Author Topic: Campaign Updates  (Read 5162 times)

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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Cold War: Turn 109, The colonies break away
« Reply #60 on: July 24, 2020, 09:35:58 AM »
Turn 109, Day 17, Moskva system
Soviet Guard Group 2, composed of twenty-five explorer class ships and one explorer-scout, reached seventy-two light minutes from the warp point to the Leningrad system at 0800 hours and detected a group of drive fields around the warp point.  Knowing that the Coalition 1st Fleet had been last seen in that area, the CO of the group sent out a warning that the group was inbound and would brook no interference.  Admiral Ruston sent a reply stating that the Coalition had no intention of interfering with the Soviet ships, however, he then went on to warn the Soviets of the presence of D’Bringi ships on the warp point.  The Guard Group came to a halt and, after consultation between its officers, splits up.  The twenty-five exploration ships set out for the warp point to the Solar System, while the lone scout continues on towards the warp point to keep an eye on the D’Bringi force in the system.   

Turn 109: Day 18, Tomsk system
Late in the day several courier drones from Earth arrive in orbit over the colony and broadcast their messages down to the comm centers on the surface.  Within minutes the Soviet Governor and the Ambassador were reading the message from Marshal Kosygin.  The two happened to be together when the message came in, and, as it was the same message for both the two watched it together in the Governor’s office.  The Marshal’s message was stirring and patriotic, unless, of course, you happened to be one of the colonists who was being ordered to fight to the last man.  When the Marshal’s speech ended the Ambassador, pale and frail-looking, staggered to a chair and sat down, his head in his hands. 

Governor Orlov, a bluff former farmer who had risen to his position through sheer force of will, in spite of a lack of connections, was already pretty sure he knew that what the Bjering had claimed was true.  Seeing confirmation in the Marshal’s message didn’t affect him the way it did the Ambassador, who had steadfastly insisted that there was no way that their leaders would abandon them.  After a few seconds, the Governor pushed a button on his desk.  In response, his aide entered the room and stood by the door. 

“Sergey, I’m afraid the Ambassador is overwrought.  Would you please help him to the aid station?”

“Of course, governor.”  The young aide bustled over to the Ambassador, who allowed himself to be led out of the room.  As the two left the room, a second aide entered. 

“Ah, good, Boris.  You saw?”

The young man smiled.  “Yes, Governor.  Sergey and I were watching from the other room.”

“Very good.  In the next few days, the governors of the colonies in the Bernaul, Petropavlovsk, Vorkuta, and Bratsk systems are going to receive the same message.  I want our own message to follow as quickly as possible.  We must let them know that the Bjering offer us an alternative.  Further, I want to call a meeting of the governors here, as we are centrally located.  Even with Bjering protection we must stand together or we will fall separately.”

“I’ll get the invitations out immediately, governor.”

“Good.”  The aide turned to leave, but the governor held up his hand.  “Boris, regardless of the outcome of the upcoming meeting, we need to plan for the future.  If we are to survive, we need to establish a bas of action, and our system is going to be the critical point, no matter what the other governors decide.  After all, our contact point with the Bjering is here, and our access to the rest of the colonial territory is here.  We are the central point.  It appears that the Bjering are going to give us enough time to get our feet under us, and I want to use that time wisely.  If we are to be anything more than a dependent of the Bjering, we’ll need a fleet of our own.  To build that fleet, and defenses, we’ll need shipyards.  I know there are designs for stripped down shipyards stored away somewhere against just this eventuality.  I want you to find them and dust them off.  I want construction to start as soon as possible, whether we have the agreement of the other governors or not.  We’ll fund it out of our own coffers, begging, borrowing, or stealing whatever we need.  If the other governors agree to this, then their resources will cover anything we borrow.  If they don’t, then maybe the Bjering will give us a loan.  Either way, I need options, and building a shipyard here will give us those options.”

Boris got a crafty look in his eyes as he considered the situation.  “Governor, if I’m correct there were a number of freighters cut off in our area when the Rehorish moved into the Kirov system.  Those freighters were all carrying resources back towards the Earth, to use in the war effort.  If we send out messages for the freighters to assemble here, under our protection, and that of the Bjering, then we would have access to those resources.”

A wide grin split Governor Orlov’s face.  “Perfect!  Make it happen!”

Turn 109, Day 20, Tomsk system
Three Rehorish destroyers popped into existence, one after another.  When their systems came back online, their long-range scanners warned them of the fleet hanging just under fifteen light seconds from the warp point.  The four battlecruisers, six destroyers, and eight corvettes were not an overwhelming force, but it far out-massed their own picket group.  The picket group commander was preparing to order his group back through the warp point when his sensor officer pointed out that the ships in the force were not Soviet, but rather were of an unknown design not consistent with any known race.  Curious, the Rehorish command ordered communications opened.  Thus, first contact between the Rehorish and the Bjering was established.  As the two began working out how to talk to each other, the Rehorish picket commander ordered CD’s launched to inform Cho-sho Banzan of the new development.  Progress was slow, primarily because the Bjering chose to conceal the fact that they knew the language of the Russians, which the Rehorish knew as well. 

Turn 109, Day 25, Krasnodar System
On this date a Rehorish picket group arrived over the Russian colony in this system, which promptly surrendered.  None of the colonies in the Soviet colonial territories had thought much of Marshal Kosygin’s admittedly stirring orders to resist to the last.  None of the colonies had organized military troops with which to resist the Rehorish, and even if they did the Rehorish controlled their colony’s orbitals.  Organized resistance under those circumstances would only get everyone killed eventually. 

Turn 109, Day 25, Tomsk system
Courier drones had traveled from the colony here to the surrounding colonies, and then back.  All of the governors agreed to meet, however, none had transportation, as there was only a scattering of freighters in the cut-off systems.   Governor Orlov, recognizing that the situation was urgent and couldn’t wait until the cut-off freighters had been organized, and unwilling to send his only three warships, sent a request to the Bjering fleet at the warp point to the Kirov system.  Admiral Alpha agreed, and corvettes were dispatched to carry the governors back to the Tomsk system for the meeting. 

Turn 109, Day 30, Moskva System, 0600 hours
The Soviet 2nd Fleet arrives over the colony of Gagarin in the inner system.  There are celebrations across the planet as the Soviet ships settle into orbit.  After resupplying over the next six hours, the nine ships of the fleet, all that remained of the Soviet armed fleets, set out for the warp point to the Leningrad system.  Their ETA was six days and eighteen hours.  Th scout that had been dispatched to the warp point to observe the D’Bringi forces there had been driven off by D’Bringi ships, but it had been able to confirm their presence, if nothing else. 

Six hours later, in the Leningrad system, a group of D’Bringi reinforcements arrived at the warp point to the Moskva system.  This was the diversionary group that had originally drawn the Russian Home Fleet to the Leningrad system.  The D’Bringi Fleet which was now assembled at the warp point to the Moskva system consisted of one battlecruiser, five heavy cruisers, and fourteen corvettes.  Leaving behind a single corvette, the fleet departed for the inner system and the Russian colonies known to be located there.  Their ETA is six days and eighteen hours. 
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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Cold War: Turn 110 - Retreat of the Soviet Fleet
« Reply #61 on: July 27, 2020, 08:55:48 AM »
Turn 110, Solar System, USSR
Construction begins on the first designs from the new Ragnarok Design Bureau.  These are two different versions of the Borodino class light cruiser, intended to assault defended warp points.   

