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Considering playing... have a few questions


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Hi all,


I am considering playing Supernova:ROTE, but have a few questions that I hope someone can answer. Thanks for your help.


1) Is there only one Supernova:ROTE universe/game, or do new games start every so often?


2) Assuming there is only one SN:ROTE game, when did it start? From posts, it appears as though it began sometime in June 2003. True? If more than one, when did each start?


3) If I joined in now, what with maybe 25-29 turns already played, would my starting position be adjusted to be somewhat on par with the average of all empires? Or would my starting world be the same basic setup that everyone who stated back at turn 1 have?


4) If no adjustments are made, what prevents experienced players with thriving empires from gobbling up my little upstart within the first 3 or 4 turns (should I be unlucky enough to be discovered)?


5) Whatever happened to the original Supernova game (or was it called Supernova II, I don't recall) from RTG? How did it end? I used to play there years ago, but quit at some point before the game "ended".


6) Approximately how many people play this game currently (not empires, but actual people)?


Thanks again. Hope to see some of you in game...

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Welcome to the game. I will attempt to answer your questions.


1)There is only one universe that everybody plays in and new positions can be started any turn. Eventually you may connect up with somebody much older or younger than your position is.


2) The game started just about 2 years ago this next turn.


3) Every position starts with the same random set up. You aren't given anything for starting after the "big bang". Since each new group of set ups is seperated from previous groups you are seperated by time as well as distance. I should also note that unlike SNII each position in SNIII is completely random from any other position. Some of this randomness is very extreme and rerolling may be called for if you don't get something compatible with your game play intentions.


4) The main prevention is the lack of any idea where you are located. There are no directional indicators in the game. Warp points lead to a single warp point of unknown direction and distance. Even positions that start on the same turn will require about 8 months to run into one another, more if really unlucky or if one person isn't exploring.


5) I too played SNII and got out before the end so I don't know how the end actually occured.


6) No idea on this one and RTG isn't really talking. I would say that there are likely 300-400 players with about twice that many positions. Many folks have multiple positions.


Hope to see you in the game. Feel free to ask more questions either here, in a PM or by email. There are several items you will need to know if you decide to play. There are several "new" features that are not found in the rules. The rules are also in need of a rewrite as many things are not quite as represented in the rules.



Edited by hobknob
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Thanks for the quick reply. I should go to bed but since I saw your reply, I figgured I'd post again.


One thing I sense from reading a few threads is that it's a good idea to keep some of the setup points for tech research. It sounds as though some people who didn't regret that decision. What are your thoughts on race design? Spend em all or save some for tech?


I saw something about a "Santa drop" but am not sure what that is. Sounds like it's free research points but I'm not 100% clear.


Since the game started about 2 years ago, the original players would be at the 52nd turn. Seems like quite a disadvantage for a newbie player, should another established player decide to get frisky.


I'm not clear what you mean when you say "Since each new group of set ups is separated from previous groups you are separated by time as well as distance". How are newbies separated by time? Distance I get (number of warp point jumps).


You also say that "Even positions that start on the same turn will require about 8 months to run into one another, more if really unlucky or if one person isn't exploring." Why unlucky? It would seem that for a newbie, having a number of months to develop without interference is a positive. What am I missing?


It's been a long time from SNII, but every now and then I remember something from it. I just remembered my race was "The Imperium (#137)". Seems like there was a game called Draconis (does that ring a bell or am I mixing my "old school" games)?


So, aside from the "save points for tech" thing, what other items will I need to know if I decide to play? What "new" features are not in the rules?


Thanks again...

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You are not at too much of a disadvantage, as the way the setups go, seems to be the original players in what is called the core, and the later setups further and further out from the center. This is the players basic guess. Becasue of this the first people you meet will be players that started within a turn or two of you.

Your disadvantage is players before you have had more time to build up.

Your advantage is, if you use it, is you can get tech trees, and not waste time finding out how to get say, 3rd gen Industry, course you have to talk to people and talk them into telling you.

There are people that started over, later in the game to use those tech trees, and many of these are more technically advanced than the old empires, but they have not had the time to grow colonies as big, or build as much stuff, do not have as much pop, ECT.


yes, you should save SRP.

