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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2020, 01:11:57 PM »
   2086

Exploration is progressing slowly. Every nation is operating anything between three and eight survey vessels at this point but aside from Santa María system no great concentrations of minerals or prime colonization targets have been found.
Current exploration extent is as follows:

Argentina: 15 systems
US: 11 systems
EU: 7 systems
Japan: 11 systems
PRC: 7 systems
Russia: 11 systems


Argentine exploration 2086

Nations generally codename systems after Earth locations to have an easier time referring to them, the only system names that stuck globally are the Argentine names for Aguascalientes, the first other star system entered by humanity, and Santa María as well as Salto, the system between Santa María and Sol.
The location of the Santa María colony has been discovered by all nations now, who have varying degrees of interests in taking it over. Currently no nation has the ability to move commercial ships to other systems, and therefore no way to exploit the system's riches.

The European Union decideds to afford extra protection to it's civilian mining complexes in the form of STO autocannons. One brigade with 10 railgun systems each is to be stationed on every body with an EU presence.

In May the first Argentine Dorado-class destroyer rolls off the assembly line. With all possible components prefabricated construction was possible in record time - yet the amount of fuel available amounts to nothing more but a few drops, barely sufficient for getting out of orbit. Components for two more destroyers are in storage, but Duranium concerns delay the construction start of more ships until the first fuel harvester can be laid down. It's components are also under prefabrication.

The US mineral situation is not cause of much concern to the nation as the mines on Mars are rich and 18 CMCs on 7 different bodies provide a diverse income, but that organic growth of private enterprise has so far failed to find a way of profitably exploiting Gallicite. The corporate congress must step in and puts out contracts for a mining operation on Neujmin. 75 automines are to be built - the large amounts of Corundium required for the project available because of the Martian mines.

   2087

An American startup has gathered funding and built a specialized ship for salvaging wrecks. It's primary aim is the wreck of the USS Richard P. Leary near Mars orbit, but the company has also secured salvage rights for the old Eurofighter wreck that fell into disrepair on Mars and for the hull of an abandoned Japanese survey craft who's engines gave out in the outer solar system.

The Japanese are the last nation to lay down a major warship. For too long the only space-based military units of the SDF was the squadron of 10 microwave fighters. The Tama class destroyer is based on the most advanced technology available. It's main armament consisting of eight experimental particle beamers which should outrange any other energy weapon system in existence by a considerable margin. The range is being paid for in a lower sustained energy output compared to simpler weapon systems. Additionally the targeting computers needed to make use of the high range possible with the weapon are quite bulky, or to be more precise, their cooling units are. Two high power microwaves allow for a measure of defense in a short-range engagement. The ship is protected by a medium armor belt and two high-tech forcefield generators, an untested technology here deployed on a warship for the first time. At 3.3k km/s with NPE tech the Tama is not especially fast, but the speed should be sufficient to gain an advantage of the long-range weapons. It's endurance is more limited than that of it's counterparts of other navies. In particular it's range is very short with 8b km, enough to reach the Kuiper Belt, but not to come back. The ship will have to rely on tankers for long distance operations. Japan does not operate any such tanker yet, the plan is to create a jump-tender/tanker hybrid.

Code: [Select]
Tama class Destroyer      12 000 tons       345 Crew       1 227.5 BP       TCS 240    TH 800    EM 1 200
3333 km/s      Armour 3-46       Shields 40-500       HTK 89      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 54
Maint Life 1.03 Years     MSP 255    AFR 768%    IFR 10.7%    1YR 242    5YR 3 627    Max Repair 40.00 MSP
Kaigun-Ch?sa    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Morale Check Required   

Toshiba NPE Impulse Drive (10)    Power 800.0    Fuel Use 80.0%    Signature 80.00    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 430 000 Litres    Range 8.1 billion km (27 days at full power)
Nippon Forcefields Deflection Field (2)     Recharge Time 500 seconds (0.1 per second)

XG3 Particle Beamer (8)    Range 150 000km     TS: 3 333 km/s     Power 7-3    ROF 15       
Sugitani High Power Microwave (2)    Range 15 000km     TS: 3 333 km/s     Power 3-3    ROF 5       
Hiraseli Fast Tracking System (1)     Max Range: 20 000 km   TS: 3 400 km/s     42 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Matsusmega Electric High-Performance Target Prediction Computer (2)     Max Range: 256 000 km   TS: 3 400 km/s     82 78 75 72 68 65 62 58 55 52
Toshiba Starship Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 24.6    Exp 7%
Nagasaki Three-Point Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 6    Exp 5%

Hiraseli Short-Range Sensor (1)     GPS 40     Range 5.4m km    Resolution 10

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

Argentina finishes it's first fuel harvester and all hopes of getting the space program back on track rest on it. The ship makes it's way towards Neptune, which only has a 0.9 Sorium density, but is also not claimed by the Russians like Jupiter. It will take three months for the harvester to get there.
Not long after the ship leaves the jump drive on Aspirante Morel, the Argentine jump destroyer, breaks down due to insufficient maintenance. Argentina has facilities to maintain two destroyer-sized ships in orbit indefinitely, right now there are two destroyers and also three survey ships of equal size in orbit. It will be two years before enough Sorium and Duranium will be mined again to repair the jump drive. For now, both naval ships are put in mothballs (permanent overhaul due to over-capacity) to prevent any more such failures. Additionally, maintenance supplies are short, causing their production to put additional pressure on Duranium and Gallicite. Reserves of the latter will last two years. The nation is seriously considering downsizing it's overly-ambitious space program.

   2088

China constructs a tug and completes the process of moving all critical TN infrastructure to the moon by tugging the shipyards there. Only the more educated and desirable individuals were allowed to emigrate to the Lunar surface from Earth, but with nearly 3b humans under it's government, the best, brightest and most loyal really do number 728m, almost enough to fill the body to capacity. Shipping of more colonists to Luna has stopped a while ago.


China now lives on the moon

In TN industries base human labor is not really all that important anymore, so leaving the uneducated masses behind on Earth has little effect on the economy. Still, the amount of people needed to sustain the massively complex pieces of TN infrastructure can be great, and the moon can only sustain a maximum of 222m workers in the manufacturing sector. Chinese industry, discounting the mines on Mars, currently requires 80m workers. So while there is still ample space to grow the industrial base on the moon, it will not last forever.
China, as of now, is not dependent on Earth anymore as a spacefaring nation. To reflect this the general secretary of the China Communist Party decrees both the country and the party renamed. It is now the People's Republic of Luna (PRL).
China, or now the PRL, will still maintain a presence on Earth for political and strategic reasons. It's remaining 2b Chinese inhabitants may be considered excess to requirements, but may still come in handy in the future. More importantly it is critical to be able to threaten all other nations with immediate reprisals through ground troops and ships stationed in orbit of Earth. This is what has kept all nations away from starting any major conflict with another since the advent of TN tech, shipyards and other infrastructure in Earth orbit getting destroyed by ships stationed at effectively point-blank fighting distance from another could only end in a bloodbath and would likely see both nations critically weakened. For the People's Republic of Luna, this is now not the case anymore.

« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 01:14:02 PM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2020, 04:08:46 PM »
   2089 - Summaries

   European Union

Research Priorities
The EU suffers from poor engine technology caused by lack of specialists. An expensive program to keep the nation competetive and develop INPE engines has just finished, but European engines are still less efficient or less capable than the counterparts designed in other parts of the world.

