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The Evil Empire
That's not a moon, it's a ship...

The Evil Empire is a race of humanoid creatures that was once peaceful. As they evolved they grew more complex and technololy-minded. Along with this great technology this race has also developed one great burning desire, and that desire is to rule the Echo Cluster with an iron fist. During their evolution the Evil Empire had some of the most amazing scientific advancements of all of the races. The Evil Empire is a very militant race. The government is run solely by the military. Although the military has had great advances in science and technology the social development of these people has been greatly retarded. People are not encouraged to think for themselves. There are no artists or art. All children and able bodied citizens are required to train for the military or as colonists for newly conquered or discovered worlds. Any individualism is crushed immediately.

Although this way of life seems very appalling and horrible, the people of the Evil Empire seem not to mind. They take pleasure in the power and strength of their military and the fear that it generates among the other races. They are all proud to join the military and try to advance through the ranks to become a leader in their government. There have been some unusual people that have developed in the Evil Empire society. These individuals are people who have developed or exhibited psionic mind ability. This is an extremely powerful ability much like ESP. They have the ability to sense the thoughts of other beings at great distances.

Upon discovering these people the rulers of the Evil Empire started to cull them out of the society and train them for special duties. They were trained to use their abilities to scan deep space for the presence of other life forms, this ability became known as the dark sense. These people were also trained in the command of starships so that the captain of any Evil Empire starship would possess this ability to better facilitate the Evil Empire in its conquest of the Echo Cluster.

Race advantages
The Evil Empire receives five 'free' fighters per starbase per turn. These fighters are built automatically, at the cost of only minerals where other races also have to pay money for their fighters or use supply-units to produce fighters.

Race disadvantages
The Empire's main disadvantage is an economical one. Being a race of power and having a fighter-based shiplist, they need a lot of expensive fighters to turn their battlefleet into a threat. Although the five 'free' fighters per base help out to a degree, the Empire more often than not has to buy extra fighters - and the Empire has no economic advantages to help in this matter. The Evil Empire's shiplist is heavily biased towards carriers, they have only one ship that can fire torpedoes and lay mines.

Special mission
The Dark Sense mission is a very powerful tool for any Imperial leader, for knowledge is power. Any ship belonging to the Evil Empire can use the Dark Sense mission, giving the ship's captain information on all planets within dark sense range that have enemy colonists, except for Rebels, on them. With this mission the ships' captains know how many enemy colonists there are, how much minerals and money the planet has and where enemy starbases are. Any information that the ships discover will be sent to the player as a message next turn, allowing for great precision in strategic planning.

Main battleships
With the Imperial shiplist leaning so heavily on fighters, the Empire has several 'medium' carrier designs to chose from. The most useful battle-wise seems to be the Super Star Cruiser. The pride and joy of the Imperial fleet however is the largest ship in the game, the Gorbie Class Battlecarrier.

Special ships
The Empire's special ship is a very powerful one: the Super Star Destroyer. By dropping as few as ten clans on any enemy planet, no matter how big the size of the defending population, the stormtroopers perform an Imperial Assault and take control of the planet and any starbase in orbit, without doing any damage to the planet. Paired with the Dark Sense special mission this ability forms the ultimate in effectively taking out enemy worlds.

Gameplay in short
Although the Imperial shiplist consists of several medium carriers, the Empire will not have the easiest of times. They have only one ship that can lay mines, making them slightly more vulnerable than other races against attacks from cloaking races. It often takes the Empire a while to get up to steam, to build the big carriers and ofcourse to collect enough free fighters from their starbases. Buying fighters without any economical advantages is no walk in the park, so a successful Imperial player will need to pay some attention to his economy and diplomacy with other races. Fortunately, the Empire has quite a few nice assets to help them survive in the harsh Echo Cluster, and once the supercarriers start rolling out of the starbase production lines the combination of unparallelled power and unlimited Dark Sense information proves very dangerous.

UP: races of the Echo Cluster

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NEXT: the Robots

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