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FYI that's me also.  I find that I often just don't enjoy playing games anymore if I'm not writing about them.  Strange, but it is what it is. 
Gothic II / Re: Gothic II Comments Thread
« Last post by Bremen on August 23, 2023, 02:32:39 PM »
PD overkill and MSP consumption is a bit of a surprise.

There are a lot of missile and point defence-related changes for v2.2. The post most relevant to the above is here:

Honestly the change I've been most excited for in a long time. The biggest issue with missiles right now is they're so binary, either you have enough PD and you're basically immune or you don't and missiles are savage because the vast ranges involved means it's basically impossible to close the range before the opponent can completely flush their magazines. This change keeps PD valuable while giving it diminishing returns - if you only have minimal PD compared to the number of missiles, that PD will be maximally effective, while if you have a great deal of PD it'll shoot down more but will rarely be 100% effective.
Gothic II / Re: Gothic II Comments Thread
« Last post by Warer on August 23, 2023, 11:36:29 AM »
Yeah I really like how the new missile and PD mechanics are looking, swarms of mini-missiles are cool and all but sometimes you just want to smash someones face in proper with some thick girthy capital ship breaker torpedos.
Gothic II / Re: Gothic II Comments Thread
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on August 23, 2023, 02:52:39 AM »
PD overkill and MSP consumption is a bit of a surprise.

There are a lot of missile and point defence-related changes for v2.2. The post most relevant to the above is here:
Gothic II / Re: Gothic II Comments Thread
« Last post by Garfunkel on August 22, 2023, 11:18:40 PM »
PD overkill and MSP consumption is a bit of a surprise.
Gothic II / Re: Gothic II Campaign Updates Thread
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on August 22, 2023, 05:27:13 PM »
In September 4002, the survey of the ruins on Orpheus III was completed. Two hundred and sixty-four sites of interest were identified. Meanwhile in Prospero, the Aquila lander monitoring events from a safe location observed another engagement in the same area before. Six new wrecks appeared.

On December 24th, the survey frigate Black Star discovered Lalande, a system three jumps from Sol via Alpha Centauri and Damocles. The red dwarf primary had eight planets, one of which was an ideal habitable world. Lalande II was larger than Terra, with gravity of 1.32G, a breathable atmosphere of 1.77 atm, oceans covering seventy-five percent of the surface and a temperature of 15C. The orbit was stable. Black Star had no drones loaded so she moved cautiously in-system. As she approached the seventh planet, a gas giant with eleven moons, she detected eight ships in orbit from a new alien race. Six 77,673 ton ships were designated as Canoptek class and the other two, at 14,452 tons, as Scarab class. The Scarabs had a shield signature, which confirmed them as warships. Black Star abandoned her approach and headed back to the Damocles jump point.

Three months later, Battlefleet Damocles, comprising three light cruisers and the light carrier Ad Liberis, arrived in Lalande to investigate the newly discovered alien race. The four ships moved within fifty million kilometres of the eight alien ships and attempted to establish communication. After ten days with no response, the fleet’s senior officer, Commander Viktor Vandis, decided to take his four ships in closer. As they moved within two million kilometres of the planet, the alien ships launched a wave of thirty torpedoes.

Battle Fleet Damocles
Endeavour class Light Cruiser: Sanctis Legate
Dauntless class Light Cruiser: Bellerophon, Unbroken Vow
Defiant class Light Carrier: Ad Liberis

Battlefleet Damocles reversed course immediately. Ad Liberis launched her eight Furies, with orders to assist the three light cruiser in defending the fleet, and her eight Starhawks with orders to launch torpedoes against the alien ships. The bombers launched a wave of ninety-six light torpedoes within a few seconds of leaving the hangar bay.

Ten inbound torpedoes of the first wave were destroyed by the ships of Battlefleet Prometheus and two more by the escorting Furies. The remaining eighteen struck the Bellerophon. Each missile had a pair of strength-1 warheads, sufficient to reduce the light cruiser’s shields by forty percent. Half the missiles from the second wave reached Unbroken Vow, dropping her should strength by a third.