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There is almost no chance that you will run into one of the elder (core) races as they will be so far awy as to make any meaninfull contact between empires Highly unlikey. :drunk: The way the game is designed even if someone knew the exact rout from his system in the core to yours it would take months to just get there as each turn he would have to issue "Move---survey jump point-------warp----sysem scan" orders. :cheers: Even with multiple AP fleets and a map to your Homeworld he could go no further becausethe system is et up so that you can not move to a jump point untilll I have surveyed the system (even if I have all the maps from other people there is no way around this) so I could only get one system closer every turn. By the time I mapped my way to your you would probably be on par with whatever ships I could send your way. :) Furthermore no-one will know where you are (including you) in relation to other empires so it will take considerably longer (and to be honest not worth the time for a core empire as there are no doubt other empires closer and with better stuff closer to home, not tomention the various dropped empires and such to clean up). so have no fear about what the core empires are going to do to your fledgling empire your biggest threat will come from those empires that started withing a few turns of you. :cheers: Also this game is designed with the Defender in mind not the attacker. It is far easier to defend than it is to attack, and Trade is a very viable option as well so you will probably set up trade agreements with the first few empires your meet up with wather than move in and attack right off.


I Hope that you decide to join the madness :cheers:

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Welcome Prospective,

Just a note from an 'elder' race (and the best by the way) don't forget to stop at a StarBars! :)

Seriously, I only got one tech from saved research points (SRP's) and in my discussions with those who saved more research points, I have about the same amount of techs as them. SRP's will give you a jump start for the first year or 2 of the game, but eventually you could get passed up.

My suggestion, is to design your race as something you will enjoy roleplaying (I'm sure you can ask several board members who will say I enjoy mine!) Save some research points so you can get some of the important techs early, but do spend some on your race as well. :cheers:

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An attempt at a few more answers.


Look at the universe as a book. Each new turn adds a page or two to the book for the set ups added during that turn. By now we are at turn 52 or so and the book has at least 52 pages. An original position would have to navigate through 52 pages worth of stars to get to a new position. It can take many months just to navigate through a single page worth of the "book" so getting through 52 pages to get to a new position is almost impossible. However, it has been shown that there are the occasional short cuts that let you jump a lot of space. I have heard of one such pathway that has connected a turn 4 position with a turn 17 position. This isn't of too much concern to the newer player since most of them made better design decisions and tech choices. In fact I would say that the core is being protected from newer positions and not the other way around.


As far as saving startup points I would have to say that most players would agree that saving some points is a good thing. Some would also say that you can save too many and you can definitly harm yourself by crippling your lifeform just to try and Max/Min a lifeform. If I were starting a new postion I would retain several hundred points for tech advancements. Much depends on how you design your lifeform and what you want to do with it. If you are looking to be a colonizer you are better off spending the points on lifeform mods, IMHO, since tech has not proven to be really great at reducing attrition costs. If you don't want to be a colonizer at all then maybe saving a few more points would be better. It all depends. :)



Hope this helps. :cheers:



Edited by hobknob
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A lot also depends on what you want to do with the race. Be aware that tech advancement is slow, generally speaking. Saved setup points can buy you those techs that you consider important faster; otherwise, the only other thing that you can guarantee on getting tech faster is your lifeform. I get the feeling that most players give a high priority to the research bonus in the design of their lifeforms.

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Two thoughts:


1) Don't worry about older races. The universe is huge, and there are also plenty of friendly people out there to ally with.


2) Definately save research points. Look at it this way... if you want a whoop-ass weapon (who doesn't?) for the 3 turns you could research something such as 10cm Gauss -> 20cm Gauss -> 30cm Gauss. Thats 12 + 24 +36 turns of research for 72 SRP. Now sure some brainiac race with a research bonus will be picking up tech slowly in all 25 slots, but no way will they ever catch your 72 turn headstart in that weapon tech, especially if you put a couple slots toward the 4th step of the weapon progression. Just one example of how you can leverage a very few SRPs into a long term advantage.

