Author Topic: Chronicle of the Vathorian Imperator - Part 3  (Read 879 times)

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Offline SteveAlt

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Chronicle of the Vathorian Imperator - Part 3
« on: May 21, 2008, 12:37:43 PM »
6th August Y13NE
The First Survey Fleet completes a gravitational survey of Dresden, a system two jumps from Sanctum via Hamburg, and finds that it has a record eight jump points, one of which already has a jump gate. This is further indication of the presence of an alien species in this area of space. However, while the ruins suggested the aliens are long gone, it is difficult to determine the age of the jump gate and for all we know, it could have been recently constructed. A probe of the system beyond, designated as Kaiserslautern, reveals a type two nebula with an F-class protostar and five planets, one of which has a breathable atmosphere and a surface temperature of -40C. Its colony cost is estimated to be 1.50. A second jump gate is located on the far side of the jump point. Dresden?s sixth jump point connects to the known system of Halle, three jumps from Sanctum via Bonn and Kiel. The remaining jump points lead to a series of unremarkable binary systems.

30th November Y13NE
Refitting of the four Scharnhorst II class destroyers is complete. A further four Scharnhorst II hulls are laid down.

27th February Y14NE
The Second Survey Fleet recently completed a survey of Ulm, a system three transits from Vath from Hamburg and Nurnberg, and located two  new jump points. The first led to the unremarkable Gronau system but the second led to Ravensburg, a vast system with the largest star ever recorded. Ravensburg?s primary is an M8-Ia red supergiant almost five billion kilometers in diameter with a luminosity of 138,000 and a mass of 28 SM. A companion K4-V orange star orbits at 2.4 trillion kilometers, accompanied by a red dwarf orbiting the K4-V at two billion kilometers. Six planets orbit the primary, none of which are habitable, and the outermost world orbits well outside the whole trinary system at almost five light years. Six planets orbit the companion star while a the red dwarf is surrounded by a substantial asteroid belt. The jump point to Ulm is twenty-five billion kilometers from the primary. Surveying this system will be an enormous undertaking, although it may be worth it one day as our scientists believe such a star could have many jump points. That day is some time away as the outermost ring of survey locations are thirty-two billion kilometers from the star and approximately seventeen billion kilometers apart. Our propulsion technology will need to improve before such an undertaking can be completed in any reasonable amount of time.

15th August Y14NE
Vathorian scientists have completed development of magneto-plasma drives and more powerful warheads for our missiles. Two new missiles, designed using this technology, will replace the existing Lynx anti-ship missile and the Bobcat anti-missile missile. Although the AS-2 Jaguar Anti-ship Missile has the same range as the AS-1 Lynx, it is 33% faster and has a warhead with 50% greater strength. The Bobcat II Anti-missile Missile also has a 33% speed advantage but does not require any additional warhead strength.

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AS-2 Jaguar Anti-Ship Missile
Missile Size: 3 MSP  (0.15 HS)     Warhead: 9    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 26700 km/s    Endurance: 16 minutes   Range: 25.0m km
Cost Per Missile: 3.5833
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 267%   3k km/s 80%   5k km/s 53.4%   10k km/s 26.7%
Materials Required:    2.25x Tritanium   1.3333x Gallicite   Fuel x625
Development Cost for Project: 358RP
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AM-2 Bobcat II Anti-Missile Missile
Missile Size: 1 MSP  (0.05 HS)     Warhead: 1    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 32000 km/s    Endurance: 39 minutes   Range: 75.0m km
Cost Per Missile: 0.7833
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 320%   3k km/s 100%   5k km/s 64%   10k km/s 32%
Materials Required:    0.25x Tritanium   0.5333x Gallicite   Fuel x625
Development Cost for Project: 78RP
25th September Y14NE
The three Graf Zeppelin class carriers, Graf Zeppelin, Graf Spee and Peter Strasser are completed by the Ziegler Shipyard. Only twenty-eight Comet class fighters have been completed so far, mainly because the fighter factories had to be constructed before they could build the fighters. As each carrier has a strikegroup of twenty Comets, it will be some time before all three have their full complement of fighters.

20th September Y14NE
Four more Scharnhorst II class destroyers are completed, taking the total for the class to eight. The main problem now will be building enough of the new missile types to arm the fighters and destroyers and to fill the magazines of the carriers and the Altmark class support ships.

29th December Y14NE
Hessen has transited a recently discovered jump point in Stuttgart, two transits from Sanctum, and found Bergheim, a system with a pair of extremely rare blue O3-V main sequence stars that are twice as massive than the red supergiant in Ravensburg. Although they are much smaller in terms of diameter, 15 million kilometers compared to almost five billion, they are both around fifty solar masses, compared to twenty-eight for Ravensburg-A, and have luminosities of 400,000, three times that of the red supergiant. Their outer survey locations are at forty-three billion kilometers,  twenty-two billion kilometers apart, and will require seven times as long to survey as a star with one solar mass, making this an even greater undertaking than surveying Ravensburg. Bergheim-A has four planets, the closest of which is an Agni-class world one hundred and thirty billion kilometers from the star. Even at that range the surface temperature is close to 400 degrees. The B-component at three trillion kilometers has three planets, including one with a dense oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere, and a small asteroid belt. A large asteroid belt surrounds the entire system between 0.5 and 2.5 light years from the primary.

10th January Y15NE
Since the completion of the archaeological dig in the Bautzen system several months ago, our archaeological teams have been working on a destroyed outpost found on Wurzburg II. The ruins were expected to yield little of value but those limited expectations have been confounded by the discovery of a compressed fuel storage system. This new technology will allow us to build fuel storage systems for our ships that hold fifty percent more fuel than before, adding extra range without the need for additional storage space.

16th February Y15NE
Over the last four years, all of our terraforming efforts have been concentrated on Abaddon. The first priority was to increase the amount of oxygen to a breathable level. Unfortunately as the atmospheric pressure was low this increased the percentage of oxygen to a dangerous level. As the planet was at -39C, carbon dioxide was added, both to enhance the greenhouse effect and lower the proportion of oxygen. As the temperature rose, the ice sheets covering the higher latitudes melted, reducing the amount of sunlight reflected and raising the temperature even further. The proportion of oxygen has now fallen below thirty percent and for the first time, the twenty-nine million colonists on Abaddon can breathe the planet?s air unaided. The temperature is now -12C, which means infrastructure is still required to support the colony, but the colony cost has been reduced to 0.36 so the existing infrastructure can be devoted simply to keeping the inhabitants warm rather than maintaining a breathable internal atmosphere. The infrastructure will now support over 160m inhabitants and that will steadily increase as the temperature continues to rise. It will not be much longer before Abaddon becomes the second ideal habitable world in our home system.

10th March Y15NE
The geological survey ship Scheer, which has just arrived in the Hamburg system, has just sent a disturbing message over the jump gate network. Her mission was to conduct a survey of the Remscheld system, four jumps from Sanctum via Hamburg, Nurnberg and Wurzburg. The system had an F8-IV sub-giant primary, seven planets, none of which were habitable, a small asteroid belt and over a hundred moons. After surveying a comet and a rocky outer planet, she moved to the extensive moon system of Remscheld III, a mid-sized gas giant and began surveying each moon in turn. As she arrived at one of the inner moons, her very limited thermal sensors detected a population on the fifteenth moon, orbiting on the far side of the gas giant. The thermal signature was 900, or about forty percent that of Berlin II which has a population of 58m. Therefore her commander, Duke Julius Laugel, one of our highest ranking survey officers, estimated the alien population at 20-30m. With no sign his ship had been detected, the Duke ordered his helmsman to return to the Wurzburg jump point and thereafter Scheer moved through Wurzburg and Nurnberg to Hamburg, the closest point on the jump gate network.

At 12400 km in diameter, the moon on which the population was detected is larger than Vath but the conditions are very hostile. The surface temperature is -134C and the moon has a atmosphere of methane and nitrogen with a density of only 0.21 atm. The colony cost is estimated to be 5.4. Unless the moon has very large quantities of phased elements, it seems an unlikely place to find an alien population. Our scientists have theorised that the aliens might be methane breathers and as such would not find the moon such a hostile place but that seems very unlikely. However, if that was the case, then Remscheld II would probably be an ideal world for them. With an atmosphere of methane and nitrogen, albeit three times as dense, and an almost identical temperature, the planet has very similar conditions to the fifteenth moon of Remscheld III.

We need more information on this alien race, preferably without the aliens knowing of our existence. Therefore I have instructed Prince Karl Manstein, head of our armed forces, to launch an expedition to Remscheld as soon as possible. However, we have a distinct lack of scout ships or other reconnaissance elements in the Imperial Fleet so Prince Karl want to address that problem before we send any ships and I have agreed on the basis that he can still launch the operation within a year. In the meantime, a ship will be sent to picket the Wurzburg ? Remscheld jump point in case the aliens have jump capability and attempt to leave their system.

15th July Y15NE
Research into sensors is progressing. Active and thermal sensor technology has been improved over the last four months and new sensor systems are being developed. The 500 ton S210/100 Active Sensor Array has a range of over two hundred million kilometers at resolution 100 and the new M126 Active Search Sensor can detect missiles out to 1.2m kilometers. Under development at the moment is the 500 ton TH-80 Thermal Array, easily the most powerful space-borne passive sensor, as well as its smaller cousin, the TH-40. A recon drone has been developed that can be fired from the launch tubes of a Scharnhorst II or a Comet class fighter. The drone has a range of 125m kilometers and its resolution 20 active sensor has a range of 260,000 kilometers, making it ideal for checking out the orbital space of planets or distant thermal contacts without the need to expose the firing ship to detection.

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Recon Drone
Missile Size: 3 MSP  (0.15 HS)     Warhead: 0    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 10700 km/s    Endurance: 195 minutes   Range: 125.4m km
Active Sensor Strength: 1.3125    Resolution: 20    Maximum Range: 262,500 km    
Cost Per Missile: 1.8458
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 107%   3k km/s 30%   5k km/s 21.4%   10k km/s 10.7%
Materials Required:    1.3125x Uridium   0.5333x Gallicite   Fuel x3125
Development Cost for Project: 185 RP
With the future scout ship in mind, the idea of the Recon Drone has been taken a stage further. A Probe Launcher has been designed, which is a essentially a slow-firing, size 12 missile launcher. Active and Thermal probes are under development that will be fired by this launcher. The Active Probe has a much greater sensor range than the recon drone, albeit at a greater resolution, and can therefore be used both in the recon role but also to shadow a hostile contact from outside its likely anti-missile range. More useful will be the Thermal Probe, able to silently assess both planetary and space-borne contacts with far less chance of detection.

