Codex Gamicus

Star Trek: Starfleet Command - Orion Pirates is a stand-alone expansion for the computer game Star Trek: Starfleet Command: Volume II - Empires at War designed by Erik Bethke. The game adds eight separate playable pirate cartels based on the Orion Pirates, whom the player fights throughout the earlier games. It also opened up a multi-player Dynaverse for on-line play. Players could also play via GameSpy.

Voice cast[]

  • Corey Burton
  • Jennifer Hale
  • Maurice LaMarche
  • John Mariano
  • Jim Meskimen
  • Hidi Shannon
  • Tara Strong
  • Frank Welker[1]



In addition to these 8 which were in the original Starfleet Command II: Empires at War there are 8 Pirate cartels.

  • Orion Cartel
  • Camboro Cartel
  • Crimson Shadow (The House of Korgath)
  • Prime Industries
  • Tiger Heart Cartel
  • Beast Raiders
  • Syndicate
  • Wyldefire Compact


The Orion Pirate ships are very strange in comparison to the other government ships, Orion ships tend to have all kinds of different technology from all of the major governments. Because they have all the technology this makes them a very formidable enemy, and not one to be taken lightly.

Generally speaking, the pirate ships are manoeuvrable and have average shields. Their ships usually don't have the engine power of other ships- for example, the Orion light cruiser might have 25 or 27 power while Empire races have 31. However, Orion ships usually don't have as many weapons to charge, and they can still be energy efficient and fast. In addition, they can double their engine power for a short time at the expense of doing damage to their engines over time.

Player Modifications[]

The Star Fleet Command:Orion Pirates data files which contain the information on the ships is actually a simple flat database file. The records are fixed length, and can be easily edited by any spreadsheet program such as LibreOffice Calc or Microsoft Excel, allowing the player to design their own ships. A backup of the original file should be kept, as modified ships cannot be used for online play, unless the other players are using the same ship file.

Critical reception[]

On the review aggregator Game Rankings, the game has an average score of 80% based on 13 reviews.[2]

IGN gave the game a rating of 7.8 out of 10 and said, "There are twelve new campaigns here along with 26 skirmish missions. Best of all there's a simple mission creator that lets you set up the engagements you'd like to see. Twelve multi-player missions and three bonus missions based on the "A Piece of the Action" episode are included as well." IGN said the interface for ship to ship action is "well implemented enough" and "everything is laid out reasonably well", but "there are really far too many buttons on the interface for my tastes." IGN called the AI "robust" and said damage modelling in the game is "excellent", but said some of the ship's voice acknowledgements are bland. IGN said "Sadly, there is no z-axis in the game" and said it detracts from the realism. IGN said, "the folks at Taldren...have tried to expand the promising Dynaverse II engine" but said "the system still has many of the shortcomings that plagued Empires at War." IGN noted, "Orion Pirates isn't compatible with previous versions of Starfleet Command." IGN said, "it seems a lot like just an expansion at first glance, but it's really more of a stand-alone mission pack with a few new features added." and said "the real meat of this game is the tactical combat model."[3]

Giancarlo Varanini of GameSpot gave the game a rating of 7.9 out of 10 and said the game "has an impressive amount of content for a stand-alone expansion." Varanini wrote, "Dynaverse II is a semipersistent universe where you can travel through the universe as any one of the races in the game, engage in battles with other players, and work your way up to getting new and more powerful ships." and said the game "includes a fully functional Dynaverse II mode out of the box, and it also contains new skirmishes, a new race, gameplay improvements, and basically all of the features of the original game." Varanini said the single-player modes "are for the most part exactly the same as those in Starfleet Command Volume II, but there have been some changes made." and noted the skirmish mode with premade scenarios such as Wrath of Khan. Varanini said "the campaign mode still suffers from a poorly designed interface." Varanini also wrote, "many of the early missions can be incredibly difficult" in the campaign mode, but said the game's best feature was "a working Dynaverse II", saying it adds a great deal of replay value to the game.[4]


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