Author Topic: EU - circle of stars  (Read 2743 times)

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Offline Vandermeer

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EU - circle of stars
« on: October 22, 2015, 04:20:22 AM »
I am not sure if I really want to make this into full scale game, but since the Astral Republic thing surprisingly developed into one, I better start the topic right here this time.
This is more to bridge time until 6.5, and I am doing a multi-nation start on earth with 15 years of truce, so I will be forced to come up with some sort of military quickly. Against my common gaming style, that means small ships - at least for as long as the multi-nation thing is resolved (you know what that means :P ).

5 other nations start along with me, and since I cannot pick 'united humanity' or something fantastic this time, it will be EU for me.
Off-Topic: show

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(screen is actually from 16 years into the game)

(! warning for ahead text: I wanted 3:3 "good" vs. evil nations, so I frame some countries in the following. Specifically the Usa part, though enriched with many actual facts, is all but overdrawn and not to be taken too seriously. Even though I make it explainable to my best, which might look like an argument, but it is still fiction, solidified with (kind of) believable back story !)
"The backbones of any good story are reason and logic."
- Cmd. Tuvok, Voyager

The history between the 6 nations in 2025 is one of extreme mistrust, especially towards the one great collapsing factor, the newly labeled (1) Christofascist States of America.(not to their own choice of course) Their list of evil deeds and conspiracies ridiculed end-time prophet's imagination.
To the outside:
- The instrumentalization of the former UN to have it become their moral shield, as their economically or religiously motivated warfare targets were sanctioned by a conglomerate of wealthy and developed states, to declare them 'just' through the novel idea of asking for approval anyone that wasn't really involved, and planting false reasons whenever that wasn't enough, never being brought to justice thereafter when their distracting smoke turned less than hot air.
- The systematic impairing of partly their allies relations between each other, but mostly the undermining corrosion exerted to these allied states' successful democratic systems, as forwarded by universally unconstitutional (both in US and 'partnering' countries) free-trade pacts, written in secret, and forbidden under punishment to take part in any democratic process without (again, on both sides) any legal basis to act so.
- Despite these allies' shying away from conflict, and giving in to the oppressive demands, who were universally prognosticated to be without gain for themselves, still continuing to act against them on wide scale, using economic and political espionage to unforeseen magnitudes, gaining advantage for the possibly darkest alliance in history, the five eyes, but in the end, still mostly for themselves.
- Sluicing in lobbyists and corrupting agents to foreign countries to mirror the conditions in their own, and taking over key figures going so far as to completely buying out their allies' intelligence services to work only for themselves (e.g. germany, sweden), resulting in being able to exert police executive force on foreign ground, and receiving sensible advantageous industrial information, clearly not to the favor of those agencies' birth countries.
On the inside:
- Wide ranging desolation of the lower class and near complete dissolving of the middle one through continued law casting in sole favor of the few and ever closer shrinking leftover privileged ones, creating a wealth inequality of 1%>=99%, compared to the rest of the developed world's average of 10%>=90%. Thus, despite having one of the largest average incomes that surpasses nearly all major players of the west, their inhabitants have to house comparatively cheaply, work average 47 hours instead of 30-40, and still live not at all up to standards that reign in their former allies' territories, whose economic power should be nothing compared to theirs.
- Abolishing of the separation of powers with the complete and infinite empowerment of the executive, as NSA and FBI were granted law, and even constitutional changes(!) in order to be able to pursue, invade and prosecute whoever of their citizen they deemed to be threat, categorized by arbitrary personal judgement, and not anymore supervised by any legal or civil authority, thus conducting the critical step towards fascism. (finally accomplished 2013)
~ Even normal police forces received immense leeways, being judged by lower standards, and only held responsible after no doubt of their personal violation could be found. (usual punishment for murder of a poor target is however in any case: paid vacation)
- As a long developing result, the massive and never in the history of humanity reached incarceration rates.
- The alarmingly systematic lie apparatus, not just influencing or propagating, but simply brainwashing its (non-rich) population's opinions, starting with the preparation through a dumped down public school system, going over militaristic and cultist spooky pledges from childhood on and under punishment if resisted, and culminating in a massive and utterly overshadowing bought out media conglomerate, either advantageously highlighting, or straightforwardly lying with the cold-iced presentation of false facts, and mantra-esk repetition of delusionous constructs.
Off-Topic: show

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- Consequential to the immense intellectual desertification, a wide ranging bloom of superstition and scientific ignorance, renewing old enemies of humanity that the west had thought slain forever, such as: analphabetism, smallpox, unrestricted pollution, and the preference of blind faith over reason or evidence.

The former Usa long lost their status as a part of the western world, as none western country, even the poorer ones, ever showed such symptoms - the ghettos, the untreated sickness, the degeneration of its people's minds and intellectual abilities, the wolf of unleashed corporate, gaining more influence than the actual corpus of inhabitants. The decent percentage of intellectuals and remaining hard surviving middle class citizen soon left the country for a better world. {ooc: I notice 2025 is a tad bit close for all this cataclysm to happen, but eh.}  The first two waves emigrated when President Trump's toupee took office, and shortly after america began to drop all subtlety about their foreign policy ambitions, and openly threatened or sanctioned resistant states whose governments weren't already sworn in by infiltration.
However, having not many living cells surviving on its hair roots, the toupee overlooked one critical flaw that came from rallying a custom-bred stupefied population corpus for supremacy mentality: Nationalism heated up with cult and ignorance, does not incite loyalty to the government, but in the end only to the cult.
As the constitution had already been shown to be touchable after the recent changes towards executive absolutism, it wasn't too long until the ever pushing theocratic ambitions inside the states had no longer to be content with mere sneaky oppression or hinted state allegiance (e.g. declaring the bible "state book"; forced swearing on bible in court no matter of personal believe), but directly demanded secularism to vanish for good when proposing to make Christianity the U.S.'s state religion.
The masses of the now even of the last intellectuals desaturated people voiced great compliance with the idea, and so one of the last democratic flickerings of the country went towards one of the things that should not even be touchable by majority vote.
Opening climate conferences with bible citations, claiming the world wouldn't end, because it wasn't written down; Claiming to be an agent of god, or work to further the word of god; - the cult had all long been instrument to aid in the legitimization or influence gathering of rather nonspiritual interest groups. Now the cult was in charge, and it believed what it said.
Trump's toupee, the last president of the united states was in the last days of his office trialed by an inquisitional like court, which he himself brought into being, believing to hold its strings. The offenses he was put on to defend against were numerous, but mostly boiled down to hypocrisy in his creed. Instead of entrusting the vice president for the remainder of service, a group of self proclaimed and popular "cardinals" usurped power, and Usa was finally grate again.
Off-Topic: show

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The rest of the government did not comply easily, but had to see that the formerly tame and conflict shying population that had tolerated their rights being stripped away one by one for years without any resistance, was now full of fire and willingness to self-sacrifice when it came to fighting the devil and the witches they saw.
Horrified by the lunacy finally showing colors all around them, a last and final emigration push took away what was left of society. In the end, no one sane, and few of ability remained free in the country, and even the US's habit of filling their huge internal talent gap with money attraction finally did not work anymore, as educated people were too appalled by such an antisocial and threatening environment.
After losing their central supporting pillar, the five eyes also quickly crumbled, and in hindsight of the revelations of their actions, left the other 4 without much sympathy and allies other than themselves.

Following this massive decline, some freed states of the EU, and the recently unchained South Korea and Japan sat together to evaluate the situation. Seeing that the US had pretty much become the christian Saudi Arabia, while also scarily still yet retaining the boon of the most advanced, powerful and state overshadowing military (as if they had never beaten the nazis, but only taken over the infection), it was first by simple quick labeling, and later as an accepted secretive reference, that this new oppressing theocracy corpse of the US could be named - the Christofascist States of America.
The assessment council further came to the following conclusion: As the blindly crazed state of the fully armed and overpowering CSA was on par with a threat level that would have else been assigned to a suddenly Atom- Bio- and Chemistry armed Pakistan or Burma, international experts and diplomats judged that a terrible catastrophe was with immense probability unavoidable. A secret protocol speaks: "One who consults the bible on the possible dangers of climate change, and one who kills others and himself for the promise of paradise, will also not shy away from using apocalyptic force on what he sees as his enemy, as man made demise he is convinced is impossible, and paradise he feels is even earned in the act."

