 1. Additional space can be created here by 
moving goods from this cargo bay to locations such as Shuttles, ATVs and the 
Transporter. This should create enough space to be able to unload at least one 
full drone per docking.



4.5 Planetary Operations

4.5.1 Why do my Battlecruiser's sensors not work correctly close to the 

AIR or GND modes do not work correctly from the battlecruiser. Other oddities 
have been reported. The battlecruiser was never intended to be flown into 
planetary atmospheres - indeed in early versions the battlecruiser would 
explode if it tried to enter a planet's atmosphere. Although battlecruisers 
can now fly close to the surface, the battlecruiser is still not designed to 
function correctly close to the surface.


4.5.2 Where are the starbases?

Starbases are planet based equivalents of space based star stations. Manual 
appendix V (pzone.pdf) contains a list of all planetary mission zones, 
including starbases. Ausraider2 has tips for finding starbases: "(1) There is 
a building that MUST be tracked in the CVD named something like TER/MIL EARTH 
- which is the exact title of the earth base in the CVD. It MUST have the 
planet name included in the CVD title, for example EARTH - there are a lot of 
other un-dockables such as TER/MIL BUNKER. (2) It's different looking from the 
rest - for example, on Earth it's a funny looking thing; a distinct green 
colour with what looks like wings coming out the sides - it's not in any other 
of the compounds - flashing or otherwise. (3) Most importantly, Tacscan mode 
switch key. This is actually how you find it regardless of Tacops. For 
example, Shuttle - scan [NID] must be in Topographical map mode in order to 
lock-on to the starbase so press the 'J' key until the ground map is displayed 
and simply cycle through until TER/MIL EARTH is displayed in the CVD." See 
below for precise instructions on targeting starbases.


4.5.3 Can I dock at starbases?

Only support craft can dock with starbases. Battlecruisers cannot. Starbases 
are not targeted in the same way as other buildings. Instead, select GND mode 
using K in Tacscan, then switch to the NID - press J until the left-hand 
monitor shows a brown coloured mini-map. Now cycle the targets - you should be 
able to target the starbase. Display the target in the CVD (press V). Quite 
why starbases are handled by the NID while all other buildings are handled by 
Tacscan remains a mystery. Docking is identical to orbital station - fly 
within about 25-30 clicks and press ALT+D.


4.5.4 How can I move a waypoint which has been placed below ground?

Surface waypoints may appear below the surface, invariably making them 
impossible to reach. Derek Smart suggests: "If you viewed the map from the 
side, after clicking on the waypoint to pick it up, you can raise it by moving 
the mouse up." It may be easier to delete the waypoint and start again.


4.5.5 Why don't my OTS weapons hit?

Cmdr Nova writes: "You should set up a close orbit to the planet. Somewhere 
less than 300, should do. Once I fired it on a moon, and forgot to get close, 
and the missiles exploded part-way there. It doesn't matter what side of the 
planet or moon you fire it." If an OTS weapon hits its target, you will hear 
the some slightly surreal sound of birds singing, followed by a cut-seen of 
the target being destroyed.


4.5.6 How can I assure I make planet-fall on the light side of the planet?

Pan writes: "Your entry point is not calculated at all. Time of day says if it 
is night or not." The same night/day conditions apply to all parts of the 
planet simultaneously.



4.6 Other

4.6.1 Can I communicate with other races?

No. The only influence you may have on inter-galactic diplomacy is by 
conducting a hostile act against an ally, which in some cases may change 
overall relations between Terran/Military and whoever you attacked. There is 
an undocumented key command to open a communication channel to the current 
target (C), but it never does anything other than draw a blank response. 
[There is a certain cruel irony to the fact that SHIFT+C, ALT+C and CTRL+ALT+C 
all have commands attached to them, and other systems starting in C (such as 
CVD) have unrelated key commands (L in the case of CVD), while in the final 
analysis plain old "C" does not officially do anything...]


4.6.2 Why does the game start on the 4th April?

It is developer Derek Smart's birthday.


4.6.3 Can violations be cleared?

No. A system where experience points could be offset against violations was 
considered, but not implemented.





Many basic techniques are covered by the Tutorial above. This section
primarily deals with advanced techniques and alternative strategies.


5.1 Fast flight

There are times when it is useful to be able to break the 'speed limit'. 
R_wilco's method involves accelerating until maximum regular speed is reached 
(around 2000), selecting VTOL by pressing Caps Lock, then push forwards on the 
stick. Deselect VTOL, and repeat. Gradually the speed increases. "I got the BC 
up to 50,000 KPS once. Slowing down is a big problem. You can do the trick 
backwards, which barely works, you can turn the ship around a lot to lose 
momentum, or you can just wait until you are within range of a space station, 
and hit ALT+D to dock." Docking works regardless of your speed. 

Borg12 writes: "A better way to go real fast is to set the autopilot to go 
somewhere distant, wait till you go fast enough, shut off the autopilot, then 
point the ship toward your destination." Rico Jansen explains: "Your ship is 
preparing to hyperjump. But then you abort the procedure and the ship stays in 
the same state (speed)." Although some speed is lost as a result of turning, 
this is negligible.


5.2 Remote piloting

There are several ways to remote pilot a support craft between locations. The 
use of waypoints and 'Fly To' style commands is covered in the Tutorial above. 
Rico Jansen notes that the Navitron can be accessed from shuttles, even though 
they do not technically have a Navitron (ALT+N does not function). Instead, 
Switch To the shuttle, then either access the roster (ALT+R) and then select 
Navitron from the Galcom menu, or enter Tacops and select Nav from the Command 
Palette. Locations selected in the Navitron in this way are automatically read 
by the shuttle as a series of jumps.


5.3 Battlecruiser or Interceptors...?

Ronvatar writes: "I've been taking on every enemy ship I find just with the 
battlecruiser. Turrets and Vagrants kick arse." One advantage of deploying 
missiles from fighters is you can dive-bomb larger ships with greater 
precision. Multiple missile delivery at point-blank range can cause far more 
damage than missiles launched at separately at range. 

From Scharmers: "Your BC is distressingly fragile. You can almost bet that 
while you are out gallivanting in your fighter in a nice dogfight thousands of 
clicks from base, six other enemy battlecruisers are going to warp in around 
your battlecruiser and pound it to pieces." 

R_wilco comments: "It does seem like fighters are a little pointless. But 
there are some things fighters can do that capital ships can't. For one, they 
can easily outrun capital ships, and do a whole lot of damage while the PTA 
turrets are STILL locking on. Also, it's better to have fighters attack 
planetary targets because the BC is hard to control in a planet's atmosphere." 
Spuzzum writes: "Fighters I reserve for suppressing enemy incursions involving 
a carrier. While concentrating on 'removing' a Stormcarrier, I can't deal with 
its fighters too well." 

There are several important disadvantages to fighting with interceptors. They 
take far fewer hits to destroy: Indeed, if one is very (un)lucky they can be 
destroyed in a single ram. Early in the game your fighter pilots are not 
particularly capable, so anything complex requires you to switch to the 
interceptor and pilot it yourself, leaving your other more valuable assets 
with AI based command. The biggest long term problem is a lack of firepower - 
once missiles have been used, laser fire takes longer to destroy a target than 
PTA/IOD fire.


5.4 Battlecruiser combat

As with any space simulation game, the first rule of combat is keep moving. 
Specifically, enemy ships have a hard time targeting you if you are not only 
moving but also changing your speed and/or direction slightly as you move. 
This does not necessarily make it harder for you to hit the enemy - you should 
be able to plan and respond to the new positions faster than the enemy AI can: 
While the enemy is still deciding how to change its attack plan, you can be 
happily attacking it, and by the time the enemy has worked out a new attack 
plan, you will have changed position again. Many techniques involve the use of 
afterburners or retrorockets. For example, set the throttle at one level and 
occasionally fire retrorockets when you need to make a sudden change in speed, 
or are about to be outflanked by another craft. Retrorockets are preferable to 
any other technique because they invariably place the target back in front of 
your battlecruiser, where your IOD fire hit them. 

From Pan: "I usually ignore the speed setting completely and manoeuvre with 
afterburners alone. With afterburner-back, you can keep the most nimble of 
fighters in front of your battlecruiser - and that's where they die. The 
reverse it true, too. Stay anywhere BUT in front of a Stormcarrier." 

Spuzzum writes: "Align yourself perpendicular to the flight path of an inbound 
enemy ship. Then, hold the afterburner until you reach your normal top speed, 
then hold the retros until you reach normal maximum reverse speed, and vice 
versa, going back and forth. Enemies stand almost no chance of hitting you, 
all the while two of your PTAs are happily plugging away at the enemy." 

Carsten Mallek writes: "Don't follow every fleeing craft in heavy battle. Be 
just happy that there is one enemy craft less attacking you. But try to take 
out enemy capital ships because you gain many experience points for them." 

Pan writes: "If you need to get rid of a fighter, then you can feed it a Ralix 
or one or two smaller missiles. This will drop it's shields." Once fighters' 
shields drop to zero they will not recharge, making subsequent combat far 
easier. From Martin Henning: "If the enemy fighters run away when you launch 
from the battlecruiser at them, don't launch missiles. Hit your own retros, 
and reverse away from them. As they line up in pursuit, start throwing Leech 
mines at them." Mines aside, retro rockets can be incredibly useful when 
dealing with hostile craft that get too close to you. One can simply back 
away, exposing them to your IOD and allowing PTA to get clear shots. 

Pugwash describes a method for dealing with many (30-40) hostile ships: "Set 
your jump target to a distant point, autopilot disengaged. Wait until the 
hostiles are swarming round you. Hit the autopilot when jump engines are fully 
charged (you also have to wait until the hostiles jump engines have charged). 
Before you reach your destination, select a new jump target, switch off 
autopilot, hit the afterburners as you approach destination and veer off 
sharply from flight path. Pick off the largest ship." There is a chance each 
time you jump that your pursuers will collide with one another, instantly 
destroying or severely damaging two or more hostile ships. 

From Mano Faber: "In the event of an emergency you can use the probes as 
decoys when the battlecruiser is seriously damaged. Launch several probes, 
cloak and run. This will usually keep the pursuing fighters busy." Probes are 
constantly moving and small, making them hard to hit. Fighters will 
continually race after probes and very rarely manage to destroy them. AI 
pilots commonly regard probes as a significant threat, and so attack the probe 
as it is the nearest 'hostile' target.


5.5 Destroying capital ships

From Borg12: "To destroy capital ships, cloak and move within two clicks of 
the enemy ship. Unleash 8 or more Vagrants, then cloak and run. Be care about 
being rammed by cruiser." Multiple high-powered missiles, all fired at once, 
are apparently more effective than the same number of missiles fired 
individually. Cloaking is not always required. Often it is possible to get 
behind the enemy ship whilst the enemy is still turning to face you. Your 
battlecruiser should be able to soak damage from their PTA fire for a while. 

Pugwash offers a variation on the cloaking strategy, useful if you want to 
stop the enemy ship moving, rather than simply destroy it. The method involves 
cloaking, with weapons and shield systems off. Once in position, tractor the 
enemy ship. Tractored ships cannot fire or launch anything at you. Clearly you 
are still very vulnerable to attacks from other ships, so this method cannot 
always be used. 

Spuzzum writes: "My strategy for taking on enemy cruisers is simple. Set 
myself up on their six, power weapons to 40%-60%, and don't let up until you 
see the whites of their eyes as their corpses get splattered against your 

From David Slothouber: "The tactic that really works for me against cruisers 
and carriers is to get close and slow down to speed setting 3 or 4. At that 
speed it's much easier to aim and get a lock. I usually use the afterburner to 
move around or to get out of trouble if the shields start to drop to rapidly. 
Your missile are most effective at a range off about 5 to 10 km cause the 
quicker they get to the target the more damage they do. Make sure you use 
missiles with ATL or ATL/V tracking logic. These are the 'fire and forget' 
type of missiles, basically these missiles hunt their target down without you 
having to keep the target locked. Forget about CTL missiles, leave them for 
your ICs." 

On cloaked ships, Eclipse writes: "If you think one is following you or may be 
in the area, see if any fighters jump to a part of empty space when they are 
damaged. Drop mines in the area and shoot like crazy." If the cloaked ship is 
a carrier, injured hostile ships may attempt to escape to it. So instead of 
destroying hostile fighters, let them escape and follow them. The point at 
which the escaping fighters disappear is the location of the cloaked carrier. 
Once you have the approximate location, random IOD fire tends to hit the 
cloaked ship, momentarily highlighting it.


5.6 Interceptor combat

AI controlled interceptors invariably attack head on. When fighting 
interceptor-to-interceptor, one tactic is to let the hostile interceptors come 
towards you, and use retrorockets to keep them at about 2 clicks distance. 
This generally ensures they never get close enough to you to do any damage - 
critically they never bump into you. Since they are always heading towards 
you, you should be able to fire at them with a reasonable level of accuracy. 
Your occasional application of retrorockets makes it hard for them to target 
you accurately, and helps avoid missiles and any other attackers. 

An alternative approach from Steve Schacher involves drifting just to one side 
of the target, and using a broadside attack: "I wait until the ship comes out 
of hyperspace and then switch off the autopilot. I then match speed with the 
target ship and try to keep it on my side as I slowly circle around it." 

Interceptors can be used to destroy capital ships. The secret is to find the 
blind spot on a capital ship - normally a point very close to the ship, often 
at the rear. Get into position rapidly, before enemy PTA systems have a chance 
to lock on. Although capital ships move, they tend not to move very rapidly, 
so it is possible to maintain such a position and inflict damage with missiles 
and laser fire. The main problem is deal with other craft that are also trying 
to attack you. 

When issuing orders to AI controlled interceptors, it helps not to give 
precisely the same order to more than one interceptor. If several interceptors 
have the same order, there is a chance they will all conduct the same flight 
plan at the same time. This has disastrous results, because all your 
interceptors end up either getting in one another's way or colliding - very 
often inflicting more damage on one another than on the enemy. 

Consider assigning one interceptor to do something, and another interceptor to 
escort the first. If the first gets engaged, the second interceptor will 

Interceptor pilots can be gagged, but you may miss important messages. Rico 
Jansen has a way to keep interceptor pilots busy without their constant 
chatter: "Throw out a crab mine once in a while when things get quiet in your 
area and put them on mine sweeping for the time being. Be careful. These 
things can bite hard. ... Why Crab mines? Well, they don't bite your BC when 
you launch them when your BC has forward velocity. Leeches are a pain - you 
have to go into VTOL flight-mode to launch them unharmed."


5.7 Starstation attack

There are two main approaches to capturing or destroying stations. The first 
involves methodical destruction of all the station's assets (craft and 
missiles), followed by a final assault on the station. The alternative method 
involves cloaking to evade the majority of the station's defenses, and 
attacking the station directly. Both benefit from an upgraded battlecruiser, 
particularly upgraded shields. 

Seacow writes: "When entering the star-system I draw attention from the 
stations fighters. I battle them a while (rather far away form the station) 
and when there are no fighters left I make some circles around the station so 
it blows away as many missiles as possible. Now the station's only defense is 
its IOD. I lay myself in PTA distance and fires with the IOD (80% intensity). 
When the station release its bursts of IOD I just changes my course and/or 
speed by moving up or down and using retro rockets. The IOD will miss." Pan 
notes that IOD is effective against stations as far away as 50 clicks. While 
stations can also fire back, if you move occasionally that should not be a 
problem. Stations move slowly (orbiting the planet), so IOD fired at extreme 
range can still be effective against them. 

Borg12 has a slightly different method of attacking the station: "Go within 
300 clicks of the station. Designate it with all 8 missiles in the FATAL. Use 
the autopilot to fly toward the station until the speed reaches 10,000, then 
shut the autopilot off. Coast toward the side of the station, letting the 
missiles launch. Coast 300 clicks away from the station and repeat. You will 
be moving too fast for the station to hit with its IODs. When the station's 
armor reaches 3000, fly over it, point the ship toward the station, and 'fine 
damage' it with the IOD until you can capture it." The v2.0 tips file suggests 
'lobbing' mines at the station as a means of attacking it, which may work in a 
similar way. 

An alternative is to get very close. All stations have blind spots - points 
that they cannot fire their IOD weapons at. Finding a station's blind spot is 
something of an art. Normally it helps to approach the station so that it 
looks as thin as possible. The blind spot is very often between the 'top' and 
'bottom' of the station when one is facing it from such a position. 