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Thanks all for the replies, it's much appreciated. Working backward on replies (I can see this is going to be a long post):


Clan Elder 'Keen:

1) I'll not worry about the elder races, then.

2) Ok, now I have questions about research and saved setup points. First off, each player/empire has 25 research centers. That means that I am "generating" 25 points each turn that can be devoted to developing new technologies, right? So, if I do not use 25 setup points when creating my race, that is the equivalent of 1 turns worth of research????


Can a player have more than 25 research centers in his/her entire empire? Or is that the maximum? And is that where research bonuses come into play. Theoretically, with enough research bonuses, I could generate 26 (or more) points per turn out of the 25 research centers alloted? Is that true?


Using your example, you say that if I want a 30cm Gauss, it will take 12+24+36 turns of research. Does that mean that in order to develop a 10cm Gauss, it will take 12 turns with a single research center devoted to researching the 10cm Gauss? IF I have saved 12 setup points though, I will achieve the 10cm Gauss in one turn?


Then, if I want the 20cm Gauss, it will take either 24 turns with 1 research center OR if I still have 24 setup points remaining, I can develop the 20cm Gauss the next turn? OR I could set 24 of my 25 research centers to 20cm Gauss and get the breakthrough??


The same would hold true for the 30cm Gauss. This time, because it's more advanced, it would take 36 turns with 1 research center OR 36 saved points to get that level.


Is that what you meant? Is this the concepts behind all research?


Then my next question is(please bear with me, I'm full of questions at this point) how do I know what to research? I grasp the level 1 technology leading to level 2 leading to level 3, etc. BUT, how would I know to develop the 10cm Gauss in the first place? Is there some list of level 1 technology? Does that mean that when I start, I'm at level 0 technology? Or do all players start with level 1 tech, then move onward?


If the above is true, then can this happen. Say I want a 30cm Gauss and I happen to have 72 points saved. Can I get to the 30cm Gauss in one turn? Or are you limited to one breakthrough per turn?


Palladium Regency


I'm not clear what you mean when you said "the only other thing that you can guarantee on getting tech faster is your lifeform." Does that dovetail with my explanation of racial research bonuses equate to getting 26 research points (or more depending on the racial research bonus) from 25 research centers?





What you are saying is that because new players tend to be numerous jumps from older players kind of insulates them (or vice versa as the case may be).


You say that "some would also say that you can save too many and you can definitely harm yourself by crippling your lifeform just to try and Max/Min a lifeform". But, what if I opt for the "human" example? Set all racial attributes to "average"? Would that cripple me? I'd have 2000 research points to apply to tech advances, which I assume would get me pretty far. Then I'd still be producing 25 points of research every turn, so how could another race catch up technologically?


Would an average human with 2000 research points qualify as a "brain blob"?





Thanks for the welcome. What is a StarsBars?


When you say "I only got one tech from saved research points", do you mean you had about 12 points unspent from racial design? So your race is far from the "average human" example then....?




Not clear what you mean by the game is designed with the defender in mind. Does that mean that a ground invasion is rediculously costly? Even if you put the initial setup points towards bolstering your ground combat bonuses?


I have a feeling I will join up. I remember having a good time in SNII, and I think I would enjoy this game as well.


Gary Carpenter


A tech tree is??? Using the first example with the 10cm/20cm/30cm Gauss, would that be what you are referring to? The progression of 1st level tech to higher level tech? Is this tech tree? Care to share any of this info regarding tech tree's?


Are people limited to certain "trees" based on starting race types and modifiers? I seem to recall that in SNII, there were "cold" based tech, "heat" based tech and I think, two others. Depending on the race you chose would put you in those particular trees. So, perhaps choosing a cephalopod would put you in a "water" tech tree?


How many SRP would you recommend saving?



Again, thanks all for your help. I'm getting more and more fired about joining up... of course I have no clue what racial traits I would want to have in a setup... but I'm working on it...

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I do not suggest having any SRP's.


I suggest the following settings in each slot.

