Debris disks may exist in sectors where Stellar Cartography is active.
A debris disk is is a tightly packed collection of asteroids and interstellar dust and debris in interstellar space. These asteroid fields are difficult to navigate with large ships. Debris Disks have the following effects:
- Ships with a hull mass of 200 kt or more, neutronic fuel carriers, large deep space freighters and super transport freighters may NOT travel inside a debris disk or they will be destroyed. Smaller ships are able to navigate the asteroid field without problem. (The only exception to this rule is for the Evil Empire, who may force their commanders to fly inside the debris disk. They risk hitting an asteroid, which is the equivalent of a mine hit. The faster the ship is travelling, the more likely they are to hit an asteroid.)
- Minefields can not overlap a debris disk. A minefield which is laid over a debris disk will automatically be reduced in size so that it no longer overlaps. Any additional mines will be lost (destroyed by impacts with asteroids). The size of the debris disk will not change.
- Planetoids inside debris disks are 20 times more likely to experience a small meteor shower and are likely to have very dense mineral concentrations. They are very unlikely to have native life. Planetoids can not sustain any colonists unless they have supplies to eat or a space station. Planetoids do not have warp wells.
- Specialized Starbases (Mining Stations) may be built at planetoids to assist in mining the planetoids and to support larger colonist populations there. These space stations have a maximum of 50 defense posts and 20 fighters. Planetoids which have a space station can sustain a population up to 500 clans without loss and will have 2X mining on the planetoid. These space stations can not build ships and have no tech levels. Mining stations cost: 70 Duranium, 242 Tritanium, 160 Molybdenum and 480 Megacredits.
- The Falcon Class Escort (The Rebels) can hide inside an asteroid field cloaked from view by ships 1 ly away when it ends its movement inside a debris disk. Ships can not hyperjump out of a debris disk, but they can hyperjump in.
- Ships can not be towed into or through a debris disk. The tow lock is disrupted as the towing ship enters the field stopping both ships.
- Opening a Firecloud warp chunnel (start or end) from inside of a debris disk will cause all ships in the chunnel to be destroyed by asteroids sucked into the wormhole.
Star clusters may be found in sectors where Stellar Cartography is active.
Star clusters are huge collections of densly packed stars which can not be navigated by ships. Star clusters range in size, mass and temperature and have the following effects:
- Ships that fly into or through a star cluster core are destroyed.
- Ships can not hyperjump through a star cluster. Ships which attempt to hyperjump through a star cluster core will be destroyed.
- Star clusters emit significantly more radiation than individual stars. This higher level of radiation is enough to kill crew and colonists in starships with normal shielding. Ships which start in or pass through a radiation halo will lose crew and colonists clans equal to the highest point of radiation passed through. The amount of radiation emitted is a function of the temperature of the star cluster and the distance to which it is emitted is a based on its mass.
- A ship which runs out of crew due to radiation will become a “ghost ship” and can be captured by any ship which tows it. Its warp speed will be set to 0 and it will be unable to fight.
- When capturing a ghost ship 10 crew members will be sent over to the other ship to capture it. If the ship is still inside the radiation halo those crew members may be killed. A ship must have at least 20 crew and two engines to capture a ghost ship.
- Because of their glory devices most Fascist starship designs are equipped with radiation shielding. With radiation sheilding a ship will not lose crew or colonists when inside a radiation halo. The following ship hulls have radiation shielding:
- D7a Painmaker Class Cruiser
- Little Pest Class Escort
- D7 Coldpain Class Cruiser
- Ill Wind Class Battlecruiser
- D3 Thorn Class Destroyer
- Deth Specula Class Frigate
- D19b Nefarious Class Destroyer
- Saber Class Frigate
- Victorious Class Battleship
- In addition, the following non-Fascist starships have radiation shielding:
- Banshee Class Destroyer (Federation)
- Moscow Class Star Escort (Evil Empire)
- Armored Transport (Rebels)
- The Robots are not affected by star cluster radiation.
- Colonists and natives on planets inside a radiation halo are protected by the planet’s atmosphere.
- Special starbases must be built inside a radiation halo with radiation shielding and more docking space. These starbases cost slightly more minerals and megacredits to build. The heavy shielding automatically increases the starbase combat mass by 200kt and the extra space allows up to 250 defense posts and 80 fighters. If a friendly starbase exists on a planet (yours or an ally) then ships at that planet are protected from the radiation while at the planet (they are docked at the station). The Robots build normal bases.
- Cloaked ships will only lose 1/2 the normal crew and colonists while cloaked advanced cloaking ships will only lose 1/3.
- Normal minefield hits and glory device hits to enemy ships which occur inside a radiation halo will kill crew equal to the radiation level at the point of impact due to the sudden large hull breach.
- It is not possible to lay mines over a star cluster core or within 10 ly of it. A minefield which is laid over a star cluster will automatically be reduced in size so that it does not come within 10 ly of the star cluster. Any additional mines will be lost, sucked in by the gravity well of the star cluster. It is possible to lay mines within the radiation halo.
- Ion Storms which enter a radiation halo gain strength. Ion storms that touch a star cluster are immediately destroyed.
- Ships can not be towed into a star cluster. The tow lock is lost as the towing ship enters the star cluster stopping both ships.
Campaign starmap object: Nebulas are interstellar collections of ionized gas covering vast areas with a fog which is difficult to penetrate with conventional sensors. This causes the following effects:
- Hide ships and planets: Each point of nebula has a visibility factor depending on the level of density. Ships and planets will only be visible at this range.
- All cloaking ships except ships with “advanced cloak” which end their movement inside of a nebula will be decloaked after movement. Ships which start their movement inside of a nebula are decloaked at the beginning of the turn.
- Minefields and web minefields which are overlapping a nebula suffer from a 3X higher minefield decay rate.
- Cobol Ramscoop does not work (if ending movement inside a nebula).
- Planets inside Nebulas are 10 times more likely to experience a small meteor shower.
- Bioscanners and sensor scans do not work on planets inside of a nebula except for the Pawn Class Baseship (Robots).
- Ionstorms which encounter a nebula have their voltage reduced by the nebula intensity each turn they touch the nebula.
- All native life on planets inside a nebula with visibility less than 50ly may be taxed higher than the normal rate before becoming angry. Since these natives have never seen the stars the arrival of aliens causes the entire population to go into a religious fervor.
- The Cyborg B41 Explorer and the Birdman Swift Heart Class scout are equipped with a Neb Scanner which will automatically detect planets and ships inside a nebula up to 100 light years away regardless of the nebula density.