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       Star Trek Starfleet Command Volume II - Orion Pirates
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                ====================================
                =    Author: DG Dobrev             =
                =    E-mail: iron_feather@mail.bg  =
                =    Date: unknown yet             =
                =    Version: 1.0                  =
                ====================================

----------------
COPYRIGHT NOTICE
----------------

1. What you can do with this guide:
- Make a copy for pesonal use

2. WHAT YOU CANNOT DO!
- Sell this FAQ for money.
- Post it on your website without my permision.
- Use parts of this FAQ as your own.
- Plagiarize this FAQ in any imaginable way.

3. FOR ANY COMMENTS, additions, questions about the game etc.
regarding this FAQ feel free to e-mail me. My personal mailbox
is:

iron_feather@mail.bg

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Table of Contents:

- The Pirates in brief
- The Pirates' ships
- Pirate Campaign Mission Walkthrough
- Some tips and tricks
- Final words

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==================================================================
                Part One: The Pirates in brief
==================================================================

There was one thing that made SFC Volume 2 somewhat incomplete and
this was the lack of a Pirate Cartels campaign. Although of "bad"
alignment, always causing trouble, these brave warriors attracted
lots or gamers' interest.

Why? Because they don't have their own empire, roam "freely" the
space and have very unusual ships. I must say that the Pirates
quickly earned my respect! Imagine the Federation, with all its
inhabited, economically powerful planets compared to the Pirate
cartels... They look like junkmen to the Federation! Yes, maybe
they are, but these junkmen did whatever they could to become a
threat and make profit! Using bravery and skill, treachery and
treason, they have managed to cripple and capture many armed
merchant ships, freighters and cruisers, split them to parts and
create entirely new types of warships, with entirely new
properties and design! Yes, these brave junkmen deserve respect!

The Pirates usually operate on the territory of a specific empire.
They are not very warlike - they would rather hit and run, than
fight bravely. Almost every battleship vs. battleship combat is
lost for them, so these people have acquired a special intuition
when to fight and wehn to run. And if you are going to be a
Pirate, you should do your best to acquire this intuition as well.

There are lots of cartels available in the game, each one of them
using a specific pattern in weaponry, somewhat similar to the
native race's territory, in which they operate. Yet, their
weapons are not EXACTLY alike... For example, if you check out the
Prime Industries cartel, which operates in the borders of the
Romulan Empire, you will notice than the Pirates beside the
Plasma torpedoes, have photons, missiles and rarely disruptors.

So, as I mentioned, each cartel operates in a specific territory.
This means you should review their ship's statistics well in order
to find the cartel that best suits your "needs". After you win the
game with one of the cartels, you may easily turn to the others.

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==================================================================
                    Part Two: Pirates' Ships
==================================================================

The Pirates' ships can be described in just two words: WEAK and
MANEUVERABLE. Speed is somewhat fast, maybe just a little bit
slower than the Klingon's ships.

The weakness of the Pirates' ships is coming from the fact that
they aren't able to form gigantic ship-building corporations and
make high profit. This is why they have never made a Battleship -
making such a ship is extremely pricy not only to build, but to
support either. So, the best ship you'll see there will be the
Dreadnought. To compensate for this, their ships are somewhat
cheap and easy to operate. The Orion ships have very high turn
rate and usually attack in large numbers to compensate for their
weakness.

SHIELDS: average at best. Frigates and Destroyers have the
strength of the Mirak and Lyran shielding, which is adequate...
Even the most powerful dreadnoughts have weak shields, so don't
count that much on the "take damage and hit with your best
weapons often" tactic. You may be hard pressed to run almost all
the time to protect your ship from being hit hard.

ENGINES: again, not that good. Don't get me wrong, their engines
are not bad, but seem weak because of the high energy consumption
of the various weapons aboard. A Frigate has 13 points engine
power, the Destroyer - 20, the Heavy Cruiser - 34. As you see, it
is not THAT bad...

WEAPONS: the Pirates have lots of weapons. You can easily find
lots of different weapons (for example, Disruptors+Fusion Beams+
Missiles on one ship, which incorporates 3 different technologies)
- depending on what the pirates have succeeded to steal...

MARINES: Pirates have more marines than any other civilizations'
ship aboard. I guess since they can't get good ships, they
compensate in the simple manpower. If you can just get a shield
down...

DEFENSE: Pirates have a lot of tractor beams generally... But few
of their ships (depending ot the cartel) are equipped with an AMD, the best
anti-missile defense :-)

TRANSPORTERS: Pirates' ships have more thansporters than any other
race (maybe except for Mirak). For example, a destroyer has 3 or
maybe 4, while the others have only 2. This is definitely a little
compensation for their weakness in combat. And again... If only
you get a shield down and some of your men inside the enemy!

