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Boarding begins with the <player> first disabling the ship sufficiently for drop pods to be launched. This requires that all Matter/Antimatter Drive components and the Jump Tunnel Device component be in a destroyed state. Once achieved, boarding pods will be launched.

Boarding pods are small ships with low top speed and hull which make their way to a seemingly random point of the target's physical hull. Each marine assigned to the Marine Officer is given its own boarding pod. It is unclear if the Marine Officer is physically in any of the pods or if he magically teleports as long as at least 1 boarding pod makes it. Boarding pods are subject to ship combat mechanics and so can be destroyed if their hull reaches 0%, resulting in the loss of the carried Marine. If at least 1 boarding pod makes it to its destination point the boarding operation can continue, otherwise the operation will be a failure. After the last boarding pod leaves space by either arriving or being destroyed the operation will continue and fighting will begin.

Fighting has both a passive and active mechanic. Passively the Marine Officer boarding strength is periodically pitted against the ship's boarding resistance potentially resulting in marine losses. Actively the player is set boarding challenges to complete in a timely manner in order for boarding to progress. Boarding succeeds afters all active goals are achieved and several passive rounds are survived; boarding fails if all marines are lost.

Passive combat loss results are determined by the difference between boarding strength of the Marine Officer and the boarding resistance of the target. No losses will occur as long as boarding strength is larger by at least 10 points than <target's> boarding resistance and all active tasks are successfully completed. An instant wipeout of all marines can occur if boarding resistance is considerably larger than boarding strength. Losses will also occur if <player> takes too long to perform a set boarding challenge.

Once boarding succeeds the target ship ownership is immediately transferred to the <player>. See also JoeTheDestroyer's calculations

Boarding Resistance

Boarding resistance of a ship can be viewed in the target's info panel. The resistance is calculated from many factors which the player can influence. Nearby supporting ships (eg drones), ship hull and shield percentage as well as active ship components raise boarding resistance. Inactive drones equipped by <target> (ie not trade cargo) such as Cargolifters can also play a major part, whether or not they are combat-capable.

Boarding resistance can be minimized by destroying all surface components, removing all drone units and reducing ship shield and hull to very low amounts.

ShipMin BR
Marauder Phoenix65



For the board option to be available the player must first acquire a Marine Officer and a number of Marines. How many Marines in his command helps determine his boarding strength for the passive boarding mechanic. The Marine Officer can be assigned up to 50 Marines in total.

Marines come in 3 different variants of increasing power and value. After successful boarding operations there is a chance that surviving marines are automatically promoted to a more powerful variant for free.

TypeStrengthValue (Cr)Individual chance of promotion
Recruit0.521,732125% per recruit
Veteran1.593,22822% per veteran
  1. This can vary by around ±3k and assorted discounts from rep & smalltalking individual traders may also apply.
  2. As of v3.x although a price is listed in the encyclopedia there is no place that trades these Marines, making successful boarding operations the only way to obtain them.

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