Stations are an extremely important aspect of imperial life in the new era. There are four basic types of Stations for the majority of Factions: Civilian Stations, Diplomatic Stations, Naval Stations, and Science Stations. Hivers have an additional Station type, the Gate Station, and the Suul’ka Horde Faction, which has no use for “Diplomatic Stations”, builds Tribute Stations instead. All stations begin their lives with the smallest possible investment of resources, and then evolve over time based on the player’s choice to upgrade them. Each phase of development increases the service capacity of the station, but also the expenses associated with its upkeep. Stations can be customized by the addition of Modules which have various functions. In order to upgrade a station to the next phase of development, the player will have to add Modules which meet the minimum requirements for the upgrade.
Stations are an extremely important aspect of imperial life in the new era. There are four basic types of Stations for the majority of Factions: Civilian Stations, Diplomatic Stations, Naval Stations, and Science Stations. Hivers have an additional Station type, the Gate Station, and the Suul’ka Horde Faction, which has no use for “Diplomatic Stations”, builds Tribute Stations instead.
All stations begin their lives with the smallest possible investment of resources, and then evolve over time based on the player’s choice to upgrade them. Each phase of development increases the service capacity of the station, but also the expenses associated with its upkeep. Stations can be customized by the addition of Modules which have various functions. In order to upgrade a station to the next phase of development, the player
will have to add Modules which meet the minimum requirements for the upgrade.
Science Stations can be an important aspect of gameplay in Sword of the Stars II. Even a small basic Science Station will give the player early warning on all events in the “Menace” Category, and will give a small bonus to the speed of Research and Development. In addition, the player will have the option of adding Laboratory Modules to any basic Science Station. The Technology Tree of Sword of the Stars II is divided into many trunks; each of these trunks represents a Discipline of scientific study. It will be possible to build and staff up Lab Modules in any of these Disciplines. Such Labs may be attached to any Science Station in your empire. Once a Lab Module for a certain Discipline is built, it offers various benefits.
1. A small increase in the speed of research in this area when a funded project
2. A decrease in the rate of decay for Reservoirs of accumulated research toward
a certain technology, even when funded research is not underway.
Stages of Development for Science StationsEdit
Science Stations come in five basic sizes or phases of development. At each Upgrade level, the station will be able to accomplish more scientific research and will hold more data. The player should plan the upgrade of Science Stations carefully, particularly in the placement of Lab Modules. By concentrating the Lab Modules of a certain discipline in one Station, the player may eventually be able to build a Science Center which specializes in only one type of research.
1. A Field Station is a very basic facility, usually built to study a specific anomaly or to accomplish basic research. The base sensors of such a station generally have a short range, and it can support up to additional six Modules of various types, including Labs, Habitation, Sensor arrays, and Docks.
2. A Star Lab is a slightly more impressive science station, and usually represents a commitment to longer term study. A nearby planetary or stellar anomaly may attract scientists to the station, and it is also attractive as a research facility when built around promising frontier worlds. The base sensors of a Star Lab are greater than those of an undeveloped Field Station, and it can support up to eight additional Modules.
3. A Research Base is the workhorse of modern science, a general science and research facility which serves as the mainstay of many provincial educational systems. It can support up to twelve additional Modules, including Labs, Habitats, Sensors, Docks, Warehouses to store materials and supplies, and Alien Habitats which allow scientists of other Races to visit and collaborate on scientific research projects.
4. The Polytechnic Institute is a large and prestigious research facility which makes significant contributions toward learning and innovation within the empire. Its base Sensors have greater range than those of Star Labs and Research Bases, and it can support up to additional fourteen Modules, including Habitats, Docks, Warehouses, Alien Habitats, Labs and Sensors.
5. The final stage of development in this line is the Science Center. This is a highly prestigious facility dedicated to a single discipline, a collection of the finest minds in your empire on any given subject of research. Only one Science Center in any given Tech Tree can exist at one time, although minor Lab modules for the discipline may exist elsewhere. The base Sensors of a Science Center are the finest money can buy, and have greater range than smaller stations. A Science Center supports 9 additional Module sockets, but cannot be Upgraded further. All Tech Trees in the game can produce a Science Center.
A Civilian Station is a transport hub which is designed to foster trade and industry, and provide economic and social benefits to both your Imperial and Civilian populations. Even a small bare-bones facility will allow raw materials, finished goods and labor to be directed as needed within a certain region of space, without any need for additional oversight. At least one Station of this basic type is required before a world can be designated a CAPITOL world and serve as the anchor pointfor declaring a certain region of space to be a PROVINCE of your empire. More advanced Civilian Stations can have additional Trade Modules attached to the basic hub. These Modules will allow traders from other species and factions to dock at your Station and trade in this region of space. Each additional Module added to a given Station will increase revenue for the Station as a whole, and increase the Tax Base and Morale of the host system. Civilian Stations with all possible hubs filled will have additional bonuses to Income and Morale when they are built in systems that contain CORE or CAPITOL worlds.
The station nearest the declared borders of another race or faction’s imperial territory will always attract the maximum Trade revenue from that Race or Faction.
