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The sea ... vast, mysterious ... and full of wealth! And the nations of Planet send their trade across it without a thought. Well, the sea doesn't care about them, so it lets them pass. But we can give the sea a little hand in teaching the landlubbers a lesson in humility.
~ Captain Ulrik Svensgaard on The Ripple and the Wave

Nautilus Pirates is a Alien Crossfire faction.

Description[ | ]

The Nautilus Pirates roam the oceans of Planet, eeking out an existence where they prosper undisturbed by the constant warfare on land. They live for exploration of the far reaches of the map, searching for the Unity pods left alone by the other factions who ignore the potential of the sea. Since they have virtually unlimited room to expand on the map, the Pirates often end up the strongest of the 'builder' factions, with an unrivaled navy to boot.

The Pirates believe the oceans of Planet are actually far more suitable for human life than the land masses. They are dedicated to a life at sea, exploiting the untold riches of the water. Their intimate knowledge of the deep allows them to construct enhancements even in deep sea areas. Their sea combat units are especially well trained for shipboard actions (free Marine Detachment ability for sea units once the appropriate technology is discovered). They also get a free Naval Yard in every base upon discovery of the appropriate technology, and pay no prototype costs for sea formers and sea colony pods. They are also able to extract extra raw materials from shelf sea-squares.

History[ | ]

Ulrik Svensgaard was the Lead Astrogator aboard the Unity. He had little interest in the grand ideals and petty disputes among the other senior officers. He had signed on for adventure, pure and simple, and he was eager to test himself against the unknown conditions on Planet. Unfortunately, it was soon obvious that other factions among the crew would hijack his ambitions, unless he could gather a following of his own. Grimly, he proceeded to do just that.

After Planetfall, Svensgaard and his followers abandoned land as soon as they could, seizing the few watercapable craft that were available from the Unity.

They built their first bases on offshore islands and in shallow coastal waters, seeking to explore and exploit the vast resources of Planet's oceans. They stayed aloof from the growing vendettas among the land-based factions, although they ruthlessly attacked anyone venturing out to sea without their leave. Soon they were being called the "Nautilus Pirates," after the chambered-nautilus symbol they had taken as their banner.

Beliefs[ | ]

The Nautilus Pirates are probably the least ideological of all the factions on Planet. They choose to live the seafaring life, believing that Planet's oceans are actually more fit for human habitation than its continents. Aside from this commitment, they have no fixed dogma, simply pursuing the life of adventure and discovery that Captain Svensgaard promised them. The ideological imperatives of other factions amuse (or anger) the Pirates, who are not above raiding the "land-huggers" in order to puncture their pretensions.

Relations With Other Factions[ | ]

The Pirates are not natural allies of any other faction. They will trade with (or raid) anyone, depending on circumstances. The best way to befriend the Pirates is to trade with them fairly, treat them with respect, and stay on land "where you belong". The quickest way to end up in vendetta with them is to encroach on what they regard as their own domain, the wide oceans of Planet.

Of all the land-bound factions, the Pirates probably coexist most smoothly with the Spartans. Svensgaard and his followers lack the Spartans' grim worldview, but both factions respect personal and factional strength above all.

Strengths[ | ]

The Pirates are masters of pelagic technology. From the earliest days on Planet, they can colonize and exploit the seas. Their ships are always of higher quality and have better-trained crews than those of other factions. During the first years of the colony, they develop superb small-unit tactics focused on boarding actions, allowing them to capture ships built by other factions. The Nautilus Pirates also have economic advantages at sea. More so than any other faction, they are adept at extracting resources from the shallow waters of the continental shelves. As well, they are the only faction with the technology to build bases and other facilities in deep-ocean waters.

Weaknesses[ | ]

The wandering existence of the Nautilus Pirates has certain drawbacks. Much of the faction's economy must be devoted to maintaining their oceanic bases, facilities, and ships. This leaves fewer resources for personal goods or industrial production. Further, the rootless Pirates have few children, and have difficulty maintaining stable families when they do. Much of their growth in population comes from recruiting disaffected members of other factions.

