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It is said that they slow down the rebel fleet, but how does that works exactly? Is the fleet slowed down when they encounter a nebula beacon? Or is it when the player explore a nebula beacon? Or do you just need to have nebulae beacons in a system to make the fleet slower?

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When the player "explores"/visits a nebula beacon, the rebel fleet advance for that turn is cut by half. i.e. if you visited 2 nebula beacons continuously, the rebel fleet would advance as much as it would have if you had visited 1 normal/non-nebula beacon.

In Uncharted Nebula sectors the enemy fleet will be prepared for the nebula. This means that all the nebula beacons in the sector will only slow them down to 3/4th of their original speed. So even though the sector is full of Nebula beacons you would not gain double the amount of turns as a normal sector.

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How about nebulae in cloud systems, those that "the fleet is prepared for"? –  Fadeway Aug 17 '13 at 11:25
    
All nebulae delay the rebel forces, no matter what system you are in. The more nebulae you visit the more turns you get, which means you can explore more, hence a higher score. –  Samyam Aug 17 '13 at 11:57
    
But do they have the same effect magnitude (aka 1/2)? The game says they don't slow the rebels down as much, since they're prepared. –  Fadeway Aug 17 '13 at 13:16
    
Ah! you meant the Nebula Sectors! Yes, they do not have the same slowing down effect as normal sectors, since most of the beacons in the Nebula sectors are Nebual clouds. The effect is that they only slow them down to 3/4th the speed. –  Samyam Aug 17 '13 at 14:02
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@Fadeway - Adding this info to the answer. Thanks for bringing that up. –  Samyam Aug 17 '13 at 14:07

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