Stages of Development for Civilian StationsEdit
Like other Stations, there are five evolutionary phases of the Civilian Station.
1. A Way Station is a very basic trade station, usually found on the edges of empire where interstellar commerce is just getting a foothold in the region. It consists of a Dock and a Habitation module. The base sensors of a Way Station are relatively weak and it can support up to 6 added Modules, including Habitats, Docks and Warehouses.
2. A Trading Post can support up to 4 trade routes, and can serve as a platform to aid planet development in the region with the use of Terraforming Modules. Its base Sensors have greater range than a Way Station, and it can support 9 added Modules, including Habitats, Docks, Warehouses, and Terraforming.
3. A Merchanter Station is a fully developed trade center which supports and fosters a very large volume of Trade--some of it quite exotic. Alien trade envoys can come to unload and market their cargo as well as people of your own Faction and Race, and the docks can build, repair and service a significant number of freighters. Base sensors have a higher range than those of smaller Stations, and a Merchanter Station can support 12 added Modules, including Alien Habitats.
4. When a Civilian Station reaches the Nexus stage, large populations have begun seriously to call deep space “home”. The base Sensors have greater range than those of smaller Stations, and a Nexus can support up to 14 added Modules, including Large Habitats, Large Alien Habitats, Docks, Warehouses, and Sensors.
5. A Star City is the largest Civilian Station presently known. Once such a Station is built, it houses a significant portion of a system’s civilian population and accounts for a large percentage of its economic power. The Sensors of such a base have a long range, in order to help administer and regulate the constant traffic of freighters and supply vessels. It can support 15 added modules, but it cannot be Upgraded any further.
Diplomatic stations become available to the player when Political Science Technology reaches the level of Xeno-Colloquy. They begin with a standardized Station hub and can be fitted with Diplomatic Modules. A Diplomatic Module is a specialized habitat built for the comfort, convenience and safety of alien diplomats. Attaching a Diplomatic Module designed to provide a comfortable haven for any given species will allow the player to open up diplomatic relations with a Faction of that species, and to negotiate treaties, alliances, and trade in real time/chat windows. Players without a Diplomatic Station or an appropriate Diplomatic Module can
still participate in diplomatic relations with other Factions. However, these relations will only occur when they are initiated and hosted by the other Faction, and they will always end when the other Faction chooses to close the negotiations.
Stages of Development for Diplomatic Stations
Like any other station type, there are five phases of development for a Diplomatic Station.
1. A Customs Station is the most basic kind of Diplomatic base, a remote office which allows individuals to apply for the minimum diplomatic basics of diplomatic courtesy (a visitor’s visa, etc.). It sustains a small Habitation
Module and a Dock. A Customs Station has minimal Sensors and can support up to 4 added Modules, including Habitats, Alien Habitats, Docks, and Customs Modules.
2. A Consulate is a formalized Diplomatic base which can host ambassadors from one or more Races and Factions. It also provides basic Signals Intelligence. Consulate Stations can support up to 6 added Modules of all the same types as a Customs Station.
3. An Embassy offers a greater variety of Diplomatic facilities, and allows all Races who are provided with Habitats to conduct formal diplomatic business. Embassies support up to 8 added Modules.
4. A Council Station offers the full complement of Diplomatic Modules, and has become a place where all Races can meet in space to negotiate and settle diplomatic affairs. A great deal of traffic can pass through such a station, but the focus is more on postal service and tourism rather than commercial goods. A Council Station can support up to 12 added Modules, including Habitats, Alien Habitats, Docks, Large Habitats, Large Alien Habitats, and Sensors Modules.
5. The Star Chamber is the ultimate Diplomatic Station. Such a base is equipped with a full complement of Diplomatic Modules and has impressive Signals Intelligence capability. A Star Chamber can support 10 additional Modules, but cannot be Upgraded further.
Naval Stations can be an important part of gameplay in Sword of the Stars II. As a station grows in size, it can support and supply a greater number of ships. The information panel for any Naval Station will show what Modules have been added, what Modules it can support, how many Cruiser Equivalents (CEs) it can support, and what Modules are required to Upgrade to the next level.
Like any Station, Naval Stations have five possible phases of development.
1. An Outpost is a very bare bone Naval Base. It consists of little more than a small Dock, a Crew Module and a Supply Warehouse. The CE’s it can support are low, and it has low-range Base Sensors. An Outpost can support up to 7 additional modules, including Warehouses, Docks, Sensors, Command and Repair Modules.
2. A Forward Base is designed to act as a forward Sensor and Repair base with the ability to support a limited reconnaissance fleet. It will support more CE’s worth of ships, and has double the Base Sensor range of an Outpost. A Forward Base can support up to 16 added Modules, including Warehouses, Sensors, Docks, Command, Repair and Combat Modules.
3. A Naval Base is a fully-fledged military facility that can support moderatesized Fleet operations. It has a better Support capacity of CE’s and greater Sensor range than a smaller Base. Naval Bases can support up to 25 additional Modules.
