Morden, can you provide me with a summery of what is included in the book. Incoulding a overview of each chapter in the book.
Don't ask for much, do you?
Chapter 1 - Overview
Chapter 2 - History
Chapter 3 - Organisation
Chapter 4 - Life In EarthForce
Chapter 5 - Black Projects
Chapter 6 - Campaigns
Chapter 7 - Adventures
Chapter 8 - New Prestige Classes
Chapter 9 - License
The good stuff starts in the Overview when on page 5, it tells you the current naval disposition. It covers planets, bases, ships, and which fleet those ships belong to. The book is written to cover all time periods, but considers the current time period after Clark has been ousted. It then goes on to tell us how many ships were in Earthforce during the major events from the Dilgar War to the Drakh War.
I pretty much skimmed the history section. There's a lot of good information here, but I'm saving it for another day. It goes into detail on the major events from the beginning of space exploration to the present. One cool chart they include is the evolution of the Earthforce capital ships.
The organization is a pretty self explanatory chapter. It covers everything from the president and the joint chiefs of staff down to the positions of the various branches of Earthforce. This is a great section because it should give the GM a good place to start when deciding what rank to start characters at and what rank they should be working towards. There is some very interesting stuff in here, my favorite section going into the areas of research. One of the things a GM needs to do is figure out exactly what technology the EA already has so that it can figure out what sorts of alien tech would be worth pursuing. This gives you exactly that information. The section on research includes medical, weapons, electronics, hyperspacial, gravitics, and psychology. The areas for all branches of Earthforce are broken down from top to bottom.
Earthforce Life gets into the specific ranks, medals, careers, and training. One cool thing here is that there's a Tour of Duty table that lets you roll what major events your character may have been involved in based on what years they have served. This goes all the way back to 2240. The rest covers life aboard a ship and everything that it entails, from the chain of command, to drills, to equipment and uniforms, to equipement.
Now, that's all been cool, but I start getting very interested in the Black Projects section. Here you start to learn about what Earth has been doing with this Shadow tech they've managed to acquire, and how it's been implemented. I have to say that the Nemesis class ship is one of the cooler ideas I've seen. After the ships, it then goes on to list some of the specific black projects earth has been working on. There is campaign fodder galore in this chapter.
And as long as we're talking about campaign fodder, the Campaigns chapter is nothing but campaign fodder. It gives you the run-down of the different types of campaigns you can run in this universe, and even starts you off with several different campaign suggestions based on which branch you serve in. For example, the naval campaign has suggestions for the station campaign, the ship campaign, each of those offering two separate specific campaign locations. Then it goes into timeframes in which to set the game.
The adventures chapter offers some very useful adventures. I like it because it doesn't just give you a bunch of guidelines to run the game by, but actually provides players of the game with several shared experiences, which is valuable with any RPG.
Finally the prestige classes chapter has the Advanced Starfury class and the Special Forces Operative. I'm personally not that excited about brand new prestige classes, just because we see so many of them in other D20 lines, but these are pretty cool and seem like they'd be useful.
Hope that helps.