1. 1st Generation Psycholgy (1st Gen. Civil Administration, 2nd Gen. Industrial Science)

2. 2nd Generation Computer Systems (2nd Gen. Industrial Science)

3. 2nd Generation Civil Engineering (Domed Cities)

4. Improved Steel (Domed Cities)

5. Improved Construction Materials (Domed Cities)

6. Improved Fuel (Advanced Fuel, Nuclear Transwarp Drive)

7. 2nd Generation Planetary Science (3rd Generation Planetary Science, Improved Stripmining Complex)

8. 2nd Generation Space Science (Mk III Jump Survey Sensor)

9. 1st Generation Planetary Engineering

10. 1st Generation Terraforming

11. 2nd Generation Life Science

12. 2nd Generation Social Science

13. 2nd Generation Medical Science

14. Mk II Survey Sensor

15. Mk II Nuclear Engine (MK I Fusion Engine, Mk II Fusion Engine)

16. Mk I Field Hospital

17. Laser Rifle

18. ESP Deluder

19. Howler Bomb

20. Telekinetic Blaster

21. Mk I Standard Missile

22. Mk I Short Range Torpedo

23. Mk I Interceptor Missile

24. Light Drone

25. Superconductor (Mk I Force Shield, Nuclear Transwarp Drive)


16-25 take between 2-3 turns each at one a turn.

If you have no mental powers replace

18. Mk I Medium Range Sensor

19. Mk II Short Range Sensor

20. Improved Refined Crystals, Advanced Crystals, Orbiting Crystal Refinery)


Also, many alliances have the tech trees mapped about a few generations at least. Try to contact a few. Most are willing to help you and you don't have to join.


Richard Johns




Master of his own pocket universe

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First, Saved research points will be allocated to RC #1 first. So, if you wanted to get 10cm Gauss gun, you would put that in RC 1. Saved research points only allow you to get one per turn. So the 30cm Gauss Gun would take you 3 turns.

25 RCs and only 25 RC's, Pete has said that's all we get. The reference to "brain blobs" refers to races that spent lifeform designs on obtaining research bonuses, intelligence, etc.

Let's say you play the average human and use none of your lifeform points. For several turns, you will get one tech per turn in slot one until your points run out. At the same time your other 24 RC's will generate 1 point per turn towards whatever you are researching. (assuming you have one slot per tech, you get a decreasing efficiency if using more than one RC on a single tech.) The Brainiac or Brain blob races may get fewer (such as myself, only one) slot one techs, but may generate 1.1 or 1.2 points per slot (the numbers are random, but more than one) so over time, they will acquire techs faster. example, if it takes you 12 turns to acquire Heavy Truck, with one RC, it make take someone else 10,9, or 8 etc. Which is why you need to determine your short and long term goals. :beer:


AS for the at start, you can do a RTD order (check with Pete, you may get one automatically the first turn, it's been awhile) to determine what techs you start with, and you get a list of researchable items each turn. The tech tree is the list of all items available, each has a prerequisite etc. you have to discover it yourself or get a hold of a list. We elders had to make our own, but there are probably those out there who will share. You can have as many types of items as you want, your only limits are your RC centers, as in how fast you can research. So if you get Gauss weapons, you can have Plasma, Sonic, cold, etc.


Thanks for the welcome. What is a StarsBars?

Ahhh, a newbie question. They are a franchise I have developed to generate revenue, they are scattered throughout the universe where aliens can gather to eat, imbibe and swap stories. They are generally considered neutral territory ( or sacred ground in some instances) where even enemies tend not to fight there. We can set some up in your neck of the woods if you'd like. :beer:


When you say "I only got one tech from saved research points", do you mean you had about 12 points unspent from racial design? So your race is far from the "average human" example then....?

Yes, we are extremely intelligent humanoids with the facial features of otters. We are also generally quite friendly (and we carry very, very big sticks) ;)


Welcome again! Please feel free to email me as well if you have any further questions.

Alcorn the Honored One

Sabeli Ecok, 2996


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Not clear what you mean by the game is designed with the defender in mind. Does that mean that a ground invasion is rediculously costly? Even if you put the initial setup points towards bolstering your ground combat bonuses?


I have a feeling I will join up. I remember having a good time in SNII, and I think I would enjoy this game as well.


