The history of the TEC began more than 1,000 years ago during the foundation of the Trade Order by economically driven settlers. Established on strict principles of economics and codes of behavior, the Trader Worlds quickly began to expand – making the Trade Order an industrial and commercial juggernaut. However, outside of the Traders' core principles, each member world maintained its own interests, form of government, economic systems and culture.
It was during this early period of the Trade Order that something unique took place which would later reshape the galaxy. During a routine exploratory expedition to recruit new trading partners, emissaries from the Order discovered a dry, desert world orbiting a red giant, whereupon further scans discovered a thriving civilization. Eager to integrate this prosperous civilization into the Trade Order, emissaries established communication with the civilization's leaders from orbit. However, the leaders turned down the membership offer.
Not to be dissuaded, the Trade Order sent several market research teams to the desert planet in order to gather data that could be used to formulate a more enticing strategy for this civilization.
Unfortunately, dreams of integration quickly turned to horror upon landing on the planet. Here the teams discovered a colony of people practicing the most heinous forms of scientific and social deviancy. Invasive cerebral integration technologies, unrestricted biological experimentation, strange forms of collectivism, and wholesale usage of countless neurochemicals were but a few of the transgressions. All these deviancies and more violated the codes and principles of personal freedoms that made up the very foundation of the Trade Order.
Having received only a single, incomplete report of this disturbing information, the emissaries returned to Trader space. Upon their return, their news sent shockwaves throughout the Trader Worlds, who voted overwhelmingly to take control of this desert planet and exile their twisted cousins to the far reaches of space. In time, this exiled civilization was forgotten.
Over the next thousand years, the Trade Order went on in relative peace and prosperity – a golden age for mankind. War became a thing read about only in history books and seen in holo-vids. The rare heated dispute was settled in Trader-sanctioned courts and merchant fleets filled the phase lanes with goods, while the worst thing one could worry about was the occasional raid by bands of marauding pirates in the trade lanes, easily dealt with by local defense fleets.
The Trade Order‘s golden age came to an abrupt end a decade ago with the arrival of the Vasari Empire. With no defenses and constant political infighting between Trade Order representatives and numerous politicians, the Vasari swept the Order's ships aside with ease. Within only a few short months defeat seemed like a real possibility. In a last-ditch effort to turn the tide, the Trade Order sanctioned the creation of the Trader Emergency Coalition to combat the alien threat. The TEC quickly learned to marshal the vast industrial resources of the Trader Worlds towards military production and used their new war engine to finally stall the Vasari attack.
It wasn't until ten years after the Vasari push into Trader Space that a new enemy arrived on the Eastern Fringe. The exiles from the past one-thousand years have returned, calling themselves the Advent. They gained a foothold on Trader territory before the TEC could redirect fleets to halt the Advent advance.
Five years later, the war ground to a stalemate and Coalition forces built mighty Starbases to reinforce their systems on both fronts. However, faced with enemy fortifications as well, the TEC made little to no headway in reclaiming lost territory.
This series of events lasted ten years until the races came to a realization that war was taking its toll on lives and resources. Envoys were sent and diplomacy was given a chance. This was short lived as many within the Coalition, Vasari, and Advent alike felt as though the peace would not last or that it was a waste given the current situation.
In the face of increasing internal tensions, two conflicting philosophies began to develop in the TEC. There were Loyalists who wished to retreat into isolation by fortifying their defenses in hopes the war would finish itself. In opposition to the isolationists were Rebels who wanted vengeance for the atrocities inflicted upon humanity by the invading Advent and Vasari through twenty-five years of brutal war, and were grimly willing to ensure that the TEC emerged victorious by being as ruthless to their alien and deviant enemies as the invaders were during the terrible early invasions.
Compared to their more advanced enemies, the TEC has primitive and makeshift technologies. This is made up for by their means of mass production and heavy firepower. The Coalition specializes in the use of mixed alloys and polymers to strengthen their armor, a strong economy, and mass production and efficiency.
The TEC are masters of industry and efficiency quickly being able to start trade routes in multiple systems, as well as having very cost-effective methods of building their orbital structures. They can inhabit most worlds effectively aside from volcanic worlds. They also have their hands in almost every single economic power and their suppliers regardless of race.
When it comes to mass production the TEC are unmatched. In a time of dire need they will divert a large portion of their factories to military subcontracting. They may also build factories that can hyper-produce ships within their starbases.
TEC Defense and WeaponryEdit
Where the other races rely on their offensive capabilities the TEC are masters at fortifying their territories. Strong alloys and polymers ensure a thick defensive hull is within all TEC orbital structures and ships making them very resistant to enemy firepower.