Meanwhile, the Imperial light torpedoes were engaged by another wave of alien missiles, losing nine of their number. Battlefleet Damocles used the distraction to retreat so that Bellerophon and Unbroken Vow could recharge their depleted shields. Four more defensive salvos reduced the number of light torpedoes to half their original number, by which time the alien ships had moved away from the planet and were heading for the inner system at 411 km/s.

Sixteen of the forty-eight remaining torpedoes, which had strength-5 warheads, struck one of the two Scarab class ships. Three were attracted to a decoy launched by the alien ship. The remainder took down the shields and inflicted minor armour damage. As Battle Fleet Damocles did not have the defences required to survive closing on the alien fleet and the Starhawk salvo was not sufficient to inflict significant damage, Commander Vandis decided to withdraw to the jump point and request reinforcements.

At the other side of known space, the survey frigate Constantia encountered eight Talaemario ships in Helios, two jumps beyond the Gothic system via Caliban. This was the first significant Talaemario fleet to be found, which suggested their home system lay somewhere beyond Helios. Shortly after detecting the alien ships, Constantia received a message suggesting she should leave the system.

Six weeks after the brief engagement in Lalande, a strongly reinforced Battlefleet Damocles approached Lalande VII and found no trace of the alien ships. The fleet moved toward Lalande VI and detected a single 7200-ton ship of a new type, designated as Mephrit class, travelling at 5771 km/s. As the alien ship began to withdraw, the fleet detected short-lived sensor emissions from two more ships, designated as Scythe class, which were outside of active sensor range.

Battle Fleet Damocles
2x Lunar class Cruiser: Agrippa, Imperial Wrath
1x Dominator class Cruiser: Ferrum Aeterna
1x Dictator class Carrier: Rhadamanthine
1x Dread Argent class Strike Cruiser: Dread Argent
6x Dauntless class Light Cruiser: Advocate, Aegis, Bellerophon, Dauntless, Ravenor, Unbroken Vow
1x Endeavour class Light Cruiser: Sanctis Legate
1x Defiant class Light Carrier: Ad Liberis
2x Firestorm class Frigate: Kraken, Medusa
4x Sword class Frigate: Final Silence, Heroic Endeavour, Order Absolute, Pegasus
24x Starhawk class Bomber:
24x Fury class Interceptor:

The lone Mephrit maintained position at the edge of sensor range, shadowing the Imperium fleet. The new fleet commander, Captain Romulus Vash of the cruiser Imperial Wrath, dispatched two attack craft, a Fury interceptor and a Starhawk bomber, in the general direction of the Mephrit to test its defences. Both attack craft had their sensors inactive. The Mephrit moved outside sensor range of the main fleet revealing itself occasionally via sensor emissions, which allowed the attack craft to close within the bomber’s ten million kilometre sensor range. The Starhawk engaged its sensors to maintain a track on the alien ship while the Fury closed in to attack

The Fury opened fire without any response from the Mephrit, except for an attempt to escape. The emissions from the two Scythe class ships began moving straight toward the Imperium interceptor, but they were more than forty million kilometres away. After five minutes of constant lascannon fire, during which time the Fury almost ran out of maintenance supplies due to the strain on the weapons, the Mephrit exploded. Both attack craft headed back to the fleet.

The Scythes attempt to intercept the retreating attack craft brought them within sensor range of Battlefleet Damocles. Six ships were identified in the alien force: three Scythes of 21,724 tons and three Reapers of 14,455 tons.

Captain Vash ordered the deployed Starhawk to change course and shadow the alien fleet. The other twenty-three Starhawks launched and headed to join it. Once all the Starhawks were in a single fleet, they closed to within five million kilometres and launched two hundred and eighty-eight light torpedoes. During the previous engagement, a Scarab class ship had shrugged off a forty-eight torpedo attack, with sixteen hits barely penetrating the shields. Because of that experience, Vash decided this attack would focus on just two of the smaller ships, as the point defence capability of the alien fleet was unknown.