On cloaking, Urza writes: "Turn on the cloak before entering the system, then, 
close up to the station, about 25 clicks. Cut the throttle to nothing. Then 
de-cloak and start pummelling the station with your IOD (and Vagrant missiles 
if you can afford them). Keep your PTA and EMD on to disrupt fighters and 
missiles. While doing this, keep an eye on your shields. If your shields are 
running low, hit the retro rockets, backing away until your shields recharge. 
Then hit the afterburners, closing the range. Repeat until station is 
crippled." There are many variations on this approach. Jaguar suggests getting 
within about 7 clicks and firing volleys of Vagrant missiles before re-
cloaking and moving to a new position. The aim is to attack the station 
without it launching significant numbers of fighters or missiles. Care has to 
be taken with any cloak-based approach, since radiation levels can become 
critical before you have had a chance to complete the attack. 

The v2.0 tips file refers to the possibility of starving a station of supplies 
by attacking all ships that attempt to reach the station: "Simply suppress all 
NPCs from entering the region and eventually the station's stores will be 
depleted enough for you to attempt a capture." In my experience, 'eventually' 
transpires to be a very long time, so how useful this tactic might be is 

There are pros and cons to capturing or destroying a station. Capturing is 
harder to do because you must wait for the station to issue an SOS. SpcFX also 
notes that only a battlecruiser may capture a station, but it is theoretically 
possible to destroy a station using just an interceptor. Menchise writes: 
"When you destroy a starstation, starbase, or an orbital defense system, it's 
rebuilt over time. I recommend capturing the station instead of destroying it. 
When you capture the station, Raiders from other regions will try to recapture 
or destroy it, so you'll need to stick around for the repairs." 

Captured stations can be useful if you have Fleet Command and Control and have 
been able to capture the station with the majority of its assets remaining. 
Cloaking strategies are favoured when attempting to capture station assets in 
this way, because the station can often be captured with most of its craft and 
missiles. This either makes it easier to defend, or allows its fleet to be 
stripped and used against another target.


5.8 Ground attack

Before attacking hostile ground targets with troops you should attack certain 
buildings and craft from the air. SpacePhish suggest dividing your 
interceptors into two groups - one Combat Air Patrol group and one Strike 
group: "Launch your Combat Air Patrol group. Switch to one of fighters. Once 
you get planet-side, turn on your EMD. Stay away from the Surface-to-Air 
Missile sites. Take out few enemy fighters if you want. Now switch back to the 
battlecruiser then launch your strike group. It's important you take control. 
I recommend flying one striking the planetary force and let the other one take 
care the SAMs." SpacePhish suggests setting the laser charge at 70% and dive 
bombing targets: "Get some altitude, then turn around, line up, fire your 
missiles but do not fire you lasers (some times you laser can destroy your own 
missiles). After you run out of the missiles then go back and finish them off 
with you lasers." 

Ausraider2 writes: "Sometimes the Hyperdines would have absolutely no effect, 
or they would drop the buildings' armour to zero and then no matter how many 
Hyperdines or anything else I fired at it, it wouldn't go away." Carl Burning 
comments: "Try taking out the shield generator. But if you are having trouble 
with bases, then just nuke them. They won't mind on earth as long as it is an 
enemy base, not a friendly." Use of 'nukes' (OTS weapons) can be an effective 
start to a ground attack, or indeed eliminate the need for any other form of 
ground attack. Gomez writes: "I found this neat device known as an OTS 
Missile. Specifically, the Bugnor. Terran/Insurgents on Earth? Not any 

Although interceptors are the only truly combat capable craft you have for 
planetary attacks, Korono Lakeela notes: "You can do the crazy man's ground 
invasion and bring the old girl [battlecruiser] down to the planet and bring 
her over the target and lay waste to it with your heavy guns." You won't be 
able to target anything, but PTA and 'random' IOD fire can be quite effective. 
You cannot land your battlecruiser on the ground, however Pan suggests you can 
land the battlecruiser in the sea without adverse effect. 

From Apollon: "Hop into an ATV and take out the SAMs. You get around 100 EPs 
for each building you destroy." An alternative is to deploy marines. When 
unloading troops from a shuttle, the troops may bump into the shuttle - it's a 
bug, possibly related to not landing on flat ground. Even if you are engaged 
in ground operations, you can still use your support craft, as Tac writes: 
"Nothing beats tractoring enemy marines with your shuttle and dropping them 
from high altitudes >:) ." 

It is not thought to be possible to capture starbases, however if you have the 
rank of Supreme Commander you can order existing Terran/Military assets found 
on planets, notably launch fighters from launch-pads and ground units from HQs 
and bunkers (from Mano Faber/Andrew Vogel). On attempting to capture 
starbases, Ausraider2 writes: "I'd gotten the base name to turn grey on the 
CVD (still no SOS) and tried docking the interceptor then, but no luck." This 
probably relates to the need to capture things using the battlecruiser and the 
inability to dock a battlecruiser with a starbase. 

There are few strategic advantages of owning or destroying ground based units 
and infrastructure, except perhaps to stop odd hostile planetary bases 
launching fighters to conduct operations in space. Attacks against space based 
infrastructure have more strategic value. Ground operations remain as an add-
on - something to do when you want some extra experience or want to try 
something slightly different.


5.9 Mining

Jerold Keenan writes: "As soon as I start a character, I send my shuttles down 
to earth and drop off the mining drones, call my shuttles back and then go out 
searching for some cannon fodder. Once you've been seriously hurt go back to 
Galcom HQ and repair." By the time repairs have been completed, the drones 
will have started to fill up. You can recover them and sell their minerals. 
Hugo Pinheiro notes: "This works much better on the Moon because there is less 
fleet activity. And you know they won't go after your drones or you when you 
are loading or unloading." I have personally never had any problems with 
hostile forces attacking my mining drones on Earth, but the Moon is certainly 
quieter than Earth, so it may be easier to recover drones there. 

There may not be any relationship between where you place a mining drone and 
what minerals it recovers - it seems random to me. Indeed, some discoveries 
are slightly odd, like Pearls on the Moon. John writes: "I've noticed areas 
when I mine that contain certain elements kind ...maybe wrong. Like one area 
there was more Iridium than anything else. Another area was void of any good 

Mano Faber and Andrew Vogel suggest deploying your mining drones near a 
starbase and leaving a shuttle close: "When the mining drone is filled you 
just retrieve it with the shuttle and dock at the local starbase." This saves 
some time travelling to and from the location you deployed the drones, but 
means leaving a shuttle on the surface throughout. It is perhaps the only time 
a starbase would be used in preference to a space based star station.


5.10 Trading

The maths behind trading is shown in How are trade prices calculated? above. 
Most trading strategies involve initially selling spare parts to raise trading 
capital, finding at least one profitable route/cargo at the start of the game, 
and then rapidly making large sums of money from it. Once the basic concepts 
behind trading are understood (differences between stations based on their 
production speciality and inflation rate), trading is a very easy way to make 
money. Since there are no obvious strategic reasons to trade beside making 
money, most players cease trading after the first day, having already made 
considerable amounts of money. Most of the specific routes mentioned below are 
intended to be used during the first day of play. If you are trading at other 
times you will find the same general techniques apply, but the specific 
examples given may not be the best way to make money. 

The most basic form of inflation based trading is explained by Charles 
Lindsey: "Fly to a station with an inflation rate. Sell some parts and junk to 
get starting capital. Go back to Galcom where inflation is 0% at start of 
game. Buy more junk. Repeat. If you watch your station specialties you can get 
a bit more." 

If you buy a station's specialties, and sell to a station with a different 
specialty, there is additional scope for making money. Conventionally this 
involves buying AD items at Galcom HQ (AD specialty with 0% inflation at the 
start of the game) and taking them to a non-AD station with a higher inflation 

Simple routes are restricted to Sol, travelling between Galcom HQ and either 
Gazer near Pluto or Genesis near the Moon. Indenture writes: "I started to 
trade Deflector Arrays to Gazer in Pluto, and pick up Launch Arrays and 
Medibays to ferry back to Galcom HQ. I've been doing that for a couple hours 
now and I'm up to 35 million." Gomez comments: "I did Cloning Modules. It gets 
better a few jumps further, but I found that speed of gaining money, is more 
important than straight up profit from a longer trip." Deflector Arrays are 
widely considered to give the best long term profit per unit of cargo space. 
Some prefer to transport OTS or ODS weapons. If you are trading using your 
battlecruiser do not overlook the possibility of trading fuel. The absolute 
price and profit per unit is low, but you have a huge fuel capacity, most of 
which you do not need. 

Higher profits can be made by seeking out stations with up to 40% inflation 
rates. Galcom HQ, Sol to Velari in Polaris-2 is often considered to be the 
best route. This involves more jumps than Sol-specific routes and passes 
through several hostile regions, however overall gives around a 50% profit 
margin in one direction. A few stations offer higher starting inflation (50%, 
potentially giving around a 60% profit margin on one trip), but these are too 
far away to be much use at the outset. Aaron Baugher writes: "I built up my 
money by transporting weapons and spare parts from Galcom to Alpha Centauri, 
Tramis. That's not the most profitable run around, but I found it to be a good 
balance for me between profitability, risk, and time consumed." 

Aaron Baugher continues: "The down side to the economic system is that in most 
cases, goods at a station with a higher inflation will all have higher prices 
than goods at a station with lower inflation. So, I could make a high profit 
going from Galcom to Tramis with just about anything, but couldn't find 
anything much to take in the other direction. So I ended up running with an 
empty cargo hold half the time." Some player prefer to balance profit margins 
on each leg of the trade route, and so will seek to avoid inflation based 
differences - for example trading between Orion (Jupiter) and Gazer (Pluto), 
which have similar inflation rates, but different specialities. After a few 
runs the most important factor becomes how many of the most profitable item 
you can physically fit into your cargo bays. At this point the exceptionally 
good ratio on Deflector Arrays means that it may be best to trade a full 
consignment of Deflector Arrays from Galcom HQ to somewhere with a high 
inflation rate, even if this means there is no other profitable cargo to bring 
back: The total profit on Deflector Arrays is significantly higher than 
anything on the return journey. 

Trading is most efficient when done using remote piloted shuttles. With care 
this allows healthy profits to be made from trading, while not forcing you to 
use your battlecruiser for such mundane tasks. Instructions for single-shuttle 
remote trading are given in the Trading part of the tutorial above. Multi-
shuttle operations are possible, but in reality one shuttle should be capable 
to making more than enough money in an hour or two, so there is little need to 
have two or four shuttles running around.


5.11 Salvage

Debris fields are an easy way to find upgrades and/or make a modest profit by 
trading unwanted salvage. Logically, they should have a finite amount of cargo 
pods, however by switching to Tacops and back, or by saving the game, debris 
fields are automatically restocked. Derek Smart explains: "Due to memory 
constraints, the debris field wasn't cached. It was re-created each time you 
or an NPC entered it. And flushed when you left." This means that three or 
four shuttles can be kept busy in a debris field for as long as the 
battlecruiser remains there. This does not generate the same profits that 
trading can, but is altogether less effort. Debris fields can be swept in what 
would otherwise be down-time for your battlecruiser - perhaps while systems 
are being repaired or upgraded. Some debris fields appear to be better than 
others, both in terms of having a greater number of pods, higher proportion of 
full pods, and a higher proportion of pods with expensive items or upgrades in 
them. My personal preference is the debris field in Mars, Sol, but there are 
certain to be better fields out there. Rosko notes that Polaris was found to 
contain a lot of useful debris. 

R_wilco comments: "If you tractor-tow an enemy ship, you can deliver it to a 
starstation (by docking with it) for some money." It is rarely worth going out 
of your way to tractor ships to safety, but often shuttles can be used to drop 
ships off at nearby stations, or you can drag a disabled ship to a station you 
are already planning to visit.


5.12 Crew

Shingen writes: "DON'T send out your pilots on combat missions until they have 
AT LEAST 50-75 AI, or you'll be spending a lot of time in the medibay cloning 
pilots. Only way I've found to increase their AI is by leaving them in AI mode 
for extended periods of time... I generally put them in ATVs and set them on 
the moon in AI mode and have them run SAD or HOLD. I let their fatigue get to 
around 35 or so before I bring them back aboard the battlecruiser, then send 
them back out, rotating the pilot/co-pilot positions. Marine AI increases when 
they are in 'search' mode I think, which helps a lot with getting those pesky 
intruders and on assault missions." 

Powercow suggests: "Put your medics, flight/system engineers on 'rotas', where 
1-10 are active, and 11-20 are off duty, so that when fatigues get too high 
you can swap rotas, and let the fresh bunch run things for a while." Ten of 
each on-station is also the minimum number required to keep your officers 
happy and prevent them from calling up additional crew. When you are expecting 
to see some action, call up more, even all. Not only will they be ready to 
act, but they will not get caught in crew quarters during battles: Crew 
accommodation _seems_ to be far more likely to sustain damage that areas like 
the Flight Deck or Operations. 

There is no need to place 'injured' crewmen that are simply hungry in the 
Medibay - place them off-duty and they will make their way to the Galley to 
eat. Crew need to eat about once every 8 hours. Often after a battle you will 
find you have several crewmen who think they are injured. By the time they 
have reached the Medibay may will have been healed - possibly they have been 
treated by wandering (searching) Medics; possibly they were not really hurt to 
start with. 

From Speed: "When you shut off life support, your crew goes insane, and jam 
themselves into whatever has air in it. I had 4-5 people in an interceptor at 
once." Derek Smart comments: "Once life support is compromised, they will 
scramble for the nearest life support system which can be any of the 
interceptors, shuttles or ATVs on the battlecruiser. Anyone that can't find 
one, will slowly die."


5.13 Advancing time

Sometimes it is useful to be able to advance time rapidly, without having to 
wait. For example, when waiting for mining drones to fill up or to give time 
for crews to rest. writes: "Order a shuttle to halt. Then swing your 
battlecruiser around, and aim at it with your IOD. Fire a couple shots [at 
about 50% IOD power]. Make sure not to destroy it, but damage it about half 
way. Order the shuttle to dock at the starstation around the planet. Then 
proceed to repair it. Now when you launch, you will see that the different 
repair times for each damages component, will have been added up, and will be 
added to the game clock just a few seconds after you launch." Prior to v2.09, 
Galcom HQ did not add a repair delay as other stations did. In v2.09 all 
stations add a repair related delay. 

Cruis.In continues: "When everyone's tired, I do this too, but usually I have 
damage sustained from drunk enemy pilots hitting into my battlecruiser, 
touching my shining armour. I set everyone to off duty, go and repair at a 
station, and they've come back on-duty somewhere in between that down time and 
are all tired again. So what I do is I put everyone in Medibay because they 
can't leave there without being discharged." 

Commander Zeke Stone writes: "If you ever want to quickly drop the fatigue 
factor of you officers and pilots, simply send them all to the medibay. Next 
upgrade one of your systems, for example your Nuclear Reactor. Make sure you 
do this near a space station, dock with the station and repair the reactor 
which, of course, drops to 50% when upgraded. Do this a couple more times if 
needed. Of course this method requires you to have some money so that you have 
two different Nuclear Reactors."


5.14 Upgrades

Pan writes: "Do upgrade the shields. Armor is nice if you have extra cash but 
it won't help you survive." Shields are also one of the cheapest upgrades - 
the best shield is affordable immediately if you sell some spare parts. With 
the increased fuel requirements in v2.09, early upgrading of engines and 
reactor has become important. 

Most upgrades can be completed in 10-20 minutes, but if you cannot wait that 
long, Jaguar suggests: "Buy all the upgrades you want at Galcom, leave, tell 
your engineers to get started on the repairs (upgrades), and then dock with 
Galcom again, and ask them to finish the repairs." This completes all the 
upgrades. While this still uses game time, it does not use up as much play 

Pugwash has a method of gaining instant upgrades. First sell as many spare 
parts, weapons, and unused supplies as possible, buy a Trellis, Numega, and 
Linear IV, and launch. "Set ten engineers upgrading the reactor, 5 engineers 
upgrading the engine, and 5 engineers upgrading the shield. Dock at Galcom 
immediately. Sell the old reactor, shield and engine that have just been 
upgraded and buy the Titanium V launch from Galcom. Now upgrade your Hull 
armour but do not set any engineers to install/repair it. Exit Logistix and 
look at the hull armour display - it will be at half then jump to full. Check 
the battlecruiser status - hull is now 2500 but Logistix will show Hull/armour 
(Titanium/V) 100% but highlighted in white (repair suspended or not 
scheduled). Do not set any engineers to repair because once you take some 
damage to the hull the white will be removed and if you have taken 1-2% damage 
that is all you will have to repair without any time penalty."





This 'walkthrough' is specific to v2.09. The v2.09 patch re-scripted the ACM 
in earlier versions. The original allegedly had 25 missions, but I don't think 
many people got past the second one ;-) . These notes may at first glance seem 
to be applicable to older versions - for example, the original first mission 
involved a diplomatic escort, but the target ship started near Mars, not 
Earth. Battlecruiser Millennium has another very similar set of missions, but 
subtle differences to areas like ship and artifact availability mean that the 
strategies presented below may be inappropriate.