Turn 110, Day 3, 2000 hours, Moskva system
The two fleets had been advancing towards each other for several days, but at 2000 hours they finally came within sensor range of each other.  At that range, seventy-two light seconds, they only detected indistinct drive fields, with little other identifying characteristics, except for course and speed.  General Semenov, in command of the Russian fleet, was certain that the contact represented a D’Bringi fleet advancing into the system, as the Coalition had been very good about informing the Soviet’s about their fleet movements through their shared territories, and his last information showed the Coalition fleet still standing off of the warp point to the Leningrad system. 

Foe’s Bane, on board his flagship, was equally sure that the drive field contact ahead of his fleet was a Russian force, as the bulk of the Coalition fleet was behind him, shadowing his fleet, and they certainly would have warned him if more of their ships were approaching. 

Both commanders ordered their fleet to continue on course towards the other fleet. 

Turn 110, Day 4, 1600 hours, Moskva system
The two fleets had now closed to twelve light minutes apart, and could now detect the number of drive fields in the opposing fleet.  The D’Bringi now knew that the fleet approaching them was composed of nine ships, while the Russians detected nineteen ships approaching.  The Russians had detected a second fleet behind the first, but it was broadcasting its Coalition ID openly, and General Semenov’s force had established contact with Admiral Ruston’s command some time ago to establish and confirm their identity. 

Still, the fact that the D’Bringi force outnumbered his by better than two to one enraged General Semenov.  He had requested, and then pled, for the twenty-five explorer class ships that had been recalled to the warp point in the Solar System to be released to his command and allowed to join his force.  He wasn’t convinced that the explorers would be able to inflict very much damage on the enemy, but they would provide a distraction while his fleet pounded the enemy from missile range.  With the explorers joined to his fleet he would at least have a chance of stopping the D’Bringi fleet, or driving it off.  But the leadership on Earth wouldn’t release them, and they remained at the warp point, guarding it from attack.  Without them, his orders were clear.  He could not risk an engagement.   

General Semenov ordered his fleet to come about and begin pacing the D’Bringi fleet as it forged ahead, and dispatched a message to the scout ship sitting on the warp point back to the solar system.  Unfortunately, his battlecruisers were the only ships he had that were equipped with long-range scanners, and he wasn’t about to detach one of them to approach the D’Bringi fleet, so he was unable to gain any more data on the D’Bringi force.  Nine hours later a response arrived.  General Semenov was ordered to abandon the system and take up defensive positions at the warp point in the Solar System. 

Turn 110, Day 7, Moskva system
The D’Bringi fleet arrives in the inner system early in the day, and moves into orbit over the Soviet Union’s largest extra-solar colony, Gagarin.  The Soviet governor of Gagarin, flanked by Soviet Army officers, makes a defiant public broadcast across the planet and to the D’Bringi in orbit, refusing to surrender and promising to fight to the end. 

The D’Bringi are taken aback by the defiant tone of the broadcast, but are unwilling to bombard the surface.  They will have to wait until reinforcements arrive from D’Bringi prime later in the month.  The reinforcements are escorting troop transports, and once they arrive the colony will be subdued. 

Turn 110, Day 11, Solar System
One by one the ships of the 2nd Fleet transited into the Solar System, abandoning the Soviet Union’s last colony to the D’Bringi.  General Semenov was outraged at the orders to pull back, and vehemently argued to be allowed to return to Moskva, but is overruled. 

After boarding the asteroid fort that was the command center for the warp point defenses, General Semenov is arrested by troops loyal to Marshal Kosygin.  He will be shipped back to Earth to be charged with treason and cowardice in the face of the enemy.  His senior officers are arrested as well, and replacements, loyal to Marshal Kosygin, are en route from Earth. 
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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Cold War: Turn 110, The Coalition Leadership Meets
« Reply #62 on: July 27, 2020, 04:22:51 PM »
Month 110, Day 12, Earth, Coalition Capital
CEO Abramson turned from speaking with Fleet Admiral Reese and welcomed the others into his office.  He had invited his core group of advisors for this meeting to determine the future course of the Coalition.  Present were Fleet Admiral Reese, who commanded the Coalition fleet, Senator Teresa Obregon, the senior Reformist senator from the CEO’s party, and his good right hand in the Senate, and Minister Bisset, the Minister for Industrial Development.  The two politicians were the movers and shakers of the Abramson administration, and Fleet Admiral Reese was the one who would do the moving and shaking for the administration. 

When they were all seated Abramson sat and gestured for the admiral to move the front of the room.  “I’ve asked Admiral Reese to give a presentation on what we know to date about the war between the Soviets and the D’Bringi.  Taylor, you can start any time.”

Fleet Admiral Reese nodded, and looked at the others, taking in the mood of the room.  They were all cleared to the highest level, so presumably they knew all of the things he was going to say, but the CEO had asked him to give the presentation, so here they were.  “The first information we had that the war between the Russians and the D’Bringi had heated up came in month 106, when a portion of the Soviet Home Fleet left orbit over Earth at maximum cruising speed, shortly after the arrival of a series of courier drones from the Russian colonial territories.  The Russian Red Banner Fleet under General Lebedev was known to be operating in their colonial territories at that time, and it was presumed that the units from the Russian home fleet were being dispatched as reinforcements.  Over the next month our intelligence section noted a significant increase in Russian communications based on the number of courier drones arriving from their colonial territories, or departing to their colonial territories.  Late in month 107 the Soviet Home Fleet left Earth, bound for the warp point to the Moskva system, after several courier drones arrived from the Leningrad system.  The Soviet Home Fleet jumped into the Moskva system at the end of the month, shadowed by our 1st Fleet, commanded by Admiral Ruston.  After arriving in Moskva, the Soviet Home Fleet set a course for the jump point to the Leningrad system.”

“It was at this point that we realized that the Soviets were engaged in actual fighting with the D’Bringi, after several years of quiet.  We theorized that the Red Banner Fleet in the Soviet colonial territories was engaged with the D’Bringi, and that a second D’Bringi force had appeared in the Brezhnev system, which was a known contact point with the D’Bringi.  We believed that the Soviet Home Fleet was moving to confront the D’Bringi forces in Brezhnev, while General Lebedev and his fleet was engaged in their colonial territories.”

“At the start of month 108, the Soviets, at a series of meetings set up at their request, admitted that they were engaged in combat with the D’Bringi fleet, and that their current fleet movements were aimed at countering the threat from the D’Bringi and had nothing to do with the Coalition.  While they were not very forthcoming about the situation with the D’Bringi, the Foreign Relations Ministry seemed convinced that the Soviets were sincere in their desire to avoid provoking a confrontation with the Coalition.  Early in month 108 the Soviet Home Fleet jumped out of the Moskva system to Leningrad.  At this point the 1st Fleet, still in Moskva, lost sight of the Russian fleet as, per our treaty with the USSR, we were unable to follow them into Leningrad.  Admiral Ruston set his fleet in defensive positions some distance away from the warp point and settled in to watch the warp point for developments.  Several days later a group of courier drones jumped into the system, followed closely by two unidentified ships.  The ships lingered on the warp point long enough to destroy the Soviet navigation buoy, then jumped back to Leningrad without accepting communications.  Several days later another group of Soviet courier drones jumped into the system from Leningrad.  The Soviet Home Fleet did not return.  Late in the month, several D’Bringi ships jumped into the Moskva system from Leningrad and opened communications with our fleet.  They informed our fleet that the Russians had been defeated in Leningrad, and that soon they would be advancing into the Moskva system to secure the Soviet colonies there.  They agreed to avoid Coalition colonies and shipping, and, in addition, introduced us to their allies, the Rehorish.  Admiral Ruston’s contact group began working on deciphering the Rehorish language immediately.”