Thus the conclusion was pointed towards constructing a deterrent to grant the remaining states a short span of guaranteed breathing room that could be used to find a way to assure (only rational) humanities survival in one or another way.
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Offline Vandermeer

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2015, 04:23:46 AM »
A chance from technology
Just in time of the great Hiroshima conference, a man named Renraku Shiawase made his entrance and presented a novel discovery. To be exact, it had been theory for a very long time, but was mostly outside of experimental reach. Shiawase had apparently found the answers quite a while ago, yet decided to seclude himself from the academic process, which, in Japan, had long been under strong surveillance of the 5 eyes.
The riddle that Renraku managed to solve was as little as the secret of time itself. For long the source of time was unknown. Was it a real progress, like the movement on a 4th spacial dimension we could only perceive in the slices that form our present? Or was it all but an illusion created by the mind, to attribute a flow towards something that was just a mechanical predicted succession of actions in the common 3 dimensional space?
Time was indeed an illusion in some sense, and it was caused by two great counter-acting forces: the ever progressing expansion of space, and the inverse acting gravitational pull caused by the residue energy contained in it.
The amazingly weak force of gravity, and the near undetectable slow expansion, they form the motor of particles and atoms on the smallest scale. A little expansion here, - immediately counteracted by the gravity "falling" it back together, causing a wiggling and turbulence, basically movement, that renders the smallest things into the primal source cogwheels whose "motion" determines how fast or slow the time will flow.
The two big numbers could thus be easily exaggerated to infinity and nothing when it comes to time. Wherever great energy was found, the wiggling of the smallest slowed down, and being the primal impulse of all higher objects, time altogether slowed down accordingly, while however the energy low space in the distance around it continued to progress fast, causing the time differentials described by relativity.
Eventually the pull could get so strong that it annulled the expansion altogether, freezing time locally until the end of the universe around it was reached. On the contrast, space could become so devoid of energy that its expansion had near, or in bare theory, also up to infinite reign, causing an entirely different kind of particle freeze, as "motion" was again not possible with no particle falling back, so time would 'fast-forward' in its entirety until a destination or again the (time-)end of the universe was reached - subjectively in all but the flash of a moment for the particles involved.

This was all but hypothesis for long, as for as long as there was no instrument with which to manipulate gravity in meaningful scales, there really was no way of testing the predictions in practice. Shiawase wouldn't have even begun to think about it either, if it wasn't for a related discovery. He asked himself the simple question: "If 6/7, meaning the vast majority of matter consist of the ominous dark matter, - then where is it?"
Dark matter, which in the most popular of many hypothesis', might just be real matter that just did not interact via electromagnetism, but still possessed gravity. If that was real though, and considering dark matters sheer abundance, there should have been some strange visa even in the solar system around us. As this idea of dark matter could not form bonds and structures without electromagnetism, it would instead directly fall to the core of planets and any heavy object to amass there, creating for us unexplainable mass or density of certain stellar bodies. ...Yet all the density of the stellar bodies in the solar system can be perfectly explained with the density of material we find on the very surface of earth.
So did we just happen to live in one rare pocket, where there was no dark matter, but still a lot electromagnetic one? Most unlikely.
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Offline Vandermeer

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2015, 04:25:01 AM »
Multiple approaches existed to explain that observational discrepancy, but only Renraku found the right one. As dark matter and regular matter close into each other, they interact in such way that a by all means negative energy gravity bubble (, so a  convex bubble) slowly develops between them, working to accelerate them apart. The cause of this is another unknown force of nature, a force that only applies to dark matter, as electromagnetism only applies to regular one.
In practice, the effect caused looks very much like anti-magnetic repulsion, although the field in which the repulsion generates only comes into existence at the vicinity of both matter types. Thus dark matter mostly exists along with the electromagnetic one, as it bundles together locally with its peers mostly, and the offshoots get send back from the sudden aversion both types develop for each other.
...That does however not mean that contact is completely impossible. For example sometimes some random occurrence of "hot" dark matter (meaning it acquired lots of kinetic energy in some way) may just have enough push so that the field in-between both types cannot successfully avert it. Though plunged into a chaotic trail in em-matter territory for sure, in even rarer cases, this dark matter particle or stream will now collide with actual regular matter.
In such cases, something novel occurs, as strong nuclear force holds grip, and both types vanish to take a place in a completely new series of elements, not describable by the PSE. When finally bound in this way, the repellent field disappears, and holds no sway over the matter anymore, making the new object appear just as heavy as both elements combined should have been. As the EM interactivity of these compound-atoms was for the most part (but not entirely) extinguished in nearly every case, the new matter could largely be categorized into only 11 groups and their 'derivatives', taking only mass and the core bonding particle into account (e.g. pure proton{Duranium}, pure neutron{...}, some mixtures of the different baryons, types of mesons, and even electrons{Sorium})

Their most amazing property yet, - and here is where Renraku managed to prove the nature of time itself -, was that they could be temporarily separated again, or better "stretched"*, as the conventional matter particles (and only the conventional ones) in these new compound atoms still responded to some selective em interactions. This stretching is however enough for the repellent negative bubble to form again, and emerge stronger than the c-atoms combined weight. In other words: anti-gravity.

* = Strong force always gets stronger the higher the distance, so though first separation might work, an entire split is really difficult. (which is why its boson is called "Gluon")
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Offline Vandermeer

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2015, 04:25:15 AM »
With such a tool finally at the hand of a lab and humanity, some quick but decisive answers could immediately be found.
1. The curvature of space was limited to none or negative. All that the gravity bubble managed to annul was existing attraction, and the residue zero point energy of space, thus limiting the maximum counter force generation quite strongly when in relative vacuum.
(also one of many nails in the coffin of warp drives)
2. Space without curvature, flat space, had no time. Just like photons who didn't feel gravity, a of gravity completely evacuated space would progress with light-speed seen from the outside, and infinitely fast as seen from the inside.
3. The light-speed limit itself could be traced back to indirectly stem from a fundamental property of space, - its expansion rate. Light-speed has thus never been a constant, but increased throughout the aging universe, and may do so forever.
..4+. Many potential answers in cosmology and implications regarding the early universe and the true revised age of the universe when taking non-constant light-speed into account. The topics are numerous of course, and will keep theorists busy for the next 3 generations at least.

For the Hiroshima conference only one discovery mattered at that moment, which is that anti-gravity was possible, and that space travel inside the margin of the solar system, could quickly become amazingly feasible.
Since there was no conceivable way that any endeavor to realize development in the direction of space travel would stay unnoticed, and especially, not appear threatening when noticed -potentially triggering the feared cataclysm early-, the CSA would be invited along with the other countries of the world, to collaborate on development and prototypes. It offered a chance get the diversion that was needed, and though there was no agreement between the meeting countries about what to do exactly to create a secured emergency survival, it was clear that binding up attention and resources of the threat had to be the way to go.
Almost everyone was sure that the CSA had lost too much talent potential to really compete in the race, and thus would fail to leave with any serious advantage out of the collaboration. Yet that quickly turned out to be grievous misjudgement...


[pause]
Jeez, I just wanted to post some screens and then continue playing, because I didn't want what was happening to go to waste. ..Then I got ideas which I thought would quickly be written down, and now I have been writing and thinking for 3 days on backstory and how to make sense of the science. Still more  too.
I bet the next thing that will happen is probably that I will lose the first battle, and get nuked thereafter, making all this here a waste of time.
::)
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Offline Vandermeer

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2015, 09:41:07 AM »
(random italic words caused by forum issues)

Power is a constant, and may only be redistributed
One of the former USA's better accomplishments, aside from (quite literally) pacifying Germany and Japan into anti-militarist progressive and culturaly focused societies, was to contain the great threat that the late industrializing China posed for the future development of humanity. Though many might disagree that the proxy-wars and the methods used therein were all that justified or noble, it might very well be that an even greater evil, which we just didn't come to see thanks to US's success, was averted, as a society that completely disagreed with human rights and openly leered towards some of its neighboring countries, is greatly expected to not sit idly for 50 years on the world stage when given power of both, technology and numbers.