CONCLUSION: You best allies are your speed and your wits. In lots
of cases, you may as well think that this game is extremely unfair
towards you and the odds are really, really grim. Overcome this!!!
No Pirate is afraid of this. And if he is, should he become a
pirate in first place?
So, be patient, always scan the enemy ships before entering the
fray. You need to know all the time your chances for victory. If
you think you can't win this fight, then run away and warp out of
the system and as they say "live to fight another day!". If you
think you have chances to beat them - then go for it. Make your
teahers in the Astoroid belt proud!

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==================================================================
           Part Three: Pirate Campaign Walkthrough
==================================================================

Well, after we have pointed out the strengths and the weaknesses
of the Pirates and their ships, let's turn to the main events now
- the campaign itself. The missions for all cartels are one and
the same, but require different tactics because of the different
weaponry used by the cartels.

Before you start the campaign, go to the "Vessel Library" screen.
Here, you are able to review all cartels' ships. I am sure you
have afavorite race in Starfleet Command - Federation, Klingon,
Hydran, Romulan, Gorn, Mirak, ISC, Lyran, whatever! All of these
races have certain specific weapons, and if you like that race,
than you'll know how to use these weapons. The cartels, operating
in the territory of that race will most likely have those weapons.
Pick carefully. If you are fond of missiles, maybe you'll want the
house of Korgath. They allow you to take command of pretty well
preserved K-D6D (klingon drone battlecruiser) with 6 missile
launchers. The second option is the Prime Industries Cartel, which
also implies the missile technology.If you like plasmas, try the
Syndicate. They have acquired lots of ISC technology and one of
their ship design specs included some phaser 1, some phaser 2,
some phaser 3 and 5xPlasma F. Nice for ramming enemy ships, right?
If you like the Hydrans and make best use of Fusions and
Hellbores, then pick the Beast Riders.

So, let's get on with this.

*******************
Mission 1. The Test
*******************

Recommended ship: War Destroyer or better

On entering the system, lock on the freighter, go to red alert and
max speed at it. You actually, don't need your heavy weapons here
- a couple of phaser shots will be sufficient to get one of his
(preferably the back one) shields down and beam a team of marines
to capture it. The freighter will most likely be yours even before
the federation ship has arrived.
When the enemy battle ship (not battleship :-)) has arrived, set
speed to 0 and overload your weapons. A good alpha-strike will do
wonders for you. However, it is most likely the other ship to have
some missiles, so arm a few tractors before entering the fight.
Defensive tractors I mean... Don't underestimate the enemy, don't
do it ever when you play as the Pirates!
However, shouldn't be too difficult!

*******************
Mission 2. The Ruse
*******************

Recommended Ship: Destroyer or Better

Your orders are to fend off the attackers for a short while, until
the Kartel's ambush force arrives. Let the ISC ships approach and
hail them. They'll order you to surrender. Of course, you're not
going to comply, are you? So, "Stall" them (the button is on the
Communications panel), while running away from them (no need to
fight, keep yellow alert and maximum speed!). They'll chase you,
but just keep the distance! A good thong to do is to switch to the
tactical map - to see where the ISC ships are and watch out for
asteroids.
Soon the Ambush force will arrive. Their ships have the same
colour as your own, so they are easily recognizable. Carefully
turn the course the their location (you don't want a bundle of
ISC plasma torpedoes to hit your shields, right?) and hide behind
them. Your friends will deal with the attackers. It is up to you whether you
want to fight longside your friends or not. This is
all.

One more thing: if you want more safety, hail the ISC ship and
start running right away. Thus you'll be away from them at all
time. Both ways the prestige you get is 100, so... I guess risking
your ship's health is foolish.

************************
Mission 3. Law and Order
************************

Recommended ship: Heavy Cruiser or Better

On entering the system, you'll see the friendly freighter and a
bit later on, the two federation ships trying to intercept you.
Keep you position near the freighter, because there's a high
possibility to get away without the merchndize you have for his
captain. Now, attack the Federation ships. Arm defensive tractors
right away, as much as possible. In my games (most of all), one of
the Feds was a drone destroyer (6xMissile Rack B) and I had big
troubles fighting it. However, use Alpha-Striking on the stronger
ship of the two and try to take it out right away. Overload
anything possible and go for it.
After you have dealt with the two Federation ships, go to the
freighter, capture it with you Tracktor beam for safety, order him
to drop down his shields and beam in the drugs. That's all in
this mission.

NOTE: Missiles are the best thing in this mission, since you can
launch them at no energy cost and while running away from the
enemy. If you can get 4+ missiles in your ship, this mission will
be the easiest one you have ver played, since enemy ships just run
into them, rarely shooting to destroy the incoming threat. I was
playing the Prime Industries with a P-DBR3 (4xMissile Rack B +
2xMissile Rack C) and had absolutely no problems on this one.

