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Expanding Known Space Documentation

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It is the year 2850, friction between the independant minded Interstellar Union and authoritarian Solarian Federation has broken out into full scale war. Millions will suffer and die during this horrendous conflict, but huge advances in ship design, reactor modification, robotics, medicine, and engineering will cause the Pax Solaris that will follow to be looked back on as a golden age of humanity. Less than 50 years after the end of the First Interstellar Wars, first contact will be made, and humanity will get a boost that will catapult it into the position of being one of the major players in galactic politics. However, that is in the future, right now, you have a war to win.

Welcome to Expanding Known Space our third title in Valiant Galaxy Associates' series of games set in our own Valiant Galaxy setting. This game pits the human player against a computer admiral in a strategic game of space conquest. You will have to manage your economy, decide how to utilize your forces, and eventually win the game in one of four ways.

Like our other games, Expanding known Space does not have huge numbers of controls you have to know. You need not worry about time limits, exact placement of weapons and the like. This game does have many keystrokes at your disposal, however, the game plays well using only a small subset of them, as detailed in the quickstart guide later in this documentation.

Expanding Known Space does have difficulty levels, but you can select a number of customizable options that can change the way the game plays. Some of these will be more difficult than others. The standard selection was chosen to give a good mix of playability and difficulty.

If you enjoy Expanding Known Space, check out Interceptor and Traders of Known Space, our other titles. The fleet is awaiting orders admiral--will you lead them to victory?


Expanding Known Space should work on any Microsoft Windows computer that runs Windows XP or later. There are no graphics, and the game is self-voicing. The game does require an active internet connection, though you do not have to have a browser open to play.

Guidedog Games

Guidedog games is a revolutionary new service for connecting game developers to visually impaired game players. As more developers use the site, more and more games will be centrally located, and the visually impaired gaming community will have a service equivalent to Steam for sighted players. The service is operated by Dennis Towne who also operates the online mud Alter Aeon. The account system on Guidedog is fast and easy to set up, and the encryption used for account and credit card information is the same utilized by Alter Aeon.

To set up an account, click on the above link, or go to the site with your browser. Click on new account. The site will prompt you for an email address. This email address is necessary for account creation, and is used by Guidedog in confirming the account's registration as well as in providing receipts. Once the email address is entered, you are prompted to pick a user name. Once this is done, the site sends you a confirmation email. Open your email and find the message from Guidedog. If you do not have one, wait a minute or two, and try again. If there still isn't one, try your spam or junk folders just to be sure. Open the message and select the provided link. This will allow you to set your password. You are now ready to buy games and play games using the Guidedog service.

You can browse the games lists on Guidedog by genre, company, etc. Once you have picked a game, you can add that game to your shopping cart. The site prompts you for your credit card information and some personal billing information. Once all your info is added, the site processes your transaction and sends a digital receipt to your email account that is associated with your Guidedog account. It's that easy.

In the case of this and future Valiant Galaxy titles, a Guidedog account is required to play. You have to be logged in, and connected to the internet to play. Our games automatically open the log in screen for you, so you do not have to connect from a browser. When you open the game, the game prompts you to switch window focus to the Guidedog window and log in. Once this is done, the game continues operating as normal.

Demonstration Mode

The game does offer a demo that you can play either without being logged into Guidedog at all, or while logged in but when the game isn't purchased on your account. Just press the escape key when the game is asking you to activate it. A menu will appear asking you if you would like to play close quarters mode or lightning mode. Lightning mode is a short game that focuses on the greatest number of colonies, the close quarters game puts your capital and the enemy capital close together providing an example of how combat operates. The demonstration mode only allows a few defaults to be preset, so is not representative of how a full game feels in its entirety.

Note: if you do have a Guidedog account, being logged in allows you to save and load games and settings and track your wins and losses, even if you're not activated.

The Main Menu

The main menu of the game consists of ten items:

Most of these are self explanatory.

Start game

When you first begin the game you are given a number of menus to choose options. We'll review those menus in this section before we detail the remainder of the main menu.

Difficulty Level

First is difficulty level. There are five difficulty levels:

Configure Game

Next is configure game. Standard allows any of the four primary victory conditions to be used: military, colonization, economic, or capital control. Colonization and economic are set to 60%. This provides for a fast paced game with multiple options to win. Military victory requires destruction of all enemy units on the board. Colonization victory requires that 60% or more of the planets on the board be colonized. 60% = 24, 70% = 28, 80% = 32, 90% = 36, and 100% = 40. Economic victory is similar to colonization victory, but only the total credits made by the player each turn matters. 60% = 223 credits, 70% = 260 credits, 80% = 297 credits, 90% = 334 credits, and 100% = 372. Capital control requires the player to capture and colonize the enemy's capital planet. This is Earth for the Solarian Federation, and Bolivar for the Interstellar Union. All victory conditions except military must be maintained for four turns, or one year, in game terms.

Longer standard gives the same options, but sets colonization and economic victory to 90%.

Random standard selects any two of the twelve normal conditions and assigns them.

Selecting custom standard allows you to pick any combination of victory conditions that is not contradictory, and how much of each, are necessary to win the game.

After these options begin missions that use other conditions. Some can use the above standard victory conditions in addition to the changes imposed by the mission itself.

Matching optimized start begins both the AI and the player with three earthlike planets.

Matching Minimized start begins both the AI and the player with its capital planet and two inferior planets, usually asteroid belts or space stations depending on the alliance chosen.

Capital planet start only begins the player with only their capital planet and no ships other than a single colony ship.

Revolt mode gives the AI ten planets and a third of the credits from them to boost its starting fleet. The player is given his or her normal three planets and a normal starting fleet.

Close quarters mode puts the two capital planets extremely close together, making a capital control victory a quick way to win the game. This makes for a fast paced game that can be over in as little as 5 minutes. This is also one of the two options for a demo game.

Far corners mode places the AI and player's planets in corners of the map, making it less likely that they find each other as quickly as normal.

Lonely Universe mode combines capital planet only with far corners mode for a longer more difficult game.

Planetary Bounty Mode gives a bonus of 50 credits to the first colonizer of any asteroid belt or space station, providing a much needed boost in games on higher difficulty levels.

Lightning Game lets the game run for ten turns. At the end of this time, the faction with the most colonies colonized wins the game. If a tie occurs, the faction with the most hits in their fleet wins. This too, provides a fast game option that generally takes from 5 to 30 minutes. This is also one of the demonstration mode options.

Total war mode colonizes each planet on the board according to faction, giving each faction 20 planets to begin with. Each planet is garrisoned with 3 interceptors, and the normal starting fleet of three interceptors, one destroyer, and one frigate are placed on the capital. The player must then win a military victory over the AI.

Colonize specific planet the game selects a single planet at random that the winner must colonize and hold. The planet is not selected until after you finish choosing the planets you start with, either automatically or manually, later on in the startup sequence, so will not be announced until after then.

Colonize all planets of specific type the game chooses a type of planet, such as ice, volcanic etc, and you must colonize every planet of that type to win.

Random Mission and or victory condition selects from any of the above to provide a random mission or set of victory conditions. This is able to select any mission, so it will also pick victory conditions for those that ordinarily let you choose your own. If you don't want the setup it announces when you choose this option, press escape to return to configure game menu where you can try again.

