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The Lost Colonies
Still looking for a home

The Lost Colonies of Man is a race of well developed and intelligent humanoids. Like the other humanoid races in the Echo cluster, this race developed typically via the stone-age, the industrial revolution, the information-age and finally into the transwarp era. The Colonies are a peaceloving race, but have not been very fortunate so far. From the moment they have been able to send out ships into space, their days of peace seemed to be over.

First contact wasn't exactly pleasant: the first Colonial exploration ship was brutally destroyed by the very first alien race it encountered - much closer to home than anticipated, too. The folks back home, waiting anxiously for good news from the other end of the galaxy, were devastated. The council of twelve was immediately summoned to plot a new course of action, because if this first scout was destroyed so lightheartedly, what was to stop these aliens from invading the Colonial homeworld?

It took them three full weeks of deliberations and long meetings, but finally the council decided their best chance of defending themselves was to go on the offensive. After all, it's much easier to talk about peace from the bridge of a large carrier than from a measly scoutship. So the production capabilities of the homeworld were utilized to build a fleet of warships, in various designs for all purposes. After that, combat training began. It was clear early on that the Colonials were much better at commanding fighters and carrier-ships then they were at flying around in ships with torpedotubes. The emphasis was therefor put on carrierdesigns. Within a year, a group of large carriers and support vessels was sent into space to seek contact with other races and maintain peace for the Colonies. The hostile aliens living too close to the Colonial homeworld for comfort were quickly eliminated, in the name of peace. The journey continued and several alien races were encountered. Some were peaceful, others needed some persuasion into a peaceful co-existence and a few were so hostile they were eliminated. So far, the Colonial warships were doing quite well in the galaxy and production back home was increased.

And that is when the main fleet ran into the dreaded Robots. Never before had the Colonies met such a ruthless and bloodthirsty race. The Robots did not even respond to the Colonies' first greetings, but opened fire immediately. Before they knew what was going on the Colonies lost their reconnaissance carrier in a battle with several Robotic basestars, while some smaller recon ships exploded in huge Robotic minefields. The Colonial fleet fortified it's position in orbit of a desolated planet, and started brewing on a way to take on these Robots. It quickly became apparent that the Colonial fighterpilots were to play a crucial role in the future of their existence. In order for their ships to keep up their offensive maneuvers, someone would have to sweep away the minefields in front of them and take care of Robotic assaults.

As a result of intense training sessions, some modifications to their fighter-designs plus ofcourse plenty of minefields to hone their skills on, the Colonies managed to turn their fighters into long-range minesweepers. Not bound to their vicinity to their carriers, squadrons of fighters learned to take care of enemy minefields way ahead of the following fleet. Just as the Colonies were about to start testing their fighter's capabilities in battle far away from their carriers, the Robots launched a full-scale attack. Forced to run, the Colonial fighters were sent out to clear a path and the Colonies fled for their lives. In a desperate attempt to get away, the Colonial fleet headed for an uninvestigated anomaly. They knew it might kill them to go near it, but not going near it would mean a certain death. The anomaly turned out to be an unstable wormhole, throwing the Colonial fleet halfway through the galaxy. The better part of the fleet vanished as the wormhole collapsed, but a small group of ships made it through.

Not knowing where they ended up, the Colonies sent out ships in several directions - looking for their homeworld. A small Colonial group has now made it to the Echo Cluster, where it looks like Colonial history will repeat itself. Having to share the cluster with ten other races, it does not look like this group of Colonials will get to live in peace.

Race advantages
The Colonies can use their fighters to sweep away enemy minefields, up to 100 lightyears from the ship they are launched from. A Colonial carrier with a lot of fighters onboard can sweep more mines this way than any normal ship with beams could. Without the danger of minehits, Colonial carriers are very hard to stop.

Race disadvantages
With only two carrierdesigns worth using in the Echo Cluster, the Colonial shiplist might seem a bit imbalanced. However, these two designs serve the Colonies more than well. The Colonies don't have any real disadvantages.

Special mission
With such emphasis on fighters, the Colonies have developed a way to build fighters onboard their ships from minerals and supply-units. The "build fighters" mission can be used to convert Molybdenum, Tritanium and supply units into fighters at no monetary cost.

Main battleships
The Colonial shiplist, similar to that of the Rebels, is pretty biased towards launching fighters into battle. The Patriot Class Carrier is a medium-sized warship. It is very effective in battles against small to medium ships and planets, but only has a limited cargospace so has to be refilled often. The main Colonial battleship is the tech 10 Virgo Class Battlestar. With it's eight fighterbays and ten bays it is perhaps the 'weakest' of the big carriers in the cluster, but nonetheless a very impressive and cost-effective ship.

Special ships
The Lost Colonies have several special ships, the most important one being the Cobol Class Research Cruiser. This ship has a bioscanner and a Ramscoop, making it the only ship with two special abilities. The bioscanner is used to scan remote planets for temperature and native lifeforms, while the Ramscoop gathers fuel from spacedust while the Cobol flies. Effectively, the Cobol produces more fuel than it burns so it can fly on forever - even when towing another ship. Still not secure about their fuelsituation, the Colonies also developed the Aries Class Transport which is capable of transferring minerals into fuel. The third and last special ship in the Colonial shiplist is the Lady Royale Class Cruiser. This ship is used by colonists to entertain themselves, where gambling seems to be the favorite form of entertainment. As with any casino, in the end the house always wins so the visiting colonists mean extra income for the Colonies.

The Colonies and newbies
The Colonies are perhaps the easiest race to play in the Echo Cluster. They have the cheap Patriot to harass neighbors early on, can build fighters without investing money to quickly fill the Patriots, Cobols mean the Colonies don't have to worry about fuel and the Virgo is an effective battleship in times of real trouble. Unlimited fuel (i.e. unlimited movement and range) together with their immense minesweeping potential give the Colonies great offensive capabilities, and the same can be said for their defensive capabilities.

UP: races of the Echo Cluster

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