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Weapons of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Destruction
Weapons of Mass Destruction behave in one of two ways depending on the situation. Where they are launched into an ISR field such as that generated around worlds with bases or against ships with ISR drives (and platforms), the vast majority of the energy (both in the form of radiation and particles with high levels of kinetic energy) is absorbed into subspace to bleed back into normal space over a radius of a few light minutes. Only energy below a threshold remains in realspace to inflict damage on the surrounding material. As this threshold is bound by the uncertainty principle it is not cut and dried as to which particles/photons bleed off into subspace. The energy signature however shows a clear attenuation with increasing energy leading to the term Nuclear Dampening.

Where there is no ISR field such as where a GP is hit by a nuke in space of the base commander has decided that secrecy is necessary so the ISR field has been turned off, there will be no nuclear dampening of the blast. As a consequence, the WoMD will deliver its normal damage but the damage will be sustained a further 99 times. A nuclear missile will normally deliver 1,000 damage (pretty much getting through any shield unless countered by point defence), though if it successfully hits a target without an ISR field it will deliver 100,000 damage. The important thing though is that this is 100 hits of 1,000 damage, not a single hit of 100,000 damage. This means that each block of damage is attenuated individually, leading to significantly more damage due to ground splash of 60% (see Everything you need to know about Damage (Issue 11)

WoMD in Phoenix are considered tactical weapons designed to be used against hardened targets rather than weapons of genocide. The reason for this is that the larger the weapons the greater the actual energy that bleeds off into subspace. It quickly becomes self-defeating to the point a truly massive nuke may well simply fail to fully detonate, producing little more than a lot of radioactive material scattered over a modest area.
Conventional nuclear weapons use fusion or fission mechanisms while antimatter weapons use a few particles of antimatter (colloquially referred to as ‘A-dust’) held in a magnetic bottle as the trigger mechanism. In all cases there is a significant radiation component released as part of the detonation. As the actual detonation is invariably tactical, it is the radioactivity component that is of greater significance to planetary populations and is dealt with largely through roleplaying effects.

Why Roleplaying?
Phoenix is not a war game, it is far too many components that deal with other aspects to be a war game. It has history, backstory and plot arcs not to mention the ability to alter the game through special actions. It is also a game in continuous development as more parts become fleshed out and the depth is increased. As a consequence there needs to be elements to the game that allow for the sociological reaction to a perceived disaster and immoral actions and attitudes.

The Game Moderator acts on behalf of the none-playing sentient populations within the game universe as such he is responsible for their reaction to events that have a direct negative impact on civilian populations.

The populated worlds issue is not so much with the actual damage which is generally relatively small when ISR dampening fields exist, rather it is the radioactive material generated as a result of the detonation. Even relatively clean antimatter will produce radioactive material as a result of the explosion ripping apart surrounding atoms. Total destruction of a nucleus will produce a lot of highly energy neutrons which can cause other atoms to have fragment. Even if the explosions are in orbit, the irradiated debris from destroyed ships will end up contaminating the biosphere.

Population Reaction
In an example, thirty ships enter orbit of a world populated by a million humans and open fire with antimatter missiles and nuclear missiles, bombarding the only starbase on the world. There is a single urban sector which also has the starbase in it. This urban is therefore presumed heavily populated. The world has an ISR field which dampens the nuclear strike.

The nuclear contamination however will shrug off into the surrounding urban sector. It will over the next few weeks kill thousands, possibly tens of thousands if there is no intervention and certainly hundreds to thousands even if there is intervention. The urban sector stands a good chance of being re-classed as ruin and there will be a tumble in the local merchandising and trade demand. At this point it can be seen as a win-win for the attackers as not only have they smashed a starbase they are going to get the on-going benefit of seeing their enemy dealing with scorched earth. Depending on circumstance however representatives of the victims could use this information to undermine support of the faction responsible for deploying the nuclear weapons especially where there is some degree of identification with the victims. For example the DEN nuke a KRL starbase on a world with a large human population. The KRL then spread propaganda, undermining support for the DEN on worlds with significant human populations. The effects are dealt with on a case by case scenario, but where the human populations are both supporting a system owner that does not use WoMD on populated planets, the DEN can expect to have as high as 80% merchandising complexes closed in the event of significant human casualties.