This gives dozens of missions with a range of 5 difficulty modes providing replayability.


The third menu you will encounter, called Select Opponent, is the AI mode of the computer player. The normal setting allows the AI to adapt to changing circumstances in the game. The other modes place the AI in only one of its four possible modes: random, defensive, aggressive, and superaggressive. Each has its own challenges to the skillful player.

Random is just what it says. the AI uses random chance to decide many aspects of its placement and attack strategy. Defensive concentrates the majority of its credits and ships for planetary defenses. Aggressive makes the AI attack the enemy wherever it can, but not as virulently as it will do when set to superaggressive.

Choose Faction

The fourth menu allows you to choose your faction. The options are either Solarian Federation with your home planet at Earth, or Interstellar Union with your home planet as Bolivar.

Planet Selection

The fifth and last startup menu asks if you wish to select your planets manually or have the game automatically choose two additional colonies to use besides your capital planet. Manual selection allows for easier start conditions, for instance, selecting 3 earthlike planets, while automatic may set the player up with fairly bad starting conditions.

This concludes our tour of the start game function.
Note that depending on what options are chosen in configure game, parts of the startup sequence is skipped.
now on to the rest of the main menu.

Save and Exit Game

When you are playing the game and in map mode, hitting escape will take you to the main menu, and this option will appear just below return to map mode. Pressing this option will save your game, and log you out of the game. You must be logged into a guidedog account to do this, but the game does not have to be activated. In order to load a game later on, it will need to be logged into the account that was used to save it.

Load Saved Game

If you have a saved game file and open the main menu, this option appears just under start game, and provides a way to load your saved game. You'll need to be logged into Guidedog with the account that you saved the game with.

Wins and Losses

Wins and Losses lists your wins and losses first by condition type, then a total. At the bottom of this menu is a reset option to reset these totals. The wins and losses for each type of game may not match the total because a game that meets multiple criteria for victory is counted in multiple categories. It is necessary to be logged into Guidedog for this menu to load, as it relies on data from the account.

Open Documentation

This option opens the documentation file from the main menu. Of course, you're reading this, so it's quite possible that you already know that.

Change Log

This option opens the change log from the menu and allows you to read through it with your browser.


Settings contains a number of options. They are set to a default level that seems optimal for game play. You are free to change these and the game will save your preferences to your guidedog account. When you log into Guidedog with that account in the future, those settings will take affect. The settings do also save to your local disk in case Guidedog can’t be accessed. The options are:

Speech Pack: A text file with a list of the strings for each sound file are included in the folder where you installed the game in case you wish to record your own human speech equivalents of the sound files. We have also included the more common SAPI voices as part of the game. To select a different voice, at speech pack, merely arrow to the right to select.

Voice Over Volume: set with left and right arrow. It controls the volume of the game's voice. This is -5 by default.

Speech File Cue Before End Delay: This setting controls how much pause occurs between speech objects in the game. Making this pause shorter makes the speech sound choppier. Making it longer makes the speech more natural. If the delay is too long speech sounds play too close together. This is 80 by default.

General sound volume: This allows you to change the volume of game sounds. This can also be controlled with f2 and f3 from inside the game. To completely disable sounds, turn this all the way down by pressing or holding left arrow on the slider until you hear "Disabled", or press f2 repeatedly until you hear "Disabled".

Automatic Combat Damage: This sets up the game to use an automatic damage routine to destroy ships in a certain order. IN general, the game tries to destroy hits on larger ships that can take more damage first, then loses interceptors. It tries to lose colony ships last. This is on by default.

Cut Scenes: This option allows you to enable or disable whether the game uses SAPI to read small descriptions of missions and other elements.

Game Interaction Tips: This option sets whether to hear menu tips and other helpful hints given during the game. This is on by default.

Announce Menu Indexes: This toggles whether menu position is announced. I.e. Start Game 1 of 6. This is on by default.

Pause Before Announcing Menu Indexes: The game tells you where in the menus you are at the end of each item. This is called the menu index. So for instance, on the main menu, start game is followed by the announcement 1 of 6. This merely enables or disables a pause between the item and the menu index. This is on by default.

Announce Coordinates When Navigating the Map: this has two settings. The default setting announces movement along the axis on which you just moved. If you are at x 2 y 3 and you move right one square the announcement would be 3 to let you know you moved one square right on the x axis. Conversely, if you moved up one square, the announcement would be 2 to let you know you decreased value on the y axis. You can also set this to read both X and Y coordinates when you move. It is toggled with the left and right arrow keys.

Invert Y Axis: If you prefer for the Y axis to increase in numeric value as the arrow travels up the screen, making it similar to the upper half of a Cartesian plane, then select this option. If you prefer to leave the Y axis descending as you move down the map like the lower half of a Cartesian plane, then leave this option disabled.

Use Keyboard Hooking to Force Detection of Keystrokes Regardless of Screen Reader: allows a user to disengage the keyboard hook that intercepts input. Doing this might be to the user's advantage if their screen reader is asleep, or their screen reader does not intercept incoming text. Disengaging this hook may make the game unplayable by users using a screen reader, such as Jaws, which intercepts text before it reaches the game. You can re-engage the hook with the f8 keystroke. If you are unsure of this option, we recommend leaving it enabled.

SAPI Speaks Messages Not Available in Recorded Speech: If this is enabled, the game uses SAPI to announce any information that is not pre-recorded. Otherwise, the game spells out such information with the in-game voice. It may be selected using the left and right arrows. This is on by default.

SAPI Voice: This item selects which installed SAPI voice to use for SAPI announcements. Again, you can use the left and right arrow to select the voice. The first voice found on the system is chosen by default.

SAPI Volume: This adjusts the volume of SAPI speech. Left and right arrows will change the volume level. This is 100% by default.

SAPI Rate: This changes the rate at which SAPI announces information. Left and right arrow will change the speed of the synthesizer. This is 50% by default.

SAPI Pitch: This changes the pitch of the SAPI voice. Left and right arrow will change this pitch control. This is 50% by default.

Return: This returns you to the main menu of the game.

Learn Game Sounds

Use this sub menu to review the sounds you may encounter throughout the game. There are a variety of short sounds that can aid in staying aware of the current situation in addition to the speech feedback if desired. Most sounds in the game are listed in this menu. As you arrow up or down, the description for the sound is heard, followed by the sound itself. You may press Enter to hear the description and the sound again, or space to just hear the sound with the description omitted.
Note: most sounds respect the General Sound Volume setting. This is assignable in the settings menu or by pressing f2 or f3 anywhere in game. Sounds can be completely disabled by turning the volume all the way down, for instance press f2 until you hear "Disabled". Not all sounds are considered general. Those that are not will ignore General Sound Volume. The volume setting is ignored by the learn sounds menu for fairly obvious reasons.


This option tells you if your game is activated and connected to Guidedog. If you're logged in right now, enter here will open a web browser to this game's guidedog page.

Quickstart Guide

There is much more information in the rest of the documentation, but there is a certain subset of players who are saying, yes, yes, but I want to start now, and learn about neat features that make my life easier later. The following is provided as a quickstart.