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Active Probe
Missile Size: 12 MSP  (0.6 HS)     Warhead: 0    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 9300 km/s    Endurance: 279 minutes   Range: 155.7m km
Active Sensor Strength: 4.2    Resolution: 50    Maximum Range: 2,100,000 km    
Cost Per Missile: 6.0667
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 93%   3k km/s 30%   5k km/s 18.6%   10k km/s 9.3%
Materials Required:    4.2x Uridium   1.8667x Gallicite   Fuel x15625
Development Cost for Project: 607 RP
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Thermal Probe
Missile Size: 12 MSP  (0.6 HS)     Warhead: 0    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 4000 km/s    Endurance: 651 minutes   Range: 156.3m km
Thermal Sensor Strength: 2    Detect Sig Strength 1000:  2000k km
Cost Per Missile: 2.8
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 40%   3k km/s 10%   5k km/s 8%   10k km/s 4%
Materials Required:    2x Uridium   0.8x Gallicite   Fuel x15625
Development Cost for Project: 280 RP
5th August Y15NE
Three more Graf Zeppelin class carriers, Manstein, Guderian and Rommel have been completed by the Ziegler Shipyard. Unfortunately the production of fighters and missiles and well behind schedule and only two of the original three Graf Zeppelins have received their full complement. Therefore, despite the recent discovery of the alien colony in Remscheld, no more carriers will be laid down for the moment.

25th August Y15NE
The design of our new Bauer class scout ship is finalised. The jump capable ship is equipped with our best sensors, sixteen of the newly developed probes and is the first vessel to utilise the compressed fuel storage system. The Bauers will be built in the Neptune shipyard where retooling should be completed by mid-November.

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Bauer class Scout    5000 tons     462 Crew     851.4 BP      TCS 100  TH 480  EM 0
4800 km/s    JR 3-50     Armour 1-26     Shields 0-0     Sensors 80/24/0/0     Damage Control 0-0     PPV 6
Magazine 192    Replacement Parts 5    

J510 Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 5100 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Scheiner SE-6 Magneto-plasma Drive (6)    Power 80    Efficiency 0.60    Signature 80    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 225,000 Litres    Range 135.0 billion km   (325 days at full power)

Probe Launcher (1)    Missile Size 12    Rate of Fire 1800
Probe Guidance System (1)     Range 150.0m km    Resolution 500
Thermal Probe (12)  Speed: 4000 km/s   End: 651 minutes    Range: 156.3m km   Warhead: 0    MR: 10    Size: 12
Active Probe (4)  Speed: 9300 km/s   End: 279 minutes    Range: 155.7m km   Warhead: 0    MR: 10    Size: 12

S210/100 Active Search Sensor  (1)     GPS 21000     Range 210.0m km    Resolution 100
T80 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 80     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  80m km
E24 Electromagnetic Sensor  (1)     Sensitivity 24     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  24m km
5th September Y15NE
Four more Scharnhorst IIs have been completing, taking the total number of the class to twelve. Until the shortage of modern missiles has been resolved, no more Scharnhorsts will be laid down.

10th October Y15NE
Terraforming of Abaddon is complete, transforming this once hostile planet into the ninth ideal habitable world in known space. Due to its lack of mineral resources, Abaddon will become a planet dedicated to research, particularly in the area of sensors and fire control systems. Research on Berlin II will be reduced in favour of establishing mining operations and a fleet base, while Bonn IV, now with a population of eleven million, will become a new Research centre, specialising in defensive systems such as shields and armour. The complete list of Vathorian populations is as  follows:

Vath (Sanctum): 1737m
Berlin II: 74m
Abaddon (Sanctum): 42m
Bonn IV: 11m
Koln I: 3.6m
Koln II: 3.5m
Konigswinter IV: 2.1m
Dortmund IV: 1.5m
Giessen-B II: 0.47m
Munchen I: 379 Automated Mines
Munchen Asteroid #18: 20 Automated Mines

29th November Y15NE
A tenth ideal habitable world has been discovered. The third planet of the Nordhausen system, located three transits from Vath via Koln and Rostock, has identical gravity to Vath, a breathable atmosphere and a pleasant temperature of 27C. Most of Nordhausen III is ocean with scattered archipelagos covering approximately eight percent of the surface. Although only three jumps from the Sanctum system, the location of the intervening jump points means that this is the furthest known habitable world. Once jump gates have been established, a single Namibia III will be dedicated to the colonization of Nordhausen III.

17th January Y16NE
As the large amount of infrastructure built up on Abaddon is no longer required, it will gradually be moved to other worlds in the core systems that may one day be terraforming targets. The first two such worlds will be Berlin III and Hamburg III. Berlin already has the second largest population in the Empire on Berlin II and Hamburg is adjacent to Sanctum and a key crossroad system.

20th January Y16NE
The civilian space centre on Vath has built a second civilian colony ship, this time a Namibia III class.

15th May Y16NE
Eighty Comet fighters are now in service, enough to provide full complements for four of our six Graf Zeppelin class carriers. Our dwindling stockpile of Vendarite has also been replenished by a discovery of 12,000 tons on Abaddon, enabling us to build more fighter factories, taking the total to two hundred. The Comet design has also been upgraded, using the recent improvements in technology to replace the resolution 60 sensor with a resolution 40 model with almost the same range, replace the engine with a more fuel efficient design and utilize the new ceramic composite armour to reduce the overall size by 5 tons and therefore increase speed by 272 km/s. The Comet-B is an evolution of the Comet-A rather than a revolutionary new design but our crews deserve the best equipment we can provide.

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Comet-B class Fighter    220 tons     12 Crew     45.7 BP      TCS 4.4  TH 54  EM 0
12272 km/s     Armour 1-3     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/0/0/0     Damage Control 0-0     PPV 1.8
Magazine 12    

MPD-78 Fighter Drive  (1)    Power 54    Efficiency 78.00    Signature 54    Armour 0    Exp 60%
Fuel Capacity 10,000 Litres    Range 1.0 billion km   (23 hours at full power)

VLS-3 Single Cell Launcher  (4)    Missile Size 3    Hangar Reload 22.5 minutes    MF Reload 3.7 hours
FC25/40 Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 25.2m km    Resolution 40
AS-2 Jaguar (4)  Speed: 26700 km/s   End: 15.6 minutes    Range: 25m km   Warhead: 9    MR: 10    Size: 3
20th July Y16NE
A new, larger carrier has been designed. The Bismarck class has a strikegroup almost double that of the Graf Zeppelin class and twice the magazine capacity, while costing only sixty percent more. The Ziegler Shipyard has recently been upgraded to 20,000 tons and has now begun retooling to build the Bismarck. There are still not enough fighters to equip all the Graf Zeppelins but by the time the first Bismarck is ready, that problem should have been resolved.

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Bismarck class Carrier    20000 tons     1322 Crew     2610 BP      TCS 400  TH 2000  EM 0
5000 km/s     Armour 1-65     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/0/0/0     Damage Control 0-0     PPV 0
Hangar Deck Capacity 8000 tons     Magazine 1080    Replacement Parts 15    

Scheiner SE-6 Magneto-plasma Drive (25)    Power 80    Efficiency 0.60    Signature 80    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 975,000 Litres    Range 146.3 billion km   (338 days at full power)

AS-2 Jaguar (360)  Speed: 26700 km/s   End: 15.6 minutes    Range: 25m km   Warhead: 9    MR: 10    Size: 3
S50/80 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 5120     Range 51.2m km    Resolution 80

Strike Group
36x Comet-B Fighter   Speed: 12272 km/s    Size: 4.4

25th July Y16NE
The civilian space centre on Vath has built its third colony ship.

10th September Y16NE
Three Bauer class scout ships are constructed by the Neptune Shipyard. All three are immediately dispatched to investigate the alien race in the Remscheld system. In Wurzburg, adjacent to Remscheld, a Brandenburg class jump ships and two Scharnhorst II missile destroyers deployed within four million kilometers of the Remscheld jump point watch for any sign of alien ships entering Wurzburg.

28th November Y16NE
The Bauer class scout Werner von Siemens has just transited the Nurnberg ? Hamburg jump point and sent disturbing news via the jump gate network to Fleet Headquarters, regarding the mission to investigate the alien population in the Remscheld system. After leaving Vath, the three scouts travelled through Hamburg and Nurnberg to Wurzburg, adjacent to Remscheld. On October 4th, Y16NE, they were just two days from the Wurzburg - Remscheld jump point when an unknown ship transited into Wurzburg. The Brandenburg class jump ship Oberhavel and the Scharnhorst II class destroyers Emden and Dresden were three point five million kilometers away, monitoring the jump point with passive sensors. A strength-300 thermal signature appeared on the jump point for several minutes before disappearing back into Remscheld. The signature indicated a ship with fairly low engine power, similar to one of our gravitational survey ships.

Two days later the scouts arrived at the jump point. While two scouts joined the small force near the jump point, the lead ship of the class, Wilhelm Bauer, transited into Remscheld. She returned minutes later to report the far side of the jump point was clear and there were no passive sensor contacts, although she did not activate her primary active sensor to avoid giving away her position. One possible explanation for the lack of alien ships on the far side of the jump point is that the Remscheld aliens have only recently surveyed the system and may be conducting probes of its jump points. The ship that entered Wurzburg may be en route to another jump point. The senior officer present, Grand Duke Soren Lorenz on the Dresden, ordered all three scouts into Remscheld, instructing Viscount Mickler of the Brandtaucher to remain on the far side of the jump point while Wilhelm Bauer and her sister ship Werner von Siemens headed for the inner system.

On October 13th, Wilhelm Bauer detected a very strong electromagnetic signature from the second planet while still over two billion kilometers away. Nineteen months ago Scheer found an alien colony among the moons of Remscheld III but her extremely limited sensors detected nothing from Remscheld II. However, both Remscheld II and the moon of Remscheld III have very similar methane ? nitrogen atmospheres, increasing the possibility we have encountered a race that breathes methane rather than oxygen. The electromagnetic signature of Remscheld is over 80,000, seventy-five percent that of Vath itself, which indicates this is a sizeable population, possibly the aliens? homeworld. Both ships continued toward the inner system on divergent courses, heading for the third and fourth planets respectively.

On October 17th, Wilhelm Bauer moved within 140m kilometers of Remscheld III and detected an electromagnetic contact from its fifteenth moon, confirming the contact report from Scheer. The scout halted and fired a thermal probe toward the gas giant at 16:00. The probe only moved at 4000 km/s, partly to keep the speed down to avoid detection and partly so that a more powerful sensor could be squeezed into the probe body. Nine hours later the probe arrived at its designated waypoint and detected a strength-1150 thermal contact from the moon, almost thirty percent stronger than the thermal signature recorded by Scheer. Unless the aliens could reproduce at a frightening speed, the obvious conclusion was that additional colonists had been shipped in during the last nineteenth months. Leaving the probe in place, as it still had two hours of endurance, the scout began to move around Remscheld III and its moons in order to approach the much larger population on Remscheld II, still seven hundred million kilometers away. It was very likely that the large population would have planetary sensors so Bauer?s commander, Viscount Christopher Ballack, ordered his ship to slow to just 1000 km/s, significantly reducing its thermal signature.

