Phoenix: Beginner's Guide

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Yank (146)

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Beginner's Guide
Space Combat
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Starbases - Basic
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Starships - Basic
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1. Introduction.

This guide is intended for the beginner. Phoenix comes with many complex rulebooks which have been known to be unfriendly towards the novice. As a result, there are areas of the game where the new player can be left scratching their head wondering what the latest error message really means. This guide will work towards alleviating this, ironing out the learning curve to make the game more accessible for everybody.

That is not to say that there will nothing of any interest to the established players. One thing the beginner will very quickly learn is that those grizzled old veterans make just as many mistakes as everybody else, they've just had more experience at covering them up. Just ask the Detinus Republic Starcaptain who accidentally sailed his unarmed and lightly armoured freighter right past an Imperial Starbase deep inside enemy territory, but somehow escaped without a scratch.

Assuming you have read the introduction that came with the game documentation you installed along with the order editor (in your start menu), you should have some idea of what Phoenix is all about. This is good, because it saves me having to recap for you here. Once you dig into Phoenix, you will find a deeply involving and addictive game that offers unparalleled long-term strategic opportunities. Every ship and Starbase, Colony and Ground Party that you encounter is being run by another human player. And it is this human element at which Phoenix excels, even though at first glance the game might initially appear to be primarily stat-driven.

Phoenix can be played for free. You can run as many ships and ground parties as you can collect in-game for absolutely nothing. However, there are practical limitations on this. You will find it very difficult to run more than seven or eight ships without a Political turn.

Also, many players will maintain that you won't get the most out of the game unless you have a Starbase too. Full pricing details can be found on the KJC website. It is however important to note that the game as it stands can be very much catered to the individual player's wishes and wallet. You can run a handful of ships, form a trading company, or you can begin constructing your own vast stellar empire. Just don't expect to be able to do the latter for free.

As a new player, you will discover that your Affiliation considers the moment you begin paying to play very significant indeed. Once you have committed to the game, your fellow players and allies will also commit to you, and you might well find a corresponding increase in your access to in-game resources, ships and information. Unless of course you are unfortunate enough to be in one of those cheap-ass Affiliations, who will at this point remain nameless.

Tip - Always talk to your Affiliation. Besides, if you go silent on them they might start thinking that you're a spy.

Tip - Because Phoenix is so free-form and open-ended, it is a very good idea to set yourself some initial long-term goals - for example amassing 200,000 stellars, mapping 10 systems, or controlling 5 ships.

Tip - One of the first things you might want to track down is a Jump Map, which shows the layout of all the systems in the game and how they relate to each other. This can prove to be absolutely invaluable in providing you with a sense of where you are in the universe. Most Affiliations maintain their own maps, but one of the best publicly available maps is the Dewiek Elder Nation (DEN) Political Jump Map.

2. Your First Turn.

The new player will find that with only one ship their initial scope for involvement and activity within the game is limited. It is likely it will only take you a short while each week to issue your orders, and that often nothing particularly exciting will happen when those orders, containing your latest batch of error messages, are returned. Do not despair, there is a reason for this.

Playing Phoenix require patience and determination. Talk to the established gamers about their larger research projects, and you will find that it is not unusual to spend upwards of six months researching a new cutting-edge piece of technology.

As a new player you must remember two things. Firstly, your beginning Courier class ship is very small, and therefore not the most practical ship in the universe. And secondly, you are controlling only one ship. Many players control 30, 40, or even more ships. Start pestering your Affiliation, display your involvement and commitment, see if they can assign you another vessel. Once they do, very quickly you will see your involvement in the game take off. Affiliations understand this, so most of them are very keen to give you ships once you have proved yourself reliable.

So, by now you should be looking at your first turn. It may at first appear confusing and complicated, but really, everything is quite simple once you get the hang of it. Just to make sure however, we shall focus now on a typical first turn and go through it step by step.

Phoenix: Beyond the Stellar Empire
KJC Games
### SHIP New Ship (#####)

Your ship number, which appears in brackets after the name of your ship, is very important. This is the means by which other people will identify and interact with your vessel. If somebody needs to transfer you some funds, this is the number they will use. If you want to deliver goods to a Starbase, the authorisation will have to be issued by the Governor using this number.

