I think one of the strongest ways to start the game is by selecting the Argon Patriot option. This gives you a fairly well equipped Elite. Do the first few missions in the starting ship. You need the “standing” in order to progress and doing those missions will also give you a little free equipment. Try to take advantage of any pilots who bail out and leave their ship for you to capture.
Once you’ve gotten through the first couple of storyline missions (I skipped them entirely and just did a couple of ‘kill the criminal’ missions), start collecting the various abandoned ships with this relatively safe route that I have found through the galaxy (use the map here to find the specific systems on the route):
Head east from Omicron Lyrae towards Tears of Greed, then south to Menelaus Oasis, then west to Vestibule of Creation. After Vestibule of Creation, head north-west to Ocracoke’s Storm and then up to Argon Prime. While in Argon Prime, dump all the ships there, you can sort them later.
|Object Name||System||Position Coordinates|
|Buster Sentinel||Treasure Chest||-32, -5, -33|
|Elite||Gaian Star||66, 0, -10|
|Skate Prototype||Menelaus’ Oasis||38, 10, 32|
|Blastclaw Prototype||Veil of Delusion||47, 3, -41|
|Advanced Perseus||Duke’s Citadel||42, 0, 31|
|Eclipse||Vestibule of Creation||-7, -13, 37|
|Mako Raider||Depths Of Silence||2, 0, 40|
|Enhanced Pericles||Savage Spur||44, 9, -28|
|Advanced Eclipse||Ocracoke’s Storm||30, -1, -8|
Now head north from Argon Prime to Kingdom End, east to Hila’s Joy and then back to Kingdom End – bringing all the ships you have claimed from the table below with you. Dump them at Argon Prime, too.
|Object Name||System||Position Coordinates|
|Toucan Hauler||Menelaus’ Frontier||43, -7, 35|
|Iguana Vanguard||Family Whi||38, 0, 35|
|Harrier Sentinel||The Vault||-18, 0, -51|
|Buzzard Hauler||Tkr’s Deprivation||-4, 0, 62|
|Advanced Barracuda||Hila’s Joy||-33, 1, 36|
Now, from Argon Prime, you can head north-east to Family Whi, then south to Akeela’s Beacon. Strangely enough it is these systems – within 4-5 jumps of Argon Prime, which proved most dangerous for me to navigate because of Xenon or Pirate attacks. (None of these are included in the save game download below).
|Object Name||System||Position Coordinates|
|Scorpion Raider||Xenon Sector 101||20, 0, 61|
|Buster Sentinel||Akeela’s Beacon||100, -10, 77|
|Mamba||LooManckStrat’s Legacy||-12, 1, -19|
One tactic you might want to use to claim ships is Jump drive and a transporter. You fit one of each to your own ship and fit a Jump drive to a very cheap M5 class ship. Then you tell him to follow you (make sure both ships have enough energy cells) and jump to the system the ship is in (such as Xenon Sector 101). Fly to the abandoned ship, capture it and board your original ship. Use a transporter to send your Jump drive and Energy Cells to the captured ship, then use your transporter to take the Jump drive from the M5. Now tell the captured ship to follow you and jump to safety. If your M5 makes it, great. If not, you only lost a little. I often use this tactic to get slow ships to other locations quicker – don’t be afraid to transport those Jump drives around as needed!
I’ve decided to upload a saved game with all the captured ships from the tables that are shown above in bold, you can download it from here. There’s a few extra ships that are captured Pirate ships etc I claimed on my way. The only ship I did not manage to get to Argon Prime was the Buster found in the Treasure Chest system. It may be a good idea when you capture that one to send it to Omicron Lyrae’s shipyard and sell it straight away rather than risking it traveling all that way like I did – it’s shields are quite poor!
The save game shouldn’t really be too much different than a fresh game. The pirates are only just starting to realize you keep killing them, so if you want to turn around and become a pirate’s friend it should still be possible, but you should be aware the Argon really like you – a lot. There’s also well over 1.2M credits in the bank account…
What I’d suggest you do, if you want to use my save game, is keep all of the ship updates and just sell the ships themselves which you do not want. Here is a list of the ships docked in Argon Prime under your control and available in this save game:
Elite (4 of them)
Mercury Super Freighter
Trading in Space Fuel
Space Fuel is an illegal good that can be traded for great profit.