Meanwhile the second scout, Werner von Siemens, arrived in orbit of Remscheld IV, a small gas giant with thirty moons. She immediately detected twelve strength-240 thermal contacts in orbit of the twenty-ninth moon. The moon had a nitrogen ? methane atmosphere and a temperature of -154C, broadly similar conditions to those of the two populated alien worlds, although about twenty degrees colder. The scout?s commander, Viscount Gotthold Seidel, consulted the astronomical records from Scheer and found that the planet was now slightly warmer. A more detailed examination of the atmospheric data from the moon showed that an artificially produced greenhouse gas present, similar to that produced by our own terraforming ships. It seemed likely that the twelve thermal contacts were terraforming ships, transforming the moon so that a third alien colony could be established. Werner von Siemens pulled away from the gas giant and set course for Remscheld I, another gas giant orbiting 240m km from the F8-IV primary. She arrived on October 23rd and detected no sign of alien activity around the gas giant or any of its twenty-three moons. As Remscheld V had already been checked by Bauer en route to Remscheld III and the outer two planets were at nine and twenty billion kilometers respectively, Siemens pulled away from the innermost planet in the opposite direction to Remscheld II and headed back to the Wurzburg jump point.

At 2 am on October 25th, Wilhelm Bauer glided to a halt just 145 million kilometers from the large alien population on Remscheld II. So far there was no sign that the aliens had detected the scout ship so she fired a thermal probe toward a waypoint 120,000 kilometers from the planet. Just over eight hours later, still one point five million kilometers from the planet, contact with the probe was abruptly terminated. Although some type of technical malfunction was a distant possibility, the likely explanation was that the probe had been detected and destroyed. Viscount Ballack ordered his helmsman to head for the jump point at 1000 km/s and his tactical officer to fire an active probe back toward the planet. With the element of surprise apparently lost, he decided he might as well learn as much as he could. However there was no indication his ship had been detected so he intended to remain at low speed for the moment.

With the probe over halfway to the planet, Wilhelm Bauer?s EM sensor detected two active search sensors with an estimated range of fifty million kilometers and a resolution of eighty, low enough to detect the Vathorian scout at their maximum range. Both contacts were forty million kilometers out from the planet, twenty-two million from the probe and 120m from Wilhelm Bauer. The scout?s primary search sensor had a range of two hundred million kilometers with a resolution of 100, so it would be a matter of seconds to determine what alien ships were in the vicinity but Viscount Ballack still believed his own location had not been pinpointed and his S210/100 Active Search Sensor would show up on every alien EM sensor in the system. For the moment, he instructed his crew to maintain course and speed and watch their own sensors intently.

As the probe reached two million kilometers from the two alien active sensor contacts, it detected eight alien ships of three distinct classes. Both members of the first class were 9000 tons while the other six ships massed 8250 tons. All eight were moving at 4000 km/s and the active alien sensors were located on ships of two different classes. The probe transmitted data for less than a minute before the data stream was suddenly cut-off one point five million kilometers from the alien fleet. Given the range it seems likely the probe was destroyed by an alien missile. Whatever the cause of its destruction, the probe fulfilled its purpose, providing valuable data on the size and speed of the alien ships. Viscount Ballack ordered an increase in speed to 2000 km/s, hoping his ship was too far from the alien planetary sensors to be detected.

As the hours passed it became clear the alien fleet was on a course for the Wurzburg jump point. Although all eight ships could no longer be detected, the two alien search sensors remained active, giving away their position. Viscount Ballack realised that the course of the active probe was on a reciprocal course from the Wurzburg jump point and the aliens already knew the jump point?s location. It wouldn?t have required great analysis skills for the aliens to realise that Wurzburg was the likely entry point for an intruder firing probes from that direction. He resolved that in the future he would take much greater care and use probes on dogleg courses. Wilhelm Bauer continued at 2000 km/s as the aliens closed the gap. At 21.27 hours, with the aliens seventy million kilometers astern and therefore still twenty million kilometers outside their active sensor range, Viscount Ballack began to consider accelerating to Wilhelm Bauer?s max speed of 4800 km/s and simply outrunning the aliens, regardless of whether they detected his ship. Suddenly six new thermal contacts appeared eight point seven million kilometers away and travelling at 6000 km/s. With a signature of strength-120 and their high speed, they were surely some form of fast attack craft. After a few moments of near panic it become clear the new contacts were on a parallel course rather than directly pursuing the Vathorian scout. If they continued on their current heading, they would overtake approximately three million kilometers to starboard. The reason for the parallel course was that they were on a direct heading from Remscheld II to the Wurzburg jump point while Wilhelm Bauer was heading to the jump point from a slightly different bearing as it had approached Remscheld II from the direction of Remscheld III. However, whether the alien FACs passed without detecting Wilhelm Bauer was only half the problem. The scout could no longer just go to full speed and outrun its pursuers without regard for its thermal signature as the FACs could easily run it down if detected. Therefore Viscount Ballack ordered a course change eighty degrees to port, away from the FACs and an increase in speed to 2500 km/s. Twenty-five minutes after they were detected, the alien FACs overtook Wilhelm Bauer at a range of eight million kilometers and without any sign they had detected the scout. Viscount Ballack ordered a return to the original course for the jump point, holding his speed at 2500 km/s. The main group of alien ships was 65m kilometers astern and closing.

An hour later, with the FACs no longer on sensors, Viscount Ballack ordered an increase in speed to 3000 km/s, trying to stay out of the alien fleet?s active sensor range while remaining undetected by the planetary sensors or any thermal sensors in the fleet. Unfortunately, his luck finally ran out. Within seconds of the speed increase, the main alien fleet changed course by several degrees and headed straight for Wilhelm Bauer. The scout immediately increased speed to 4800 km/s and activated its primary search sensor. All eight alien ships re-appeared on sensors, along with six more in orbit of Remscheld II, still just within sensor range. As yet, there was no sign of the alien FACs. At the Wurzburg jump point, four point five billion kilometers away, the Bauer class scout Brandtaucher had been joined by the jump ship Oberhavel and the Scharnhorst II class destroyers Emden and Dresden but they were far too distant to provide any assistance. Werner von Siemens was still well within the orbit of Remscheld II but one point six billion kilometers from Wilhelm Bauer and therefore in no immediate danger.

Fifteen minutes after the speed increase, the six FACs re-appeared on an intercept course. This time they were detected by Wilhelm Bauer?s active sensor, revealing them to be 1000 ton ships, as expected. Viscount Ballack?s fears were realised as Wilhelm Bauer could outrun the ships behind her but had no chance of evading the FACs. As a last resort he hailed the main alien fleet, trying to open a dialogue. The response was completely unintelligible. As they closed, one of the FACs activated its own search sensor, a resolution 20 system with an estimated range of 4 million kilometers. Within a few minutes the FACs had closed to within 70,000 kilometers and matched speed with the Vathorian scout. A single FAC fired a pair of 10cm Ultraviolet Lasers, burning two holes in Wilhelm Bauer?s thin armour belt. When the scout continued on course the FAC fired again five seconds later. Viscount Ballack contacted Grand Duke Lorenz on the Dresden and requested permission to halt his ship and attempt to communicate. He pointed out that as only one FAC was firing, it suggested the aliens were more interested in getting him to stop running than to destroy him. Unfortunately for Ballack and his crew, his ship contained several examples of the very latest Vathorian technology and the Grand Duke could not afford for them to fall into alien hands. He ordered Viscount Ballack to keep running and to avoid surrendering.

To the surprise of both the Grand Duke and Viscount Ballack, the aliens ceased fire anyway, despite Wilhelm Bauer?s refusal to halt its flight, and all six FACs engaged their active sensors. They seemed content to shadow the scout while it ran, presumably while they tried to learn all they could about its systems. Grand Duke Lorenz ordered the Emden to head into the system to meet the scout. If Wilhelm Bauer lived long enough to make the rendezvous, the pursuing FACs would be in for a surprise.

While the aliens might learn something about Vathorian technology, Wilhelm Bauer?s own active sensor could return the favour. Ten hours into the flight, she had detected gas-cooled fast reactor technology on one of the FACs and active sensor tech a generation behind our own on one of the larger warships. Five more days passed, during which the main alien fleet fell back out of sensor range and Wilhelm Bauer detected ion engine technology, lower fuel efficiency than our own and third generation capacitor recharge technology on the FACs, although that was not necessarily the extent of the alien technology as 10cm lasers only required that level of recharge technology to give them a 5 second rate of fire. There is no way to know what alien active sensors may have learned during that time.

As the sixth day of Wilhelm Bauer?s flight dawned, she was almost halfway to the jump point. More importantly, Emden was rushing to meet her at a combined closing speed close to 10,000 km/s and was only two hundred million kilometers ahead. Finally at 06.12 on November 1st, Emden launched ten AS-2 Jaguar missiles from a range of twenty million kilometers, targeted on the first two FACs. As she had only two long-range missile fire control systems, she could only engage two targets at once. However, she could alter the targets of missiles in flight so further groups of ten missiles were launched at ten second intervals. At 06.23, two FACs were each hit by three Jaguars with strength-9 warheads and blown to pieces.

Three of the remaining four FACs immediately opened fire on Wilhelm Bauer, hitting with two of six lasers fired, both of which were absorbed by the scout?s strength-1 armour. The FACs also accelerated to their maximum speed to close the range and ensure follow up hits were more effective. Before the FACs could fire again, the second wave of AS-2 Jaguar?s arrived. One FAC was destroyed by three hits while a second somehow survived two hits but was still left dead in space. One of the two intact fast attack craft fired and missed with both lasers while the other continued to hold its fire, most likely because its crew had not yet reacted to the sudden missile attack. Five seconds later the active, intact FAC fired again, scoring a single strength-2 hit that passed through a gap in Wilhelm Bauer?s armour and wrecked her jump drive. The crippled fast attack craft, falling rapidly astern, also fired a single 10cm laser from 84,000 kilometers without success. Presumably the missile hits had taken out the other laser and part of the FAC?s reactor capacity, slowing down the recharge to ten seconds.