“At that point the D’Bringi appeared content to wait at the warp point to Leningrad.  We speculated that they were waiting for reinforcements, a supposition that turned out to be correct.  By the end of Month 109, two groups of reinforcements had joined the D’Bringi fleet at the warp point, swelling their numbers to thirty-six ships, including one battlecruiser and seventeen heavy cruisers.  On the 1st of this month, the D’Bringi fleet set out for the inner system, with Admiral Ruston’s force shadowing them.  Independently, the Soviet forces in the inner system, now rebranded as the 2nd Fleet, set out for the warp point to the Leningrad system.  We believe that the Soviets did not know about the D’Bringi fleet headed inwards from the warp point at that time.  The Soviet fleet consisted of only nine ships, three battlecruisers, three heavy cruisers, and three light cruisers.  On day 3 the two groups detected each other, and, later on the next day, the Soviet fleet broke off and began retreating towards the warp point to the Solar System.  The D’Bringi fleet detached two corvettes to shadow the Russian fleet, and continued on into the inner system.  They six days ago, at which time the Russian governor of the colony refused to surrender.  Yesterday, the Russian fleet returned to the Solar System.”  The Admiral paused and looked at the CEO, who nodded.  “General Semenov, the commander of their fleet, was arrested after returning to the solar system, along with his command staff.” 

That caused a reaction from Senator Obregon and Minister Bisset, who had not heard this latest news. 

Admiral Reese stopped for a few seconds to gather his thoughts.  “We do not have anywhere near full information at this point; however, some things have become clear.  It appears that the Soviet Red Banner Fleet has been destroyed or neutralized by D’Bringi or associated forces.  In addition, the Soviet Home Fleet was also destroyed or neutralized in the Leningrad or Brezhnev system.  The Soviets stripped the Solar system of warships when they dispatched their Home Fleet, therefore, at this point, the nine ships of the Soviet 2nd Fleet appear to be the only warships the USSR still has at its command.  When the D’Bringi arrive at the warp point to the Solar system the Russians will be cut off from all of their extra-Solar possessions. It appears that the Russians have suffered a series of serious defeats, which have reduced their forces to a shadow of what they once were.  We believe that the D’Bringi will wait to attack the Russian warp point defenses, guarding the entrance into the Solar System until their allies, who we believe to be advancing through the Soviet colonial territories, arrive in Moskva and join their fleet to those of the D’Bringi.”

The others had been looking at each other as he talked, each trying to figure out not only what this information meant for them, but what it meant for the Coalition’s position in the universe.  Before they could begin speaking, CEO Abramson spoke up.  “That you, Admiral.  Next could you give your analysis of our possible future courses of action?”  Before the admiral could speak, Abramson turned to his allies.  “I’ve asked the Admiral to also present the military options he and his staff see for the Coalition at the present time.  Keep in mind, he will only be speaking as to the military possibilities.  The politics and the advisability of such options will, as always, be left to us.”  He turned back to the admiral.  “Admiral, please continue.”   

“Thank you, Chief Executive.  My staff and I see three main possibilities moving forward.  We can either ally ourselves with the Russians and fight the D’Bringi and their allies, ally ourselves with the D’Bringi and fight the Russians, or try to remain neutral and take no action.”  He paused.  He could see that none of them seemed enthused about any of the options.  Oh well, sometimes there were no good options, something which he was pretty sure the Russians would readily agree with.  “First, we have the possibility of allying ourselves with the Russians.  In such a situation we would then engage the D’Bringi fleet now in the Moskva system, and then go on to clear Soviet systems in conjunction with the Soviet fleet, before advancing into D’Bringi and Rehorish territory.  Preferably, we would engage the D’Bringi before they unite with the Rehorish, and thus do to them what they did to the Russians, inflicting defeats in detail on their divided forces.  We believe such a strategy has a good chance of success, at least initially.  Our fleet is at full strength, and would be more than capable of dealing with the forces the D’Bringi now have in the Moskva system.  On the longer term it is difficult to say, but with the resources of both of our nations available, I believe the D’Bringi and the Rehorish would have a difficult time stopping our fleets.” 

Admiral Reese stopped for a second and took in the expressions of the politicians in the room.  There was a marked lack of enthusiasm for the thought of allying themselves with their long-time cold war enemy.  It was as the CEO had expected.  “This course of action has several advantages.  First, by attacking the D’Bringi in the Moskva system we avoid having alien war fleets entering the Solar system, a possibility I will cover in the other options in greater detail.   Additionally, we should reasonably be able to extract concessions from the Russians for our assistance, and, if we are successful, will be able to take territory from the Rehorish and the D’Bringi.  The down side of this option is obvious.  If we take this option, we are still left with the USSR armed to the teeth here on Earth, pointing hundreds of nuclear weapons at our nation and our people.  Additionally, we would be starting a war with two alien powers of unknown strength, although our intelligence division has some pretty firm estimates at this time.  We believe we can prevail, but in war nothing is certain.” 

“The second option is allying ourselves with the D’Bringi against the Soviets.  Under this option we would negotiate with the D’Bringi out of sight of the Russians, and agree to a joint assault of the Russian warp point defenses.   Our forces would attack the Russian defenses from this side of the warp point, while the D’Bringi and their allies would launch a simultaneous assault from their side.  Such a simultaneous attack against the Russian defenses would almost certainly be successful, and would also likely wipe out the remaining Russian mobile forces at the same time.  The combined forces would then move on Earth.  We would have to present the Russians with an ultimatum at the same time as the attack on the warp point defenses, though, as once they realized we were attacking their forces there they would almost certainly confront us here in an attempt to intimidate us into backing down.  In any case, they would be fools to wait until the forces that survived the warp point assault reached the Earth.  They would either attack us here before they arrived, or surrender, or at least negotiate an end to the war before they arrived.  Therefore, we would have to split our fleet and station enough forces here to ensure the destruction of the Soviet PDC’s before they can inflict too much damage on our territories on Earth.  I cannot say whether the Soviets will be willing to negotiate once it becomes apparent that they have lost and the warp point has fallen.  They may believe that we won’t risk the damage we would almost certainly suffer if we launch an attack here, and thus believe that they can hold out until they build more ships or defenses.  We may indeed have to launch an attack on their PDC’s and accept the inevitable civilian casualties, as the Russians are not always known for their reasonableness.  The advantages of this approach are obvious.  We believe that we have the fleet strength to engage and destroy the Russian defenses, and once the Rehorish join the D’Bringi the odds should be well in our favor.  The Russians may be willing to negotiate once their warp point defenses fall, and their fleet is lost, in which case we can win this without losses here on Earth.  Even if they resist, we will win and the Russians will no longer be a threat and we will be the preeminent power in the Solar system.  There are downsides, as well.  We would be allowing the Rehorish, who we do not know, and the D’Bringi, into the Solar system.  Should they betray us they will be inside our system defenses, and our fleet will be weakened by the fighting with the Russians.  And, should the Russians decide not to be reasonable, we will have to initiate, or perhaps respond to, a nuclear exchange here on Earth.  Even if the fighting remains focused on our PDC’s there will be serious collateral damage.  Millions will die.”

