Author Topic: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11  (Read 3389 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« on: October 12, 2010, 06:21:56 AM »
Only a short update this time...

17th August 2034
NATO completes a survey of Wolf 359, two transits from Sol via Proxima, which reveals the presence of four unexplored jump points. Although no naval task group is available to support jump point probes, all four NATO gravitational survey ships are in Wolf 359. As exploration of this chain is to check for signs of alien life in relatively close proximity to Sol, rather than expanding NATO territory, Admiral Thorn gives the survey ships permission to investigate all four jump points and the systems beyond, with the proviso that they explore one system at a time and use their recon probes as much as possible.

24th August 2034
Copernicus transits the innermost unexplored jump point of Wolf 359 and finds herself in Wolf 358, a binary red dwarf system with four planets and thirty-four moons, none of which are even remotely habitable. The other three Galileo class survey ships enter the system and begin a gravitational survey while Copernicus checks out the planets for signs of life. She uses the last of her recon drones to cover the second and third planets of the primary, moves to the innermost world to scan with her onboard sensors and finishes with a close pass of the solitary world orbiting the B component. Finding nothing, she joins her three sister ships in the system survey.

18th September 2034
The Soviet resurvey of Alpha Centauri is completed, without discovering any new jump points. With the dormant jump point theory now discredited, the assumption is that all of the Goavelha survey ships found in Alpha Centauri must have entered the system from Ross 154 or Sol before the jump points were picketed and before both NATO and the Soviet Union upgraded their Earth-based sensors.

1st October 2034
A Goavelha construction ship transits into Alpha Centauri from Ross 154, confirming that Ross 154 appears to be the source of the recent Goavelha activity in Alpha Centauri. Rather than immediately destroy the ship, Admiral Melnikov orders the picket force at the jump point to allow the construction ship to carry out its task. Construction of a jump gate would allow Soviet ships to enter Ross 154. If the Goavelha are that keen to build one, he is happy to let them do so.

24th October 2034
A Goavelha construction ship enters Gorshkov from Gliese 908 and heads for the Kostinbrod jump point. A single Soviet FAC, based at Gorshkov II, intercepts the construction ship and opens fire with its twin 100mm railguns. Although the Goavelha vessel only has minimal armour, a single railgun round will only hole the armour without penetrating and two hits in the same location are required to cause internal damage. Due to the size of the ship, it requires almost eighty hits to destroy it. The FAC picks up the Goavelha life pods and returns to Gorshkov II. The Soviet Union dispatches a salvage ship from Sol to investigate the wreckage.

While the stream of almost suicidal missions by Goavelha Host survey and construction ships poses no real threat to NATO or the Soviet Union, apart from the strategic nature of any astrographic data that might be obtained, their determination to keep sending ships in the search for new information or the chance of opening up a new jump chain indicates the relentless nature of the Host and the total obedience of its crews. Human strategists are also concerned that the sheer number of ships on such missions and the Host's almost casual disregard for its losses, indicates the Goavelha must have a substantial industrial base. If the Goavelha decide to focus their military efforts on Sol, the potential invasion force could be considerable.

Interrogation of the construction ship's surviving crew, ferried back to Gorshkov II in very cramped conditions, reveals one of the crew members previously served on a geological survey ship that carried out a survey of Gliese 908. After some persuasion by his Soviet interrogators, he provides fairly detailed information on the system's mineral resources. Gliese 908 II, home to the system's major population centre, has deposits of every mineral, ranging from 40,000 to 200,000 tons at mid-to-high accessibility. There are also other substantial accessible deposits in the system, although spread out among different system bodies with only one or two mineral types in each location. The Soviet Union does not share this information with NATO and the first long term plans are drawn up for an unilateral Soviet operation to take the system.