The third wave of missiles arrived, obliterating the FAC that had failed to fire its missiles and inflicting two strength-9 hits on the last intact fast attack craft. Amazingly the alien FAC sailed on through the explosions without even slowing down. Grand Duke Schenk, commanding the Emden, had underestimated the toughness of the fast attack craft and had not fired a fourth wave of missiles to mop up any survivors. Although he rapidly corrected that mistake, the fourth missile wave would take several minutes to arrive which was likely to be much to late to save Wilhelm Bauer from an onslaught of laser fire. The scout?s crew prepared for the end, their emotions at a new low after salvation had seemed to be at hand. Their apparently imminent demise was put on hold when the FAC failed to fire and instead broke away on a course back to Remscheld II. While its engine remained intact, the missiles must have damaged its weapons or fire control system. Wilhelm Bauer continued on course for the jump point, leaving four wrecks and two damaged FACs in its wake. Six AS-2 Jaguars from Emden closed on the alien survivors.

Wilhelm Bauer had suffered several hits, losing fifteen percent of her armour belt and her jump drive. Fortunately, Oberhavel, Werner von Siemens and Brandtaucher could all escort her out of the system. Werner von Siemens was actually still further from the jump point than Bauer, although there was no sign that the aliens even knew she was in the system. The main alien fleet was out of sensor range and with it?s apparent max speed of 4000 km/s was no threat to the chances of Emden, Bauer or Siemens reaching the jump point. It was possible there were other alien ships in the system that were in a position to cut off the Vathorians so the second Scharnhorst II class destroyer, Dresden, waited at the jump point and remained vigilant. At 06.35, the crippled FAC was annihilated by three Jaguars and two minutes later, the FAC fleeing for home met the same fate. Grand Duke Soren Lorenz had not come to Remscheld with the intention of plunging the Vathor Empire into an interstellar war. Nevertheless, that was the state in which the Empire found itself. Little was known about the Remscheld Aliens, except that they would surely fight to avenge what they would see as the invasion of their system and the unprovoked destruction of their ships.

Five days later, with Emden and Bauer still six hundred million kilometers away, Brandtaucher detected a strength-120 thermal contact 8.7m kilometers from the Wurzburg jump point. Given the similarity of the thermal signature to that of the FACs, the first thought was a second FAC flotilla was approaching. However, the speed of the contact was only 3428 km/s so this ship was probably larger and slower than a FAC. Brandtaucher engaged her own active sensor, giving away her position but allowing her to scan the new contact. It was quickly identified as a previously unseen class of about 1750 tons, perhaps an alien scout or survey ship. The Scharnhorst II destroyer Dresden locked on her fire control system and launched ten AS-2 Jaguars. Realising it had been detected, the alien ship reversed course. Its futile flight lasted for seven minutes before the missiles ended it. Grand Duke Lorenz ordered Brandtaucher to pick up survivors from the alien life pods and within the hour forty-five aliens had been rescued.

As suspected, the Remscheld Aliens were methane-breathers and it took the Brandtaucher?s chief engineer several hours to covert the scout?s mess hall into a suitable environment, partly by cannibalising the life support systems of the escape pods. For the first time, the Vathorians aboard Brandtaucher really understood what alien meant. In place of our two legs, two arms, teeth, claws and fur, the Remscheld Aliens had ten radially symmetrical limbs serving as both legs and arms, a central, hunched body covered with a shell-like exoskeleton and mass of short tentacles covering what was probably their face, identifiable by two large, pale blue, lidless eyes on either side of their forward-protruding, well-armoured head. Because of its intended mission, Brandtaucher crew included several exobiologists, xenologists and linguists. A team was quickly assembled and put to work on communicating with the aliens.

Wilhelm Bauer and Emden rendezvoused with Oberhavel, Dresden and Brandtaucher at the Remscheld ? Wurzburg jump point on November 6th and were joined by Werner von Siemens twenty-seven hours later. Grand Duke Lorenz ordered Viscount Seidel to take the Werner von Siemens home and report and Viscount Mickler on the Brandtaucher to enter Wurzburg and move to the Nurnberg jump point, where the scout would hold position in case any urgent messages needed to be relayed to Vath. The Grand Duke held the two destroyers, Wilhelm Bauer and the jump ship Oberhavel in Remscheld, intending to hold the jump point as long as possible. Wilhelm Bauer was unable to make her way home independently and therefore could not fulfil the missions of the other two scouts. Her powerful sensors were intact so she could serve as the eyes and ears of the small Vathorian fleet until they were forced to retreat. Emden retained forty Jaguar missiles while Dresden?s launch silos held sixty-six. Each destroyer also had seventy Bobcat II anti-missile missiles.

On November 8th Y16NE, the main alien fleet of eight ships entered Wilhelm Bauer?s sensor range and continued closing on the jump point at 4000 km/s until they halted twenty-nine million kilometers away, four million kilometers outside maximum Vathorian missile range. Thirty minutes later, Wilhelm Bauer?s thermal sensor detected forty small incoming contacts at 680,000 kilometers, travelling at 24,000 km/s. Ten seconds later, the contacts were confirmed as missiles by the M48 Search Sensors on the two destroyers. Both destroyers began launching anti-missiles in automatic mode, firing off their whole inventory in twenty-five seconds with the last interceptions taking place just 26,000 kilometers from the fleet.  The Bobcat IIs proved less effective than had been hoped, destroying only twenty incoming anti-ship missiles for the expenditure of 140 anti-missiles. Grand Duke Lorenz ordered an emergency transit to avoid the remaining twenty missiles but the ships were unable to react with only five seconds warning. Sixteen of the alien missiles, equipped with strength-6 warheads, struck Emden, destroying sixty percent of her armour and taking out one of her engines, a fire control system, her thermal sensor and a VLS-3 single cell launcher.

With no anti-missile defences left and two damaged ships, the Grand Duke let his retreat order stand. As the ships were preparing to depart, a second wave of forty missiles appeared on thermal sensors at 680,000 kilometers. As only Oberhavel had a jump engine and could only escort two ships, Grand Duke Lorenz was forced to order Wilhelm Bauer to remain for the moment as the scout was the smallest ship and unlikely to be the target of the missiles, not to mention the most expendable from a military perspective. The Vathor ships desperately tried to assemble themselves into formation for transit but they had never had any training as a fleet and their coordination was terrible. The Grand Duke screaming at his ship commanders did not help the situation. The alien missiles closed the gap at a frightening speed, further increasing the pressure on the Vathor crews. For a moment, Grand Duke Lorenz thought they were going to make it then Emden exploded into a million glowing shards. Viscount Ballack on the Wilhelm Bauer had his ship ready to go and with Emden gone, she slotted into formation just in time for the transit into Wurzburg, five seconds after the tragic destruction of the Vathorian destroyer.

The Grand Duke knew that inexperience and lack of training had just cost the lives of three hundred and eighty-seven Vathorians and the loss of a valuable warship. There had not even been time to stop and search for survivors in case a third missile wave was on its way. With the bitter taste of defeat in his mouth, he ordered his ships to immediately head for the Nurnberg jump point and deactivate all active sensors to avoid revealing their position to any pursuers. Brandtaucher and Werner von Siemens were already five hundred million kilometers from the Wurzburg ? Remscheld jump point, en route to the Nurnberg jump point. The Grand Duke modified Brandtaucher?s orders, instructing her commander to hold position on the Wurzburg ? Nurnberg jump point as previously planned but now he would act as an early warning picket rather than a message relay. Werner von Siemens would still carry the first warning to the rest of the Empire. An hour ago she fulfilled that mission, bringing the news that we are now at war with the Remscheld Aliens.

As we prepare for the struggle to come, this is probably a good time to review the status of the Empire, both in terms of colonies and shipping. Known Space now comprises ninety-seven systems, fifty of which have been surveyed for jump points. The Vathorian Empire has eleven populated worlds in nine different systems, totalling 1914 million citizens, plus two mining colonies in Munchen. The colony details are as follows:

Vath - Prince Sven Bodendorf (Research 35%, Shipbuilding 30%)
Vath is the Imperial Capital and the cradle of Vathorian civilization. For the last sixteen years the planet?s industry and resources have served as the foundation for the Empire, researching new technologies, building and maintaining the ships of the Imperial Vathorian Guard and supplying the vast majority of the required financial support and mineral wealth. Our great expansion has come at a price, however, as the planet?s once plentiful mineral deposits have been reduced to a few thousand tons of Duranium and Boronide. Every other mineral has been mined to exhaustion and it will be only a few years before the remaining, low accessibility deposits are gone. While Vath will remain as a financial centre and probably a centre of trade with Vathorian colonies, its factories and mines will likely be moved to worlds with greater resources. Even the great shipyards are far less busy than they once were, with over two-thirds of slipways lying empty. With the recent expansion of mining operations in Munchen, it should soon be possible to supply enough minerals to increase shipbuilding once more, which will prove vital if we are to win the coming war. Even Vath?s research establishment has declined over the last few years as laboratories have been shipped to Abaddon and Bonn to diversify our R&D and allow specialization in key areas.

Population 1720m
Annual Wealth: 55, 167
Shipyards: 8/32
Research Facilities: 45
Sector Command: Level 4
Naval Academy: Level 6
Civilian Space Centre: Level 3
Spaceport: Level 2
Commercial Freight Facility: Yes
Maintenance Facilities: 17,200 tons
Construction Factories: 1413
Fighter Factories: 240
Ordnance Factories: 353
Fuel Refineries: 622
Mines: 353
Automated Mines: 165
Financial Centres: 10
Ground Force Training Facilities: 15
Mass Drivers: 2
Fuel Stockpile: 209m litres

Berlin II ? Duke Olaf Ackermann (Mining 30%, Shipbuilding 15%, Pop Growth 10%)
Berlin II is our largest colony, with a population close to one hundred million. It is colder than Vath, with an average daytime temperature of 14C, and has characterised by vast and spectacular wilderness areas. Great mountain ranges, covered with evergreen vegetation and dotted with deep, crystal blue lakes make Berlin an explorer?s paradise. Its oxygen content is still on the low side of Vathorian tolerance though so the most adventurous mountaineers need breathing equipment to climb the highest peaks.

Although it served as a research colony in its early days, all the research facilities have since been relocated to Bonn and Abaddon leaving Berlin to serve as a fleet base and mining colony. With large deposits of every mineral, albeit mostly at very low accessibility, Berlin II ensures a steady, if limited, supply of most resources. Two key minerals, Duranium and Sorium, are at 0.6 and 0.7 accessibility respectively though, which makes up for the low accessibility of the rest (see mineral report below). Berlin has enough maintenance facilities to support any of our current ship classes, including the Graf Zeppelin class carriers. The First Star Legion is based at Berlin and comprises three Graf Zeppelins with sixty Comet-A fighters, six Scharnhorst II class destroyers and an Altmark class support vessel. The larger warships are supported by the First Fast Attack Squadron, which has ten FACs including two of the scout version. Finally, with its large Sorium deposits Berlin II is also likely to become the Empire?s primary refining facility once the population reaches a point where it can support the six hundred refineries currently on Vath.