So even though China had changed faces in many regards since then throughout the years, when their great gatekeeper perished they saw the chance of becoming the next leading superpower. Nothing of that really came unexpected, but nobody would have thought that their way to do it would be to reinforce the remains of their old antagonist.
When the grand international endeavor of the development of engine and operational ship prototypes started, China offered to the CSA the brains that the zombie state needed, by basically sending them back many of the former students that had been educated on US soil to begin with. In trade they "received" insights in the most secret of US military technology by the simple fact that they had to analyze it in order to be able to adapt it.
Consequently, both sides managed to contribute a large deal, with CSA being the clear winner in matters of how many working prototypes they were able to set into orbit, and China becoming for the first time since modern history a legitimate superpower on the ground. This development was rather unfortunate, as EU, who presented the whole idea to countries and the public, agreed on pressing demands from CSA to abstain in the race and only serve as an arbiter between the participating countries. This meant the only two countries who were part of the Hiroshima conference and could contribute development were South Korea and Japan, the original inventor. Being the two world leaders in technology and not too sparse with their access on the world's resources either, their combined efforts still managed to achieve second place, along with owning the first ever working prototype.
However, this was not good enough, and through the years of seeing them loose the race, and seeing how CSA and China began to arm many of their ships with nuclear weaponry, it was clear that the strategy had completely backfired, and now even taken the military dominance of CSA to space - possibly polluting the whole salvation goal, and dangerously giving their zealot leaders a potential cope-out with arguing that humanity had indeed not perished even after a future earth's demise.
It must have been somewhere along those revelations that South Korea and Japan decided to split from the former route and set up a secretive operation known as "Order of first light"(*). On the local orbital night of the 10th to 11th january 2025, all constructed prototypes of Japan conducted kamikaze attacks with the american models in their docks, destroying about half of them initially, and wrecking the shared construction facilities. As if to repeat history, CSA promptly responded by firing against japanese mainland once again of what nuclear ammunition their ships had taken to space, but could not get more than two salvos out before the wrecked japanese ships ignited with their own self-destructing payload to take out anything left of the project in orbit.

( *= Those who get the reference are promoted two ranks, but also reassigned to the mere crow's nest to capitalize on the spotting prowess. )

What remained was a graveyard of wreckage and trust. SK-Japan, China and the CSA lost all their prototypes, - around 40 ships in total -, and even the 2 bought ships of the Emirates had exploded. This event could have well meant that the feared apocalypse was at hand, and surely some nuclear arsenals were trembling in anticipation for some hours.
However, the CSA remained calm, and not only that, but actively sought to soothe China and find a new agreement. EU and Jap-Korea were baffled by such behavior that went completely against their profiling, and also kind of suspicious towards if there may be deeper lying reasons.
The outcome was rather fortunate however. It was agreed that since everyone (except EU) already had the knowledge that was needed to put together working anti-gravity ships, everyone was from now on on their own, and allowed to pursue this endeavor as they saw necessary. This also relieved EU from the ban, and since the only reason the former race had been lost was that of SK-Japan having to compete by themselves, new hope sprung that together space could be warded against failstate control.
There was little doubt though that the formerly arms-racing CSA must have had some other plans, which better had to be discovered quickly. Intelligence was busy.


//
This is where the actual game starts. The difficulty was set to 200%, though it was definitely made easier at the same time through starting conditions.
There is indeed a large graveyard of the above mentioned ships around, which I set out to salvage as soon as technology and shipyards allow. This functions as kind of a (unplanned) technological payback, since EU is starting conventional, while the other 5 just have to have newtonian physics and all their first engines and weapons etc. already in order to be functioning NPR in Aurora.

The starting conditions

(1) Christofascist States of America [Usa]
- Population of 600m, including annexed parts of Canada and Mexico, as well as radical christian immigrants and castaways from spain, south america, EU, and many of the 5 eyes countries (especially strongly split GB). The Mekka of Crazetianity.
- Only 3 research labs through intellectual desertification
- 7 shipyards from quenching military funds out of what was saved in social expenditure

(2) Enlightened Asian Union [Enl]
- Population of only 200m, constituting combined South Korea and Japan
- 24 research labs as the alliance of the two most advanced countries, and with governments willingly funding near nonsense projects even, introduced by laws who fully expect everything to be solved by technology eventually
- 3 shipyards from naval tradition and splashing over american military practise

(3) The Red Curtain [Red]
- Population of 1.5b, coming from mostly China, and a couple of surrounding 'made-loyal' helper countries like North Korea, border-Russia, Taiwan, finally the long desired Philippines, and also recently again - Vietnam.
- 11 research labs for having understood importance of science in the who-gets-to-rule question of modernity, but also not too much, as creativity and individual thought are still culturally disadvantaged, and especially intellectual property does not exist, leaving no incentive for their people to go out of their way to invent the new for their own benefit.
- 5 shipyards for lusting after military domination and having sheer man- and financial power to be able to accomplish it.

(4) The Islamic State [Isl]
- Population 1b as a union of near east and some far east strongly muslim dominated countries, including amongst others Indonesia and Bangladesh.
- 2 research labs for having little actual unity and not even the remnant knowledge of more sane times as CSA has. The little science is mainly funded by rich interest of the emirates and certain super-wealthy individuals in the far east.
- 1 shipyard for having basically no modern military capacity to speak of
- Only 50% wealth creation and construction for consisting of mostly third world environment, and over many members savagery progress mentality

(5) European Union [Eur]
- Population of 400m stemming from the core of the strongest EU countries, including france, germany, netherlands, poland, norway, finland, sweden, denmark, austria, italy, and even the new member iceland. GB joins in an indirect way by having evacuated a certain percentage of sanity checked population, while the actual country is now isolated in the world and surrounded entirely by an Union who completely mistrusts their every word and action.
Other countries of the EU are still there and friendly, but just don't contribute enough in hindsight of technological and development standards to be listed.(or else: economy and production mali...)
After the grand corporate free-trade overtaking schemes of former USA, Switzerland is now a castle prison, as it was judged that their black haven pirate cove behavior could not be tolerated anymore. Diplomacy is nil, and no one crosses borders other than through flight, which is now also their only way to trade. Similar judgement befell Luxembourg.
- 24 labs for possessing progressive and inventive mentality combined with real wealth and numbers, as well as a couple of world leading installations.(Iter, Cern{Geneva split from Switzerland to France}, Gran Sasso, captured Echelon network)
- 2 shipyards for having been largely pacifist and de-militarised for the last 75 years, but still retaining amongst the highest grade military technology and development potential

(6) Legacy of Inka [Leg]
Off-Topic: show

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- Population of 400m, existing of mainly Brazil and aiding surrounding countries in the attempt to rival other big continental level union powers.
- 7 research labs from having amongst the best elite scientist upbringing programs, scientific visionary politics, and well set research conditions, but also lacking a grand scale educated middle class to be able to support larger projects, and find bigger talent numbers.
- 1 shipyard for backwater military development niveau, as well as little traditional or imported knowledge


///OOC//
Hidden to Humanity - The real story
What actually happened in the beginning was that I mistakenly generated China, Usa and Sk-Japan with starting fleets, even though everybody was supposed to start with nothing(, which is where the 15 year race should have actually begun). So I advanced by mere 5 days, and noticed it wasn't possible at first, saw the thermal to my surprise, and shortly after a ramming attempt from SK-Japan, and instantly after that I think 12 radiation damage from Usa bombing at Japanese ground forces.
How was this possible, there was system truce in place after all? So I slipped into designer mode and changed races to find that system truce does actually just freeze the initial diplomatic conditions, and for some reason Usa and Japan had started with -80 offset (historical grudges?? :P), which allowed them to wail at each other nonetheless.
So I changed that and made a story point for that in my head, and found it nice and fair to also wreck (not delete) the remaining ships of all races to simulate this kind of sabotage attack.
Now the real truce started, and I had some material in orbit to get the basics of sensors, fire control and railguns which I was lacking. Engines of course couldn't wait.