1st November 2034
After completing a survey of Wolf 358, in which they found two new jump points, the four NATO gravitational survey ships return to Wolf 359 and assemble at the unexplored jump point four. Copernicus carries out the first transit and arrives in SFT 1321, a binary system twenty light years from Earth with a planetless K7-V primary and a red dwarf companion orbiting at fifteen billion kilometers. Seven planets orbit the red dwarf, including a terrestrial world with a 0.11 atm nitrogen - oxygen atmosphere and a surface temperature of -53C. Four wrecks are in orbit of the planet, three of which are 12,900 tons and the fourth is 1900 tons. One of the larger wrecks appears to be a Golem Poseidon class, which suggests the other unclassified wrecks may also be Golems. Copernicus sets course for the solar system of SFT 1321 to check for any signs of life while Galileo, Kepler and Newton begin a gravitational survey of the primary.

3rd December 2034
The two Mackenzie class Maintenance Vessels, escorted by a Daring and a Spruance, arrive in orbit of the second planet in the Heintz 299 system, which has seven unexplored jump points. The planet will serve as a forward maintenance base and the Mackenzies have brought fuel, maintenance supplies and minerals with them. Between the two ships they will be able to maintain NATO vessels of up to six thousand tons, which includes both the Discovery class geological survey ship and the Galileo class gravitational survey ship, without the need for a supporting population. Two more Mackenzies are under construction, which will increase the maximum ship size to 12,000 tons if all four operate in unison.

10th December 2034
As Copernicus approaches the planetary system of SFT 1321-B, her EM sensor detects active sensor emissions from four Golem ships on an intercept course at a distance of ninety million kilometers. Her tactical computers identify three of the emissions as being from Archidamus, Leonidas and Artemis class ships, all of which have been encountered before. The fourth is from a new class designated as the Telemachus. The size of the Telemachus is unknown as the only information available is from its sensor emissions. The three known classes were first encountered in Tau Ceti in June 2029 and are all 6450 tons. At least one is missile armed as the survey ship Beagle was destroyed during that encounter by missile fire from a Golem fleet containing only those types. Copernicus immediately reverses course and runs for the jump point, although it is almost certainly futile as the Golems have a speed advantage of nearly 3000 km/s. Her captain, Commander Craig Heitz, considers turning off his own active sensors to avoid giving away his position but according to his tactical officer Copernicus is well within the detection range of the Golem active sensors. Once again the dangers of sending survey ships into potentially hostile systems are made all too apparent. Fourteen billion kilometers away, Copernicus' sister ships heed her warnings, abandon their survey and set course for Wolf 359.

One hour after the initial detection, Copernicus is hit by three anti-ship missiles with strength-8 warheads. The 6000 ton survey ship is shaken to her keel and suffers serious internal damage, reducing her speed by 25%. Thirty seconds later a second wave of missiles arrives. Copernicus is struck four times and explodes. Two hundred and thirteen crewmen, including Commander Heitz, make it to the life pods but there is no chance of rescue.

7th January 2035
The survey ship Galileo arrives in Sol via the Proxima jump point, bringing news of the destruction of Copernicus. With four wrecks already in the SFT 1321 system and at least four active Golem ships, President von Kolbe of the Eridani Republic urges other NATO leaders to mount an expedition in the hopes of gaining new technological knowledge. Their is some concern among NATO leaders that President von Kolbe is obsessed with the Golems due to the loss of four ships under his command to a Golem attack in Gliese 87 in June 2032. Given that the Golems seem content to remain in the systems they guard, that SFT 1321 is three jumps from Sol and that NATO has no plans to colonize the Proxima chain, there is little appetite for dispatching a substantial NATO force when there are greater dangers closer to home. Besides, with no jump gates en route, only light carriers and their escorts would be able to reach the system. Despite the objections of President von Kolbe, the majority decision of the NATO leaders is that no further exploration of the Proxima chain will be undertaken, even though it contains four unexplored jump points, and that all survey resources will be concentrated in Heintz 299.

