Author Topic: Starting a multi-faction solitaire game, with a random twist  (Read 2642 times)

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Offline Desdinova

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Re: Starting a multi-faction solitaire game, with a random twist
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2019, 05:47:54 PM »
Battle for the Moon

5 December 2037
Since the Chinese renunciation of the Outer Space Treaty, escalating tensions have led to a complete breakdown in Sino-Indian relations. This culminates in an ultimatum issued by India: positioning anti-ship missiles on the lunar surface will be perceived as an act of war. The Chinese have already constructed missile batteries on the moon, although for most of the year they sit unarmed. The "Lunar Missile Crisis" occupies headlines around the world for months. On December 5th, the Chinese call the Indians' bluff, sending two ammunition transports to the moon, escorted by the destroyers Harbin, Shanghai, and Zhengzhou, and two squadrons of Q-2 class frigates.

The Indian response is to send three squadrons of FF-1 class frigates to interdict the Chinese task force.



On approach, the Indian task force commander, Captain Trisna Athani, orders the Chinese to turn away or be fired upon. The Chinese ignore the command. Both sides lock their fire control radars at on each other, at point blank range. At 0423Z, the Indian force opens fire on the transports.

The opening salvo fails to destroy either transport, with Indian railguns failing to penetrate their thick armor. Targeting the transports has cost them the initiative, and the Chinese return fire immediately and effectively. The Indians shift fire from the ammunition transports to the destroyers, inflicting heavy damage on Shanghai, but their efforts are ultimately futile: in less than a minute, all eighteen Indian frigates are destroyed.

The damaged Chinese transports set course for low Earth orbit. After the shocking defeat, India's entire Earth-based fleet gets underway towards the Moon: six Bangalore-class cruisers, one 3000-ton DD-1-class destroyer, and 36 frigates. The United Kingdom's fleet follows closely behind. The UK has all nine Centaur-class cruisers and eight Leopard-class frigates ready for action, but have orders not to engage unless fired upon. As they depart low Earth orbit, they are shadowed by the Chinese first fleet, with three Jianghu-class missile cruisers, three Luhu-class destroyers, and 36 Q-1 and Q-2 class frigates.


At 0426, the Indian cruisers attack the Chinese with their long-range particle beam weapons. The Chinese force shadowing them returns fire with missiles, but is unable to overcome the enemy point-defense railguns and no hits are scored. The missile attack causes the British commander, CDR Charlie Nixon, to authorize his ships to engage the enemy.

The Chinese frigates, being faster than both sides' capital ships, leave formation and attack, forcing the allied fleet away from the vulnerable Chinese transports. Both sides focus fire on each other's frigate forces, having observed how quickly they can be decisively defeated.



The battle is furious and swift, lasting just under two minutes. The Chinese frigates prove more rugged, but no match against the combined firepower of the enemy cruisers. The Indian frigates, meanwhile, are extremely vulnerable to Chinese laser weapons, frequently being disabled after only a single hit. After their frigate screen evaporates, the outnumbered Chinese cruisers and destroyers are forced back by massed enemy fire, taking refuge within the treaty-stipulated 100km "safe zone" around Earth, which both sides appear to respect.



With the Chinese force withdrawing and the ammunition transports retreating and helpless, both sides agree to a cease fire, permitting both sides to recover survivors.

Loss of life is heavy on both sides. The Chinese suffer 10 casualties on one of the ammunition transports, 6 on Mukden, 1 on Zhengzhou, and 34 on Shanghai.

The Chinese suffer 12 Q-2 class frigates destroyed, and a further four abandoned due to irrepairable damage, and five Q-1 class frigates destroyed. 255 survivors are rescued. A further 79 casualties were suffered on surviving frigates. Total Chinese casualties: 646.

The Indians have lost 21 FF-1 class frigates, with a further 5 scuttled. 200 survivors are rescued, with a total 528 crew lost.

The British suffer only a single casualty aboard frigate Boxer.