6.1 Introduction

6.1.1 Terminology and campaign structure

Three different timings are given - pre-mission, duration, and next mission. 
The pre-mission time is the time between receipt of orders and the mission 
events starting. However, if you arrive in the starting location early the 
mission will start when you arrive, regardless of how much time you have 
remaining. If you happen to already be in the start location when the orders 
arrive, the mission starts immediately. If you arrive late, the mission events 
will start anyway. Some missions will be impossible to complete if you arrive 
late. Mission duration is the time assigned to complete the mission. In many 
cases you will be able to meet the objectives in far less time: The excess 
time can be used as down-time - time to conduct repairs, etc. Time till next 
mission is the official down-time between missions. This time can be skipped 
by requesting the next ACM early from the main command menu. 

Time spent in-station being repaired may be used to slow down the ACM. If the 
time spent repairing exceeds the current mission timer, the next mission event 
will be delayed and triggered on launch. For example, assume you dock during 5 
minutes of pre-mission time and undertake 3 hours of repairs on-station. When 
you launch the current mission timer will be exhausted. However the next 
mission timer, the mission itself, will not be started until you launch.


6.1.2 Objectives and rewards

ACM objectives are often not particularly clear from mission briefings. I have 
listed those objectives which have rewards or penalties attached to them, and 
divided these into primary and secondary objectives. Failing primary 
objectives will earn you violation points and/or significant reduction in 
experience points. Secondary objectives may be failed without serious long-
term consequences, sometimes a small experience point reduction - in most 
cases secondary objectives not met simply result in no additional reward. 
Completing primary objectives will normally earn some form of reward. This is 
not always the case with secondary objectives. In short, if you are trying to 
retain an unblemished career, ensure you meet all the primary objectives and 
look on the secondary objectives as bonuses to be picked up if possible. 

Rewards are those specific to the mission. Additional experience points may be 
awarded for simply destroying enemy ships, in addition to mission-specific 
experience. In some missions rewards are only given if *you* destroy a 
particular ship or station, rather than the ship or station just being 
destroyed (by anyone). I have not been able to confirm any of these rewards - 
in all cases I made sure I got the kills by piloting my battlecruiser, but 
BC3K only recognised that the target had been destroyed, not that it had been 
destroyed by me. Derek Smart writes: "Remember, if the ship is under AI, you 
are not in control, that also includes the BC. If you want to get the 
recognition for this command, the craft taking out those targets, has to be 
under your direct control. So, hop into a fighter or take the BC off AI and do 
it yourself." Your mileage may vary here. While jumping into a fighter may 
seem simple, most of these targets are not particularly easy to destroy in a 
fighter. Fortunately most are secondary objectives, so can be ignored without 
serious consequences.


6.1.3 Artifacts and upgrades

The campaign contains artifacts. Playing the ACM is the only way to gain 
artifacts other than using cheats. Some artifacts you will recover in the 
course of following missions, others you will need to go out of your way to 
procure. Without any of these artifacts it is very hard to complete every part 
of the campaign: You will probably reach the end, but you may miss objectives, 
and spend a disproportionate amount of time with a stressed-out crew and a 
damaged battlecruiser. The walkthrough below generally assumes you are picking 
up all the artifacts. 

Artifacts are better than the best upgrade one can buy, and don't cost 
anything beyond the difficulty in recovering the artifact. Descriptions of 
each artifact are given in the manual's Appendix C. Descriptions of how to get 
each artifact are included in the walkthrough below. Here is a summary of 
artifacts, where to find them, and what they do: 

- Hyperion Subspace Device: Probably recover during TOD1 M1/5. Instant travel 
between systems. 
- Tacyon Anagram Shield: Recover during TOD1 M5/5. Shield upgrade. 
- Celestial Orb: Probably recover during TOD1 M5/5. Crew become less stressed 
and heal faster. 
- Enhanced Nav Module: Recover during TOD2 M5/5. Use hyperdrive with no fuel 
or recharge time. 
- Karanian Mark IV Reactor: Recover during TOD3 M2/5. Reactor upgrade. 
- Trans-Matrix Cloaking Device: Recover during TOD3 M3/5. Cloak upgrade, 
including use whilst firing/launching. 
- Phased Array Ion Disruptor: Recover during TOD3 M5/5. Battlecruiser gun 
- Just Another Cyborg: Probably recover during TOD3 M5/5. Automatic system 
repairs without repair materials. 
- RANDOM and RANDOM Decoder (both required to operate): Probably recover 
during TOD4 M1/1. Destroys planetary populations. 

At the start of the ACM remember that your battlecruiser still has the worst 
reactor/engine combination. If you retain this for long you will run out of 

Unless using station repairs as a way of raising AI (see below), avoid using 
stations to repair. System Engineers are quicker for light repairs. More 
importantly, you can often use System Engineers to conduct repairs whilst 
undertaking a mission or travelling.


6.1.4 The AI problem

You start with a crew of rookies, with very low AI levels. This problem is not 
unique to the ACM. However, during the ACM you will not have much time for 
your crew to gain experience. While an inexperienced crew can often be 
countered by a competent commander (you :-) ), certain artifacts have officer 
AI requirements. This does not apply to all artifacts, but those it applies to 
are rather useful. For example, both the Hyperion Subspace Device and Trans-
Matrix Cloaking Device require your Research Engineer to have an AI of 75 or 

Keeping officers on-station for as long as possible will improve their AI, but 
if you play through the ACM normally it is unlikely that AI levels will exceed 
30 or 40 by the end. The most obvious method of improving AI is to place your 
crew on-station during repairs made at stations. Aim to make the repair take 
as long as possible. As described above, you can often do this without missing 
the next mission. I think the easiest system to damage is your hull. One 
collision is normally enough to damage it by 1%. If you repair the hull in-
station it might take a few minutes. Instead, replace the hull in-station, 
which will take more than three hours. Do this at least once, twice where 
possible, in between each mission and officer AI approaching 70 is achievable 
by the end of the ACM. This replacement trick can be done at Galcom HQ for 
free. Elsewhere you will have to pay. Care needs to be taken, since a few 
missions require you to remain at a location until the end of the mission, and 
others require you to make use of the pre-mission time. 

Whether you do this is your choice. I think it is a slightly artificial 
tactic. But then being able to use all the 'toys' is nice too.


6.1.5 General notes

It is quite common for BC3K to run very slowly between minutes 10 and 15 of 
the first mission - see Why does BC3K start to run slowly or suffer frame rate 
reduction at certain points in the game? below. Many parts of the ACM are very 
processor intensive. There are times when either the frame rate drops 
dramatically or the CPU feels like it is about to overheat. If possible delay 
battles for a few minutes. Normally if you do nothing but wait, the activity 
causing the extra processing will die down, and the game will become playable 

I strongly suggest you take regular saves using different save slots. BC3K is 
not a perfectly stable program, particularly in ACM mode, and may occasionally 
crash or corrupt old saves. Some parts of the ACM are best played with the 
benefit of hindsight, so a range of saved games is useful if you wish to retry 
a particular mission. Indeed, I think TOD2 M3/5 and TOD2 M5/5 are impossible 
to complete successfully without hindsight. 

The walkthrough assumes knowledge of basic techniques covered by the Tutorial 
above. It is highly recommended that you learn the basic concepts and 
techniques within BC3K before attempting this ACM. Although the ACM is quite 
relaxed to start with, you need that time to prepare and upgrade your ship, 
not to learn the basics of playing BC3K. 

The ACM takes a *long* time. Missions typically last an hour or more of game 
time. Additional time will be spent docked or managing your operations with 
time freezed. The experience is best likened to 'real' military naval 
operations: Mostly at sea with nothing much happening, interspersed with short 
but exceptionally deadly battles, the scars from which you may still be 
dealing with long after the battle is a distant memory. Unlike many games, 
BC3K's campaign will continue regardless of whether you complete the 
objectives or not. Completing the ACM is a strange form of psychological 
warfare. Good luck ;-) .



6.2 TOD1 M1/5 - Diplomatic Escort (Majoris)

6.2.1 Overview

- Start location: Earth, Sol. 
- Pre-mission time: None. 
- Mission duration: 45 minutes. 
- Primary objective: Diplomat1 must dock at Majoris, Alpha Majora. 
- Rewards: 250 experience points. 
- Artifacts: Hyperion Subspace Device available around this time. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.2.2 Events

There are three ships heading towards Majoris: Terran Diplomat1, Empirian 
Diplomat2, and Vesperon Diplomat3. Diplomat2 and 3 are being escorted by other 
ships, and aren't your responsibility. Diplomat1 will launch from Galcom HQ 
shortly after the start of the mission, and heads to Majoris. There are no 
specific threats, however Diplomat1 passes a hostile station in Tau Ceti.


6.2.3 Artifact: Hyperion Subspace Device

At the start of the mission you will get a message "Intel reports an artifact 
on a ship in Vega Eridani." The ship is the Droidan military Nightstar UCV-
Molonok. The ship starts in Obsidia, Vega Eridani. (In theory it moves to 
neighboring regions, however I have always found it in Obsidia - I suspect it 
cannot find a way out.) Your ship will only autopilot you as far as Droia, 
Vega Eridani. After that you must make the jump through the Flux Fields 
manually, first to Alteris, then to Obsidia. In my experience these two flux 
fields will either deliver you to the intended destination, or leave you where 
you are - if the later happens, simply try to jump again until you make it 
through. You can short-cut this route by travelling through FL-13 in Tarean, 
Alpha Canis to SN-10, and hence through the wormhole to Obsidia - however this 
involves a risk of reaching a blackhole. The artifact can be mugged by 
targeting the carrier, pressing V to reveal the cargo, then issuing the order 
Command Menu--Target Target--SC-n Collect. The carrier can also be destroyed, 
but such an action cancels the alliance between Droidan and Terran. 

The Hyperion Subspace Device will light up the HSD text on the left-hand side 
of the bridge view. One then selects any location from the menu and the ship 
jumps straight there without using jump points or other conventional 
navigation. A similar feature is added to Tacops, except that it allows you to 
view any region, much like a probe. Unfortunately, your Research Engineer must 
have an AI of 75 or more to use it. At the start of the game she is probably 
struggling to count to 75 ;-) ...with an AI of around 20. Consequently, the 
Hyperion Subspace Device is of no use early in the game. This is discussed 
further under The AI problem above. The Hyperion Subspace Device is very 
useful once the requirements are met, which is why I think it is worth trying 
to pick it up now.


6.2.4 Strategy

The mission itself is relaxed, so long as you have played before - if not, 
quit now and take the Tutorial above. The escort itself can be provided by 
interceptors. Keep an eye on the interceptors, because there is a chance they 
will damaged when passing through Tau Ceti. The trip should be otherwise 
uneventful, giving your rookie pilots some experience, and, most importantly 
allows you to concentrate on other things. 

What other things? You need to be able to fund future operations, and upgrade 
your battlecruiser, so you must make money. Your battlecruiser needs upgrades 
- importantly, you need to stop it haemorrhaging fuel during jumps, which 
means upgrading the reactor/engine combination as soon as possible. Lastly 
this mission is the best time to procure the Hyperion Subspace Device. 

Before launching sell almost all your spares, even consider selling Iridium, 
some Food and missiles. You do not need them for this mission. Split the cash 
proceeds between trading funds and engine/reactor upgrades. The trading funds 
will be used to keep a shuttle running around a few stations in Sol, making 
10-30% profit margins by trading AD items from Galcom HQ to either Genesis 
(Moon) or Gazer1 (Pluto), and bringing HT items back. The best engine (Numega) 
is affordable as a first upgrade. The best reactor (Trellis) is rather too 
expensive, so consider a mid-range upgrade first, such as an Eyestar. After 
launch two engineering teams should immediately be set to work on both 
upgrades. The combination of Numega and Eyestar will only use 15 Radine per 
jump, rather than 55 without upgrades. 

In order to grab the Hyperion Subspace Device and still have time to get into 
position for the next mission (ideally Alpha Centauri), you should leave for 
Vega Eridani within the first few minutes of this mission - at about the same 
time the Diplomat leaves for Majoris. This will mean travelling in a very 
underpowered ship. However, there should be no hostile shipping until you 
reach Tau Ceti, by which time your upgrades should be more-or-less complete. 
An alternative involves piloting a shuttle remotely, and using that to recover 
the artifact. While possible, this takes a lot of effort or time spent away 
from the battlecruiser. 

If you have been keeping your trading-shuttle busy, you should have enough 
credits by the end of the mission to buy most of the other upgrades. Send a 
shuttle out to buy them from one of the friendly stations on route as you make 
your way back up from Vega Eridani. 

You may also wish to deploy mining drones on Earth at the start of the 
mission. This will give some extra credits later, for the minimum of effort. 
There are many other preparations one may make depending on preference. For 
example, launch a probe to in Earth region - this allows the status of Galcom 
HQ to be monitored, and is handy for ordering support craft.



6.3 TOD1 M2/5 - Diplomatic Security (Majoris)

6.3.1 Overview

- Start location: Xylan, Tau Ceti. 
- Pre-mission time: 5 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 30 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: Diplomat4 must dock at Majoris, Alpha Majora. 
- Secondary Objective: Diplomat5 and Diplomat6 must dock at Majoris, Alpha 
- Rewards: 250 experience points. 
- Artifacts: None. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.3.2 Events

Three ships will leave different stations at the start and head towards 
Majoris: Terran Diplomat4 from Galcom HQ, Earth, Sol; Vesperon Diplomat5 from 
Ramix, Ramis, Omicron Eridani; and Empirian Diplomat6 from Aleri, Tramis, 
Alpha Centauri. The primary threat is an Insurgent Warmonger which starts in 
Treas, Alpha Centauri - on the route of Diplomat4 and Diplomat6.


6.3.3 Strategy

Ideally you should engage the Insurgent Warmonger in Treas, Alpha Centauri at 
the start of the mission. Engaging the Warmonger early removes the primarily 
threat to Diplomat4 and Diplomat6, and allows you to deal with it before it 
jumps into Arima, Tau Ceti. Once in Arima, fighters will join the battle and 
it becomes slightly harder. The hostile station in Arima will launch fighters 
to engage the Diplomats. While these are not a major threat, there is a risk 
that they will damage one or more of the Diplomats. Consider sending some 
interceptors through to the Diplomats as cover, or using your battlecruiser to 
keep the enemy fighters busy. Remember the mission critical ship is Diplomat4. 
The destruction of Diplomat5 or Diplomat6 will only cost you 100 experience 
points and won't 'fail' the mission. There is no need to attack the station in 
Arima. Equally, there is no need to destroy every last fighter. Once the 
Diplomats are safe, I suggest you use the down-time towards the end of the 
mission for upgrading, repairs, and/or sweeping debris fields. Stay within a 
few sectors of Majoris.



6.4 TOD1 M3/5 - Diplomatic Escort (Majoris)

6.4.1 Overview

- Start location: Majoris, Alpha Majora. 
- Pre-mission time: 5 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 45 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: Diplomat7 must dock at Starpath, Mars, Sol. 
- Rewards: 250 experience points. 
- Artifacts: None. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.4.2 Events

Three diplomat ships will leave Majoris at the start of the mission. You only 
need to ensure that Terran Diplomat7 reaches its destination. There are no 
specific threats. You receive an SOS from Vesperon Diplomat8 in Midae, Omicron 
Eridani. In some games that is all that happens. In other games you will 
receive the message "Vesperon Diplomat8 destroyed by the Empirians" and a 
request to investigate immediately. Your primary objective is still to get 
Diplomat7 home safely.


6.4.3 Strategy

The escort of Diplomat7 should be easy. Arima will probably be the only threat 
on route. There is a good chance you will have dealt with most of its fighter 
fleet already in the course of earlier missions. I suggest you assign an 
interceptor to guide Diplomat7 home and leave your battlecruiser in the Arima 

The second part of the mission is unexpected. You can tow the disabled 
Diplomat8 using a shuttle (it seems too big to be towed by your 
battlecruiser). You can tow the Diplomat8 to Eridani station. Consider remote-
ordering a shuttle to do this, merely switching to it for the final docking at 
Eridani. If you only send a shuttle, consider an interceptor escort. If you 
are lucky, you can reach Diplomat8 before it is attacked by a cloaked ship. 
Once the Diplomat is attacked, there is very little you do to defend it. After 
it is destroyed you are asked to investigate. Investigation is a pointless 
distraction from the primary objective. At best you may spot a certain 
Nightstar carrier exiting the area. There are no experience points or 
violations related to the rescue, destruction, or investigation of Diplomat8, 
and whatever you do the next mission happens in the same way. Treat the 
Diplomat8 incident as background story. 