Population 96.5m
Annual Wealth: 3075
Maintenance Facilities: 12,800 tons
Construction Factories: 107
Fuel Refineries: 40
Mines: 525
Fuel Stockpile: 2.7m litres

Mineral Report
Duranium 31,926,530  Acc: 0.6
Neutronium 19,130,360  Acc: 0.1
Corbomite 103,396  Acc: 0.1
Tritanium 11,572,010  Acc: 0.1
Boronide 1,819,339  Acc: 0.2
Mercassium 23,618,080  Acc: 0.1
Vendarite 26,315,380  Acc: 0.1
Sorium 2,275,090  Acc: 0.7
Uridium 3,369,315  Acc: 0.1
Corundium 338,617  Acc: 0.9
Gallicite 14,286,810  Acc: 0.1

Abaddon ? Duke Carolin Altheim (Research 30%, Mining 20%)
Abaddon, the third planet of our home system, is described in our ancient texts as the Forbidden Planet and was reputed to be the home of God?s Enemy. The Church believes an ancient battle was fought on this world in the distant past, leaving the ruins of the Enemy?s city on its surface. While I still regard religion as nonsense and the Church?s past involvement in politics as severely hampering the progress of our great civilization, our explorers did find a ruined city buried in the northern ice cap, although obviously no sign of any ancient demons. How the Church knew of the city has not yet been explained, although the most likely explanation is that some survivors of the race that built the city must have visited Vath in the past, resulting in the myths and legends that form the basis of the ancient texts. The planet has only recently been terraformed and is still a cold and desolate place, with substantial ice caps and endless tundra. Although the terraforming fleet has left Abaddon now, two abandoned terraforming installations have been recovered from the ruined city and continue to produce greenhouse gases, slowly warming the planet. Abaddon has no minerals except for a small deposit of inaccessible Gallicite and some archaeologists have argued that the city was simply abandoned once the minerals ran out, explaining why we have recovered so many factories, mines and other installations from the city. If that was the case, it seems likely they would have exploited our own world for its mineral resources or at least moved their own mines to a more promising location. As yet, no hard evidence as to the fate of the city has been found.

Abaddon is our fastest growing colony, due to its location close to Vath, and although its population of sixty million  currently lags well behind Berlin II, it may well become our largest colony in the future. At the moment it is dedicated entirely to research, particularly in the area of Fire Controls and Sensors. Our current technology for beam weapon fire control systems is limited and the twenty-three Research Facilities on Abaddon are working hard to correct that problem. Once their efforts bear fruit, we will begin work on close range point defence systems to support our existing anti-missile missiles.

Population 60.2m
Annual Wealth: 1918
Research Facilities: 23
Terraforming Installations: 2
Fuel Stockpile: 11.5m litres

Bonn-IV ? Count Martina Frei (Research 25%, Wealth 25%)
Bonn IV is the coldest inhabited world in the Empire, with an average surface temperature of -2C. While no special infrastructure is required, most construction on Bonn IV makes extensive use of a native blue-veined stone which has remarkable insulation properties, resulting in a unique, monumental style of architecture. Homes and especially public buildings are often grand edifices, resembling ancient castles with imposing walls, magnificent towers and impressive, arched gateways. Unlike the cold barren wasteland of Abaddon, Bonn-IV is filled with life, from the gigantic mamoa trees of the equatorial forests to the ferocious white-furred Neobear that inhabits the snow-covered foothills of the Silver Mountains. The small, friendly arboreal known as a Qusirrel has become a favoured pet among the inhabitants of Bonn IV and a few have even started appearing on Vath, brought back by the crews of colony ships.

Bonn IV has deposits of every mineral except Neutronium, although all are at 0.1 accessibility apart from Duranium, which is 0.3. A couple of mining complexes have been transported to the planet, along with sufficient maintenance facilities to support fast attack craft. This has allowed a small squadron of three FACs to be based at Bonn IV. The primary activity of the population is research, particularly in the area of defence systems, and nine research facilities have been established. For the moment, the scientists on Bonn IV are concentrating on addressing our weakness in the area of shield technology.

Population 17.9m
Annual Wealth: 715
Research Facilities: 9
Maintenance Facilities: 2
Mines: 2

Koln-I ? Grand Duke Klara Ehrlich (Research 30%, Wealth 20%, Shipbuilding 15%, Mining 15%)
One of two inhabited planets in the Koln system, Koln-I is actually colder than Koln-II due to a high albedo caused by its extensive cloud cover. This dark and gloomy world required terraforming to bring its oxygen content up to a breathable level, although many wonder why the effort was expended in the first place. The planet has no mineral resources at all and is covered by swamps and damp moorland. The rain is almost constant and the wide variety of insect life seems to find Vathorians to be particularly tasty. All in all, a depressing place. Even so, this planet has a similar population to the extremely pleasant Koln II, primarily because it has most been colonised by civilian colony organizations who advertise the Koln system as the destination and often neglect to mention that Koln has two vastly different planets. The unlucky prospective colonists watch holovids that mainly feature the beach paradise of Koln II with the occasional glimpse of the rare sunny day on Koln I and sign up for what appears to be a fantastic offer without reading the small print. Several months later they are sat in a insect-ridden, humid swamp, trying to build houses out of damp wood. Koln I has a population of 4.1 million and no industry of any kind. Grand Duke Klara Ehrlich, governor of Koln I and the fifth ranking military officer in the Empire, was once the governor of Abaddon but she began to sympathise with the religious extremists who wanted to avoid all contact with the ruined city on that planet to avoid bringing the prophesied doom to Vath. Some time spent on Koln I will allow her to reconsider those views.

Koln-II - Count Rheinhardt Melzer (Research 25%, Wealth 10%)
Koln-II is a ocean world, laced with scattered archipelagos of palm-covered sandy islands. The average temperature is 30C and the skies are a deep, azure blue. Pleasant, warm ocean breezes waft across the islands and even the rare rain storms are welcomed, cooling down the land when it starts to get a little too hot. Gravity and oxygen content are similar to Vath, making this the world of choice for wealthier colonists who do not require employment on one of the more industrialised planets. Koln II has deposits of eight different mineral resources, although only Vendarite is above accessibility 0.1. No industry has been established on this world, mainly because while the Koln system is adjacent to Sanctum, the location of the jump points in both systems mean the two inner planets are actually further from Vath than the colonies in Konigswinter and Dortmund, both situated three transits from Sanctum. This astrographical misfortune means it has been low on the priority list for government sponsored colonization and research facilities have been sent to those worlds closer to Vath. However until recently, when attention has shifted to new colonies in Hamburg and on Berlin III, the civilian shipping lines concentrated on Koln, shipping wealthy colonists to Koln II and the poor or gullible to Koln I. The four million inhabitants of Koln II are completely unconcerned by the lack of industry and fervently hope their island paradises remain untouched.

Konigswinter-IV ? Margrave Axel Mahlau (Research 30%, Wealth 20%)
Konigswinter-IV is a small gas giant with twelve moons and the eleventh moon is the actual location of the colony.  Over time, the long-winded designation of the colony as Konigswinter-IV, Moon 11 has been shortened except for official documents. The moon is tidelocked, which means the same face of the moon always faces the gas giant, and orbits at 800,000 kilometers. There is still a day and night cycle, lasting 19 Vathorian days, as the orbit of the moon rotates it in relation to the G3-V system primary, although each ?day? is interrupted by a period of darkness when the moon passes within the gas giant?s shadow. In addition to its unusual diurnal sequence, Konigswinter IV has the most extreme environment of any populated world. The gravity is 1.67G, the surface temperature is 44C and the atmospheric pressure is 2.8 atm. It is survivable without any infrastructure as long as you don?t mind the heat, the pressure, the regular storm systems, the irregular periods of day and night and the fact your body weighs two thirds more than normal. As you can probably imagine, the three million colonists are an interesting section of society. In the rest of the Empire, any inhabitant of Konigswinter IV is generally regarded as slightly mad for actually wanting to live on such a world. The planet?s mineral resources are limited and so far no industry has been established.

Dortmund III ? Duke Bert Jahn (Research 25%, Wealth 20%, Production 10%, Mining 10%, Shipbuilding 10%)
The fifth moon of Dortmund III, a huge superjovian 150,000 kilometers in diameter, is the only other populated moon in the Empire, apart from Konigswinter IV, and is a far more pleasant place to live. The moon is twice the size of Vath, and is tidelocked at a distance of 1.13 million kilometers, orbiting the superjovian every five days. It has a temperature of 28C, gravity close to that of Vath, despite its size, and a breathable atmosphere. The moon has a benign climate and a very agreeable ecosystem with meadows and green rolling hills. The 5 day long day/night cycle still takes some getting used to but is far less extreme than the 19 day cycle of Konigswinter IV. As Dortmund III is three times the size of Konigswinter IV and the populated moon is not much further away, the swirling clouds of the superjovian fill far more of the sky than on the Konigswinter colony. Most Dortmund colonists believe the sky on the side of their planet facing the superjovian is the greatest wonder in the Empire, although a few cannot take it and prefer to live in a city that has been established on the far side of the moon where Dortmund III cannot be seen. There are no appreciable mineral deposits on the moon so it is likely to remain without industry for the moment, although as Dortmund is three transits from Vath, we may establish a small base on the moon to support future survey operations. The current population of Dortmund III is 2.2 million.

Berlin III
Berlin III is the second inhabited planet in the Berlin system and has only recently been settled, almost entirely via civilian colonization. As the oxygen content of the carbon dioxide ? nitrogen atmosphere is too low the one million inhabitants live in air-tight domed cities, although they are able to venture out onto the surface with breathing gear as the temperature is a very comfortable 20C. All eighteen Rheinland II terraformers are currently in orbit of Berlin III, producing oxygen and pumping it into the atmosphere as fast as they can. If the current schedule holds then in little more than a year the atmosphere will be breathable and colonization will accelerate considerably. The mountainous landscape of Berlin III has some topographical resemblance to Berlin II, although the climate is very different. Despite being almost twice as far from the sun, the high carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere means that Berlin III is warmer and dryer than Berlin II with smaller seas and a rocky, desert landscape. The planet?s core contains significant deposits of 0.8 accessibility Duranium and 0.5 accessibility Tritanium along with deposits of six other minerals at 0.1 accessibility, so future mining operations are a possibility. For the moment though the planet has no industry.