Tactical analysis of the battle shows that the laser-armed Chinese frigates were superior to the railgun-armed Indian frigates in performance; although largely equivalent in most respects, the Chinese lasers caused penetrating hits whenever they hit an enemy frigate, often resulting in an immediate mission-kill. The railguns were also handicapped due to their inferior range. The Centaur-class cruisers made a decisive contribution, as without them, the Chinese would be able to engage the Indians from out of range of all but the particle beams mounted on the Indian cruisers. Chinese missile armament, despite massive upgrades, again proves ineffective against mass point-defense railguns, although several hits were scored in the ensuing brawl.

The UK's Leopard-class frigates survived with minimal damage in part due to their longer-ranged laser weaponry allowing them to keep the range open, and due to the fact that the Indian fleet was the Chinese force's primary target.

The general conclusion drawn by most observers is that large numbers of small 1000-ton warships is ineffective at best. Two forces of over three dozen frigates succeeded only in wiping each other out; in the initial attack on the Chinese transports, the Indian frigates were unable to destroy the ammunition transport and were able to only damage a 3,000 ton destroyer, albeit severely.

In terms of political outcome, the battle succeeds in forcing the Indians and Chinese to back down and return to the negotiating table. Neither side can sustain a war in space: the Chinese navy is split between Earth-Luna and Mars fleets, and half of their newer cruisers are on maneuvers in the asteroid belt. The Indian escalation caught them by surprise. But the Indians don't have the means to land troops on the moon or Mars, where the Chinese are already entrenched: a full-scale war would lead to both colonies being seized and occupied by the Chinese in short order, and they would have no recourse except bombing their own citizens into submission. The Chinese public is outraged by what they see as another humiliation, especially due to the heavy loss of life, although the government seizes on the inability of the enemy to destroy the transports and the destruction of the initial attack wave to spin the event as a Chinese victory.

The international treaty that results from this "incident" is intended to curb the continuing arms race, and prevent future confrontation: hosted by neutral Russia, the St. Petersburg accord limits the signatories to 100,000 total tons of armed warships, except China, which is allowed 150,000 tons - although as of yet no limits are placed on numbers, type or mass of individual ships. As a concession to China, nations will be able to maintain ground-based antispace weapons for defensive purposes. Although the Chinese missile batteries are what sparked the initial confrontation in the first place, their rivals have come to see Chinese missile technology as basically ineffectual. Chinese doctrine on offensive missile use is also evolving, with naval theorists advocating short-ranged but extremely powerful "torpedoes" to be used within beam engagement range in order to overcome enemy point defense. Meanwhile, the Indians are recognizing that despite the American's success five years ago, short-ranged railguns may not be sufficient secondary armament in a mixed-range engagement.

Lightly-armed, unarmored frigates have proliferated due to being cheap and easy to build, but after the battle, both India and China agree to not repair damaged frigates and to cut their numbers significantly.
 
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Offline The Forbidden

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Re: Starting a multi-faction solitaire game, with a random twist
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2019, 09:26:10 AM »
Nice. The battle for the moon was very interesting, especially the conclusion that FACs are....inefficient against larger and beefier warships. I was wondering why basically everyone was almost exclusively building them until now. Cheap apparently beat effectiveness, after all, it's not like a major war could break out, right ?

Also, is the 100 000 km safe zone around Earth part of the "Whoever attacks Earth attacks all of it's nations" rule or is it separate and thus can be violated without signing your instant death warrant ?
 

Offline Desdinova

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Re: Starting a multi-faction solitaire game, with a random twist
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2019, 02:37:37 PM »
Nice. The battle for the moon was very interesting, especially the conclusion that FACs are....inefficient against larger and beefier warships. I was wondering why basically everyone was almost exclusively building them until now. Cheap apparently beat effectiveness, after all, it's not like a major war could break out, right ?

Also, is the 100 000 km safe zone around Earth part of the "Whoever attacks Earth attacks all of it's nations" rule or is it separate and thus can be violated without signing your instant death warrant ?

