To add a little spice, intrigue and novelty reminiscent of table top game play; Orions as an active participant race.
The Orions are not equipped for exploration and is not expected to mine for resources or start colonies as the major-powers do. Thus the Homeworld economic production is the only "stable" way the Orions can gather EPs.
The only other way to gather EPs is through special missions that only the Orion player is allowed to broker (due to their unique movement patterns).
The Orion player starts with a SC4 shipyard. He may build more shipyards at his homeworld and may upgrade those shipyards within the rules. Therefore the Orion player may not produce more SC3 Orion ships without upgrading existing Orion shipyards.
The Orion is able to locally manufacture the following:
The costs for the above systems are as given in the Annex #6 and (S3.3) (found at http://starfleetgames.com/sfb/sfin/S3_3_Modifying_Ships1.pdf) or their regular rules (if not given in (S3.3) ).
The Orion is able to locally manufacture (equip) the following commander's option items:
The Orion player may pay the major-powers for certain systems. The major-power may only supply those systems which are listed as standard technology and unlimited production in (U7.26). The turn payment is sent (as agreed by both sides), the Orion player may install the system in his option mounts. The Major power does not need to spend EPs to create the system being traded, they just need to worry about arming potential adversaries.
Attrition units can only be purchased or captured, except for the Buccanneers who may only be build at the homeworld (subject to YIS dates).
Particularly, these items must be purchased or stolen:
Captured ships may have their systems taken out for use in Option Mounts. This is treated as a ship conversion. Only those systems allowed by (U7.26) and Annex #8B may be taken out and used. Technology foreign to the race of the captured ship may not be used, as it has been too heavily modified to be useful (see also (U7.113)). Note that taking a limited-production system (such as SFGs) from a captured ship is the only way the Orion player may receive such. The stripped ship may be fielded in combat. Those systems removed for option mounts are considered destroyed on the original SSD; they may not be replaced with other systems. A stripped ship may be scrapped to be taken off of the Fleet Manifest, but doing so provides no economic rebate to the Orion.
Aegis (full or partial) must be purchased from a race who can build units with that system, or stripped from a captured ship with that system (the stripped ship is left with "standard" fire control systems). Installing or removing aegis (either kind) is governed by the refit rules. Note that having Aegis increases the BPV (and therefore the supply costs) of the ship it is installed in, as per (R8.R7). Ships with Aegis qualify as carrier escorts for purposes of escorting carriers and for purposes of the campaign fleet limits.
OAKDISC (FD4.5) can be locally produced and installed. Installing or removing it is governed by the refit rules. Because it increases the BPV of the ship it is installed on, it also increases the supply costs of the ship. Note that any Orion ship can have OAKDISC installed, even if it does not have large numbers of drone racks or plasma.
The installation into option mounts is considered a refit. e.g. it takes a turn where the ship cannot be assigned to a mission. But this does not have an extra surcharge beyond what was paid to receive/manufacture the item. Items in the option mounts increase the BPV used for supply by the costs given in annex #8B.
Systems in Option mounts may be taken out and stored for later use. The unit in question must go into refit to remove the system. If one system is being taken out of an option mount and another is to be put in, both operations may take place on the same turn (and count as a single refit).
Units being constructed may have their option mounts filled during construction. The system must either already be in the list of available systems, or be able to be locally produced. The cost of the system going into the option mount is not added to the cost of constructing the unit unless it is being produced at the same time.
Cloaking devices are governed by (U7.23). Adding or removing a cloaking device is a conversion (it might take shipyard space if the Orion player is not careful).
Orion ships require the same supplies as the warships of major powers. If the Orion player does not have the funds to supply all of their ships, then some will need to be unsupplied (With all of the restrictions therein. Particularly that they may not move, thus may not participate in missions). Attrition units also require the standard amount of supplies.
Drones, ADDs, and Plasmas that may be produced locally do not need to be tracked individually. The ships using drone/plasma racks can be filled using the same mechanism as the major powers. (see 'Supply Costs')
The systems in the option mounts also require supply. Increase the BPV of the unit the system is mounted in according to Annex #8B. Systems not mounted in any ship does not require supply.
Orion ships do not need to track supply lines and cannot be cut off from supply by enemy action.
The Orion player will not recieve a map as other players do. They may "bribe" for a system report by paying 3 EPs in the "Other Expenses" section of the spreadsheet. This report will usually be furnished with old data (usually 2-3 turns in the past) but will contain fixed installations and mobile units. The system to be reported on must be known by name (thus the Orion player may ask about the "Serpent" system, but cannot ask about "The system west of the Serpent System"). The Orion is expected to keep these system reports to himself, as they are expected to allow him to decide how much of his forces to assign. The moderator may put a hard limit on the number of these reports he will allow the Orion player to recieve per turn.
Major powers and the Orions may trade mapping information. It is suggested that the Orion not share too much map information with the major powers (except as required in the Recon mission), or else there may be less reason to hire the Orions for recon.