“The final option is also the least viable, in my opinion.  In this option we do nothing, but almost certainly we will end up being drawn into the fighting in one way or another.  We have already begun talks with the D’Bringi against the eventuality that they will invest the far side of the Solar warp point in the Moskva system.  Should that happen, the D’Bringi have agreed to allow our ships to transit through the warp point with prior warning, likely by exchanging CD’s.  This will be an inherently unstable situation, though.  The Russians will be extremely unhappy with any activity taking place close to the warp point, and while they will wish to avoid conflict with us, they will be trigger happy and accidents happen.  Worse, one or both sides may decide to use our transiting ships as cover for launching an attack on the other side, something that will almost certainly result in one or both sides shooting at our ships and our ships shooting back.  Even should we make it through this period without an incident, the D’Bringi and their allies will eventually launch an assault on the Russian warp point defenses.  The Russians will be focused on improving those defenses, so it isn’t clear who will win that battle.  If the D’Bringi win, though, they will then advance into the Solar system, and on Earth.  At that point we will be forced to intervene.  They will almost certainly call for the Russians to surrender, and the Russians certainly will not surrender, knowing that we cannot allow the aliens to engage the Russian defenses, as that will cause serious ecological damage to the Earth, and it will be almost certain that stray missiles will hit Coalition territories.  The Russian refusal will force us to either join the aliens in calling for the Russians to surrender, and then joining them in an attack if they do not, or we will join the Russians and engage the aliens, who will then be in range of Earth and would be able to retaliate against our populations.  This option has all the downsides of the other options and very little of the upsides.  It is possible that we could extract concessions from the Russians as the aliens approach the Earth, or that the aliens might not be able to penetrate the warp point defenses.  But we have no way of calculating those possibilities.”   

CEO Abramson stood and nodded to the Admiral.  “Thank you, Admiral Reese.  We are going to discuss the situation.  Would you please remain available if we have any further questions?”

“Of course.  I will be in your naval liaison’s office, if I’m needed.”

CEO Abramson waited while the admiral walked out, and then turned to the others.  “Well, that’s pretty much it, unless you can think of some other alternative that the Admiral hasn’t given us.”

The other two looked at each other for a second, then Senator Obregon nodded.  “I can’t see anything.  Lots of variations on a theme, but he’s right, there are three basic choices before us.”

François Bisset nodded in agreement.  “And he’s right about that third option.  Doing nothing is definitely our worst option.” 

Senator Obregon shook her head.  “The senate is very good at doing nothing.  They have been perfectly happy watching the Soviet Union lose its fleet bit by bit.”  She paused, and sighed.  “Now, though, even they can feel that the time of decision is coming.”

CEO Abramson looked at two partners.  They were two most powerful people in his administration, and he would have to have them onboard before he set anything in motion.  Many others would have to be brought in to make anything work, of course, but whatever course they took would be decided here, this morning.  “I think that, in the end, it all comes down to who we are more comfortable allying ourselves with.  The Russians or the aliens.”

Senator Obregon looked sharply at the CEO.  “The way you said that implies your bias.  You would rather ally yourself with the Russians!  That’s…surprising.  After all, you ran on getting tough with the Russians.”

“I won on that issue.  The people were tired of the Russians walking all over us.”  Abramson got up and walked over to the window that looked out over the capital city.  The Coalition had decided to locate its capital at Spokane, largely as a monument to the city that represented the turning point of the war against Russian expansion after the Final War.  The Russians were turned back at Spokane, and in a burst of enthusiasm the people of the Coalition decided that that formerly backwater city would become the capital of their newly resurgent nation.  Since then the city had grown by leaps and bounds, becoming by far the largest and richest city in the Coalition.  Coalition Tower, the center of the national government, was one of the tallest buildings in the city, and the suite they were meeting in was near the top, giving them a stunning view of the glittering city.  “That doesn’t mean I’m a fool.  The Russians need us more than the D’Bringi.  That means we can extract more from them as part of a new alliance.”

Bisset nodded in agreement.  “Plus, allying ourselves with the D’Bringi will inevitably bring us to a situation where we will face the Russians here, on Earth.  I am not convinced that the Russians will be reasonable, which means that it is almost certain that there will be an exchange of nuclear weapons here, on Earth.  If Russian nuclear weapons are used against Coalition cities, again, none of us would be safe.  Even if we survived, our own people would make sure of that.  The memory of the Final War still lives.”

Senator Obregon stood and walked over to the window and stood next to CEO Abramson.  “To be honest, I’m more confident that we can work out a deal with the Russians that we can live with, than with the D’Bringi and their allies.  After all, we’ve maintained the peace between our nations here in the Solar System for decades.  If we allied ourselves with the D’Bringi, even if the Russians backed down rather than launching another nuclear war, we would end up having to live with alien war fleets in the Solar System.  Once we let them into the Solar System, we may never be rid of them.  As much history as we have with the Soviets, I’d rather deal with them than the aliens.”

Bisset looked thoughtful for a second.  “Better the devil you know, huh?”

Senator Obregon turned back to the other two, frowning.  “The mood in the Senate is complex and disjointed.  No one knows what is coming, and every one fears it.  I can’t predict what’s going to happen once alien fleets enter the solar system.  It is better that we approach this with a plan, and begin working towards a consensus now, rather than waiting for the events to overwhelm us.”

Abramson listened to his two friends and allies talk about it for a bit as he watched the city-scape below, then nodded and turned back to them.  “I think we are in agreement.  We will begin by building support within the administration and the senate for the idea of forging an alliance with the Russians.  That will take some time, as I’m sure that even though we have the advantage, the Russians will demand at least some concessions to make this palatable to their own people.  Once we have our side on board, we can approach the Russians.  We must have a plan B, though.  It is always possible that the Russians will remain intractable, meaning we may have to ally ourselves with the aliens, or fight both the aliens and the Russians.  At any rate, let’s get the admiral back in here so we can get his input on our decision.” 

The decision was made. 
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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Cold War: Month 110, The Tomsk Union
« Reply #63 on: July 30, 2020, 08:01:40 AM »
Turn 110, Day 15, Tomsk System
The governors of the seven colonies scattered in and around the Tomsk system assembled on this day for their first meeting, after having been transported to the colony of Tereshkova in Tomsk.  Governor Orlov, as the leader of the largest and most populous colony, and the most centrally located, chaired the meeting.  The governors were all appointed by the central government, but were all selected from the local colonial populations, as the government had sought to avoid accusations of being unresponsive to local interests.  Thus, the governors were all inclined to support local independence, in light of being cut off from the central government, at least for a temporary time until contact could be re-established.  Admiral Alpha spoke at the conference as well, laying out his intention to draw out communications attempts and negotiations for as long as possible before the Rehorish realized that he was sheltering Soviet colonies.  Admiral Alpha promised to seriously consider a mutual defense treaty with the colonies, should they decide to organize and offer such a thing. 