The 100 km safe zone is part of the same treaty, although I made it up for the battle. Fighting in LEO was always against the rules, I just had to set a hard limit, and I picked 100 km because it puts orbiting ships out of the range of any outside ship's beam weapons. At this point, the major factions have adjusted the orbits of their orbital facilities and dockyards to keep the Earth between them and those of the other side, in order to prevent a beam-based first strike from orbiting ships.

It's really only China and India that have vast numbers of attack craft. China started it and then India tried to keep up until both sides had dozens. The UK has 8. The EU has the 2,000-ton lion class, but it's slightly more survivable as it has an extra layer of armor.

I regreted building any of them pretty quickly because the number of ships was causing massive slow down due to sensor updates, so this battle was as much as anything about giving me an excuse to kill them and scrap the rest. I just discovered you can toggle off detection in a system, though, which fixes that, so I'll let them keep them until they get replaced by equivalent tonnage of larger ships.
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Starting a multi-faction solitaire game, with a random twist
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2019, 04:49:03 PM »
What a slug fest! That's like a major Napoleonic war naval battle.
 

Offline Desdinova

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Re: Starting a multi-faction solitaire game, with a random twist
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2019, 08:44:33 PM »
2038 Diplomacy Update
The Arab League has aligned itself towards the Chinese, leading to a sharp decrease in Indo-Arab relations following the confrontation over the moon and continued Saudi support of Indian rival Pakistan. At the same time, the Arab League has made continuous overtures towards the Europeans to normalize trade relations and take advantage of their new trans-Newtonian economy. India/Arab League relations fall to belligerent; Arab League/EU relations improve to friendly

Further upsetting the balance of power in the solar system, the Russian Federation signs a new mutual defense treaty with the Chinese government. Russia/China form alliance

The Trans-Newtonian industrial revolution has left many smaller nations falling behind and uprooted the traditional balance of power. By 2038, new political alliances are forming. Before the Russo-Chinese alliance is signed, Russia unites several other nations with which it still maintains good relations, including Iran, North Korea, and parts of sub-saharan Africa as well as most of the post-Soviet bloc into a new political union. Its members effectively become Russian puppet states in exchange for Russian and Chinese technical assistance. Russian Federation gains 300M population, 300 conventional industry, 2 research labs

The perceived threat of China, following a "police action" in Vietnam where trans-Newtonian weapons were used, causes the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia to overcome their historic emnity towards Japan and formalize a free trade and mutual defense organization. While the new Pacific Alliance shares a common parliament and rotating presidency, Japan is effectively the senior partner due to their existing Trans-Newtonian industrial base and military experience. Japan gains 300M population, 300 conventional industry, 1 research lab

Furthermore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom, while not giving up any sovereignty, agree to integrate their Trans-Newtonian defense programs into a common command structure, and deepen trade ties even further. UK gains 100M population, 300 conventional industry, 2 research labs

After the Arab League and Russia ally themselves with China, China gives them access to their trans-Newtonian defense research. Arab League, Russia gain all technology previously researched by China

« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 08:48:35 PM by Desdinova »
 
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Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Starting a multi-faction solitaire game, with a random twist
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2019, 11:13:56 AM »
Oh wow, that will shake things up.

Had South-Korea already joined up with Japan? And I guess China swallowed Taiwan at some point.
 

Offline Desdinova

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Re: Starting a multi-faction solitaire game, with a random twist
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2019, 10:51:40 PM »
April, 2038: War Games over Ceres

The recent battle in cislunar space has called into question the safety and value of small, lightly armored gunboats. This is a particularly troublesome question for the European Union, which, at present, has no larger warships than its 2,000 ton Lion-class frigates.

In April, the United States and the European Union agree to hold joint maneuvers in the asteroid belt. The first simulated combat scenario has the United States protecting the uninhabited dwarf planet Ceres against the European fleet. Both sides are allowed equal tonnage: the United States fields most of its second cruiser squadron, made up of its most modern Minneapolis-class cruisers Astoria, Augusta, Baltimore, Chicago, and Minneapolis. The Europeans field two frigate squadrons: Cyclone, Jaguar, Lion, Lynx, Mars, Milan, Cavalier, Gazelle, Intrepide, Kondor, Pelikan, and Seeadler.


