Your embassy is the diplomatic and communications nerve centre of your operation. From here you can join and maintain alliances, keep abreast of any agreements and monopolies you have, and send and view personal messages.
This section of the Embassy screen lists all unread messages received. You will see a number in brackets on the main menu against the 'Embassy' section whenever you have new messages, indicating how many new messages there are. To read a message, click on it in the list. You can reply to the message or delete it.
You can view all your read and sent personal messages by clicking the 'View All Messages' link on the right hand side of this section of the Embassy. Additionally, you can always create a new message from the 'Write New Message' link that appears on both the Embassy and the Message Bank screens.
When writing a new message, you must select the 'To' House. You can either input the correct name, or else use the 'Search' function to display a list of the Houses in your Galaxy. You can search for only Houses whose name contains certain text by selecting the 'substring' option from the dropdown box.
Your messages will be stored indefinitely until you delete them
You may, if you wish, form or join an alliance with one or more other Houses. By entering into such an alliance, you are making a commitment to assist your allies and do what you can to ensure the well-being of allied Houses as well as your own.
You may only enter one 'official' alliance, so you should choose your allies carefully. You do not want to be dragged into damaging conflicts for no good reason by a foolhardy ally. The position of your allies' homeworld in relation to your own is also important. If an ally is out of your operational range then you may not be able to assist in defending his/her homeworld, and vice versa. But if an ally is very close by, the overall area of influence of your alliance will be limited. A further consideration might be the real-world time zone of your ally. If you are logged on at different times then perhaps your ally will pick up on events that occur when you are offline and be able to react quickly to stave off disaster. This is particularly relevant if you are on holiday or otherwise unable to log in for a lengthy period.
When you first join an alliance, you should access the 'Alliance Defence' screen from the main Alliance Details page, and set your preferences for defending your allies. If you are very weak militarily, you may wish to hold off from selecting the 'Defend All Allies' option. However it is good manners to ensure that your fortresses and patrols will defend any ally who should come under attack on a planet where you have a military presence, and most alliances will encourage you to do so.
You can create your own alliance (requires a status score of more than 25, and costs $5000), or request permission to join an existing alliance, by clicking the 'View/Join Alliance' link from the Embassy page. This screen will list all existing alliances. If you wish to join an alliance you can click the appropriate link and input a message to accompany your application. There is no limit to the number of players that may enter into a given alliance. A large alliance will be politically and militarily powerful - if all of its members are loyal and reliable.
This section of the embassy indicates how many Houses you have earnt feud score against. You may only legitimately conduct military operations against a House on planets that fall within Imperial Jurisdiction if you have adequate Feud Score against that House - normally two points for a full-scale military operation.
For details of the military actions you may take against such enemies, see the Feuds section of the rulebook.
Feud Score against a given House is normally accrued whenever that House conducts hostile operations against you. A 'Feud Score' indicates recognition from the Senate and Galactic populace as a whole that your House has been wronged and you have justifiable reason to take action against your enemy to the extent that your Feud Score allows. Feud Score can be increased through many situations, including the discovery of enemy agents attempting covert operations against you, the receipt of an insult from another House, or the failure of a House to repay a debt due to you. Additionally, the Emperor gains Feud Score against tax dodgers, loan defaulters and those who receive repeated warnings for funding piracy or trading in outlawed commodities.
Your House is likely to compete in its economic activities both with local small Houses and also the more important large Houses in the galaxy. In order to minimize potential conflict and increase your own growth potential, you may wish to cement official Agreements with your competitors, to allow you to operate unimpeded in certain economic areas, in return for similar concessions elsewhere from your own House. You may offer new agreements and view those proposed to your House from others, from the 'Agreement Offers' link alongside the Agreements section of your embassy.
Once you reach Lesser House status (>25 status points) you are able to impose economic embargoes against rival Houses, if you so desire. You may also find yourself subject to such measures from other Houses. You will see a section on your Embassy screen once you reach the appropriate status, listing any embargoes currently imposed either by or upon your House. You may impose a new embargo against a House, either on a single planet or for all planets in the galaxy, by following the 'Impose Embargo' link in this section.
The effects of an embargo will depend upon your influence on a given planet. The more influence you have, relative to that of other Houses on the planet, the more damaging an embargo imposed by you will be. It is quite possible to cripple a rival's operations on a planet through the imposition of an embargo, if you have a lot of influence on the planet in question, and other Houses have little influence there. However, should several Houses have more influence than you do on the planet concerned, there is little point in an embargo unless they also join in.
Imposing an embargo against another House does have some negative effects on your own operations. The act will cost you status, since such economic aggression is considered distasteful. An embargo on a single planet will cost you 1 status, whilst a pan-galactic embargo against a House, will cost you 3 status. Additionally, the target House will accrue Feud Score against you, and may choose to escalate the issue with military action. Finally, all of your own operations on the planet concerned will suffer a slightly increased maintenance cost for each embargo you impose, representing the effort of administering such an embargo and ensuring all goods and services on the planet(s) in question are not purchased from this House.
Note that once imposed, you may not lift an embargo until at least ten game days have passed.
Clicking this link will take you to a page from where you may host a one-off diplomatic function in order to boost your status temporarily. If your function is lavish enough, it will even make the news headlines. All status gains from such functions are temporary and will be removed again after one game year - so keeping up your status can be a costly business if you rely heavily on such functions! There are five types of function, varying in cost from $1500 to host a low-key reception up to $15000 to stage a festival spanning several days. The status you will gain ranges from 1-10 points and is directly proportional to the cost of the function.
As seen in the Rulebook