Saturday morning treasure: a demo CD from Electronic Arts Australia! EA did several of these ‘CD Shortplay’ discs for different studios. Wing Commander IV and other great games! And also Cybermage.
Saturday morning treasure: a demo CD from Electronic Arts Australia! EA did several of these ‘CD Shortplay’ discs for different studios. Wing Commander IV and other great games! And also Cybermage.
Ah, the Exeter, my favorite destroyer in all of Wing Commander, really in all of Sci-fi destroyers. I probably spent way too long on the hull panels, but I do like how it turned out.
Hi there! I just made a retrospective video about the first Wing Commander. Is in Italian, but I added English subtitles. I would appreciate your help about this, since my English is veeeery rusty :p
It's been (almost) two years, while development has been on and off (mostly off), work continues.
I'm mostly done on the third Victory single player mission: Following the successful destruction of the Kilrathi supply convoy, the Victory and her battlegroup are holding position next to the jump point. The InSys station that noticed the convoy in the previous mission left EMCON and discovered two problems:
* Some Kilrathi stragglers are still around, some are launching an attack on the InSys depot while others are dashing to the jump point.
* A sizeable Kilrathi task force, most likely the elusive carrier's full escort, is getting ready to jump in Cambria, on top of the Victory.
The player will have (15) minutes before the Kilrathi jump in and must use this time to its fullest: protect the InSys depot to get some help from it against the task force and just as importantly prevent the runners from jumping out, because if they do so, they'll tell the task force how outgunned the Victory is, leading to an immediate attack before the end of the countdown. The fun thing is... the runners all start in random positions every time you play the single player mission, meaning you'll have to patrol the ingress to the jump buoy to make sure you can take out the blockade runners. If you do so, however, you might very well get to plan a very, very satisfying ambush on the Kats.
After playing it completely in release conditions, a few bits of tactical advice:
1) You have two focuses at first, the InSys base to protect and the jump point to blockade. The assets you have are enough to do both of them, but the blockade will need constant attention and to detect the runners early enough to kill them ASAP.
2) You have slow and persistant firepower with your capital ships and fast but momentary firepower with your squadrons. Each can be used to solve each side of the problem in time, but only if used adequately.
3) Your Arrow are recon/patrol fighters. Use them in this role if you want to win.
As usual, I would love to have some feedback on the missions. :)
So, thanks to a lot of help from Dark Sentinel, a potential feature has reached the demonstrator stage. DS made a custom shader allowing part of a large texture to be used on a smaller area of a ship. In this case, the name plate area of Confed carriers. With a texture file containing more than a dozen individual name plates and a dynamic selection script I wrote later, it is possible to have several ships of the same class to show different name plates during the same game, the entire thing being smooth from the PoV of the player. Or, for particularly idiotic yet awesome development, it would theoretically be possible to have every single fighter in the game wear different numbers, squadron insigna and pilot names.
No promise, of course. This is a proof of concept and there are things which are much more deserving of both time and work. Pictured (above), a close shot of two Jutland with different name plates, 02 and 07:
The WC1 parade continues. Line-art accurate Bengal for all. You'll notice several differences between the line art and the final Sprite model. The three biggest ones I found are the tapering at the bow is more pronounced, There are only 5 engines instead of 6, and overall the vessel isn't very tall, it's more squat than the final version. But, I kinda dig the '80s ball style turrets and the more detailed stern. I'll texture it when time permits.