Just like with Reunion, Terran Conflict features a Space Distillery in Herron’s Nebula and although it sells illegal product, you can sell that product to the Free Argon Trading Station within the same system. You can buy Space Fuel for around 700 (do not buy for more than 1200 or you make no profit!) and sell them for 1252 per unit. You may occasionally get caught by the local police, but the rewards are worth it. When the price raises for Space Fuel (this happens when you have taken all their stock quicker than they can produce it), you can probably make money bringing Energy Cells to the station from the Power Circle system.
Once you have around 400,000 credits from trading Space Fuel (or from recovery and sale of the “free objects” listed below), head to Argon Prime and then to the Federal Argon Shipyard where you should buy a Mercury. You should also upgrade the Mercury’s engine and rudder to full capacity and fit it with a Trading System Extension. You should not board the new Mercury.
Now you’re going to be able to fly around the universe in your own ship, doing whatever you want while remotely controlling the Mercury as it continues to trade Space Fuel on your behalf (using the 50,000 credits you didn’t spend to start with). Remotely controlled ships are never scanned by the police, so you’re going to be free of problems. I’d advise you work to try to supply the Space Fuel Distillery with Energy Cells whenever the price of Space Fuel becomes too high. Energy Cells should be bought for no more than 16 credits in Argon space, Power Circle is a good place to start buying. After some time, you may want to consider using manual trade run (which I think becomes available with Trade Mk II) to automate the process – but you will have to accept smaller amounts of profit when the purchase price is high.
You should avoid building a Space Fuel station in patrolled space like Argon Prime, the ships will attack your station eventually and it’s not worth the trouble. You may be better off putting a station in a pirate-controlled system when you can afford one.
Once you’ve got enough money I’d advise you setup a Sector Trader. It’s best to start off a Trader in a Mercury (with upgraded engine and rudder) and set him/her loose in Argon Prime, Ore Belt or Paranid Prime. Once those Trader’s reach a skill of 8 you can upgrade them to Universe Trader’s and they’ll trade throughout the entire universe instead of those single system’s. They will require some shielding, a jump drive and some energy cells before they trade over long distances.
You can now sit back and watch the money roll in, though I’d advise you still manually smuggle Space Fuel with your remote controlled (manual) Mercury…
I think in Terran Conflict (unlike Reunion), the most profitable type of mission by a very long way are killing missions. These are mission where you are asked to defend something or attack/kill someone. Always save the game by docking just before you accept the mission because sometimes you are not told what ship the opponent is using until after you accept… Sometimes they are simply too difficult and you cannot complete the mission in your current ship. You can make HUGE money though if you find out the weakness of your opponent…
As an extension of the killing missions, you can certainly take advantage of any ships you can get hold of, whether it’s through boarding and taking them by force or attacking pirates and hoping they bail out from fear – it’s extremely profitable. One of the things you need to make sure you do is fly towards the ship, exit yours and use your repair laser (available when you’re in your space suit) to fix the ship you have just captured, this increases the value of the ship and means you do not have to pay for it’s repair if you keep it.
Punching above your weight
You can kill ships that you don’t think you can. Look for a weakness and exploit it. As an example a Khaak Frigate cannot fire directly backwards, so simply sit at between 60-90 metres directly behind and gradually work your way through it’s shields and hull! It cannot fire back at you unless you get out of that ‘safety box’. There’s a few ships which have this weakness (or one similar).
Another interesting tip is that in order to be paid the credit bonus or get the reputation for killing something, you have to be the one to fire the final shot. If your target is being shot at by a number of other ships you should make sure your lasers are fully charges (giving them a more rapid rate of fire), wait until the ship is almost destroyed and then get as close as you can to them before opening up and firing as much as you can… The more rapidly you are firing the more likely you are to be the one making that final hit.