Despite the 200% difficulty, I think it is obvious from the above that EU had the strongest start, but definitely not uncontested with all those population bombs waiting to over-roll me with their exponential growth and greater resource scoop-up.
Oh, also, I didn't start completely conventional, as I SM'd my conventional industry directly into appropriate partitions of newtonian industry buildings.(mines to auto-mines ratio 2:1) I thought the whole conversion would just have been too much of a time backlash, and could not be explained properly either.
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Offline Vandermeer

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2015, 04:08:20 PM »
Founding the Naval College
Having missed out on the space-faring technology race so far, EU did not only have to reinvent the wheel (and the added jet engines), but also found itself without any military or otherwise disciplined and specialized organization that could professionally lead into a coming space age. Everyone knew that wise and insightful leadership could mean more than any other material or abstract resource, as a single long-term planing decision could void it all if poorly made. So, while ESA was everted and enlarged to fulfill more visionary projects in expectation of permanent space presence, a large portion of their experts joined up to form a cadre together with leading experts from all Union countries, stemming from academy science background, through the navies and militaries, up to even some applying ..leadership talents from the outside.(?)
Off-Topic: show

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Together they formed the European Space Navy College, short EUSN. Though entirely green and very disorganized, a fresh forging of an organization like this is often also a chance. No matter if with companies, actual people, or even whole countries (e.g.: fledgling USA), the young often manage to overcome the old who are too bound up in their traditions and interlocked processes to see or quickly adapt to the real needs of the day, so that a still freely moving entity of talents may place itself on top quickly with a much more capable grid of procedures.
The founders of EUSN greatly enshrined this wisdom, and granted large freedoms to the organization, so it could operate without the meddling of various governments, basically only being restricted by budget and some rough long-term accomplishment guideline plans, determining only a "when", but leaving "how", "who" and to a great degree even the "what" up to the organization.
The first typeset mission plan that came with EUSN's founding can be summarized in these 4 points:
-1- Within 5 years, find a way to analyze most of the remaining bodies for dark matter compound resource deposits.
-2- Within 1 year, catch up on the development and have a working prototype of an anti-gravity engine.
-3- Within 15 years, have a working little fleet of ships ready, capable of defending against anything that the other unions might come up with throughout the years. Present the first prototype until 2035.
-4- Within 10 years, found a self-sustainable base away from Earth and the Moon, with the development emphasis on strong possible expansion to accommodate a potential refugee crew of thousands even. Going hand in hand with this goal, find a way to safely get them there as well.

The last point constitutes the EU's approach to the foreseen escalation, while SK-Japan decided that goal to be too unrealistic, and instead focused on digging deep and building completely autonomous bunker networks - essentially cities and supply underground. Though in the years of the race, EU's ESA had already figured out much of the required tools and engineering, up to having entire proto-infrastructural plot package blueprints ready; getting them off Earth, and being able to land them properly, still depended heavily on what the future advances would bring up. It was a gamble.


EUSN quickly followed up on the demands, and had ESA start its first solar exploration vessel, classed as "Premiere", by the end of year 2025. The ship, which ran completely on a mix of hydrogen engines and power systems however, was more of a proof-of-concept. It limited its mission to scientific voyages to the planets and moons of the inner system, and then returned under applause a year later. Even without a nuclear power source, it had managed to cut formerly lengthy and expensive missions, such as a mars earth transit, down to only 2 months at most. It was still not even close to the amazing traveling speeds that were seen on the former international prototype run, so a natural refining step was in order, which mostly required better means to provide electrical power in large quantities.

More Theoretics
Electrical power is what determines how strong the separation of the dark and the em matter in the hull, and all the outside interacting components can become. From a stronger separation emerges a stronger gravity repellent bubble(/more like a 'thick skin' actually), which makes the vessel appear consistently lighter and faster to the outside universe, theoretically becoming able to achieve objective light-speed. There is catch however, which also happens to have a lot of positive sites to it: The inside of the traveling vessel, which exerts control over the powering of hull and engines, must stay on a time frame that runs equal or slower than the effect causing compound matter in the bubble, or it will lose the ability to interact with the matter, and with that, the ship's navigation.
As a result, ships and vessels cannot be entirely made out of activated compound atoms, and ideally contain a core of just regular material, which 'stays back' whenever the outside hull begins to switch to faster time frames. This process essentially encapsulates a portion of traditional space to send it flying by outside means and as if it wasn't flying at all, having the convenient side effects of traveling at 0-acceleration no matter the maneuver, and also having every moving ship's crew in synchronization with the same neutral Earth time (1g), no matter the velocity.
The drawback however was that the outside faster living hull of course gained energy while accelerating to higher speeds, which must eventually become enough to counteract and make it fall back to slower time frames, as it always does. From this results a careful balanced highest acceptable velocity at which the outside hull of a ship is just about a little bit faster progressing than the inside, thus leaving control intact. Granted to the relative lightness that these new generation of ships and vessels would achieve, this speed barrier was usually quite quickly reached, meaning that any vessel needed to show little in the way of actual traditional engines, and instead receded to more safe internal power generation and a few exhausts and maneuvering jets.

In consequence, these mechanics would herald in an exiting new and weird age of travel, where all conventional wisdom of cause, effect and impulse had to be thrown overboard, and acceleration and Newton did not matter anymore - only energy did.


Upend the hourglass
The ESA quickly expanded as planned and managed to maintain two nuclear powered Premiere vessels by the end of year 2026 already. Until this moment, the EU had been the only union to have a working space program, yet now, the CSA had managed to recover and set up their own production lines. Other than EU however, they did not concern themselves with mere exploration missions, but directly resorted to building fully equipped and combat capable frigates and destroyers of for EU unachievable sizes. In just a very short time span, they were able to put out around 10 sizable military ships, and additional freighters, greatly outperforming what they had achieved before, and still yet unanswered from either China or SK-Japan.
This was when at a conference a smart and somewhat risky strategy was decided. As all of CSA's ships were still on the standard of the former build, and seemed unlikely to progress much beyond point with today's technology, inventing some unknown new technology could turn the tides easily, no matter the raw material strength that CSA could put out. With the new rules that modern emerging space-faring technology entailed, a combination of advanced means of energy production, and a great striking range could easily be combined into a dead-ace situation if it could be achieved.
The German scientist Bianka von Krug had already been knocking EUSN'S doors in hopes to be able to reinvigorate THTR-300's nuclear pebble reactor project, which, aside from the waste concerns that didn't matter in the vacuum of space, would provide a better and miniaturized power grade, like which it had not been seen to date for the human race. The congress set their hopes in her, and was paid double as she not only succeeded with 3 years time, but also developed a far more efficient variant that could break down its nuclear source multiple times before becoming unusable slag (a technique imitated from the Chinese).
With that came the expansion of the exploration program to 4 modernized ships -the fastest vessels in space to that point-, and a real freighter sized ship that was able to take apart the graveyard in Earth's orbit and launch the first endeavors towards exploiting some of the first promising deposits in Sol. Most of these locations were asteroids or some of the comets roaming around, but also the moon Europa and most prominently, planet Mercury stood out.
EU also tested their first gravitational sensor prototype on a test facility on Earth. This technology was {really} relayed to EU from Japan as they stumbled upon it, and though a working prototype could be built, the principle behind it could not be understood. For all that it matters, it seemed to gather and send information faster than light-speed allowed. More research needed to be done.

In a 8 years time frame, EU had finished the technological wonder of mapping the whole birth system of humanity, and already accomplished their emergency plan to some degree, as they owned a working emergency transport ship, and a functioning sustainable base on Mercury, complete with observatory, fuel reserve and large secured stashes of compound atom matter, yet no independent construction capacity. A little network of spread out mining sites threw their products through the system to be caught up by Mercury, and then partially get relayed to bolster the expiring reserves on Earth. Neutronium was already out, and pretty sparse in the whole system, so it became the primary focus of the exploitation focus. No other of the competing forces had yet been able to set up any kind of base, other than CSA who founded a settlement on the Moon early, and SK-Japan and China joined in to fall into the armament spiral by putting out equally unrefined war- and commercial-ships, whose numbers were not even close to challenging the armada that CSA already owned at this point.

