Idea/Discussion, Privateers.

stellaris 2 - Idea/Discussion, Privateers.

I've been thinking a lot about Privateers since my last playthrough. This discussion is probably a little early, as i think it's likely we will get a lot of this stuff in the inevitable diplomacy update, and many of my ideas on Privateers are related to other ideas of espionage not fully developed. Nonetheless, it's fun to theorycraft!

I'd really like to see two stages of Privateering, a 'Passive' and an 'active' stage.

The Passive stage would work like this. Via a new menu, you would target an opponent with Privateering. It would probably be restricted to Rivals or neighbours only. You would loose some amount of Naval cap, and in exchange the Piracy on all your opponents trade routes would go up, and you would receive income based on their trade value in return (After the Privateers get their cut). From a Rivals perspective, they would counter this in the same way normal piracy is countered, with star-bases and patrols. Mechanically, this is a fairly simple 'Naval Cap to Energy conversion', but I think it would be fun to implement and use with some role-play.

'Active' Privateering as a little more involved. I'm not sure what controls the fleet size and tech level of pirates spawning currently, but the idea is that with active Privateering, you build a small fleet and then Comission them as Privateers. There would obviously have to be limits on fleet size. Once you give the Privateer fleet a target, they disappear from the map and from your control (they still take naval cap) and after some time related to the distance between the star you gave them orders in and the target star, they 'pop up' there as a pirate fleet. However, they are your ships with your weapon designs, just under new randomised names. They act exactly like current AI Pirates, but you get a cut of the trade value they intercept.


Active Privateering could be a very fun option in warfare, especially if you can set a 'Reveal date.' Lets say I put together five small pirate fleets and commission them to do piracy in a rival empire. Despite the fact they each have a different target, I see the one furthest away will take 400 days to reach is target, so i set them all to reveal themselves in 450 days.

450 days later, I declare war. My flagged fleets cross the borders and begin to engage the starbases and fleets that have been amassing, but simultaneously my Privateering fleets all become active, cutting off their trade and, importantly, reinforcement. It's this kind of forward planning and working together between multiple branches of strategy for a common goal that I'm most excited about.

The best way to counter pirates would, of course, be espionage and particularly counter-spying, but that's another thread entirely. I'd also like to see 'Disguised' Starbase modules. Perhaps a Privateering Outfit building that provides you with extra max privateers, but looks like an anchorage when an opponent clicks on it unless they have a spy (again, another thread!). Overall it might be too early to implement such a system, but I think with the recent updates to trade and pirates, Privateering and other forms of Economic warfare are an obvious next step.

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