27th January 2035
Graf Zeppelin and Independence are taken into the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Roanoke orbit to be fitted with Magneto-plasma drive engines. This will increase their speed from 3750 km/s to 5000 km/s. Each ship has sixty engines so this is a very expensive process and will require five months of yard time. As there is no sign of any activity from the Goavelha or the hostile aliens in 82 Eridani and all three of the other carriers have recently been overhauled, Admiral Thorn has decided this is as good a time as any to upgrade his primary warship class. Clemenceau, a sixth Enterprise class fleet carrier, is laid down in the same shipyard.

30th January 2035
NATO Engineers recover an intact research facility from the abandoned alien colony on New Plymouth. Within the facility the engineers discover alien technology that will significantly improve the efficiency of all NATO research facilities, boosting their output by as much as twenty-five percent.

15th February 2035
The fleet carrier Akagi becomes the first to change to the new Future Strikegroup model for her fighter group, although she is still using F-24A Cobras instead of the newer variants. Her full strikegroup is as follows:

48x F-24A Cobra Strikefighter
18x F-32A Anaconda Interceptor
4x J-30B Vanguard Jump Scout
4x K-31A Boa Tanker
Magazine Loadout: 500x AGM-1C Sabre Anti-Ship Missile

18th February 2035
With no sign of any Goavelha attack since the destruction of Admiral Gorshkov in June 2033, many NATO political leaders begin to question the wisdom of deploying NATO ships at the Sol - Gorshkov jump point. The jump point defenders include the light carrier Indomitable, three Virginia class cruisers, three Cerberus class monitors, the jump cruiser Leonidas, two Daring class area defence cruisers, a Spruance class destroyer escort, a dozen Valhalla class fast attack craft and a pair of Asgard class fast scouts. Admiral Thorn explains the benefits of defending at a choke point but the politicians are more interested in the fact that the ships are deployed almost six billion kilometers from Earth and the vital Sol - Epsilon Eridani jump point, the Goavelha do not seem to be the huge threat that NATO military leaders led them to believe and the ships are therefore running up unnecessary maintenance costs. The Admiral points out that NATO's politicians were just as interested in defending the Sol - Gorshkov jump point eighteen months previously when there appeared to be a clear and present danger to the Sol system and just because there has been no attack in that time, does not mean there will never be an attack. His remit is to guard NATO against all potential threats, not just immediate ones. The only significant voice defending the Admiral's position is President von Kolbe, who argues that defending  NATO as far as possible from its major population centres must be the wisest course. Unfortunately, there is a growing rift being the President and the other NATO leaders, partly because none of them have a military background and they are suspicious of his close links to the NATO naval forces but mainly because they resent the rapidly growing power of the Eridani Republic.

The population of the Eridani Republic is now three hundred and seventy million, spread across five planets, which makes it the most populous member of NATO. The total population of NATO countries on Earth is 1.12 billion, which has fallen by about ten percent from its highest point, mainly due to migration from Earth to the Eridani Republic, although the lingering radiation from the Sino-Soviet war has resulted in a negative growth rate for several years. There are also fifty-seven million colonists living on Mars, where there is a growing independence movement fed by a perceived lack of interest and investment from Earth. Mars is still effectively ruled by the NATO council and is not a separate, sovereign member of NATO. All but two of NATO's shipyards are in Epsilon Eridani, either in orbit of Roanoke or Mothball, and Jamestown has almost sixty percent of NATO's construction factories. The primary fleet base for NATO is Roanoke and currently all five fleet carriers and four out of five light carriers are either in Roanoke orbit or in its shipyards.