Use the downtime towards the end of this mission to finish upgrades and stock 
up on fuel, parts and other supplies. I recommend you finish within a jump or 
two of Eori, Tau Ceti, which gives you more options during the next mission.



6.5 TOD1 M4/5 - Operation Hostile Takeover (Zerin)

6.5.1 Overview

- Start location: Eori, Tau Ceti. 
- Pre-mission time: 5 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 60 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: Zerin station must be captured. 
- Rewards: 2500 experience points and Combat Shield medal. 
- Artifacts: None. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.5.2 Events

If you do nothing except wait in Eori from the start of the mission, the 
following should happen - times in minutes from mission start, subject to some 

- 00:10: GCV-Vagabond arrives in Arima, cloaks, and launches fighter patrol. 
- 00:12: GCV-Vagabond arrives in Eori. Karl Reines beams aboard, transferring 
Fleet Command and Control. 
- 00:13: GCV-Vagabond launches fighter/mine laying patrol to Midae (two 
Zenstars and Viper). 
- 00:16: Patrols return to GCV-Vagabond. 
- 00:17: GCV-Vagabond sends takeover team to Zerin (Shuttle with two S-Fighter 
- 00:27: Zerin "systems disabled". After this point, Zerin will not attempt to 
defend itself from anyone. 

You must now capture the station before the end of the mission. There is 
nothing explicitly to tell you to do this except the overall mission 
objective. None of the other ships will perform the capture. "Disabled" and 
"capture" are not the same thing - the station needs to be controlled to the 
Terran Military and show as a bright green contact on the radar. Once the 
station has been captured, the GCV-Vagabond will arrest those on the station, 
and 5 minutes later will evacuate.


6.5.3 Strategy

Capturing the station is easy because it is not hostile. Fly straight to it 
and blast away for a few minutes until it issues an SOS, then dock to and 
capture it (also see the Station capture tutorial above). There is no need to 
wait until the GCV-Vagabond has done anything. The fastest way to complete the 
mission is to capture Zerin right at the start, although if you want to gain 
Fleet Command and Control, do not capture the station within the first 10 
minutes, or else you will never see the GCV-Vagabond, and never have Karl 
Reines beam aboard. 

Various enemy ships, including carriers, will enter the region from time to 
time. Without upgrades, these battles could be quite tough, but with an 
upgraded battlecruiser you should not have a problem - just remain alert. If 
you wait until the Zerin's systems are disabled (half way through the 
mission), the station will stop firing at anyone, including enemies. It will 
slowly take damage from enemy craft, but is unlikely to be destroyed in this 

Once Karl Reines beams aboard you will get access to Fleet Command and 
Control. This is explained in more depth below. You cannot use it to direct 
the GCV-Vagabond, which you cannot see. If you have probe coverage of 
somewhere like Earth, you can launch support ships (even battlecruisers) to 
help you in Zerin. What you take from stations now will not be available 
later. Emptying Galcom HQ to form your own personal fleet with which to 
destroy a handful of enemy fighters may seem like a good idea now. When Galcom 
HQ has been pounded into space-dust a few hours down the line because you took 
all its defenses away, this may seem like a poor strategy. Instead, use the 
Fleet Command and Control access you have throughout most of this mission and 
the next to learn the basics of fleet control. If possible, take ships from 
Zerin. Zerin is not especially useful in subsequent parts of the ACM.


6.5.4 Fleet Command and Control

When Karl Reines beams aboard you will gain Fleet Command and Control. You 
must also have your Communications and Tactical Officers On-Station and 
associated battlecruiser systems working. This allows you to order almost any 
order-able asset owned by the Terran Military that you can currently see in 
your battlecruiser's Tacops (in the current sector, or via probes), or you 
have recently ordered. 

Assuming you have already captured Zerin, in Tacops left-click on the station. 
You will see a list of craft and missiles, which you can order as if they were 
your own. (If you see no list, enable Launches and Weapons under Systems 
Controls - these are disabled by GCV-Vagabond's takeover team.) For example, 
you can order Cruiser--Solnar--Defend BC, and a Solnar will launch and escort 
your battlecruiser. Once launched, new orders can be assigned by left-clicking 
on the craft. Carriers under your control allow further craft to be launched 
in a similar way. At the bottom of the left-click list are a set of System 
Controls, which allow certain automatic systems to be toggled on and off, for 
example and ability to cloak or launch craft. These controls simply give the 
option for the ship or station to do something, they do not instruct it to do 
it. Orders can also be issued by left-clicking Fleet from the right-hand side 
of the Tacops screen. This adds the ability to re-order recently ordered 
craft, thereby allowing you to control vessels you have ordered to jump into a 
region you have no direct Tacops coverage of. 

Craft ordered via Fleet Command and Control will return to the nearest 
friendly station once Fleet Command and Control is lost. At this stage in the 
ACM you only have temporary control whilst Karl Reines is aboard. Do not build 
up your own personal battle-fleet expecting it to remain with you forever, 
because it won't.



6.6 TOD1 M5/5 - Operation Grab (DaisyMae)

6.6.1 Overview

- Start location: Lyrius, Sirius. 
- Pre-mission time: 5 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 45 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: Detain Walid K'lar, commander of DaisyMae. 
- Rewards: 1500 experience points and Star of Merit medal. 
- Artifacts: Tacyon Anagram Shield. Celestial Orb available around this time. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.6.2 Events

The DaisyMae appears in Canaan, Omicron Eridani, and heads towards Trenis. You 
may receive an SOS signal from it as it passes through Midae. Once you find 
the ship, Walid K'lar will beam across and primary objective will be met. If 
the DaisyMae reaches Antis, Trenis, it is quite likely it will be attacked and 


6.6.3 Strategy

Do not be concerned by the mission's start location. Stay in close to where 
the last mission finished, and you will be ideally placed to find the 
DaisyMae. This mission only becomes hard if you race to the mission start 
point of Lyrius in Sirius - that is you spend most of the mission going round 
in circles looking for the ship. Ensure you get both of the artifacts - the 
first from the DaisyMae itself, the second on another ship in the area - see 
below. Consider using this mission to rest some of your crew - keep the 
Research Engineer available to deal with the artifacts, and the System 
Engineering team ready to install the Tacyon Anagram Shield - you will need it 
soon. You retain Fleet Command and Control until the end of this mission, 
although you do not need it.


6.6.4 Artifact: Tacyon Anagram Shield

The Tacyon Anagram Shield is being transported by the DaisyMae. Once you have 
Walid K'lar on your ship, you may mug or attack the DaisyMae to recover the 
item (and a few other goods). It may not possible to recover the artifact if 
the DaisyMae reaches Antis. 

The Tacyon Anagram Shield is installed like any other upgrade. It will raise 
the shield value of your ship to 5000, and reduces Plutonium usage.


6.6.5 Artifact: Celestial Orb

During this mission you may receive the message "Intel reports an artifact on 
a ship in Omicron Eridani" - I think your Tactical Officer needs to be On-
Station to get the message. The artifact, the Celestrial Orb, is on the Syrion 
military Violon UCV-Zerovna, which starts in Raimis and patrols the space 
between there and Arima in Tau Ceti. Destroying the ship changes diplomatic 
relations between Syrion and Terran to be neutral, so if possible mug it. 

The Orb has various healing properties, primarily to restore lost Life Factor 
of injured crew faster than normal. The manual's appendix C claims "their 
fatigue factor (FF) will never increase." While the Orb certainly reduces the 
rate at which crew become fatigued, it does not eliminate fatigue. The Orb 
only works on crew onboard the battlecruiser, not those in support craft. No 
installation is required, just keep it in your battlecruiser's cargo hold.



6.7 TOD2 M1/5 - Tactical Operation (Empirian Raiders)

6.7.1 Overview

- Start location: Varan, Alpha Centuri. 
- Pre-mission time: 5 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 30 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: Your battlecruiser must be in Varan at the end of the 
mission (mission text suggests the sector must be clear of hostile ships, but 
that part is optional). 
- Secondary Objective: Destroy 3 Empirian raiders labelled "Unknown Contact". 
- Rewards: 150 experience points for primary objective. Unconfirmed - up to 
200 total for secondary objectives. 
- Artifacts: None. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.7.2 Events

During this mission three Empirian raiders may appear, all labelled "Unknown 
Contact". One an Aestrom carrier. It is possible that these raiders will not 
appear at all, giving you no option of fulfilling the secondary objectives. 
Instead you will face more general threats - mostly criminals. Whatever 
happens, you must be in Varan at the end of the mission.


6.7.3 Strategy

You will probably face a few heavier ships during this mission. The main 'aim' 
of this mission almost seems to be to weaken your ships: Don't let them hurt 
you :-) . You must be in Varan at the end of the mission, so don't be tempted 
to head to a station for repairs once the enemy ships have been destroyed.



6.8 TOD2 M2/5 - Evacuation (Starball)

6.8.1 Overview

- Start location: Arima, Tau Ceti. 
- Pre-mission time: 5 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 45 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: ECV-Starball must be under tow or docked by the end of 
the mission. 
- Rewards: 250 experience points. 
- Artifacts: None. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.8.2 Events

At the start of the mission the ECV-Starball will arrive in Arima from Xylan, 
and issue an SOS. ECV-Vagrant will be launched to tow the Starball back to 
Galcom HQ, Earth, Sol. You must ensure the Starball is not destroyed before it 
arrives back at Galcom HQ. There are no specific threats, however there is a 
hostile station in Arima.


6.8.3 Strategy

If the hostile station in Arima is still launching fighters, the ECV-Starball 
may come under attack at the start, and will need to be defended. There is a 
chance by this stage that you will have destroyed all hostile fighters, in 
which case the mission should be quite relaxed. In theory a few interceptors 
can be sent along to watch the recovery and cover the two ships' retreat to 

However, you should prepare for the next mission during this time, which means 
working your way up to Sirius. Logically you will fly with the retreating 
ships back to Earth, and hence a few more jumps into Sirius. Pugwash has a 
variation on this approach: "Ignore the mission brief and tow it [ECV-
Starball] with your BC or a Shuttle back to Galcom HQ. The reason for this is 
you will have 35-45 minutes to do what you want before you must be in Lennen 
for the start of the next mission. You can repair/upgrade your BC, strip those 
debris fields of any goodies and collect cargo from any mining drones you 
deployed at the start." If you have not been back to Earth since the start, 
this is certainly a good time to extract mining drones, and also fill up with 
fuel. Galcom HQ is the cheapest place to buy fuel, at least while inflation 
remains 0%.


6.8.4 Why does the Vagrant not appear?

It is possible it got destroyed on route, in which case tow the ECV-Starball 
back to Galcom HQ yourself. This has also been reported as not happening while 
the game is in debug mode (/d1 switch on in the batch file used to launch BC3K 
- see Why does the freeware version ask for the CD? Why is it running in debug 
mode? below for further explanation). Removing debug mode fixes it.



6.9 TOD2 M3/5 - Hostage Rescue (Pixan)

5.9.1 Overview

- Start location: Earth, Sol. 
- Pre-mission time: 1 minute. 
- Mission duration: 90 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: Rescue Dr Myan Rolne. 
- Secondary Objective: Capture Pixan. 
- Rewards: 5000 experience points and Commander's Shield medal (Clint Raines 
says "Order of Universe" medal has been awarded, but Commander's Shield is 
what you actually get) for primary objective. 2500 experience points for 
secondary objective. 
- Artifacts: None. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.9.2 Events

If you play this in a logical order, responding to orders and instructions 
directly, here is what happens (times in minutes from start of the mission - 
there are some variations): 

- 00:00: GCV-Prime1 and GCV-Prime2 head for Lennen. 
- 00:01: GCV-Vagabond starts in Earth and proceeds to Starpath, Mars. They 
indicate you should send a probe to Lennen. 
- 00:02: Prisoners transferred to GCV-Vagabond in Mars. 
- 00:02: If you can still view Earth region, you will see an enemy labelled 
"Stolen Shuttle" head to Galcom HQ and dock. 
- 00:03: GCV-Prime2 arrives in Lennen. 
- 00:06: GCV-Prime1 arrives in Lennen. 
- 00:08: GCV-Vagabond leaves Mars for Lennen. 
- 00:13: GCV-Vagabond arrives in Lennen and clears minefield. 
- 00:18: Prisoners beamed to Pixan. 
- 00:23: Prime Force discovered. You are ordered to capture Pixan. 

This mission is utterly confusing, essentially because it is almost impossible 
to complete. The problem is that the "Stolen Shuttle" that docks at Galcom HQ 
in the first few minutes is carrying Dr Myan Rolne. Once it docks, completing 
the mission's primary objective becomes impossible. If you follow GCV-Vagabond 
to Mars, you might not even see this event. Even if your battlecruiser waits 
in Earth region at the beginning, the shuttle still heads for Galcom HQ. Josh 
comments: "This shuttle is only supposed to launch when you are in the system, 
but it doesn't. It launches at the beginning, no matter who tells you 
otherwise." Following the mission brief will fail the mission, earning you 5 
violations (half way to a court martial) for your trouble. 

The only way known to complete this mission successfully is for your 
battlecruiser to be in Lennen at the very start of the mission. In this case, 
the shuttle will recognise you on launch, and everyone will beam aboard - 
primary objective met. This means pre-empting the mission and completely 
disregarding the orders and storyline. I have tried mugging the renegade 
shuttle once it arrives in Earth region, even tractoring it and hauling it 
back to Lennen, but nothing except being in Lennen at the start triggers Dr 
Myan Rolne to beam across.


6.9.3 Strategy

As described above, the only way to complete this mission successfully is to 
be in Lennen at the start of the mission. This means flying there before you 
get the mission instructions, since the one minute of pre-mission time is not 
enough to jump more than one sector. Position yourself close to the Lyrius 
jump point. At the start of the mission the Stolen Shuttle will launch. 
Pugwash notes: "Remember to turn the PTA off or they may destroy the shuttle 
before it reaches you." Once the Stolen Shuttle comes close, everyone will 
beam aboard. 

If you wish to wait for the rest of the drama to play out and then attack 
Pixan, you can. However, at the start of the mission none of the station's 
weapons are working, nor will it launch new fighters at you. Consequently it 
is far easier to capture the station before you are ordered to capture it, and 
before any of the other Terran Military ships arrive. In the first 15 minutes 
it is possible to complete all the mission objectives with the minimum of 
damage. If you wait until you are instructed to capture the station, other 
Terran Military ships in the area will help, although you cannot order them, 
and at best they provide covering fire whilst you capture the station. 
Suitable tactics are covered by the Station capture tutorial above. 

If you have played straight through from the start without delaying in-station 
for repairs, your crew will want to take their first meal-break around now. 
Their Fatigue Factor will start to drop - take them off-duty and they will 
head for the Galley to eat, assuming you have Nutripaks in stock. The downtime 
after this mission is quite useful for resting your crew.



6.10 TOD2 M4/5 - Operation Star Strike (Sygan)

6.10.1 Overview

- Start location: Earth, Sol. 
- Pre-mission time: 1 minute. 
- Mission duration: 90 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: Toron-1 must not be captured by Insurgents. 
- Secondary Objective: Capture Sygan. 
- Rewards: 2500 experience points plus Order of Wraith medal (Clint Raines 
says "Planetary Shield medal", but you get an Order of Wraith) for each of 
primary objective. 2500 experience points plus Planetary Shield medal for 
secondary objective. 
- Artifacts: None. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.10.2 Events

At the start of the mission, GCV-Centauri will leave Galcom HQ, Earth, Sol, 
and attempt to capture Sygan station in Barnard's Star. GCV-Lunguard will 
leave Starpath, Mars, Sol, and attempt to attack Sygan. GCV-PForce1 will also 
leave from Starpath, but heads to Toron-1, Krystar, Tau Ranis. When GCV-
PForce1 arrives in Krystar, an Insurgent fleet will attempt to capture Toron-


6.10.3 Why didn't I get Fleet Command and Control?

Haha... I was wondering when you'd notice that. The mission description 
suggests you should go to Orion HQ (Jupiter, Sol) at the start of the mission, 
where the Supreme Commander will beam aboard, granting you Fleet Command and 
Control. This mission would benefit from it. "SCMDR Karl Reines" does indeed 
beam aboard if you go to Jupiter, which sounds like the Supreme Commander. 
Unfortunately for you, the rest of the fleet only recognises the authority of 
"Karl Reines", without the "SCMDR" part. Consequently, you never actually get 
access to Fleet Command and Control during this mission - none of the Fleet 
commands become available.


6.10.4 Strategy

Fleet Command and Control would open up a lot of options in this mission that 
don't exist when you have only your own ship to control. Accompany the three 
ships into Sygan. I suggest you launch a probe in Sygan to monitor the battle. 

