Conquest of the Stars is a system that measures the performance of the civilian pilot corps. In times of conflict, the Conquest system pits the human alliances against one another. Alliances can compete merely with economics, all the way up to and including open warfare.
In peacetime, the Conquest system is used to track each alliance's performance goals, which, if met, have the same benefits as winning Conquest.
HOW IT WORKS
The Conquest system tracks GAINS and LOSSES for each alliance.
- Beneficial industry activity (salvaging, trading, mining, etc.)
- Successful combat (either against another alliance or against a common enemy)
- Exploration (artifact retrieval and other outward activities)
- Losing a ship (civilian, naval, or anything else belonging to that alliance)
- Losing a battlesuit
- The arrest of a civilian pilot
- Other combat losses (sector losses and future warfare implementations)
It's important to note that, unlike license points, Conquest gains and losses involving starships are proportional to the size of the ship. For example, it is more beneficial to your alliance to destroy an enemy patrol including cruisers than one including just fighters and destroyers. Similarly, it is a much more serious blow to your alliance to lose your cruiser than it is to lose your destroyer.
It should not need to be pointed out that the quickest way to overcome another alliance in Conquest points is with open warfare. A successful war has the doubled effect of inflicting loss on the enemy alliance as well as tallying gains for your own alliance as the enemy is destroyed. However, overcoming another alliance with industriousness has a slower, less dramatic, but more reliable effect.
THE CONQUEST PERIOD
All gains and losses are recorded during the entire Conquest period. At the end of the period, the results are tallied. Until the tally, gains and losses do not actually come into effect. Once tallied, though, the alliance which is on top or has achieved its goals is guaranteed to enjoy the benefits for the next full Conquest period.
A few times each day, your alliance's pilot league will estimate the current Conquest results. Every hour, a pilot league liaison will transmit a report of the current results on your alliance's channel 10. (Remember: The current Conquest results do not necessarily have anything to do with the previous Conquest tally.)
A Conquest period lasts four days.
WHAT ARE THE PERFORMANCE GOALS?
In peacetime, there are two performance goals to be achieved, one higher than the other. Your Industrial Whip will be able to tell you how close you are to each goal in terms of percentage.
A common question is: what do these percentages mean? What are you trying to achieve? Well, the measure of your performance is derived from a complicated algorithm, so there is no direct correlation between points and Conquest performance. It's up to you, your alliance, and particularly your Industrial Whip to determine which activities affect your performance the most and to focus on those as a team.
BENEFITS TO WINNING
The alliances on top (particularly, of course, the #1 alliance) of competitive Conquest, as well as the alliances which achieve their performance goals in peacetime, enjoy a few benefits:
- Reduced component point cost.
- Reduced taxes on foreign income.
- Accelerated starship construction.
- Stronger naval presence.
As you might deduce, the alliance on the bottom of competitive Conquest suffers the reverse effect of the above. Failing to meet any goals during peacetime Conquest has no penalties, but does not provide any benefits.
In the case of performance goals, if your alliance outperforms both goals, then every participant will receive a bonus payment at the end of the Conquest period. The better you do, the more you get! Your exact payout is based on your progress as a pilot and, in some cases, your standing with the government.
IN CHARACTER EXPLANATION
Recall that each alliance maintains a pilot corps for the primary reason that they create a lot of wealth for the alliance. Each alliance has a strong interest in making sure their pilots are adding wealth and power to the alliance. Additionally, each alliance wishes to ensure that they stay ahead of the other alliances. This is true even in peacetime, given how quickly diplomatic situations can evolve, and for economic reasons if nothing else.
For this reason, alliances measure the performance and contribution of their pilots, and they wish to see their own pilot league do better than anyone else's. The more a pilot corps is contributing to their alliance, the greater support the government is willing (and able) to provide for them, in the form of additional naval support and greater availability of components and supplies. Conversely, a pilot corps that is doing little for its alliance will see this support withdrawn.
In warfare, this measure becomes even more important, because wars between pilot corps are a terrific strain on the economies and diplomatic statuses of the sponsoring governments. If a pilot corps is faring badly during a war, as measured by its Conquest status, then the corps's government will begin pushing for the pilots to make concessions and end the war before things get any worse.
Because all alliances share these common interests, the Conquest competition exists by mutual agreement to attempt to motivate pilots to be more productive for their alliance. Its purpose is to render a complex economy and a measure of military strength into terms a pilot will readily understand.