Tip - Turn results looking jumbled? Try viewing the email with a fixed width font such as Courier New.

Your Name
Phoenix Acc No: ###

Printed on ##
----------------------------------TURN UPDATE----------------------------------- Information

Date 50.5:
Affiliation Startup Info

Welcome to the ###

All new players in Phoenix are automatically seeded into an Affiliation (Aff). The details of the Aff you have joined appear here, along with their contact details. Affs are always very enthusiastic about recruiting new players. This makes you a valuable commodity, particularly to the smaller Affs. Keep this in mind and use it to your advantage.

Tip - To contact other Affiliations in order to hear their recruiting offers, you can either join the KJC-Phoenix yahoogroup and post notice of your arrival, or search for their contact details on the KJC Phoenix website. Almost all Affiliations maintain their own web pages. For more details on how to find player resources online, please see the appendix.

| -Command Report------------------------------------------------------------------------ |
| Name: New Ship (#####) Aff: ### |
| Wealth: 500 Stellars Ownership: Player owned |

Ownership will display as either Player, or Affiliation. If something belongs to you the player, then it will follow you wherever you lead. But if you have control of an Affiliation asset, should you leave your Aff that asset will not go with you. When your superiors start giving you more ships, they will all display 'Affiliation owned'. As you might guess, one of the big problems facing the leaders of the Affiliations is players unexpectedly dropping out.

Tip - Until you start a Political position, the Stellar account for each position you control is calculated individually. That is, each position carries around its own supply of currency. If you want to transfer funds, you have to arrange for the positions to physically meet, and 'hand over' the money.

| Officer: None Experience: 0 % |
| Rank: Captain   |

Your starting ship does not yet have an Officer. In practical terms, an Officer will add more crew factors to a ship, as well as providing a bonus to Base Accuracy and Dodge. An Officer also provides the opportunity for roleplaying. Officers currently gain experience through combat, according to a complicated formula that we don't need to go into here. Changes are being implemented that will increase the range of activities which grant experience.

Tip - You cannot yet create an Officer of your own. This is one of the orders that only a Political position can issue.

|   Security Code: ABCD |

The Security Code is used for granting other players positions the permission to interact with your ship. For example, if you wanted another players Starbase to deliver a new piece of equipment, the Governor would need your Security Code. The Order Editor will usually handle most issues pertaining to Security Codes, automatically filling it in where necessary and possible.

Tip - Your Security Code is highly confidential. Be careful who you share it with, because it allows unscrupulous sorts the opportunity to do all manner of unspeakably evil things to your ship. There is an order you can use to change your security code if you think it has become compromised.

| Class: FREIGHTER (730) Hulls: 20 (Normal Hull) |

There are many different classes of ship in Phoenix. Spanning in size from tiny 5 Hull gunboats, up to Flagritz Baseships and other 100+ Hull behemoths. There is no theoretical upper limit on ship/Hull size, however currently the largest and most common ships you are likely to see are around the 100 Hull mark. Check your turn reports for a taste of the diverse vessels out there in the Peripheries. Also, note the differences between Light Hulls, Normal Hulls, and Heavy Hulls as summarised in your Ship Documentation file. This will become important when you start tweaking your ship for maximum performance.

Tip - The Class of your ship will vary depending on how you have it equipped. Install a lot of sensors into a Caravel High-G Freighter, and it will become a Caravel Class Sensor Ship.

| Integrity: 100% Hull Damage: 0/2000 |
| Integrity Mod: 1 TUs left: 300 tus |
| Efficiency: 100% Stellar Value: 30000 |

Tip - The value listed under Stellar Value can be considered the list price for this type of ship. As in real life, actual market prices fluctuate according to the principles of supply and demand. In general, ships are in demand, so you can expect them to cost more than their list value.

Tip - High Efficiencies, above 100%, mean ships carry out their orders in fewer Time Units. A wise captain can use this to his or her advantage.

