Urgent Notification to Civilian Commanders
Recent military intelligence and combat encounters have identified a new and potentially worrying evolution in Thargoid technology It appears that the recent appearance of space-borne "wasp-like" creatures within Galcop space (see the report by K. Wolf et al - Galcop Science Network #359-1701) has not gone unnoticed by our alien adversaries, who have also seemingly encountered them and their hive "stations".
As a result of this, a new type of Thargoid combat craft has now been sighted which has been nicknamed the Swarmer. Similar in design to their familiar octagonal motherships, these new vessels are distinguished byexternal protrusions used to carry small drone craft. These secondary vehicles seem to have replaced the conventional "Thargon" robot fighters, but if anything are more of a threat. Whilst they appear slightly weaker in individual weapon power, they are far more numerous with reports of up to 16 being released by a single mother vessel. But the most worrying aspect is that the craft appear to have taken the wasp swarming mentality, with co-ordinated attacks on individual vessels within a target fleet being reported.
One notable encounter with three of the mother vessels took all of the skill, bravery and cutting edge military technology of an entire wing of specialised Raptor anti-Thargoid destroyers to counter and repulse. Sadly this was not without losses of several of our brave heroes, leading to the decision to issue this wideband warning to civilian ships.
The increased numbers of the drone craft combined with their small size and faster speed has led to this new type of mother vessel being classification as an extreme threat to civilian and all but the most powerful of Galcop craft. We strongly suggest that discretion is the better part of valour in case of an encounter, and a wise Commander should consider using his fuel injectors rather than his weaponry to survive. However if combat is undertaken, notification to the local Galcop Intelligence directorate at the system main station should be made to assist in countering this terrible new threat.
Fleet Major J deLance. Galcop Intelligence.
The following images were captured by a cloaked recon drone, which transmitted them shortly before contact was mysteriously lost.
Also recently an amateur video has surfaced on ooTube which appears to show one of these fearsome craft making a sneak attack on an unidentified Coriolis station. This would appear to justify the Galcop warning, but don't take our word for it - check it out here.
Currently there is a minor glitch in trunk v1.76 (and earlier) which stops thargons triggering a ship script event when it is fired. To avoid this the swarming Thargons are currently scanClass CLASS_MISSILE. This gives a false alert to certain OXPs which automatically try and deal with missiles (and may spam the screen when the ships launch their drones).
The fix for this has been scheduled for inclusion into trunk 1.76.1, at which point I'll adjust the OXP to suit and raise the minimum requirements.
For tough guys, try spawning role "swarm_squadron", or for a real challenge, "swarm_invasion"
This OXP requires at least version 1.75 of Oolite.
Swarm v1.03 can be downloaded from Box.com by clicking on the link.