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The Privateers
Bloody pirates

The Privateers were the first of all races to achieve space travel. Fortunately for the other races the Privateers were only bands of roving pirates, at that time. Not the unified and organized force that they are today. They were more concerned about fighting each other for dominance than with bothering any of the other races. This race evolved on their native planet, much like the other races. The Privateers became a humanoid race although the skin color of the Privateers ranges from a green color to a blue.

The Privateers have long ago shown their aptitude for piracy. During the sea-faring days of their evolution they discovered that it was much more cost efficient to steal the ships you need than actually building them yourself. This idea has stayed with the Privateers and they have adopted it as their creed to live by, as is evident by their actions as space travel was developed and the other races were discovering each other. In the pursuit of self-preservation the Privateers had ventured out into the Echo Cluster and were observing many of the other races as they developed. They even stole a starship here or there and in that way stole the technology they needed to survive.

To their credit the Privateer scientists were able to develop a scientific breakthrough of their own. This breakthrough is known as the gravitonic accelerator. This device when coupled with specific starships of the Privateers (the BR4 Gunboat, BR5 Kaye Class Torpedo Boat, and Meteor Class Blockade Runner) will cause the engines on those hull designs to move at double the standard movement rate for any selected warp factor and burn only the normal amount of fuel. (i.e., At warp factor 9 a Privateer starship will move 162 light years but only burn fuel equivalent to 81 light years of movement).

For a long time the Privateers were content to be independent bands competing with each other to see who did a better job harassing the other developing races that they knew of (Feds, Lizards, Bird Men and Fascists). One day an experience by one of the bands changed this races entire outlook on the universe. The disclosure of this encounter caused the separate bands of Privateers to decide to unify and work together as a group. They knew that as individual groups they could never withstand the kind of starships they had witnessed but if they unified they could steal any number of starships that would come seeking them. They knew as a group they would be a force to be reckoned with.

Race advantages
The Privateers have no real advantage in terms of economical strength, or even in combat strength. The Privateer advantage lies mostly in it's special nature. Being a pirate, able to rob enemy ships of fuel, is quite a deterrent for the Privateer's enemies.  Nobody likes to attack the Privateers and then end up facing his own ships. To perfect their shipstealing capabilities, the Privateers don't have to drag fuelless enemy ships back to their starbases to force a surrender on them. Just locking a towbeam on the ship will do the trick. In battle, the Privateer's beamweapons kill three times the normal amount of crew. This increases the Privateer's chances of capturing ships intact rather than blowing them up.

Race disadvantages
The Privateers are made to be pirates. They have the skills and especially the ships to perfectly handle the task of stealing enemy ships. However, they do not have the ships to put up any kind of a fight. For the Privateers to fight means they first have to steal some strong battleships from other races. Perhaps the Privateers' biggest disadvantage is their reputation. Most players know how dangerous they can be so people are likely to team up against the Privateers.

Special mission
The special mission of the Privateers is the "rob ship" mission. When in the same position as enemy ships, Privateer ships can rob those ships of fuel and cargo. If multiple Privateer ships rob one or more enemy ships and succeed in taking away all the fuel from those ships, the ships are defenseless and ready to be boarded.

Main battleship
Hardly worthy of the name battleship, the Privateer's most powerful ship is the Bloodfang Class Carrier. It has four fighterbays while most of the competition's top battleships have eight to ten fighterbays. The Meteor Class Blockade Runner, the Privateer's main all-purpose ship, is the second best thing with four torpedo launchers and four beamweapons. When it comes to serious fighting, the Privateers have to rely on ships they have stolen from others.

Special ships
The Gravitonic Accelerator is a device built into the hull of the BR4, BR5 and Meteor Class Blockade Runners. This device allows a ship to travel at twice the normal distance of normal ship at the same warp factor. Most ships travel 81 lightyears at warp 9, but a ship with a Gravitonic Accelerator will travel 162 light years at warp 9 while still only consuming the same amount of fuel it would take a normal ship to travel 81 lightyears.

Gameplay in short
The Privateers are hardly a race for fighting. They excel at being stealthy, sneaking up on enemy ships and stealing them. To play the Privateers successfully requires more time than playing any other race, and -depending on the competition- some thorough knowledge on the rules of the game. However, when played right the Privateers are without a doubt the most dangerous race in the Echo Cluster and require some special tactics and strategies by their enemies to be stopped. With their cheap and fast cloaking ships the Privateers can be very dangerous early on in the game already, which gives them the option to take out one or two neighbors early in the game. Some players however prefer to wait for their enemies to grow a little, so they can build their big battleships. Which ofcourse the Privateer then plans to steal.

UP: races of the Echo Cluster

PREVIOUS: the Fascists

NEXT: the Cyborg

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