Several NATO leaders now realize that they should have paid more attention to the economic projections of their advisors when considering the creation of the Eridani Republic, rather than the immediate political advantages of shifting responsibility for dealing with alien threats in the colonies to someone else. A growing awareness of their steadily weakening position in terms of the power share within NATO has led a few politicians to call for a halt to colonization and an Earth First policy, returning industry and shipyards to the home world. Their constituents have other ideas, with opinion polls showing the aspiration of the vast majority is a home in the Eridani Republic. As well as the obvious advantages of more living space, no after-effects of recent nuclear warfare, and an extra jump point between Epsilon Eridani and the threat of alien invasion or Soviet attack, the general quality of life in the colonies has been highlighted in well-funded advertising campaigns by the Eridani Republic and several private shipping lines. Bookings for colony ships, both state-owned and commercial, have never been higher.

As a result of their growing resentment of the Eridani Republic in general and President von Kolbe in particular, a majority of the leaders of NATO countries on Earth seem to take an contrary view to von Kolbe almost as a matter of principle. There are some NATO politicians who are more interested in the long-term good of NATO's citizens than their own short-term fortunes but they are too few to counter a festering rift within the alliance. As a result of this, a majority decision is taken to reduce the size of the defence force on the Sol - Gorshkov jump point. Admiral Thorn and President von Kolbe, along with the support of the moderate leaders, manage to persuade the leadership to retain the fast attack craft and the three monitors to protect the fragile cooperation with the Soviet Union. Indomitable and her escort group, along with the Virginias, heads to Roanoke for an overhaul. Admiral Thorn informs Admiral Melnikov of the situation and assures him that NATO reinforcements will be dispatched with haste should the Goavelha sortie warships from Gliese 908. As the leadership specifically mentioned the Sol - Gorshkov jump point, Admiral Thorn does not withdraw New Mexico from the Kostinbrod system, where her crew is continuing negotiations with the Kostinbrod Empire. As there is still no evidence the Soviet Union has managed to establish communications, a NATO withdrawal would raise questions he would rather not answer. He also leaves the command cruiser Dunkerque on station between the EZ Aquarii and Gorshkov jump points, where her primary sensor can cover both.

27th February 2035
The Goavelha construction ship in Alpha Centauri completes the jump gate on the Ross 154 jump point then heads away from the nearby Soviet task group into deep space. A Soviet intelligence ship follows the construction ship for several hours to determine its destination but it quickly becomes apparent the ship is simply trying to evade pursuit now that its mission is complete. A squadron of Soviet FACs is sent after the construction ship to destroy it.

With the jump gate providing a route into Ross 154 for all classes of Soviet ships, Admiral Melnikov authorizes a brief probe on the basis that a matching jump gate has probably been completed on the Ross 154 side. The FAC squadron and the intelligence ship that worked together to destroy the Goavelha construction ship are sent through together. They confirm that a jump gate exists on the Ross 154 - Alpha Centauri jump point and that a second alien jump gate has been built on the Ross 154 - Wolf 1061 jump point. There is no sign of any Goavelha ships. As the Soviet scout force can maintain contact via the jump gate, Admiral Melnikov orders them to move across the system and enter Wolf 1061.

28th February 2035
The Virginia class cruiser New Mexico and the Soviet cruiser Kronstadt, both of which are picketing the Kostinbrod - Gorshkov jump point, detect three strength-4 nuclear detonations on the far side of the system. Over the next three minutes there are nine further detonations and then wreckage and life pods from a Goavelha construction ship are detected. NATO negotiators ask the Kostinbrod if they can reveal what just happened and a Kostinbrod representative informs them that a Goavelha ship just entered the system through a different jump point and was intercepted by a Kostinbrod warship. A fate, he assures the NATO crew, that befalls anyone foolish enough to challenge the might of the Empire. After ensuring his astrogator carefully marks the location of the incident on his charts of the system, the captain of the New Mexico informs Fleet Headquarters of the situation. The apparent complete infiltration of local space by Goavelha ships is starting to seriously concern Admiral Thorn. Despite the general timidity of his civilian leadership, he asks his staff to draw up plans for a full assault on Gliese 908, which he suspects is either the home world of the Goavelha, or at the very least a key population centre.