|Fan Projects of the Year||Runners Up|
|2017||Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack||Homeworld Remastered / Flat Universe|
|2016||Flat Universe||Homeworld Remastered / Secret Ops MUP / Enhanced Soundtracks|
|2015||Homeworld Remastered Mod||Flat Universe / Secret Ops MUP / Klavs' Model Archive|
|2014||Flat Universe||Klavs' Models / Prophecy Fan Movie|
|2013||Collected Works of HCl / Klavs' Models||Defiant Few|
|2012||WC Saga||Klavs' Models|
|2011||OpenGL Patch for WCP & Secret Ops||TacOps Online & Standoff|
|2010||Astro Commander's Mini Models||DirectDrawHack|
|2008||Ascii Sector||Flight Commander|
|2007||Standoff & WC Saga||Ascii Sector|
|2006||WC4 Homeworld 2 Mod||Das Erwachen|
|2005||Standoff||Privateer Gemini Gold|
|2003||Standoff & WC Saga||Holding the Line & Vega Strike|
|2002||Unknown Enemy||Kilrathi Empire & WC Saga BS|
|2001||Unknown Enemy||Holding the Line & Vega Strike|
|Web Sites of the Year||Runners Up|
|2014||Daedalus Station||Wing Commander RPG Wiki|
|2013||Concordia Hangar||Daedalus Station|
|2012||Pix's Origin Adventures||Wing Commander RPG Wiki|
|2010||Paper Commander||Prelude to Darkness|
|2009||WC Saga||Standoff & Paper Commander|
|2008||Paper Commander||Standoff & WC Saga|
|2007||HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site||Pericles' Paper Inside|
|2006||HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site||Wedge's Wing Commander|
|2005||WC Saga||Fleet Tactics|
|2004||Fleet Tactics||Wedge's Wing Commander|
|2003||Wing Commander in Russia||WC3D & Wedge's Wing Commander|
|2002||Wing Commander in Russia||BlackLance HQ & WingCenter|
|2001||Wing Commander in Russia||Acenet Central|
|2000||Acenet Central||Wing Commander in Russia|
|1999||Wing Commander in Russia||Acenet Central & HCl's WC Editing Site|
Black Friday is upon us, so here's a quick roundup of some of the Wing Commander gifts you can give to friends (or yourself!). This list is just the official products that are actively for sale, but hundreds of different things are still available on eBay. One notable absence this year is the Wing Commander Movie being taken out of print. With the transfer of film rights reverting back to Chris Roberts, the Blu-ray and DVD are no longer being printed, and the Amazon/iTunes digital copies are no longer available for sale. This newfound scarcity has pushed physical copies of the BRD up to the $90-150 range, so count yourself lucky if you already own one. If you don't already have Academy on DVD for $8, now's your chance. Don't let that one catch you off guard when it's no longer available!
On the other hand, the Baen books lineup is now complete with End Run finally becoming commercially available as an ebook. GOG is also in the throes of its Black Friday sale with the WC series coming in at 75% off, which brings each package down to $1.50. This is a really good price, although there's a chance their forthcoming Winter Sale could knock a few more cents off them... if you're still on the fence about this whole Wing Commander thing.
|Games ($1.49 each)|
|Movies & TV|
|Novels ($6.99, with some discounts to $5.38 at Amazon)|
I just realized.... Nephilim dreadnought looks like a head massager. Inspiration can come from ANYWHERE!
Hooray, it's time for an update! As many of you know, we've been fortunate to have Howard Day around to create some beautiful sprite renders for us to enjoy and experiment with. In doing so, he tackled the first two major steps in the sprite creation process by designing a 3D model and then rendering it with all necessary viewpoints. Based on work done by UnnamedCharacter, we know that Wing Commander utilizes 37 images to represent symmetrical ships but could potentially be modified to support 62 images for asymmetrical ships.
Creating that many renders could potentially be a chore and may even be discouraging to people new to 3D modeling. As part of making a tutorial on creating sprites for Wing Commander, I feel this process should be easier and more accessible. Thus, I've recently been fiddling around with Blender with the goal of creating a script to help both novice and experienced modelers create the necessary renders. Thus far I can report that I have successfully created a prototype script and it is working quite well. In fact, I've been in communication with DefianceIndustries and we've worked together to create the following sprite sheet based on his Dralthi using the script.
The Dralthi sprites have been laid out to match the orientation of the Tiger's Claw sprite sheet above. I think the results look great so far and many thanks to DefianceIndustries for his assistance! At this point I am refining the script further and plan to make it available sometime in the near future.
Well when you put it like that...
And last but certainly not least in our 2655 Confed fighter lineup - the F-44A Rapier II. Fast, nimble, and equipped with God's own shields, it pretty much typifies fighter combat in the WC universe. Is it any wonder we still seem them popping up in the Nephilim war? Though it begs the question, what was the Rapier I?
This week marks the start of our 2948 Anniversary Event, which celebrates the end of the original crowdfunding campaign back in November 2012. This year we are particularly excited by our Free Fly event where we are opening the opportunity to try out the 80 flyable ships and vehicles in game. Star Citizen Alpha 3.3.5, which brings a lot more content, including the planet of Hurston, it’s moons and the major landing zone Lorville, is currently in PTU and should be Live in the next few days.
We are getting closer all the time to having a living, breathing persistent universe and as we close out this year, I look at the technology we must complete to achieve the vision and realize we are nearer to the end than the start. This knowledge, aided by the continued support and excitement we feel from all of you propels us forward with enthusiasm and a thirst for seeing the universe of Star Citizen become a home for gamers everywhere.