*******************
Mission 4. Big Hunt
*******************

Recommended ship: Heavy Cruiser or better

Arm your weapons, and overload whatever you think is neccessary.
There are 2-4 Hydran ships, ready to attack you (the number seems
to vary - the first time I played the mission there were two, the
last time they vere 4). They are not anything special (the last
time - three H-GEN and a frigate), so even if you have only one
ship, you'll deal with them quite easily.
Now, do some monster hunting. Destroy all monsters except for the
Sunglider (M-SGS). Just be careful! There's an Astrominer there
(1xPlasma R, 1xPlasma S, 2xPlasma G)!!! Kill it with utmost
caution! You dont want that 50+30+2x20=120 pts of damage to hit
your ship! Keep high speed, even at the price of weapon usage and
evade the plasmas. Then attack. Killing the 2-3 monsers (excluding
the Sunglider) will net you additional 1000 points prestige! Ain't
that nice?
Now, after you're done with those monsters, fly to the Sunglider,
switch to the Communications pannel and click "Brainwash". This is
the last thing required to complete this mission.

********************************
Mission 5. Honor amongst Thieves
********************************

Recommended ship: Battlecruiser or better; preferably not a
"drone-type" cruiser!

Ouch... This mission is taking place in a Nebula. I bet you all
know what that means - weak shields, missiles are destroyed after
short time, and loads of other bad, bad effects. So, if you happen to use a
"drone" cruiser (only missiles and phasers, Korgath,
Prime Industries and a few other have them), this mission will be
a living hell, unless you know what to do with those missiles. The
solution is: fly towards the enemy ship to ram it. When there are
about 4-5k left between you two, launch the missiles. They will
hit his front shield, and they'll hit hard.
Resistance: I had 3 ISC ships here. Not extremely powerful, so use
high speed to avoid being hit by their Plasma torpedoes. In return
- alpha-strike them till they're crippled. You know, you need to
protect those freighters (SLV-class, which is good - all of them
have nice weaponry and shielding for a freighter!), so, deal with
your enemies as fast as you can.
You may find this mission a bit difficult due to the fact that
it's taking place in a Nebula. If you MUST, use an extra ship,
otherwise, save your prestige.
Once the ISC ships are destroyed, the mission is complete.

***************************
Mission 6. To catch a thief
***************************

Recommended ship: Even a Destroyer will do. However, I'm sure you
have at least a Battlecruiser by now.

Prepare for an easy mission. You are asked to deal with a ship of
another cartel, which is pathetically weak. The dodgy thing here
is that you must talk to this ship's captain before destroying it.
First, "Taunt" him, then press "Notify" on the communications
panel.
After he has received your "nice" message, feel free to destroy
it. No trouble at all :-)

***************************
Mission 7. To Hell and Back
***************************

Recommended ship: Battlecruiser or better

When this mission starts, be sure to decrease your game speed to
10 or less. I want you to know, that if you play at 11, you may
accidentally leave the map (warp out) and thus forfeit this
mission. I am sure this ain't the thing you want.
So, you start with some friends here! Great. They'll be a very
valuable addition for the strike against the enemy base. So,
first concentrate on the enmy ships. Destroy them all before
going for the base. I can tell you, you'll need as much alive
allies as possible! So, help them with all your skill and
knowledge in space battles :-)
Now, hopefully with all your allies at hand, attack the enemy
starbase. Just keep an eye on your shielding, base's weakest
shields, strike carefully, strike hard, strike its vital places.
It won't be long before it's down.
And again, just be careful not to leave the map by accident.

******************************
Mission 8. Hard road to travel
******************************

Recommended ship: Heavy Battlecruiser or better

I can tell you right away: forget about pure combet in this
mission. Go to red alert, arm only the phasers. Everything else
should be offline, in order to keep you engines at highest
possible efficiency. So, arm the phasers and max speed to the freighter. When
you near it, activate your tractor beam, and shoot
at his rear shield. It will go down right away! Beam in the
princess, release the freighter, go to yellow alert and get away
from here. You don't need to fight the ships that are trying to
intercept you. You got the princess, right? Why complicating
your life as a starship captain?

However, if you feel really adventurous, destroy your enemies
without any hesitation. Yet, I don't think it's good idea.

***********************
Mission 9. Man for hire
***********************

Recommended ship: Dreadnought or Carrier, if possible
- Be sure to have the maximum amount of marines for this mission!

On entering the system, go to red alert, overload anything
possible and attack the enemy ship. Alpha-strike it! Your job is
to take it down before the freighters come nearby. Once it's down
- go get the freighters.
Hit carefully! You only need to get a shield down and beam in your
strike teams. You need ABSOLUTELY ALL freighters captured! Don't
even think of destroying a freighter!