After Bianka von Krug's great success, she had been granted more freedom to pursue an even more ambitious project, which was to refine a ion-gas-cooled nuclear reactor (titled: "Steam Age reactor project"), which could operate at incredible extraction speeds and temperatures. When she could show again the revolutionary prototypes, her status grew, and she was rewarded with medals and the leading position of the EUSN's warship and armament undertakings.
She accepted, and together with the current leading officer Rear Admiral Nathan Knight came up with a plan. Firstly, the development of the new engines would be kept secret for a while, as though the engines could be installed, the ships would fly at artificially low speeds to not draw too much attention. The reason was that they outperformed everything known to such degree (by many multiples), that the manpower rich unions of CSA and Red could easily be overcome by the smell of chance, and overtake EUSN's fruits before they were able to ward them. {OOC: I actually flew artificially slow at only 1/3 of the possible speed for years}
Secondly, as EUSN was greatly expected to get only a couple of actual warships out after coming so late to the game and having much higher development costs per unit, the weapon focus should be put towards having a mid-range artillery platform, which should be able to send out dense barrages of guided shell ammunition, thus overwhelming defenses even in their small numbers. This was another ambitious and open ended gamble, since many technologies had to be invented before such shells could even be feasible. After considerable warhead and loading mechanism miniaturization however, factories began to produce the ammunition in secret just 2 years later. Other navies would surely be unprepared and surprised by the unique approach.
Thirdly, and lastly, an alternate weapon outfit should be developed that was able to combat in close quarters -should it ever arise-, but should mainly be able to utilize the great ship speeds to combine with a really fast firing weapon into a capable missile defense platform which would shield the main artillery warships from eventual counter-strikes. Von Krug went personally to lead the search for a method to quickly relay and save energy from the fast reactors for this.

At year 2035, when EU assembled the EUSN leaders to present their results, their projecting consisted of 13 high tier Frigates, composed of 6 artillery ships, 6 escorts, and one highly armored command ship. The stored Neutronium was barely enough to get the corresponding facilities up to capacity, and construction had finally started.

"Psion" Frigate (FF)
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"Saint Pierre" Frigate-Escort (FE)
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"Jeanne D'Arc" Recon Frigate (RF)
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Offline MarcAFK

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2015, 12:44:27 AM »
A long and difficult read, but very good and thought provoking. (I'm still on part 2, for the love of gouda.).
" Why is this godforsaken hellhole worth dying for? "
". . .  We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like.  But we can assume this.  They stand for everything we don't stand for.  Also they told me you guys look like dorks. "
"Stop exploding, you cowards.  "
 

Offline Vandermeer

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2015, 02:05:24 AM »
Yeah, I actually messed up the beginning intentionally with those bullet points. I had just read some story where one character talked in really complex english sentence structure, since she was "the smart one" of the group, and it still stuck in the back of my head when I started this. Also, as I had actually planned to express this rather quickly to get to my screenshots (..still not there...), I set myself the rule "if it can't be said in one sentence, it can't be a bullet point", and that mixed with the other to become this overly complex half narration - half list monstrosity, which I myself had problems reading even while writing it.
So I didn't care so much at the start, but then eventually recognized while having to think the details up that the content behind grew worthy.

The beginning of the science explanation is also quite serious, but glides of into dreamland once the em-matter+dark-matter compound thing starts.
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Offline Vandermeer

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2015, 04:31:57 AM »
St. Scientias - The first prophet whose predictions become true
No matter what had been restraining the US for the years since the open japanese attack, it couldn't last forever. There were well founded speculations of CSA somehow getting access to secret lore, which enabled them to cross between stars. Part of CSA's fleet was often seen assembling at supposedly random points in the empty depths of the solar system, then deactivating engines (or vanishing?), only to be seen back in docks much later, and sometimes damaged. In fact, some intelligence registered ships haven't been seen back in years at all, but it was impossible to make out what really happened, with CSA being completely sheltered and not tolerating any investigating approach in the matter. ESA's at this point lightning fast freighters and probes should have become the uncontested pinnacle of high tech space faring technology, but apparently there was something they didn't understand at all, and neither did sk-japan or the rest of the world. How could a 1.3rd world country possibly know something that had escaped all civilizations grasp? ..Maybe it was knowledge they had already owned for a long time, - a legacy.
Whatever it was, it was possibly also the reason for them turning down the opportunity for conflict before. Over 16 years had been going down the land without any other incident, and both EU, and Sk-Japan's navy and exploitation programs could show their great potential, foremost the thriving Mercury base, which counted multi-million inhabitants for the first time.
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Though the successes were most certainly envied by CSA and China, it must still have appeared to them as if EU and SK-Japan could not pose any serious threat at their sheer material level. What the two technology leaders failed to asses right however was just how important CSA's secrecy was to them, so when the Nagato, again, a japanese ship, finally fell victim to curiosity and flew close enough to one of their void space navy gatherings, the states pushed the alarm button, and had their earth garrison fleet open fire.
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The worst had happened, and, despite half a generation of predictive preparations, still came surprising. Even worse, while having no interference in the decisions of SK-Japan, it seemed EU was blamed for the incident, as all the early attacks were concentrated on EU military bases and installations. All ground forces on Earth and the EUSN's ground command were eradicated within minutes, the sensor prototype base followed shortly after, then the two most valuable and still operating frigate shipyards in orbit, and finally the whole overland part of the academy which vanished under two tactical nuclear strikes.(only 1 academy level remaining, and lost 4 research labs)
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In contrast to the predictions however, CSA did not assume total nuclear annihilation, and stopped the assault after EU's local military was devastated. Neither South Korea nor Japan were attacked this time for reasons unknown. Without any forces to protect its borders EU was now theoretically open to a possible land invasion, but even a rushed annexation of the capitals would at least take a work week to accomplish, and the small fleet of EU had already set course from their base at Mercury to arrive much earlier.

Strategical Overview
EUSN had accomplished the original plan and owned the projected 13 frigates. Attempts to overachieve and build yet two more artillery and escort ships were foiled however, as their scaffolding was blown up in the docks at the attack. There was also another issue that came with training crew on such high powered ships: Operating them was hugely costly, and roughly consumed 2.5 million liters per frigate, for a total of nearly 35 million liters for the whole fleet. At the short time frame, and with only about 2 million liters fuel production a year, this could naturally not be accomplished, so the crews had to embark with mostly minimal introductory training only.
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EUSN's was until now structured into 3 sections so far, two of which read as this:
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...where the 1st one is the founder section, basically ESA, and the outward face of EU's navy. Terra Nobilem contains all the space development and exploration crafts.
The 2nd is of course the actual military section of the Navy, consisting of all the built frigates for now and in the future.
The 3rd and final section was plunged into chaos when their bureaus and the only facility they had, - the planetary sensor prototype-, were destroyed in the preventive attack. In theory they were supposed to maintain defensive and mostly stationary assets throughout Sol, including the unrealized "Skysplitter" Turret Battery project, a 6 turrets a' ~320rpm defensive installation that was supposed to fend against nuclear bombardment from space. The project was costly though, and was delayed long enough to having its prototype currently still on assembly at Mercury. - ..Too late.

All in all, EUSN's rank and ship inventory consisted of such:
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- Geysir class: Up to the incident only a single ship as a 60kt heavy tanker and infrastructure pusher. Was constructed with vision for future projects, as it could single-handedly hold as much fuel as EU ever produced. Currently residing in relative safety at the Mercury military base after finishing the deportation of most of EU's shipyards.
- Mayflower Arche class: The core of the evacuation plan; - Twins of 30kt passenger ships, capable of holding 50 thousand people each in short transit cryo sleep for them to start a new life on Mercury. Residing there in wait for an eventual high threat rescue order.
- Paracelsus class: The updated now 115kt freighter design. The former model was often too small to deal with the vast amounts of scrap material in the graveyard around Earth. So to deal with some of the larger chunks, it was expanded to double the interior space. The whole development project of Sol was so far shouldered by only two of these (though 3 of SK-Japan's freighters also constantly aided in the expansion of the Mercury base), and they were still in flight with the order of securing infrastructure and material from Earth when CSA flipped the switch.