Thank you, each and every one of you, for believing in the vision, supporting its development with unwavering commitment and making gaming history. See you in the ‘Verse!
— Chris Roberts
Enfin ! Le combat final contre l'empire Kilrah commence ! Va-t-on réussir à remporter la victoire ?
Finally ! The final fight against Kilrah's empire begins! Will we succeed in winning?
Here's a couple of really cool Japanese advertisements that LOAF recently came across. As is common in the country, they're chock full of text and liberal with the exclamation marks. The first is a small embedded ad for the Mega CD port of Wing Commander 1, which was the only version that got full speech as it was transferred to the disc-based format. We also get to see a sell sheet for the Japanese Armada, which was ported to a surprising number of platforms: PC-98, FM Towns and DOS/V. I love that Armada color tone filling the Japanese block text!
Little find this morning: an ad for the Mega-CD port of Wing Commander I from a Sega flyer. I'd love to find the advertising ASCII did for Wing Commander SFC in Japan!
The exciting news is I have added the book pledge backers names to the second page of Wing Commander Art Portfolio!
If you want to get your name in the book, you can still upgrade your pledge, send me a note and I will work with you, but time is running out.
Thank you all cool backers for making Wing Commander Art Portfolio a reality!
You fly like the apes that you are...
Or my all time favorite: "Hmm, that ape squealed when it popped!"
Here's a really cool find that LOAF recently came across. From the outside, it might look like a nifty WC1 Special Edition autographed by Chris Roberts, but it's what's inside that's pretty rare! The set was originally purchased directly from Origin in 1990, and the included Secret Missions were special mailed in a WC branded envelope instead of the standard slim black box. Not many of these were produced like this, and even fewer still exist today!
I lucked into one of my grails! It’s a copy of the Special Edition of Wing Commander with the Secret Missions mailer! This version was only available via mail order from Origin in 1990. The mission disk came separately in the mailer in December when it was finished.
They hadn’t originally planned to release Secret Missions at retail at all, it was an extra mailed directly from Origin. But there was so much interest they ended up doing a boxed version... which was a hit that lead to many other addon disks!
Re-renders with some material tweaks for goodness
How games used to be patched, in the olden days
"Build airplanes by snapping parts together, designing wing sections, and attaching engines. At any time, you can strap yourself into the cockpit and see how it flies with realistic physics."
So I don't know if anyone here plays Simple Planes but for my first upload plane, on the SP website, I chose to do the F-57 Sabre. I picked it because, as far as I could see, there aren't any WC planes on Simple Planes and figured it was worth a run (now that I think about it there is a tiny little Arrow V and a heavily stylized Dralthi).
I really wanted to do my all time favorite, the Raptor, but that one is gonna take some tricks to make something like that stable. The Sabre is exotic looking but also traditional enough that I was able to make it work surprisingly easily. Next up I think I'll take a crack at the Hornet and then I'm gonna try some stuff to try and bring in the Thunderbolt and the Hellcat.
"I hope you all like flying Scimitars, because if you don't, I don't want to hear about it!" So sayeth Peter Halcyon right before sending you on a near death sentence of a mission in said craft. Personally though, I think the Scim gets a bum rap. Despite the fact that it's slow, can't turn well, and dogfighting Jalthi in it is tantamount to suicide, it can make quick work of the WC1 kilrathi fighter lineup up to the Krant. It can even hold its own against manageable numbers of Gratha. If you use your afterburners well and stay close to your target, it's quite an able fighter. You just have to avoid the tendency to try and tank damage in hopes of a quick kill.
Next - You escort them everywhere...they're constantly radioing maydays, and you must always fight on when they are done for, that's right...it can never fly through asteroids, it's the Drayman! (applause) As always folks - enjoy.
Defiance has been passing me models for the WCIV remake. Not too much to report, I spent most of my time getting the engine ready for a new project but it's about time to start.
I was hoping to more closely match the lighting with Blender before showing another shot but I've been pretty busy. Still the exporter can at least import the hundred or so lights Defiance set up on bluepoint station, and the materials come through correctly without setup. Texture resolution on bluepoint is a bit low, not using particularly high res textures yet as not to burst the bandwidth limit on the git rep.