Now you have a choice. You can either, (1) abandon GCV-PForce1 and Toron-1 to 
chance, and get 'stuck in' attacking Sygan station; or (2) leave GCV-Centauri 
and GCV-Lunguard to soak some of Sygan's defenses, accompany GCV-PForce1, 
engage the Insurgents in Krystar, and then return to Sygan to capture the 

Toron-1 is not attacked with overwhelming force. It is unlikely that the 
Insurgents will succeed in capturing the station, and far more likely that 
Toron-1 will be able to repel the Insurgent fleet using only its own defenses. 
The problem is there is a very small chance that Toron-1 will be captured, at 
which point the primarily mission objective will be failed. 

The second option ensures Toron-1 remains out of Insurgent control by 
personally disposing of the Insurgent fleet. It is possible to assign 
interceptors for this, and hold your battlecruiser in Sygan. Interceptors 
alone aren't enough to deal with the Insurgents, they have to augment the 
station's defenses. Controlling interceptors in such a way that they don't get 
destroyed is exceptionally hard, even more so without probe coverage, and 
verging on impossible if you are engaged in the battle for Sygan at the same 
time. Instead, fly with GCV-PForce1 to Krystar, and return to Sygan when the 
Insurgent fleet has been destroyed. The two friendly ships attacking the 
station will have exhausted some of the station's missile and fighter defenses 
in the meantime. 

Sygan is quite a tough station, with 9 gun turrets, and a support fleet that 
includes 4 carriers and 40 fighters. Unlike earlier station capturing, Sygan 
will use its defenses against you. You need to use a few tricks against it. 
Liberal use of missiles will help - try STS-Vagrant missiles - fire 2 
magazines worth and capturing becomes almost a formality ;-) . Sygan is shaped 
like an X with a tower sticking up from the middle. The station's blind spot 
is on the exact opposite side from the tower, but covers any range, so you can 
attack from a range of 15-20 clicks, which may be an easier position to hold 
than one very close up. 

Personally I found I was primarily battling against the low frame-rate caused 
by shear number of different battles taking place - at least until all those 
other ships the Terran Military had sent along had been destroyed. Your 
mileage may vary, but I can't imagine this is playable on lower specification 
machines. It may be preferable to find a quiet sector, wait 20-30 minutes for 
the AI-controlled ships and missiles to burn out, and then move in against 
Sygan on your own - slightly harder, perhaps, but at least you will be able to 
see what is going on... 

The mission brief instructs you to go to Tramis, Alpha Centauri, once the 
battles are over. This is not required, although you should be heading in that 
direction by the end of the mission, in order to carry out the next mission. 
If you re-deployed your mining drones on Earth, it may be time for another 
extraction 'mission'. If you have successfully completed all the missions thus 
far, around now your experience point total will be enough to earn you 
promotion to Fleet Commander. This sounds great, but has few advantages - 
essentially one's salary goes up from not much to not much ;-) .



6.11 TOD2 M5/5 - Operation Ghosthunt (Reingard)

6.11.1 Overview

- Start location: LV-130, Alpha Canis (mission brief says Earth, Sol). 
- Pre-mission time: 1 minute. 
- Mission duration: 90 minutes. 
- Secondary Objectives: Tow GCV-Reingard, locate probe, locate shuttle, locate 
Enhanced Nav Module. 
- Rewards: 1000 experience points for towing GCV-Reingard, 500 for finding 
probe, 500 for finding shuttle. Star of Merit on completion of this tour of 
duty. Unconfirmed - 2500 experience points for destroying Salamanda. 
- Artifacts: Enhanced Nav Module. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.11.2 Events

This mission contains four separate events, however the first may not happen, 
leaving you variously confused or in need of a work-around. 

- (1) Reingard's ship, GCV-Reingard, starts in LV-130, Alpha Canis. The 
problem seems to be that at the very start of the mission, the ship decides it 
wants to dock with the local station. It never re-launches. Unless you are in 
LV-130 at the start of the mission, you will arrive and not find anything. 
Ghosthunt indeed. The only way I have found to complete the first part of the 
mission is to be *in* LV-130 at the start of the mission, which obviously 
means pre-empting it. The second the mission starts, order one of your 
shuttles to tow the GCV-Reingard. The shuttle will chase the ship and stop it 
docking. Over the next few minutes your officers will talk, during which time 
you must keep the ship tractored. Once you get the message "+1000 experience 
points for towing GCV-Reingard" you can deliver the ship to the nearby 

- (2) Find the probe one of your officers mentioned as being in Polaris - it 
is in Polaris-1. Once you find the probe, your officers will investigate it, 
and reveal that one of the ship's shuttles is in LV-105, Alpha Cygni. 

- (3) Once you arrive in LV-105 you will find a shuttle marked Reingard 
Shuttle. Your officers will have further discussions, revealing that the 
artifact has been stolen and the thief is in Tyrinis. If you remain in LV-105 
the Reingard Shuttle will head towards you and explode, inflicting heavy 
damage on your battlecruiser. 

- (4) To complete the mission, find and destroy the Gammulan carrier 
Salamanda. The Salamanda will turn up in Tyrinis eventually, however it may be 
cloaked making it rather hard to spot. Also mug the Enhanced Nav Module (see 
below) from the Salamanda. 

If you enter Xylan, Tau Ceti, the GCV-Warmage will start to escort your 


6.11.3 Strategy

As noted above, if you wish to complete every part of this mission, you must 
pre-empt it by being in LV-130 at the start. Every part of this mission is 
optional. There are no negative consequences as a result of ignoring this 
mission. Indeed, the only real reason to look for Reingard is to recover the 
Enhanced Nav Module. 

Ensure your officers are on-station throughout, otherwise their discussions 
won't happen and you will not know where to look for the next part of the 
puzzle. Likewise, your battlecruiser must travel to each location - if you 
just send a support craft, nothing much will happen. 

Although 90 minutes sounds like a long time, you will need most of this time 
to crisscross the map. Don't hang around. Subtle techniques like using 
afterburner to reach jump points faster can help. There is limited scope for 
speeding up the mission by using flux fields. Between Alpha Canis and Polaris 
you can make use of flux field Majoris (FL-06) Alpha Majora to Sygan, 
Barnard's Star. Between Polaris and Alpha Cygni you can make use of flux field 
Polaris-1 (FL-07) to Darian in Trenis, and flux field Regis IV (FL-09) in 
Regulus to LV-104 in Alpha Cygni; or return via the Sygan flux field to 
Majoris, and then use the flux field in Ylisia (FL-12) Omega Eridani to reach 
LV-104, Alpha Cygni. Save beforehand because some of these routes involve a 
chance of reaching a blackhole. The actual time saving from the use of flux 
fields is relatively modest. If you pass through Xylan you will gain an 
escort. Your escort (GCV-Warmage) will probably not be able to keep up with 
you, so don't worry too much about losing it. It will chase you, and 
eventually may show up again. 

It can be hard to avoid the Reingard Shuttle exploding. The moment you enter 
the region, turn around and 'burn towards the worm hole. Be sure you wait long 
enough for your officers to reveal the final part of the puzzle. If it does 
explode, it will take half your reactor with it, which is likely to spread 
radiation onto at least one deck - use radiation control units to clean this 
up as fast as possible or expect to see your Medibay fill up with 'radiated' 
crew. To make matters worse, it will probably also damage Engineering, sending 
half your Systems Engineers to the Medibay at a time when you need them to 
patch up the ship. 

Finding the Salamanda can be somewhere between hard and impossible. I suspect 
it may patrol several sectors in Gammula, although it will pass through 
Tryrinis eventually, and this region has an advantage of no hostile 
starstations, so you can fight without tens of extra craft joining in. Listen 
for the voice saying "battlecruiser acquired" when there are no hostile ships 
on the radar - that is the best indication you and the Salamanda are in the 
same region. The Salamanda may launch attacks against you using other craft, 
in which case the best tactic is to injure the hostile craft until it tries to 
escape. The hostile ship's order may read something like "RTB Salamanda". At 
that point follow it. With luck you will see the Salamanda momentarily de-
cloak. Keep firing at it and it will never fully re-cloak. If you cannot get 
close, Pugwash suggests assigning the ship to the priority list when it 
becomes visible, then: "when it cloaks again just use attack - priority - 
Salamanda and although you can't see the Salamanda the HUD will give the 
location for a few seconds." An alternative strategy is simply to wait in the 
sector for the Salamanda to attack you. This may work, but some players report 
waiting 30 minutes before anything happens, so you may not have enough time. 

In spite of ensuring I personally killed the Salamanda, I cannot get anything 
except the default 1000 experience points for destroying a Gammulan carrier. 
See Objectives and rewards above for further discussion of this problem. 

Look out for bonus cargo during this mission. The GCV-Reingard can be mugged 
for a large number of spares. The Salamanda also has plentiful stocks. 

At the end of the mission, head back towards Sol. If you wait in Gammulan 
space until the next mission orders arrive, you will miss much of the next 
mission. If GCV-Warmage survived, it will continue to escort you for the rest 
of the ACM until it is destroyed.


6.11.4 Artifact: Enhanced Nav Module

The Enhanced Nav Module must be mugged from the Salamanda in or around 
Tyrinis, Gammula (see above). No installation is required, just keep it in 
your battlecruiser's cargo hold. When the artifact is available, the ENM text 
on the left-hand side of the bridge view will light up in green. The Enhanced 
Nav Module removes the need to fuel hyperjumps, and recharges the hyperjump 
engine instantly. Unfortunately, it is another of the artifacts with officer-
AI requirements. In this case either the Flight Officer or Navigation Officer 
must have an AI above 50 (see The AI problem above for more). Consequently it 
is quite likely that you will not be able to use the artifact immediately.



6.12 TOD3 M1/5 - Planetary Strike (Moon)

6.12.1 Overview

- Start location: Moon, Sol. 
- Pre-mission time: 10 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 30 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: Genesis station must not be destroyed. 
- Secondary Objective: Destroy Aestrom and Megaron "Unknown Contacts". 
- Rewards: 2500 experience points and Planetary Shield medal for primary 
objective. Unconfirmed - Up to 2500 bonus experience points plus Award for 
Gallantry for secondary objectives. 
- Artifacts: None. 
- Time till next mission: 10 minutes.


6.12.2 Events

An Insurgent fleet will attack Genesis station. It needs to be repelled. There 
are some cloaked Insurgents ships marked Unknown Contact lurking. Once your 
battlecruiser enters the battle, the ECV-Defiance will drop a pod containing 8 
OTS missiles (nukes). Once the battle is over, you may use these to attack 
Insurgent bases on the surface of the Moon.


6.12.3 Strategy

Ignore the orders to attack the Insurgent bases initially, and defend Genesis 
against the attacking Insurgent fleet. No special tactics, just jump close to 
the station and start blasting away :-) . Throw your interceptors into the 
battle if you wish, but expect them to come back damaged. The secondary 
objectives are hard to complete. You may see one Unknown Contact rush headlong 
towards Genesis station at the start and get destroyed before you have a 
chance to engage it. To get the bonus, *you* must destroy it. The other 
Unknown Contact carrier may remain cloaked and simply launch fighters, making 
it hard to find in the heat of battle. If you want to try and meet the 
secondary objectives you probably need to be in Moon region at the very start, 
and even then may need to make several attempts. 

Send a shuttle out to pick up the pod the ECV-Defiance drops. Bring the 
missiles therein back to your battlecruiser. You now have a choice between 
making money or experience. If you still need money, ignore the orders and 
trade the OTS missiles at Genesis - you will make about 10 million credits. 
Alternatively, Observe the Moon, find some of the TER/INS mission zones, 
locate compounds with a high proportion of military targets (ground units, 
launch pads, etc), not primarily civilian compounds (factories, offices, etc), 
and drop a nuke on each of them. One can happily gain 10,000 experience 

There is no specific mission bonus or negative consequence related to 
attacking the bases. There is no need to attack every Terran Insurgent 
compound on the Moon. Do not consider ground operations - you do not have 
time. The primary aim of the mission is to defend Genesis.



6.13 TOD3 M2/5 - Search and Destroy (Covert Fleet)

6.13.1 Overview

- Start location: Darain, Trenis. 
- Pre-mission time: 10 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 45 minutes. 
- Secondary Objectives: You must destroy Zelon military Firestorm, Jenstar and 
Garid (the three "Unknown Contacts"). 
- Rewards: Unconfirmed - 1500 experience points for Firestorm, 500 for 
Jenstar, 750 for Garid, plus Combat Shield medal if you destroyed all three 
"Unknown Contacts". 
- Artifacts: Karanian Mark IV Reactor. 
- Time till next mission: 20 minutes.


6.13.2 Events

There are three hostile Zelon military ships labelled "Unknown Contact" in 
Romus IV, Trenis. One, a Firestorm carrier is cloaked. It also carries the 
Karanian Mark IV Reactor (see below). You have two allies. Alin Tin's ship 
UCV-Melanix starts in Darain, and will patrol the circle of five systems that 
make up Credian space. Jack Dearth's GCV-Mandrake starts in Scorpia and will 
conduct a similar patrol. The Zelon ships will attack whoever finds them 


6.13.3 Strategy

You can let your allies find the Zelon fleet first. If you want all the kills 
(which in theory are required to maximise the mission bonuses) it helps if you 
attack first. This probably means starting the mission in Romus IV. Zelon 
Military ships are neutral (blue radar contacts) at the start of this mission. 
The larger of three ships, the Firestorm, will cloak and launch fighter(s) at 
you. Once you have destroyed the fighters it should attack you, at which point 
destroy it. With an upgraded battlecruiser this is quite an easy battle, so 
long as you don't get caught out and attacked from the rear. Send a shuttle to 
grab the Karanian Mark IV Reactor the Firestorm drops. 

The other two Zelon Military ships appear un-aggressive. Their reaction to 
this fire-fight is normally to flee to Oruna station in Darain. If you want 
all the mission bonuses, follow them, ideally using interceptors to keep them 
occupied. Alternatively, attack the two neutral Zelon ships first, then 
destroy the Firestorm. This approach is slightly more dangerous because it 
means fighting with a half-cloaked hostile carrier on your rear, but does make 
it more likely that you will be destroy all three ships. This is another 
mission where I personally killed all of the ships, but none of the alleged 
mission bonuses were paid - see Objectives and rewards above for further 
discussion of this issue. Use the down-time towards the end of the mission to 
get the reactor installed and remain in the area in preparation for the next 


6.13.4 Artifact: Karanian Mark IV Reactor

The Zelon Firestorm is carrying this. It should be dropped once the Firestorm 
is destroyed, even if someone else got the kill. Alternatively it can be 
mugged. Install the Karanian Mark IV as a regular reactor upgrade. The 
artifact reduces fuel consumption, both in its routine operation and in jumps.



6.14 TOD3 M3/5 - Tactical Strike (Antis)

5.14.1 Overview

- Start location: Antis, Trenis. 
- Pre-mission time: 10 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 60 minutes. 
- Secondary Objective: Destroy Spectre HQ. 
- Rewards: 5000 experience points and Order of Wraith medal if you destroyed 
the station (unconfirmed). Combat Shield medal if another ship destroyed the 
station and you are in Antis at the end of the mission. 
- Artifacts: Trans-Matrix Cloaking Device. 
- Time till next mission: 20 minutes.


6.14.2 Events

If you first jump to Cronus, Alpha Centauri, and rendezvous with GCV-Prime 1, 
"SCMDR Karl Reines" will beam aboard (if he ever left following the earlier 
mission). As before, you will not actually gain Fleet Command and Control - 
see Why didn't I get Fleet Command and Control? above. 

Four Terran Military ships are in the Trenis area - battlecruisers GCV-
Starguard and GCV-Antiria, and cruisers GCV-Mangalor and GCV-Platypus. In 
addition to the normal station defenses, there are five Insurgent carriers, 
all labelled "Unknown Contact", cloaked and spread around the regions of 
Trenis. These Insurgent carriers will launch fighters to protect Spectre HQ. 
One of these, the "Unknown Contact" Megaron in Antis is carrying the Trans-
Matrix Cloaking Device.


6.14.3 Strategy

Finding Karl Reines is a huge diversion from the battle. Even using flux 
fields (Mars/FL-02/SN-03/FL-07/Darain) you will waste 15-20 minutes at the 
start of the mission getting to and from Cronus. Since "SCMDR Karl Reines" 
does not grant you Fleet Command and Control, visiting Cronus has no benefit. 
Indeed, it is possible that "SCMDR Karl Reines" was already on your 
battlecruiser from an earlier mission, in which case nothing will change. 