Quick strategy tips include the following:

Game Play

The game has two modes of play. The first is menus which are navigated using the arrows and the enter key. For instance, to select a number of ships to purchase, you scroll to the appropriate ship and use the right arrow to select how many to buy. The game will not let you spend more credits than you have, so not all options will allow this scrolling.

The second mode is map mode. in map mode you can move about the galaxy and examine squares. The game will automatically switch between menu and map mode as needed.

The Map of the Galaxy

The map is 20 by 20 squares. There are forty planets scattered through this area. Twenty belong to the Solarian Federation, and twenty belong to the Interstellar Union. Each federation controls two quadrants of the map. The map is divided into four quadrants, each equaling 10 by 10 squares. The map will only be shown to you as you discover it through scanner readings for a square or actually flying through it. Further, invisible at the beginning of the game, there are forty static hazard squares. These appear as you learn about them through information gathering or unfortunate experience. Lastly, when moving through 'empty' squares, you will occasionally encounter mobile hazards. These appear at random, and can range from highly beneficial to merely annoying to the catastrophically bad.

Movement and Exploration

Note: This section assumes that Y axis inversion is disabled; if it is not, then some of the coordinate information for the y axis will need to be flipped. To explore the map move your arrow keys over the map. The squares are numbered from 0 to 19 with 0 at the far left or top. Thus 0,0 is the top left most square of the board, while 19,19 is the rightmost bottom square of the board. Notice that the Y axis is thus reversed from normal mathematical usage, progressing from 19 at the bottom to 0 at the top. Your arrow is placed automatically on your ship and on the Planet you selected on the starting menus at the beginning of the game. If you begin exploring and get lost, hitting the h key will take your cursor back to your capital planet. If a square contains a planet, or a revealed static hazard, this is announced when you arrow into the square. Otherwise, you hear merely the number of your position on the X axis (i.e. left to right). When you move from one row of the map to another, say from row 2 near the top to row 3, the map will announce 3. This lets you know about movement along the Y axis (up and down). (You can change this to read both coordinates every time you move by changing this option in the settings menu.)

While exploring you can use control and an arrow to skip to the next planet or hazard in the row or column you are in. If you press alt and an arrow you scroll continuously in the direction chosen.

If you wish to move your ship manually, position your cursor on the ship, and then use shift and an arrow key to move in the desired direction. If a hazard is encountered, the game will announce it and either apply penalties associated with that hazard, or will enter a menu and give you a chance to decide about it. Some hazards randomly move your ship, so be careful, exploring after striking a hazard is a good idea. In the case of hazards that do damage, the damage to your ship is announced when the hazard is encountered. Note that ships that have autonav will automatically avoid newly detected hazards even if they are already on route, and even if it was another of your ships that discovered it. Note also that if a ship moves onto a square with another ship, it will be unable to move again until combat is resolved once you advance out of movement phase, even if that ship had moves left.

Turn Order

Each turn is divided into a number of phases:

  • Purchase phase comes first and is when initiative is determined, who gets to move first, who is the attacker, so on and so forth. Random turn events occur generally before you purchase, and this will impact your buying power, how far you can move ships, what ships are available and other factors. This is when you buy replacement units for the round.
  • The second phase is movement phase. This allows examination of the map, and movement of your forces to new locations. To end movement phase simply hit space bar.
  • The next phase is combat phase. Here any combats resulting from the movement phase are resolved.
  • Finally, the game enters placement phase at the end of a round, and the player may place ships.
  • Victory Conditions

    There are four basic ways to win the game:

    1. Destroy all enemy units on the board.
    2. Colonize 60% of the board (24 planets).
    3. Control 60% of the total economy of the galaxy (223 credits per turn)
    4. Capture and hold the enemy's capital for multiple turns. The capital is either Earth for the Solarian Federation or Bolivar for the Interstellar union.

    In standard mode any of these conditions can be met to win the game. In customized games only one or more of these conditions are met. The percentage to meet the condition can be adjusted in the Configure Game Mode menu for Colonization and Economic victory conditions either by selecting Random Standard or by setting different values via the scrollers in the Custom Standard menu.

    Some missions work with the above mentioned victory conditions, but others do not.

    Purchase Menu

    When purchase phase begins you are presented with a menu that has the six ship types arranged on sliders. They are in increasing order of cost, except that colony ships are placed at the bottom of the list of ships. Below colony ships is the gather intelligence option. Thus the menu runs:

    To purchase ships, go to the type of ship you wish to purchase, then press right arrow until you get to the number of ships you wish to buy. If it goes too far, you can scroll back with left arrow. It is sometimes easier to hit right arrows or left arrows in single pushes to go less quickly through the slider. You may also just press enter repeatedly without scrolling to purchase ships of the same type one by one if desired. Do this until you have purchased all ships. If you wish to stop before you have spent all credits, simply hit done. Otherwise, the game will automatically switch phases once you have used up all your credits
    Note: as this menu cannot be closed with escape, pressing it just informs you which ships you have already purchased.

    Gathering intelligence is military jargon for gathering information. Selecting this option expends 5 credits. It is not always successful, but when it is, your spies will report the locations of unknown planets and hazards, how much the enemy spent on various war activities such as scouting, convoys for colonies, defensive fleets, and attack fleets. You might even intercept the enemy's battle strategy giving you an advantage in the coming turn.

    Movement Phase

    Much of how to explore was discussed earlier in the sections on the map of the galaxy and movement and exploration, however, there are a few advanced techniques that are of note here. Further, any new detections of enemy ships or announcements of new planets located are given at the beginning of this phase. These detections, along with some other potentially useful information can be reviewed using the D hot key. Note that you may press enter on items in the Detection Review menu to jump to the coordinates for that item. For instance, if a ship detection is listed, pressing enter there will jump to that ship, or possibly just near to it, if the ship moved after it was initially detected.

    Fleet Management

    One thing that makes moving groups of ships easier in Expanding Known Space is the use of fleets. Fleets offer extra safety for the members in their travel by taking advantage of the capabilities of the various ship types to aid the fleet as a whole e.g. bringing along cruisers to help keep everything repaired, battleships to help keep the fleet from falling apart if it runs into certain hazards etc. Fleets also move at the speed of the slowest member, so a fleet containing a bunch of destroyers but also with a colonyship will move at the much slower speed of the colony ship, and so the destroyers will be able to stay with it as an escort. Fleet management is done in the Fleet Management menu. Press E to open it. The menu changes depending on how many fleets and ships are here.

    To create a fleet simply go to the square where you wish to create the fleet and hit e to enter fleet management menu. Scroll to create new fleet. The Add Ships To Fleet menu appears allowing you to choose the ships that you want to be members. To select on a ship by ship basis individually, it is easiest to arrow up. Every cantidate is listed. However, if you arrow down instead there will be scrollers for each type of ship that you may use to automatically add a number of ships of the desired type more easily by arrowing right to the amount before pressing enter. To add everything, select the add all vessels option at the top. Note that if you have only two ships that are not in a fleet at this location, they will both be automatically added immediately when you choose Create New Fleet.