As the torpedo wave approached the alien fleet, there was no sign of the small torpedoes used to attack inbounds by the Scarabs. Instead, seventy of the missiles were struck by point blank defensive energy fire. Of the rest, twenty-seven were attracted to decoys and twenty-nine hit their targets. Both ships lost their shields but only suffered minor armour damage. The combination of shields and decoys was making the alien ships difficult to attack effectively. The alien ships initially pursued the Starhawks but then reversed course once the Starhawks landed on their carriers.

Battlefleet Damocles held position at Lalande VI while the alien fleet manoeuvred, approaching to within ten million kilometres and moving outside sensor range, a pattern that was repeated several times. The aliens pulled back as soon as the Imperial ships attempts to pursue. After seven or eight close passes, the aliens moved within four million kilometres, so Captain Vash decided to try a new torpedo attack, this time with the two Lunar class cruisers launching their own torpedoes in support of the Starhawks. The targets were as the same as the previous salvo, with each cruiser launching six standard torpedoes against one of the two targeted Reapers. The cruiser torpedoes were much larger and had six decoys each. They were also 20 km/s faster so they would run ahead of the light torpedoes and attract defensive fire.

The alien energy point defence fire destroyed five of the twelve standard torpedoes and even that required a large commitment of fire due to the decoys. Unfortunately only one struck its target. However, the reduction in defensive fire against the light torpedoes meant that only forty-seven are destroyed. Of the rest, thirty hit Reaper 001 and six of those hits penetrated both shields and armour. The ship slows to 4316 km/s. Reaper 002 still had at least one decoy, which distracted seven missiles. Sixteen hit, along with one standard torpedo, which took down the shields and inflicted six armour hits, but no internal damage.

All six alien ships immediately charged toward Battlefleet Damocles, which moved out to meet them. Abruptly, all but the damaged ship suddenly reversed course and ran, leaving the lone ship to face the Imperial Fleet.

The first hits were scored by the Dread Argent at 230,000 km, using her long-range bombardment cannon, followed by massed fire from the fleet’s lance batteries at 200,000 km. With no hard information on the weapons of the damaged Reaper, Battlefleet Damocles reversed course and continued firing both weapon systems. The weapon batteries were still out of range, but would open fire if the alien ship survived long enough to reach 160,000 km. Several penetrating hits slowed the ship to 1438 km/s, so Captain Vash ordered the fleet to close to 150,000 km. Massed fire from weapon batteries rapidly destroyed the alien ship. Unexpectedly, there were no life pods.

A few days later, the other five alien ships moved within five million kilometres. Captain Vash ordered a torpedo launch from just the two cruisers. The bombers remained in their bays as they had sufficient torpedoes for one further strike and Imperial reinforcements had just entered the system, including a second Dictator class carrier. Only three of the twelve torpedoes were destroyed by defensive fire. Four of the remainder hit, but all were absorbed by the shields. A follow salvo lost six to defensive fire and five missed, resulting in a solitary ineffective hit. The standard torpedoes seemed to be effective at penetrating the alien defensive, but a larger salvo was needed, as well as improved accuracy.

Substantial reinforcements arrived in late May, giving Battlefleet Damocles half the available tonnage of the entire Imperial Navy. With another strong fleet required in Proxima, Terra was covered by a relatively week fleet only half the size of Battlefleet Damocles. Captain Vash was ordered to use the power at his disposal to crush the alien and force a battle by attacking their home base, which was likely to be on Lalande II, the ideal habitable world.