In honor of the United States of America's very important midterm elections, we've attempted to create a document that can serve as a guide to future Wing Commander storytellers, one that tells us just about everything we can possibly know about the politics of the Terran Confederation. Note that this is a first draft which will be expanded as more references are discovered! Find one we missed? Add it in the comments for the next revision! A cited version of the document is available here. Want even more Confederation government lore? Tune in to an informal livestream tonight at around 7 PM Eastern to see LOAF and Dundradal talk through this document and the historical parallels involved in the Confederation's backstory! (A link will be provided in the comments when the stream is live.)
We Create Worlds... Piecemeal!
One of the most interesting (and perhaps least useful) pursuits of fandom is the ability to create a larger whole from many smaller references that were never crafted with any sort of intentionality. To map out the membership of Star Trek's Federation or to catalog the thousand year pre-history of Star Wars' Republic. Fans do this by scouring a million sources and collecting all the small pieces that may have been necessary for an individual scene or to speak to a particular character motivation... and then fitting them together into a canon. Case in point: Wing Commander is not about the political workings of the Confederation. The average Wing Commander fan would be hard pressed to name a single Confederation President or to know how long the term for a Master of the Great Assembly is. The original Wing Commander didn't even intend to have you serve a democratic Confederation! Wing Commander is a game about space battles and we glimpse only brief shadows of the the world we are defending from the Kilrathi. The occasional story will visit the senate to see the larger movements of the war or it will introduce a court martial and in the process explain more of the court system... and so on. The overall result: a huge, elaborate world made from parts!
The Terran Confederation is the largest union of planetary governments in known space. The Confederation was originally founded in the late 26th century, borne largely of the exploration and colonization boom that followed the development of the Akwende Drive. When the Confederation was first established, humanity believed there were no significant extraterrestrial threats and the union was intended to regulate commerce and provide for the common defense of a loose affiliation of human planets, colonies and star systems. As humanity came to encounter additional starfaring races, the Confederation was adapted to establish interspecies treaties and alliances and offer membership to non-human states. The Confederation's overarching military has always been a major aspect of the union, initially established for resolving internal disputes and then greatly expanded to fight a series of wars against hostile states. The Confederation is considered to be the latest in a lineage of attempts to create an overarching human government dating back to the United Nations which first settled the Sol System through the 24th century and the World Economic Consortium which broke up violently before the Confederation's founding. The Confederation makes use of military resources, facilities and traditions that date back well before its founding, including the Space Naval Academy at Hilthros which dates to the 25th century. Confederation citizens pay taxes which maintain the government's infrastructure. Taxes increased significantly to fund the war against the Kilrathi. The currency of the Confederation is referred to as credits, Confederation Dollars or dols.
While it is not the only human government it is far and away the largest both in terms of population and geographical area.
Member states are signatories of the Articles of Confederation, the founding document which sets forth the structure of the government and assures specific rights to the citizenry. The articles are also referred to as the “Confederation Charter” or, in more common usage the constitution. Article Nine prohibits the punishment of Terran Confederation citizens without due process. Members of the Confederation otherwise retain their autonomous local governments. The founding of the Terran Confederation is celebrated annually on August 23rd, known as Confederation Day.
Inhabitants of colonies established by member states are considered to be Confederation citizens. The 2673 formation of the Union of Border Worlds triggered a constitutional crisis. The Union was made up of colony worlds established by the Terran Confederation during the tumultuous lead up to the Kilrathi Wars. These territories argued that they had not signed the Articles of Confederation and so were sovereign nations. Opponents argued that they were considered de facto members because they grew out of existing signatory worlds and because they were fully integrated into the Confederation’s governmental apparatus, including social services and the military. While the situation was ultimately resolved, the constitutional nature of the crisis was not directly addressed. The Union worlds were allowed to leave the Confederation peaceably, largely because support for a proposed declaration of war became politically untenable in the wake of Admiral Sir Geoffrey Tolwyn’s treason.
The Confederation is a representative democracy with an elected executive and a legislature made up of representatives from member states. In 2634, a political alliance called the Peace and Prosperity Coalition came to winning a majority in the Assembly. The coalition, which was lead by Senator Jamison More, favored reducing the military in favor of spending for social programs. This movement was interrupted by the Kilrathi Confederation Day attack. After the 2668 resignation of President Rodham and the devastation of the Kilrathi invasion of the inner worlds, the government reformed as a coalition of all the major parties that focused largely on building defenses instead of taking the war to the Kilrathi. As of 2681, the Confederation’s major political parties were the Federationist and Populist parties. The Federationist party tends to argue for a strong central government while Populists favor increased autonomy for member states. Elections are held on August 30th.