    To review or modify a pre-existing fleet, go to the fleet in the fleet management menu and open it by hitting enter. The resulting menu lists every ship that the fleet contains along with a number of extra options at the top that change depending on the situation.

    Note: You move fleets exactly the way you do other ships.


    Another feature that makes moving ships or groups of ships easier is the autonav feature (short for automatic navigation). You have multiple options for how to autonav the ship. By pressing the letter A on a selected ship, you are presented with three items in a menu: planet, ship, or enable scout mode. Scout mode sends the ship to the edge of the board and sends it in a spiral pattern to search out enemy planets and ships. Planet allows you to send the ship to a planet you know about. Ship allows you to send the ship to another ship you wish to rendezvous with. The other method of using autonav is to hit shift A on a ship. This will start autonav selection mode, then you simply move to the square you want the ship to go to using any method e.g. arrow to it, go to menu, go to coordinates option (ctrl+g), pressing enter on something in Detection Review, Nearby Scan, Consentrations menus etc, and hit enter. This tells the game where to send the ship.
    Note: if you're using a menu, such as Detection Review, to go to the desired destination, you'll need to press enter once on the menu item and then a second time to assign Autonav to the location you've been placed at. While ship has been used in this discussion, this same A and shift A usage can be applied to fleets. When you assign a ship as the destination, the ship cannot follow the destination ship when it moves.

    Besides these options, there is also a control A hot key that allows all ships and fleets in a square to be sent to the same autonav destination using the move to a square and hit enter method discussed under shift A.

    Shift+A and Ctrl+A are intercompatible from any number of locations, but to a single destination at a time. You may select all ships on one square using Ctrl+A or Shift+A, then add more ships from other locations using shift+A and or ctrl+A. Once you've got all units you want selected, pressing enter at their destination will set them all up to convene there. When setting various ships and fleets to more than one destination, it is necessary to mark the ones for a single destination, then press enter at the destination before marking another set and pressing enter elsewhere.

    If you have ships selected via Shift+A or Ctrl+A but have decided to abort before you have pressed enter on any destination, pressing escape will clear them. Pressing space if you're done with map mode will do the same.

    Any square is a valid destination with this method. You can send ships to what looks like an empty square if you desire.

    All of the autonav assignment functionality is also available in the Place With Map Mode option in the placement phase, but the ships will not start moving until after you advance past movement phase later on.

    You may manually move a ship that has autonav assigned on it. Autonav movement happens after you exit the movement phase by pressing space bar, so the ships still have their moves available when you're exploring the map. Doing this does not clear autonav however unless you moved the ship to its destination.

    Finally, while it is easy to mark lots of ships in a single location and set them off to the same destination, it is usually preferable to make them into a fleet for that situation so that they can better handle any hazards, and ships of varrying speeds stick together for a better combat force.

    Ships with autonav will attempt to avoid hazards. When one is detected, any ships that would encounter it on their path will adjust to circumnavigate it unless its destination is directly on the hazard.

    You may queery a ship for its autonav destination by pressing v on it. Ctrl+v will show you every ship you have which has autonav enabled to any location. Shift+v shows you every ship you have with autonav to the current location.

    Assigning Purposes to Ships

    To assign a purpose to a ship or fleet, simply go to that ship or fleet and press the u key. This will cycle between five options: attack, defense, convoy, scout, and unassigned. Scout enables scout mode, which will cause the ship or fleet to go to the nearest edge of the board and begin spiraling clockwise looking for enemy instellations or ships. The others are merely informational. This allows you to group ships, assign a purpose, and quickly be able to determine why that fleet is where it is.
    Note: While U does additionally work for fleets as well as individual ships, you may also assign a fleet a purpose in the menu listing its ships via the purpose scroller.


    Placement phase creates a menu with a list of your currently controlled planets from which you may select. When you enter placement phase, all ships remaining to be placed are announced.
    Note: Since you cannot exit this menu without placing all ships, hitting escape tells you how many ships you have remaining and what type they are.
    Press enter on a planet. A sub menu appears and prompts you to select ships to place at the planet. These are scrollers when there are more than one available, so you may right arrow to increase the number of ships of a given type before you press enter to do them at once. You may also just press enter on an item repeatedly until you have as many as you desire. The number of ships remaining is reported each time you place something. To place everything you have on this planet, just use Place All here found at the top of this menu. If you wish to shift planets, simply hit escape to reach the planet selection menu, then scroll to a new planet.

    You can, if you prefer, select Place With Map Mode. This option is second from the bottom of the menu. When selected you are placed in map mode. Most hot keys for navigation will work in map mode during placement phase, but not all keys will. Simply press enter while focused on a valid colony. The game will then switch to the select ships to place at menu as described above. If you place your last ship, you return automatically to map mode. You may also press escape if you don't want to place more ships at this location. You return to map mode where you're able to choose another planet for placement. Given that you can only place on your colonies, it is helpful to use the K and shift+K hotkeys here to cycle among them. You are able to assign Autonav on your ships if desired, and do fleet management. Just press the space bar or escape to return to the Select A Planet for Ship Placement menu, which will just advance you out of the placement phase if you have everything placed, otherwise you can use the menu to place the remaining ships via the automatic method or planet by planet.

    At the bottom of this menu is Place Automatically, which automatically places ships using a method similar to that employed by the computer player's defensive placement. This is recommended mainly for defensive placement.

    Ship Types and statistics

    Each ship has a number of major characteristics. These include number of hits, number of spaces it can move, attack number, defense number, and so on. The following entries give more details:




    Frigates are able to gather salvage after combats, giving you a slight return on destroyed ships. Typically this credit gain is one credit per capital ship destroyed (i.e. destroyers, frigates, cruisers, and battleships).


    Cruisers are able to repair other ships in the square with them. This repair is limited to one hit per ship per round, starting with the cruiser itself. Further, the cruiser can only repair ships equal to its current hits. I.E. if a cruiser is at 2 hits, it can repair itself once, and one other ship.


    Battleships can fire at other enemy ships within one square at the beginning of combat, making battleships perilous to approach. Further, when battleships are in fleets, all ships move with the battleships during the scattering caused by some hazards. This prevents fleets from being scattered as badly.

    Colony Ship

    Colony ships are necessary to colonize newly conquered planets. Move a colony ship or a fleet containing one or more of them onto a planet and advance out of movement phase to eventually be prompted to colonize it. Colony ships are sacrificed in the colonization effort, so please note that a ship that colonizes will disappear.

    Ship Descriptions

    The following is written as if from the perspective of the Second Interstellar Wars period.

    Interceptor: The interceptor of the First Interstellar Wars was not as robust as that of later conflicts. It was a single engine, single reactor fighter. Primarily meant to engage enemy fighters and scout drones, the ship did poorly against larger ships. It was armed with a pair of fire linked particle beams and a pair of rocket launchers. Despite its faults, interceptors were manufactured in huge numbers as inexpensive sentry ships and patrol vessels.

    Destroyer: The destroyers of the First Interstellar Wars were an offshoot of the attempt to develop a military application for the larger colony transports used to colonize new planets. Their lineal descendant is the armed merchant freighters of the Second Interstellar Wars. They were extremely fast, fairly well armed for their size, and relatively inexpensive to produce. Vast numbers were used, and when employed in wolf pack tactics against enemy capital ships or enemy ship concentrations could prove deadly.