Battle Fleet Damocles
2x Dictator class Carrier: Fortitude, Rhadamanthine
3x Lunar class Cruiser: Agrippa, Holy Flame, Imperial Wrath
2x Dominator class Cruiser: Ferrum Aeterna, Ultima Praetor
2x Dread Argent class Strike Cruiser: Angelic Blade, Dread Argent
1x Endeavour class Light Cruiser: Sanctis Legate
7x Dauntless class Light Cruiser: Advocate, Aegis, Bellerophon, Dauntless, Havock, Ravenor, Unbroken Vow
1x Defiant class Light Carrier: Archangel
4x Firestorm class Frigate: Firestorm, Kraken, Medusa, Vengeful
8x Sword class Frigate: Destiny's Hand, Excalibur, Final Silence, Heroic Endeavour, Order Absolute, Pegasus, Raven's Spear, Strident Virtue
10x Thunderhawk class Assault Transport
40 Starhawk class Bomber
40x Fury class Interceptor

As Battlefleet Damocles moved into the inner system, they detected sensors emissions from a new ship type, designated as Tesseract class, in orbit of the fourth planet, rather than the expected location of Lalande II. An hour later, two Scythe class ship also begin emitting from the fourth planet, then a shield signature is detected in orbit of the ideal habitable world; another new type designated as Shroud class. Captain Vash ordered Battlefleet Damocles to move between the two worlds so it could pinpoint all the various alien ships. Once within range, a considerable alien force was discovered.

Only two ships, a Shroud and a Cartouche, were in orbit of the ideal habitable world, both of which were 14,500 tons. Twenty-six ships were in orbit of Lalande IV, a frozen terrestrial world with a nitrogen atmosphere, carbon dioxide frozen on the surface and a surface temperature of -125C. Eighty-five percent of the surface was covered in ice sheets The alien fleet included the three Scythes and two Reapers that were recently engaged by Battlefleet Damocles, plus the six Canopteks and two Scarabs originally encountered by the Black Star. In addition, the fleet contained a third Scarab, two Shrouds and two Cartouche, a Monolith of 17,800 tons, a Tesseract of 14,500 tons, an Ankh, a Phaeron and two Khopesh, all of which were 7245 tons, and two Cairn of unknown size that were only detected via their sensor emissions.

Captain Vash ordered his fleet toward Lalande II, content to destroy the two isolated ships in orbit. As the fleet moved away, it come under torpedo attack from the direction of Lalande IV, with inbound waves of thirty-seven size-4 torpedoes travelling at 31,250 km/s. Despite eleven hundred and sixty individual defensive shots from weapon batteries, two inbound torpedoes with strength-7 warheads evaded all defensive fire and impacted on the shields of the light cruiser Bellerophon. The main reason for the two hits was that over eight hundred of the point shots were directed against torpedoes that were already destroyed.

All the torpedoes in the second, third and fourth waves were shot down, but with massive overkill and a significant number of weapon failures that consumed maintenance supplies to rectify. Captain Vash ordered the fleet to only defend using light weapon batteries in order to reduce the failure rate. The next six waves each registered a single hit each, after which the light cruiser Advocate and the frigates Destiny’s Hand and Firestorm were ordered to cease fire as their maintenance supplies were below sixty percent. Longer-term, the Imperial Navy would need to develop a point defence doctrine that reduced overkill to avoid depletion of maintenance supplies. A total of fourteen waves arrived before the attacks ceased, with a single hit each from the twelfth and thirteenth waves and two strikes on the frigate Order Absolute from the fourteenth. All damage was absorbed by shields. With the attack over, the focus of Battlefleet Damocles turned to the two ships in orbit of Lalande II.
Gothic II / Re: Gothic II Comments Thread
« Last post by nuclearslurpee on August 21, 2023, 10:12:25 AM »
Are those 26,000-ton survey ships I see? You weren't kidding about NPRs going big with their ship designs...

