This script is a thorough reworking of the original Capture Stations mod by Nividium, following the same concept of allowing the player to capture other races' stations, while attempting to be mechanically similar to vanilla ship-boarding.
This script has been built for X3: Albion Prelude v.3 or higher. The version for Farnham's Legacy can be found here.
Cycrow's Hotkey Manager is highly recommended but not mandatory. Using it will make uninstalling a breeze.
Install using Plugin Manager.
- Board factories, docks, or even shipyards. Whether you're a dread pirate hated by everyone, want to get yourself one of those pirate-only stations, or just want to put those elite marines to use in cheapening the growth of your manufacturing empire, if it's a station then you can board it, and capture it along with any goods in their holds (minus some specific things, see Limitations).
- Use any of your ships for boarding, IS and OOS. Both your own playership and remote-controlled ships can be used for boarding, as this script functions from both a hotkey and an autopilot command. You can command any of your ships to board any station anywhere in the universe, and carry out several boarding operations at once. Only requirement is that the ship can carry marines, has Fight Command Software Mk.2 installed, and optionally...
- Teleporter-aided station boarding. You can initiate boarding by betraying your allies and docking at their stations with a hold full of Rambos ready for action... or, if everyone hates you and docking isn't an option, bring their shields down and just beam them in with your Transporter Device. You'll need to keep your ship in range, protect it, and keep the target's shields down while the Transporter locks in and charges up; having a marine with high Mechanical skill will accelerate this process, emulating the use of this skill in vanilla hull-cutting. Gotta love percussive maintenance
- Variable boarding difficulty. Simply, more expensive stations are better guarded, and equipped with mainframe cores that are better shielded against hacking. The most heavily-guarded of all are central commercial and military installations such as trading docks, military docks, and shipyards among others. The total of your marines' fighting skill will be matched against the defensive forces; if you want to board an expensive or secure installation, nothing short of lots of the best will cut it. Bring a TP.
- Keep your marines (if they live to tell about it). The original Capture Stations removed the marines from existance due to the game's limitations (you can't really board a station). This script will return them to you after factoring in the losses against the defending force, and give them a bonus to their fighting skill.
- M7M frigates still get bonuses, no pods required. If it's a frigate and it can launch boarding pods, this script will give it a boost to both transporter range and beaming speed, following the vanilla boarding features these ships have of being able to engage boarding from further away and making entry into the target easier.
- Once the marines are in, your ship is free. about 98% of the script is actually ran on the station. Once the marines are aboard the station, the boarding will proceed on its own, and you can recall your ship to safety or give it new orders. Just don't lose it or make it leave the sector, because if the marines finish their mission without a base to return to, they'll call it quits.
- Target hull damage. Just like in vanilla boarding, the average of your marines' engineering skill has an impact on the damage sustained by the station during the combat stage. If the hull integrity falls under a certain threshold, your marines will give up and return to their ship. You can get lucky with unskilled marines in this area, but don't count on it, and the better their engineering skills are, the less repairs you'll have on your hands afterwards.
- Mostly deterministic. If you have a TP full of SEALs, you can successfully board your target. I think you earned it. In other words, the boarding requirements will never get so high that boarding is impossible or a lucky dice's throw. With cheap stations, you can even have a flawless boarding without casualties. For the more expensive or secure targets however, you'll still lose a few in even the best teams.
- Highly configurable. The T-file contains a range of options that the user can tweak to match their particular modded environment (balancing difficulty against altered station prices) or their personal taste. Too easy? Too hard? You can adjust it.
Capturing docks and shipyards will require large numbers of elite marines, bring a TP full of your very best. Shipyards will not produce ships, but you will acquire them with one unit of each station they were selling, which can amount to a nice sum.
Captured docks won't sell you free software or ship upgrades, as these are services and not goods (and they are buggy when acquired this way; the script will clean them up upon successfully capturing them). If you'd like to use your own captured docks for this, look into Enhanced Equipment Research And Development by UbuntuFreakDragon.
On the other hand, captured factories will retain their secondary resource, and slowly consume it too. I didn't remove them because their stock could be used by the player, and there's no advantage in the station still having the secondary resource trickling down (as you can't sell to yourself).
At the moment it is not possible to send additional waves of marines to support boarding efforts; the first wave is the only one. As well, the combat stage is simplistic, there are no simulated decks with gradual losses, and if boarding fails, the station regains its original level of defenses. This might be improved on in the future, but given that it's a rather daunting-looking task, don't wait on it.
- A ship that can carry them.
- Fight Command Software Mk.2
- Optionally, a Transporter Device.
- Optionally, if Improved Boarding is installed, the player can choose its own teleport-boarding-enabling ware to be used instead.
- Version 1: Initial release.
- Update 1.1:
Changed handling of reputation loss to make it closer to vanilla values for boarding ships.
Added loss of police license for the target station's owner race.
Added configuration option in the T-file to adjust reputation loss.
Improved script safety checks and task handling.
- Potential future updates: Better combat, reinforcements, in-game configuration.
Text File Used: 8720-L044.xml
Nividium, for making the original mod that inspired this.
Cycrow, for Plugin Manager, useful libraries, advice and help with troubleshooting.
X2-Illuminatus, for his help with troubleshooting.
Kurt Fitzner, for the MSCI Handbook.
Made in X-Studio 1.08
And of course, Egosoft, and so many authors of scripts and mods that improve and expand upon their work (and whose scripts i peeked into to find out how to do things).
Permissions: Everyone has permission to alter and use these scripts and text files, whole or in part, for their own projects, and publish the results.
Final words: this is my first serious and full scripting project, previously only having tinkered with other people's works. I tried to ensure it's as failproof and solid as I can make it, taking into account all the things that could misfire, and I actually learned quite a few things on the way. However, there's bound to be issues, so send me all your feedback and bug reports