Military Analysis
The EU operates a set of nine large defensive frigates distributed over three posts: Earth, Mars and the location of the Hambach mining complex. Offensive firepower is provided by Eurofighter launch platforms, which are hard to operate away from their stations. With being split over a number of bases the forces stationed at each one will be individually inferior to the navies of the other nations. Both problems are expected to be solved by the Hades class cruiser currently in development. With a displacement of 20k tons it is the largest warship to be built by humans yet. The ship is not especially fast, but it's armament of 24 Cerberus missile launch tubes does not require a speed advantage to be utilized like energy weapons do. It can carry enough ammunition for ten volleys and carries a defensive armament equal to the autocannons of two Adana class frigates. Only it's range is relatively limited, requiring the assistance of a tanker for sustained operations.

Code: [Select]
Hades class Cruiser (P)      20 000 tons       562 Crew       1 935.3 BP       TCS 400    TH 1 190    EM 0
2975 km/s      Armour 5-65       Shields 0-0       HTK 130      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 5      PPV 122
Maint Life 1.95 Years     MSP 662    AFR 640%    IFR 8.9%    1YR 228    5YR 3 414    Max Repair 72.25 MSP
Magazine 732   
Fregattankapitan    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Airbus INPE Vacuum Turbine (7)    Power 1190    Fuel Use 42.39%    Signature 170    Explosion 8%
Fuel Capacity 500 000 Litres    Range 10.6 billion km (41 days at full power)

Krupp Vacuum Autocannon (10x4)    Range 20 000km     TS: 2 975 km/s     Power 6-2     RM 10 000 km    ROF 15       
Krupp Autocannon Targeting Electronics (2)     Max Range: 48 000 km   TS: 2 700 km/s     53 39 25 11 0 0 0 0 0 0
R20 Reactor Chamber (1)     Total Power Output 20.1    Exp 7%

Cerberus Firing Tube (24)     Missile Size: 3    Rate of Fire 30
Cerberus Guidance System (3)     Range 10.9m km    Resolution 80
Cerberus B ASM (244)    Speed: 13 467 km/s    End: 12.8m     Range: 10.3m km    WH: 4    Size: 3    TH: 49/29/14

Destroyer Detection Dish (1)     GPS 4320     Range 33.3m km    Resolution 240
Koski Electronics Projectile Scanner (1)     GPS 20     Range 5.6m km    MCR 507.8k km    Resolution 1
Koski Electronics Frigate Detection Dish (1)     GPS 320     Range 10.9m km    Resolution 80
König Hitzelspitzel (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

Another piece of important EU strategy are the current attempts to stabilize Sol's jump points. This experimental technology has just been deployed during 2088 and it's first mission is to open a stable passage to the Santa María system. This is the result of a research project to give the Hambach mining platforms jump capability. The advantage of stabilizing the jump points is that, once stabilized, ships of any size and engine types can pass through and do so without the use of a jump tender. The downside is, everyone else can do it too. The strategic implications of opening up these jump points for all are still up in the air, but for now any plans for jump drive ships in the EU are on ice.

Economic Situation
EU mineral stocks are large and driving the nation to ever more construction projects - it can afford them. Fuel is rather short (although Sorium reserves will still last to keep up planetary refining for some time) and Sorium harvesters are planned soon. Large, immobile harvesting platforms would pair well with the nation's already existing station infrastructure.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 19 048
Thanks to it's investment into orbital mining platforms the EU enjoys the strongest mineral inflow in absolute terms. This scheme is unfortunately dependent on prime mining locations for peak efficiency, which tend to run out quickly, as such access to locations outside Sol is required in the medium term.

   Russian Federation

Research Priorities
Russian technology is weak. The nation has never had more than 6 research facilities, and lack of Duranium will prevent more from being built anytime soon. Research will have to limit itself to the essentials; Missile technology to have the fleet's firepower keep step with the other nations and, currently, basic economic techs to make the industrial base more efficient.

Military Analysis
The Russian space navy follows an all-missile doctrine, with small box launcher armed frigates on the attack and AMM-armed frigates on the defense. Together with two sensor ships and two new jump ships, 21 frigates a 4k tons are in operation. Due to mineral shortages, this is the extent of the fleet for the foreseeable future. Engagements must be well-chosen, as the effectiveness of the nation's chosen doctrine is directly proportional to the amount of ammunition in stock.
A permanent military presence must be established on Callisto to protect the fuel harvesters and the colony's facilities. This can happen either through a splitting of the fleet, stationing some on Callisto through the use of maintenance facilities there, or, in a more limited fashion, through STO weapons teams. There is no expertise in the field of direct-fire weapons in the nation, so the only STO weapon system would be a basic slow-firing laser or plasma cannon. The decision falls on the stationing of proper warships, however this requires a specialized transport to be built that can move maintenance supplies to the colony first. In order to avoid splitting firepower too much, only a single offensive frigate will be stationed on the moon.

Economic Situation
Russia has averted a fuel crisis through early investment into Sorium harvesting technology and the claiming of Jupiter. Six harvesters are currently in operation, producing 3.8m litres of fuel per annum.
Russia is successfully operating eight survey frigates. They are smaller than their counterparts of other nations and only carry one sensor of each type, but their small size keeps them cheap and fuel-efficient and their solid construction grants them much endurance. This gives the nation a higher rate of exploration than the others, increasing hopes of finding a habitable or resource-rich planet outside Sol.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 2 163
Most of Russia's mining happens on Callisto in the form of largely worthless Vendarite and Corbomite. The real income is very small, consisting of just 12 automines on Venus at the start of the year (with 15 more contracted to arrive there shortly) and the 20 automine equivalents on a comet.
For the near future spending will have to be very frugal. The eventual goal is the establishment of defensible mining colonies in other star systems, but for now there is no way to move commercial traffic out of Sol for Russia and no fuel to support such an endeavour.
The appropriation of other nations mineral sources is a consideration, but Earth, especially the shipyards, are quite vulnerable and there is only ground-based military stationed on Callisto. Reprisals could be dangerous.

   Corporate Congress of the United States

Research Priorities
US research is strong and diverse, with some saying that the many companies pushing US science lack focus. Missile systems are the latest fashion amongst military contractors, and various launch platforms are expected to make their way into the space navy in coming years.

Military Analysis
The US space navy operates 16 frigates a 6k tons with a mixed armament of turreted lasers and plasma cannons. There is no jump capability in the fleet, nor any planned, as the nation is doing just fine exploiting Sol and sees no need to spend on extrasolar power projection at this time.
The atmosphere of Mars just became breathable at the end of the year due to the joint Chinese-American terraforming effort, instantly doubling the amount of people current infrastructure can support. Until now a relative lack of manpower shortages has prevented the full transfer of all critical infrastructure to Mars, which has been a goal of US leadership all along. Much like how China reduced it's vulnerability by moving to the moon, having all critical US manufacturing on Mars would be a big boon. A new colonization rush to Mars is predicted to finally allow this to become a reality in the next few years. At that point the continued EU and Chinese presence on the planet would become an issue, but less so than the presence of more factions on Earth.
The Chinese have so far kept their word about not stationing more military assets on Mars, and no indications of STO weapons there have been found yet. Despite the Battle of Mars almost 6 years ago, there is little lasting animosity from the US side - the blockade was simply a strategic move to deny a competitor easy access to resources.

Economic Situation
The US is doing very well economically. The mineral situation is fine and fuel is still well-stocked with 20m litres in storage, necessitating no rush in the construction of refinery vessels. Wealth is not an issue with interplanetary trade between two major populations.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 14 719
Operating the mines on Mars, a large array of civilian mining colonies and a shared government-mandated mining colony to plug holes in the income streams, the nation feels comfortable in it's mineral situation. All minerals, save for Gallicite and to some degree Sorium and Boronide, are well-stocked. Martian Corundium income allows the construction of new automines in numbers other nations can only dream of and US military construction is expected to continue smoothly for years to come.