12th March 2035
The Soviet intelligence ship and its escorting FAC squadron arrive in Wolf 1061, where they find jump gates back to Ross 154 and also to the next system in the chain, Gliese 588. The FACs are running short on fuel so they are ordered to return to Alpha Centauri, leaving the intelligence ship to proceed alone to the Gliese 588 jump point.

18th March 2035
At the Kostinbrod - Gorshkov jump point, New Mexico and Kronstadt both detect a 2150 ton Kostinbrod ship approaching at 2789 km/s, presumably on course to transit into Gorshkov. The NATO cruiser is content to let the ship pass as the Kostinbrod do not appear to be threatening so far and there is talk of trade agreements and perhaps some form of defensive alliance within NATO's diplomatic corps. The Soviets have still not managed to establish communications with the Kostinbrod and regard the potential transit as a matter for concern. A gravitational survey ship would allow, from the Soviet perspective, the unknown aliens in Wolf 47 to learn the route to the Sol system. An alert is flashed to the respective fleet headquarters of NATO and the Soviet Union and Admiral Thorn contacts Admiral Melnikov to discuss the situation. Melnikov has been informed by his advisors that translation efforts are going nowhere and Soviet xenolinguists are almost at the point of declaring the Kostinbrod language as impossible to decipher. In that case, the Soviet Union would treat the Kostinbrod as a potential hostile power. Admiral Thorn asks Admiral Melnikov to at least refrain from destroying the Kostinbrod ship while negotiation is still a possibility but the Soviet admiral is concerned that once the small ship transits into Gorshkov it will prove very difficult to locate, especially if it is carrying out a gravitational survey. With time running out as the Kostinbrod ship closes on the jump point, Admiral Thorn requests that he be allowed to pass NATO information on the Kostinbrod language to Soviet negotiators, or at least withdraw the request for the Kostinbrod to hold back their knowledge of Earth-based languages. The request is denied by the NATO political leadership on the basis that contact with the Kostinbrod is a state secret. With minutes to go before transit, Admiral Melnikov informs Admiral Thorn that he has discussed the situation with the Soviet Politburo and they have decided that hostilities with another alien race would not be in the Soviet interest, at least not until they can rebuild their fleet and their ordnance stockpiles, so they will continue translation efforts for the moment. The small Kostinbrod ship will be allowed to pass.

21st March 2035
The Soviet intelligence ship in Wolf 1061 transits into Gliese 588, the next system in the Alpha Centauri chain. Gliese 588 has a total of four known jump points and only the Wolf 1061 jump point has a gate. Given that the Ross 154 - Alpha Centauri jump gates were only added recently, this leads the KGB and GRU to conclude that the Goavelha construction ships must be arriving in the chain through a previously undetected jump point somewhere between Alpha Centauri and Gliese 588. Admiral Melnikov orders a resurvey of Ross 154 and Wolf 1061.

22nd March 2035
A second small Kostinbrod ship is detected approaching the jump point to Gorshkov. Over the last four days, Soviet leaders and senior naval officers have been grilling their xenolinguists regarding the chances of eventual communication with the alien race in Wolf 47, the Soviet designation for the Kostinbrod system. Unaware of NATO's success, the Soviet experts have finally come to the conclusion that communication will be impossible to achieve. Therefore, Admiral Melnikov and the Politburo decide they are not prepared for a repeat of the Goavelha fiasco where alien survey ships appear to have been roaming at will throughout Soviet space. Despite the obvious perils of getting into another interstellar conflict, the captain of the cruiser Kronstadt is ordered to destroy the alien ship once it is within range and then defend his position at the jump point until Soviet reinforcements arrive. On this occasion, the Soviet Union is already in the alien system and Admiral Melnikov is not going to give the Wolf 47 aliens a  chance to fortify the jump point. Eighteen FACs and two cruisers from the Soviet force at the Sol - Gorshkov jump point are ordered to enter Gorshkov as soon as destruction of the alien ship is confirmed and move to the Wolf 47 jump point. A further reinforcement group comprising the aviation cruiser Minsk, the battlecruiser Kirov and the cruisers Admiral Isakov, Sevastopol and Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya will be dispatched from Earth orbit. The Soviet Navy is becoming very stretched due to its many interstellar deployments and of its major warships only a battlecruiser and two cruisers will remain at Earth. To avoid a futile argument with Admiral Thorn, Admiral Melnikov will inform him of Soviet intentions at the same moment that Kronstadt opens fire.