Hamburg III
Hamburg III is the newest colony in the Empire and its population is slightly less than one million. Like Berlin III, its inhabitants live in domed cities, although in the case of Hamburg it is because of a complete lack of oxygen in the nitrogen ? carbon dioxide atmosphere. Once the terraformers have completed their task in Berlin, they will move to Hamburg III. The temperature is close to ideal at 16C and, as with Berlin III, the inhabitants can easily tolerate the environment with simple breathing equipment. The planet is mainly ocean but has several volcanic islands, including one the size of a small continent near to the equator. As far as our scientists can tell, all of the volcanoes are extinct and their soil around the impressive calderas should be very fertile. There is little in the way of mineral resources but Hamburg IIIs real worth lies in its location. The Sanctum - Hamburg jump point is the closest to Vath and the system itself has six jump points connecting Sanctum firstly to the Mannheim Chain, which includes the populated worlds of Dortmund III and Giessen-B II plus several possible terraforming sites, secondly to Dresden, with its eight jump points and its eventual connections to both the Mannheim chain and the Bonn chain, and finally to the Nurnberg Chain which includes Wurzburg and Remscheld.
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Offline SteveAlt

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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 12:40:33 PM »
Part 3 continued...

Giessen-B II
Giessen-B II is five transits from Sanctum and is the most distant inhabited world in the Empire, has the smallest population at 800,000 and the only colony established around the B-component of a star system. The orange K3-V star around which Giessen-B II orbits is nine billion kilometers from the G0-V primary and approximately eighteen billion kilometers from Vath, taking into account for intervening systems of Hamburg, Mannheim, Dortmund and Erfurt. The planet has little in the way of mineral resources and its suitability for a base is limited because of the great distance from the nearest jump point. After the next visit by the single colony ship making the run from Vath, further colonization is likely to be halted in favour of better prospects closer to home. As with all inhabited worlds, the jump gate network has been extended to Giessen so the colony will remain in contact, even if it does not receive any new colonists in the foreseeable future.

Munchen Mining Colonies
Two mining colonies have been established in Munchen, one with 379 automated mines on the innermost planet and a second in the asteroid belt with 212 automated mines. All our Mammoth class freighters are engaged in moving our remaining automated mines to Munchen and bringing home the extracted minerals. It is a significant round trip though as the Sanctum ? Munchen jump point is the outermost in the Sanctum system and seven billion kilometers from Vath while the jump point in Munchen is two point five billion kilometers from the primary.

Munchen-A I (379 Automated Mines)
Duranium 298,555  Acc: 0.9
Neutronium 181  Acc: 0.12
Corbomite 709,015  Acc: 0.4
Boronide 2,851,141  Acc: 0.7
Mercassium 339,432  Acc: 0.8
Vendarite 408,177  Acc: 0.7
Uridium 772,899  Acc: 0.3
Gallicite 2,847,783  Acc: 0.9

Munchen-A Asteroid #18 (212 Automated Mines)
Duranium 9,500  Acc: 0.9
Neutronium 21,754  Acc: 0.9
Corbomite 69,304  Acc: 1
Tritanium 31,563  Acc: 1
Boronide 49,507  Acc: 0.9
Uridium 985  Acc: 0.9
Corundium 8,381  Acc: 1
Gallicite 34,603  Acc: 1

Imperial Vathorian Guard
Our fleet contains a total of seventeen major warships, eighteen fast attack craft, one hundred fighters, three unarmed jump ships, fifteen survey ships and over one hundred logistic and support vessels, such as freighters, colony ships, etc. Three Bismarck class carriers, three Bauer class scouts and four Mammoth II class freighters are currently under construction and our fighter factories are continuing to build the new Comet-B class fighter. The order of battle for the Fleet is shown below.

First Star Legion (Berlin II)
3x Graf Zeppelin CV: Graf Zeppelin, Graf Spee, Peter Strasser
6x Scharnhorst II DDG: Gneisenau, Hipper, Leipzig, Lutzow, Nurnberg, Scharnhorst
1x Brandenburg CJ: Havelland
60x Comet-A Fighter
1x Altmark SV

Second Star Legion (Vath)
3x Graf Zeppelin CV: Guderian, Rommel, Manstein
4x Scharnhorst II DDG: Blucher, Derflinger, Moltke, Goeben
1x Brandenburg CJ: Brandenburg
20x Comet-A Fighter
20x Comet-B Fighter
1x Altmark SV

Remscheld Battle Group
1x Scharnhorst II DDG: Dresden
1x Brandenburg CJ: Oberhavel
3x Bauer SC: Wilhelm Bauer, Werner von Siemens, Brandtaucher

Fast Attack Deployments
Vath: 4x Schnellboote, 1x Schnellboote-C
Berlin: 8x Schnellboote, 2x Schnellboote-C
Bonn: 2x Schnellboote, 1x Schnellboote-C

Survey Ships
3x Odin class Survey Command Ship
8x Hessen II class Gravsurvey Ship
4x Scheer Geological Survey Ship

16x Mammoth II class Freighter
25x Albatross III class Freighter
28x Namibia III class Colony Ship
18x Rheinland II class Terraformer
4x Von Roeder class Jump Gate Construction Ship

Based on the information brought back from Remscheld, we can make some estimates regarding the strength of the Remscheld Aliens, or Scheldies as they seem to have quickly become known among my staff. Five classes of alien ship were scanned during the probe of the Remscheld system and a sixth was detected on thermal sensors. The first, designated as Warship Alpha, is 9000 tons, has an active sensor with a range of 50 million kilometers and an observed speed of 4000 km/s. Three different ships of this class were detected. Seven units of Warship Beta were identified, an 8250 ton class with the same sensor as Alpha, and four units of Warship Gamma, another 8250 ton class. At least one of these classes is armed with anti-ship missiles and a second, or perhaps the same one, is probably equipped with anti-missile missiles, based on the destruction of the recon probes. Six FACs and a 1750 ton suspected scout ship were destroyed by Vathorian missiles and it is possible the Scheldies have more of both classes. Werner von Siemens also detected twelve suspected terraforming ships in orbit of one of the moons of Remscheld IV.

The thermal and electromagnetic signatures of the two alien colonies in Remscheld indicate a total population of 1200 -1400m, while the few successful scans of alien ships by Wilhelm Bauer suggest the aliens general level of technology is slightly behind our own. They appear to be using ion engines and gas-cooled fast reactors so their ships will be slower and they will require more space dedicated to power generation. However, they are using ultraviolet lasers, while we have only mastered the technical skills for near ultraviolet, mainly because we have concentrated on missile technology. The alien missiles are longer ranged than our own but with smaller warheads, so that is probably due to a design decision rather than superior technology. Overall, based on the very limited information available, our analysts best guess is that the Scheldies will be a power close to the Vathorian Empire in terms of population, military power and technology but that we will still have a slight edge.

The problem will be bringing that edge to bear. Our Brandenburg class jump ships are large enough to escort the Scharnhorst II class destroyers but not the Graf Zeppelin class carriers. For the moment, they are restricted to the sixteen systems within the jump gate network, which fortunately includes every Vathorian colony. Hamburg is on the JGN but the other intervening systems of Nurnberg and Wurzburg are not. Furthermore, building jump gates to those systems seems unwise as it will lead the Scheldies toward our core systems. To give us the necessary power projection ability, we will need to build 12,000 ton jump ships. Our research teams on Vath have been working on improving our jump drive efficiency for the last eight months and expect to be finished by March of next year. After that we will be build able to design and build a large enough jump drive but actually deploying a large jump ship class is at least two years away. It is possible the Scheldies will have similar problems but we cannot assume that. In the meantime we will have to fight a delaying action and raid the enemy where we can using our existing destroyers and fast attack craft.

With that in mind, and given what happened to the Emden, we also need to increase our point defence capabilities and our crews need to be trained to operate as a fleet. We also need to increase the total number of warships in service and establish patrol and pickets in Nurnberg and, if possible, Wurzburg. Any Scheldie survey ships are going to be a prime target so some type of fast raider class will be very useful. Furthermore, at some point we can expect to fight battles around a jump point and missiles may prove ineffective when the enemy can transit away so we need to deploy ships armed with energy weapons, most likely some form of advanced torpedo. We have a lot of work ahead.

to be continued...

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by SteveAlt »

Offline Steve Walmsley

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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2008, 04:37:06 PM »
Here is the next section of the Vathor campaign. It doesn't include the recent rule changes.

10th December Y16NE
The Scharnhorst II class destroyers Goeben, Moltke and Derflinger and the jump ship Brandenburg have been ordered to move to Wurzburg and attempt to disrupt any alien survey activity in the system. Each destroyer has its standard loadout of seventy-six Jaguars, seventy Bobcat IIs and four Recon Drones. They will be supported by the scout ships Werner von Siemens and Brandtaucher and eventually by Wilhelm Bauer once she has completed repairs. The Altmark class support vessel Cossack is on standby to support their operations and is loaded with an additional two hundred AS-2 Jaguar anti-ship missiles and 480 additional Bobcat II anti-missile missiles, as well as one point five million litres of fuel. There are two problems though. At 7500 tons Altmark is too large to be escorted into Nurnberg or Wurzburg by any of our existing jump ships and even if she could reach the destroyers, they would be unable to reload because their box launchers require either a hangar bay or a population with maintenance facilities. At some point we will need to establish a forward base, probably in Nurnberg, for resupply and maintenance, as well as basing fighters and FACs.

15th December Y16NE
A ruined alien colony has been found on the habitable planet in the Nordhausen system, two transits beyond Koln. The planet also has a substantial deposit of 0.8 Duranium so it will make a useful colony one day. Jump gates are being built on the route from Sanctum, with the Rostock ? Nordhausen gate currently under construction.

20th December Y16NE
A new missile has been designed to counter the longer-ranged Scheldie missiles. The AS-4 Leopard has a fifty million kilometre range, double that of the AS-2 Jaguar, and is twenty percent faster, although its strength-6 warhead is only two-thirds as powerful. The problem is that the Scharnhorst IIs are designed with the Jaguar in mind and their fire control systems have a maximum range of 28m kilometres. Therefore new fire control systems and sensors are under development and an upgrade of the destroyers? electronic systems will be carried out once they are ready.

Code: [Select]
AS-4 Leopard Anti-ship Missile
Missile Size: 3 MSP  (0.15 HS)     Warhead: 6    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 32000 km/s    Endurance: 26 minutes   Range: 50.0m km
Cost Per Missile: 3.1
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 320%   3k km/s 100%   5k km/s 64%   10k km/s 32%
Materials Required:    1.5x Tritanium   1.6x Gallicite   Fuel x1250
Development Cost for Project: 310 RP
30th December Y16NE
After the retreat from Remscheld, the forty-five alien prisoners captured by Brandtaucher?s were transferred to Oberhavel and brought back to Vath. Since then our best linguists have been working to understand the language and have finally succeeded in establishing full communication. The name of the alien race translates into Vathorian as the Shakar Supremacy, which in itself says a lot about their intent. While the prisoners have not been very cooperative, our linguists, working with experts from Imperial Intelligence, have managed to determine that Remscheld is in fact their home system and they have only recently begun exploring its jump points. Our Intelligence experts will work with the prisoners and encourage them to reveal more information, particularly regarding the Supremacy?s military capabilities.