    Frigate: The frigate was an attempt during the First Interstellar Wars to wed the heavier armament of a capital ship to the speed and maneuverability of a destroyer. While they failed in this (they neither had the punch of larger ships, nor the speed of destroyers) they were produced in great numbers. Their relative inexpensiveness helped to make up for their faults. As deflector technology advanced toward the end of the conflict, the frigate began to change into the famed Solarian patrol ships of the Pax Solaris.

    Cruiser: The cruiser was an attempt at a heavy ship that had more speed than the ponderous battleship. While they succeeded in this aim, the cost was their downfall. Armor was sacrificed for engine power, and they were not as well defended as the heavier battleships. However, the cruiser saw widespread usage as a stopgap defensive ship and forward gun platform.

    Battleship: The battleship of the First Interstellar Wars was a massive vessel using the latest armor, defensive systems, engines, and weapons. However, its sheer mass prevented it from being as decisive a weapon as its designers would like. Coupled with limited production due to its expense, and the woeful inadequacy of its engines for its mass, the battleship was used only for large scale assaults and as the center around which planetary defenses were built.

    Colony Ship: The colony ship was the first large scale civilian transport used. It was designed to carry the emigrants from one planet to another complete with all of the gear they would need to establish a profitable and useful colony for the home world. Their armament was purely defensive, at first, and their limited speed and armor made them profitable targets for enemy vessels. Their direct line descendant is the armed merchant freighters of the Second Interstellar Wars which combine the best features of the colony ship and the destroyer: speed, decent armament, and a truly amazing cargo capacity.

    Planet Types

    Each of the planet types grants different numbers of credits:

    Spoils of Victory and Planetary Occupation

    When a newly discovered planet is colonized, the colony ship is destroyed during the colonization process. Further, the player gains what is called spoils of victory. This is an amount of credits equal to one third of the number of credits a planet will bring in each turn. For an earth like planet the spoils of victory will be 5 therefore, since earth like planets bring in 15 credits per turn.

    Wehn enemy ships occupy a colonized planet, but have not yet colonized it, the planet produces no credits for its alliance.

    Colonization takes a turn to take hold. The easiest way to think of colonization is that colony ships are used as raw materials to help build the initial structures necessary for the colony, thus they are destroyed in this process. However, becoming a fully functional colony takes time. Thus you colonize on one turn, the colony is fully functional at the end of the next turn. In game turns, this is three months time.

    hazards of Known Space

    High Energy Pulsar: A pulsar is an electromagnetically active stage in a star's death. The star rotates rapidly sending out pulses of electromagnetic energy. Pulsars take various forms, but the ones described here send out broad bands of electromagnetic energy that destroys ship electronics and cause damage to systems. They are evaded as quickly as possible since staying in such a system causes numerous failures usually leading to death.

    Cloud of Dark Matter: These clouds are composed of dark matter, the missing portion of the universe that makes up the vast majority of the invisible mass of creation. It is not especially dangerous, but slows ships using the Montclerc drive and causes them delays.

    Hyperspace Distortions: These ripples or waves in hyperspace cause ships using the Montclerc drive to end up at a random destination. Sometimes it can be as near as one sector away from the previous course, but ships have reported entering hyperspace distortions only to find themselves at the other end of known space.

    Meteor Activity: This represents a large asteroid field, meteor shower, or comet's debris cloud. It damages any ship passing through.

    Large Debris Field: These debris fields can be the remnants of planets, the random junk left after a space battle, the remains of vacuum-based construction projects and the like. While the Solarian Patrol attempts to keep all debris fields marked on current charts, new ones pop up with depressing regularity.

    Solar Storm: A solar storm is usually the electromagnetic energy produced by a dying star. The sun, slowly tearing itself apart, generates light, heat, and other forces at great distances inflicting damage on passing ships. They are avoided and evaded whenever possible.

    Pirates: These human vessels prey on honest merchant ships. One reason why more and more merchants are arming. In a pinch however, larger pirate fleets will attack military convoys.

    Solar Flare: Not as deadly as a solar storm, a solar flare is a large discharge of plasma, and electromagnetic energy from the surface of a star. Large ones can reach tremendous distances.

    Meteor Collision: This represents a collision with a single rogue meteor, meteorite, or other piece of space junk.

    Ship System Breakdown: Any ship's system can go at any moment. Usually this is merely a delay.

    Black Hole: A black hole is the collapsed remains of a star that has achieved a massive density in a very small space. The star type got its name during the early years of astronomic investigation on old Earth. Astronomers, puzzled at regions that light bent around in odd ways dubbed these regions black holes. It was later discovered that the gravity well of black holes was so strong that light could not even escape from it. This hazard represents a near brush with the outer edges of a black hole's gravity well; a closer brush would spell certain doom for the pilot and his or her ship.

    Corosive Gas Cloud: Occasionally in deep space, corosive clouds of gas are discharged by unscrupulous traders. These clouds most often come from improperly loaded chemicals, radioactive isotopes, or the like. The gases eat at ships passing through them and can inflict quite a bit of damage if severe enough.

    Electromagnetic Storm: This is a region of space where large magnetic fields and/or electrical activity can effect ships using the Montclerc drive. They are plotted by the Solarian patrol, but often move.

    Extreme Gravity Well: A gravity well is the field of gravity surrounding an object in space. For especially dense or large objects, these gravity wells can be tricky to navigate. A skilled navigator can use them to sling shot their ship gaining speed. However, occasionally, such as in this case, the gravity well snares the ship, and the ship must "climb out of" the well. This often takes a great deal of fuel and can cause engine damage.

    Hyperspace Rift: This is a tear or rupture in hyperspace that will dump a ship using the Montclerc drive back into normal space, often inflicting severe damage upon it.

    Navigational Anomaly: This is a region of space which due to principles not fully understood cause errors in navigation. The patrol tries to plot these anomalies, but new ones crop up periodically.

    Nebula: A nebula is a cloud of dust and gases that form stars. Due to the swirling dust, gases, and reflective nature of debris within them, nebulas block the commonly used scanners of both federations. Further they often inflict minor damage on the engines of ships.

    Neutrino Storm: Neutrinos are very light particles that travel at the speed of light. Normally they pass through matter without disruption, however, in the rare neutrino storm they can affect ships using the Montclerc drive by disintegrating portions of the ship's superstructure. It was the discovery of this effect, and its application that directly led to the development of the neutrino cannon, a powerful weapon in the war against the grays.

    Radiation Field: This is a region of space where the background cosmic rays of the universe's birth in the Big Bang are especially active. Due to the energy of the particles involved, and the nature of the equipment used by both federations, radiation fields cause damage to deflectors and weapons batteries.

    Hyperspace Current: Occasionally, spacers speak of hitting currents in hyperspace that seem to hurry them along. Many report actually reaching destinations far faster and with less fuel consumption than expected. Scientists call this hogwash.