Lifestyle[ | ]

The Nautilus Pirates live without roots, rarely owning permanent homes. Many of them live for years on board ship, relying on long-range communications to stay in touch with friends and family. Others use a series of temporary quarters, moving from one Pirate base to the next to follow their work or their personal relationships. As a result, private quarters in most Pirate bases are small and utilitarian. The faction does place some emphasis on community space, giving its citizens plenty of places to meet and socialize. These include some of the best bars and restaurants on Planet.

Among themselves, the Nautilus Pirates admire adventurism. The ideal Pirate sets high goals for himself, pursues them by any means necessary, and attains them with style and panache. The tales of such accomplishments play an important role in faction society. The Pirates' preferred art form is the story, either set down in print or told over beer in a public place. They hold most other forms of art in contempt, but their narrative literature is the best on Planet.

The Pirates have a political system barely above anarchy. They believe strongly in personal property, at least among themselves (the property of non-Pirates is far less sacred). A ship owner or businessman can run his affairs as he pleases, and his word is law among his employees or dependents. Competition between such figures can be fierce, involving brawls or sabotage as well as legal or economic maneuvering.

The system often seems on the verge of breaking down, but there are factors which prevent competition from getting out of hand. The Pirates have a well-developed code duello, so bitter enemies can always resolve their dispute personally before others are forced to suffer. In addition, Captain Svensgaard and his most trusted associates form a semi-formal police force, stepping in with highly trained marines whenever it seems necessary.

Citizens[ | ]

The Pirates' distinctive lifestyle places strict requirements on faction citizens. Most Pirates will put points into some combination of Powerboat, Sailor, Seamanship, Swimming, and possibly even Shiphandling. Even "stay-athome" citizens who rarely leave faction bases will still go to sea for short trips, and will need to know their way around the water. The ideal Nautilus Pirate is an individual who lives large. Typical disadvantages include Compulsive Carousing, Compulsive Generosity, Impulsiveness, and Overconfidence. Extreme cases might have Glory Hound or On The Edge.

Naturally, Code of Honor (Pirate's) is appropriate for any adventurer. Stay-at-home types will probably have less extreme personalities.

Strategies[ | ]

The Pirates' chief advantage lies in a +1 mineral bonus when working ocean shelf squares. This bonus enables them to make a good living with water bases. The Pirates also receive a free Naval Yard after the discovery of Doctrine: Initiative. Furthermore, each ship built after the discovery of Adaptive Doctine possesses the equivalent of the Marine Detachment special ability, which permits them to board ships defeated in battle and take them over. However, the Pirates lack a domestic sensibility, which gives them limited growth ability, and their freewheeling ways result in an efficiency penalty as well.

This faction makes Planetfall with knowledge of Doctrine: Mobility and Doctrine: Flexibility. Fortunately for them, they do not have a limitation on their possible social choices.

Colony names[ | ]

Land[ | ]

  • Deadman Tavern
  • Landlubber Inn
  • Buried Treasure
  • Sunny Oasis
  • Sailor's Rest
  • Freshwater Springs
  • Marque City
  • Land Lock
  • Far Horizons
  • Crossbone Way
  • Sailor's Warning
  • Red Sky
  • Roberts' Dread
  • Ulrik's Hideaway
  • Pirate's Siege
  • Grasshome
  • Drunktown
  • Merchantman Run
  • Shanty Town
  • Penzance
  • Skull Crossroads
  • Sailor's Delight
  • Plunder Cache
  • Cannon's Thunder

Sea[ | ]

  • Safe Haven
  • Port Svensgaard
  • Crow's Nest
  • Provision Point
  • Parrot Landing
  • Barbary Coast
  • Capetown
  • Point Blood
  • Meergard
  • Cutlass Cay
  • Sextant Cove
  • Privateer Quay
  • Dry Dock
  • Frigate Base
  • Drake Landing
  • Storm's Lee
  • Pennant Shoals
  • The Anchorage
  • Lorcha Roads
  • Skeleton Key
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