I already tend to ignore start-of-game build point limits and just instant-build ships up to what my command structure can support. Now I will ignore the limits even more because I will need bigger ships to be ready for such large NPR fleets!  :o

Looking forward to seeing some combat, hopefully the NPR tactical AI will be up to the task of piloting such big fleets, at least well enough to pose a credible threat to the Imperium and its shockingly undersized Navy.  ;D
Gothic II / Re: Gothic II Campaign Updates Thread
« Last post by Steve Walmsley on August 21, 2023, 09:41:55 AM »
The first priority of the Imperial Navy was a survey of the Sol system, a task that proved to have disappointing results from a geological perspective. None of the inner planets and moons, with the exception of Terra, had any mineral deposits. The only substantial deposits were anywhere in Sol were found on Ganymede, which had eight million tons of accessibility 0.8 Duranium, and on the comet Tempel 1, which had relatively small deposits of seven minerals, at medium to high accessibility. Gaseous Sorium exited on Uranus, which had two hundred thousand tons at 0.8 accessibility, and on Neptune, which had a substantially larger deposit, but at 0.7 accessibility.

Ganymede Survey Report
Duranium:   8,014,727   0.80
Corbomite:   2,753,675   0.40
Corundium:   399,626   0.10

Tempel 1 Survey Report
Duranium:   101,935   0.80
Neutronium:   15,233   1.00
Corbomite:   17,802   0.70
Tritanium:   52,323   0.50
Vendarite:   27,230   0.90
Sorium:   18,064   0.50
Gallicite:   70,698   1.00

The gravitational survey revealed six jump points. Four were in an arc covering ninety degree between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. The innermost lay between the orbits of Earth and Mars, while the outermost was at three point seven billion kilometres, inside the orbit of Neptune. With one exception, the systems beyond those jump points were as disappointing as the geological survey of Sol. In order of ascending distance to Sol, the jump points connected the following systems

•   Alpha Centauri: A G2-V / K1-V binary with four unremarkable planets
•   Proxima: A planetless red dwarf
•   Wolf 359: A red dwarf with single barren planet.
•   Orpheus: A red dwarf with ten planets, sixty moons and ninety asteroids.
•   Meridian: A brown dwarf with a single gas giant
•   Sirius: An A-class star with a single barren planet

In July 4001, a survey frigate discovered a lifeless, but partially intact alien colony on Orpheus III, an ice planet with an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere of 0.4 atm, including 0.06 atm of oxygen. The dominant terrain was Tundra, although ninety-seven percent of the surface was covered in an ice sheet, and the surface temperature was -62C. Both Ordo Xenos formations were dispatched to investigate. The discovery was very welcome, but overshadowed by events elsewhere.

A month earlier, the survey frigate Ascension, surveying the sole, barren planet in the Gothic system, two transits from Sol via Proxima, detected an alien ship designated as Kestrel 001. It was slightly larger than a Dauntless class light cruiser and travelling at 3704 km/s. A second vessel of the same type appeared then both ships moved out of sensor range.

The moment that the Imperium feared had arrived – contact with an alien race and only two transits from Sol. The only positive was that the alien ships were not immediately hostile. The Emperor demanded more information on the threat, so a frigate squadron, comprising two Swords, a Firestorm and a Falchion, was dispatched to Gothic to investigate. A more powerful light cruiser force, comprising two Dauntless, an Endeavour and a Defiant class light carrier, was moved to guard the Proxima – Gothic jump point against any further alien incursion. Finally, a Carrack class freighter and an Orca class trop transport, carrying a deep space tracking station and four Planetary Defence regiments, were dispatched to the lone planet in the system to establish an outpost.

Frigate Squadron Alpha
Sword class Frigate: Destiny's Hand, Excalibur
Firestorm class Frigate: Firestorm
Falchion class Frigate: Falchion

Battlefleet Proxima
Dauntless class Light Cruiser: Advocate, Dauntless
Endeavour class Light Cruiser: Leonid
Defiant class Light Carrier: Archangel
8x Fury class Interceptor
8x Starhawk class Bomber

Two weeks later, on June 22nd 4001, Frigate Squadron Alpha was en route from the Proxima jump point to the lone planet in Gothic when it detected sensor emissions from a ship of a second alien race, designated as Mako class, that was moving at almost 5000 km/s. The contact was brief as alien ship disengaged its sensors shortly thereafter. The squadron arrived at the planet without any further contact with either alien race.