The symbol of the Terran Confederation is a stylized jump flash encircled by four equal arches. A number of different flags were used during the Kilrathi War. In 2655, the delegation to Firekka flew a blue flag with two blue stars and a red stripe. The court which convicted Zachary Colson of treason in 2667 flew a similar flag with yellow stars, yellow fringe and the stripe reversed. Immediately following the war, the Assembly flies a blue flag with white fringe and the jump flash symbol in the center. This version of the flash has two white and two red arches. Confederation explorers in the early 26th century flew a red and white flag divided lengthwise. This flag featured the jump flash symbol and ten smaller flashes identifying founding planets. A blue version of this flag was used in 2701. Individual states have their own distinct flags; sixteen of them are flown in the Great Assembly. The union's formal name is Terran Confederation but it is commonly referred to as 'the Confederation,' 'Confed' or sometimes 'The Confed.' Confederation citizens are disparagingly referred to as 'Confees' in the Free Republic of the Landreich.
The Executive Branch
The Terran Confederation is lead by an elected President and Vice President. There is no known term limit; President Harold Rodham held the office for fourteen years. 2634 was a presidential election year.
The President has the ability to order the military to mobilize for emergency action. He may elect to order the military to Defense Level Two, authorizing the putting of ships to space and the cancellation of leaves and mobilizing the active reserve forces, or Defense Level One, which also authorizes cross-border reconnaissance and shoot-to-kill orders. He is expressly prohibited from ordering offensive action without a declaration of war from the Senate. In 2634, the President ordered the military to Defense Level Two shortly before the McAuliffe Ambush, alerting key forces hours before the invasion. In 2668, President Quinson ordered the fleet to prepare for emergency action after taking office in preparation for the expected resumption of hostilities. The President has the ability to declare a disaster area; President Vasura declared the site of the 2654 Assembly bombing a disaster area. The President has the ability to order law enforcement to conduct an investigation; President Rodham ordered that Foreign Secretary Jamison be investigated after demanding her resignation.
The President is responsible for appointing the Cabinet of the Terran Confederation who advise him and manage the departments of the executive branch. The President may also demand the resignation of cabinet members. Cabinet positions include the Foreign Secretary (also called Foreign Minister) who is responsible for interactions with foreign states and who oversees treaty negotiations. The Foreign Secretary is head of the State Department (also referred to as the Foreign Office.) In the period leading up to the Kilrathi war, the State Department was in favor of fighting a limited conflict as a show of strength and generally avoiding outright warfare with the Kilrathi. In 2668, Foreign Secretary Rhonda Jamison persuaded the President to support armistice talks with the Kilrathi. Jamison negotiated the resulting armistice agreement and was essential in persuading the Assembly to pass rapid military cutbacks in order to appease the Kilrathi. It was ultimately revealed that Kilrathi intelligence operatives had provided her proof that her son had been taken as a prisoner of war during the Third Enigma campaign. Also called the Confederation Foreign Service, the State Department oversaw the Confederation Peace Commission after the war, deploying officials to ensure that human worlds (members and non-members) abide by the Treaty of Torgo. A formal suit is considered to be the uniform of the Foreign Service. Jamison was unhappy with the war and desired to replace Rodham as President. The Kilrathi used this information to manipulate her actions to reduce the Confederation's readiness. Prior to his resignation, President Rodham demanded Jamison's resignation. Incoming President Quinson appointmented a new Foreign Minister but Jamison refused to resign, convincing some in the Assembly she was the victim of a military conspiracy. The Secretary of Defense is the President's key adviser on military issues. There was a cabinet-level position on cultural sensitivity whose role Senator More sought to expand in 2634 (though the Kilrathi invasion later that year likely rendered this a distant concern.)