Tip - Contrary to some versions of the rules, a Maintenance Complex visit does not reduce a ships maximum Integrity rating. So you can safely maintain a ship as often as you want. In practical terms, you should think about rotating a ship in for routine maintenance whenever its integrity drops to around 60%. Any lower and it can start to have effects on the ships space-worthiness. Remember to let your crew have some R&R at the same time.

| Position is played anonymously   |

Most positions in Phoenix are played anonymously. This does not mean that you cannot contact the owners of them however. The 'Message' order can be used to send a communication in-game, to any position you encounter.

Tip - Do not expect an immediate response to a message sent via the order editor. Most players will pick up all of the messages sent to all of their positions in one batch once a week, as part of their Political position report.

| -Navigation Report---------------------------------------------------------------- |
| Docked at [for example] ANT STARBASE Ciuciulco (4773) |
| Yank (146) - {Gamma,13} - on Lunk (603) at {26,11} |
| Sensor Rating: 35% Sensor Profile: -16% |
| Planetary Scan Rating: 5% Sector Scan Rating: 62% |

Your starting location will take the form as seen above. The Star System, in this case Yank, is identified by its number - 146. Then comes the System Quadrant in which the Starbase you are docked at is located - Gamma 13. Then the planet upon which this Starbase is built - Lunk, with its number. And then finally the precise co-ordinates on the planet surface, in 'across then up' format.

Tip - Issue a 'Scan Planet' order, and you will receive a map of the world you are currently on or in orbit of. You can then use the co-ordinates to work out precisely where you are.

Beginning players do not have to concern themselves too much with their Sensor Rating and Profile. Your Courier class Freighter won't be undertaking any stealth missions in the immediate future. A simple piece of maths will demonstrate how this works however. Your Courier has a Sensor Profile of -16%, this makes it difficult to spot. Imagine another Courier moving through the same Quadrant as you, it would have a 19% (Sensor Rating + Sensor Profile) chance of spotting your ship, the same chance you would have of spotting it.

Tip - By way of example, a large Warship might have a Sensor Profile of 99%, making it a virtual certainty that your Courier would be able to spot it. Most, but not all, Starbases have even larger Sensor Profiles.

There are other factors at work here, so spotting other ships is not quite as cut and dried as it might appear. For example, if you are in a large outer Orbital Quadrant, you are much less likely to detect other ships than if you were in a smaller inner Orbital Quadrant. Speed is also important. A ship moving at high ISR speeds is less able to spot ships and other positions, than one moving slowly and carefully.

Planetary Scan and Sector Scan are more detailed breakdowns relating to your ships ability to perform those specific tasks, used primarily for mineral prospecting.

| ISR Drive Rating: 2 Jump Capability: Yes (100 tus) |
| Manoeuvre Speed: 1.7 g Orbit Time: 6 tus |
| Landing Time: 30 tus Takeoff Time: 30 tus |

Tip - All of the statistics regarding the speed and manoeuvrability of your ship are determined by the equipment you have installed.

| Surface Area: 42 Embarking Size: 2780 mus |

Surface Area and Embarking Size give you a rough idea of how large your ship is. By way of comparison a Free Trader class transport has a Surface Area of 77, and an Embarking Size of 11450 mus. A Broadsword class Heavy Cruiser has a Surface Area of 82, and an Embarking Size of 18430 mus.

These two statistics have several functions in the game. Surface Area can be used in making stealth calculations, while Embarking Size is literally the amount of space your ship would take up were it to be fitted inside another position.

| -Crew Report---------------------------------------------------------------------- |
| 24 Human Crew (505) - 1 mus   |
| Crew Factors: 96 Required: 95 |

Exercise caution when transferring crew. If you do something wrong, you can end up with a ship with no crew onboard that is incapable of carrying out any of your orders until you use another position to deliver some replacements. No great harm, but it can be just a little embarrassing.

Tip - When picking up employees or crew from another position, take care not to take so many that you leave that second position short-handed.

