When last we met, Halite was fought in the trenches of a battlefield. The fearsome battle, fraught with peril, had left the planet desolate. All the Halite had been mined, and no clear winner had emerged. No faction wished to yield, knowing that he who controls the Halite controls all. Since then the people of the Halite have evolved beyond simple on-ground battlefields and are vying for true control of the universe. The war rages on, but which of the Halatians shall prevail?

Background from the General

In the vast expanse of our universe, four Halatian factions fight for control of solar systems and masses of the Halite. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to command a flotilla of ships representing our faction and defend our people from the dreadful enemies. As the leaders of our faction, we offer you three ships and no plan for reinforcements. But fear not, each of our ships comes pre-installed with the Replicatron 5000: as soon as you feed a ship enough of the all precious Halite, it will immediately create new ships for you.

We have planned to send you to a solar system bursting with the Halite, which, for a skilled commander like you, should be an easy task. Our lead scientist should forthright provide you with more information.

Good luck with your journey!

Science from the Lead Scientist

Pleasure to meet you, commander. As you well know, we have only just started this space race, and we are in many ways are still novices. The good news is that through our double-agents and counter intelligence, we have found out that our enemies are no better off than we are.

Let me begin with our first problem: our ships’ processors are made of salt and therefore cannot heat too much, so we have not been able to achieve great clock speeds. As such, you may only issue one command per cycle to a ship, which equates to a turn, which we have calculated equates to roughly 2 seconds. The flip side to this problem is that the blasters are also made of salt, so they also can only shoot a certain amount of energy per turn. No, I’m not joking, and please stop asking why I’m so obsessed with salt.

In better news, I am happy to share that you have access to a personal computer made of the best cumulus nimbus the galaxy has to offer that gives you a omniscient view of your engagement and the computer power to figure out the most awesome moves before passing them to the slower ship computers.

I am sure you are wondering how battles rage in this two-dimensional galaxy. All ships have equal destructive power and ships spread their fire equally between all enemies within range. Should be easy easy for a skilled captain like you. However, if you encounter two enemy ships simultaneously, your firing power will be split and you may be shot down. See rules on collisions and battle. I would avoid these encounters if I were you.

On to the best part, as you’re not travelling into unchartered territory for just the dog-fights (at least I hope not), but rather to mine the glorious Halite. To mine the Halite, you need to conquer and mine a planet rich with the Halite. Our team of ship scientists have significantly simplified this matter: when in close reach of a planet, issue a command to dock, and your ship will know what to do. Docking takes time and turns off all ship systems unrelated to docking (yes, again due to the limitations of the salt processor), so be careful not to dock next to enemies who can shoot you down. Undocking is an equal but opposite reaction. See rules on docking.

Once docked and colonizing a planet, your ship will mine the Halite automatically. With our patented Replicatron 5000, you will automatically produce more ships from the Halite you mine. The larger the planet, the more ships you can dock; the more ships you have docked, the more Halite you produce. See rules on mining.

You cannot dock to a planet that is already occupied: in such a case, you must destroy all docked enemy ships before proceeding to dock your own ships. However, should you feel vengeful, use this galaxy’s patented ‘wind of the gods’ technique: crash into the planet enough times to destroy it. See rules on planet explosions

This should be all the information you need for your mission, commander. The general should be waiting for you in the war room to give you his closing words.

Winning Condition from the General

Hello again my pawn… I mean, commander. Now that you have been briefed, you should know exactly what to do: Destroy your enemies and/or conquer all planets, and you shall be victorious. As a reminder, your ship has enough fuel for approximately 300 turns, at which point you will be stranded. We will provide you more fuel in larger solar systems, giving you more time to maneuver and fight. [See rules on winning conditions].

It is a hard mission and there is no backing out now. Good luck - our whole civilization is depending on you.