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Phoenix - A great evenings entertainment

Phoenix - A great evenings entertainment

by Ando
When you first start Phoenix it can be easy to think that their isn't too much to the game, you have just a ship which you issue a few order for each day; can this game really provide an evenings entertainment?

However as you get more involved in the game and especially if you decide to join an affiliation (which is really the heart of the game) you will take on more positions and gain access to more opportunities within the game and it can easily become something that provides an evenings entertainment while still fitting round a busy schedule.

As a player with a number of ships and outposts I though it might be useful to give players an idea of what an evening of Phoenix can look like 3-6 months after you join. I also run a few starbases but I generally sort them out at weekend so I wont really cover them in this article.

The first thing I will do when I log into the nexus is check and see if I was involved in any unexpected battles that I might need to do something about. If I am it is normally due to a pirate attack on one of my trade ships or one of my patrol warships intercepting a covert scout ship but occasionally it could be something more like an enemy ship (or my own ships) entering a restricted orbit or a group of mercenaries attacking one of my outpost etc. I am not involved in any of the main wars currently going on so I haven't been involved in any major battles but those opportunities easily exist if you join one of the main combatants.

My next move is to check the forum posts, they tend to be a mixture of deals being offered and requests for advice and help but sometimes there is a juicy in character (IC) thread following something which has happened in the game and they tend to be quite entertaining. Sometimes I’ll wade in on one side or the other but other times its cool to just learn about something happening in the game which may or may not affect my corner of the galaxy. Finally as I am in an affiliation (and we are in an alliance with another affiliation) there are private forum threads which I will check out as these tend to be about collaborative projects and operations.

Next I sort any private messages as you quickly gain a network of players you deal with regularly; be it from your own affiliation or others which you trade and work with. Occasionally you may be involved in an IC formal message exchange to establish a new treaty or access rights to an area of space etc. I tend to have to keep a list of any deals or operations Im supposed to be doing so I don't forget.

I then go through the turns I received for that day (or the last couple of days) and make sure things went as planned. Most of the results will be actions that I just need to make sure went as expected, while others will be investigations or explorations I may need to log and review later. If I had issued incorrect orders or ships ran out of Tu’s before they completed their orders I may issue new orders for tomorrow to sort it out or move them on.

At this point I should be up to date with whats already happened in the game and be ready to prepare orders for tomorrow.

The first thing I always do is check and see if there are any ships with really low integrity that needs maintenance or that need some R&R - if there is I make a note so that I can factor in getting that ship back to a base.

With the house keeping sorted I next sort my list of positions by Time Units (TU’s) and select all ships which have more then 240Tu’s; these will be the ships I prepare orders for tomorrow. If there is not too many or Im going to be busy tomorrow evening (or the next few evenings) I can also select ships with less Tu’s and use “wait for Tu” orders for them so they build up their Tu’s before going into action.

I normally start with my trade transports so I will check out the public markets and see if there are any good trade runs I want to do such as:
Buying goods from one place and selling to another.
Picking up trade goods and items I produce at an outpost and selling to another base.
Buying trade goods which I can make a profit on by selling within one of my own bases.

As Im building up a number of outposts I am also looking on the markets to see where the best deals are on modules and buying them up when I can. There are also lots of items I cant produce such as stargate keys or components for my ships so I keep an eye out on any bargains for these. Finally sales and special trades may have been mentioned on the forum or in the free trading times so I will check these out also.

Next comes my freight transports, these tend to be used to move items about between my positions and items from the main affiliation bases. For those with bases and outposts you will find that you need a lot of cargo capacity to move items especially if you have been given the responsibility of developing a system. My freighters tend to have low crew counts so aren’t able to repel pirates so I always try to end their turns in safe orbits and/or provide escorts if I can.

Then come the ore transports which tend to service your far flung outposts as well as swapping ores between bases which have access to different ores; you got to keep those factories supplied!

Then come the life transports which allow you to move troops and employees about as well as civilians if you are building up a planets population. Sometimes also a trade good requires life capacity so these ships get used for this role also.