Tip - The more astute amongst you will have noticed that when you create a Political position, one of your crewmembers is transformed into your political character. Leaving your ship undermanned. This can be offset by picking up an extra crewmember from somewhere, or using your new Political to promote another crew member to Captain, thus gaining sufficient Crew Factors to replace those lost. Once you have a Political character, remember to find somewhere safe to drop him off, a Starbase with a fine selection of expensive foreign restaurants is ideal.

| -Cargo Report--------------------------------------------------------------------- |
| CARGO   |
| 400 Kastorian Delicacies (30009) 400mus   |
| Cargo: 400/400 Life Support: 24/40 |

Your cargo bay. As a beginning position, you will already have a full cargo of goods. Most likely Kastorian Delicacies. The first thing you will want to do is sell these for the maximum profit. And this is where the Market Reports page on the KJC website will prove invaluable. You may notice there is quite a variation in the prices being offered, some so low that they seem to defy logic. There is no good explanation for this phenomena, and the beginning trader is advised to learn to recognise those Starbase Governors who are attempting to rip you off.

Tip - Not all markets are safe for you to visit as a member of your Affiliation. It is a very good idea to check with your Aff precisely where you can safely travel before you jump there and find out the hard way. The space-lanes are littered with the wreckage of ships which have accidentally wandered where they shouldn't.

Tip - Yank and Skord are considered neutral space. You should be able to travel safely anywhere therein. Although be aware that the larger Affiliations are constantly jockeying for position, eyeing each other suspiciously, looking for some excuse to open fire.

Tip - Your life support rating obviously enough governs the number of lifeforms you can carry, like your ships crew. It might be worth remembering that spare lifeform capacity can be used to carry lifeform trade goods. For example, the Courier can carry 400 mus of standard trade goods, plus 16 mus of lifeform trade goods. Sure, it means your crew have to bunk with the trade lifeforms in question, but that's a small price to pay in pursuit of profit.

| -Space Combat Report------------------------------------------------------------ |
| Max Targets: 1 Scints: 0 |
| Shield Factors: 250 Shield Depth: 17.27 |
| Max Shields: 250 Shield Recharge: 0 |
| Combat Efficiency: 100% Your Target Silhouette: 1.18 |
| Targeting Bonus: 0 Sensor Power: 4.42 |
| Base Accuracy: 3 Officer Bonus: 0 |
| Flee Option: Flee Target Type: None |
| Armour: 0 Combat Speed: 1.46 |
| Dodge: 1.46 On Patrol: No |

The Space Combat Report looks a complicated beast at first. However, reading it through will indicate that each item is actually quite simple. The real problem lies in recognising what sort of value might be considered to be good, bad, or flat-out ugly for each of these entries. The best way of finding out is to get a hold of the details of different ships from other players in your Aff, so that you can compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of various ship designs.

Three of the more important statistics here are Base Accuracy, Dodge and Combat Speed. Warships need to have these as high as possible. For example, an exceptionally effective Warship might have a Base Accuracy of 9, a Dodge of 8, and a combat speed of 5.

Tip - The faster a ship is in combat, the more problems it will have in hitting slower targets. Basically, shooting from a moving platform is harder than shooting from a stationary position, so a fast ship will be harder to hit itself, but needs higher accuracy and better sensors to compensate. I know, this doesn't sound like it makes much sense for a starship, but there are one or two game mechanics that are more concerned with game-balance than realism. If it really bothers you, you might also ponder the question of exactly where all of these brand new Courier class freighters are appearing from.

Tip - A great deal of fine-tuning can be done with these statistics in the ship design editor. There is much debate about what makes for the 'best' ship designs, as different design philosophies compete for supremacy. Much of this competition is done in the heat of battle, where there is little lee-way for error.

|   SHOTS ACC(%) DMG |
| 4 Gatling Laser (215) 10 20 1 |

All ships should carry point defence systems. Missiles and Torpedoes are common weapons in the game, and they can be deadly. Gatling Lasers and Phalanx defence systems will form your main line of defence. The correct ratio is a matter for experimentation.

Tip - There is an argument that a Courier class freighter derives little real benefit from having a mere 4 Gatling Lasers. You may want to consider removing the Gatling Lasers to make space for something else.