6th January Y17NE
In Wurzburg, Werner von Siemens moves within seven million kilometers of the Remscheld jump point and detects six strength-120 thermal contacts on the jump point, which could be scout ships but more likely fast attack craft. The destroyer Derflinger is en route to her location but still one point three billion kilometers away so she holds position and waits. Twenty-four hours later a new contact appears, this time with a thermal strength of 300, and begins moving away from the jump point at 4166 km/s. This is the same thermal strength as the first alien ship that probed the jump point from Remscheld into Wurzburg in early October Y16NE so it may be some type of scout or survey ship. As  Derflinger is still 900m kilometres away, Viscount Seidel decides to shadow the contact at five million kilometers range, although he is loathe to give up his position near the jump point. As Wilhelm Bauer has recently entered the system after completing repairs at Vath, she sets course for the Remscheld jump point. Brandtaucher remains on the Wurzburg ? Nurnberg jump point to watch for any hostile contacts and to relay any urgent messages to Hamburg.

Three days after Werner von Siemens begins shadowing the contact it comes to halt in deep space, presumably taking gravitational readings as part of a survey. Six hours later, Derflinger moves within missile range and holds at twenty million kilometers. While the destroyer could take out the Shakar gravitational survey ship within a few minutes, there are still the six contacts detected at the jump point to consider, which are currently out of sensor range. Margrave Krista Feldstein on the destroyer Moltke, the senior Vathorian officer in the system, orders Derflinger and Siemens to continue shadowing the Shakar survey ship but to hold fire for the moment. Wilhelm Bauer will be in detection range of the jump point within seven days and the destroyer Goeben is only two days behind her. Once all ships are place, the survey ship and the contacts at the jump point will all be attacked at once.

On January 17th, Wilhelm Bauer comes to a halt six million kilometers from the Wurzburg ? Remscheld jump point and picks up the six strength-120 thermal contacts. By this time, the strength-300 thermal contact has completed its survey scans and is en route to a new location, shadowed by Werner von Siemens and Derflinger. Goeben moves into firing range of the jump point early on the 20th. Margrave Feldstein gives the order and both Derflinger and Goeben engage their active sensors. While the gravitational survey ship is illuminated, registering as 3600 tons, the contacts on the jump point are too small to be picked up by Goeben?s active sensors so Wilhelm Bauer activates her sensors, revealing her position close to the jump point but illuminating six Shakar fast attack craft similar to those destroyed in Remscheld. Both destroyers open fire.

The Shakar survey ship continues on course, either unaware of the proximity of the Vathorian ships because it lacks EM sensors that can detect Derflinger?s active sensor emissions or simply because it can do little but run anyway. In either case, it has no way to avoid the six AS-2 Jaguars closing at 26,700 km/s. The six thermal contacts remain on the jump point, perhaps also unaware that they too are under threat by a total of thirty inbound missiles, split into three waves of ten. They suddenly become very aware of the threat when one of their number explodes and a second takes two missile hits. Only four missiles from the second wave of ten strike their targets, crippling two more FACs, and just three missiles from the third wave, damaging one FAC and barely penetrating the armour of a second.

Only one of the six targeted FACs has been destroyed, with the rest suffering varying degree of damage. Goeben begins firing smaller follow-up salvos to take out the survivors. With no jump ship or mothership in evidence, none of the FACs is able to transit and so far they have made no effort to run for it. Meanwhile the salvo of six missiles catches up with the gravitational survey ship and inflicts three hits, reducing its speed to 833 km/s. Derflinger is also forced to fire a follow up salvo. The performance of the AS-2 Jaguar in this engagement has not been up to the same standard as the brief battle in Remscheld.

At the jump point, two of the surviving FACs make a break for it, heading deeper into the outer system. The other three presumably have engine damage as they remain on the jump point. The initial follow up wave of six missiles chases the fleeing FACs, finally intercepting them just before the FACs get out of sensor range. One is destroyed and the other left dead in space. With all four crippled FACs incapable of flight, it is only a matter of time before they are finished off but it requires eight more missiles from Goeben. The follow-up salvo of four Jaguars from Derflinger destroys the gravitational survey ship. Although, the objective has been accomplished, the execution of the attack was untidy, requiring half an hour instead of the expected ten minutes. In future, Margrave Feldstein resolves to order any further attacks to use overwhelming force. In this case, we were lucky the FACs could not transit and there were no defending warships. It seems likely that the Shakar do not yet have a jump ship capable of escorting their larger ship classes through a jump point, although it is certain they will be working to correct that problem.

Derflinger heads for the Remscheld jump point to support Goeben, which has fired almost half her missiles. Wilhelm Bauer resumes her picket position six million kilometers from the jump point while Werner von Siemens begins a general search pattern looking for more Shakar survey ships.

21st January Y17NE
A geology team recently setup to conduct more detailed geological examinations of planets has found a previously unknown deposit of almost two million tons of Corbomite on Vath. While we have plenty of Corbomite and the new deposit is only 0.1 accessibility, this find does bode well for the future as there may be other deposits of minerals on Vath or our colonies that are undetectable by orbital survey.

25th January Y17NE
Wilhelm Bauer detects a second Shakar gravitational survey ship, this time en route to the Remscheld jump point from the outer system. Her huge S210/100 Active Search Sensor is capable of spotting even a 3600 ton ship at over one hundred million kilometers. As Derflinger is still 260m kilometers away and unable to intercept in time, Margrave Feldstein orders Goeben to move toward the incoming survey ship and destroy it. When Goeben reaches thirty million kilometers from the Shakar vessel, it suddenly reverses course and heads back toward the outer system, probably because it has detected the destroyer?s active sensor. Goeben has almost 1000 km/s speed advantage so it is too late for the alien survey ship. Within an hour it is obliterated by a salvo of nine AS-2 Jaguars. Goeben has only twenty-one of her original seventy-six Jaguars so she will need to return to Vath for reloading. While she is away, the third Vathorian destroyer in Wurzburg, Moltke, will leave her position on the Nurnberg jump point and move up to support Derflinger.

27th January Y17NE
Despite our luck in finding two Shakar survey ships, both were due to fortuitous circumstances. In one case we detected a ship arriving in the system and the other we detected a ship running for home. If there are any other Shakar survey ships in Wurzburg, they are unlikely to repeat the mistake of the ship that tried to flee and may well continue their survey. Even with the T80 Thermal sensors on the Bauer class scouts, finding a ship within star system is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Therefore, five Albatross III freighters have brought five tracking stations from Vath and will place them within the system?s asteroid belt, creating a series of passive detection outposts, or listening posts. Each one has nearly four times the sensitivity of the scout sensors and will increase our chances of detecting enemy ships, although they will still only cover a tiny fraction of the system. More tracking stations or an improvement in our planetary sensor technology would help considerably.

10th February Y17NE
A series of upgraded sensors and fire control have developed for the Scharnhorst class destroyers, based on the recent advances in sensor technology required for the design of the Bauer class scouts. The new Scharnhorst III has almost a complete set of new electronic systems, with only the short-ranged FC-63 fire control surviving from the Scharnhorst II. The armour has been changed to the new ceramic composite, engineering section has been halved, mainly because the destroyers spend a lot of time at base rather than on patrol, and the new compressed fuel storage system has been installed. All these changes have freed up additional space which has been used to increase the number of launch cells from 146 to 180. The Metzelder Shipyard will begin retooling immediately to prepare for the new version.

Code: [Select]
Scharnhorst III class Missile Destroyer    7000 tons     363 Crew     1204 BP      TCS 140  TH 720  EM 0
5142 km/s     Armour 5-32     Shields 0-0     Sensors 8/0/0/0     Damage Control 0-0     PPV 54
Magazine 360    Replacement Parts 5    

Scheiner SE-6 Magneto-plasma Drive (9)    Power 80    Efficiency 0.60    Signature 80    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 225,000 Litres    Range 96.4 billion km   (217 days at full power)

VLS-3 Single Cell Launcher  (90)    Missile Size 3    Hangar Reload 22.5 minutes    MF Reload 3.7 hours
VLS-1 Single Cell Launcher  (90)    Missile Size 1    Hangar Reload 7.5 minutes    MF Reload 1.2 hours
FC56/30 Missile Fire Control (2)     Range 56.7m km    Resolution 30
FC-63 Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 630k km    Resolution 1
AM-2 Bobcat II (90)  Speed: 32000 km/s   End: 39.1 minutes    Range: 75m km   Warhead: 1    MR: 10    Size: 1
AS-2 Jaguar (30)  Speed: 26700 km/s   End: 15.6 minutes    Range: 25m km   Warhead: 9    MR: 10    Size: 3
AS-4 Leopard (60)  Speed: 32000 km/s   End: 26 minutes    Range: 50m km   Warhead: 6    MR: 10    Size: 3

M63 Active Search Sensor  (1)     GPS 63     Range 630k km    Resolution 1
S84/80 Active Search Sensor  (1)     GPS 8400     Range 84.0m km    Resolution 80
T8 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  8m km
17th February Y17NE
One of the recently established listening posts in Wurzburg detects a strength-300 thermal contact at a range of 110m kilometers. The asteroid on which the listening post is located is only a billion kilometers from the Wurzburg ? Nurnberg jump point and both Vathorian warships in the system are six billion kilometers away, near the Remscheld jump point. As the contact will quickly pass through the detection range of the stationary listening post, Brandtaucher heads for the contact, leaving the jump ship Brandenburg to watch the Nurnberg jump point, albeit with far more limited sensors. Margrave Feldstein orders Derflinger to go after the contact, leaving Wilhelm Bauer and Moltke to watch the Remscheld jump point.

Sixteen hours later contact is lost and Brandtaucher is barely a quarter of the way to the asteroid. Nevertheless, the Shakar ship?s course and speed have been plotted and it will be unaware that it has been detected. Four days later, Brandtaucher re-establishes contact with survey ship, which is stationary and presumably taking sensor readings. She moves within five million kilometers and prepares to shadow the ship until Derflinger arrives. As this may take a while, Werner von Siemens abandons her own search for Shakar survey ships and sets course for the Nurnberg jump point to assume Brandtaucher?s previous mission.