   Japan

Research Priorities
Japan is currently researching three key technologies: INPE drives, composite armor for more efficient shipbuilding, and Sorium harvesters. The total research capability of the nation is solidly average. Research for the next few years is expected to be occupied with helping to transform the nation's economic base to a model fed by minerals mined offworld.

Military Analysis
Recently Japan was forced to give Russia mining rights on Venus. It would have been preferrable not to allow this, but with no warships and only ground force strength it would have been very difficult to stand up to them should they wish to force the issue like China did in 83 with Mars.
The first Japanese warships will be laid down in 2089. The doctrine is considered capable and will protect space-based assets for years to come. Support ships to extend the range of operations are planned.

Economic Situation
Wealth is fine, fuel is still okay but will require deployment of harvesters in the near future. Mineral stocks allow for ship construction, but not much in the way of economic expansion.
The nation's chosen colony site of Venus has the advantage of being one of the few viable Gallicite mining sites in Sol, but is hard to exploit fully. Plans for habitats to be placed in low orbit to "float" on the clouds of the planet have existed for quite some time, but only now the technology is there. The remaining question is not necessarily one of cost, as the individual habitats are quite cheap, but of protection and relocation of the habitats. Without strong tugs it will take years for each station to get there, and even with INPE engine tech on the horizon currently tugs can only be built so big. Protection can hopefully be provided once the SDF operates it's first warships, but the real solution the Japanese are looking for is the establishment of a major extrasolar colony. Aside from Santa María II, the only serious candidate at current is a snowball of a world one jump past Santa María in a system known to the Japanese as Kobe. Kobe IV features attractive Duranium and Corundium deposits and some other trace minerals, but is covered to 100% in never-ending ice fields with a corresponding average temperature of -47°C. A thick nitrogen atmosphere exists, but addition of more oxygen would be a major undertaking as the planet is very large.
Once current projects are finished development on solutions for either option can begin. Unfortunately both Venus and Kobe IV require great effort to become viable colonies. Perhaps investments into both will be made to keep options open.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 4 317
Japan was unprepared for the drying up of Earth's deposits. A number of CMCs and the Duranium/Gallicite automines on Venus, which have been expanded since, keep minerals flowing in and the nation able to act. Aside from deployment of more automines in Sol on comets and asteroids there are no short-term mining options, and the current weak inflow of minerals endangers the long-term plans of the nation for a major offworld colony.

   People's Republic of Luna

Research Priorities
Chinese tech is solid. Base economic tech has been neglected so far, this is being corrected now. There are no concrete demands on tech otherwise at current.

Military Analysis
The slow Jiangwei destroyer line has been kept around unupdated after the Battle of Mars. A new variant of the destroyer, the Mighty Dolphin, has been put into service in addition to the old ships. It features more advanced engines, a spinal weapon and much heavier armor. Six destroyers of either type are in operation, support ships amount to four jump destroyers of the Xian type, one of which has the speed to operate with the new Dolphin-class destroyers, and two slower tankers.
Strategically the nation has gained a lot of leeway in moving all operations to the moon. Fear of Earth-based reprisals against shipyards and the population is no longer a concern, if another nation possesses something we desire, we can now just take it.

Economic Situation
Mineral stockpiles on the moon are very large, but so is consumption as the PRL does not believe in limited-series production. Sorium is the only mineral with reserves critically low. The 20m units of fuel in reserve will go relatively quickly with as many ships in operation as there are and fuel refinery platforms are only just now starting to be built. Extrasolar colonization, requiring lots of fuel for long-distance freighter trips, will have to wait until the current fuel situation is resolved.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 11 483
Luna is unfortunately not blessed with TN minerals, so the nation relies on Mars and a number of mining outposts throughout Sol to keep itself fed. The total income is not considered sufficient for long-term growth and the establishment of extensive extrasolar mining outposts is planned in the Santa María system. Argentine presence will be suppressed or removed if necessary. It is thanks to the mines on Mars that establishment of more mines in Sol and beyond in the future is possible.


   Argentine Republic

Research Priorities
Argentina is plagued by mineral shortages. Much research in recent years has been focused on increasing the efficiency of what little economy there is: make each mine dig more minerals, each Sorium harvester refine more fuel and each maintenance facility maintain more tonnage. As long as the nation is paralyzed by it's weak economy any other new technologies couldn't be utilized anyway.
This, paired with the nations already comparatively small array of research facilities, is predicted to have the nation fall dangerously behind in technology.

Military Analysis
On paper, the nation now possesses the ability to send military expeditions to other star systems, particularly the Santa María colony. In reality, it can barely afford to maintain the two warships it built and fuel is scarce.
Only one proper warship was built before economic paralysis hit the country. Prefabricated components for two more ships lie in storage, sans the engines for the second. As there is currently no fuel, Duranium or maintenance capacity for more ships, the construction program is on hold indefinitely.
Strategically Argentina is 100% dependent on it's Sol automining colonies, neither of which have any form of protection. Their primary defense is the threat of retaliation on Earth.
Argentina would very much like to keep a monopoly over Santa María, but at current maintaining a claim over the entire system is unrealistic. Maintaining a claim over Santa María II, the site of the colony, may be possible as the colony has an STO mass driver brigade stationed there. This can prevent unauthorized landings on the colony and can only be dislodged via orbital bombardment. The nation is very determined in keeping it's one advantage intact.
Ground forces are the one section that has not, or not yet, been hit by the economic downturn of recent years. The nation has kept breeding more legions of war, coming in at an impressive 10 infantry divisions on Earth. They may not be particularly advanced, but it is the hope that through compensation with more ground units some semblance of parity in power with competing nations can be reached.

Economic Situation
The source of all of Argentina's troubles in recent years has been the decline of Earth's mineral deposits. The nation's TN economy was unprepared to transition to other mineral sources. Wealth-wise, the situation is under control, even without civilian shipping income. This is largely due to little new construction going on, however. Current expenditures are limited to research (70%) and ground unit construction/maintenance.
Planned construction in the near future is planned to be an expansion of maintenance facilities on Earth and a third fuel harvester to be deployed on Neptune. Given the seven month round-trip from Earth, recalling harvesters early is inefficient.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 1 637
Current shortages are Duranium, Corundium, Sorium and Gallicite. Neutronium has stabilized for now. 28 automines are extracting minerals from two comets and other bodies in Sol, but the currently tapped resources do not produce Gallicite, another body must be tapped for this if any more shipbuilding is to take place. In order to save fuel, all facility transfers are conducted by civilian shipping where possible. The nation only has a single mass driver, excluding the receiver on Earth, which must periodically be transferred between mining locations. Another 41 mines are present on Earth, so automine conversion can continue for some time yet. Medium-term, it might be preferrable to tap mineral sources in Santa María, but at current there simply is not enough fuel for the long trips required.


Race comp 2089
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 04:11:35 PM by Zap0 »
 
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2020, 04:30:17 PM »
There isn't a lot of action going on right now due to everyone being hit by the mineral shortage to some degree. Most nations don't have Gallicite to build ships and are dealing with building more mines, fuel harvesters, maintenance facilities. Playing around the dysfunctional Argentine economy was especially fun here but they're not over the hill yet.