The game is designed to be defender friendly. Warp points make for defendable borders. If you are going to attack me you have to go through space I control and following a limited number of routes where I can set up defenses. This allows me to concentrate my forces while yo have to spread your forces out to find your way to me. Every weapons has specific defenses againt it and those defenses are generaly easier to reseqarch than the weapons. Satalites have a defenseive bonus (3 x integrity bonus for satalites and 9 x bonus for surface fortresses). I have no data on ground combat (not found anyone to attack yet) but I assume that it is similar in that the defender has an advantage. My guess is that with equivalent empires it will take an alliance to take out an active player (assuming the defender knows what he is doing). and even then there wil be some heavy losses.


I designed my race with close combat and defenses in mind and had 0 srp's remaining. (that's right a 2000 point race). We are ground combat beasts. Several of the Core Empires did the same thing or close to it. Elsewhere in the universe most people set up 1200 to 1500 point races to make sure that they have sufficient SRP's to pick up the tech that is important to them. To be honest 2000 SRP's are probably too much to be efective as you can only pick up one tech breazkthrough from SRP's per turn and some techs can not be picked up that way. My personal opinion is any more than 800 or so is a waste (again this is just an opinion).


There are a maximum of 25 research centers. that's allyou can have. if you conquer another race you do not get their research centers nor do you get their tech (you do get their stockpiles). the only way to do any better is to have decent research bonuses (by the way these are the most expensive lifeform modifications). As far as I know no-one has the exact formula for how much of a bonus you get per + I have heard everthing for 3% to 5% per + If you eventailly join an alliance you will get more exact information from them or you can run tests to figure it out yourself.


Go through these message boards and you will get some of the tech tree's that have been published


Hope that this helped

Good luck in joining the game and may we meet in space some day

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Welcome to the game!


When it comes to initial techs and installations follow this link for a starting document that will cover your first turns:




You will find the Items and Installations guide from the old GSL (Galactic Star League) a good start.


Every tech has a rating from Poor-Fair-Adequate-Good-Superior-Impressive and so on which denotes it's effectiveness per tonnage (usually for weapons) For every offensive technology there is a defensive even if some may seem hard to get at from the beginning. Hence concentrate on 2-3 fields of weaponry that you wish to excell in and try to keep broad defensive technologies untill you meet an actual foe. With broad I mean generic ones like armor and force shields. Oh and EDAC, Energy Dispersion Armor Coating is well worth your while to research early. it gives you a wee bit of defense against almost everything :beer:


Don't underestimate the need to keep up with your ground force tech nor the building of varied troops. The game is very much built on the concept of combined arms ie having as many of the different troop functions in an army as possible. MMB has made a ground combat document on the same page as the Items guide which will explain this in more detail.


Read and reread the boards. Copy and paste the rule additions as well as the clarifications made by Pete or good player findings in a little extra rule document for yourself, trust me, it'll help.


When it comes to racedesign it all comes down to what you want to play. I am an elder race and was not aware of the importance of SRP but I kept my race as I liked the concept behind it. My newer empires quickly surpassed it with their big amounts of SRP but the GGT is still fun to play :beer:


Avoid the "Brain in a jar" race design unless you really want to (Basically it's taking as much disads as possible and buying up Intelligense, Sensory and Longlife for max research bonus plus SRP) That design will allow you to research quickly but you'll be unable to colonise well and any ant with a toothpick will kick your butt ;) But you can still manage a mighty kick in space so if you go with this then do build ALOT of space weaponry and armour quickly.


Untill you find a point in the game where you could affect research you are stuck with research being affected by your:

1) Research Bonus from racial design

2) Number of research centers you place on an item

3) Breakthroughs of scientists

4) Exploration hits


Breakthroughs are small point bonuses to current research you have made by scientists in your empire. The chance of them having a breaktrough is dependent upon the presence of science installations in the system their in. Their rank and the sort of world they are on. The more exotic from your homeworld the better.