That's all that is required from you.

**********************
Mission 10. The Legend
**********************

Recommeded ship: Carrier or Dreadnoght

This is a pure "The Surprise Reversed" mission. Arm your weapons
and start taking right away the enemy ships, before they have
started to power up and prepare for combat. Use alpha-strikes.
Don't overload your weapons - I have noticed it takes a bit
longer to destroy the enemies this way, and you need to do so
before a couple of ships are ready for fight. If you have to face
a couple of ships at the same time, the only thing that saves you
is the missiles. You don't want to fight a couple of ships at the
time, do you?
Once you've dealt with all your enemies, go for the rebelious
captain's ship - he had a heavy cruiser in my game. Destroy it
and you're done!

*******************************
Mission 11. Eyes without a face
*******************************

Recommended ship: Carrier or Dreadnought (+ another ship, if
possible)

This mission is much like the previous, with the "slight"
difference that all gorn ships are active. They are nothing
special, just keep high speed to avoid their plasma torpedoes and
alpha-strike them in return. After you've destoyed them all, fly
to the freighter and capture it in your tractor beam. Set speed to
0 and start shooting at its rear shield. Get it down and start
sending in marines until it is captured.

That's all you need to do.

********************
Mission 12. Dead end
********************

Recommended ship: Carrier or Dreadnought (you have helpers, so you
don't need another allied ship)

In this mission, the "helpers" are no other but Mirak!!! Isn't
this the best thing? You are well aware about the AI's weakness
against missiles, right?
So, concentrate on destroying the enemy defense force again. As
you know, Mirak have relatively weak shielding, and may get easily
destroyed. And since bases have quite a big bunch of defensive
tractors, the best thing here is to have as much Mirak allies
alive as possible.
Once the resistance is down, attack the base. It won't be long
before it's down, you can be sure in that :-)

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

This concludes the Pirate campaign. Now, try winning the game with
another cartel! Try increasing the difficulty. Try playing at
"advanced" level of technology. There are lots of objectives you
can achieve, and there's no need to be game-related. Make up your
own! And if you want, mail me a couple of those! :-)

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

==================================================================
                   Part Four: Tips and Tricks
==================================================================

-> carefully pick up the ships you're buying. Since the Pirates
are relatively weak early on, you may have lots of troubles if
you've chosen the wrong ship.
-> see if frigates don't happen to have better weaponry than your
current ship. If they do, downgrade your ship. This works
especially well for "The Syndicate" (if I remember correctly),
where I traded my Destroyer for a Frigate with 3xPlasma F and
scored a considerable amount of victories with this ship.
-> While travelling, see that there's a base or planet around your
ship's location. Venturing in deep space with the Pirates is very,
very dangerous. You need to have a secure repair-dock near you at
all times.
-> Don't forget to "restock". If you feel confident that this is
the ship you'll be spending most of the time with, buy the largest
amount of missiles, mines and marines.
-> Mines are used best against incoming missiles. A single mine
can take out from 2 to 7-8 of them if they fly in its location -
and they will, if you carefully command your ship.
-> Know when to fight and when to run! Since Pirates have
relatively weak ships, you must run away if you see that the enemy
is stronger than you. The first couple of hits scored will show
how adequate is your ship compared to your enemy's ship.
-> Speed is life, as is written in one of SFC manuals. This is
absolutely true. Try to keep as high speed as possible, and in
the same time, know that keeping high speed doesn't compensate for
the lack of firepower. All weapons recharge at specific rate,
which means they need considerable amounts of energy. This is the
good thing about missiles: they don't need any energy at all to be
armed, while fusion, photons, phasers and so on need it.
-> Try to have at least two other types of weaponry except phasers
- this means your ship must have flexibility in space combat. I
am well aware that AI is weak against missiles, but there are
certain points in the game where having only missiles is a pure
suicide. Like the "Honor amongst thieves" mission.
-> Having an AMD is nice. Consider this while purcasing a ship. It
can be destroyed, so watch out for this.

I am intended to add even more tips, but if you take a look at my
Starfleet Command FAQ,I am sure you can use most of the tips I've
written there. In addition, as I noticed in Kasey Chang's FAQ on
Starfleet Command Vol.II - Empires at War, most of the tips he
gave there can be as well used in Orion Pirates as well. I admire
his work!

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                     Part Six. Final words
==================================================================

I wrote this FAQ without any help. Nobody offered me, and nobody
helped me. I always desire any help I can get, and give it a
proper credit.

I want to say, that right now I'm compiling data for all Pirates'
ships. Hopefully it will be done soon and I'll post it in a month
or so (I have one last exam till the end).

Good bye, and enjoy this great game!
And many thanks for reading this FAQ.

DG Dobrev