    Hyperspace Disturbances: Hyperspace is sometimes troubled by what the spacer calls a hyperspace storm and physicists call a superstring perturbation. The upshot is that such areas are extremely dangerous for ships using the Montclerc drive to pass through. The Solarian patrol and Interstellar Union Customs Service tries to detect these issues in time, post sentry ships, and detour trade ships around such areas.

    Magnetic Anomaly: Sometimes magnetic fields become polarized and intensify in power. These can sometimes drag ships using the Montclerc drive from their proper course.

    Reactor Meltdown: Almost as feared as an explosion, the dreaded reactor meltdown directly destroys some of the ship's engines. This can lead to stranded ships.

    Worm holes: Worm holes are poorly understood connections between points in space. It is believed that worm holes use hyperspace to traverse huge distances similar to the way the Montclerc drive warps space. The upshot of a ship's encounter with a worm hole however is that the ship is usually sent far along in the direction it was traveling, sometimes past its destination.

    Planet Descriptions

    There are two groups of human colonies in known space. The first, and oldest, is the Solarian Confederation of Planets, most commonly referred to as the Solarians or the Solarian Federation. The Solarian Federation formed around old Earth, and seeks to establish law and order, and to run, as near as might be a civil society. The other organization of planets, the Interstellar Union, is younger, and tried to break away from Earth. The I.U. was founded by independent groups of spacers from spacer-based communities about Sol, and so felt no loyalty for the planet of humanity's birth. During the course of the Pax Solaris, the Interstellar Union has managed to regain its independence from the Solarians, and it is a more free wheeling, more anarchic, more frontier oriented society. The I.U. is not an anything goes kind of a place, but its government is much less centralized, laws are much less rigid, and often enforced only on a planet by planet basis.

    The following descriptions follow a standardized format: name of the planet, allegiance, distance from star, star's magnitude, and then a planet classification. The star's magnitude is a measure of its brightness from Earth. The classes, from brightest to least bright, are O, A, B, F, G, K, M. These are all stars that are considered "main sequence" stars. Some of the planets circle white dwarfs, stars that have collapsed and moved off of the main sequence. In general terms, only stars in the higher F, G, and K magnitudes are sun-like enough to support Earthlike planets. The planet classifications are: Earthlike, oceanic, volcanic, ice, scientific station, and penal station. These should be taken as general guidelines. Not every inch of a volcanic planet is a molten hell, but the existence of so much geological activity makes such planets difficult to live on.

    Solarian Federation Planets

    Description: Named for the Norwegian explorer and first man to reach the South Pole of old Earth, Roald Amundsen, Amundsen his name sake is a bleak glaciated world. It is valuable for its superconducter industry, which cannot be replicated in many other systems. Further, its industrial base has propelled it despite its inadequacies to the forefront of interstellar trade.

    Description: Bubba was named by discoverer Captain Roger "Buddy" Hatfield. It is an earthlike world, but it is not an old colony and still is struggling.

    Description: Named for the mythical centaur that taught Greek heroes, Chiron Station circles a great gas giant. It is a scientific station concerned with experiments and the gathering of knowledge. It is a tough assignment, requires many imports, and produces a great deal of knowledge.

    Description: Named by the wife of Captain Francis MacDonald, because her first impression of the world on a vision screen was that 'it's just darling, simply darling Francis.' the planet called Darling is an oceanic world. Its one small continent (smaller than Australia) is circled by large archipelagoes of islands. The world's scientific mysteries include a large amphibious creature similar to earth's whales as well as squid-like 'krakens' that live at great depths. While not as inhospitable as some worlds, Darling is no pleasure trip, and it requires many imports.

    Description: Known as Earth, Terra, Gaia and other names in its past, Earth is the home of the human race. It is considered a standard by which to measure the habitability of other worlds. Further, it is the capital planet of the Solarian Federation.

    Description: Einstein Station was one of the first deep space scientific bases constructed by the Solarian Federation. It circles an M-type star and was tasked with deep space observation, hyperspace observation, and experiments dealing with vacuum and its possible pharmaseudical or medical applications.

    Description: Circling its g type primary at a distance of 90 million miles, Elysium is a lush green world that is earthlike. Its population rivals that of Earth or Vishnu, and it is at the forefront of medical and cybernetic research. The planet was so named due to its appearance at the end of a grueling and near-fatal exploration mission by Captain Ahmed Mohammed Fahali. The planet allowed him to get badly needed supplies and recovery time and successfully complete his mission.

    Description: Named for the valley in the Biblical story where children were sacrificed to the Canaanite god Moloch, gehenna is a bleak world of rock, lava, and poisonous gases. While the isotopes and metals mined there are valuable, no one really wishes to go to Gehenna, and Solarian patrol vessels regularly capture smugglers engaged in human trafficking in the system.

    Description: This planet was settled by German speakers and discovered by Captain Gerald Grunwald. The name means green world and it is an earth-like planet. Though its climate is tough, the world is a profitable colony.

    Description: Named for Captain James Hobbs the discoverer, who died upon his landing upon it, Hobbs' Planet is a volcanic nightmare. Besides the precarious human colony there, the khrol have an outpost. The inhabitants produce a great deal of mineral wealth, and the planet regularly turns a profit, but most of its colonists save their fortunes to buy tickets to pleasanter climes.

    Description: The planet Oberon was named for the king of the fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Oberon is a hot steamy volcanic world. It is a center of chemical, geothermal, and radiological industries, but is a barren place to live. Its people hold an annual festival honoring "the first survivors" who made it through from the first colonization effort until the resupply ship arrived to save those same first colonists. The upper crust of Oberon still regard being "first" or "second" wave as being somehow more admirable than being of later colonization efforts.

    Description: Olympia is one of the foremost colonies of the Solarian Federation. Named for Mount Olympus, the home of the gods in Greek mythology, the planet sports a growing population and many centers of production. It is one of the economic engines of Solarian economy.

    Description: Named in a fit of public-relations optomism, the name did not inspire more immigrants to this barren space station circling an asteroid in a white dwarf system. Eventually, the station was converted from a pure research project to a penal colony and research station. It requires many imports.

    Description: Pele, named for the Polynesian goddess associated with the volcanoes of old Earth, was discovered by Captain Martia de la Croy. The planet is less rugged and inhospitable than some volcanic worlds, and though it still has a high emigration rate, the planet boasts a stable population and growing industries.

    Description: The Tao Seti Asteroid Union is one of the largest sources of minable isotopes in known space. Their economic clout has allowed them to maintain their independence, and to gain a vote in the Solarian Federation's Planetary Assembly. The TSAU however is a bleak place, and requires a certain mind set to live there.

    Description: New Earth, as its name means, is very Earth-like. It has many commonalities with Earth. It developed primitive animal and insect life, as well as gymnospermic plants. The planet is a powerhouse of economic development, and is one of the largest and best known colonies of the human race.

    Description: Named for the home of the Norse deities known as the vanir, the earth-like planet Vanaheim is a cold world. Only parts of the world are habitable. It sports some of the most beautiful glaciers in the galaxy, but other than its mineral wealth and ski resorts, Vanaheim is mostly waste land.

    Description: Named for the Roman goddess of the hearth, Vesta is an Earth-like planet. Its thick atmosphere and high carbon dioxide content make it a hot humid world of jungles and swamps. While not ideal territory for human settlement, the planet's pharmacological and other biodiversity-based products have made it an important stop in galactic commerce.