Exploration hits are basically what your ships pick up from scavenging the ruins of the former ancient empire. Usually it is equipment that can be used on your ships or it may be a part of a technology (ie you gain some points in that technology whether you are or can research it or not) Important to know is that even if you are massively lucky and getting alot of hits on one tech, enough to complete it, you still have to assign one RC for it to be completed.


Oh and don't let your Exploration crews go to the SpaceBar before actually exploring...that can have...unfortunate effects ;)


When it comes to tech allocation I would suggest always having at least one RC on your favorite propulsion system, one on your armor, one on force shields, one on your JSS and so on. For items that you wish to pursue faster assign more RCs or buy with SRPs. Propulsion and Jump Survey Sensors are a perogative initially. You want to find them before they find you. There is a good strategy in letting your intital pathfinders start out mapping what they can. SRPing up to Mk III JSS and sending out those with the scouts to follow up and then when you've gained the Mk II Fusion alternatively the Mk IV Nuclear Engines you start building the larger fleet Explorers with 4-8 AP and legendary characters aboard, dont forget the Nuclear Transwarp Drive path,, believe you me you'll want it. With SRP and a strategy you can do this reasonably quickly. Once you have your exploration fleets cracking away at the warp points around you you follow up with high speed recon vessels that check the systems you've been to for good worlds.


In effect all research strategies depend on the race you wish to build. If you are poor at colonising you'll want to pull up to Improved Stripmines, Improved Industries, Imperial Medical Centers and Imperial Cloning Centers quickly to sustain productional growth.


Oh yes and I'll stress this BUY MAXIMUM REPRODUCTION

Whatever situation you are in, you'll always want more people.


This is a bit of a munchkin advice which I wish I'd thought of back then. If you find a design you really really like. Do two or three setups with that design and choose the one that you feel got the best deal in setup since they're random. Landing in a two planet system with 8 warp points and no gas giant can suck. Having a homesystem with many planets both helps you hide as well as makes it easier for early colonisation.


I could go on and on but if you have any questions, please feel free to PM or mail me and I'll help you as best I can. I would suggest Hobknob for economic and productional advice. Both WKE and Ur-lord Tedric have a keen grasp of the science bits in the game. I know a bit or two about exploration, neutrals and colonising unfriendly worlds :) There are many more on the boards who are skilled as well but be careful once you have your setup never to reveal specifics like system names, pop group id's etc there are always predators in the galactic waters.


Again, I hope that you'll feel welcome in the game!




Edited by Locklyn
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Welcome to the game!


Wow - pretty much everything has been covered. :)


The game is very open ended....you cant do it all....it takes a while to get going...but its worth it! I think this is one of the coolest PBM space-builders in the market right now and the combat is finally starting to gel. With that said, don't feel like you'll be in peaceful mode for as long as we were (we were sort of clueless on how to expand out so fast...some of us got lucky and found each other quickly....but...)


I only have a little strategic advice if you plan on cruising space (some people choose to play hermit):


1) Develop Engines early (I listed this first for a damn good reason...it SUCKS having low AP ships)


2) Build a bunch of little picket (fodder)ships to gaurd your key warp points as you go...you don't want your neighbors accidentally stumbling through your inner systems without you knowing about it :beer:


3) If you want to knock down Warp Points and map fast, look into Jump Survey Sensors and Transwarp Drives (Nuclear or Fusion)...add those engines you developed (you can 'Buy' up to Mk II Fusion Engines....Path: Mk II Nuclear Engine, Mk I Fusion Engine, Mk II Fusion Engine)


4) Get a good spreadsheet that will handle production, fuel calculation, ship design and information. Ed Mooney has a nice one that will actually PARSE your turns for you. We all have our own system.


5) Get a good tech tree so that you can see your options. Crossroads might share. I can too. Hell, lots of people can.


6) Look into a mapping program called "Astrosynthesis" by NBOS. Pretty cool 3-d star mapping program that accepts CSV files for easy system import. The game doesnt actually givce you coords like SNII, but you can still get a picture of what htings look like.


IF you go colonizer, feel free to PM me. My main position is a colonizer and I've learned quite a few valuable lessons (and pitfalls to avoid ;))


Good luck! :beer:


Brad Lund

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