The governors were somewhat suspicious of this offer, as it sounded as if Admiral Alpha was offering to make the Tomsk system a battle ground, to avoid the battle moving into his own system, however, Governor Orlov was quick to point out that the Bjering were not technically at war with the Rehorish, while the Soviet colonies certainly were.  If the Bjering withdrew to their home system they would almost certainly avoid war, at least for now, while the governors assembled at the conference would certainly see their colonies gobbled up by the Rehorish.  The debate continued through the day, and would continue for the rest of the month as the governors and their staffs tried to come to an agreement. 

Turn 110, Day 30, Tomsk System
On this day the new Tomsk Union is announced.  The Union is, for now, a loose alliance of the seven colonies in the area, with Governor Orlov of the Tereshkova colony appointed as Governor General of the new Union.  Orlov’s position as first among equals was cemented when his foresight and dedication to the defense of the colonies became clear when it was discovered that he had diverted the freighters in the area to Tereshkova and used the resources they had been carrying back towards the Solar System to begin construction of small shipyards on the surface of Tereshkova.  The obvious presence of the three former-Soviet destroyers didn’t hurt either.  None of the other governors had thought that far ahead, and when they realized that Governor Orlov was thinking much farther ahead than they were, their choice became clear.  In the same announcement, Governor General Orlov announced that the Bjering had agreed to a trade and military agreement with the Tomsk Union, and that their fleet would remain in the system for some time to ensure their security. 
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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Cold War: Turn 110, The D'Bringi Expanses
« Reply #64 on: August 01, 2020, 11:35:17 AM »
Turn 110, Day 20, D’Bringi Prime
On Turn 103, the D’Bringi established contact with a new race they had located on their frontier, the Mintek Union.  From the first the Mintek had been very friendly and open, and since first contact had worked vigilantly to establish communications.  Normally that friendliness and openness would have been viewed by the D’Bringi as an invitation to attack, although the six battlecruisers the Mintek had met their exploration ship with would have forced the D’Bringi to build up their forces before launching the attack.  In the run-up to the new offensive against the Russians, though, the D’Bringi had no interest in started another war, so they settled in to open communications with the aliens.  After all, if conquest must be delayed, gathering military information on their future subjects while profiting from trade only made sense.  The survey ship was replaced by a small freighter with a contact and communication crew aboard, and efforts had been ongoing for the last seven turns. 

On Turn 105 the D’Bringi ship detected what were clearly Mintek exploration ships surveying the system for warp points.  Now, on Month 110, Day 20, the D’Bringi clan leaders received a somewhat alarming report that the Mintek, ignoring requests and then warnings from the contact ship, had jumped through the warp point that the D’Bringi had used to enter the system, and probed the system beyond.  That system, the Phyriseq system, contained a burgeoning D’Bringi colony on the fourth planet.  The Mintek ship was gone long enough to penetrate far enough into the system to detect the D’Bringi colony, at which point the ship returned to the Mintek Home system.  The Mintek, when confronted about this territorial violation, were apologetic, extremely so, but the leader of the contact team was unsettled enough to request warships to picket the warp point to the Mintek system. 

The senior members of the Clan Council were debating this when, after several hours, a second message from the contact team arrived declaring that the Mintek language had finally been deciphered and that the Mintek, who continued to be very friendly, had agreed, in principle, to a trade agreement. 

The debate amongst the senior members of the Council didn’t take long.  The D’Bringi could use all the resources they could get to prosecute the war, so the trade treaty was approved almost immediately.  The news of the success in establishing communications and the proposed trade treaty seemed to reduce the need for a military presence in the Phyriseq system, but the D’Bringi had always been firm believers in the need for defended borders.  Unfortunately, not many warships were available.  After some debate, the Council decided to dispatch three cruisers from the Clan reserves, two from Clan T’Chau and one from Clan K’Rorin.  All three cruisers had been damaged in battle against the Russians in the ambush in the Tokyo system and recently repaired.  Fresh from the yards they were going to be sent to the Russian front, but were instead dispatched to the secure the border with the Mintek. 
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Cold War: Turn 110, Soviets Isolated
« Reply #65 on: August 02, 2020, 09:42:44 AM »
Turn 110, Day 25, Moskva system
Six Clan heavy cruisers joined the D’Bringi fleet over the Gagarin colony, accompanied by twelve T’Pau ships and a flotilla of ground force transports.  The transports immediately began landing troops on the surface of the colony, and fighting broke out between the D’Bringi troops and the Russians, but with the D’Bringi fleet overhead the fighting was one sided. Gagarin would fall by the end of the month, and with it, the other Russian mining outposts and colonies in the system would surrender.  The USSR had been forced back to the Solar System. 
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Cold War: Turn 111, Day 1
« Reply #66 on: August 03, 2020, 09:01:55 AM »
Turn 111, Day 1
The war that now stretched across the Soviet territories had originally involved three races.  From that beginning it had drawn in even more races, some, like the T’Pau were now directly involved, while others, like the Bjering, feared being drawn into the conflict.  Exploration and colonization efforts had fallen off to next to nothing across known space as all of the races focused on enlarging or upgrading their fleets. 

The Soviet shipyards over Earth were full of ships under construction.  The yards had just launched twelve brand new destroyers, and had immediately filled up with new construction.  In total, in orbit and on the ground, there was a prototype battleship, three battlecruisers, six light cruisers, and ten escorts under construction.  Finally, six new, and very secret, planetary defense centers were under construction.  These PDC’s were defensive in nature, with each mounting ten point-defense emplacements and moderate armor.  The new PDC’s, built in extreme secrecy, were intended to bolster the existing PDC’s missile defense capabilities. 

The Coalition’s yards were busy as well, in spite of the fact that they were not directly involved in the war.  Six new battlecruisers were started last month.  Two of the new BS3’s were launched at the start of this month, and the third would be ready next month.  Construction was started on three more BS3’s was this month as well. 

The yards orbiting Bjering Prime were empty.  The Bjering had reactivated enough battlecruisers and corvettes to bring four of their five fleets to full strength, and their economy was straining under the burden of the additional upkeep.  Resources would be hoarded until the new technology that was being developed was ready, and then those resources would be used to upgrade the fleet. 

The four shipyards orbiting T’Pau Prime were occupied by the construction of three heavy cruisers and an additional shipyard.  The T’Pau too were developing new technology and hoping to refit their fleet, should it ever return from the front lines. 

The massive shipyard complex over Rehorish Prime was nearly fully occupied by new construction as well.  Three heavy cruisers had just completed their upgrades and rejoined the Rehorish Home Fleet.  A prototype battlecruiser, six heavy cruisers, six light cruisers, and five mobile shipyards were under construction.  In addition, six heavy cruisers and three light cruisers from the Home Fleet were undergoing upgrades.  The Stellar Dominion expected to have its latest technology ready for the field in the next two to three months, and then a new round of upgrades would begin, although, with the bulk of the fleet far from home the upgrades would be limited to the home fleet and to new construction. 

The D’Bringi yards had just launched two new battlecruisers, three new corvette class mine tenders, and one hundred and twenty mines.  The yards were now occupied building a battlecruiser, seven heavy cruisers, a mobile shipyard, and a corvette, as well as repairing two battlecruisers and two heavy cruisers.   