The Vice President of the Terran Confederation is the first in the line of presidential line of succession and succeeds the President in the event of death, resignation or removal, completing his term. Vice President Rodham succeeded President Vasura after her death in 2654 and was himself succeeded by Vice President Quinson after his resignation in 2668. The Vice President also assumes the duties of the Senate’s Assembly Master in the event of death, resignation or removal until a new master is elected. Vice President Rodham had previously assumed this role following the 2654 bombing which of the Assembly which killed Assembly Master Pequin Gydideron.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a group of senior military leaders who advise the President. The Joint Chiefs are lead by the Chief of Staff. The Chief of Staff is appointed by the President. The group is made up of representatives from each branch of the military, including the Army, Navy, Space Force and Marine Corps. A red-and-gold card identifies that someone works for the office of the Chief of Staff; Winston Turner used such an identity card to access the base headquarters at Johnson Island as he attempted to mobilize the military for the impending invasion of McAuliffe. Admiral Wayne Spencer Banbridge was Commander in Chief of the Confederation Fleet (CICCONFEDFLT) at the outset of the Kilrathi war. Space Marshal Susan Jayhefsa was CICCONFEDFLT during the Pilgrim crisis in 2654. The Chief of Staff in 2654 was Marine General Jon Linta. The In 2668, a suicide bombing killed Chief of Staff Admiral Noragami the rest of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, save Commandant of the Marine Corps General Grecko. Appointments may carry over from one administration to another: President Rodham appointed Grecko Chief of Staff hours before his resignation and he served the remainder of his term under President Dave Quinson (Grecko was killed shortly after his appointment during the Battle of Earth.) The Chief of Staff is legally required to inform the President if the military engages in combat during peacetime.
The President is protected by the Terran Confederation Secret Service. Secret Service agents are said to be identified by their black suits. President Vasura was preceded by two Secret Service agents when she appeared at Tolwyn’s tribunal in 2654.
Biographical information on known Confederation Presidents:
The Legislative Branch
The Terran Confederation’s legislative branch is a unicameral body known as the Confederation Senate, the Congress, the General Assembly, the Council or the Great Assembly (commonly, the Assembly.) Members of the Assembly are called Senators. The Assembly Master is the presiding officer of the Great Assembly and is elected from the overall body annually. The Master's traditional seat at the head of the Senate is referred to as the Master's Chair. The Assembly Master wears a cloak of office and has a gavel with which he may direct debate in the Great Hall. Cloaks are traditional garb for anyone presiding over or testifying to the General Assembly. The legislature consists of approximately 1200 Senators who represent different geographic districts which range from individual nations like Earth's North American States to to planets like Altair to primary star systems with multiple colony worlds. After the conclusion of the Pilgrim War, Pilgrim enclaves were granted representation in the Assembly. Districts may have multiple representatives; for instance, Senator Jamison More was one of the representatives from Primus III. Members of the Assembly are immune from arrest and prosecution while serving.
The Assembly traditionally meets at the Hall of the Great Assembly in Washington DC just east of the site of United States capitol building. In 2654, the Assembly was bombed and the original building destroyed. In the aftermath of the attack, interim senators were appointed to replace those lost and the Assembly reconvened in a Washington DC zero gravity sports complex. For a period, the capital was moved to Terra Station, an Earth-orbit arcology. By 2669, the capitol building had been rebuilt and the assembly again met there. The floor of the Assembly is open to the roughly twelve hundred senators plus representatives from news services, lobbyists and other politicians. The Assembly Master and six other presiding officers sit at the head of the body abreast of the speaker. The Assembly has the right to pass a declaration of war. Such a declaration was issued against the Pilgrim Alliance in 2632, the Empire of Kilrah in 2634 in response to serious acts of piracy and then again in 2668 following the ‘false peace’ when four carriers crossed the border. Unusually, the Senate issued other war declarations against the Kilrathi in response to specific attacks.
During the war with the Kilrathi it was decided that senators who represented territories occupied by the enemy would continue to hold office until free elections could take place again. In 2634, the Assembly passed the War Powers Act; its provisions include allowing the military to speed up court martials. The Freedom of Information act allows citizens to obtain declassified government records. In the wake of the 2668 Kilrathi attack on Earth, the Senate issued a series of far-reaching Emergency Decrees. These decrees had a major impact on the shape and function of the Confederation government, granting a significant amount of power to the military. Emergency Decree 242, called the “Martial Law declaration,” granted military authorities “extraordinary powers.” This lead to the rise of the Admiralty Court as a major player in the immediate post-war era, fueling Admiral Tolwyn’s conspiracy. Emergency Decree 394A allowed the Terran Confederation Space Force Reserves to recall former servicemen to active duty. This decree was what allowed Colonel Christopher Blair to be recalled to active duty in 2673. Other Emergency Decrees passed as part of this effort curtained civil liberties, suppressed political opposition, delayed elections and restricted public oversight (effectively muzzling the free press.) Another Emergency Decree gave military pilots the right to fire on civilian spacecraft that did not obey their orders. In the immediate post-war era, the military successfully lobbied to keep the Emergency Decrees in place, arguing that they were needed to keep the peace given the rise of warlords, pirates and eventually the Union of Border Worlds. This gained support in the Assembly because of the protection from oversight and the press the Decrees had provided politicians. A conspiracy known as the Belisarius Group took power behind the scenes shortly after the Kilrathi War by recruiting highly placed members in the executive branch, including the State Department and Foreign Office. Belisarius represented politicians who did not want to give up the protections they had been granted as emergency provisions in the last days of the war. Admiral Sir Geoffrey Tolwyn used a conflict with Belisarius' security apparatus, Y-12, to cover his own conspiracy. Admiral Tolwyn’s engineering of the 2673 crisis was both possible because of and intended to ensure the continuation of the Emergency Decrees.