The first warning for NATO is when Kronstadt unexpectedly moves toward the Kostinbrod ship as it moves within a million kilometers of the jump point. Before the captain of New Mexico can request an explanation, the small vessel is reduced to wreckage by a barrage of Soviet railgun fire. Furious Kostinbrod protests and promises of retribution are immediately directed at the Soviet ship. As the Kostinbrod Empire has still not learned Russian, they send those protests in English on the basis that the two Earth powers almost certainly can understand each other's language. The discovery that the Kostinbrod know English does not improve NATO - Soviet relations. Mutual recriminations follow, with the Soviet Union accusing NATO of withholding vital information and causing an unnecessary new war while NATO political leaders respond that unilateral Soviet aggression was the cause of the war and NATO will not fight against the Kostinbrod Empire.

to be continued...
 

Offline UnLimiTeD

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Re: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010, 08:10:44 AM »
Now that contained some irony.  ;D

Looks like it's progressing nicely.
 

Offline Vanigo

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Re: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2010, 01:30:09 PM »
Have resurveys always been able to locate closed jump points?
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2010, 03:42:54 PM »
Have resurveys always been able to locate closed jump points?

Resurveys have never been able to locate closed jump points.  Using a 'closed' jump point opens it, and thereafter it is an open jump point indistinguishable from any other.
 

Offline Charlie Beeler

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Re: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2010, 03:57:18 PM »
Have resurveys always been able to locate closed jump points?

Once a jump point has been used from the other side it is detectable upon resurvey.  Technically the JP was not there too detect during the original survey. 
Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics - paraphrase attributed to Gen Omar Bradley
 

Offline JagdFlanker

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Re: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2010, 11:08:55 AM »
amazing AAR - can't wait for the continuation!
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2010, 12:34:28 AM »
Aurora has the concept of 'dormant jump points' to get around the problem of connecting to an system where all the jump points are already linked. The technobabble is that some jump points lie dormant and cannot be detected by a survey. Once a ship has exited that jump point (by entering from the far side), the jump point is now active and can be detected normally. The reality is that when Aurora determines that a jump point leads to an existing system, the code checks for unconnected jump points in the destination system. If one exists then that is used as the link. If all the existing jump points in the destination system are already linked to other systems, Aurora creates a new jump point to act as the link. Once the new jump point exists, it can be detected by a survey.

To resurvey a system, you will need to use the SM-only button No JP Survey on the F9 window. This will unset all the survey locations as unsurveyed but you retain knowledge of known jump points.

Steve
 

Offline ExChairman

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Re: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2010, 01:22:43 PM »
Mooore, we want more!!!  ;)
Veni, Vedi, Volvo
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Offline MWadwell

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Re: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 04:56:16 AM »
Mooore, we want more!!!  ;)

Over a month, and no new posting....

Steve, how long until the next part????? ;D


Later,
Matt
Later,
Matt
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 10:06:39 AM »
Over a month, and no new posting....

Steve, how long until the next part????? ;D


Later,
Matt
I have been absent for a couple of months but I'm back now :)  I'll post the next update in a few days.

Steve
 

Offline schroeam

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Re: NATO vs Soviets: Part 11
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2011, 10:27:19 AM »
Mmmm,

Coffee is brewing... DVR is set... kids are... occupying themselves.... time for a quick dip into an alternate reality! ;)
 

 

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