Turn 111, Day 1, Moskva System
With the Soviet colonies under control, the D’Bringi fleet, along with the T’Pau Expeditionary Fleet, set out for the warp point to the Solar System.  Their ETA was just over six days.  The Coalition fleet continued to shadow them. 

Turn 111, Day 1, Coalition Territory, Sligo system
At the start of the month the Tarek yards in orbit over their home planet launched six brand new explorer class ships, which immediately joined the lead ship in their class, which had been launched last month.  The seven survey ships immediately set out for the innermost planet of the secondary star in their system, around which their own planet orbited, along with the Coalition colony of Wunderland.  The innermost planet was a hostile “ST” type planet, and was clearly the target of Tarek survey efforts.  The Tarek survey ships were escorted by six of the seventeen Tarek escort class warcraft orbiting their home world.  Prior to their departure, a Tarek dressed in intricate and ornate armor appeared in a broadcast directed at the Coalition colony.  Although the Republic still had not deciphered the Tarek language, due to the lack of cooperation by the Tarek, the intent of the message was fairly clear.  It was a warning to stay away from their ships.

This development, coupled with long-range surveillance of the Tarek home planet and its shipyards, was enough to convince the Coalition to send a light cruiser squadron to reinforce the Sligo defense squadron.   The Tarek had recently built a series of PDC’s across their planet, and what was unmistakably a heavy cruiser was under construction in their orbital yards.  So far, the Tarek had not made a hostile move towards the Wunderland colony, but the colonist’s concerns were beginning to reach the upper levels of the Coalition government.   
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Cold War: Rehorish assault into Smolensk
« Reply #67 on: August 04, 2020, 09:13:00 AM »
Turn 111, Day 8, Moskva system
A single Soviet scout sat on top of the warp point to the Solar System, watching the D’Bringi fleet close.  Finally, the D’Bringi fleet stopped at 15 light seconds out, and sat there, watching the scout and the warp point.  After a few seconds, the scout sent a CD back to the Solar System. 

Turn 111, Day 14, Kirov system
The Rehorish survey groups had completed their warp point survey of the Kirov system, confirming that the system contained no additional unknown warp points, and were now ready to move into the Smolensk system.  A picket group of destroyers had followed a group of Soviet ships, presumed to be civilian ships of some sort, to the system, and the high command hoped that the Smolensk system was the gateway to the Soviet inner systems.  Unfortunately, they had not captured any data about the Smolensk system, so the survey ships would have to do it the old-fashioned way. 

One by one, under the watchful eyes of the picket group’s destroyers, three corvettes of the survey group jumped out of the Kirov system.  The three corvettes materialized on the far side and found themselves surrounded by dozens of tiny ships, all sitting on top of the warp point.  As planned, the three Rehorish corvettes conducted tight turns to line themselves up to return to Kirov with scans of the area around the warp point, but their maneuvers gained some urgency when the tiny ships sitting on the warp point began racing at them, clearly attempting to ram the Rehorish survey corvettes.  At the last second the three corvettes raced clear of the trap, returning to the Kirov system.  The picket group commander immediately dispatched CD’s back to the main fleet in Novosibirsk.  If the Soviets were defending the warp point, then it was almost certainly the route towards their home system. 

Turn 111, Day 15, Sol System, Earth
“So, we are all agreed?”  CEO Adamson looked out over the assembled members of his cabinet, the heads of critical government ministries, and senior senators expectantly.

Everyone assembled in the smallish auditorium had attended numerous around the clock meetings over the last three weeks as the government worked towards a consensus and plan of action.  It had been exhausting, but now they were there.  Every point of view had been aired, at some level, and discussed.  Everyone’s opinion had been heard, if not considered.  They all looked at each other, then back at CEO Abramson and nodded. 

“Very well.  With the approval of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Senate Military Oversight Committee, I am directing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to begin negotiations with the Soviet Union, with the goal of forming an alliance to fight the D’Bringi and their allies.” 

There was an exhausted cheer that rang out, and the attendees filed out to begin the really hard work. 

Turn 111, Day 30, Kirov System
The Grand Fleet of the Stellar Dominion stood off of the warp point to the Smolensk system.  Cho-sho Banzan, the CO of the fleet, had reduced the pickets he had established in the conquered soviet systems to rebuild his strength, however, he had been forced to send additional ships to the Kirov system warp point that led to the Tomsk system to reinforce the picket there, as an unknown and unexpected alien race had been discovered in the Tomsk system.  The situation in Tomsk was troubling, as the information captured in Novosibirsk was clear that there was a Soviet colony there, but the aliens seemed adamant that the system was theirs, and Banzan was pretty sure that starting another war while already embroiled in the largest war his people had ever fought was a bad idea.  So, he had ordered his contact team to avoid the subject of the Soviets completely, and had sent two older cruisers, supported by three light cruisers, to reinforce the picket group there. 

The thirty heavy and light cruisers of the Grand Fleet were arrayed around the warp point, watchfully overseeing the preparations for the assault.  The sixteen destroyers of his escort force would be used to force the warp point open, destroying or driving away the Soviet ships on the far side.  His cruisers were too precious to risk against the apparent ramming craft on the far side of the warp point.  With everything in readiness, the destroyers begin transiting out. 

In the Smolensk system, the Rehorish destroyers began appearing on the warp point, one after another.  There had been much discussion about the best strategy for the attacking destroyers, but in the end Cho-sho Banzan had decided that no finesse was needed or necessary.  The destroyers would simply bull their way in and destroy the Russian ships, absorbing their ramming attacks if necessary.  The Rehorish destroyers all maintained the same heading coming out of the warp point, resulting in a line of six destroyers headed away from the warp point.  The Soviet explorer class craft were arrayed around the warp point in four groups, each composed of six or seven explorer craft.  The groups were sitting a light second away from the warp point, and when the first Rehorish destroyers entered the system they began converging on the warp-addled warships like vultures.  The Soviet ships were sluggish, but were close enough that most of them didn’t need their full speed to pounce on the attacking ships.  One group of explorers sat right in the path of the destroyer stream and was overrun by the Rehorish ships before it could begin moving.  That group began modulating its engines to confuse incoming fire, while the other three groups began converging on the Rehorish DD’s.  The Rehorish destroyers began firing at the oncoming explorers, desperately trying to cripple the Soviet ships before they could get oriented and begin their ramming runs.  The Rehorish ships were still recovering from their warp jump, but these ships were the pride of the fleet, and their crews were all crack or elite, the best of the best.  Each destroyer was equipped with a gun/missile launcher and three gun-turrets, and they were at optimal range for gun and sprint missiles.  Three of the tiny Soviet explorers were destroyed outright, while two were crippled and left hanging in space without propulsion. 

The stream of Rehorish destroyers ended after the sixth ship entered, and the Rehorish destroyers already in the system continued to move away from the warp point.  The Soviet explorers didn’t hesitate, but instead began ramming runs on the destroyers.  The first group to do so were the six surviving explorers of the group that had been squarely in the path of the destroyers.  They had been overrun by several of the DD’s, but simply set their course towards the next destroyer in line and plunged towards the warship on a death ride.  The targeted destroyer had recovered from transit, and fired its weapons at the last second before the ramming explorers hit.  The destroyer’s desperate evasion pattern confused the six rammers, and only two of them managed maintain their ramming course.  The destroyer split its fire between the two rammers, knocking out one’s engines and leaving it drifting.  The other suffered serious damage, but arrowed straight into the Rehorish destroyer, resulting in a massive explosion.  The Rehorish ship reeled out of the explosion with its forward half gone, reduced to half-speed and streaming atmosphere and bits of its hull behind it. 