26th February Y17NE
A colony has been established in the Nurnberg system, in a very unlikely location. The reason for the colony is to provide a forward base for operations in the adjacent Wurzburg system which will include maintenance facilities capable of re-arming and maintaining Scharnhorst class destroyers. This will require a civilian population to man the facilities, which in turn requires a planet capable of supporting such a colony. The first two planets are the only bodies in the G5-V system with sufficient gravity. Nurnberg II is a small, airless rock with a surface temperature of -112C, barely sufficient gravity and a colony cost of 4.55. Nurnberg I is a terrestrial world with a temperature of 8.5C and a  gravity of 0.85G, which would be ideal if it wasn?t for the atmosphere of Ammonia, Nitrogen and Chlorine, giving it a colony cost of 3.00 due to the dangerous gases. Terraforming ships are en route to remove the chlorine, forming only 1.14% of the 0.64 atm atmosphere, which will reduce the colony cost to 2.0. However, the ammonia is 81% of the atmosphere and the considerable effort required to remove it would still not leave a breathable atmosphere so the colony will have to be built within domes. Fortunately there is plenty of infrastructure left on Abaddon from the time when that planet was a hostile environment so cargo ships have begun moving it to Nurnberg. Enough infrastructure is already in place to support a population of 670,000 and the first 240,000 colonists have arrived. The colony will have to grow considerably though before it can support the required facilities.

30th February Y17NE.
Derflinger has intercepted and destroyed the third Shakar survey ship.

2nd April Y17NE
Goeben returns to Wurzburg, armed with eighty of the new AS-4 Leopard missiles. Although the Leopards have an maximum range of fifty million kilometers, when fired by a Scharnhorst II their effective range is not much longer than 28m kilometers against a stationary target because of the limitations of the destroyers? fire control. During a pursuit their range would be greater because they would travel further while still remaining within 28m kilometers. The Leopards will not truly come into their own until the Scharnhorst III is available, either through new construction or refits.

15th April Y17NE
Vathorian scientists recently completed research into improved jump drive efficiency and have now developed a new jump drive based on that technology, capable of opening a jump point for a 12,000 ton ship. Using the new drive, a jump cruiser has been designed that will be  that will be able to escort our Graf Zeppelin class carriers, all of which have now received their full complement of fighters. The Frederick the Great class has two thirds the hangar capacity of the Graf Zeppelins and will be able to operate a strikegroup of twelve fighters or three fast attack craft. In addition, it has the S210/100 Active Search Sensor used by the Bauer class scouts plus large passive sensor arrays. Retooling has already begun in the Krupp Shipyard.

Code: [Select]
Frederick the Great class Jump Cruiser    12000 tons     946 Crew     1817 BP      TCS 240  TH 1200  EM 0
5000 km/s    JR 3-50     Armour 1-46     Shields 0-0     Sensors 40/15/0/0     Damage Control 0-0     PPV 0
Hangar Deck Capacity 3000 tons     Magazine 360    Replacement Parts 15    

J1200 Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 12000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Scheiner SE-6 Magneto-plasma Drive (15)    Power 80    Efficiency 0.60    Signature 80    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 600,000 Litres    Range 150.0 billion km   (347 days at full power)

AS-2 Jaguar (120)  Speed: 26700 km/s   End: 15.6 minutes    Range: 25m km   Warhead: 9    MR: 10    Size: 3

S210/100 Active Search Sensor  (1)     GPS 21000     Range 210.0m km    Resolution 100
T40 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 40     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  40m km
E3 Electromagnetic Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  15m km

Strike Group
12x Comet Fighter   Speed: 12000 km/s    Size: 4.5
20th July Y17NE
Our scientists have recently developed a ship to ship tractor beam that will allow one ship to tow another. This will allow us to design and build bases that can then be towed into place. A specialist ship with considerable engine power  will be required for the towing, which is why the Hermann Goerner class Tug has been designed. Several Tugs will be built once retooling of the Halle Shipyard is completed.

Code: [Select]
Hermann Goerner class Tug    5000 tons     480 Crew     886 BP      TCS 100  TH 1200  EM 0
12000 km/s     Armour 1-26     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/0/0/0     Damage Control 0-0     PPV 0
Tractor Beam     Replacement Parts 5    

Scheiner SE-6 Magneto-plasma Drive (15)    Power 80    Efficiency 0.60    Signature 80    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 450,000 Litres    Range 270.0 billion km   (260 days at full power)
26th July Y17NE
The Second Survey Fleet, comprising Fulda, Kassel, Offenbach and Thor, has recently completed a survey of the Mulheim system, located beyond Wurzburg?s third jump point. They found five new jump points, one of which led to Th?ren, a system with an O4-Ia blue supergiant primary and a F3-V companion star. The mass of the primary is 60 SM and its luminosity is 1,600,000, making it the brightest, hottest and most massive star we have encountered so far. Its diameter is 33 million kilometers, which while small compared to the five billion kilometers of the red supergiant in Ravensburg, is still much larger than a regular main sequence star. The companion star, orbiting at twenty-seven billion kilometers, has two large asteroid belts and eight planets, one of which is a high gravity world more than twice the diameter of Vath, with a dense nitrogen - oxygen atmosphere well beyond Vathorian levels of tolerance. The eight planets of the primary are well outside the orbit of the companion star with the innermost at almost two hundred billion kilometers and the rest stretching out into light-years. A massive asteroid belt lies between two and six trillion kilometers and a second, sparser belt surrounds the whole system. Given the higher likelihood of minerals in systems with young, massive stars, a geological survey expedition to the companion would be worthwhile, although the primary system is far out of reach. The problem is that when the Shakar move into Wurzburg in force, any such expedition would be cut-off.

5th August Y17NE
The maintenance facilities on Nurnberg I are now large enough to support Scharnhorst class destroyers. However, the Altmark class support vessels that would normally carry fuel and munitions stockpiles to the colony are too large to be escorted by the Brandenburg class jump ships and first of the new Frederick the Great class has not even been laid down yet. Instead, several Scharnhorsts will be sent from Vath to Nurnberg to unload their fuel and missiles before returning to Vath to refuel and re-arm.

26th September Y17NE
The Third Survey Fleet recently completed a survey of the Algunde system, three jumps from Vath via Hamburg and Dresden, revealing four new jump points. One of those jump points led to Deven, a system within a level 10 nebula. The orange K7-V protostar has only three planets and twenty moons, yet four of those bodies have nitrogen-oxygen atmospheres. The innermost planet has gravity of 1.05G, a surface temperature of 26C and an atmospheric oxygen content of 0.087 atm, very close to the 0.1 atm required for a breathable atmosphere. It would require very little terraforming to transform this into an ideal habitable world. The dense dust cloud of the nebula would reduce all of our existing colony ships and freighters to just 250 km/s, although the jump point is only 500m kilometers from the primary, so it would require a 46-day round trip from the jump point to the planet. The second planet is a huge super-jovian with fifteen moons, three of which have thin nitrogen-oxygen atmospheres with pressures ranging from 0.16 to 0.47 atm and temperatures from -53C to -102C. These would all require a considerable amount of work to terraform. Planet three is an iceball with four moons, none of which are even remotely habitable.

A second jump in Algunde led to Franzhagen, a K0-V system with eight planets, seventy moons and an amazing six hundred and fifty asteroids, split into three huge belts. A definite geological survey prospect.

5th October Y17NE
An updated fast attack craft has been designed, using a Magneto-plasma engine. The Schnellboote II has two more box launchers than the original version but has a slightly shorter range due to the inefficiency of its boosted drive.

Code: [Select]
Schnellboote II class Fast Attack Craft    1000 tons     49 Crew     161.6 BP      TCS 20  TH 184  EM 0
9200 km/s     Armour 1-8     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/0/0/0     Damage Control 0-0     PPV 9.9
Magazine 66    Replacement Parts 1    

Bodendorf BE78 Magneto-plasma Drive (1)    Power 184    Efficiency 7.80    Signature 184    Armour 0    Exp 36%
Fuel Capacity 20,000 Litres    Range 4.6 billion km   (5 days at full power)

VLS-3 Single Cell Launcher  (22)    Missile Size 3    Hangar Reload 22.5 minutes    MF Reload 3.7 hours
FC28/20 Missile Fire Control  (1)     Range 28.8m km    Resolution 20
AS-2 Jaguar (22)  Speed: 26700 km/s   End: 15.6 minutes    Range: 25m km   Warhead: 9    MR: 10    Size: 3
5th November Y17NE
The three Bismarck class carriers, Bismarck, Tirpitz and Hindenburg, have been launched by the Zeigler Shipyard. Each of the 20,000 ton ships can carry a strikegroup of thirty-six Comet-B fighters, although fighter production is still lagging behind our carrier capacity and only one strikegroup is ready. The hangars on the new carriers are so large, they could actually hold a Scharnhorst class destroyer or eight fast attack craft.

10th November Y17NE
Vathorian scientists have completed development of a Salvage Module that will allow us to salvage mineral resources and potentially technology from the wrecks of alien spacecraft. The Jackal class Salvager is equipped with a single salvage module and sufficient cargo space for 2000 tons of recovered minerals. It will be constructed in the Petersen Shipyard, which has built Mammoth II class freighters in the past.

Code: [Select]
Jackal class Salvager    11200 tons     625 Crew     960 BP      TCS 224  TH 880  EM 0
3928 km/s     Armour 1-44     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/0/0/0     Damage Control 0-0     PPV 0
Cargo 50000    Replacement Parts 10    
Salvager: 1 module(s) capable of salvaging 500 tons per day

Scheiner SE-6 Magneto-plasma Drive (11)    Power 80    Efficiency 0.60    Signature 80    Armour 0    Exp 5%
Fuel Capacity 300,000 Litres    Range 80.3 billion km   (236 days at full power)

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Steve Walmsley »

Offline Father Tim

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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2008, 02:59:57 PM »
Quote from: "Steve Walmsley"
The hangars on the new carriers are so large, they could actually hold a Scharnhorst class destroyer or eight fast attack craft.

Just to confirm, this means the Bismarcks could actually reload the VLS cells on the Scharnhorst destroyers out in the field, right?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Father Tim »

Offline Steve Walmsley

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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 10:34:19 AM »
Quote from: "Father Tim"
Quote from: "Steve Walmsley"
The hangars on the new carriers are so large, they could actually hold a Scharnhorst class destroyer or eight fast attack craft.
Just to confirm, this means the Bismarcks could actually reload the VLS cells on the Scharnhorst destroyers out in the field, right?

Yes, that's right. I am unfortunately going to end this campaign now due to recent changes but I was planning to build some type of maintenance base with a large hangar and plenty of fuel and ordnance then tow it to where it was needed.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Steve Walmsley »


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