13.0.0 Communications

Under most circumstances, units are capable of transmitting and receiving orders to and from HQ, and so by extension, any other friendly unit, effectively instantaneously. So if fleet A encounters a large hostile fleet in 500x500/01 on turn 3, week 1, day 1, fleet B can (assuming its orders allow it to respond in such a fashion) begin moving to intercept that hostile fleet on turn 3, week 1, day 1 at however long a distance it might be from 500x500/01.


“Most circumstances” are those in which the transmitting and receiving units are both within the empire’s communications network. A 2nd generation communications network extends 2 sections in all directions from each of an empire’s colonies. If an empire has groups of colonies whose control ranges do not meet, then the empire is broken down into multiple communications networks, each of which can pass on messages instantaneously within itself but not with the other networks.


The borders of star nations can be considered to be the outer edge of their control ranges. Outside of control ranges, an empire would have to make special provisions for detecting ships or supplying their own vessels. While a nation might claim territory sector by sector, that claim makes for “borders” with less practical significance than ones defined by control ranges.


Full military allies treat their communications networks as one larger one, assuming that they are within range to form such a network. Empires with other political relationships might agree to pool communications networks as a specific treaty term.


Ships outside communications networks, or communications networks separated from one another, have a flat 1 turn delay in transmission and reception of messages. In the example above, if fleet A and/or B were outside the communications network, or just not in the same one, fleet B would get word of the encounter and be able to begin responding to it only on turn 4, week 1, day 1.

Advances in communication technology can increase the range of communications. For each advance, add 1 section to the allowed range between colonies for communications purposes. Communications ranges and VLRS ranges increase together, as the result of single R&D efforts. This range is sometimes in these rules referred to as control range, and also has an impact on ship supply rules.


Advances in communications technology may also allow for units other than colonies to act as colonies for communications purposes. The first advance along this branch of the tech tree provides the ability to build communications centers. The basic communications center costs 20 points (66.7 RP’s), requires 10 equipment spaces aboard a ship or base, can only be used while the unit is not in motion, and requires 1 week to deploy and 1 week to pack back up for travel. 2nd generation powers are assumed to start off with this technology. Tech advances from there can,


1) reduce the cost to 10 points (1st advance) and then to 1 (2nd advance)

2) reduce deployment/repacking times to 4 days (1st advance) and then to capable of working while underway without any deployment/repacking at all (2nd advance)

3) reduce equipment space requirements by 3 equipment spaces per advance, to 7, 4, and 1, the minimum. 

Diplomatic exchanges are considered to have instantaneous communications between the ambassador and their empire’s HQ. This is to preserve gameplay convenience; however, communications networks would for this purpose anyway be expected to extend through enemy territory (if you’re at war with someone, you’re presumably in range to talk with them and have their ambassador communicate with their government if you’re willing to talk at all). It can also be considered to reflect the ability of skilled diplomats to work much as though they had full access to certain information they can only conjecture.




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