The Assembly may vote to endorse executive actions ordered by the President; in 2654, the Assembly endorsed President Vasura's orders regarding threatened strikes against Pilgrim planets.
The phrase 'General Assembly' refers to the entire body. From there, the Assembly is divided into smaller committees which are responsible for specific aspects of governance. The Oversight Committee is The Assembly's main investigative committee. The Intelligence Committee oversees the Confederation intelligence community. Several committees oversee the Confederation military: the Readiness Committee is responsible for readiness, the Military Committee is responsible for deployment and the Armed Services Committee has legislative oversight over the entire military. The Committee on the Conduct of the War liaises with the Chief of Staff and the executive branch to provide oversight for strategic decisions during wartime. In the 2670s, the Defense Committee had oversight of the military's Strategic Readiness Agency. The Appropriations Committee is one of several appropriations committees which are responsible for directing the Confederation budget. The Confederation Navy is represented on the Appropriations Committee by a fleet board. In the early 2630s, Senator Jamison More was Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Under his leadership, the senate moved to significantly reduce military spending. In summer 2630, the fleet board asked the Appropriations Committee for ten million credits to develop a Wildcat upgrade. Senator More locked the request in committee for three and a half years in a failed bid o have the upgrade facility or the Corsair factory assigned to Primus III. Committee chairmanship is not determined by the majority party; Senator More headed the Appropriations Committee despite his coalition being in the minority. The Ways and Means Committee is the Assembly's chief tax-writing committee.Sometimes referred to as the 'God Squad,' the committee had significant input over which programs are funded, which military bases are closed, which planets receive largesse, how much taxes are altered and who must paid them. Ways and Means is considered an especially prestigious assignment.
The Assembly passed a bill referred to as the Security Acts which relates to military classification. The Assembly identifies a topic being discussed on the floor as a "Subject in Consideration." These are numbered XX-XXXXX. The debate over declaring war on the Union of Border Worlds was 138-33954.
Following the initial 2681 Nephilim attacks, the General Asssembly conducted a series of hearings analyzing theories of Alien intent. Around the same time, Dr. Tanya Benbow addressed the General Assembly on the subject of alien toxicology issues. Transcripts of these sessions were classified level R-2.
The Assembly is responsible for approving at least two major military decorations, the Senatorial Star and the Senatorial Medal of Honor (also called the Terran Confederation Medal of Honor or the Pewter Planet.) Members of the Assembly may select two candidates for each class of the Terran Confederation Service Academy.
Biographical information about known Confederation Senators:
Gallery: The Great Assembly
The Judicial Branch
The Judicial Branch is the least-explored aspect of the Confederation's government in the Wing Commander canon. The novelization of The Price of Freedom goes into some detail about the Admiralty Court and its role in Admiral Tolwyn's conspiracy and a variety of military trials appear in other stories.
Confederation courts do not typically have the ability to suspend the Articles of Confederation though they can be granted the right to do so by the Assembly. The Terran Confederation is a signee of the Geneva Convention defining the basic rights of wartime prisoners. In the first days of the 2673 crisis, the Admiralty Court ruled that the burgeoning Union of Border Worlds had rejected Confederation authority and were therefore not entitled to the privileges of citizenship. This meant that captured enemy combatants were considered ‘taken in arms’ as pirates or terrorists serving a rebel organization and that they thus had no right to due process or protection under the Geneva Convention. This legally allowed Colonel Seether’s summary execution of Border Worlds’ Lieutenant Kyle Lee.
