The ritualized forms of retribution justice are known as Conflicts and encompass legal forms of battle between factions in the form of Duels of Assassins, Solar Wars, Trade Wars, and more. Conflicts, both positive and negative, have a Conflict Score, measuring how the conflict is leaning. Conflict Score is typically affected by Contacts spending Influence and the Captain joining in the Conflict on the side of one faction or the other. A Star Traders Captain may change a Conflict Score by completing Conflict related Missions, by performing Orbital Operations, selling Intel, winning ship battles or by using a variety of Talents. Each Conflict presents different opportunities to a Captain -- for example destroying an enemy ship during a Solar War or selling Intel during a Spy War. All Conflicts can also be affected by selling Intel records to Contacts involved with the Conflict, with Intel gathered from the opposing Faction during the Conflict having the greatest effect.
Types of Conflicts
Conflicts are categorized into types. Not all types may spawn at all times during the game.
Duel of Assassins
|A Duel of Assassins occurs when one Faction seeks retribution justice for actual or perceived wrongs. When a Duel is declared, a death court is formed, with either side petitioning for Death Warrants. Missions involving this conflict will often involve seeking out the enemies of the Faction and either capturing or executing them. The Conflict Score will be affected by successful missions related to the Duel, Patrolling friendly worlds and Spying over enemy worlds. Successfully influencing the Conflict will gain rep with the Faction you assisted and lose rep with their enemy.|
|A Trade Ban occurs when Factions vie for economic dominance, attempting to cut off valuable trade routes for their enemies and bleed their coffers dry.
During a Trade Ban, you will lose reputation with one of the factions involved if you sell goods to an exchange controlled by their adversaries. Furthermore, if you fly under the flag of the banned Faction, you cannot sell goods in the enemy Exchanges. You cannot further lose reputation from Trade Bans with a faction that you have less than or equal to -28 reputation with. You can avoid reputation loss if you sell goods into a Black Market instead of the official exchange. Missions related to this Conflict often involve smuggling, patrolling, blockading and negotiations. The Conflict score can be affected by completing Missions.
|Trade Wars occur when the struggle for economic control spills over into violence. Both Factions encourage privateers and pirates to harass enemy merchants and blockade their worlds. During a Trade War you can sell cargo from each Faction to their own Exchanges, but selling to any other non-Independent Faction will incur rep penalties if your Reputation with that Faction is higher than -28 at the time of the trade. Missions involving this Conflict often involve patrolling, blockading, smuggling and negotiations. Conflict score can be affected by Missions, Patrolling and Blockading. Trade Wars allow Prize Ships to be claimed from Merchant, Pirate and Smugglers.
|A Spy War occurs when two Factions attempt to covertly sabotage and steal secrets from their enemy. Missions involving this Conflict will often involve spying over enemy worlds for a variety of reasons, from intel recovery to exposing hidden caches or enemy agents. Additionally, missions will include hunting down and executing or capturing enemy agents in the void or down a gravity well. Conflict score is affected by missions, patrolling and spying operations. Spy War allow Prize Ships to be claimed from Pirates, Spies and Zealots.
|A Solar War is as close to an all out conflict as the Factions can legally go. Two Factions, through hired Star Traders, wage war with their enemy, attempting to gain the upper hand. Missions involving this Conflict often revolve around patrolling friendly planets while blockading or spying over enemy worlds, and occasionally trying to negotiate deescalation. Bounties may be placed on prominent enemy commanders, particularly elusive spies or Smugglers slipping through blockades. Missions, and all three standard Orbital Operations will affect Conflict score. Solar Wars allow Prize Ships to be claimed from Military Officers, Pirates and Bounty Hunters.
|An Alliance is a legally binding agreement between Factions to mutually protect Faction holdings, merchants and smugglers. Alliances will see the paired Faction's military act less hostile towards their ally, and will often spur on negotiation missions. Conflict score can be affected by Patrolling and completing missions.
|Trade Alliances mark two Factions attempting to solidify economic ties as they work to protect merchants and trade routes. Permits of either Faction will be honored in the Exchange of the opposing Faction. Missions will typically deal with negotiations between the two Factions. The Conflict score can be raised by Missions and Patrolling.|
When Conflicts End
Whenever a Conflict ends, all of the Contacts on either side of the Conflict either suffer (if they are on the losing side) or get to take actions (if they are on the winning side.) Alliances and Trade Alliances will grant benefits to Contacts on both sides, but typically one more than the other. Depending on the Contact type, a Conflict can also generate bonuses in addition to the free Contact actions.
The effects of such loss / actions include Influence gain or loss, causing Influence gain or loss to their allies and enemies, the death of a Contact, creating another follow-on Conflict, causing a positive or negative Rumor to an ally/enemy Contact's world, change a Contact Trait, etc. For example, if your Contact loses a Trade War, you might find an Embargo or Taxes Rumor popping up on his world.
It is impossible for a Conflict to end in a tie. When the Conflict ends with a perfectly balanced score, an secret fixed ordering will determine who won (but by the narrowest of margins.) De Valtos, for instance, loses all ties, while Zenrin will win all ties. The other factions fall somewhere in the middle of this ordering.
Some "actions" Contacts can take (at the end of Conflicts for certain but perhaps in other situations as well):
- Attempt to Gain Influence
- Send Influence to Linked Contacts
- Request Influence from Linked Contacts
- Purchase Rumors
- Purchase Conflicts
- Propose Conflict Purchase to other Contact
- Boost Conflict Score
- Assassinate Other Contact
The length of Conflicts is controlled by the a number of factors. The game's current Era, the Contacts that start the Conflict, the Zones that trigger them, the Rumors that were active when they started, the Influence totals of the Contacts on both sides, the type of Conflict, the Factions that are involved and the size of the map all play a role.