4. A Star Base is the penultimate stage of naval base construction. These facilities are designed to support large fleet operations as well as forming the core of any organized system defense. With a greater Support capacity
and powerful Base Sensors, such a Station has a sharp eye and a long reach. Star Bases can support up to 25 added Modules.
5. The final stage of naval base development is the Sector Base. Such a Station is designed to serve the military needs of an entire province and to support multiple large Fleets in the field. It has the largest possible CE’s of Support capability, and powerful Base Sensors. Sector Bases can support up to 25 added Modules, but cannot be Upgraded further.
Hiver Gate Stations are permanent and durable installations capable of not only maintaining a very large Gate, but also of serving as a base for Gate Technology Research. Because Gate Stations are extremely important to commerce, transport and defense of the Imperium, they also maintain a rudimentary defensive capability.
Stages of Development for Gate StationsEdit
Like all Stations, Gate Stations have five possible phases of development.
1. A Gateway Station forms a permanent Gate point and integrates the Cruiser which carried the Gate into position into its infrastructure. Its Base Sensors are somewhat weak, but it can support up to 8 additional Modules, including Habitats, Docks, Bastions, Defense batteries, Amplifiers, and Sensors.
2. A Caster Station is capable of casting a Hiver fleet into deep space, and requires the Casting Technology in order to be Built. Its Base Sensors are more powerful than those of a Gate Station, and it can support up to 12 added Modules in all categories listed above.
3. A Far Caster Station can teleport Hiver fleets into deep space and requires Far Casting Technology in order to be built. Its Sensors extend to the limit of its casting ability and it can support 14 added Modules in all categories listed above.
4. A Lens Station is a powerful center of Gate Technology. Wrapped in Amplifiers, structural Bastions, and Defense batteries, these Bases are home to many Warriors as well as Gate Priests. The Sensors of a Lens Station have significant range and it can support 18 additional Modules in all categories previously listed.
5. The Mirror of Creation is the largest size Hiver Gate station that can be built. This unique Station is the High Temple of Power and Hiver Research into the mysteries of the Gate. Its massive focused Gate system forms the
core of the most powerful transportation system in the known Galaxy. It doubles as the Science Center of Gate Research. The Mirror has powerful Sensors and can support up to 20 additional Modules in all previously named categories. It cannot be Upgraded.
The Suul’ka Horde has no use for a conventional Diplomatic Station, as their culture does not support traditional economic and social interactions with inferior species. The Horde has undergone rapid social and political change over the past century, however, and many high-ranking officials have recognized that there is more than one way to acquire slaves, resources and knowledge. Tribute Stations are designed to improve the domestic economy and make Zuul dominance over inferior races more efficient and stream-lined. Building higher level Tribute Stations can also give heretics and slave races the opportunity to make themselves useful and earn favor in the eyes of the Horde. Most importantly, the highest level Tribute Station, the Altar, must be built before the
Horde can attract the attention of the Suul’ka.
Stages of Development for Tribute StationsEdit
Like any station, Tribute Stations have five possible phases of development.
1. The smallest Tribute Station is called a Raider Enclave. This is a place where independent raiders can come to unload a cargo of slaves or resources which have been collected in non-Zuul controlled territory. The Horde chooses to foster this activity by supplying raiders with fuel, ship repairs, supplies, and a hunter’s license which reduce the number of territorial disputes and discourage over-hunting. A Raider Enclave can be nothing more than a Habitat Module and a Dock, but it can also support up to four added Modules, including Habitats, Slave
Pens, Gulags, and Docks.
2. A Slave Block is a larger station, typically built to reap the benefits of an area where prey is less scarce. Slave trade is more brisk here, and often offers slaves of more than one species. A Slave Block can support up to six
added Modules of all the same types as the Raider Enclave.
3. A Tribute Station serves multiple functions and allows for more sophisticated interaction with inferior races. Although slaves, resources and information are traded in great abundance, inferior species are also permitted to
send emissaries and offer tribute which will put a stop to Horde raiding, and even avert war--at least temporarily. By delivering their scientific knowledge, resources and citizens willingly, slave races can avoid having these things taken by more violent means. Although many traditional Zuul disapprove of tribute and grumble that the
weak should not be allowed to negotiate the terms of their submission, it is impossible to argue against the flow of abundant resources and labor into Horde territory. Tribute Stations can support up to 8 added Modules.
4. A House of Pain serves all of the major functions of smaller Tribute Stations, but also attracts the upper echelons of the empire’s Inquisitors and Imperators who collect Signals Intelligence information and buy and sell the highest quality slaves. Foreign emissaries who wish to negotiate on a larger scale with the Horde also come to such places, and the trade in slaves, secrets and resources is brisk. A House of Pain can support up to 12 added Modules, including Habitats, Slave Pens, Gulags, Docks, Large Habitats, Large Slave Pens, and Sensors
5. The Altar is the ultimate Tribute Station, and represents the culmination of the Horde’s ambition. Altars are critical to the Horde player’s interaction with the Suul’ka. Only by building an Altar can a Suul’ka be summoned to join your empire. Once a station has been Upgraded to this level, it can support 10 additional Modules. It cannot be Upgraded further.