Tip - Point defence will also target incoming space fighters and bombers.

| -Boarding Defence Report--------------------------------------------------------- |
|         |
| 24 Human Crew (505) Packed 24 24 |
|     -------- -------- |
|     24 24 |
|         |
| Current Ground Factors: 24 Maximum Boarders: 419 Units |
|         |

Each type of crew provides different combat effectiveness in the event of your ship being boarded. On more valuable ships, you may want to have more and better defensive units than the standard Human Crew, such as Veterans, Marines, or even Startroopers. The size of your ship limits the number of units that can attempt a boarding action.

Tip - When a ship attempts a boarding action, it exposes itself to potentially massive damage from close-range weapons fire from the target vessel. Often the hunter will become the prey.

Tip - Close combat is heavily weighted in favour of the defender. If you are thinking about boarding a position, you will need significant numerical superiority in order to have any chance of success.

| -Enemy Report-------------------------------------------------------------------- |
| None None None None |

As a new player, you do not need to be concerned with the Enemy Report section of your print-out. Ideally it should be kept blank until you begin to take command of warships, at which point this section will become an important and powerful strategic tool. Your Affiliation should be able to brief you fully on how to obtain the best performance from these settings.

Tip - Some configurations of Enemy Report settings work better in combat than others.

| -Installed Items-------------------------------------------------------------------- |
| 1 Bridge (100) - 50 mus   |
| 20 Cargo Bay (134) - 25 mus   |
| 4 Gatling Laser (215) - 10 mus   |
| 2 ISR Type 2 Engines (145) - 40 mus   |
| 1 Jump Drive (175) - 50 mus   |
| 4 Quarters (131) - 25 mus   |
| 3 Sensor (103) - 10 mus   |
| 5 Shields (115) - 10 mus   |
| 5 Thrust Engine (160) - 20 mus   |
|     |
| Install Space: 1000/1000   |
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ |

Your ships installed items list is where the work of designing and tweaking your ship comes into play. Detailed information about what each of these items are and can do, can be gained either from your Affiliation, or by issuing a 'Tech Manual' order for the item number concerned.

Tip - Remember that a 'Tech Manual' order costs 50 tus.

Tip - The way installed items are listed can cause some confusion. The mass unit (mus) rating is per item. So in the case of your Courier you have 20 Cargo Bays each of which weighs 25mus, for a total of 500mus worth, a full half of the total install space available. Therefore you could, for example, remove the 5 Shields (5 at 10mus each) and gain enough space to add another 2 Cargo Bays.

Tip - New statistics and features are occasionally added to your position reports. Full details and explanations of these as and when they happen can be found on the Phoenix Posting Board.

3. The Order Editor.

As you may have noticed, there are many different orders in Phoenix. Those available vary depending on the type of position selected in the drop-down box on the Editor launch screen. Select a ship, and the ship orders will appear when you click on 'new turn'. Select a Starbase, and a whole different set of orders will be available.

For our purposes here however, we shall contain ourselves to the basic ship orders. These provide most of what you need to get started in the game.

We should note that the information initially available in the various drop-down boxes inside the Order Editor is very limited . As you explore and discover more Starbases and item types, it will be necessary to update the Editors database. This is not essential, but it can save a lot of time, and it can eliminate many potential errors pertaining to mis-typed identification numbers. See the discussion about the Parser later on for more details.


This is one of the orders you will use most often, as making money will likely be high on your list of priorities. Scouring the market reports for bargains, and searching out those lucrative trade routes forms a large part of any successful trading enterprise.

Tip - Learn to use the 'if an error occurs - stop turn' function. It is possible that when you issue an order to buy a trade good, somebody else might have bought it before you, which will cause the order to fail. It can be extremely infuriating to issue a buy order which is followed by a jump order, moving your ship out of the system with a cargo hold that is empty because the previous buy order failed, necessitating a sheepish return and the loss of precious time units.

Tip - The Market Report section on the KJC website is going to be your best friend. Bookmark it now. The Market Reports are updated daily, though as yet nobody is quite sure exactly when in the day this happens. New goods become available regularly, and prices can often change.