The Mako reappeared three weeks later and joined the Imperial ships in orbit of the planet, where active sensors could determine its size as 26,373 tons. There was no sign of hostility and the aliens plainly wished to establish communications. This was unexpected, as the Imperium had assumed alien races would all be hostile. The Emperor was informed and he agreed to communication efforts. After all, if the Imperium was to eliminate any threat to Terra, learning as much as possible about those threats first could only be beneficial.

On August 10th, Ascension discovered a stabilised jump point in Gothic and moved to investigate. To the considerable shock of her crew, she encountered a vast fleet from the first alien race, comprising over seventy ships and totalling two and a half million tons. The entire Imperial Navy was less than one million tons. Whether they were warships was unknown, as the survey frigate was unable to detect engine emissions while the alien ships were stationary.

1x Red Kite: 117,596 tons
5x Solarhawk: 49,270 tons
19x Stormhawk: 40,456 tons
2x Darkhawk: 37,768 tons
19x Stormfalcon: 36,518 tons
5x Star Eagle: 33,081 tons
19x Storm Eagle: 23,932 tons
2x Sunhawk: 21,881 tons
1x Nightfalcon: 15,860 tons

Ascension transited the new jump point and discovered the system of Prospero, which had a G1-V primary, similar to Sol, orbited by four planets. Prospero IV was the same size as Terra, with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 1.06 atm and seventy percent of the surface covered with oceans. The only factor preventing Prospero IV from being a virtual twin of Terra was the temperature of 26.5C, resulting in jungle being the dominant terrain. There were three ship wrecks located eight hundred million kilometres from the primary, all of unknown classes. There was no sign of any alien ship near the Prospero side of the jump point, so Ascension moved in-system on an indirect course with the intention of launching an Augur Drone once she was within range. Meanwhile, given the size of the alien fleet in Gothic, substantial reinforcements were dispatched to Battlefleet Proxima.

Proxima Reinforcements
1x Dictator class Carrier: Rhadamanthine
2x Lunar class Cruiser: Agrippa, Imperial Wrath
1x Dread Argent class Strike Cruiser: Dread Argent
6x Thunderhawk Assault Transport
16x Fury class Interceptor
16x Starhawk class Bomber

Four days after Ascension entered Prospero, with the Augur drone still en route to the fourth planet, she detected over a hundred strength-3 energy weapon impacts at the site of the alien wrecks, followed by the appearance of a new wreck of 68,459 tons. Ascension launched a second Augur drone, this time toward the area of the wrecks.

The Augur drone arrived at the habitable planet on August 17th and found a population signature similar to Terra, which strongly suggested this was the home world of the first aliens to be encountered in Gothic. Six ships were at the planet, three War Talons and three Strike Hawks, all of which were the size of Lunar class cruisers. However, their shields were three times as strong as the Lunar. Shortly after the drone arrived, an alien fleet was detected moving toward its home world. This time, the ships were definitely military. The core of the fleet was seven Warbirds of 56,654 tons, fifty percent larger than a Lunar class cruiser. They were accompanied by a Condor, three Darkhawks and two Sparrowhawks, all of which were around 37,700 tons, plus three War Eagles of 18,860 tons. The Warbirds had twice the shield strength of the Lunar and the shield strength of the cruiser-sized ships was over two hundred.