When it is time to perform the mission, the Orion player designates certain of his ships to "move" to the system in question. These ships are unavailable for other missions during that turn. After the encounters for the turn are completed, the ships that participated in the mission return to the available pool for application in the following turn's missions. As with system reports, the Orion player must be able to identify the system by name.
The Orion player is expected to be in contact with the other players and negotiate the price of their missions. How well the Orion player manages to convince the players of the worthiness of his missions, the more EPs the Orion player is likely to be paid. (The Gifting mechanism is how the Orion receives payment from the other players.) The Orion player may barter his payment (trade missions for equipment) instead of requiring EPs as payment.
The Orion player is not required to have a "paying customer" to perform any of these missions. In fact, the Orion may request a player pay them so as to not perform any of these missions in their space. Any agreements made with players are expected to be upheld. It is not allowed to make mutually-exclusive agreements. If a player appeals to the moderator that an agreement is not upheld, the moderator may step in and assess a penalty.
In all cases, the Orion ships must balance against the BPV capacity. Any ships which cannot be commanded by the flagship the Orion chooses, cannot participate in the mission.
The Orion raids a certain system for EPs. The Orion is there to either to capture a certain unit (they can keep what they capture) or to "raid the planet" for EPs. If the Orion is there to destroy a certain unit(s), then see the 'Mercenary' mission.
To raid a planet, the Orion is required to perform H&R raids on the planetary surface. Each successful H&R raid (where the "system" was destroyed) means the Orion player put two EP into cargo (if there is room. Cargo boxes hold two EP). Half the EPs the Orion player captures in this manner is an EP the owning player loses from their next turn's production (noted in their deficit-spending section). A player can lose no more EPs than the system can produce, per raid.
If the Orion player captures a unit laden with EPs in their cargo boxes (for supply or trade), then the Orion player receives those EPs and the owning player loses those EPs.
If an Orion player manages to capture a planet (using the same mechanism as the major-powers. e.g. D15.0) then the Orion player receives half the economic production of the planet until control is wrested away from him. The Orion player may designate which ships defend the system as if system-defense was a mission. The Orion player may build ground bases and Orion orbital bases, but no shipyards. The Orion player may not use the captured planet as a base to begin exploration and exploitation of nearby systems.
The Orion may lend some ships to a player for a turn. The Orion ships will appear in any one encounter the major-power player designates. The major-power player must have the BPV available in their fleet's BPV capacity for the Orion ships. The major-power player operates those ships in the combat as if they were allied ships.
Alternatively, the major-power player may designate the Orion mercenaries as operating outside of the major-power's fleet. In this case, the Orion player controls the ships (it will likely be a three-way encounter). The major-power player does not have to make allowances in their fleet BPV capacity. However, the Orion player is allowed to operate independently in the battle, or even "switch sides". In this case, the Orion may elect to attack those ships that are left out of the main battle (such as the freighters nobody wants involved in the heavy fighting).
The Orion player may elect to perform this mission on their own. Presumably this is to cause destruction in the target system (to make further raiding possible? To convince a player to fortify a certain system at the expense of a later target system?)
The Orion conducts a successful H&R raid on a control space of a SC3 ship of a player. He then receives the current mobile units in the current system and in some of the neighboring systems (ask the moderator for this). The H&R raid must be for this expressed purpose before it is rolled, and does not cause any other damage to the target vessel.
If paid to perform this mission, the Orion is expected to provide what was learned to the player who paid for the mission. It is assumed the player who paid for the mission learned the current force in the system from the encounter description.
The Orion player also recieves names for all of the neighboring systems that the major power knows about. He is not required to divulge this specific information. Note that the Orion player will not recieve a map from the moderator.
The Orion player is tasked with performing a H&R against a legendary officer as per (D7.827)
The moderator may give missions to the Orion player to fill. These missions may be short: "Raid this system". These missions may be long: "Raid this system, move through these intervening systems, and reach this system". In the long missions, the Orion player is usually restricted in that they may not replace lost ships in the intervening turns. The moderator may or may not apply a benefit to successfully completing the mission. The moderator may or may not require that the Orion player "Accept" the mission (though what ships the Orion player devotes to the mission are up to the player).
The Orions are as subject to random encounters as anyone else. This may take the form of a neutral party raid on the cartel shipyard, a ship being intercepted before taking on a mission, the mission parameters being adjusted (For example: The Orion was going to raid a planet, but instead found an abandoned ship), or "independant" pirates needing "enlightenment". The moderator may come up with other encounters.
If a player performs a successful H&R raid against a control space of the largest Orion ship present (as per the Orion mission of Reconnaissance), then the player will be told who hired the Orion to perform this mission (or if the Orion was doing it on their own volition).
If any Orion-owned ship is captured (even one "captured back"), then that player will be told what ships the Orion player has under their control (number of ships in the level-D tac-intel grouping. No names and no option mounts).