Tip - Starbase Governors will tend to release particularly valuable trade goods onto their markets at a slow rate. If you can spare the time, it can be worthwhile parking a trading vessel in orbit above a Starbase for a few days, buying up the goods as they become available. Or alternatively, contact the Governor in question and try to arrange a trade deal.

Deliver / Deliver Item Type

These orders will begin to be used when you start moving items around for your Affiliation. Other players regularly require large stockpiles of various items moved around from 'a' to 'b', and this sort of mission is often offered to new players because there are comparatively few ways of triggering an accidental all-out interstellar war, which isn't to say it's impossible. Just unlikely.

Of the two - 'Deliver' and 'Deliver Item Type' - the former is most useful for keeping strict control over what is being delivered. While the latter is helpful when moving large quantities of different goods.

Tip - As a new player, you are probably best sticking to the 'Deliver' order at first, because of the greater specific control offered over your ships actions.

Tip - Remember that you need a Delivery Authorisation if you are unloading goods to another players position. This is to stop just anyone from delivering a package containing a nuclear device to anywhere they please.

Get Posted List

A posted list, is a list of ships maintained by each Aff containing all of the ships that will be 'shot on sight'. Typically you can expect to find particularly notorious Pirate ships on these.

It does however cost an Aff stellars to maintain ships on their posted list, so don't expect to see a huge number of ships contained on them. Affiliations are far more likely to handle who and what they want to shoot at with the Enemy Reports sections of their positions, as detailed above.

Hospital Complex Visit

It is a strange and dangerous universe out there, particularly on the micro-bacteriological level. Should your crew come down with some mysterious alien infection, head to your nearest Affiliation-owned hospital complex to seek emergency medical treatment. And try not to sneeze on anybody on your way.

Join Affiliation / Leave Affiliation

These are fairly self-explanatory. Obviously talking to various Aff leaders will provide you with the clearest idea of which Aff you would most like to be in.

Tip - Each affiliation offers a different gaming experience. For now, you're probably best advised to stick with the one you were seeded in, until you learn the basics. But later on, you might want to learn more about what is on offer.

Maintenance Complex Visit

Your Courier class ship has an Integrity Mod of 1. Which means it loses 1 percentile point of Integrity each week. There other random events which can also reduce integrity - meteor hits, extreme manoeuvres, landing, etc. This order will return Integrity to 100%.

Tip - Your Aff will probably have one or more designated Starbases which are best set-up for this sort of ship maintenance. By the time your Courier is requiring a Maintenance Complex Visit, you will probably already know where these Starbases are. But if you don't, be sure to ask. Just turning up at any Starbase is no guarantee the work can be done.

Move To Starbase

It is important to note that this order will only work if you 'know' the destination Starbase. You know a Starbase if it has been set to common knowledge by its owner; if it is a Starbase you have seen or visited before; if you have received knowledge of the Starbases location through your Political position; or finally if another player has transferred specific knowledge to you.

Because you need to know a Starbase, it is likely that you will see quite a few error messages relating to failed 'Move To Starbase' orders. Not all of the Starbases you will see on the Market Reports page for example, will have had their status set to common knowledge. This is done primarily to confuse new players, but you should try not to take it personally.

Tip - Be very careful with the 'dock' checkbox in the order editor. Most, if not all non-Affiliation Starbases will consider docking attempts to be hostile actions. There have been many incidents in the game where a ship has docked with a Starbase with a very nasty Starbase-destroying surprise on board. For this reason, virtually all transactions with Starbases are carried out through Hi-Ports. Meaning you do not need to physically dock with the base itself.

Docking somewhere they are not welcome is possibly the number one mistake made by new players. If you learn one thing from this guide, learn this.

The only time you might want to dock with a Starbase would be to conduct maintenance/R&R visits, or to refit your ship. And typically this will be a Starbase belonging to your Affiliation. Otherwise, leave that dock checkbox well alone. Nobody enjoys blowing up Courier class star-ships.

Okay, almost nobody enjoys blowing them up.