This new fleet was in addition to the huge fleet detected in Gothic and their approach vector suggested that they were responsible for the shipwrecks. The Imperium was obviously facing a formidable alien race, located within three transits of Sol, which had similar population, a much larger fleet and apparently superior technology. The Prospero aliens appeared to have warships in similar size ranges to the Lunar cruiser and Dauntless light cruiser, but the Warbird was an even larger type that Imperial Intelligence quickly designated as a Battlecruiser. The Imperium was seriously outmatched and a massive military build-up was required. The problem would be finding the resources to support that build-up, as every system so found had proved disappointing in terms of mineral resources. In the meantime, the Emperor declared that the planet in the Gothic system would be built up into a fortress to act as a forward outpost against the aliens. The only small light in the darkness was the speed of the alien warships, which was 3700 km/s, slower than the 4000 km/s speed of the Imperial Navy.

Twenty-four hours later, the assumption that the alien fleet arriving at the home world was responsible for the recent battle proved to be incorrect. The second augur drone arrived at the wreckage and found an even larger alien fleet present. Seven Warbird class battlecruisers, twelve cruiser-sized ships and eight light cruisers.

A hundred and thirty-four ships of the Prospero aliens had now been identified, totalling four and a half million tons. One point eight million tons was confirmed to have military engines, with the rest unknown. A day after the detection of the latest fleet, one of the wrecks disappeared, indicating that at least one of the unknown ships at the wreck site was a salvage vessel. Shortly thereafter, the Firehawk moved and the drone identified it had commercial engines. Both drones eventually expired, but had provided a wealth of information.

Ascension continued her survey of a single survey location near the Gothic jump point, intending to return to Gothic afterwards to avoid being discovered in the alien home system. Ten days after the previous detection of energy weapon fire, she detected one hundred and sixty-four weapon impacts in the same location. Three new wrecks appeared. There was no way to tell if this combat was against the second alien race encountered in Gothic, or a third alien race that the Imperium had yet to detect.

On September 11th 4001, Orca Aurigae, a troop transport carrying four planetary defence regiments to the new colony on Gothic I, transited into the Gothic system and detected two new ships of the Prospero aliens stationed on the Proxima jump point. One was a previously undetected War Eagle light cruiser while the other was a Flamehawk, a new class of 72,793 tons equipped with commercial engines. Given the location and size, Imperial Intelligence believed the Flamehawk was potentially a stabilisation ship.

By this point, only one ship of the second alien race encountered in Gothic has been detected, a 26,373 ton Mako with military engines and a speed of 4976 km/s. On September 12th, the recently emplaced tracking station at the Gothic Colony detected a second ship. Designated as Barracuda class, it was a military-engined vessel of 9607 tons with a speed of 2927 km/s. The Barracuda moved into orbit of the planet where it remained for several weeks, enabling sustained progress on translating the alien language. Full communication was established on October 25th. The aliens identified themselves as the Talaemario Cartel, which Imperial diplomats learned was a business organization so successful it ended up running the planetary government. Throughout negotiations, the Cartel representatives conducted themselves in a very non-threatening manner and seemed keen to build a relationship with the Imperium.

In contrast, Imperial linguists were struggling to translate the language of the aliens from the adjacent Prospero system. Amidst those communication efforts, led by the crew of an Emissary class Diplomatic Station which had been recently towed into orbit of the Gothic colony, two separate unintelligible messages had been directed to Imperial ships in Gothic that were entirely unconnected to the main dialogue. Imperial Intelligence believed the Prospero aliens were tolerant of the diplomatic station, but potentially warning other ships to stay out of the system. Establishing communication was becoming more urgent. Meanwhile, in an effort to monitor the events in Prospero, an Aquila lander was ordered to transit and hide in the outer system, where it could detect any further signs of conflict without risking detection itself. On arrival, the lander detected nine wrecks now in the same location, which gradually disappeared over time. A third unintelligible message was received in mid-November and a fourth in early January, both directed at ships in Gothic. The Aquila remained undetected.