With these powerful defenses they have mastered the art of having very powerful static defenses as well. Their Hangar Bays can be refitted to have anti-strike craft autocannons. Their already potent gauss turrets can be upgraded to sport missile packs and a long-range meson-bolt. And their repair technology is unmatched even by Vasari nano-bots.
And where their Defense may fail, this is made up for by their weaponry. The TEC make use of very low-grade version laser and beam technologies, but their true strength comes from the chemical/nuclear weaponry equipped on many of their standard frigates and bombers. They also make use of auto-cannon payloads to rip through the hull of enemy ships.
The Coalition was created from a prosperous trading society's need for a quickly-developed and powerful military force in the face of an emergency, so their military doctrine is different from the offensive-minded philosophies used by their technologically superior enemies.
Colonization and Colonial DevelopmentEdit
Before the war, the Trade Order worlds that would become the TEC were already very industrious. When the Vasari first invaded, these worlds were already an economic machine that merely needed to marshal their vast resources for a massive military buildup. Rapid urban development was pushed amongst all planet types with strong preference for Terran planets, but TEC development policies made sure that all habitable territories, like colonies on Desert and Ice Planets, contributed their fullest to the war effort.
With the need to continue their trade routes, the TEC eventually found ways to put trade ports even on remote, seemingly useless locations (such as Dead Asteroids), making them able to develop trade routes without the need for starbases.
The TEC are an "awakening giant", an economic juggernaut mobilizing for war. They possess massive resource-gathering, trade and construction capabilities, and can cripple other empires' means of production through the use of propaganda. Thanks to the war being fought in former Trader space, the TEC is able to call upon local insurgents to incite uprisings on enemy planets.
The TEC fleet is primarily an assemblage of refitted civilian vessels, with few purpose-built military ships and average strike craft capabilities. However, by the late stages of the war, they are now heavily armed and armored, with TEC fleets often winning the battle of attrition.
TEC Gameplay PropertiesEdit
TEC Fleet Properties:
- TEC frigates and corvettes are built to be simple, straightforward, and cost-effective, although they often do not match their Advent counterparts in terms of damage-dealing efficiency, and are individually weaker than their Vasari equivalents. The TEC's mainstay light frigate, the Cobalt, is marginally less efficient than its Advent rival, the Disciple, but in terms of fleet supply, it can be built up more quickly.
- TEC cruisers, like their frigates, are straightforward and utilitarian. The Hoshiko acts as their repair/defensive support cruiser while the Cielo is their disruptive/offensive support cruiser, although both cruisers do possess both supportive and disruptive abilities. The Kodiak is the TEC's heavy combat cruiser, and while it is extraordinarily tough for its cost, it lacks the offensive power of its rivals from the other factions. The TEC also have a specialized anti-structure cruiser, the Ogrov, which is very good at destroying the only things it can target: orbital structures and starbases.
- TEC ships have weak shields but exceptionally tough hulls and very thick armor. This makes them class leaders in terms of resilience - hull points benefit from both shield mitigation and armor, while shield points do not benefit from armor and thus decrease relatively quickly. TEC ships thus also frequently enjoy both shield regeneration and hull repair in parallel during battles. In support of this hull-heavy philosophy, the TEC has lucrative hull and armor research topics, but relatively weak and expensive shield research.
- TEC ships wield a variety of ordnance and energy weapons, including lasers, autocannons and missiles, and in a few cases, beams and Gauss guns. They as such have weapons research spread across several fields. The weapon type with the greatest upgrade potential is missiles, and this is also the weapon type of several offensively-oriented TEC units such as the Javelis frigate, the Ogrov, and bomber squadrons.
- TEC strikecraft are average, being individually weaker and more numerous than Vasari strikecraft, but stronger and fewer than Advent drones, having 5 bombers or 6 fighters per squad.
- TEC scouts can be used in flotillas to attack key orbital structures such as labs, capital ship factories and titan foundries with their unique Timed Explosives upgrade. This is especially effective against an enemy who isn't expecting it and is constructing a titan or a superweapon, as their significant resource investment can be blown up suddenly for very little cost. The scouts can also be upgraded with the Probe ability early on, allowing constant vision of enemy planets for extended periods of time for little risk or cost.
- The TEC's colonizing capital ship is the Akkan Battlecruiser, which is very tough and provides free resource extractors upon colonization. It can also interrupt and briefly disable enemy ships, especially capital ships, with Ion Bolt, and provide strategic support at higher levels with Armistice.
- The TEC's primary direct combat, area-effect damage and planet-bombing capital ship is the Marza Dreadnought, which excels against singular targets with its frontal firepower and can devastate fleets with its level 6 Missile Barrage ability.
- The TEC's main anti-ability/disabling capital ship is the Dunov Battlecruiser, which can do shield damage and drain antimatter in an area with its EMP Charge and disable enemy capital ship and starbase abilities with Magnetize.
