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Friday 18 February 2005

Announcing Etronika! [Lurks]

Remember a web game called Planetarion? It was a basic turn-based galactic conquest game that became surprisingly popular and later turned into a commercial thing and was never seen again, at least not by us.
Well, some bloke did an open source version of it and Brit has been busy adapting it (to work and stuff) and skinning it up to look like the EED web site. I went through and renamed the ships and so on to be a little more amusing 'in genre' for us and tweaked out the mechanics to make things a little more interesting than the original.
This week we're kicking off our first open beta with ticks (turns basically) of just 15 minutes between (rather than an hour or so as normal, meaning games end up taking a month).
Please, sign up and check it out!
You're going to need some help, we're still working on that side of things but here's where you can find the basics and the ship statistics. The game really isn't very complicated though and you should be able to work out most of it by just giving it a bash.
I'm including my guide to combat in this blog which will go up later on on the web site for those a bit more interested in how it all works. You don't need to worry about this too much, have a play around in the game and see what you think.
You can also mark your planet in 'sleep' mode when you go home, take yourself out of it in the morning and carry on (with the HUGE amount of resources you will have), making this the perfect game to play from work.
Please check the Galactic Forum for service announcements.
In depth combat explanation follows:
Galactic 0wnerage combat explained
Combat in Galactic 0wnerage is not complicated but understanding the basics of how a battle unfolds will enable you to understand the 'stats' for each military unit and its value in your fleets. The object of an attacker is to steal roids while the primary goal of a defender is to avoid them being stolen. Therefore the purpose of each battle ultimately hinges on the Leecher, the lumbering hauler that captures enemy roids, assembles a nuclear engine on the surface and thrusts it back towards your home world.
To all intents and purposes, Leechers perform their activity after the rest of a combat round is calculated. During this time, Leechers may be incapacitated or stunned with EMP-equipped vessels or they may bedestroyed. From a strategic point of view, there is little point in keeping a fleet in offensive combat for the next round if all the Leechers have been destroyed in the first round. Unless the goal is to weaken the enemy defences for a further assault, of course.
On the military stat page, you will see a number of columns, here is the key to those columns:
Name of the vessel as it appears in your shipyard page.
This is the basic class of vessel in terms of size. FI is fighters, CO iscorvettes, FR is frigates, DE is destroyers, CR is cruisers, BS isbattleships.
Type of vessel: NORMAL is standard combat vessel designed to destroythe enemy, EMP is a vessel designed for incapacitating the enemy, CLOAK arevessels that do not appear in unit scans and jumpgate warning messages, CAP is capturingunits (only the Leecher), PDS are planetary defense system units and APDSis anti-planetary defence units aka interplanetary Trident III missiles.
This is an important column because it means the type of vessel that thecorresponding unit will fire upon FIRST. Once all these are destroyed, theunit will target the type of vessel indicated in the T2 column.
What class of vessel the unit will fire on when no vessels match T1.
Third vessel to fire upon. Note, if this is blank then it means that theunit will not target any further class of ships. A good example is theStinger. If corvettes and frigates are stunned or there are no more in thefleet, Stingers will have no more effect.
Another important column because this indicates when the ship will fire.The lowest number fires first.
This is the agility of the unit and therefore how hard it is to shoot witha given weapon speed that is attacking it.
The weapon speed of the armament on this vessel. If this is low thenchances of hitting a vessel with high agility are greatly reduced.
The number of weapons that a unit carries.
The shot power of each gun. This only applies to standard armaments. EMPshots have no power and simply incur a chance of disabling the enemy basedupon the resistance of the enemy ship fired upon.
Quantity of armour on the vessel, when armour is zero then vesseldestroyed.
Percentage chance to shrug off the effects of a ship incapacitating EMPweapon blast.
Time line of a typical battle in Galactic 0wnerage
Interplanetary missiles will strike planetary defense system (PDS) unitsbefore any standard PDS or vessels can strike down the warheads. Theexception is the Star Wars Programme which is specifically geared to firefirst and shoot down missiles. That is why Star Wars Programme unitsinitiative is zero.
Concerning standard combat, PDS units get first shot at the incomingvessels. In that case, one particularly valuable PDS unit must surely bethe second level PDS unit, the Laser Platform, since this will first targetfrigate-class vessels and this includes the Leecher, the unit we should beprimarily concerned with.
After all the PDS has fired, the next ships to fire is the mighty Mezzer,an advanced cruiser class EMP-vessel only available if the player takes upresearch in advanced EMP techniques rather than space warfare (which leadsto the mighty Ubernaught). The Mezzer will fire on cruisers, destroyersand frigates with its large number of EMP cannons and represents asignificant threat to the larger ships of an incoming attack.
If the defender has enough Mezzers or there is not enough destroyers andcruisers in the attacking force, it is likely that all of the inboundLeechers will be stunned before any of the attackers got a shot off.Therefore, if the player is attacking an EMP-specialist world, they wouldbe very well advised to send a fleet heavy on Pooners, small corvette-classunits that will target enemy cruisers. Assuming they aren't all stunned bystingers and...
Next to fire is the EMP-specialist Rooter vessel which targets corvetteclass ships and fighters. Rooters can effectively stun the corvettes andfighters. The threat to corvettes is extreme because again, they representthe only chance the attacker has to take out the fearsome Mezzer.
Next the general workhorse EMP unit, the Stinger, fires. This unit is socheap and numerable that corvettes and frigates should be afraid,particularly as the stinger is available to all players regardless of theresearch line they pursue.
It's the turn of Pooners get to join the battle. These are the cheap corvette-class shipwith large slow guns designed to take out to capital ships, namely cruisersand destroyers. Although they are so versatile if there are no capitalships left, such as the early game, they will happily target frigate-classships. Pooners shoot for 0wnerizers and Mezzers and any incoming forceshould treat them as a staple diet of combat.
Now the Devastator is close enough to fire. It is the only ship in the gamewith enough firepower to take down the largest capital ships,battleship-class Nastehs and the all-powerful Ubernaught. If there are no morebattleships remaining, it works its way down through cruisers anddestroyers.
At this stage in the battle, fighter jocks comes into play and the cheapand cheerful hordes of Vipers fly into the enemy defences and let rip uponFrigates and Corvettes. That means they get to fire at Beasters before theBeasters bring their multiple fast anti-fighter weaponry to bear and startchewing through invaders.
This fighter screen provided the perfect cover for those players who havespecialised in Space Warfare to bring up their ultimate set-pieces, theUbernaught. This vessel has 200 fast moving guns and if left unchecked,will rapidly annihilate vast swathes of enemy fighters and corvettes.Players should always be worried about Ubernaughts. They are very difficultto kill, impossible to stun and if not countered early, losses toUbernaughts will rapidly deplete the cannon fodder units and that meansincreased fire upon the expensive and important ships, particularlyLeechers. Beware the Ubernaught!
Things didn't get any better for fighters at this point because now it'stime for Beasters to open fire. This represents a change over the originalPlanetarion, Beasters will now target fighters first so expect largecasualties of Vipers and Stingers in the early game due to Beasters.Likewise you should always build Beasters in the early game to counterrushes of Vipers and Stingers. A unit scan of a planet showing a fleet withplenty of Beasters is likely to make someone think twice about zerging yourplanet with thousands of cheap craft. Unless they want to hand you thesalvage.
Now it's the time for the lineback fighting capitalship cruiser-class0wneriser to steam into battle. It has plenty of powerful guns and if itgets this far, it's going to start inflicting heavy casualties uponBeasters and Pooners and other frigate and corvette-class units such as thehigher-end PDS. If a player gets hold of an 0wneriser before the enemy, itcan effectively neutralise the anti-fighter capability of Beasters quicklyand rack up very heavy and expensive losses upon the enemy.
Cloaked vessels will fire now. These are normally weaker than theirtraditional counterparts and they fire later in the combat round but theyrepresent a nasty surprise to the enemy since they are frequently notexpected to be a part of the battle. Players specialising in cloaktechnology should study the statistics carefully and work out how best tocompliment their standard fleet to pull off the maximum deceptionconcerning the disposition of their forces.
Last of all, assuming they survived and weren't stunned, Leechers 'fire'.Each has a good chance of capturing an enemy roid and returning it andthereby depleting the enemy of the resources to restock their fleet andincreasing the resources of the aggressor.
One thing to remember though. Heavy incoming fleet losses means plenty ofsalvage for a defender and if they're efficient at beating you off, thelosses to your forces and the salvage incurred in the battle will oftenmake the defender better off in the end. Attack only if you're confident ofstealing roids. Roids are all.