    Description: Named for the preserver of Hindu mythology, Vishnu is an earth-like planet. It is a profitable colony, and sports nearly as large a population as Earth. It is advanced, and has numerous industries and exports to ship to other colonies.

    Description: Zion is a profitable colony, on a planet that is very hospitable to humans. It has a population that rivals Vishnu or Earth, and its ports hum with commerce. The offworld traveler is advised that Zion was founded under a religious charter, and so local laws are sometimes radically different than one might expect from other parts of known space.

    Interstellar Union Planets

    Description: Named for the Russian fairy, witch, or trickster goddess Babayaga, the planet was named by Captain Demetri Rastenov for its eratic orbit. The planet averages a distance of 300 million miles from its f type primary, but its orbit can be as close as 240 million miles or as far out as 350 million miles. Babayaga is a frozen ball of ice and rock, with little in the way of breathable atmosphere. Most work and normal activity takes place in sealed caverns and tunnels beneath the surface of the world. There are few postings more bleak than an assignment to Babayaga, and it was used for a time as a prison planet by the IU. While that unhappy chapter of its history is closed, Babayaga still is a struggling colony, surviving on the production of superconducters, radioactive isotopes, and other items easier to produce or find in the peculiar conditions prevailing on its surface.

    Description: The capital planet of the Interstellar Union threw off its old name of Gaia Nova in favor of naming itself after the Venezuelan liberator of South America Simon Bolivar. Since the IU's resumption of sovereignty, the planet has prospered and it rivals Earth for accomplishments.

    Description: Named for the first Holy Roman emperor by Captain Jean Marie Montaigne, the planet Charlemagne is an outpost colony. It struggles, but analysts predict that the colony will eventually surpass many other planets of its class.

    Description: Columbus was discovered on the 12th day of Galoct, and was therefore named in honor of Christopher Columbus by Captain Bartolomeo Juan Rimirez Gomez. The oceanic planet has two large continents, about the size of North America. It is also covered in a miriad of small islands. The planet is more pleasant than most oceanic planets, and its rich biodiversity contributes to its offworld trade.

    Description: Deirdre, though named for the beautiful heroine of Irish mythology, is neither beautiful nor hospitable. It is a cold oceanic planet combining, as many comment, the worst features of ice planets and of oceanic planets. It has one large continent, about the size of South America. However, much of this land mass is covered by a huge ice sheet. The planet, though not devoid of life, has yet to produce any native flora or fauna that can be marketed off world. The colony struggles, but, due to IU subsidies, hangs on despite a constant loss of population due to emigration.

    Description: Named by Captain Sergio Alighieri for its abundant mineral wealth, Eldorado quickly became the site of one of the largest mining booms in known space. There is a svrak colony on the planet as well as the human colony, and though it is named for the mythical Columbian chief covered in gold dust first told of by Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century by humans, by the Svrak it is named Stissix Stuek which roughly translates into the burning egg. The colony is prosperous despite the constantly high turnover rate in workers and administrators.

    Description: Gautama, named for the Buddha, is a bounteous planet, though somewhat colder than Earth. The planet specializes in producing entertainment, indentured servants, and climate control systems.

    Description: Iblis Station, named for the leader of the fallen djinni in Islamic folklore, is one of the most dreadful places in known space. It is a penal colony for the worst offenders, and it is said that if you ever live to fulfill your term and are released you will be mad. The IU denies that any sentient rights abuses take place there, but repeated allogations of sentient experimentation, torture, and malnutrition have given the place an evil reputation.

    Description: Ishtar, named for the goddess of love and war from ancient Babylon, is a lush green world. It is one of the most populous colonies of the IU, rivaling Bolivar. It is known for its electronics industry.

    Description: Named for the Portuguese navigator that first circumnavigated Earth, Magellan is a new colony. Though still struggling to reach its potential, the planet supports a rich chemical and special services industry, and is the banking center of parts of IU space.

    Description: Named for famed anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela by Captain Jamal Matthews, Mandela is a shining example of how colonies can prosper in the right location. As populace as Bolivar or Ishtar, Mandela sports a large manufacturing industry, producing entertainment systems, scientific equipment, climate control systems, and military hardware.

    Description: Long used as a penal colony by the Interstellar Union, Moloch was named for the Canaanite god to whom children were sacrificed. The planet has had a checkered history, swallowing two colonies before a third was planted successfully. The place is a borderline colony, and there is often talk of abandoning the planet, but it is rarely done. Moloch is one of the few sources of certain isotopes used in advanced military applications, and so its continued demand for sacrifice is likely to be met.

    Description: Newton Station, named for Sir Isaac Newton, is one of the foremost scientific institutions of known space. Newton Station is known for theoretical work with particle acceleration, using their zero-g omniplex macrocollider and Gravitron, , known coloquially as the zomg. Much of the best work in deflector, weapons, and reactor improvements goes on at Newton Station as well.

    Description: Oceanus is a watery planet circling an F-Type star. The planet has three small continents, none of which is larger than Australia. The rest of the planet is dotted by groups of small islands. While it has primitive life forms, something akin to trilobites from Earth's past, the planet is mostly a barren, rocky outpost. Many colonists live for the day when they can work off their passage money and return to a better place.

    Description: Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead, is an earthlike planet. Though the planet has a pleasant atmosphere, and good biochemistry, its primitive flora and fauna never got much above a reptilian dominated stage. With the advent of humans, much of this flora and fauna has died off, and the colony is struggling both to replenish and reclaim the planet's dying diversity, while still growing.

    Description: Named for the ancient Athenian diplomat Solon, the station that bares his name was originally supposed to be a diplomatic nexus for IU interactions with other cultures. However, when the station's purpose was superceded by other locations, the IU decided to recycle the station as a prison colony and research station.

    Description: Named by its German speaking captain Gerald Grunwald because it was discovered on New Year's Eve, the volcanic planet Sylvester is a place of heat, extreme danger, and constant work. However, the colony is prosperous and routinely turns a profit.

    Description: At the time it was built, Ultima Station was the farthest outpost of human expansion, and thus its name. The station has provided the most accurate predictions and observations about hyperspace, and its scientific research is vital to the IU government.

    Description: Wovoka is named for the Paiute mystic who taught the Ghost Dance ritual to the indigenous tribes of western North America on old Earth. The planet Wovoka is a world of promise, and though its colony is less than a century old, it has prospered.

    Description: Named for the Eunuch admiral of the early portion of the Ming Dynasty of China who explored southeast Asia and East Africa, ZhengHe is a prosperous and populous colony of the IU. It rivals Bolivar, Ishtar, or Mandela, and has a large booming economy. Zheng He is best known for its robotics industry, and its gladitorial robots are the best in known space.