Move To System Quad / Move To Planet xy / Move To Planet Orbit

When you require more control over your Starships movements than that afforded by the 'Move To Starbase' order, these are the commands to turn to. Examples of when you might to use them include:
Moving to unknown Starbases which you know are located on a particular world.
Conducting scans of particular planets.
Moving to the location of a Wormhole or Stargate in order to enter it.

Tip - Don't forget there are more specialist movement orders available outside of the 'Basic' orders.

Pickup / Pickup Item Type

These are the twins to the 'Deliver' orders discussed above.

Tip - Authorisations are available which cover a wide range of activities. From giving permission to deliver or pick-up a set quantity of a particular item, all the way up to having full authorisation to do anything. Star-captains should resist the urge to pick up the Admirals brand new MkVII Photon Battery just because they spotted it lying around, because that might just make him a little cross.

Recreation Complex Visit

Not something you will need to do all that often. But remember the efficiency boost can be very handy if you're just about to embark on a run of time-unit intensive orders.

Tip - When you have a Political position, it will list all of your ships, their current efficiency levels, locations and integrities. It will also warn you when a ship requires its 6-monthly R&R trip.

Refit Internal Items

The critical thing to be aware of with this order is the part in the Order Editor description where it says 'no integrity loss'. Usually installing/uninstalling pieces of equipment from a ship entails quite a severe integrity loss, so whenever possible, you should try and use 'refit internal items'. Note however that this will return a ship to its original design specification. Whatever that might be. This isn't an issue with your Courier, but could become a problem when you inherit ships from other players, which may have been heavily customised.

Repair Complex Visit

Putting star-ships back together once they have been damaged can be a pain. It is recommended you try and avoid chipping the paintwork on your ships. However, this is not always possible, and you will occasionally have to resort to having your ships repaired at a friendly Starbase. The price of patches will probably vary amongst your Affs Starbases, so if money is tight, check where is cheapest.


Selling things is usually more fun than buying them, particularly when you're making a nice fat profit. However, watch out for those unscrupulous Starbase governors who make a habit of changing their buying prices on a regular basis, otherwise you run the risk of selling a good for less than you were expecting. It's rare, but it can happen.

Tip - If you're selling an item, but fail to sell all of your cargo because the Starbase isn't buying all that you've got, it is worth your while contacting the governor, as he/she/it will probably arrange to take what you've got left, off your hands. Remember, Phoenix is a social game, and much of the fun comes from interacting with other players.

Tip - Once you start talking to individual Starbase governors, and arranging private trade deals, you may have to start using the 'private market' check box. This accesses a market which is not publicly available that has been set-up specially for you. A print-out of its status will appear on the Starbase turn report, but not on yours, so it will be up to you to keep note of the progress of each of your private trade deals. There is no point in checking the 'private market' box unless you have something worked out in advance.

Special Action

The scope of the 'Special Action' order lies well beyond the boundaries of this guide, suffice as to say that if you can imagine it, you might well be able to do it with this order. It puts you in direct contact with the games-master (GM) of the game, his name is 'Mica', remember to say hello, and try to be clear and concise about what you are trying to achieve.

As a beginning player you probably won't have much need for this order initially. But there are various ways of getting the best out of it, all of which can be discovered by, yes, you guessed it, talking to your Affiliation.

Tip - Don't forget Special Actions cost 1.75 each, and require a KJC account number so that the transaction can be charged.

Tip - Particularly complex activities in the game world may require multiple Special Actions to achieve.

Tip - Much of the 'colour' in the game can be uncovered through Special Actions, this is where details of strange alien artefacts lie, interactions with alien races, the discovery of new trade goods, the exploitation of existing resources. Your Aff will maintain a list of previous Special Actions that have been carried out, and once they trust you, they will let you see them. Expect it to take quite some time for them to trust you this much however, as the results of Special Actions are closely kept secrets.

Surface Exploration

A Surface Exploration is charged for in the same way as a Special Action. If you spot an interesting looking sector on a planet (following a 'Scan Planet' order which provides you with a planetary map), you may want to take a closer look at it. In the more well travelled parts of the universe however, it is very possible that your Aff might already have done this, so you should check with them first so as not to wind up duplicating somebody else's efforts.