Finally when it comes to transports, I have a number of ships dedicated to setting up outposts which tend to be faster ships which are maneuverable enough to land on most worlds. Having decided which projects are priority I will get them to collect modules which the trade ships have acquired or that I have built and get these to the outpost sites. The introduction of Coreward has provided over two dozen new systems with lots of mining opportunities to take advantage of; don't forget to defend those outposts though!

Now that the transport fleet is taken care off it is the turn of the scout fleet, these tend to be split under 3 duties:

General Planetary exploration for ore deposits. Ores of all types are useful for factories and for trade. First job is to determine which ores each world has, then on worlds you want to exploit I always begin with area scans to work out where the deposits are likely concentrated. Once I know which areas are likely to have good deposits I will GPI individual sectors in the area and then prospect the best sectors. For a big planet you may be using 3-4 ships so you have to coordinate to avoid duplication.

Intelligence Gathering: I have a number of scout ships which scout my affiliations own systems as well as scouting in neutral space and other areas of space in regard to potentially hostile affiliations. These tend to be small stealthy ships but now with the introduction of probes can be larger ships that stand off and use probes to get the information. I will also sometimes employ these ships in public systems to scan other ships and see what configurations and items people are using. This tends to be all the intelligence gathering I do but there is also agents and operatives you can deploy if you really like this sort of thing.

Detailed exploration using Special Actions (SA’s) - SA’s are definitely a cool aspect of the game as each result is generated by the GM and can open new avenues of gameplay.
I have a few dedicated ships set-up to investigate planets and strange phenomena throughout the galaxy. Some will be the standard surface exploration and planetary investigations but in the last 6 months I have also: made deals with native populations, tracked down strange creatures attacking my exploration crews, investigated ancient ruins and made contacting with an ancient living ship and I have barely scratched the surface of what is out there to be investigated.

Finally come the warships, as mentioned before Im not involved in any major wars so for the most part these will be placed in positions to protect bases and respond to threats. However there is always opportunities to upgrade their equipment (and we can now upgrade armour and hulls), train officers, patrol systems, escort transports, respond to pirate attacks, coordinate with an affiliation fleet etc. As a relatively new player I have found myself testing out squadron orders and getting involved in a number of war-games with a friendly affiliation to test out a ship design against one of their ships.

Once done and the orders are sent I can continue to make future plans and review some of my turns or just call it a night. I will find out when I next check in how it all went.

Phoenix is a very open ended game which you set your own goals and decide what elements (trade, exploration, combat, intelligence gathering, building etc) that you get involved in. If you don't have much time you can still do a lot with just a handful of positions and still enjoy the atmosphere and history of the game. On the flip side if you do have more time it wont take you long (especially within an affiliation) to be controlling 100+ positions and getting involved in lots of different aspects of the game.

Phoenix has a lot of depth and diversity and hopefully I have shown that it can provide a great evening of entertainment that can fit around your schedule.

Is open for business...
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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Return of the LiQuans

A close associate of the Baron LiQuan has been haunting the Corewards periphery and like the old Baron it is said he has a meklan connection. It's unclear whether he obtained his meklan nanites via the CIA but there are rumours that the DEN may be helping the Liquan relative in a bid to sow discontent in the Stellar Empire. Exactly why they would start in Corewards is unclear although with DEN allies, the DOM, having strong positions both in the Sol system and the old Harcorp systems of Harlong and Coptuv they may be the linking factor.

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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Meklan Unleashed on Mobile Bay

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

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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Who is behind the AFA?

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

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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Fox Effects Fantastic Turnaround

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

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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Felini flounder in Winter against superior Dewiek forces

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

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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Dastardly Dewiek Disregard Yank Neutrality

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

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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Yenni-bodies Pirates?

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

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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Crowe Coups Self

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

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***** Inter Galactic News *****

Highlord Aadolf Loses Control As Dewiek Break Peace Treaty

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


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

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