Haven't said this before, but when I'm referring to freighters or colony ships (player-built ones) I always mean quite similar designs just under 50k size. That's enough to fit a standard cargo hold or enough cryo for 100k people and a bit more engine ratio than civvies use. To help keep my sanity and as everyone had plenty of time to expand their shipyards at the conventional start I decided not to have nations build smaller colony ships or freighters that can only move part of a regular facility. It also makes sense that some standards establish themselves across nations. Similarly I only started building ground troops 10 years into the game at 2060, before that point tech advances so fast that it was nearly pointless and trying to keep up with tech would have been a lot of busywork for units that quickly become irrelevant. It's reasonable to assume that the conventional armies that would have existed before game start held their respective forts until that point.
Another standard I mention frequently is the ground force division which amounts to 10k size in this game. Brigades are 5k, corps are 25k - enough to just fit into the troop transport bay of a 50k ton freighter.



   2090

Japan finishes a ground construction program. 120 Type-01 Kiyomune TSFs are now in service, striking awe into any that see them. The ground SDF banks on these new, massive machines being the future of ground warfare. Other nations are not yet ready to accept such a radical change to established doctrines, with most militaries still using pre-TN organization and concepts upgraded with TN tech.
The initial research costs for the project were enormous and the four "Tactical Assault" TSF division represent an investment of over 5k Vendarite, most of the national stockpile.

The stabilized passage to Santa María completes. Argentine civilian shipping lines finally see regular work and take up operations. In addition to regular civilian infrastructure the government arranges for a few mining complexes to be moved - the planet has rich deposits of Duranium, Neutronium and Uridium. Sentiment on the Santa María colony towards their sponsoring government and Earth as a whole is not very good, as they understandably feel abandoned. The colony is still tiny with just 350k inhabitants at this point, and the hope is that relations can be repaired. To the population of Earth as a whole the Santa María colony is a powerful symbol - it is the first interstellar colony of mankind, after all.
The EU stabilization ships are credited with bringing more mineral sources into the reach of humanity without trying to gain an individual advantage. The Argentine government in particular is thankful. Not seeing any reason not to, the stabilization program continues working on connecting more nearby systems to the "stable jump network".

   2091

The EU and the PRL operate large fuel harvester platforms in orbit of Neptune now. The Argentine harvesting ships in orbit are starting to get full, survey ships which are able are directed to fuel up and set out again. Gallicite is currently short in production of spare parts for Argentina, gravely impacting the maintenance situation. The immediate fuel paralysis has been solved.
In the time where Argentine explorers stood still the US has unexpectedly surveyed the most systems, bringing their total known to 17.

The Chinese/Lunar Santa María colony project begins. The nation's hordes of civilian shipping lines are being contracted to move infrastructure from Mars to Santa María V-4, a moon with rich mineral deposits. It is comparabale to Callisto in size and colonization difficulty with a colony cost of over 8, but the large amounts of shipping, existing infrastructure and terraforming plants promise to turn the body into a productive base within a reasonable timespan.
Outright conquering Santa María II is not out of the cards, but not necessary at this point. This unnamed moon has more mineral deposits and may serve as a base of operations for an attack later.

   2092

Japan puts out the first contracts to move small amounts of infrastructure from Venus to Kobe IV, their chosen colony site one jump past Santa María. The system of Kobe is very small, 4 planets, 4 comets, with the innermost planet also having interesting mineral deposits. In exchange it is scalding hot, orbiting the star at less than 10m km distance. Kobe is also the system with two jump points in very close proximity to another. Travling from Santa María to Miyazaki, the comet-only system past Kobe, is much quicker than the 4b km trek from the JP into the planetary system of Kobe itself.

Shipbuilding in recent years has declined and only Japan and the EU have constructed new warships. Two Tama-class destroyers are ready, with a second batch featuring incremental armor and engine upgrades under construction. The second European Hades-class cruiser, the Charon, has just left the shipyard. This cruiser series is named after Pluto and it's moons due to their associations in mythology.
 
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2020, 10:21:55 PM »
   2093

American ordnance factories on Mars begin mass-producing a missile design. It's a very long-ranged cruise missile with a large warhead, able to to at least as much damage as a comparable hit from a plasma cannon. This massive 8 MSP weapon is even larger than the Russian heavy missiles. Size was the factor the competing defense contractors compromised on in efforts to outbid each other on range and firepower.
As a launch platform, the F-94 Eagle has been proposed. A small 250t strike craft capable of carrying a single cruise missile. The fighter has 2b km range and could also take on a ground support role if refit correctly.

Code: [Select]
F-94 Eagle class Attack Craft (P)      250 tons       5 Crew       40.1 BP       TCS 5    TH 40    EM 0
8013 km/s      Armour 1-3       Shields 0-0       HTK 2      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 1.2
Maint Life 3.33 Years     MSP 20    AFR 50%    IFR 0.7%    1YR 3    5YR 41    Max Repair 20.00 MSP
Magazine 8   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 days    Morale Check Required   

P&W INPE Fighter Aerospace Engine (1)    Power 40.0    Fuel Use 1011.93%    Signature 40.00    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 28 000 Litres    Range 2 billion km (69 hours at full power)

Cruise Missile Mount (1)     Missile Size: 8.00    Hangar Reload 141 minutes    MF Reload 23 hours
WD Cruise Missile Guidance Computer (1)     Range 36.9m km    Resolution 80

WD ATS2 "Pocket Radar" (1)     GPS 96     Range 7.5m km    Resolution 80

This design is classed as a Fighter for production, combat and planetary interaction

The current show-stopper for Argentine operations is the lack of maintenance supplies. Production has been restarted, but remains low. Every survey ship at full load carries over 700 MSP, unaffordable at current. A minor refit to the Chubut-class survey cruisers is planned to use the space aboard previously allocated to maintenance storage for more engineering and maintenance access points instead. The ships lose a bit of endurance but will consume less MSP when sent out again. Unfortunately the plan can't be executed as retooling the only national shipyard back to service survey cruisers is prohibitively expensive.

Mars becomes habitable without the need to rely on infrastructure. The polar ice caps are melting and where there wasn't water before there are crater seas now - some connected by newly constructed canals. The second world terraformed by humans, this is mostly considered an American achievement - although the Chinese contribution was substantial.
The PRL has already arranged for it's Martian terraforming plants to be transferred to Shèng Yuè, which is the new name of the Chinese moon colony in Santa María.
One of the American operating companies has arranged for it's 10 terraforming installations to be sold to the Russian government, which is very interested in terraforming Callisto. The price was 20m litres of fuel, 4 years worth of production for the six fuel harvesters on Jupiter. The fuel is worth a lot more on the American market as there are no fuel harvesters in operation on the US side. The trade pushes back timetables for their own Sorium harvesting operations as it's not projected to be profitable anytime soon with such a large influx onto the market.

   2094

The EU finishes it's second massive fuel harvesting platform to be deployed in orbit of Neptune. With 274k tons displacement they are even bigger than the Hambach mining platforms. Named after old oil rigs, these two platforms will generate up to 10m litres of fuel per year. In order to bring these massive amounts of fuel home another Starfreighter variant has been designed, a 50k ton tanker with a capacity of almost 30m fuel.

Russian state-sponsered research develops INPE engines as the last nation save for Argentina, who does not have any program to improve it's engine tech scheduled. A speed advantage is seen as critical for Russian strategists, both for the effectiveness of their missile-based doctrines and of their launch platforms. A revision of the existing missile series is the first project undertaken to utilize the new technology. Continued access to the Gallicite mines on Venus is key to make use of the new engine technologies.