The Confederation's Admiralty Court is a five-judge court originally responsible for resolving civilian shipping-related disputes. The Admiralty Court is located at Jupiter Station on Titan in the Sol System. While the court technically had jurisdiction over naval matters it was rarely utilized. This changed in 2669 with the passage of Emergency Decree 242 which gave military authorities extraordinary powers. The decree had been intended to allow the military extraordinary powers to address the crisis that followed the Battle of Earth but was not withdrawn after the war. Under Judge Admiral Elsa Harnett, the Admiralty Court aligned itself with Admiral Tolwyn’s post-war conspiracy attempt, issuing Section 212 of the Admiralty Court Directives to indict and remove officers like Captain William Eisen who were not willing to support the coup. Harnett ultimately committed suicide and was replaced by another judge in 2673 who oversaw Tolwyn's trial in the same court. The Admiralty Court found him guilty of conspiracy to commit genocide against Telamon and fifteen lesser felonies, senticing him to life in prison. Tolwyn was also tried in the Assembly, where he was sentenced to die.
The War Powers Act gave the military the ability to speed up court martials and even hold them aboard ships. Zach Colson was tried and sentenced to execution aboard the TCS Centurion in 2667. A military court martial features three judges.
Gallery: Testimony at Tolwyn's Assembly Trial
Gallery: Media and Observers at Tolwyn's Assembly Trial
Individual member states retain their own governments and as a result there is no single type of local Confederation government or single process for choosing a representative for the Assembly. Leaders of individual regions may hold a variety of titles ranging from President to Governor, with the latter being especially common. Planetary Governors sometimes nominated themselves to the Assembly. Governor Cavazos of the Sol System also represented in the Assembly in the 2680s. As President of the Landreich System, Max Kruger was technically his system's Assembly representative (the Landreich had declared independence, this legal technicality kept him from being prosecuted for munity.) Representative Joshua Irium was the outspoken and controversial grassroots leader of the Acadia System who argued that his district's resources should not be used to repair more coreward regions impacted by the Nephilim invasion. Governor Milam Weir was the leader of of the Hellespont, a region heavily impacted by the Nephilim. The Confederation does assign governorships to colonial areas that are not under the direct control of a member state. These governors usually oversee multiple star systems. Governor Meshach was the governor of the Gemini Sector in 2654 whose administration fell apart following a scandal involving the sale of Talon fighters to Church of Man radicals. The Gemini Sector had a Commerce Department that oversaw its Merchants' Guild until the breakdown of the central government. Individual base leaders took power after the Meshach administration failed. The Confederation governor of the Free Republic of the Landreich was deposed when the state declared independence in the 2650s.
Paths Not Taken
The Terran Confederation wasn't always a representative democracy; in fact, it almost wasn't the Terran Confederation at all! The 1990 "Squadron" pitch that sold Origin Systems on the game imagined a very different political setup: an amoral Empire of Humanity opposing a Kilrathi force overseen by a Supreme General. The concept was ultimately softened to make sure players felt they were the 'good guys,' though the idea of questioning the morality of the Confederation's orders was heavily revisited in Wing Commander IV.
Universal's Wing Commander Academy television series also imagined a different setup for the Confederation. The series bible imagined a legislature called the Terran Confederation Congress made up of "voting members from all the self-governing planets." The Congress was said to have elected a Confederation Council from its members to serve as the cabinet for the Council President (here the executive officer of the Confederation.) Cadet Blair's grandmother would be a member of the Confederation Council and his father a chairman of an anti-war organization called StarPeace. None of this material made it to the final series, leaving it non-canon (with the exception of the existence of the Terra Station arcology which was mentioned in the series' press kit.)
Privateer Online aimed to explore local governments as a way to keep its map more interesting. The Confederation would remain the overarching human government but individual planets would have a strong variety of options. The game imagined populating the universe with human planets with many types of governments; anarchy, corporate, democracy, envirochy, monarchy, oligarchy, republic, theocracy and totalitarian were planned for the pitch. Different worlds would also have different tech levels: Level One would be frontier planets, Level Two would be industrial planets and Level Three would be post-industrial homeworlds. The tech levels would impact what resources were available and what commodities a given planet might be interested in.
Bonus Gallery: Tolwyn & Blair Argue in the Assembly
Spacedock breaks down five sci-fi carrier designs.There's also a handful of merchandise items you can get based on the subjects that Spacedock has recently covered. This includes a couple of cool WC designs!
WOW! The last 24 hours of the Wing Commander Art Portfolio were amazing!
The campaign really picked up and we ended up being almost 800 percent funded!
Thank you all for your awesome support and I look forward to getting the rewards out as soon as possible! Thanks!!
My WC1 addiction continues... I revised the Raptor, the old hull panels were kinda crappy so these look better. For additional fun and frolic, I made new unit insignia because... well I have too much free time? Also, a Hornet! Because the Killer Bees always get the next shift. Enjoy!