Destroying Spectre HQ is relatively easy: It has a massive blind spot in 
between its 'legs', the four long structures extruding from the core of the 
station. Cloak, fly into the blind spot, and 40 STS-Vagrants and some IOD fire 
later the station will have been destroyed. The station will launch missiles 
and support craft whilst you are firing the missiles, but with luck you will 
destroy the station before these break through your shield. An alternative is 
to draw out all the station's support craft by waiting in-station near a jump 
point or wormhole. Once the worst of their fleet has been destroyed, move in 
for the station kill. Watch out for the favourite Insurgent tactic of ramming 
you with a Warmonger - every ram does a little bit of damage, and if you let 
them, by the end of the battle, your ship will be in a mess. 

If you attack the station straight away you will have little support from the 
other Terran Military ships operating in the area. These will slowly filter 
in, normally after they have dealt with hostile ships in neighbouring regions 
and never seemed to do anything more than create a diversion. 

Recovery of the Trans-Matrix Cloaking Device (see below) is perhaps harder 
than destroying the station. The ship carrying it is cloaked near the Arenis 
wormhole. I found that by choosing to fight all the other hostile ships close 
to this wormhole, eventually the cloaked ship got caught up in the fight and 
momentarily de-cloaked. An element of luck is still required. The Trans-Matrix 
Cloaking Device probably cannot be used immediately, but it is a fantastic 
artifact and well worth trying to recover. 

There should be plenty of downtime for repairs at the end of the mission. 
Unless you are sure *you* have destroyed the station (and as discussed in 
Objectives and rewards above, there is a good chance your kill has not 
actually been registered to you), ensure you are in Antis at the end of the 
mission, or else you will get no mission bonuses at all.


6.14.4 Artifact: Trans-Matrix Cloaking Device

The device is on Insurgent Megaron "Unknown Contact", initially cloaked in 
Antis, near the Arenis wormhole. Locating this ship requires a lot of luck - 
see above. The ship may attempt to flee once heavily damaged, so is best 
mugged. No installation is required, just keep the artifact in your 
battlecruiser's cargo hold. When the artifact is available, the TMCD text just 
below centre on the bridge view will light up in green. The Trans-Matrix 
Cloaking Device is the type of artifact that can make one ship as effective as 
a whole fleet: It allows you to fire when cloaked, uses less fuel when 
cloaked, and allows cloaked ships to be targeted. Under these conditions you 
become almost invincible. Unfortunately, it is another of the artifacts with 
officer-AI requirements. In this case both the Research Engineer and Chief 
Engineer must have an AI of 75 or above (see The AI problem above for more). 
Consequently there is almost no chance of being able to use the artifact 
before the end of the ACM.



6.15 TOD3 M4/5 - Defense Shield (Starpath)

6.15.1 Overview

- Start location: Mars, Sol. 
- Pre-mission time: 15 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 60 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: Starpath must not be destroyed. 
- Secondary Objective: You must be in Mars sector at mission end. 
- Rewards: 5000 experience points and Commander's Shield medal if both 
objectives completed. 
- Artifacts: None. 
- Time till next mission: 15 minutes.


6.15.2 Events

There are three Insurgent carriers cloaked around Mars. All will attempt to 
destroy Starpath station, launching fighters in the process.


6.15.3 Strategy

The quickest way from Antis, Trenis to Mars, Sol, is to use flux fields - 
Darain through FL-07 to SN-03, then FL-02 to Mars - however there is a chance 
of arriving in a blackhole on the last jump. Flying via traditional jump 
points and wormholes is also possible, but the timing is quite tight unless 
you pre-empt the mission. It is quite important to be in Mars at the start of 
the mission. 

There are many tactics you could use. I suggest assigning interceptors to 
defend the Starpath and positioning your battlecruiser near the station. Your 
interceptors will get minced up, order them back to base once you spot they 
have sustained heavy damage. Use PTA on attacking fighters - they primarily 
use missiles to attack the station, so are travelling too fast to effectively 
dogfight in a battlecruiser. Keep watch for attacking carriers, which you 
should use your battlecruiser to engage directly. Other options include laying 
mines (not especially effective against fighters) or jumping into an 
interceptor yourself for a bit of dogfighting (this may work, but can make it 
hard to control all your other ships). Unlike the earlier defense of Genesis, 
Starpath is genuinely threatened in this mission - if you do nothing there is 
a good chance the Insurgents will destroy it. 

To get the mission bonuses you must remain in Mars region until the end, or 
more precisely be in Mars region *at* the end. You should have time to 
undertake light repairs (mostly to re-build your interceptors), restock, and 
refuel in preparation for the last two missions. Gather together plenty of 
spare parts, Iridium and missiles - consider filling your ATVs, Transporter 
and some of your shuttles with reserve stocks. The next mission occurs on the 
opposite side of the map, so be ready to leave Mars the minute this mission is 



6.16 TOD3 M5/5 - Tactical Escort (Falkerie)

6.16.1 Overview

- Start location: LV-103, Alpha Cygni. 
- Pre-mission time: 15 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 45 minutes. 
- Primary Objective: UCV-Triand must not be destroyed. 
- Secondary Objective: UCV-Triand must dock. 
- Rewards: Unconfirmed - 2500 experience points and Star of Merit medal for 
secondary objective. 
- Artifacts: Phased Array Ion Disruptor. Just Another Cyborg available around 
this time. 
- Time till next mission: 20 minutes.


6.16.2 Events

The UCV-Triand starts in LV-103, but will move between the three systems in 
Alpha Cygni until it finds you or is destroyed. The Gammulan military has 
three Stormcarriers operating in this area, each of which has several fighter 
patrols in Alpha Cygni. One of the Stormcarriers may attack UCV-Triand and, if 
successful, steal its artifact cargo. 

If you find the UCV-Triand before it is engaged by the Gammulans, it will send 
the message "Greetings commander. I have the artifact. The pod is in LV-103." 
The Phased Array Ion Disruptor (see below) will then appear in a pod in LV-
103. If the UCV-Triand is attacked, it is likely that the artifact will be 
transferred to one of the Gammulan Stormcarriers. Shortly after you first 
reach the UCV-Triand it is supposed to start heading towards Galcom HQ. In my 
experience, it gets as far as LV-105 and stops dead for the rest of the 


6.16.3 Strategy

If you do not reach the UCV-Triand within the first minute of the mission it 
is likely that the Gammulans will destroy the ship. While you may still be 
able to recover the artifact, the primary objective cannot be met, and you 
take a 2500 experience point deduction. If you pre-empt the mission, there are 
30 minutes available to travel between Mars and LV-103. If you leave Mars 
early you forfeit the bonus for the previous mission. Using conventional jump 
points and wormholes the route crosses about 25 regions. With continuous use 
of afterburner and a fair bit of luck, you might just make it in time. If you 
have the Hyperion Subspace Device or Enhanced Navigation Module available 
getting to the start location is relatively easy: I assume you will not have 
the officer-AI levels required to operate either by this stage, even if you 
have the artifacts. The solution is to use flux fields. Fly to Ylisia, Omega 
Eridani (12 jumps from Mars) and jump through flux field FL-12 to LV-104. Save 
before making the jump, because there is a chance of arriving in a blackhole. 
This route is *just* possible to complete in the 15 minutes of pre-mission 
time if you are lucky, but I would advise you pre-empt the mission slightly to 
allow the journey to be made in a slightly more relaxed way. 

In the initial battle, ensure you destroy the carrier(s) early, before they 
have a chance to turn and face you. Once you get a message from the UCV-Triand 
that it has dropped the pod, send a shuttle out and grab it immediately - you 
may even be able to use the Phased Array Ion Disruptor in this battle. The 
UCV-Triand will circle the three sectors in the Alpha Cygni system. If it 
disappears at any time it has probably just jumped to one of the neighbouring 
regions. It may be attacked in another region while you are busy fighting in 
the first. 

Having destroyed all the enemy ships, you may expect the UCV-Triand to start 
heading back to Galcom HQ as suggested by the mission brief. In my experience, 
if left alone the UCV-Triand will stop in LV-105 and not move for the 
remainder of the mission. Towing the craft back to Galcom HQ can be done - for 
example by assigning a shuttle and towing it back via the flux field route you 
probably used to get here. However, delivering the tractored ship to Galcom HQ 
does not complete the secondary objective. If you simply tow the craft back to 
Earth it will remain inactive outside of the station, refusing to dock. In 
essence, I can find no way to complete the secondary objective. The best 
strategy at this stage is to tow the UCV-Triand into Cygni station in LV-103. 
This prevents it being destroyed and so meets the primary objective. 

Use the time after dealing with the UCV-Triand to locate the artifact Just 
Another Cyborg (JAC, see below). You can save some time reaching JAC by using 
flux field and supernova links LV-104/FL-12/SN-06/FL-09/Regis IV, but this 
route has a high chance of delivering you to the wrong place or into a 
blackhole. Consequently it may be easier just to fly via regular jump points 
and wormholes. Remain in the Gammulan quadrant of the galaxy at the end of the 


6.16.4 Artifact: Phased Array Ion Disruptor

If you are in LV-103 at the very start of the mission, you should immediately 
rendezvous with the UCV-Triand and receive the message "Greetings commander. I 
have the artifact. The pod is in LV-103." The UCV-Triand should drop a pod 
called "UCV-Triand POD". If you meet the UCV-Triand in a different sector 
there is a chance that it will tell you the pod is in LV-103 - even if you did 
not spot it first time around, it will be waiting there now. There is also a 
chance that one of the Gammulan Stormcarriers has captured the artifact - you 
will get a message "They took the artifact" if the UCV-Triand no longer has 
it. In the event that the UCV-Triand has been destroyed, the artifact will 
either be on-board one of the Stormcarriers or floating around in space in one 
of the three Alpha Cygni sectors. 

The Phased Array Ion Disruptor is essentially a bigger gun which may be used 
as an alternative to your battlecruiser's main laser. It is a beam rather than 
a pulse laser and works exceptionally well against large targets such as 
carriers and stations. No installation is required, just keep the artifact in 
your cargo hold. To use the Phased Array Ion Disruptor de-couple the IOD 
(press Scroll Lock).


6.16.5 Artifact: Just Another Cyborg

At the start of this mission you may receive a message "Intel reports an 
artifact on a ship in Krynon." The ship in question is the Valkerie Assassin 
Questar, UCV-Kulnogla. It starts in Lydan, Krynon, and patrols sectors between 
Chanis 1 in Xyon, and Pravis in Cyrian. JAC has the ability to repair systems 
without any repair materials. It will fix things apparently at random. No 
installation is required, just keep it in your ship's cargo hold. It is 
particularly useful for conducting minor repairs, such as those inflicted when 
bumping into other craft. It does not repair support craft such as 

Sounds too good to be true? Maybe. I think it is a significant factor in crew 
becoming permanently stuck in your battlecruiser's deck corridors - see Why do 
my crew get stuck on decks? below. I would therefore advise you do not place 
it in your cargo hold, at least until you have finished the ACM and can 
experiment at leisure.



6.17 TOD4 M1/1 - Tactical Strike (Gammulan)

6.17.1 Overview

- Start location: Earth, Sol (mission brief says Gammulan Quadrant). 
- Pre-mission time: 30 minutes. 
- Mission duration: 90 minutes. 
- Primary Objectives: Stations Hexar, Gammula, Sorius, Parix, Rogan, Sovar and 
Rocon must be destroyed. 
- Rewards: 150,000 experience points, Star of Merit medal, Eye of Andromeda 
medal and Order of Universe. 
- Artifacts: RANDOM and RANDOM Decoder.


6.17.2 Events

The following stations need to be destroyed: 

- Hexar, Gamma-1, Gammula (contains RANDOM decoder). 
- Gammula, Gamma-2, Gammula (contains RANDOM). 
- Sorius, LV-110, Gammula. 
- Parix, LV-115, Gammula. 
- Rogan, Chalinis, Alpha Gamma. 
- Sovar, Mantisi, Alpha Gamma. 
- Rocon, Regis VI, Regulus. 

Several additional Gammulan Stormcarriers and several fighter groups are 
patrolling Gammula and Alpha Gamma systems.


6.17.3 Strategy

Gammulan stations are not easy to destroy, but will fall eventually. What 
makes this mission difficult is that seven stations must be destroyed within 2 

Do not be concerned that the mission start location is shown as Earth, Sol - 
there is no need to go there. Instead, aim to start the mission in the 
Gammulan quadrant of the map. This will allow you to use the pre-mission and 
mission time, giving you a total of 2 hours. You may pre-empt the mission, and 
start your attacks during the last stage of the previous mission - this might 
give a total of 2.5 hours. The mission description implies that you should 
retrieve the RANDOM artifact and its decoder before attacking the stations. 
Both these artifacts are on stations anyway (see below). The RANDOM weapon has 
no use against star-stations, so there is no advantage to retrieving it first. 
The order of your attacks does not appear to make any difference. 

You do not have time to draw out station defenders and defenses before 
assaulting each station. Once travel time has been discounted, you might only 
have 10-15 minutes per station. I think the best strategy is to cloak, enter 
the region, fly close to the station and fire. The aim is to destroy the 
station before it can overwhelm you with its defenses. Doing this without any 
artifacts is hard. One of two artifacts make it easy. The Trans-Matrix 
Cloaking Device should allow you to fire whilst cloaked, so the station will 
never be alerted to your presence. It is unlikely you will have the required 
officer AI levels to use the device, even if you have it. An alternative is to 
use the Phased Array Ion Disruptor, which inflicts huge amounts of damage on 
stations quite rapidly. With a reasonable shield, you should be able to 
survive long enough to destroy the station so long as you get into one of the 
station's blind spots: 

- Hexar, Gamma-1, Gammula: Try to position yourself in the gap in the centre 
of the station - this is not easy. 
- Gammula, Gamma-2, Gammula: Move into the gap in between the station's 
'legs'. See below for hints on finding the station. 
- Parix, LV-115, Gammula: Position your ship in the small gap in the centre, 
inbetween the upper and lower tier of the station - this is not easy. 
- Sorius, LV-110, Gammula: Position your ship very close, between the large 
circular part that makes up the top of the station and the 'legs' protruding 
from the base. 
- Rogan, Chalinis, Alpha Gamma: Position your ship very close, between the 
large circular part that makes up the top of the station and the 'legs' 
protruding from the base. 
- Sovar, Mantisi, Alpha Gamma: Get in between the two star shaped segments 
that make up the station. 
- Rocon, Regis VI, Regulus: Align your ship so that the station appears as 
thin as possible, then get very close - almost inside the structure, but not 

Gammula station (in Gamma-2) has an unusual feature - it cloaks. Like cloaked 
ships, it de-cloaks momentarily when launching ships or firing missiles. It 
can also be seen when gun-fire hits it. Unlike cloaked ships, it will not move 
far, so once you get its approximate position the easiest tactic is to fly in 
a straight line towards it, firing into 'space' until it shows up - or you ram 
it... The station may not de-cloak until it sees you, meaning you will have to 
de-cloak momentarily on entering the region. 

It is important to remain operational throughout the mission. As soon as a 
station has been destroyed, de-cloak. Do not start your next attack until 
radiation levels decline or else your crew will become radiated. Light damage 
is inevitable. Expect to keep your System Engineers busy. Do not expect to 
find any nearby stations willing to sell you spare parts. 

Without artifacts, consider using large quantities of missiles instead of the 
Phased Array Ion Disruptor. 40-50 STS-Vagrant missiles per station should be 
adequate. This is likely to require stocks of missiles to be purchased in 
advance and placed in storage in Shuttle, ATVs, and on the Transporter.


6.17.4 Artifacts: RANDOM and RANDOM Decoder

Both these items are available anytime after TOD3 M1/5 - Planetary Strike 
(Moon), but there are few opportunities to capture them at that stage since 
most of the TOD3 activity takes place close to Sol, and there are no 
particular advantages to doing so. RANDOM is on Gammula station, Gamma-2, 
Gammula. The RANDOM decoder is on Hexar station, Gamma-1, Gammula. Both are 
required to use the weapon. RANDOM is a planetary attack weapon, launched in a 
similar way to OTS missiles via Tacops. It destroys all life on the targeted 
planet. Its use also leads to a court-martial (however, by this stage of the 
game you are more than capable of surviving without the Terran Military). 
RANDOM requires the Research Engineer, Tactical Officer and Chief Engineer to 
have AIs of 100 (see The AI problem above for further discussion).


6.17.5 What now?

Congratulations. You are one of the few players who have ever completed the 
ACM. It is likely you will have amassed enough experience points by the end of 
the ACM to reach the rank of Supreme Commander - completing the last mission 
should give at least 185,000 experience points (mission bonus plus 5,000 for 
each Gammulan station), which is only 15,000 off Supreme Commander rank. 
Supreme Commander rank gives you access to Fleet Command and Control. Once the 
ACM has been completed, the game defaults to free-flight style, allowing you 
to do whatever you wish. Unlike free-flight, you should have assembled an 
exceptionally powerful, artifact laden battlecruiser - you are practically 
unstoppable... Some artifacts will require additional crew experience, so 
consider using repair-based delaying tactics to raise officer AI levels (see 
The AI problem above). 