Argentina begins the long process of moving it's 35 automines over to "Número Ocho", the largest body in Santa María's asteroid belt. Russian institutions are increasingly putting pressure on the Machholz mining operation, which is nominally protected under the UN Sol comet free mining resolution. For fear of a hostile takeover, and seeing as how "Número Ocho" offers rich deposits of all minerals mined on both Argentine comet mining locations, the decision to relocate the mines was made despite the extra effort involved in shipping the resources back to Earth.


Santa María in 2094. Not in the Argentine view: ~20 PRL freighters moving installations to Shèng Yuè.

   2095

The maps were redrawn this year. The Lunar and Japanese exploration programs independently from each other determined that the chain of systems beginning with Santa María is a dead end. Details about the more distant systems are typically kept under secrecy, but especially with the advent of interstellar civilian shipping thanks to the EU stabilization network standardized maps have evolved. The Argentinian names for the Santa María pocket have semi-officially been adopted by the shipping companies of all nations. The system codenamed Kobe, the site of the Japanese extrasolar colony, is now named Grand Bourg.


The maps in 2095. Can you guess which map belongs to which nation by their system naming scheme?

For all nations one of the largest, if not the largest, expense of Wealth is the funding of civilian mining interests throughout Sol. Exept for Argentina, which still struggles to attract enough capital for a civilian asteroid or comet mining operation to launch. Russia, with it's heavily state-controlled economy, also significantly lags behind it's competitors achievements. But for the nations with extensive civilian mining programs they have effectively ended any worry about running out of Duranium in at least the next decade, with EU and US stockpiles (also boosted by Mars income) breaking 100k units in stock.

All nations save for the US operate fuel harvesting ships or platforms by the end of the year. Neptune is the chosen location for all of them as the closer and slightly more efficient location of Jupiter is in the immediate striking range of a Russian military base. Japan and Argentina both have plans to eventually move some harvesters off nearer their colonies. The four nations exploiting Neptune have fortunately not entered in a race of militarization on the gas giant, the location remains largely undefended by major military assets. The distance is the main factor here. Trips from and to Neptune are hoped to be made shorter by the stabilizing of a Lagrange point near Venus and more in the outer solar system by an EU stabilization ship.

   2096 - The Machholz Incident

The Russian nation is not doing well in the grand scheme of things. It is weak technologically and has a low mineral income. Initiatives to rectify this state of affairs all fail at the same point: lack of Corundium to expand the economy. As such, for some time now, the Russian government has overtly and covertly put pressure on various Corundium mining locations in Sol. Ignoring Mars, the comet Machholz is the prime Corundium mining location around and the first target of the program to enrich the Russian state. To be precise, the target is the small Argentinian automining operation on it.
The reasons for choosing the Argentinians as a target are obvious, it is no secret that the Argentinian economy has been struggling and that it's infant navy is unable to act. The small nation may be more willing to react strongly because of it's dependence on the outpost, but is most unlikely to be able to defend it.
Preperation for the operation has been going on for some time. The Argentinian mining operation on Machholz has been brought into disrepute, Kreml-controlled entities have purchased partial stock in the Argentinian government's shell company running the operations as well as some of the mining rights in overlapping regions of the body, creating a claim on the operation. Now the legwork begins via deployment of security forces on the body. Trouble will be stirred up by the ununiformed, the regular troops will "restore order". Two and a half divisions of the best Russian troops are being allocated to the operation.
A squadron of warships will stand by in deep space outside of passive sensor range from the comet, just in case. The Callisto base allows redirection of ships without their destinations known by other nations as they all lose sensor readings on them on the way to Jupiter, providing plausible enough deniablity about involvment of Russian state-owned ships during the operation.
March 11th, the troops arrive. The regulars lay low while the insurgent squadrons will initiate a 6-8 week campaign of politically motivated sabotage.
April 12th, the situation on Machholz has come to a head. Various minor acts of sabotage have ended in a forced general strike on the comet. The subterfubge teams have picked issues that were close to the heart of the Argentinian automine operators and inflamed their complaints. There is deep distrust about who did or didn't commit acts of sabotage between the operators and the work stoppage provides the opportunity needed to have the troops march in to restore order, as Russian state interests on the comet are affected by the disturbances. The troops quickly occupy the complex, placing it into Russian hands for the moment.
This, finally, gets attention from Argentinian government officials. The disturbances on Machholz were not unknown to them, but with the colony scheduled to be disbanded anyway no importance was placed on them. The overburdened Argentine shipping industry has failed to move a single mine of the comet in the last two years, however. The way the government sees it, they have two options: Lay down and accept the loss of half their mines, or fight to get them back. Naturally, they chose to fight. The Catrapan troop transport loads five brigades bound towards Machholz, escorted by the sole Dorado-class destroyer. A day later the second Dorado-class destroyer is rushed into service and joins the convoy.
International response to the Machholz incident is largely negative, claiming the Russian intervention on the comet both against international law and against the UN free comet mining resoltion. Yet with the prepwork done by the Kreml enough doubt and confusion is seeded that nobody takes a firm position.
A US company is also mining the comet, fortunately on the other side of the body and so far untouched by the incident.
April 24th, the Russian force detects the Argentinian landing group and has two choices: engage them in space while they're still trying to land the troops, or engage them on the  ground. The appearance of a second Argentinian warship is unexpected, frankly, that they had the ability to mobilize them at all was unexpected, but even two ships should still not be a force the group of five frigates waiting in deep space couldn't overcome. Still, the decision is made to rely on the ground troops. The Argentinians will be allowed to unload their legions on Machholz and fighting between the ground forces will commence.
The Argentinian strategy was not as limited as the Russians imagined. It was, in fact, so far-reaching as to be a total shock to the population. On April 27th 2096, Argentina formally declares war on the Russian Federation. The stated goal is to recover the Machholz mining complexes from Russian occupation, but an Earth-based ground campaign starts at the same time as the fighting on Machholz. Vast oceans dividing opponents are not much of a concern anymore in the era of TN tech, Argentine suborbital insertion straight into the Urals region is the opening move of the war. There is no Argentine orbital presence near Earth with both warships covering the Machholz landing. Intelligence has reason to assume that a large detachment of Russian warships may arrive there from Callisto. If the war does not go well, threatening the Russian shipyards in Earth orbit with STO weapons to force a peace is always an option.
The Argentinian overreaction is definitely not what the Kreml wanted. Yet, it is done. With an official declaration of war and Argentinian ships providing orbital bombardment support to their ground campaign on Machholz there is no need to hold back, the deep space squadron is sent to execute a strike.
48 heavy missiles are streaking towards each of the two Argentinian destroyers. The missiles appear on sensors without warning, the launch platforms were not detected. Argentine ships activate sensors, still not finding the launch platforms, and prepare for point-defense fire.


A perfect stealth strike

13 missiles are hit by the 80 Argentinian mass driver rounds - and 26 impact their tagets. With 9 damage per warhead, the two destroyers blink out of existence.
Together with the destroyers all hope for reinforcements for the Argentinian troops on Machholz died. The ground war would now have to decide the conflict. Given that only two Russian attack frigates remained in Earth orbit the majority of their fleet must have been dedicated to the strike, but that is little consolidation as Argentina now finds itself without a navy. The second Dorado-class destroyer, the DD Custodian, might well go down in the records as the ship with the shortest service history, it was lost only two weeks after commissioning.
Argentine command proceeds with the ground campaigns on Earth and Machholz for a few more days, but it is apparent that no upper hand will be gained. The troops are dug in in the Urals landing zones, losing two soldier for every one killed and the force the Russians deployed on Machholz is showing no signs of budging. The soldiers wearing power armor prove especially resilient. With the Argentine ground strength reduced by roughly 20%, the government sues for peace on May 2nd, conceding Machholz to the invaders. Since Russia is publicly on the defending side in the conflict and politically not in a position to gain anything more from war with Argentina at this point, they accept.