The system overview at current situation:
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..And the strategical view with mining sites who would need protection:
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Captain Michaela Schaefer and Cmd. Admiral Zachary Harrison were the current leading officers of the EUSN military branch, meaning every decision in matters of their reaction to the attack was from now on up to them. A hefty burden to shoulder in face of the potentially total catastrophe, and all the investment of the past years that were at risk.
The planned doctrine approach foresaw bringing the frigates close enough for a sure strike even on potentially fleeing enemies, and then saturate them with as much shell density as could be achieved. However, ammunition economy was important, and though there was surely enough to deal with everything CSA could throw out, there was also no telling how effectively they could ward against the strikes for now.
So, even though Earth was to be set free from the smaller contingent of CSA's forces at any price, careful waste-less precision strikes should be the order for everything later should the operation be successful.

The eyes of China's and the States' admirals must have been growing large when everyone at Mercury had finally acknowledged that this was no exercise, and the frigates were given permission to use their full engine strength for the very first time. None could compare to such nimbleness and miniaturization of design, outperforming everything that flew in Sol so far by factor 3 even in EU's own rows.
While the freighters were ordered to interrupt their current transit and flee to Mercury base, the frigates had plotted a route to a point from which safe counter bombardment should be possible.
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~To be to be more.~


///OOC Information//
- The Nagato had of course been there for quite some time before the bombardment, so that didn't really coincide, but I thought it would be nice for the story.
- My active sensors were never on for longer than a quick 5 second intelligence check on new ships btw., so I really did nothing to offend them with actually having in mind that they would just take each other apart first, and then I would of course have to evacuate due to radiation nonetheless. Yet I became their prime target just one year after official truce ending, and I guess the reason for that was that these other 5 nations all had diplomatic teams assigned for each other.(which is quite unfair btw., because I barely had enough officers for two teams here, so AI must have been cheating them some) No idea still why relations declined this fast, and I was kind of gambling on a bit more.
- This is actually the second try at the situation, as I had reloaded an older auto-save after a bombardment surprised me. Not that I was unprepared, -most shipyards, resources, and some failsafe facilities were already secured, but I made the mistake of letting the frigate fleet sit on earth. They suffered heavily from the command delay, and I was in range of even the beam defense base there, resulting in complete annihilation before I could fight back. I didn't want to redo everything, so one save later I moved the frigates away, but...
- I have strong suspicion that the initial attack of this second save was actually launched by the Chinese FAC's close-by (still hidden on the screen), and not CSA. I only noticed later when I opened fire on CSA, and they did not target the first salvo of mine with counter fire, but then all other. Also, the Chinese Fac's were making interception movement.(went unnoticed for long, as the speed difference with factor 7 was just too large to make out their direction until I stopped)
As said, CSA was the attackers before, as they are the only one with a beam base, so I can still blame them alright. Weird though that things turned out differently from one to one.(date rolled back by a year or so btw.)

- The game is also now at the point where I started the topic, so all this had already happened before I typed anything here.

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Offline MarcAFK

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2015, 01:19:09 AM »
I expected a situation like this in my own game but relations actually are improving years after the end of the truce. I had sensors in sol off for the last 2 years of the truce to save on interrupts, but that shouldn't really have affected things.....
" Why is this godforsaken hellhole worth dying for? "
". . .  We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like.  But we can assume this.  They stand for everything we don't stand for.  Also they told me you guys look like dorks. "
"Stop exploding, you cowards.  "
 

Offline AL

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2015, 03:20:38 AM »
I sorta wanted to avoid posting here since it would interrupt the flow of the story, instead maybe posting on a comments thread like with Steve's fiction. But since Marc did it already, I guess I'll just say it here:
Vandermeer, I have very much enjoyed your story so far, just keep doing what you are doing  ;D
 

Offline Vandermeer

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2015, 12:39:16 AM »
I expected a situation like this in my own game but relations actually are improving years after the end of the truce. I had sensors in sol off for the last 2 years of the truce to save on interrupts, but that shouldn't really have affected things.....
Oh, you mean the score on your side? (or do they actually open trades and consider you friendly or something?) Otherwise, it is kind of misleading, because that score only shows the opinion of your folks about them, which is naturally improving because the other faction has a diplomatic team for you. If you don't have a team for them however, they might be abysmal still, and soon pop. :) (if xenophobia>diplomatic rating)
My people here too liked CSA and China a lot before this happened. I assume their 5 propaganda ministers personally went around Brussels giving out free cookies and fake Iphones or something.

I sorta wanted to avoid posting here since it would interrupt the flow of the story, instead maybe posting on a comments thread like with Steve's fiction. But since Marc did it already, I guess I'll just say it here:
Vandermeer, I have very much enjoyed your story so far, just keep doing what you are doing  ;D
Thank you, I will, and many screens still waiting in storage. :) Don't worry about posting here. As long as it doesn't get totally flooded, it is ok. In the swarm game I made a separate thread, but just because it was more artsy and serious with the story.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 12:40:47 AM by Vandermeer »
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Offline MarcAFK

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2015, 03:39:33 AM »
Relations actually improving, new trade offers and even the islamics started giving me tech, the us gave a survey treaty, everyone's now trading while before the truce it was just Russia.
Might be an effect of my war against the hostile Tiriat commonwealth, as well as all the officers I've been saving from destroyed ships. Though I was only saving crew of American ships before I got trade treaties with the others.
However I didn't think the diplomatic system took into account your relationship with other powers, it seems likely it does. To clarify there's 6 powers crammed into earth, we all have fleets sensor updating each other constantly, and there's many shared systems.
" Why is this godforsaken hellhole worth dying for? "
". . .  We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like.  But we can assume this.  They stand for everything we don't stand for.  Also they told me you guys look like dorks. "
"Stop exploding, you cowards.  "
 

Offline Vandermeer

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2016, 09:34:51 AM »
Successful strategy preparation lives through deception at its core

Despite old USA's overreaching espionage network, they either didn't have the same ability anymore, or new EUSN did a very good job at hiding its current developments, even after the ships using them were already flying for years in space.

The frigates successfully assumed firing positions uninterrupted by enemy firing attempts, signaling that the about 40m km range artillery shells would indeed be outranging CSA's missile strike based armaments as hoped. The absolute secrecy regimen however was also showing its downsides, as the crews were severely inefficient and confused about the 'handbook' procedures when ordered to fire from barrels that had never been allowed to fire before.

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When the bombardment was finally taking place, two half sized testing salvo flew ahead to measure the performance of CSA's unique orbital defense base, which they constructed with the exact intend to ward against missile strikes from outside of earths atmosphere. By being able to intercept intercontinental and space based missile attacks from above, they probably hoped to void the old damocles sword of mutual assured destruction, and become finally immune against retailiation.
So if this orbital defense base and the smaller support fleet above earth could actually fend against shell ammunition as well, the whole plan would be jeopardized.
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The performance was admiral-ble however, and despite the tight parameter, only about meager 7 shells per salvo could be fended off, making the defense penetrable with even just a single Psion frigate firing in theory.

After their first consternation about this succeeding perimeter break had been overcome, CSA dropped their arrogant entry stance and involved what counter-missile batteries they had at their disposal. They however had not even closely enough to really mount a defense against such ordnance density, not to mention that their AMMs were still weapons tuned to much larger missile targets, and thus by default completely unable to deal with mere guided shell ammunition.
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A downside to the tightly constructed artillery ammunition was however its relatively low yield, making it difficult to penetrate modern duranium based armor. The heavy defense base managed to resist the first 160 impacts, making a later targeted Sheffield destroyer the actual first sunken ship victim of this war.
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The beam defense base followed shortly after still, causing CSA's orbiting forces to disperse in panic.

