Elite:Dangerous AAR: How Einstein Got Dangerous

I’d been on the fence for a long time about getting into Elite:Dangerous. First, I don’t even have the time to spend on all the other games in my library that I already love - why go and get attached to something else? Second, although I am a space simulation fan, I have no illusions about Elite:Dangerous. It is not a space simulation. It is a space game.

I’m not a sim vs. game snob – I really enjoyed the original Elite (in monochrome and sans mouse), I still have installation disks for TIE Fighter and X-Wing and X-Wing Alliance – but was I really going to be interested and excited about playing a super-simplified space shoot-em up? The answer is yes. Yes I am.

You start off in Elite:Dangerous with the Sidewinder: a very beginner spacecraft, but also quite capable. While not exactly the most powerful of ships in the game, it’s still possible to combat in it and make some credits, which @near_blind helped me do a few days ago.

Everybody say hi to @near_blind.

Near showed me that I could jump to the space around navigation beacons and just start scanning ships for wanted tags. If that red tag showed up, not only were they free game to shoot at, but you’d get paid for destroying them. Sweet, right?

In addition to all these juicy targets just nonchalantly cruising in front of you, there are usually a large number of other ships ready to tear into any ship carrying the wanted label. This means that you can pick a fight with a big ship – one you have zero chance of surviving on your own – and you’ve got a whole gang of folks right there to back you up. As long as you don’t accidentally shoot one of them, and get that wanted label yourself, you’re pretty much not going to get touched. It’s glorious.

Of course, once you start making money, it’s not good enough to just make money. You need to make MAD money! And you know what they say about making money: to make money, you have to spend money … on kick-butt ships and weapons.

A few hundred thousand doesn’t take you far in the various shipyards across the galaxy (that all manage to have perfectly uniform manufacturing standards despite the lightyears of distance between them - amazing!), but I am able to trade in my wet rag of a Sidewinder for a more sexy Viper MkIII., complete with a custom paintjob courtesy of the Commander’s Pack I picked up along with E:D and Horizons during the Steam summer sale.

With my new ride, I start looking for something a little more exciting and lucrative and, with the help of the internets, decide to go pirate raiding in resource collection areas.

The concept is just cool - schmucks trying to make a buck the old fashioned way will group up at resource rich zones around the galaxy and toil away in the mines - literally blasting ores from space rocks, collecting the shards, and eventually carry them to a neighboring station to sell them.

Dastardly folks will take advantage of the defenseless nature of the average mining vessel and steal the sweat off of their brow by attacking and/or destroying the ships, stealing their cargo, and selling it themselves for a nice profit.

Of course, all this pirate raiding gets you noticed by the local law enforcement, so bounties and wanted labels come back into play and well-meaning citizens in good standing with the local law are perfectly within the rights to start blasting. It is a fair society, after all.

I was a little nervous about jumping in head first, so @Tyco joined up with my on my first pirate raid and it was pretty cool.

Everybody say hi to @Tyco.

There were a lot of the garden variety of pirate who were probably just starting out but didn’t really have much of an offensive or defensive capability. These folks also didn’t have very large bounties associated with them, so the money wasn’t exactly pouring in.

Nice ship bro. It’d be a shame if something … happened to it.

Then I got cocky. Used to my successes against much larger ships in previous combat experiences, I decided to take on this Python - this ship is slow and lethargic but can pack a lot of weaponry. My tactic is to start a fight and then pull away and let the others jump in, distracting most if not all of those heavy guns away from me while I plink away in hit-and-run attacks, continuing to earn a bigger piece of the bounty.

Except no one showed up to the fight. Tyco was busy getting attacked by a bunch of other ships (the purple icons you see in the radar in the image above) and the Federal Agents, the sheriffs of the wild wild outer space, were nowhere to be seen (the green icons you DON’T see in the radar in the image above).

And once I had grabbed on to this Python’s tail, it was deadly to let go.

Yeah, I probably needed that.

I even tried to pull a James Kirk and sneak up on the guy behind a big space rock, but, in the end, he had just too much firepower and even with hit-and-run tactics, he was whittling away faster at my hull than I was at his, so I had to call it off.

I ended up netting over 500,000 credits for the night and bought a bunch of upgrades for my ship and hope to go on some crazy adventure again here soon.


Good fun! Illl have to join in with you. Viper mkiv here. Stuff gets expensive fast.


Nice write-up! Let me know when you’re flying, and I’ll bring my Viper or Vulture to the party.

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Same. Been looking to start playing again, where are you flying?

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I’m near the Eravate system right now, just exploring, looking for higher tech planets. If you any of you want, add me as a friend on Elite or Steam (user name is EinsteinEP in both cases), and we can try to meet up.

I’d like to make it Sol someday, just to do it.

Gotta kiss the federations butt a bit to get into Sol, but its nice. I haven been back since gamma/pre release. I’ll look you up.

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HEY my python resents (or resembles) you fat ship remarks :scream:


Superb write-up.


Hi Tyco!