The aftermath is a disaster for Argentina. The sudden declaration of war in reaction to semi-legal squabbling on a faraway mining outpost is considered an extreme overreaction by the people and was condemned by the other nations. In addition to internal and external trust the government has lost both it's warships, although the jump destroyer which hid in the asteroid belt during the conflict is still safe. With Machholz 18 automines, half of the Argentine total, are gone, setting the nation years back in it's economic growth. While the losses of life are tragic, the material losses on the ground can be replaced. More disappointing is the lack of results the armies were able to achieve.
Argentine projections for a naval engagement with Russian forces were better than they turned out to be in reality. It was hoped that the point-defense heavy armament of the Dorado-class destroyers would be able to absorb more incoming ordnance than it did. When the navy will be rebuilt a decision must be made whether or not the concept of an all-railgun destroyer is valid.

Russian deployment of forces and combat doctrine proved successful as even stronger enemy forces than expected were able to be defeated. Even so, the Argentinian navy was third rate compared to the other nations.
Russian analysts are quite pleased with the overall outcome despite the state of a formal war with Argentina being far from what they had initially envisioned. Public opinon was largely on Russian side when the Argentinians declared war, despite reservations about the legitimacy of actions on Machholz. Propaganda will further spin the nation as being the victim in the incident. For now, a mass driver will be built to tap the nation's newly gained source of Corundium.

Amongst all that trouble, the Japanese survey cruiser Chuyo makes a groundbreaking discovery: Another habitable planet amongst the stars. Kyoto IV is an ocean world with Earth-like atmosphere composition with readily breathable atmosphere. On it's planetary survey the crew was able to remove the helmets from their pressure suits and breathe the atmosphere without assistance. Powerful pictures of the crew on the shores of a distant world make the rounds on Earth. It is too bad that the rest of the system is wholly uninteresting and that the mineral deposits on the planet itself are minimal. Still, there is now proof that Earth is not unique.
 
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2020, 08:41:07 PM »
   2096 (cont.)

Argentina makes plans to restructure it's military. Postmortem analysis of the ground fighting highlights deficiencies in supply lines and critizes the current flat hierarchy. Orbital support seemed ineffective for reasons not yet clear. For now, a project to introduce power armor into the infantry is started. Research efforts are currently directed towards INPE engine tech as the state was able to hire a talented P&P scientist. Once that project has come to fruition more investment into ground combat will be made.
More detailed plans for naval rearmament will be made at another time, but for now components for one more Dorado-class destroyer are already in storage, sans the engines. As the shipyard is still tooled to the class, the decision is made to assemble the ship once the new INPE engine tech is available. Current mineral stocks allow for the expense, if barely.

   2097

The European Union sees an opportunity in the Argentine situation. The Union has been looking to establish it's own extrasolar colony and has decided to request from Argentina the right to settle Santa María II. EU forces would assume responsibility for the defense of the planet and future EU terraforming projects would benefit both parties. Cooperation in more areas, such as economic, scientific and military projects, is suggested for the future depending on how this initial project goes.
Argentina accepts. Facing off against Russia has shown that the nation can't stand on it's own. Entering a relationship to grow dependent on another entity is something the nation only does reluctantly, but there is a lot to be gained by cooperation with a stronger power.
The first EU colony ships land only months later, establishing the colony of Taíno, named after the indigenous people Cristopher Columbus met when he stepped of the Santa María.

The Lunar shipyards have not stood still the past few years. The PRL fleet swells with 12 "Mighty Dolphin" destroyers in it's ranks, the newest batch a type with faster-reload laser batteries. Together with the older Jiangwei destroyers there are now 18 Chinese warships, before counting support vessels. That is three times as much military tonnage as most nations and still almost twice as much as the nearest competitor, the EU.
The People's Republic of Luna believes in mass production.

After an intensive 7-month training regimen the crew of one of the older Lunar Dolphin destroyers celebrates a perfect maintenance record, leaving all spare parts aboard sealed in storage while some other ships participating in the excercise suffered damage requiring a return to the docks.

Japan is facing a maintenance crisis. The nation was able to begin expanding it's navy, but not the supporting structures. Facilities built for 30k tons of ships are asked to handle nearly four times that amount, resulting in frequent equipment failures while in orbit. Expansion of the facilities requires Neutronium, extraction of which has only recently started on comet Hale-Bopp as a stop-gap measure. A mineral-rich comet in the Grand Bourg system is the intended long-term source. The maintenance crisis is exacerbated by the onset of a Wealth shortage caused by the contracting of civilian shipping to establish the Kobe colony. That not only has the shipping lines not go about their regular, taxable business, but also directly costs money. The mineral outputs of less important civilian mining sites are being redirected to the open market to compensate.
 
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2020, 08:50:02 PM »
   2098

Russian explorers find an almost habitable dwarf planet seven jumps "east" on the map. It's small size would make the terraforming effort required to turn it habitable managable. Unfortunately, the planet bears no minerals and the only two other bodies in the system only have moderate deposits. The location could serve as a forward outpost for further exploration, but the cost of establishing such an installation is not justifiable for the state at current. The search for a Russian extrasolar colony site continues.

The Lunar shipyards hunger for more Gallicite. There are no good comets or asteroids bearing it left in Sol. The Gallicite/Duranium mines on Venus are controlled by Japan with a Russian presence also exploiting them. Fighting for the right to mine the planet and perhaps even conquering the existing mines there is an option, but Venus is still no better than any other deposit in that it requires automines or orbital habitats to be mined.
Thanks to the mines on Mars enough Corundium flows in that mass-production of automines for comet-based deployment elsewhere is possible and a fight for Venus not a necessity. 100 units are ordered, expected to be completed within five years. Candidate locations are an asteroid in Shanghai, a system three jumps from Sol, or Número Ocho, the almost-dwarf planet in Santa María. Since there is already a colony established in Santa María, the choice is obvious. The Argentinians won't be able to stand up to Chinese might for maintaining the exclusivity of their mining site and the deposits are deep enough to last a decade anyway.


Aten and another, smaller Sol deposit were disqualified because of small deposits and no secondary products.

   2099

American manufacturers finish three squadrons of the F-94 Eagle design. As an alternative armament to the big anti-ship missile the strike craft can carry bombardment equipment for ground support operations has been prepared. The Eagle is expected to be a versatile multi-role fighter and a carrier platform to transport it to distant battlefields is currently under development.

The EU Hambach mining complex is seeing reduced returns on Wolf-Harrington and it's Gallicite deposits have been mined out completely. The complex is scheduled to be tugged station by station to a moon around Santa María IV, chosen for it's Gallicite and Boronide deposits. With just one tug available, this will take a while.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 08:56:21 PM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2020, 02:04:04 AM »
   European Union

Research Priorities
Many basic industrial processes have recently been streamlined into a more modern scheme, increasing efficiency in all matters industry: shipbuilding, fuel refining, figther and ordnance production, research itself. This program is now nearing completion and a series of sensor tech upgrades is planned, followed by a joint "large railgun" project with Argentina, who also possesses expertise in the field.