There is only one official ACM, however an unofficial Insurgent campaign has 
been written, which you may wish to try - see Can I play as an Insurgent? Are 
there other ACMs? below.





7.1 Introduction

Xtreme Carnage is a series of arcade style missions. You pilot an interceptor 
through a three-region galaxy, responding only to pre-scripted events. Like a 
traditional arcade game you cannot save the game and failing a mission 
requires you to restart completely. Be warned that Xtreme Carnage may take a 
few hours to complete - four hours if you use all the time available for 
missions. Be prepared for some serious frustration if you get bumped and 
suddenly explode half way through the last mission :-o . Still, the early 
missions get easier the tenth time around - trust me... 

The time limits given are the maximum times. Once the objectives are complete 
the next level will start regardless of how much time there is remaining. If 
the time limit is exceeded, the next mission will start, often with whatever 
hostile targets were left over from the previous failed mission remaining in 
the arena. You can see how much time you have remaining by cycling through the 
CVD display (press L several times). 

Your interceptor will be automatically repaired and rearmed at the start of 
each level. Unused missiles from the previous mission are discarded - each 
mission starts with the same ten missiles. Pilot damage is not repaired. If 
you accidentally get both pilots killed you can continue flying, however, once 
a second you will get a message informing you the pilots are dead along with a 
loud beep. This is likely to result in a severe headache, floods the 
communications log file, and prevents certain key commands from working, 
notably those that allow you to quit... 

Before starting Xtreme Carnage it is strongly recommended that you become 
familiar with the key commands required to fly an interceptor, target craft 
and navigate; and be familiar with HUD displays for critical things such as 
shields. Certain features such as Tacops are not available. Remember that 
Interceptors have a single radar display, so you need to switch modes between 
ships and navigational objects. Switch weapons on (W) at the start. The log 
(with mission details) can be accessed by pressing ALT+C. If you wish to exit 
Xtreme Carnage press ALT+E to detonate your craft or ALT+Q to return to the 
main menu. 

You will hear the voice of another pilot at the start of Xtreme Carnage. This 
is not a wingmen, merely your co-pilot. Their main role is to panic and inform 
you of things you have probably noticed already. There is no option to gag 


7.2 Level 1: Fighter Intercept

- Location: XC1 (Farstar). 
- Time: 15 minutes. 
- Objective: Destroy all Gammulan fighters (up to 4). 

Once you have heavily damaged either of the two initial enemy fighters they 
will call for backup. Each will call for up to one extra enemy fighter (Vandal 
and Defender), so you should expect to fight four enemy in total, but not more 
than two at one time. It is possible to fight only the initial two fighters by 
dealing the death blows very rapidly, so they die without having time to 
broadcast an SOS - multi-missile dive-bombs may achieve this. Avoid getting 
caught by multiple missiles and avoid bumps - one unlucky bump can completely 
destroy an interceptor or a critical system like guns or engines.


7.3 Level 2: Fighter Intercept

- Location: XC1 (Farstar). 
- Time: 15 minutes. 
- Objective: Destroy 2 Gammulan heavy fighters. 

Two hostile craft will attack you, a Stardrone and Infiltrator. This level is 
similar to the first but with no enemy backup.


7.4 Level 3: Transport Attack

- Location: XC1 (Farstar). 
- Time: 15 minutes. 
- Objective: Destroy Gammulan transport and eliminate 3 escort fighters. 

You have a wingman for this mission only, Mark Stryker in another interceptor. 
You cannot order your wingman - he will find his own targets. The transport is 
a Gammulan Canlon, defended by two L-Fighters and a Questar. If you destroy 
the transport, the escorts will normally flee, and after a minute or so the 
mission will be completed. Destroying the transport immediately is therefore 
the quickest way to finish the mission, and is best done by launching a full 
rack of missiles at close range. If you let the transport leave the sector, 
you can follow and attempt to destroy it in XC2 (Trion). If you finish the 
mission in XC2 an extra Gammulan patrol ship may attack you.


7.5 Level 4: Cruiser Strike

- Location: XC2 (Trion). 
- Time: 20 minutes. 
- Objective: Destroy Gammulan Starcruiser and 2 escort fighters. 

An Empirian Questar will assist in attacking the Gammulan Starcruiser. Try to 
get behind the cruiser while it is being engaged and pump missiles at it. You 
may need to destroy two Gammulan escort fighters, a Vandal and Sentinel - they 
may flee once the Starcruiser has been destroyed.


7.6 Level 5: Deep Strike

- Location: XC2 (Trion). 
- Time: 20 minutes. 
- Objective: Destroy Gammulan carrier and 2 escort fighters. 

A Terran battlecruiser appears and attacks the Gammulan Violon carrier and 
escorts (Zodiac and Zenstar). The battlecruiser does not last long, although 
it may have time to launch some support interceptors. The Gammulan carrier 
will jump to Hellseye (XC3). Once in Hellseye the cloaked station in the 
sector will continuously launch fighters against you. While it is possible to 
follow the carrier, pump missiles into it, and then finish it off with laser 
fire, the odds of surviving are low. The only way to stop it jumping near to 
the station is to deal with it when it is in Trion. Unfortunately, the carrier 
does not remain in Trion very long, and it is very hard to destroy it there. 
It may therefore be better to attack what you can and then let the mission 
time out.


7.7 Level 6: Tactical Support

- Location: Mission brief says XC2 (Trion), events are actually in XC1 
- Time: 20 minutes. 
- Objective: Destroy Gammulan cruiser and 2 fighters. 

If you are in XC2 the mission will start, nothing will appear to happen, and a 
minute later the next mission will be announced. The action actually happens 
in XC1 (Farstar), not XC2 as indicated by the mission brief. If you are in XC1 
at the start of the mission, two Terran transports (MRT-15 and Jenstar) will 
appear. You should defend them from a Gammulan cruiser (Sentry) and two 
fighters (Zenstar and Defender). You are assisted by a Terran Solnar cruiser, 
which should engage the Gammulan Sentry.


7.8 Level 7: Tactical Strike

- Location: XC3 (Hellseye). 
- Time: 20 minutes. 
- Objective: Destroy Gammulan Diplomat and Firestorm escort. 

If you finished the previous mission in XC1 you can use the flux field to jump 
between the two if you wish. The Gammulan diplomat is being escorted by a 
Firestorm carrier. You are assisted by a Terran Megaron, Viper and Corsair. 
The Megaron will engage the Firestorm. Missions in XC3 (Hellseye) are doubly 
difficult because in addition to the mission specific enemy ships, the cloaked 
station will keep on launching fighters at you. Attack the Diplomat rapidly to 
stop it escaping. The mission brief suggests that you should heavily damage 
the Diplomat ship to allow one of the other ships to beam troops across and 
arrest the diplomat. I have damaged the diplomat heavily enough for it to 
issue an SOS, but troops are not obviously beamed across, and the mission will 
not finished until the Diplomat is destroyed.


7.9 Level 8: Fleet Intercept

- Location: XC3 (Hellseye). 
- Time: 25 minutes. 
- Objective: Eliminate Gammulan Starwarrior and 2 Tarquin transports. 

Two armed Tarquin transports arrive and head for the cloaked station, escorted 
by a Starwarrior heavy cruiser. You are assisted by a Terran Sunflash and 
Templon, which will attack the transports. The transports may dock. If so, 
simply destroy the Starwarrior to complete the mission.


7.10 Level 9: Command Intercept

- Location: XC3 (Hellseye). 
- Time: 30 minutes. 
- Objective: Destroy Gammulan Starcarrier and Warmonger. 

A Terran Battlecruiser and Sunflash assist you, although these are unlikely to 
destroy the hostile ships on their own. This can be a very tough battle: My 
suggestion is to get right behind the enemy capital ships, so close you are 
almost ramming them, and hope to avoid hostile fighters and missiles.


7.11 Level 10: Final Conflict

- Location: XC3 (Hellseye). 
- Time: 60 minutes. 
- Objective: Destroy Gammulan Aestrom, Sentry and station. 

You will be assisted by a Terran Starcarrier, Starwarrior and Solnar. 
Unfortunately these will probably not be sufficient to deal with the hostile 
fleet, let alone attack the station. In theory, once the two additional 
Gammulan ships (Aestrom and Sentry) have been destroyed, the station will de-
cloak. Even without the station firing and launching fighters against you, 
destroying it with interceptor lasers will take a very long time. To quote a 
broadcast from one of the hostile ships at the outset of the mission, "You 
will never leave here alive. Prepare to die."


7.12 Bonus Level

Once the main 10 missions of Xtreme Carnage have been completed, shipping will 
be randomly generated across the three regions. Every 15 minutes a re-supply 
ship will appear in Farstar. If you are in the sector when it arrives you will 
be rearmed and repaired.





8.1 How do I cheat?

Several 'playmods' are available. These are included in the GBS archive (see 
What's the GBS? below). Playmods apply certain changes to the current player 
profile, such as instant upgrades or weapons. There are several pre-scripted 
cheats, but others can be easily written to taste. You must be using at least 
version v2.08 to use playmods. Playmods are unsupported and some may cause 
problems - for an example, see Why do my crew get stuck on decks? below. 

Playmods have largely superseded the need for more elaborate cheats. Hex 
editing information and a cheat to give extra money can be found here, ; Blackhawk's UGE module for BC3K v2.09 can be 
found here, .


8.2 How do I install custom scripts?

Quit BC3K. Extract the downloaded zip file into the SCRIPTS subdirectory in 
the installation directory. Scripts may require v2.08 or higher.


8.3 What's the GBS?

Game Builder System. It is primarily a scripting language used to create 
scenarios, but it can also be used to modify various aspects of the game. BC3K 
uses GBS-I (or just 'GBS') - GBS-II is used by sequels. GBS is compatible with 
BC3K v2.x only. It is available for download from - 
some early versions of v2.x come with a 'lite' version of GBS. The download 
includes documentation, sample scripts, artwork - almost everything you could 
want to modify the game short of the source code to BC3K itself.


8.4 Got any GBS tips?

These are based on the writings of Gallion (abridged quite heavily): 

- (1) Read all the GBS documentation that comes with the zip file. 
- (2) Print the following files: Good for reference: acm1tod1(2, 3, 4).scr, 
tradeitm.txt, bc3k0000(0100, 0200, 0300, 0400, 9900).scr. Optional: 
glob_ag.scr, glob_ai.scr, glob_dyn.scr, glob_rg.scr, glob_ai.scr, navdata.scr, 
objclass.scr, objects.scr, static.scr, navlink.txt, regions.txt, xc_ag.scr, 
- (3) Repeat step 1. 
- (4) Develop an outline for the campaign the you wish to script (locations, 
- (5) Repeat step 1. 
- (6) Download, print and read the GBS design documentation. 
- (7) Repeat steps 1 and 6. Read through the sample acm*.scr scripts. 
- (8) Try scripting something simple. Repeat step 7. Fix and test script. 

Further scripting tips and sample scripts by Pugwash may be found here, .


8.5 Can I play without enemies?

Derek Smart writes: "Set AUTOGEN OFF in your script as I did in the Free 
Flight scenario (which I later set back to ON via a !signal in the same 
script). Simply look in the FF script for the AUTOGEN ON line, and comment it 
out or delete it. You won't need to mess with the GLOB_AG.SCR file, either, 
because AUTOGEN OFF will cause that file to be ignored. Then parse the file 
and copy it to the relevant folder. You will STILL be attacked by hostile 
stations or any other AI entities, created by the game."


8.6 Can I play as an Insurgent? Are there other ACMs?

The Mission Pak (included with the GBS archive) includes Free Flight careers 
targets and stations are considered friendly or hostile. They do not make 
substantial changes (for example, you still start in the same ship) or add any 
missions. Pugwash and Gallion have written additional ACMs, including an 
Insurgent campaign and a convoy protection script. Download them here, . To start a new ACM you must 
start a new career (create a new profile). Various official campaigns were 
created as part of the 'Special Defence Fleet' competitions in 1998-9, but it 
is not known if any of these are still available, and possible they would not 
work with v2.09.


8.7 Can I change the player's ship type?

No. In BC3K the player's main ship is always the same battlecruiser.





A technical FAQ is included with the (patched) game, and is also available 
here - . Many problems are 
resolved by using the latest patched version (see Where can I get the game, 
patches and manual? above) or dealt with by that FAQ.


9.1 Have you got any tips getting BC3K to run under Windows ME, 2000 or XP?

These operating systems are not supported, but you may wish to try some of the 
suggestions below: 

Many Windows ME issues relate to the video display. Cmdr Nova writes: "If you 
can go into Display Properties-Settings-Click on Advanced, and look around for 
an option for Composite Synchronization, try to disable/enable it." R_wilco 
suggests trying: "Edit the game's batch file, bc3k.bat, so the line for the 
game looked like this: bc3000ad.exe /v1 - thus setting the video card to 
standard VESA." 

On Windows 2000, opt1k notes: "I have managed to get version 2.09 running 
under Windows 2000 in DOS mode with sound by using VDMSound for Windows NT 
(MS-DOS sound emulator) and starting with the following options: bc3000ad /n 
/d1 /v1." The mouse may not work correctly, appearing to be trapped in the 
corner of the screen. Derek Smart writes: "BC3K uses a DOS mouse driver, e.g. etc. If you can load a DOS mouse driver in the DOS console window 
before running the game, it should work." The installer packaged with the 
freeware v2.09 specifically disables Windows 2000 installation. 

Isadevil on installing under Windows XP: "I successfully installed version 
2.0, patched it all the way up, modified the bc3k.ini not to ask for the CD 
all the time, set bc3000ad.exe under WIN95 compatibility mode, set my sound 
options properly and voila." 

There was an unsupported file called or, which 
allows BC3K to be run directly in a window under Windows 2000 (and probably 
XP) without any tweaks. As I understand it, this file is included in the v2.09 
freeware version, and may be lurking elsewhere (I've not be able to find it 
myself). This patch is not very stable and contains various graphical 
glitches, so may not be worth the time spent trying to find it.


9.2 Why does the freeware version ask for the CD? Why is it running in debug 

Debug mode is evoked by adding the switch /d1, most likely to be added in the 
batch file that launches BC3K (probably bc3k.bat), for example "bc3000ad /d1" 
as the last line in the file when viewed in a text editor. In the freeware 
v2.09 debug mode was evoked by default. Debug mode may cause unforeseen 
problems and issues, for example most artifacts and Fleet Command and Control 
are enabled in debug mode. There are various oddities, such as the removal of 
range checks for docking and instant destruction of targets by pressing ALT+X. 
Probably the most obvious in-game indication is that the HSD module is 
available on the bridge HUD. 

Debug mode can be removed by editing out the /d1 switch from the relevant 
batch file. However, debug mode is preventing CD checks, and with debug mode 
turned off the game will expect to find a game CD. The CD path may be changed 
to point to the hard drive by editing bc3000ad.ini, however there is a 
discrepancy in the file size/time-stamp of the two files used in the CD check 
- 3klogo.ani and bcintro.ani. It is suggested you download a small patch to 
fix this - see Where can I get the game, patches and manual? above. This will 
allow the freeware game to be run without CD or debug mode. Derek Smart gives 
some clues as to how this hack might otherwise be achieved (this should not be 
considered by non-programmers): "If all else fails, the you can hack into the 
BC3000AD.GLD (glide version) or BC3000AD.DAT (software version) as well as 
both Windows .EXE files, and look for those entries [below], then remove the 
check. This will disable this portion of the CD-ROM check and you can run the 
game in non-debug mode and without the /d1 parameter in the .BAT files." The 
files are ANIM3klogo.ani (file size 1400233) and ANIMbcintro.ani (file size 


9.3 Why does the freeware version installer try to install the game to the 
wrong hard drive?

This often occurs when the operating system and desired game installation 
location are on different partitions. Reven writes: "When you run the 
installer, this is what happens: (1) It unpacks the .msi install package into 
your temp directory along with an .ini file and the Microsoft Windows 
Installer runtime. (2) If you already have the Microsoft Windows Installer on 
your machine it then immediately tries to run it. If not, then it installs it, 
and adds an entry in your 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/RunOnce registry 
key that will cause the installer to try and install the package when you 
reboot. (3) It then creates ANOTHER copy of the package file inside your temp 
directory. So, you now have the .EXE at 137MB of space and two copies of the 
package at 131MB each on your system. (4) It then finally processes the 
install script inside the second copy of the .msi package. I've tried a lot of 
different ways to try and get it to install under Windows 2000 and no go. But, 
for the one who is trying on 98 with the small boot drive, what you need to do 
is edit your AUTOEXEC.BAT and put an entry with TEMP=X:/TEMP where X: is a 
drive with lots of space. Once you do this and reboot, your Windows temp files 
will now be on the larger drive."