No counter fire had been received up to this point and CSA ships were already fleeing from various surface damage, but a new threat was clearly introducing itself. China seemed to show colors in its weird 'each others protegee' relation with CSA, as some of their ships transgressed Open Palm's skirmisher radar perimeter and ignored around 10 warnings over 5 minutes. Since China could not access a military resource reserve as CSA could, they took the route of having a vast side of their forces being created as smaller sized Corvette vessels, which should in theory be able to deliver short ranged missile strikes under the radar.
Nathan Knight's command foresaw this possibility however, and ordered the command frigate to become equipped with an especially tuned radar device, that hopefully could still see them before their deployment range, and it seemed to have worked out. After the initial warnings were ignored, it was deemed too risky to let the ships close in further, so one salvo per ship was given out.
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The size was exactly enough to dispatch exactly one vessel per frigate salvo, contributing to very clean and efficient ammunition usage.
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With China now officially involved into the war tactics, conscious ordnance economy would be even more critical, as EU's reserve could easily prove to be too few to deal with both sides cooperating.
After succeeding in repelling the Corvettes approach and still dealing with the remaining CSA vessels in range, a disturbing move seemed to come from China's main fleet from the south. Instead of running into a another,-as they must have seen by now-, futile direct confrontation, chinese admiralty wisely concluded that the only way to win against the glaring range and speed advantages they were presented with, was to cut their enemies supply lines, so the dreaded combatants would eventually fall harmless by themselves.
This meant assault on the Venus and Mercury bases, where fuel and ammunition was stored, -and with the fleet currently in action-, also unprotected.
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Their position was more than desperate still. A quick calculation showed that they would barely be able to approach Venus before Open Palm could fly all the way back to Mercury Base, restock and rearm, and then still arrive at Venus early enough to void any occupation attempts before they happen. The only thing at risk was again the newly formed emergency ground force command which operated from Venus' Infantry regiment under a fresh and just hours before promoted major general.
When seeing how quickly their enemies were to refresh their momentum however, the chinese fleet stopped even the Venus assault, and instead set a desperate course deeper into space closely behind earth and towards their freighter fleet.
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They must have know their position was hopeless at this stage, as there was no option for EUSN to ignore the threat that this fleet still posed, especially after potentially joining forces with America's main fleet body.
A carefully measured strike solution was given out that expended about 70% of the Psions magazines on the fleet, and targeted nearly every ship they had.
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After some correction gunnery and a total of 90% of the magazines, nearly all of the Chinese fleet had been completely decimated, essentially factoring them out of the equation.
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They picked final siding too hasty, and foolishly put everything on the one card that their corvettes might smuggle undetected into devastating alpha strike range. Yet at the moment that the communication attempts from EU's side revealed that their enemies had machinery dedicated to block against such attempts, must have been the moment that they recognized their early cornered defeat that had only to play out.

While dealing with the scattered remnants of the still not entirely obliterated chinese fleet, CSA's own detachment of short range defense corvettes approached. Again probably driven by arrogance, these ships didn't even partake in the assault on EU when it happened, and instead were taking training flights in the vicinity of earth, probably thinking their assistance wouldn't be needed.
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Captain Schaefer vetoed the plan to shield Venus with the Escorts however after seeing 2 of the 3 remaining chinese ships miraculously survive even the last salvo. Instead they were to be finished first with the debut test of the railgun turrets, even if that put Open Palm at risk of counter-fire.
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No close range counterattacks were received from the already heavily crippled vessels, and Open Palm managed to retreat before the corvettes came into range.
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When they were back they found that the whole detachment had stayed together and also again decided against bombarding Venus.
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Whatever their plans in this situation might have been, they were foiled, as the artillery strikes dispatched CSA's corvette units just as efficiently as they did the Chinese ones.

The group then went on to return to earth to use the remaining 3rd magazine load on the leftover CSA ships there, and also to destroy their ominous moon base and a group of chinese freighters that had just deported some goods for unknown purposes.
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The remaining fleeing freighters that hadn't had contact with earth were instead left to flee into the upper system, until conditions for their return could be negotiated.
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With the removal of these forces, EU's immediate endangerment was over. Though the ground forces of China and CSA were still present and strong, they wouldn't dare to pursue invasion as long as the old cold war retaliation threat was again hanging over them with EUSN dominating the orbit, and their intercepting orbital base de-equalizer gone.
However, the real threat was still to come. Defeating the comparably small chinese fleet and the defensive detachment of America was but a small task compared to the shark that is CSA's real pacific force. Their fleet had been away with unknown destination again, but apparently was still close enough to react quickly to the emergency call they must have received. So after only a couple days of breathing room, EUSN was immediately faced with the closing main fleet corpus.
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Though after the proof of concept, EU's ships were still clearly at an amazing advantage, opposing such a flood of incoming targets might overburden their small contesting capacity easily. There was no doubt that any victory of CSA could in this situation only be bought by accepting to absorb immense losses, but their Admiral must have seen that if there ever was a window to strike, it was now and time would work against them with the EU ammunition reserve restocking.
Consequently "negotiations" consisted only of demands to let the pacific fleet dock at Earth without interfering, and retreating to the mercury station until issues had been resolved. They essentially asked for capitulation, as they surely wouldn't miss the opportunity to hold EU population hostage a second time.
So the navy naturally ignored the windy proposal and instead positioned itself on Mercury, which seemed again to be the destination that their ships were about to take. The first encounter seemed to be a vanguard of highly armored Dreadnought vessels, arguably indeed as a sacrifice, which would cost EU much ammunition to bring down.
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The remaining parts of their fleet pursued other entry points through the asteroid belt, arguably to arrive in time to close in from two sides simultaneously.

The approaching Dreadnoughts were faced when coming close to Mercury, and received again very well measured strike doses'.
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Contrary to the expected tactic, the also vanguard advancing and much faster Amazon destroyers also found an entry vector and approached without support from their main fleet.
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Supposedly they were issued with collecting intelligence on Open Palm, as they stopped at a certain radar range, and started to flee once EU's frigates closed in.
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It was somehow frightening to see CSA so readily sacrifice multiple ships and their crews just to accomplish a single mission objective. What was separating them now from the enemies they once fought?