Dealing with Fallout
While Antimatter weapons are by far the cleanest in terms of having the shortest decay times of their radioactive products, it is expected that there will still be a cleanup cost to a biosphere. Basic modules can be exhausted (assigned to the civilian population) to integrate with the planetary infrastructure to scrub contaminants from susceptible areas. Generally speaking this will be in the order of 5 basic modules per Antimatter missile targeting a surface position. Where the atmosphere is unbreathable, this will be reduced 1 per AM missile reflecting much of the danger mitigated through standard atmospheric processing. Cleanup is likely to take a few weeks during which there will be possible deaths through radiation and reduction in merchandising and trade.

Nuclear weaponry is generally dirtier and as such the decontamination cost is closer to 25 basic modules per nuclear missile (or 5 on an unbreathable world). Cleanup is likely to take a few months.

As well as basic modules (used as scrubbers) 1 Planetary Restoration – Nuclear tech will be required per 500 basic modules.

These numbers are ball-park figures and reflect dealing with areas most likely to negatively impact on the civilian population. As such repairing damage to the ecology is secondary to saving sentient life. Where a serious barrage of nuclear missiles targets multiple locations on a world, there will be extensive and probably permanent damage to the environment that can’t be fixed by exhausting tech and modules. Finally, where there is a population in the tens of millions and above and high levels of infrastructure it is assumed that there already exists within the civilian infrastructure technology for dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear assault. As such, beyond the initial hit to the economy and possible ramifications of the attack (such as retaliation for an earlier nuclear bombardment), there will be no cost to the starbase for dealing with the aftermath.

NB. This article applies to weapons used in combat and not the Big ol’ bombs dropped off in starports before beggaring off. The use of these is hard-coded restricted by the profile as this considered an act of terrorism undertaken by single captain rather than a stand-up fight. In the future we may consider moving all use of WoMD into a hard-coded system but for the moment we are prepared to see how player use the current mechanic.

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******Empire Syndicated News Network (ESNN) ******

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Welcome to the new version of ESNN (formally CSNN), giving the news and views from the former CSNN's reporter and news anchor, Ainsley Moore, making this the peripheries' most favourite unbiased publication in the known universe,

And so with the news,
***** Inter Galactic News *****

A Detinus expeditionary force is being assembled to liberate slaves in the Twilight Periphery. Stung by the wit of the Wimble Dinash, Admiral Bridge is leading a personal and sizeable force against the newly constituted Flagritz Republic.

The Wimble Bake Off has new competition with the Dominion instituting a Master Chef competition in the Orion Spur. This is all said to be a cover for further land grabs and in preparation for a move against the Hive and Dewiek, tipping the balance further in the Stellar Empire’s favour.

Meanwhile, the Wimbles struck off a number of hapless Wimbles under their new rules. To cement their plan to align themselves with the Stellar Empire, they have offered the services of their new masters to the Emperor.

Several hundred thousand slaves have been released by the Flagritz Republic but the terms of their manumission are unclear. Millions more await their emancipation. Many have refused to accept freedom without transit home, especially those brought in from outside peripheries. Many reportedly were captured by the Stellar Empire from the Detinus Republic and then sold on to the Flagritz.

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

The ship PRV HarCop Omega has been reported both in Orion and Corewards. This was the flagship of the former League Chairman, sacked from the role when the League went into administration and quietly disappearing beyond the edge of known space. It is thought that his return may have been for a clandestine meeting with his former contacts in Harlong and Coptuv. If so then he clearly has an agenda.

Unconfirmed stories that the Pirate King of The Pirate Holes and Million Islands is near completing research on the various larger ships his pirates have successfully captured over the past few years (big thanks to all the affiliations that participated in 'donating' ships). If the rumours are true it is likely a new armada of pirate ships using more advanced technology will be found in Corewards in the near future.