1718: The operation commences. Both sides begin at a separation of 9m km.



1821: The US task force detects the approaching enemy fleet from Earthward. Commanding officer RADM Chris Garber orders the fleet to maintain a defensive posture around Ceres.

1843: The European forces detect the Americans in Ceres orbit.



1856: European commander Sylvie Boyer gives the signal to open fire. Although the plasma carronades are tremendously powerful close-range weapons, they also have 60k km maximum range. Her goal is to keep the Americans at a range from which they cannot reply with their lasers. The American commander hopes to pressure the enemy in order to drisupt their formation, close the range and fight back.

The Europeans focus half their fire on Baltimore, half on Astoria. Only two hits on each are scored in the opening salvo. The second salvo scores only six. After several minutes, both sides agree to reset the scenario. The Europeans have a range and speed advantage, giving the Americans no way fight back. As the initial scenario has no time limit or objective beyond destroying the enemy, the European Union is deemed the winner.

The second scenario has the Americans as the aggressor. The American force's objective is to bombard Ceres; the victory condition is to enter into weapons range of the dwarf planet. Not knowing the American's axis of advance, the European commander weighs splitting her forces into a picket line in order to extend their sensor range, but decides to concentrate her forces on Ceres due to their narrow speed advantage. To win the scenario, they must destroy or disable the American cruisers before they reach Ceres.

1925: The Europeans detect the American force and attempts to intercept.



1930: The Europeans enter range of the Americans' lasers. The EU commander orders the fleet to hold fire until below 10k km range, in order to maximize chances of penetrating the heavy American armor. The first laser salvo does minor damage to Cavalier, Intrepide, and Jaguar.



Ten seconds later, the Europeans enter railgun range. Cavalier and Cyclone are both badly damaged and knocked out of formation. As they will be unable to keep up with the Americans, the cruisers targeting them shift fire to other frigates.

The EU frigates counterattack at point-blank range, dividing their fire between Baltimore and Astoria, causing catastrophic armor damage. Astoria receives no penetrating hits, but Baltimore suffers two simulated secondary explosions rendering the ship disabled and dead in space.



Unfortunately, the next American strike knocks out Intrepide, Kondor, Gazelle, and Jaguar, and disables Lion's weaponry, leaving them with just five combat-capable frigates against four cruisers. The European ships aren't fast enough to duck in and out of railgun range, and their carronades recharge too slowly, firing only every thirty seconds compared to the American's ten-second rate-of-fire railguns. At close range, it's no contest. They are eventually able to slow the damaged Astoria, but not before Lion is deemed destroyed and the entire force disabled.



The simulated combat concludes, having identified deficiencies in both sides' fleets. The Americans have no standoff weaponry at all, leaving them completely at the mercy of a longer-ranged enemy. At the same time, the European frigates can harass, but cannot hope to deny a heavily armored enemy with low-powered, long-range fire within a narrow window of time. The conclusion is that plasma carronades are a poor choice for a small craft without a significant speed or armor advantage: they are too slow to charge to be decisive on a ship with poor survivability. The European frigates do appear in simulation to be far superior to Chinese and Indian types, but a far cry from a heavily armoured cruiser.

When the war games end, the American military agrees to exchange their laser and capacitor technology with the EU in exchange for future technology, and begins contemplating its own missile-armed combatants. The EU decides against retiring the Lion-class, but deems they should be rearmed with quicker-firing weapons as soon as possible.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 11:00:36 PM by Desdinova »
 
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Offline The Forbidden

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Re: Starting a multi-faction solitaire game, with a random twist
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2019, 04:17:57 AM »
Very nice. I really like the idea of RP war games for them to test and iterate their designs, it's very RP and nice to watch. Plus it makes sense, if you do fleet exercises, might as well go all the way and try to improve your tactics and get performance data on your hardware right ?
 

 

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