Choosing another strange entry course, now the main fleet body and threat was at hand. It was disheartening to witness the true size of their armada after they turned on their sensors. Despite the best efforts of the past intelligence team and their gravitational radar prototype on earth, some of these designs weren't even registered and a mystery to EUSN.
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At this point, only one magazine load was left on Mercury, and it was now evident that it would not be enough to strike them down, but maybe enough to at least cripple them all?
Some pre-engagement outriders tried to lure the frigates into further ammunition waste, or the surely more grievous mistake of trying to engage on railgun range.
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The bad news wouldn't end, when the Trafalgar class capital cruisers showed amazing resilience, being able to absorb a whole salvo of all frigates at once (10% total load) while only getting moderately crippled.
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Then interceptive fire started and took away about 12 shells from each following bombardment. When about 60% of the magazine had been spent, a surprisingly large amount of CSA ships still went down or fled, making the field look much more manageable.
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In a massive consecutive burst, the last flames of the Psion's artillery were expended. Whatever survived this would most likely keep staying a problem.
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If it hadn't been for chinese interference, EUSN would have cleanly won this conflict and to CSA's surprise...
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...4 destroyers and 2 cruisers survived the punishing artillery without or with little touch from roaming flak impacts. Another 2 destroyers might be able to repair their damage and join later. Some relief for the admiralty of EUSN, as the odds seemed to stay shifty.
It was not inconceivable to still achieve victory with only the so far little used 6 escort frigates attempting approach, but it would definitely become close. Cmd. Admiral Harrison was now faced with a tearing decision. There was opportunity to fly back to earth and load another 100 fresh produced shells,-not even a full salvo-, which nonetheless could prove to deliver winning advantage in such a close match. However, this would mean leaving Mercury undefended, and other than the last times, the speed advantage would surely not suffice this time.
The first decision was to guard Mercury and wait for movement, so that eventually the Psions might be able to fly for resupply alone, while the lead frigate Jeanne could hopefully evacuate if the situation on Mercury should run dire. A distinct weakness in EUSN fleet doctrine was having only one sensor ship ready, which made separation of force practically impossible, and now that hurt for the first time. Future escort models -should they ever be needed- should include a small reserve missile sensor each at least.
Luckily CSA's movement decisions showed that they were not very eager to perform the suicidal retaliation attack on Mercury, and instead set course for earth
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It was a wise decision considering that the most deciding strategic achievement of bombarding Mercury had been to destroy the now depleted ammunition reserves. This strategic value had however now shifted back to Earth, so if any further engagement was to be had, it had better been about the true source of power - the EU's military industrial.
CSA's shrunken formation flew a wide circle, but did not deviate from their course still.
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Once they got close enough, the finishing stage of the conflict started by starting remaining artillery and the escort simultaneously. The 100 ahead flying shells successfully dispatched another broadsword, and heavily damaged another, causing it to flee.
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Then for the first time in this conflict, fire was opened on EU ships, as the 4 heavier CSA vessels started to unleash their swarmer missile pods once the frigates were close enough.
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Luckily and despite the lack of operation training, the two best instructed frigates still managed to get their defensive fire coordinated, and alone managed to repel any little missile that came their way.
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The frigates waited until CSA saw that they needed to hold their ineffective fire, and then moved in to the real risky part: close encounter. EUSN's so far uncontested encounters were based on superior firing ranges, but this advantage did not find reflection in their escort ships, which lacked a dedicated long range attack cannon. Just a single large gun placement would have easily meant continued retaliation immunity for EU after proving to be able to annul all remaining missile strike capacity, but such weapon did not exist in their arsenal yet.
Hence, close skirmish was costly, and the unleashing intense firefight finally gave CSA an opportunity to land hits in return...
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Despite being outweighed 48.6kt against 37.5kt, the still superior weaponry and specialization managed to slowly overpower CSA's gunnery options. A boon they had to thank Bianka von Krug's third revolutionary development: The fast nuclear gas pipes, which used the radioactive heating material itself to run a series of small dispersed turbines inside the shielded piping themselves to generate and contain energy potential insanely quickly, so the powerful railguns could be fired three times as fast as anything CSA had at their disposal.
The battle confusion made it so that only the "Marduk" could continuously fire however, causing a lot more damage receive as necessary. The confrontation ended with "Junon" and "Wolfshorn" receiving an engine hit and generally becoming disabled, and most of the other frigates suffering some hull damage or disabled turrets too.
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Luckily, no ship was entirely destroyed still, and CSA had hereby basically lost the war.
There was however still a little unknown number of ships in the outer system, and the numerous damaged ships in the inner ring who might still become a threat yet again.
For now CSA was fleeing on all fronts, but to prevent them from recovery and achieve total victory, the escorts were sent directly after them.
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Though the Broadswords did not put up any fight, the Trafalgars were actually able to respond and further weaken the condition of the 4 still battle ready frigates.
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Then the last contact was in order, - a ship that had so far observed the fighting from far Uranus orbit without making attempts of interfering.
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Surprisingly it consisted of a group of 3 ships, which managed to heavily damage another frigate just in the first round of fire.
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They were overwhelmed nonetheless, concluding the conflict without any real ship loss for EU.
It was unknown if there might have been more CSA ships that did not return to aid and might be encountered later, and certainly their and China's freighters were not seen anymore for long. However, even if they might be hiding somewhere out there, it was clear they were in no position of threat anymore for now and many coming years.

Like in so many wars before, bold re-envision of the rules and tools of conflict brought with it an amazing advantage. In ages before, whenever a new technologically more advanced era dawned and for the first time saw war, there were factions that underestimated or wrongly assessed the needs of the modern times, and others that had vision and saw the opportunity. While CSA was too wound up in its old successful war traditions, and China as of its heritage denying new tradition attempted again 'just copy from the bwest', EU had been rewarded for putting their trust into a windy uncertain conglomerate of overwhelmingly young talents. This new age had more than ever rewarded technology over numbers, and with enough ammunition, the whole massive fleets of EUSN's opponents could have probably been defeated by even only two advanced purpose built ships alone.
History normally mentions the commanders of massive costly and outnumbered battles as great generals, even though the truly great commanders are those unremembered geniuses with enough vision and planning to never let it come so far. This uneven conflict however had demanded both excellencies, since even the supreme preparation of EU's admiralty would have been nothing if not for the (mostly) flawless decision making at the still outgunned front.


After Crisis
Back home, any ship commander participating in the solar pacification was awarded an appropriate memorization medal, and up to two others depending on personal performance. This also included Open Palm's Admiral Harrison, and the foreseeing plan makers Admiral Nathan Knight and leading inventor Von Krug.

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In some of the rescue operations near Earth, teams of civil engineers that were captured amongst the other military prisoners. In contrast to their Navy's god sworn holy warriors, these had no true allegiance and were forced to add dearly needed brainpower to the space-faring neanderthalensis war parties. As such they readily leaked the secrets of what CSA had been doing in these last years.


It was now confirmed that they indeed had found a method to quickly access other star systems nearby by delving into some unknown ancient alien lore. The origins of that lore were still unclear, and speculations varied wildly from close Roswell over the long before Spain described aztecian "white man", to even ocean ground excavations in the crater that is the Gulf of Mexico. (or the fact that all aliens land in america first, period.)
Whatever it's origin was, the closer circle of navy hard line crazetians who knew of it, regarded or interpreted the possession as godly prophetic sign knowledge, similar in weight to the commandments' reveal.
As such they never really attempted to understand it, and instead only replicated the technology closely, using chanting and superstition to operate the devices (with success somehow). The few found intact engines however soon revealed to EU and SK-Japan the essential theoretical concept behind it, and how to search a solar system to localize the limited exit positions in its gravity surge.

Only one year later, Japan-SK officially announced a close cooperation with EU in all space exploration matters, allowing them to use their new gating ship prototype as well that permanently made the formerly most frequented exit point of CSA (northwest) passable from both sides.


A modernized survey detachment was soon build and sent through by ESA thanks to the helping japanese ships, and the results were relayed to the asian union as well. For further expeditions, Terra Nobilem wanted to pursue an even more ambitious project of permanently fixing a gating device in position - a sort of buoy infrastructure that could adjust to size demands dynamically.
Plans for the future, but for now it was important only to note that the remaining CSA forces had not been found on the other side directly, and also did not seem to try for any contact back home with their now barred in internationally isolated and de-weaponized siblings. However, suspicious appearances of new chinese ships were often seen around the inner solar system and even close to Earth for years to come.
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It was argued that they must hold a base somewhere in deep sol that managed to maintain itself, or maybe they actually managed to also replicate CSA's technology before their benefactors could understand it themself. Yet no definite assemblies of fleet such as from CSA or now SK-Japan had ever been witnessed in deep space, making this bare speculation too.

A few years later, EUSN went to return favor for previous helping hands in the construction of the Mercury base, and general and continued technological advisory, by sending  freighting and protection installation towards the first outside colony of humanity (..that western civilization knew of) which the asian union had founded.
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SK-Japan was impressed with that, and also with the successful stellar infrastructure buildup that reduced their costly gating ship operations to the exploration frontier. From now on their and EU's navy started to work together as if they were organizations of the same state.



[---Break---//OOC---]
I rushed the part to this, trying to get all screenshots into one post. There were a couple potential dramatic turning points that could have warranted more expansive narrative (especially directly involving the commanding officers) and separation, plus I also skipped a whole tech section with the jump drives.^^' Reason is of course 7.x being here, and me being occupied with a new game already.
Since I actually wanted to use this setup for an entirely different idea that I didn't even come to use, I will however try to replicate all this in 7.2 once it is there, and then continue like nothing happened without repeating the whole inner war story again.
I think the war was really well balanced though. Despite loosing not even a single ship, and having a utterly ridiculous kill-to-fielding mass ratio, it was a close call, and could have easily ended with my total defeat if I didn't have started so early with the pressing ammunition economy for example. It wasn't really planned, but this became quite a documentation of why tech wins over mass since there were, well, not really equal, but comparable starting conditions.(USA's fleet was huge already even when nobody else had any military ships yet)
Much tension, some learned design optimization lessons, fun game overall. Would play again. 5/5

playing Aurora as swarm fleet: Zen Nomadic Hive Fantasy
 

Offline TheDOC

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Re: EU - circle of stars
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2016, 11:40:39 AM »
Quite the enjoyable read but if i may, a bit too long for a single post. Maybe i missed it, but what is the actual number of Labs for the CSA now? It'll be fun to see whether they can cope up with the production against the massive tech lead, even though if you reach good relations with SK-Jap they might as well get techs from there and then...good night.
 

 

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