The next group of rammers to attack were the five remaining explorers in the group coming up behind the last destroyer in the assault stream.  This group was approaching from the destroyer’s blind spot, and although the DD’s crew knew they were there the DD wasn’t able to turn and clear its firing arcs before the explorers raced in on their final approach.  Fortunately for the Rehorish destroyer, all five of the Russian explorers missed their target and the Rehorish DD was able to continue moving away from the warp point.  The next attack was from the second group of rammers, and was targeted on the fifth destroyer in the line.  This attack was coming in from the right front quarter, and was composed of four rammers.  Only one of the explorers managed to close with the Rehorish destroyer, and the destroyer’s last second fire wiped the tiny ship out before it could ram.  The last ramming attack was aimed at the sixth destroyer again, this one coming from directly in front of the destroyer as the seven explorers of the ramming group turned and raced towards the Rehorish ship.  Two of the explorers managed to maintain their course in spite of the destroyer’s desperate evasions, and once again the Rehorish destroyer split its fire between the two rammers.  Every weapon hit, but that was only enough to stop one of the rammers, not both.  The second rammer slammed into the Rehorish destroyer, and as with the first, the destroyer emerged from the fireball missing its front half, staggered and bleeding atmosphere and hull plating.  Four of the Rehorish destroyers continued moving away from the warp point and then curved around, turning so that their weapons would bear on the Soviet explorers, which were now in a confused gaggle close to the warp point.  The four groups of rammers were facing in different directions, spread across a light second of space, and trying to come around to face the Rehorish destroyers.  They were at a disadvantage, though, as their commercial engines meant that they were substantially slower than their prey.  The four destroyers that hadn’t fired their weapons in a last-ditch attempt at defense now opened up on the explorers best positioned to finish off the crippled DD’s, destroying two and crippling a third. 

The Soviet explorers, realizing that the intact destroyers were out of their range, turned on the two damaged destroyers and raced towards them, trying to close and ram before the other destroyers managed to pick them off.  Only one group of explorers would be in a position to ram immediately, it would take time for the others to get into position.  A second group of destroyers began entering the system behind the explorers, and two of the explorer groups raced towards the newly entered ships as they were too far out of position to attack the first group in a reasonable amount of time.  The first group to move into position to attack was the depleted remnants of the third explorer group, approaching from behind the limping sixth destroyer from the first group.  The two remaining explorers raced up the destroyer’s blind spot, and now they had a speed advantage.  Only one of the two managed to hit, and the damage wasn’t catastrophic for either as the two explorers had approached from the rear.  The destroyer was slowed to under one third its original speed, while the explorer lost everything forward of its engine room. 

The four intact destroyers of the first assault group opened fire on the remaining explorers of the third group, sitting on top of the sixth, heavily damaged, destroyer.  The destroyers managed to destroy both explorers, and destroyed a third in another group approaching the damaged DD’s.  The newly entered destroyers opened fire as well, targeting the two groups of explorers that had split off to approach them.  These destroyers, although suffering the effects of transit, extracted a toll from the explorers racing towards them, leaving only five of the tiny craft still mobile. 

With only seven of the explorers still able to move, the battle was racing towards its conclusion.  The two remaining explorers from the fourth group reached their target, the sixth destroyer from the second assault group, first.  Neither explorer even came close to hitting the destroyer, which nimbly danced out of the way of the plodding explorer’s attempt to ram.  The remaining two groups of explorers reached their targets simultaneously.  The two explorers of the second group fell upon the most damaged destroyer from the first assault wave.  Only one of the rammers hit the destroyer.  The rammer’s approach from the side meant that the damage wasn’t as bad as it would have been from directly from the front, but it was bad enough.  The rammer was destroyed, as was the destroyer.   The last group to attempt to ram was the three explorers of the first group, arrowing in on the fifth destroyer in the second assault wave.  All three missed their target. 

With ten elite Rehorish destroyers in the area, all now recovered from transit effects, the remaining six explorers didn’t have a chance.  Five of the six were destroyed in seconds by weapons fire from the vengeful destroyers, and the sixth was destroyed thirty seconds later as it attempted to approach the last damaged destroyer from the first wave.  The crews from the six remaining explorers that had lost their engines earlier in the battle abandoned their ships, setting the self-destruct before they boarded their life pods.  The battle was over.  The Rehorish Grand Fleet was now in control of the warp point into Smolensk.  After the remaining destroyers confirmed that no more Soviet units were near, and the damaged destroyer set out for home, the two survey groups jumped into the system to begin looking for warp points. 

The Soviet 1st Guard Group had been cut off from the home system for some time, and its fate would go unknown until for quite some time. 

Rehorish After Action Report
Two echelons of destroyers conducted an opposed warp point assault into the Soviet Smolensk system.  The opposing forces consisted of twenty-six explorer class craft, all apparently survey ships equipped with commercial engines.  The Soviet forces were arrayed around the warp point in four groups, and, upon entry of the first assault wave, approached the destroyers with the intent to ram.  Total elapsed time for the battle was two minutes.  The battle resulted in the destruction of one of the assaulting destroyers (see appendix for details and loss summary), and heavy damage to a second destroyer, both from successful ram attempts. 

The Soviet ships performed poorly in the ramming role.  Their sole advantage was a better turning rate, while their largest disadvantage was their relatively slow speed.  Their chance of success in each ramming attempt was calculated after the battle to be between 10 and 20%, meaning that most of the attempts failed, leaving the Soviet ships open to counter-fire, and given their light construction and lack of passive defenses, this meant that the explorers were almost inevitably destroyed if targeted.  It is estimated by command staff that the explorers might have had more success against larger ships.  Certainly, while the larger ships would be better able to absorb damage, such damage would be more critical to the striking power of the fleet and future offensive actions.  All in all, this defensive action by the Soviets must be considered an act of desperation and a low-order threat, unless the rammers are present in much larger numbers, or are composed of ships better suited to ramming.  Of much more interest is the Soviet mindset revealed by this action. 
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Month 111, the possibility of an alliance
« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2020, 02:36:27 PM »
 Month 111, Day 22, Earth
The Coalition’s Minister for Foreign Relations met with the USSR’s Minister for Foreign Affairs on this day.  At this meeting, the Coalition minister presented the Soviet Union’s minister a proposal for an alliance between their two nations against the D’Bringi and their alliance.  The proposal went far beyond a simple military alliance, and would essentially combine both of their militaries into one force to fight the aliens.  The Soviet minister was stunned at this development, as the USSR had made several diplomatic attempts to gain Coalition support for the war, without success.  However, after viewing the proposal, he knew that it was unlikely to be approved by his superiors.  The proposed alliance would virtually guarantee a superior position to the Coalition, with the USSR assuming an inferior position.  He did promise to pass the proposal on to his superiors, though. 

Month 111, Day 24, Earth
Marshal Kosygin looked up in annoyance as his chief aide, Polhovnik Turgenev, burst into his office.  “What?!?”

