Takin' it to the Vaylen

Hello Burning Empires Community,

I’m a first time player to burning empires having started in a game that doesn’t use the infection mechanics this fall.

One of my good buds invited me to play in his BE game and after starting up I fell in love with it. I felt there was something missing though so I went out and got Faith, Sheva’s, my own copy of the brick, and “Bloodstained Stars.” We all loved BE so far and when I brought these to our next session they were like a group of twelve year old girls at the new Twilight movie. We all loved all three new books and obviously didn’t actually get to the session that day.

We were thinking of starting another game after this one that followed the NPC Quondon who had been a First Speaker of the Circle of 10k in his South Western section of the Karsan League. This was until his wife came back from a low index world in the far south and hulled him. He regained his freedom by frying that worm, but ever since then he’s taken up the mantle of war and a certain book by Baron Drake as his first adviser (of course she escapes for a great complicated relationship). He plans to invade, loot, and destroy Vaylen worlds.

I’ve also got a few general questions.

  1. What exactly is a “first speaker?”

  2. He has 3d affiliation with Hammer Lord Ashgabat. What does this mean mechanically when he’s firing Q-beams at a Vaylen fleet reinforcing their world?

  3. What can I expect the Vaylen world to have in defenses? Will they have an operational defense fleet or fortress? Will this just be a total shock because it’s been unheard of since the fall of the empire for somebody to take the offensive?

  4. Where on the super-structural scale does a standard Q-Beam hit?

  5. How do I burn up his hammer assets?

  6. What do you think?

Thanks for any input and apologies for me missing the obvious,


First Speaker is the Psychologist equivalent of “Council President.” What that means in your game can differ (as in, does the Circle of 10k only have one first speaker, or does each Karsan world that has a foundation presence have a first speaker). But generally, consider the first speaker to be the most influential and respected person in a psychologist cabal.

You have affiliations with groups, not individials, so in this case he’d have a 3d affiliation with the fleet and it can be added to his circles when he’s circling people up within that affiliation. You can’t do much with an affiliation in a firefight, but you can use it to make sure you’ve got the right assets in place for that firefight.

Q-Beams, cruisers, freaky giant space battlestations. Newly conquered worlds and border worlds are probably going to look a lot like human worlds, ones deeper in Vaylen space are going to look like whatever you guys think of. Just remember that if you start bombing Vaylen resort worlds that their response will be swift and merciless.

There is a chance that the Battery weapon is a Q-Beam battery (it may be a fusion battery). In general though a solid Q-Beam strike will cripple a ship and a really good strike will take it out of the fight.

That this is going to be an awesome and depressing game. The awesome is because you’re taking the fight to them, hitting them where it counts, and daringly escaping. The depressing is because nobody is coming back from this trip alive and it’s going to start getting desperate as ships are destroyed, crew are taken over, and supplies start running low. I can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

Hey Whit,

Sounds awesome. Please do let us know how the story unfolds!


Thanks for the good answers Colin, and for the encouragement Chris.

I thought I would let you know that depending on certain things this game may not be between me and my buds around a table, but instead it might be over Skype sometime durring summer. I might end up submitting this to the player search. Either way you’ll get to know how the crusade into Vaylen Space goes.


I seem to have missed this one. Most of his assets will be color covered by circles and lifepaths. If (for instance) he needs a detatchment of Hammer Patrol Craft to smash a Vaylen supply asteroid and interdict reinforcement forces while the fleet is engaged with the main system defense fleet, he’d circle up some ship commanders and they would come with their crew and ships.

The big thing to remember at pretty much all points of Burning Empires is that it’s far less concerned with bean counting and exact force amounts than it is with providing a framework to facilitate interesting and rewarding play. So in regards to this game, your infection disposition values are going to relate to how the PC fleet is doing as an abstract whole and how the Vaylen sector defense forces are holding up. So you may lose a bunch of ships in a firefight but as long as your infection dispo is high, you’ve got pleanty of reinforcements. Later on when your dispo is low, you’re down to few ships and are running low on ammunition, and you are forced to strip enemy ships after battles for parts and raid bases for supplies.

This sounds awesome!

The problem is Colin, and what really concerned me in the original post, is that I get the impression he intends to not use the infection mechanics. At least he didn’t the first time.

Whit, if that is true you are heading out way into the weeds. As Colin points out the stuff you are looking for is built into the infection mechanics, you’ve thrown out what you are looking for. So, if you continue on that tack, you are going to have to roll your own rules in that regards. Also expect it to come up again for other things and likely cause wierdness with play as a lot of other parts of the session play rely on that infection mechanics roll to function properly, and make sense.

EDIT: That is unless you plan to use the infection mechanics this time around?