Tip - For the keen explorer, there are new Star-systems being discovered in the game on a fairly regular basis. So there is plenty virgin unexplored territory out there, and Affiliations are always very happy to recruit players who are wanting to go exploring. They may even equip you with the ships you need to go and do it.

Tech Manual

If you're unsure about what a piece of equipment you encounter in the game does, you can issue this order and find out.

Tip - Sometimes it will be necessary to have knowledge of something, for example a very rare ore, so that you can recognise it in the game. This works in a similar way to knowing the location of Starbases as discussed under the 'Move To Starbase' order. You can only prospect for those rare ores, if you know about them. Which means you will need to pick up a sample from somewhere, and Tech Manual it just to be on the safe side.

Tip - A Tech Manual will also contain information on what resources it takes to build a particular piece of equipment.

Tip - Another important use of the Tech Manual order is to obtain information on trade goods, particularly crucial is the Local Value of trade goods. This is a very important statistic which governs how much goods are worth in various different Peripheries. It is left to the player to work out precisely how this works in the game.

4. The Parser.

Inside the Database menu of your Phoenix Order Editor, you will find the Parser. This is an invaluable tool for all players, as it automates much of the book-keeping and data-entry.

It is simple to use, but just to recap: Save your email turns as .txt files somewhere convenient, then open the Parser, browse to the .txt file, select it, then run the Parser. A list of new positions/items/etc encountered in that turn will appear, and you can select what you want to add to your own personal game database. This database is what the Order Editor uses to complete information in the drop-down boxes used with particular orders.

The Parser is also capable of recognising the information gained from 'Scan System' and 'Scan Planet' orders, automatically transferring it into your 'Systems' section, where you can find graphical representations of your planetary explorations.

Tip - You might not want to add all of the ships you encounter to your database, and just stick to listing Starbases and other important items for now, in order to keep the list more manageable and recognisable. To separate the wheat from the chaff.

Tip - The Parser works best when scanning the .txt file generated from saving an entire positions turn, rather than manually cutting and pasting extracts from turns into a .txt file.

Tip - All of the information in the database is user-editable. You might for example want to rename the Starbase 'Onyx' in the database as 'DTR Onyx', so that you can tell at a glance which Affiliation it belongs to. In this case the Detinus Republic (DTR).

Tip - The Parser itself is heavily customisable, advanced users might well be able to program it to achieve all sorts of interesting things.


Online resources.

Not every player of Phoenix has internet access, there are a few old-school pen and paper types left out there. So access to the internet is not absolutely critical for your enjoyment of this game. For those of you who do have access, there are a number of resources which can significantly enhance your gaming experience.

The KJC-Phoenix yahoogroup is one of the main centres for communication between players. Joining this list, and posting notice of your arrival as a new player should see you welcomed by several recruitment offers. This is also a good place to ask questions, as there are many friendly players who will be happy to help you out. It is important to remember that we were all beginners once. You can also get a taste of the roleplaying here, as the list is used to make In Character (ic) announcements, as well as playing host to all of the Out Of Character (ooc) conversation. The list can generate a fair amount of traffic, so you might want to consider the digest mode, at least at first.

As an adjunct to this list, there is a further yahoogroup which you might be interested in. The Trade Forum. This is a smaller list devoted to trading opportunities. It is as yet quieter, frequented by fewer players, but it is there should you require, and occasionally it plays host to some excellent trading deals unavailable elsewhere.

For those who are unable or unwilling to make use of Yahoogroup services, there is also a forum located at which has the advantage of being regularly read by the people who run the game. So if you need a definitive answer on something, this is the place to start.

And of course, one site you should already have bookmarked is the Market Reports page. Located in the Data Store section of the main KJC Phoenix website. The Market reports are the bread and butter of trading. Learn to love the Market report.

Finally, there is the weekly player-run newsletter Sub Space Static (SSS), which is automatically emailed to all players. This maintains current contact details and web addresses for most of the Affiliations.

Guide written by Simon Field on behalf of KJC Games. 2003

Art by Simon Field 2003.