“Sir, this information just came in from the political office.”  The aide passed over a folder marked with icons indicating its top-secret nature. 

“Humph.”  He took the folder and settled back into his chair.  The political office had originally been established by the old communists to watch the inner workings of the Army, but then, when the army had become ascendant after the Final War, it had been reformed to communicate between the active military and those officers that had been seconded to run the country.  He had taken the initiative to reform it again during his purge of the officer corps, and it now kept him apprised of the actions of his political bosses.  He had sworn to defend the Soviet Union, no matter the cost, and he was determined to do just that.  He would allow nothing, not even perfidious politicians, to keep him from his goals. 

He read the first paragraph and then slammed the report down on his desk.  “The fools!”

Polhovnik Turgenev merely stood and watched as the Marshal exploded, his face impassive.  He had seen displays of temper from his superior before, and would again, he was sure. 

“Have you read this?”

“Yes, sir.  I checked as much of this as I could with other sources, before bringing it to you.  It appears that the political office is correct in their appraisal of the current mood of the Presidium.”

Marshal Kosygin looked away from his aide, frowning in concentration as he leaned forward over his desk.  “Those old fools would bargain away our independence in exchange for promises of safety from the alien barbarians?”  He stood up and began pacing.  “They would make us all slaves of the corporations of the west, in exchange for a little comfort, and freedom from worrying about the D’Bringi and their allies?”

Polhovnik Turgenev shook his head.  “The report says that they are considering the proposal, not that they have decided.  Perhaps they will refuse the Coalition?”
Marshal Kosygin shook his head.  “Those old men will take the path of least resistance.  They will give up our independence in exchange for guarantees of our future, because they are old and tired, and like all old, tired men they fear the future and they fear change.”  He crossed the room and seized his aide’s arm.  “Yevgeny, we must not allow this to happen.  We must take action!”

Polhovnik Turgenev stood to attention.  “What would you have me do?”

Marshal Kosygin paced for a minute or so, thinking furiously.  “I need a victory.  With a victory in hand, I can force the Politburo to my will.”  He came to a decision.  “I will be relocating to the fleet.  If they are truly considering this offer, then their first move will be to remove me.  They promoted me to be their sword, but if they do this, they will fear that the sword they forged will turn on them.  By relocating to the fleet, surrounded by officers I promoted, I will become very difficult to remove, at least for a time.  In the meantime, I need you to begin building a network of officers loyal to us, who can be relied upon to take direct action, if needed.  I need an insurance policy, in case things don’t go well in battle, or if the old men prove to be…reluctant to accept their fate.”  The Marshal crossed the room to his friend, and grasped his arm.  “It is critical that these men be trustworthy.  One leak could destroy us.  Is this understood?”

Polhovnik Turgenev saluted.  “Yes, Marshal.  It will be done.”
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 10:49:46 AM by Kurt »
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Cold War: Turn 111, Russian Leadership Meeting
« Reply #69 on: August 09, 2020, 09:18:50 AM »
Month 111, Day 30, Sol System, USSR
The General Secretary was old and tired. This much was clear to the other men in the room, as he had to be helped to his chair at the head of the table.  His face was thin and drawn, but his eyes still had a spark of lively intelligence in them.  He wasn’t finished yet.  “Thank you for coming.  I’ve asked you to review the proposal from the Coalition.  I would have your thoughts before proceeding.”

The other attendees looked at each other with carefully concealed dismay.  The General Secretary’s voice was thin and reedy.  To a man they wondered how much more time their leader and patron had.  After a second, General Petrov spoke.  “They cannot think that we would agree to…to this!”  He slammed the folder containing the proposal down on the table.  “It is an insult.  They want to unite our nations, but with us as the junior partner!”

Petrov’s bold statement started a lively discussion around the table, and the General Secretary settled back in his chair, taking it in, trying to get a feel for their stance on this issue.  He had little time left, and felt an overriding urge to point them in what he was sure was the right direction, perhaps even resolve this war before he was forced to depart. The discussions started to devolve into arguments after a couple of minutes, and he was tired of all of the arguments that constantly derailed any concrete action.  “Enough!”  There was strength in his voice still, and everyone fell silent almost immediately.  He continued.  “We must face reality.  We have lost this war.  It was, perhaps, inevitable.  Based on trade data we know the approximate size of the Rehorish economy, and it was roughly the same size as ours, even before we lost our colonies.  We have no information on the D’Bringi economy, but we must assume, given the size of their fleet, that their economy is at least the same size as ours as well.  This means that we have faced enemies with a combined economic strength of at least twice our own.  Even if we had not sent our fleets out willy-nilly to be destroyed piecemeal, we would likely end up in this same position, pushed back to the home system, with a crippled fleet and little hope.”  He struggled to his feet, painfully, to emphasize his next words.  “We need the Coalition, if we have any hope of defeating the D’Bringi and their allies.”  This pronouncement caused consternation amongst the other men, and, seeing their dismay, he held up his hand.  “That does not mean we have to blindly accept their offer.  Marshal Kosygin predicts that the D’Bringi will delay attacking until the Rehorish have finished securing our colonies and advanced to the Moskva system.  That will almost certainly take several more months.  That will give us time.  Not a lot of time, but some with which to negotiate with the Coalition.  We could start with our own proposal, perhaps a military alliance aimed solely at defeating the aliens.”  Out of energy, he sagged back into his chair. 

The others discussed the situation as the General Secretary regained his strength.  Unfortunately, they all agreed with the General Secretary’s assessment of the situation.  Marshal Kosygin was working wonders in reorganizing the military and mobilizing the economy, but, after the losses they had suffered, none of them had really thought that it would be enough.  Their only real hope had been that the D’Bringi would be unwilling to risk the losses it would require to break their warp point defenses, or that, if they did breakthrough, they would be unwilling to attack their Earth-based PDC’s out of fear of provoking the Coalition.  None of them wanted to surrender the sovereignty that would be required by the Coalition proposal, but none of them could see an alternative.   

Finally, General Petrov waived the others to silence, and turned to the General Secretary.  “I think we are in agreement that we must seek an alliance with the Coalition, but how can we accept this?”

The General Secretary shook his head.  “If necessary, we will accept it because we must.  We cannot allow those aliens to penetrate into our home system and threaten us here!  Still, the Coalition must be eager for this, there may be wiggle room.  I suggest we begin negotiations with them, and lead with a counter offer of a simple military alliance, to judge their mood.  They will almost certainly refuse, given that they must know that they have us over a barrel, but how they refuse will give us information as to their desire for a deeper alliance.”  The others nodded, and they agreed to get together again later, without the General Secretary, to begin planning for a meeting with the Coalition.  Normally the General Secretary would attend as well, but with his health fading as it was, he had a limited amount of time and energy each day to spend on such things. 

As they began to walk out, the General Secretary motioned to General Petrov to come to him.  Petrov walked over, deliberately going slowly so that the others would be out of the room by the time he arrived by the older man.  Finally, with the others out of the room and the guards posted outside, the General Secretary leaned towards the other man.  “General, I want you to watch Marshal Kosygin.  He is loyal, but I fear he sees himself as another Peter the Great.  He wants, more than anything, to defeat these barbarians and cement his place in history as the savior of the Motherland.  He may react poorly if he believes that we intend to snatch his rightful place in history away from him.  You must watch him.  Watch him closely.”
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