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Patrolling is one of the major activities that a captain can do in orbit. The others being Spying and Blockading. Of these three, patrolling is the activity that is regarded as being helpful or beneficial to the zone and it's faction below. The text of the Patrol screen will tell you as much. Essentially you are helping to keep the system free of pirates, smugglers and other unwanted types. Patrolling may help you to gain reputation with system's faction owner, making it one of the few ways to do that when the Captain lacks contacts within that faction or trading talents which might otherwise help them. Reputation gain can be most pronounced when that faction is in a conflict as the captain may draw the participate in a conflict card, which, if selected, will change the conflict score in the zone owner's favor and give more significant rep to the captain. Missions may also require that a Captain perform patrolling actions. In this case, they will need to patrol until hitting a "Mission Success" card. Many patrolling cards result in a ship contact with a hostile ship and the Spacer who patrols should be prepared to engage in ship-to-ship combat.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Like other operations, becoming great at Patrolling will require a dedicated build. Increasing ship Command, Navigation and Tactics Skill Pools should be a key priority. Captains who focus on Patrolling will also need to invest in Talents that will help them determine the results of the card game. Most of these are provided by Military Officer and Zealot crew members, though Gunner, Diplomat and Crew Dog also have single Talents that can help. In the early game, it is best to Patrol often, checking the hand that is dealt at nearly every zone that is visited and only playing those hands that give a reasonable chance of success versus possible negative outcomes. As a Captain's crew and ship develop they will be able to engage in more extended Patrolling activities over the planet of their choice.

The Card Game[edit | edit source]

The results of patrolling are determined by a card mini-game. The Captain will draw 5 cards which are determine by risk and reward factors. He or she may then have the opportunity to modify their draw through the use of crew talents which allow them to redraw, remove or improve a card. Then one card will randomly be selected from the remaining cards providing either a negative, positive or neutral result. If a negative result is drawn it is possible that it's results may be avoided by a test of certain captain and ship skills. All patrolling actions consume time and fuel.

Card Game Mechanics/Logic[edit | edit source]

Card games are based on a deck of cards. Based on the Risk Factors and Reward Factors, positive and negative cards are drawn from the deck. Risk and Reward Factors are used to calculate the chance of Common, Good and Rare positive cards and Risk Factors calculate the Low, Medium and Max Risk changes. These are used to then determine which positive and negative cards are drawn. For example, areas with higher Common Rewards will feature more +1 and +2 cards, while areas with high Max Risks will feature more -5 cards. Once the hand is played, 5 cards are shown and the chance to draw any one of those five cards is 20% (random card selection).

Risk Factors Reward Factors Negative Results Positive Results
Icon prop systemsize.png
Planet Size
Icon prop military.png
Military Rating
Icon prop tradelaw.png
Trade Law
Icon prop starport.png
Starport Rating
Icon prop tradelaw.png
Trade Law
Icon prop population.png
Population Rating
Icon prop charisma.png
Captain's Charisma
Icon prop command.png
Command Skill Pool
Icon prop navigation.png
Navigation Skill Pool
Icon prop tactics.png
Tactics Skill Pool

[ - 1 ] Crew Danger
[ - 1 ] Ship Danger
[ - 2 to - 5 ] Unexpected Ship Encounters
[ - 1 ] Time Lost
[ - 5 ] Deadly Accident

[ +1 ] Gain 3-6 reputation, face pirate or smuggler
[ +1 ] Encounter a friendly military ship
[ +1 ] Encounter a non faction merchant ship
[ +2 ] Uncover Rumor
[ +2 ] Influence Conflict (on behalf of owner faction)
[ +3 ] Gain 6-12 reputation
[ +3 ] Wreck in Space (repair and refuel)
[ +3 ] Contact Introduction