- The TEC's anti-strikecraft capital ship and 'tank' is the Kol Battleship, which is extraordinarily resilient and can do heavy damage to massed strikecraft with Flak Burst. In addition to simply being tough by itself, the Kol's Adaptive Forcefield and Finest Hour make it even more durable should it come under attack.
- The TEC Rebels' Ragnarov Titan is offensively among the strongest titans in the game, excelling against both fleets of lesser ships with its Explosive Shot and Scattershot, and singular hard targets with its Snipe ability. The titan's main weaknesses are its fragility at low levels (by titan standards), and tendency to run out of antimatter, although it still provides very impressive long-range conventional firepower.
- The TEC Loyalists' Ankylon Titan is the toughest ship in the game and is designed to do battle right in the middle of enemy fleets, with its all-around weapons distribution and area-effect abilities such as Disruption Matrix, which deals moderate damage and disables the abilities of everything within its radius - even other titans. While less of a direct offensive threat than most other titans, the Ankylon can still make its presence felt with its support abilities and respectable planet-bombing damage.
TEC Defense Properties:
- The TEC acquire repair facilities with only 1 Military Lab, and can upgrade them with research. They are made even more effective by the TEC fleet's strong armor, which can make each point repaired last longer.
- TEC starbases are built from dedicated construction cruisers, which account for a large fraction of their initial build costs, and require 3 Military Labs to research. TEC starbases possess significant firepower and are resilient, but are immobile and can thus susceptible to being bypassed by human opponents. Instead, their main threat factor comes through the Last Resort ability, which can be researched with 5 Military Labs. It allows a TEC starbase to self-destruct in massive catastrophic detonation which can eliminate entire fleets of frigates, cruisers, strikecraft, and even low-level capital ships in a large area around it. This makes it a serious threat that is more difficult to ignore. In addition to defensive purposes, the ever-utilitarian TEC can also use their starbases in supportive and economic roles: extending trade chains through uncolonizable gravity wells, acting as remote frigate factories, or serving as repair & recharge platforms for the fleet. Finally, with 8 Military Labs, the Loyalist TEC can research Twin Fortresses technology, which allows them to field an additional starbase per gravity well.
- TEC defense turrets are armed with Gauss guns, a weapon that isn't used by any other ship or structure except for the Rebels' Ragnarov Titan, but nonetheless possesses a number of upgrade technologies. The turret can also be upgraded with a semi-long range single-target debuff ability, and a short-range area-effect damage ability.
- TEC hangar defenses can be outfitted with Flak Turrets that provide effective static defense against strikecraft and corvettes.
- TEC need 4 Military Labs to access Phase Jump Inhibitors, meaning that they appear later and at greater cost than they do for the other factions.
- TEC mine fields are built like structures, by construction frigates. This means that unlike the other factions, the TEC cannot deploy mines offensively in neutral or hostile gravity wells.
- TEC require 3 Civics Labs in order to access interstellar travel.
- The TEC's superweapon is the Novalith Cannon, which requires 6 Military Labs to build for the Loyalists (making it the fastest superweapon access in game) or 8 for the Rebels (putting it on par technologically with the Vasari's Kostura Cannon). Novaliths do severe direct bombardment damage to distant planets, reducing their health and population. Starbases with certain upgrades can be used to defend against planet loss from Novalith bombardment, but can't prevent population losses.
- The TEC can research Insurgency technology with 8 Civics Labs, which can force opposing players to build some defenses on all of their planets in order to fend off randomly-spawning hostile militia. However, the enemy can also take advantage of said militia to easily gain experience for their capital ships and titan, so this technology is not without its drawbacks.
TEC Economy Properties:
- The TEC have access to an early economic technology, Modular Architecture, with only 1 Civics Lab, which allows them to build extractors and factories more cheaply.
- The TEC gain trade the earliest, at only 2 Civics Labs, and can upgrade their trade abilities with further research. This gives the TEC the strongest credit economy of any faction.
- The TEC prefer Terran planets, and can hence increase their already large populations to gain even better credit income.
- TEC resource extraction technologies are relatively cheap and require few labs, and so, depending on circumstances, they can often be worthwhile investments.
- The TEC's ultimate civil research techology is Pervasive Economy, accessed with 8 Civics Labs, which grants them a fraction of the costs of any transaction going on anywhere on the map. This unique ability gives the TEC a very strong late-game economic advantage.
- The TEC have research topics which can improve structure and ship build times.
- The TEC have civil research (Favored Client Discount) which can improve exchange rates for resource trades on the black market, providing a viable alternative to resource extraction technologies, especially for a trade-heavy player with a strong credit economy.