On January 15th 4002, the Gothic – Proxima jump point was stabilised by the Prospero aliens, confirming that the Flamehawk was a stabilisation ship. The Flamehawk and its light cruiser escort, a War Eagle, transited into Proxima, where Battlefleet Proxima was stationed at the Gothic jump point. The Proxima side of the jump point had already been stabilised by the Imperium. The two alien ships remained for a few hours, then transited back into Gothic and headed toward the outer system for a few hours before reversing course and entering Proxima again.

Battlefleet Proxima
Dictator class Carrier: Rhadamanthine
Lunar class Cruiser: Agrippa, Imperial Wrath
Dread Argent class Strike Cruiser: Dread Argent
Endeavour class Light Cruiser: Leonid
Dauntless class Light Cruiser: Advocate, Dauntless
Defiant class Light Carrier: Archangel
6x Thunderhawk class Assault Transport
24x Starhawk class Bomber
24x Fury class Interceptor

In February, the survey frigate Constantia discovered a new jump point in Gothic and moved to investigate. Passing a pair of Talaemario ships on the Gothic side of the jump point, Constantia transited and discovered the Caliban system, comprising an orange K2-V primary, five planets and twenty-six moons. Caliban II was a large terrestrial planet with gravity of 1.11G, a breathable atmosphere of 1.24 atm and a surface temperature of -67C. Large ice sheets covered eighty-six percent of the surface. The orbit was highly eccentric, resulting in a temperature of -77C at its apogee of one hundred and twenty million kilometres and 115C at the perigee of forty million kilometres. During the six month orbital period, the ice sheets would melt into seas, then begin evaporating before the process reversed again. As the arrival jump point was just four million kilometres from the primary, the frigate immediately launched an augur drone toward the planet, which revealed it was uninhabited. Constantia began a geological survey of the planets and encountered the same Mako class ship of the Cartel that was detected in Gothic.

A fleet from the Prospero aliens entered Proxima in early March 4002. The intruding force comprised a Darkhawk class cruiser, a War Eagle class light cruiser, five 33,000 ton commercial-engined Star Eagles, the Flamehawk stabilisation ship and two other ships that had yet to be classified; a 35,000 ton Skyhawk and a 22,000 ton Sunhawk. Given the overall size of the alien fleets in Gothic and Prospero, Battlefleet Proxima was operating under rules of engagement that only permitted action if directly provoked. The Imperium was trying to establish a well-defended base on the single planet in the Gothic system before any open hostilities commenced. A week later, full communication was finally established with the Prospero aliens. They identified themselves as the Raptor Empire, a name that did nothing to dampen Imperial concerns regarding potential future conflict.

On March 20th, nineteen 40,000 ton Stormhawk class ships entered Proxima and join the other Raptor ships on the Gothic jump point. Battlefleet Proxima moved four hundred thousand kilometres back from the jump point to avoid the consequences of a potential point-blank surprise attack. Meanwhile, in the Gothic system, the Imperial population had passed five million, so the Imperium issued a request to the Talaemario Cartel  and the Raptor Empire to accept Imperial sovereignty and depart. The Talaemario Cartel accepted the request. There was no response from the Raptors.
Clearly the empire maintains an aEtherInch (EIn) and a Terrestrial Inch (TIn), after all space is big so the measurements used for it should be big as well! Alas this leads to some confusion as torpedos, as primarily space based weapons, use EIn while railguns, which are really just regular old cannons that some bofin got frisky with when you think about it, and other such weapons use TIn to reflect their ancient and honored past of use in warfare on Earths surface.
This is absolutely the explanation I should of used and I thank you for providing it. :)
Frankly, if the authors of fighting-related posts gave as much consideration for such trivia as "interest" and "depth", many AARs would be vastly improved for it.
It is odd that so few exploit the incredible role play and depth potential of the game.

Thinking and writing is hard, I don't keep notes for school much less a game! If I do RP as I play I tend to just keep it between the ears.

I'm very opposite, I keep notes even for games I don't end up publishing as AARs. At some point it becomes almost as much of an addiction as the actual game...  ;D
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