An supernova has been detected originating from just beyond the Transpiral Periphery. The rare event has created ripples in the subspace of the nearby stars. Nobody has reported any tangible ramifications but this is the first supernova in the current age of the Peripheries so esoteric scientists are excited by the prospect of grants to study the relatively nearby phenomena.
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Wimbles Crisis Solved ***

The Wimble Crisis of 217 has come to an end with the human Baron making way to the wimble Grandfather Paden Mastaak. Celebrations were held in Wimbledon upon the news with crack teams of Wimble security staff guarding all the pies.

It’s unclear how long the Wimbles will enjoy this new era of peace and self-determination.

Vocal Wimble Dinasha, one of Paden’s early backers, has chosen this precarious moment to bait Dewiek, Flagritz and humans who were initially disposed to be friendly to the new administration. Whilst the Wimbles' history with the former-slave-loving Flagritz could be understood, their animosity towards the Dewiek and humans was more mysterious. One insider alluded to a rise in the number of cases of foot-and-mouth across the herd as being a likely cause.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Storm in a Teacup *** Yahn Bares All * &etc

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

*** Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door ***

The stargates are closed! Reports from multiple sources indicate at least three of the stargates, all within Dewiek controlled systems, have been closed.

Two different sources have indicated that the TCA have been spotted recently in a number of systems and may be behind this turn of events. A scan sent to the SSS indicated eight TCA ships were recently spotted first in the Faery system and later near the Kasmer stargate.

Another source, suspiciously put the blame on the ARC, suggesting the ARC and DEN were working together because they “need to trap [the TCA] and try and finish them off after the DEN bodged their operation to protect the ARC while they incinerated the MEK homeworld, which ended up with several ARC ships being destroyed and the job only being half done."

However, with no public statement from the Dewiek themselves, its hard to know whether these rumours are reliable.

Lord Igor of the Dominion and Erasmus Andersen of the Garcia Family both offered public apologies at the delay in meeting their trade commitments because of the recent closures. The not-so-subtle subtext being that someone will pay with blood for this interference in their business. Or at least with a stealthy price rise.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Wimble Civil Strife * Who Sniffs the Sniffers? * Largin’ It * &etc

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

*** Videtis quantum scelus contra rem publicam vobis nuntiatum sit? ***

The Flagritz Empire is no more! The Flagritz Republic is reborn! Quick on the heel of the collapse of the Empire, the Fessin caste declared a new era of foreign and economic policy with a rapid withdrawal behind the Black Gate.

The new ecologically-friendly Prime Minister Kayxaer, asked for patience as “economic” reforms were undertaken. It remains to be seen whether there will be any price to pay for the dramatic changes being made by the reclusive Flagritzi or whether it will all be sunshine and rainbows going forward.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Large at Large * &etc

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

*** Bravo for Freedom ***

Naplian Forces have attacked three human pirate outposts in the Morroglyph system. A spokesperson for Naplia HQ told the press that the plucky duct-tape loving free people would continue their war against slavers and pirates in their home periphery.

One salty Naplian libertarian told the SSS, “The people of the Naplian Home Periphery are sick and tired of human criminals coming here just because their homeworld is an overcrowded hell. It’s time for them to go back home.”

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Igor of Fang and Horns * Admiral Loves Dick Turpin * &etc

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

.What is It?
..a wOrmhOle?.
…No.. worse..
….the KANG singularity!…
…..It pulls us IN…..
……lOOks sO familiar……
…….yet so strange…….
……..what is……..

*** Flagritz Liberalise Economy ***

In good news for all the galaxy the Flagritzi have vowed to liberate all slaves across their Empire. Furthermore, the hectapods have given up eating other sentient species; taking up a strict diet of veganism and soy chai lattes. Sales of turtle neck sweaters and Forbidden Fruit laptops have skyrocketed.

The news was cautiously welcomed by the benevolent Felini Tyranny who looked forward to reducing the War phase of their daily Nap-Lick-Nap-War-Nap-Eat-Sleep cycle to a perfunctory forty winks.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Baron Womble * A Short History of the DPP * &etc


Free Ship when you sign-up
Complete missions for in game rewards
Control everything, up to an entire empire
Dedicated human moderators
Player and Moderator driven plotlines
Discover new worlds to explore, exploit & colonise
Over 20 years of content development
Persistent Browser-Based Game (PBBG)

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).