  1. Sign up and play, it's top fun!

  2. What never ceases to amaze me about this game and the original Planetarion etc, is how people get so wound up about it! It's unbelievable, you get more bleating out of this than an action packed multiplayer game, I swear!
    I'm currently in the lead on the game and the chaps organised a massive attack yesterday. All good fun. It didn't come to much and naturally we begin the counter attacks. Then I get this message from one guy (I understand he's one of those PA nutters from the original) with a subject of "Yawn" saying that my ships spend longer at his planet than I do. My we could make a bucket of vinegar from these sour grapes, I think, so I send back "Well then, yawn away!". Heh, and this guy, who is so frustrated by the numbers in the little boxes of his web browser sends this by way of reply:

    I'm just happy to help you use this supposedly fun beta test round to massage your over inflated ego and increase your ePenis size. Although I guess you're just mad my puny fleet urinated on your own mighty army this morning. You could go attack someone that might present a challenge perhaps? But that wouldn't do the ego thing for you.

    Heh, unbelievable. Shame like because it can be fun but you can't take it seriously. We've only got maybe 30 active players so I wonder at the long term viability if we have to go deleting accounts to rid ourselves of the people who will make it unpleasant for everyone else?

  3. Testing is over!
    Etronika ROUND1 is now open for signup. Rounds last 2000 ticks at the rate of 1 tick every 15 minutes, and ticks won't start until Weds. 9th March at noon.
    Go on! Signup you slags.