    Valiant Galaxy Timeline

    The Information Age (1950-2200) This age saw the rise of computers, the internet (a primitive forerunner of the infonet), robotics, virtual reality, and other common technologies. This era also first saw the use of fission and later fusion weapons. As the era progressed, technology advanced and computers became smaller, virtual reality improved, robots became more sophisticated, and cybernetic prosthetics began to make inroads in medical technology. The advances in the biological sciences led to stem cell generated organs and to large scale cloning of food plants, domestic animals, and toward the end of the period, human beings. The age saw increased competition for limited resources: petroleum, coal, and fresh water. Social unrest caused by resource competition led to terrorism and wars for control of resource rich regions.

    The Fusion Age (2200-2400) At the dawn of the fusion age, fusion reactors were made feasible. Further, better control mechanisms for regulating nuclear reactions made nuclear power safer and more attractive to governments that could afford it. Also at the beginning of the era, human cloning became a reality. To help combat the societal unrest and threats to human safety that this technology created, the existing forms of world government such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, International Monitary Fund, etc, were strengthened to form an actual world government. Among the first actions of this government was the formation of laws against the rights of artificial people and limitations placed on the use of cloning technology. With the formation of a world government, the need for new sources of necessary minerals etc forced the government to fully fund space exploration. However, the international, now multinational, megacorporations had already funded space travel. Governmental and commercial interests fought for control of the Earth's solar system. However, this competition led to the exploration and exploitation of Earth's orbit, Luna, Mars, Mercury, and the upper atmosphere of Venus.

    Era of Expansion (2400-2750) At the beginning of this period, the miniaturization of computers reaches the goal of computer designers and nanocomps are born. With this advance, the virtual reality net known commercially as the Infonet forms. Corporations, now reigned in by the Earthgov, begin exploiting the asteroid belt and the first long haul colonization attempts are made to the Jovian moons. Ganymede is colonized as is Calisto, but the Europa colony is lost. Near the middle of the period Johann Eschelmann discovers the physical warping effects of subatomic space on macrospace. Using this knowledge in 2580, Jean Rene Montclerc develops the Montclerc drive which makes interstellar travel possible. The Montclerc drive arrives just in time. Other scientists had managed to miniaturize fusion cells to the point of making energy weapons feasible, and warfare on Earth and in the inner planets had suddenly become a terrible reality. The race, in a desperate attempt to avoid racial suicide expands outwards, first to the outer planets of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Proserpina, but also begin exploring the nearest stars likely to have Earth-like planets. The first interstellar colonies are established. The race expands, but communications are still limited to the planetary level. Reliable interplanetary communication is slow and no form of communication can bridge the stars.

    The Consolidation Period (2750-2850) During this time the Terran colonies are consolidated, new colonies are established, and older ones are absorbed. Humans split into the Solarian Federation of planets (more commonly called the Solarian Confederation or the Federation) associated closely with old Earth and the Interstellar Union formed from colonies opposed to old Earth's domination of interstellar trade and politics. . Communications are still slow, but it is now possible to send messages to interstellar destinations. Cybernetic enhancement and genetic manipulation have become commonplace for those who can afford it, and robotic gladiator arenas begin developing.

    First Interstellar Wars (2850-2900) The First interstellar wars take place between the IU and the SF. After bitter battles, some that occur after the final peace negotiations are made, the hostilities end in a Solarian victory. The time is wild with pirates, new illegal colonies, and rampant civil disobedience. Robotic gladiators, known as battle bots, become commonplace and a source of entertainment. Miniaturization of fusion cells continues, and hand-held particle beams become commoner. Trade expands, as does smuggling due to the expansion of the black market caused by widespread shortages.

    Pax Solaris (2900-3050) The first generation of this period is spent in quelling pirates and smugglers. The Solarian Patrol ships create a lasting peace. During this time humans make first contact. There is a time of peace for the most part, and the old planets of the IU gather their strength. Near the end of this age they agitate for self government. The aliens are mostly peaceful: svrak, yungduns, and khrol. But the humans first encounter the oloi and later the grays. A brief war with the oloi ends in a negotiated peace. There are advances in all technologies from contacts with other races. Svrak are able to design microcircuitry of immense subtlety and the khrol can create faster and more efficient nanocomps. Yungdun regenerative technology holds out the promise of long life treatments for humans, and the grays demonstrate how human DNA can be manipulated to increase incidence of psionic wild talents.

    Second Interstellar Wars (3050-present) The grays attack humans suddenly, rapidly, at many points, and with no warning. Many human ships and Solarian patrol vessels are destroyed before the human federations are even aware that hostilities are commenced. An age of warfare begins. At first the IU is neutral and the SF and its allies among the svrak and khrol fight the grays. However, when the grays invade IU space, the oloi begin trying to take advantage of the situation.

    Hot Keys

    Hot keys were chosen, primarily, for their ease of rememberance. While not all are obvious, most of the hot keys work on the first letter in their primary function not shared with another item: c = composition of fleets. In the case of some, such as c, we used a letter that has the same phoenetic value in English for other similar ideas, such as k for colonized planets. This may, or may not, help the potential player remember what keys do what.

    Tips and Tricks

    Saving Game

    The game can be saved if you don't have time to finish it. If you need to save, you do have to be in movement phase first. Press escape while on the map to back out and open the main menu. You'll find Save and Exit Game here.
    Note: this requires you to be logged in to Guidedog, but you may use this even if you're not activated.
    The game is saved locally to disk. Save files are computer specific, but locked to the account that they were saved with. You need account A to load a game that was saved with account A, you also need to be on computer A to have the same game. You can however save different games independently, so a game saved on computer B using account A will save separately from the one you saved on computer A even if it was with the same account.
    To load the saved game, once you launch the game fresh, there should be a Load Saved Game option on the main menu, just below Start Game. It will require you to be logged into the account that was used when saving the game.
    Note: if you don't have access to a guidedog account, the game is extremely efficient and can be left running for days without issue until you can finish it.


    Running into issues? This section might be of use.


    Primary coding was done by Aaron Speares with some minor code work done by Jeremy Brown. Likewise, most of the creative design was constructed by Jeremy Brown with a lot of objections and suggestions by Aaron Speares. Our games use the BGT Voice Over script designed and created by Aaron Spears and available at The voice of Valiant Galaxy Associates' applications is Aaron Spears with ample criticism from all of the beta testing team. He can't help the accent--they live way out thar in the country! Documentation was written by Jeremy Brown with objections and useful input from Aaron Speares.

    Valiant Galaxy Associates would like to thank the following people:

    <p>First and foremost, Philip Bennefall, creator of BGT (Blastbay Game Toolkit).  This powerful scripting language is what makes the Valiant Galaxy come alive.  Philip kindly made changes we needed to his latest version of BGT available at <a href="">Blastbay Studio's web site</a>.</p>

    Dennis "Dentin" Towne, creator of the mud Alter Aeon, for his advice and coding expertise. A lot of this would have looked quite different without his input.

    We'd also like to extend thanks to the following beta testers:

    Our beta test team deserves special mention this time as they suffered through a very complex game with a number of mysterious crash bugs that took multiple revisions to find. This led to a lot of aborted wars, angry loss of stats, and disgruntled players. Add to this the infuriating fact that the artificial intelligence continued to get smarter, and they came through like champs. As always, we appreciate your indulgence and your contributions immensely.

    We'd also like to thank the community at who have been a great support to our previous outings, and who we hope will enjoy and have equally good feedback about the current offering.