9.4 After installing the game all I see is a black screen. What's the problem?

Rattler writes: "Your game is going black screen because you haven't set up 
that sound card yet. Now you should launch the setup program from the setup 
shortcut in Start/Programs/BC3000AD/Sound Setup. Test them to make sure they 
work and save and exit."


9.5 Why does BC3K start to run slowly or suffer frame rate reduction at 
certain points in the game?

This issue affects almost all computers and is primarily due to lack of 
processing power at certain times. Lack of processing power will have a knock-
on effect in terms of reduced frames per second. Large battles (many ships, 
missiles, etc) often cause the problem. 

There is a tangible glitch shortly after starting the first ACM mission. Derek 
Smart writes: "ACM is more processing intensive than Free Flight. In much the 
same way that Xtreme Carnage is much faster than Free Flight or ACM. Check 
your graphics card drivers and configuration. That sort of drop is indicative 
of either a configuration problem or you've gone and sent probes or NPCs into 
Nullspace territory, which sets them to search the entire game galaxy until 
they find a way out of there. That route search is very intensive." [I have a 
hunch this is related to the UCV-Molonok trying to find a way out of Obsidia 
(see TOD1 M1/5 - Diplomatic Escort (Majoris) above), but cannot prove this.] 

You may notice that when you are travelling across many regions of space, the 
frame rate gets progressively lower and lower. This relates to the way BC3K 
generates and then maintains activity. For example, as you are passing through 
a sector, an AI fleet appears and attacks the station. The station launches 
fighters and missiles; the attacking ships may do something similar. Rapidly 
the number of objects in the region goes from about 5, to 50 or 100. Each 
object has AI and flight dynamics processing associated with it. When you 
leave the region, the battle continues until it reaches some kind of 
conclusion. So, if you travel past several stations, and each evokes a battle, 
the amount of extra activity in the galaxy increases dramatically for a short 
period of time. From the v2.0 tips file: "Each time you or a ship under your 
command enters a region, it activates that region and its processing is given 
a higher priority. There are 75 planets, 145 moons and 91 space regions and 
bringing even 15% of the world into higher processing priority will bring a 
Pentium 200 with a Voodoo 2 card to its knees." 

Removing the bridge/cockpit view by pressing F1 should improve frame rate 
slightly. SpacePhish suggests altering Windows' vcache to reduce slowdowns: 
"Get the Vcache tweak program. It's called cacheman and you can find it at 
this site: . Download it, tweak with it. All you 
have to do is click on settings, select either Win-95 or Win-98, then click on 
3D games. Restart you system. Now my Battlecruiser runs like magic. I'm 
fighting huge-space battles with a 30+ frame rate."


9.6 Why does the game crash on or after saving, particularly during the ACM?

Tyrn writes: "The usual response to this is to update your mouse driver. I 
will admit that doing this solved my problem of not being able to save at all 
but did not fix my 'can't save in ACM' problem. I have found that using a slot 
other than the first one for my commander will allow me to save with no 
problems in ACM."


9.7 Can I change the resolution?

No. Even in 3DFX the resolution is fixed.


9.8 What does CRTL+A do? Why can't I speed up the game?

Time compression features were disabled in later v2.x versions. Key commands 
related to time compression do nothing. Derek Smart writes: "You can still use 
it if you're running the free version in debug mode." Unfortunately, time 
compression may cause problems for the AI, the reason it was removed.


9.9 Why can't I find bases on planets?

You need the Map Pak installed. This is installed by default with v2.08 or 
higher. If the Map Pak has been downloaded, just not installed, aramike01 
suggests: "Try going into your BC3K folder, find the icon labelled 'Bldmaps', 
and double click on it. If you do it correctly, a DOS window should appear and 
for the next few minutes it will create zones on the planet surfaces."


9.10 Why do my crew get stuck on decks?

Crew may become stuck in one battlecruiser location, unable to reach their 
destination. This can rapidly render the game unplayable. Sometimes crew 
become stuck in support craft. This is almost always fixed by repairing the 
craft fully, re-launching and docking the craft. I assume this is intended - 
for example, a damaged Interceptor cockpit door being impossible to open, 
trapping the pilots inside their craft until the door can be repaired. I 
believe one of the crew quarters is not sufficiently large to hold all the 
crew that will try to rest there if they are all sent off-duty at the same 
time. Crew that cannot fit into the quarters will wait outside, appearing to 
be stuck in the corridor. This generally affects flight and system engineers, 
and can easily be resolved by not sending all of them off-duty at the same 
time, or sending a proportion to rest in the Medibay instead. 

When crew become permanently stuck in deck corridors, there are few solutions, 
and it may be impossible to recover them. By the time you realise there is a 
problem you may have played several hours since the problem first appeared. It 
therefore helps to understand what may be causing the problem. Papi suggests: 
"Check for radiation. If you don't have 'Radiation CTL unit' in your stores 
you can't see if there's radiation problem." Radiated crew will otherwise be 
shown as orange under Tactical. Use of cheats may cause crew to get stuck on 
the Battlecruiser's S-Deck. Cmdr Nova writes: "I narrowed the problem to Cheat 
#1. Not Playmod 1. It's the 'set cheat 1' flag that makes all 
troops/units/people/whatever get stuck in S Deck Aft Corridor." I think this 
is also caused by the Just Another Cyborg artifact - perhaps trying to repair 
something that the System Engineers are repairing.


9.11 I ordered my shuttle to tow my battlecruiser and now the battlecruiser 
has disappeared. Why?

It's the ghost-ship bug. Tyrn writes: "Never ever tell your ship to collect 
cargo of any type and then tell it to tow your ship. Launch a 'clean' shuttle 
with no orders and then tell it to tow your ship." Derek Smart adds: "Never, 
ever tell your shuttle to tow you or it will deliver you either to the station 
or to itself."


9.12 How do I backup or copy a save game?

Quit BC3K. Go to the SAVE folder in the installation directory. For each 
player profile there are several files that need to be copied. For example, if 
you used the first character profile slot, all the files start with PLAYER0, 
PLAYER0.SG1, etc. Alternatively just copy the entire contents of the save 





The majority of technical data is contained in BC3K's manual appendices and is 
not repeated here.



A. Acronyms

BC3K uses a *lot* of acronyms and shorthand, both in documentation and in the 
game. Often one is left flicking through 140 pages of manual trying to find 
the one line where the acronym is explained, so here is a list: 

A - Autopilot 
A/B - Afterburner 
ACM - Advanced Campaign Mode 
AD - Advanced 
AG - Agriculture 
AGG - Aggressive 
AI - Artificial Intelligence 
AIR - Air Scan 
ALS - Auxiliary Life Support 
APD - Armor Protection Display 
ARM - Armor Protection Status 
ASL - Advanced Seeker Logic 
ATA - Air to Air 
ATL - Automatic Tracking Logic 
ATL/V - Automatic Tracking Logic with Video 
ATS - Air to Surface 
ATV - All Terrain Vehicle 
AUTONAV - Automatic Navigation Computer 
BA - Bombing Accuracy 
BC - Battlecruiser 
BC3K - Battlecruiser 3000 AD 
BLK - Blackhole 
BRV - Bridgeviewer 
CAM - Camera 
CAP - Combat Air Patrol 
CAS - Combat Alert Status 
CB - Cargo Bay 
CDISP - Cargo Displacement 
CE - Chief Engineer 
CENTCOM - Central Command 
CK - Combat Kills 
CLK - Cloaking System 
CLOAK - Cloaking System Status 
CM - Combat Mission 
CMA - Court-Martial 
CMDR - Commander 
CMO - Communications Officer 
CO - Combat Officer 
COL - Colonist 
COM - Communications Computer 
COMMLINK - Communications Computer 
CP - Command Palette 
CRE - Credian 
CRI - Criminal 
CSAD - Critical Systems Analysis Display 
CSD - Crew Status Display 
CTL - Continuous Tracking Logic 
CVD - Computer Video Display 
DEL - Delete 
DF - DogFighting Skill 
DIP - Diplomat 
DRO - Droidan 
EARTHCOM - Earth Command 
ECV - Earthcom Command Vessel 
EJT - Eject Warning Indicator 
EMD - Electro Magnetic Disruptor 
EMP - Empirian 
ENG - Engine 
ENM - Enhanced Navigation Module 
EP - Experience Points 
ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival 
EV - Escape Velocity 
EVA - Extra Vehicular Activity 
EVAC - Evacuate 
EXP - Experience Points OR Explorer 
FAL - Falkerie 
FATAL - Fast Target Acquisition and Lock 
FF - Fatigue Factor 
FL (FLX) - Flux Field Link 
FO - Flight Officer 
FP (FPD) - Flight Path Designator 
FPI - Flight Path Indicator 
FT - Fuel Tank 
FTOL - Forward Take-off and Landing 
GALCOM - Galactic Command 
GAM - Gammulan 
GBS - Game Builder System 
GCV - Galcom Command Vessel 
GHQ - Galactic Command Headquarters 
GND - Ground Scan 
HAG - Heavy Assault Gunship 
HAR - Harmless 
HAZ - Hazard 
HID - Hull Integrity Display 
HJ - HyperJump 
HSD - Hyperion Subspace Device 
HSI - HyperJump Status Indicator 
HT - High Technology (electronics) 
HUD - Heads Up Display 
HUL - Hull Integrity Status 
ICV - Insurgent Command Vessel 
IFF - Identify Friend or Foe 
ILD - Inbound Launch Display 
INFL - Inflation 
INS - Insurgent 
INT - Interceptor OR Integrity 
IOD - Ion-Disruptor Array 
JAC - Just Another Cyborg 
JMP - Jump Point 
KAN - Kandorian 
KIA - Killed in Action 
LAG - Light Assault Gunship 
LAS - Photon Laser Array 
LCK - Lock Warning Indicator 
LF - Life Factor 
LNCH - Missile Launch Warning Indicator 
LNH - Launch Warning Indicator 
LOCK - Radar Lock Warning Indicator 
LOG - Logistix Computer 
LPD - Laser Power Display 
LS - Life Support Systems 
LTA - Laser Target Acquisition 
LTD - Laser Target Designator 
MAN - Mandorian 
MAX - Multi Axial (Phased Array Ion Disruptor) 
MEDIBAY - Medical Bay 
MER - Mercenary 
MFS - Multi Function System 
MIA - Missing in Action 
NIR - Navigation Information Relay 
MIL - Military 
MIN - Mine Bay 
MISCAM - Missile Camera 
MISCON - Mission Control 
MLS - Main Life Support 
MN - Minerals 
MNC - Main Computer 
MO - Medical Officer 
MSL - Missile Stores Depleted 
MTAR - Missile Target Acquisition Reticule 
MTD - Missile Tracking Designator 
MTI - Missile Tracking Indicator 
MUL - Multinational 
NAV - Navigation Map/Computer 
NAVITRON - Navigation computer 
NAVMAP - NID mode 
NAVSCAN - Default probe mode 
NID - Navigation Interface Display 
NIR - Navigation Information Relay 
NO - Navigation Officer 
NRE - Nuclear Reactor Status 
NTD - Navigational Target Designator 
ODS - Orbital Defense Satellite 
ODSML - Oribital Defense System Missile Logic 
OPR - Orbital Plane Reference 
ORB - Orbit Approach Indicator 
ORBSCAN - Orbital Scan (probe) 
OTS - Orbit to Surface 
OV - Orbital Velocity 
P - Pilot (Autopilot off) 
PAD - Phased Array Ion Disruptor 
PLS - Probe Link System 
PRB - Probe 
PRO - Probe Bay 
PTA - Passive Target Acquisition 
PWR - Power Level Warning 
PZ - Patrol Zone 
QTRS - Quarters 
R/R - Retro Thrusters OR Rockets 
RAI - Raider 
RCU - Radiation Control Unit 
RE - Research Engineer 
REC - Reactor Core 
RET - Retired 
RITL/V - Redundant Independent Tracking Logic with Video 
RO - Robotics 
RPD - Reactor Power Display 
RTB - Return to Base/Battlecruiser 
RTM - Radar Target Mask 
SAD - Search and Destroy 
SAL - Surface to Air Laser 
SAM - Surface to Air Missile 
SAS - Ship Alert Status 
SC - Supreme Commander OR Shuttle Craft 
SCI - Scientist 
SEAD - Suppress Enemy Air Defenses 
SEC - Security 
SH - Shuttle 
SHD - Shield 
SHE - Shield Protection Status 
SHI - Ship Heading Indicator 
SID - Systems Integrity Display 
SLD - Shield Level Display 
SMD - Stores Manifest Display 
SN (SNV) - Super Nova 
SOS - Emergency Signal 
SP - Solar Panel (1 or 2) 
SPC - Space Scan 
SPD - Speed OR Shield Power Display 
SRE - Solar Reactor Status 
SSR - System Status Relay 
SSS - Support Ship Status OR System Status Schematics 
STS - Space to Space 
SUL - Support Unit Locator 
SVI - Ship Velocity Indicator 
SYR - Syrion 
SYS - Systems Failure 
TAC - Tactical Operations Computer 
TACLINK - Probe mode when linked to TACOPS 
TACOPS - Tactical Operations Computer 
TACSCAN - Tactical Scanner 
TAR - Target Acquisition Reticule 
TDD - Transporter Deployment Designator 
TER - Terran 
TLD - Target Lead Designator 
TLL - Target Locator Line 
TLM - Tactical Launch Menu 
TMCD - Trans-Matrix Cloaking Device 
TO - Tactical Officer 
TOD - Tour of Duty 
TOM - Tactical Orders Menu 
TRA - Tractor Beam Control OR Trader 
TRACK - Radar Tracking Warning 
TRANS - Transporter 
TRB - Tractor Beam Indicator 
TRK - Track Warning Indicator 
TTD - Tactical Target Designator 
UFN - United Free Nations 
VAL - Valkerie 
VES - Vesperon 
VID - Video Link 
VIO - Violations 
VITL - Visual Independent Tracking Logic 
VSL - Visual Seeker Logic 
VTOL - Vertical Take-Off and Landing 
WB - Weapons Bay 
WD - Waypoint Designator 
WEP - Weapons Computer 
WHI - Waypoint Heading Indicator 
WRM - Wormhole 
WSS - Weapons Select System 
WTS - Waypoint Tracking System 
ZEL - Zelon



B. Hidden Flux Field Links

This appendix lists the hidden links between systems that may be of use when 
moving around the galaxy. It is based on a map by Pugwash - . Links are shown in the format, 
Region - Link - Region - Link - etc. These routes may be used in either 
direction. Some routes have intermediate supernovas (SN-n), commonly regions 
of space with nothing except flux field(s) leaving them. All flux fields links 
(FL-n) have a chance of either not changing location or jumping to the next 
region shown. Where there is a chance of an alternative location being reach, 
these are shown in brackets: 

- * = Chance of arriving at a supernova on route. You can re-jump without 
causing problems. 
- ! = Chance of arriving at a blackhole on route. Your ship will rapidly be 

For example, LV-115 - FL-11(*!) - LV-130, shows one can jump from LV-115 to 
LV-130 via flux field FL-11, however there is a chance of reaching another 
supernova or a blackhole.


Sol - Polaris - Trenis

Mars - FL-02(!) - SN-03 - FL-07(*) - Darain 
Mars - FL-02(!) - SN-03 - FL-07(*) - Polaris-1 
Darain - FL-07(*) - Polaris-1


Sol - Alpha Centauri

Pluto - FL-03(!) - SN-01 - FL-05(!) - Tramis 
Mercury - FL-04(!) - SN-01 - FL-05(!) - Tramis


Sirius - Omicron Eridani - Alpha Majora

Sygan - FL-06 - Ramis 
Sygan - FL-06 - Majoris 
Ramis - FL-06 - Majoris


Xyon - Cyrian

Chanis-1 - FL-08(*) - Capella


Gammula - Alpha Cygni

LV-115 - FL-11(*!) - LV-130


Regulus - Alpha Cygni - Omega Eridani

Regis-IV - FL-09(!) - SN-06 - FL-12(*!) - Ylisia 
Regis-IV - FL-09(!) - SN-06 - FL-12(*!) - LV-104 
LV-104 - FL-12(*!) - Ylisia


Omega Eridani - Omega Centauri

Mondial - FL-10(*) - Otura-6


Vega Eridani - Alpha Canis

Droia - FL-15 - Alteris - FL-14 - Obsidia - Wormhole - SN-10 - FL-13(*!) - 


Garidian IV (Xtreme Carnage)

XC1 (Farstar) - XCF1 - XC3 (Hellseye)


DOS/4GW Professional error (2001):
exception 0Dh (general protection fault) at 127:0000080F
End of File

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