Strategic Situation
The EU is interested in establishing extrasolar colonies and maintaining a presence there but at the same time has no intention of leaving Earth as some other nations have effectively done, sticking to it's "old world" roots. There is some tension with the US Corporate Congress as they wield the real power on Mars while the planet, save for the PRL population present, is nominally a member state of the Union.
The recent partnership with Argentina has allowed the founding of the colony of Taíno without issue and promises to bind Argentina to EU policy, gaining an ally against potential Russian aggression. More than fifty years have passed since the great eastern European wars before the advent of TN tech, but tensions in the region still run high at times.
Six Hades-class cruisers orbit Earth, supported by Adana-class escort frigates. The size of the European navy is second only to the large PRL destroyer fleets. It's outposts are also protected by Adana-class frigates, with two being recently stationed in Santa María.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 22 271
The Hambach mining complex with it's five stations (three mining, two support) is currently being moved to Santa María. Civilian mining operations and the Martian Corundium mines continue to operate at full capacity. Manned mining on Taíno, the EU colony on Santa María planet, will also commence within a years time at good capacity.
All in all, the EU has a large mineral income but still suffers from low income of a few key minerals, mainly Gallicite and Neutronium.

   Russian Federation

Research Priorities
At current missile and related technologies are furthered to enable future generations of missile-armed doctrines. The eventual goal of deploying non-box launcher missile systems is driving much of this.
With an increased Duranium income in recent years the national stockpiles of Mercassium are being turned into three additional research complexes, increasing research capacity by 50%.

Strategic Situation
Current doctrine has demonstrated it's validity with the destruction of the Argentine navy over Machholz. The availability of TN minerals only allows relatively few additional ships to be constructed at current. It's intended to increase current strike capabilities either by deploying more box-launcher frigates of the old Krivak type or a new, reloadable missile ship.
As the nation does not maintain any extrasolar presence tankers for long-range operations are not given priority at current, but two jump frigates are in operation.
Callisto has a civilian population of 55m people these days, allowing for the support of significant military infrastructure. The moon serves as a major fleet base (although the majority of warships are still stationed on Earth) and terraforming installations are slowly creating an atmosphere designed to retain heat, allowing more efficient use of current heating infrastructure. Complete movement of all national facilities to the moon like China and America have done is not feasible at current, but relocation of shipyard operations to the moon may become possible within a decade.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 4 660
Sixty automines on Venus and Machholz and fifty civilian automine-equivalents make up the nation's mineral base. Income is low, but reserves allow for measured expenditure of all minerals except for Corundium, income of which has been added in the successful takeover of Machholz. Due to the reliance on missile doctrines, a source of Tritanium is next on the nations acquisition list.

   Corporate Congress of the United States

Research Priorities
The privately funded scientific efforts throughout the nation continue to be a diverse mess of energy field, sensor tech and ground weapons research at the moment. With no pressing needs for the well-being of the economy the Corporate Congress declines intervention and leaves direction in the hands of it's constituent members.

Strategic Situation
More heavy warships are sorely needed to counter the PRL's growing space navy. The shipwrights on Mars are awaiting a shipyard expansion to begin construction on a new type of vessel, the Mega-class destroyer. It's modeled after the European Hades-class and armed with the very long-range LRT1 Cruise Missiles the F-94 Eagle uses. Able to fire one volley every ten minutes it will exhaust it's magazines within 90 minutes of fighting.

Code: [Select]
Mega class Missile Destroyer      15 999 tons       310 Crew       1 791.1 BP       TCS 320    TH 1 188    EM 0
3711 km/s      Armour 4-56       Shields 0-0       HTK 112      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 5      PPV 59.2
Maint Life 1.33 Years     MSP 436    AFR 402%    IFR 5.6%    1YR 261    5YR 3 921    Max Repair 112.8125 MSP
Magazine 1 094   
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 15 months    Morale Check Required   

General Motors INPE Impulse Drive (5)    Power 1187.5    Fuel Use 44.51%    Signature 237.5    Explosion 9%
Fuel Capacity 731 000 Litres    Range 18.5 billion km (57 days at full power)

United Technologies Plasma Cannon (1)    Range 48 000km     TS: 4 000 km/s     Power 16-2     RM 10 000 km    ROF 40       
Target Tracker 4k (1)     Max Range: 48 000 km   TS: 4 000 km/s     79 58 38 17 0 0 0 0 0 0
Power Bank v2 (2)     Total Power Output 2    Exp 5%

Cruise Missile Ignition Bay (16)     Missile Size: 8    Rate of Fire 570
WD Cruise Missile Guidance Computer (2)     Range 36.9m km    Resolution 80
LRT1 Cruise Missile (136)    Speed: 10 300 km/s    End: 57m     Range: 35.2m km    WH: 16    Size: 8    TH: 51/30/15

ASS2-35M (1)     GPS 2448     Range 35.6m km    Resolution 120
ARS2 "Acquisition Redundancy System" (1)     GPS 288     Range 9.4m km    Resolution 240
Knighten Electronics Heat Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

All important installations operate on Mars now. Martian population has exceeded Earths with 768m US citizens living on the red planet now. This places the nation in a similar situation as China with no important infrastructure left on Earth, although it still shares Mars with two other nations.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 16 499
The majority of minerals continue to be mined by private enterprises throughout Sol. The shared Gallicite mines on Neujmin are becoming uneconomical, a Kuiper belt object with large and moderately accessible deposits is slated to replace Neujmin. To make up for the lower income rate compared to the comet another 100 automines will be produced, courtesy of the Martian mines.
There continues to be no interest in the expensive establishment of an extrasolar presence in the head offices of most major corporations on Mars.

   Japan

Research Priorities
Japanese expert Tayama Kiyomori has received a grant to develop novel new engine technology on ion emission basis following the recent introduction of gas-cooled reactors. The first functional prototypes are expected in five years.
Other research has been concentrated on developing AMM capability and a number of logistical and production technologies, such as the improvement of the nations maintenance infrastructure.

Strategic Situation
Current doctrine is considered vulnerable to missile strikes, as such short-range interceptor rockets to counter such attacks are under development for eventual deployment on escort destroyers.
The Maintenance crisis caused by the sudden expansion of military tonnage without expansion of the underlying infrastructure has been somewhat mitigated by the deployment of new facilities and technologies, but is not over yet.
Colonization is progressing slowly, Neo-Kobe City in the Grand Bourg system has grown to just over 6m inhabitants operating 25 mines. Mining on the richest comet in the system has not begun yet as automines are still being deployed in Sol at current. At current colonization rates the nation will remain dependent on Earth-bound industry for decades to come.
The Venus orbital habitat "cloud city" project has not gotten anywhere yet due to mineral shortages, particularly Neutronium.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 7 617
The nation faces shortages of Neutronium and Corundium with reserves of Boronide, Mercassium and Vendarite also being low. Income is small and limited to 63 automines on Venus and the comet Hale-Bopp. Manned mining operations in Neo-Kobe city are just ramping up. Smart spending will be key to success in the future. As such, it is the intention of Japan to make best use of it's limited resources by creating higher quality ships than it's competitors.

   People's Republic of Luna

Research Priorities
Lunar weapons labs are developing ever bigger and better lasers. Basic laser technologies have become so common they have filtered down to all other nations. Besides lasers, the nation is conducting a program to modernize it's ground forces. With the move to the moon not much focus was placed on surface units for some time, this is now being rectified. Powered infantry armor is being introduced, as most nations have at this point and a large construction program will make the PRL number one in ground forces as well as space forces. For now the project is still in the research phase, however.

Strategic Situation
Without access to the Corundium mines on Mars a larger conflict for resources would have been unavoidable by now. As it stands however the nation can construct large numbers of mines to exploit as many deposits as needed to fill demands.
Within only a few years the PRL was able to grow it's colony on Shèng Yuè in Santa María to a third of the size of the Russian colony on Callisto. The moons are comparable in colonization difficutly and at the current rate the body will become more productive than Mars in just a few years. A hundred mines are already in operation, infrastructure for the establishment of a permanent military base will follow.
The PRL's military might is unmatched and it's navy capable. The interests of other nations are of little concern. Critique of the navy is mostly directed against it's composition, as it's entirely made up of laser-armed energy combatants. While flexible, the nation could afford specialized forces to complement the generalist core.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 16 513
Like with most nations, the mineral most needed at current is Gallicite. The establishment of an automine complex on Número Ocho in Santa María will meet demands in the near future but is not large enough to sustain the nation for long. A good long-term source of the mineral that isn't Venus just hasn't been discovered yet, and the longer one takes to find the farther out from Sol it is.

   Argentine Republic

Research Priorities
INPE drives have been researched, the same level as all other nations. Funding will now go towards ground unit techs.

Strategic Situation
The Machholz incident has shown the nation can't effectively defend itself. Entering into a full military and economic alliance with the EU or any other greater power may be the only path to survival. There is worry about over-dependence and having foreign policy dictated by outsiders, so steps may be necessary to retain national identity and independence.
One ship of an updated version of the Dorado-class destroyer is scheduled to be completed by 2102, exhausting the nation's Gallicite reserves for the moment. As there are no new technological advances in shipbuilding or weaponry expected in the near future it is likely that more Dorados will be built again if mineral stocks allow.
The Lunar establishment of a mining complex on Número Ocho will mine the body of it's reserves faster, but is not of immediate concern and the EU has expressed no interest in contending the PRL for control of the body as it's interests lie elsewhere.

Mineral Income
Total annual mineral income: 2 610
The loss of half the automines on Machholz was a harsh blow. They are being replaced by manned mines coming online on Santa María planet itself, but that just puts the global income back where it was instead of making the situation less tenuous.
All Argentine mining happens in Santa María now, several freighter trips carrying minerals back to Earth have already been made. High-accessibility deposits of all important minerals except for Mercassium are tapped, future development will focus on the expansion of the existing mining complexes as income is still small.


Race comp 2100
« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 10:13:36 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2020, 09:19:31 AM »
   2100 - First Contact

The Russian survey frigate Vityaz engages it's Casartelli device, warping space-time around itself, and emerges in the system designated as Petropavlovsk. This being the sixth time the vessel penetrates an unknown jump point on a survey mission, the results of the initial system body scan are in quickly: Petropavlovsk VI is an Earth-like world with large oceans and a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Closer scans show dense vegetation-like growths appearing like a large fungal jungle covering most of the land surface. The fungal forests might be to blame for the small CO2 content of the atmosphere. If the excess CO2 were to be removed the planet would be immediately habitable for humans, if a bit hot.
A companion star with it's own planetary system orbits the A-type primary at great distance. If a lagrange point could be stabilized in the primary component the outer part might become accessible through it's naturally occuring LP on Petropavlovsk-B VI.
The search for a Russian extrasolar colony site might be over. The crew of the Vityaz is excited about their return through the jump point after scanning the system and reporting their discovery in detail.
On September 10th the crew of the Vityaz detects two strong electromagnetic signatures in it's path towards Petrapavlovsk VI. Less than an hour later the two anomalies on scan turn into five and keep moving towards the ship. When they close to melee range, the Vityaz is torn apart by violent impacts.
The turn of the century would so mark first contact with an alien lifeform. Will the violent nature of the encounter set the tone for the 22nd century, or will it remain an isolated incident?


The location of the first contact system. Of course the aliens had to pick a decidedly non-alien British flag...

On January 1st 2101 the prime minister of the Russian Federation holds an address to the nation and humanity as a whole, disclosing the loss of a survey frigate five jumps from Sol to, what analysts figure, can only be alien weapons fire. He considers it his duty to inform mankind of the potential threat amongst the stars, one which has already claimed sixty lives. He urges an international response to determine the disposition of this intelligent alien force.
He ends the speech saying that he would not mind being wrong about the whole thing and this speech going down in history as nothing but a giant scare.

There was a lot of debate internally if the destruction of the Vityaz by alien weapons should be announced at all, especially given the apparent value of the system. In the end it was considered prudent as keeping the information to oneself with the intention of eventually exploiting the system may not bear fruit, virtually nothing about these aliens (if they are sentient lifeformss and the ship was not instead destroyed by natural phenomena) is known and exploitation of a system this distant is unfeasible within a timeframe in which other exploration programmes would likely come across it.
The information transmitted by the Vityaz prior to it's destruction is sparse, as the bandwidth in systems outside of the stable jump network is very limited. Only short, textual messages from the captain about the discovery of the system, the near-habitable planet and then some reports about closing electromagnetic anomalies were received. Automated telemetry about the destruction of the ship could be interpreted a myriad of different ways, detractors to the "alien warships" hypothesis say.

   2101

International response to the announcement of the existence of aliens is skeptical, but if there is something in that system which can destroy survey ships, it warrants an investigation, whatever it is. The only navies with military jump ships are the Russian and the PRL ones, but the system in question is out of the operational range of Russian ships. PRL space command draws up a scouting operation sending an old INTE-generation jump escort to investigate the planet. The ship is equipped with a powerful thermal array and a long-range scanner and carries a weapon and, most importantly, is expendable. A tanker will escort it partway. The jump point has been located some time ago but hasn't been penetrated by the discovering survey vessel.
On August 2nd, the Xian 2 makes sensor contact with the signatures reported by the Vityaz before it's destruction. There was no presence or anomaly near the wreck of the Vityaz, but the destruction of the vessel was quite complete and fits the destruction patterns caused by energy weapons. As such, the assumption is that the contacts visible are indeed alien vessels. Maneuvering around shows that the aliens adapt their course to a direct intercept. Turning off the engines, which should minimize the thermal signature caused by the ship, has them approach the ship directly, suggesting they can still detect it either way or are heading for the last known location.
Given that the contacts are closing in at over 5.5k km/s, fear starts to set in with the crew, especially as the aliens don't break off their pursuit when the Xian moves away again. Once well in range the commander activates the main sensor, detecting five ships of ~7200t. The captain makes efforts to transmit as much information as possible to command about the alien ships, their behavior and the apparent value of the system. As the distance shrinks to half a million km the crew prepares to fire a warning shot, but the aliens beat the Xian to it, hitting the ship with some kind of energy weapon at 300k km. More impacts rock the vessel, destroying it within a minute.
The 291 crew did not sacrifice their lives in vain, the Xian 2 was able to transmit relatively much before it's destruction. The armored, fleeing vessel was able to withstand the alien fire for some time - longer than the small Russian survey frigate, no doubt. The mission and the information, even the confirmation that it is indeed alien ships, is kept secret by the Chinese in light of the reported value of the system. If this is indeed the full strength of the alien force the PRL fleet should be able to handle them, even if the speed advantage is somewhat concerning. No signals were detected coming from the planet, suggesting it is quite free for the taking. Will the first contact with alien sentient life really mark the start of a war?
For now, another jump ship will be sent to retrieve the tanker from the preceeding system.

Near the end of the year the first civilian extrasolar mining complex is founded by an EU enterprise on an asteroid in Santa María with a high Duranium content. It begins sending back it's output to Taíno, the colony on Santa María planet.

 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2020, 02:43:47 AM »
   2102

US companies are becoming increasingly involved in exploiting Jupiter. A civilian fuel harvester from Bunt shipping now shares the Sorium fields on the gas giant with the Russian harvesters and a different company has established a mining colony on Praxidike, one of the outer moons containing Duranium ores. For now, Russian authorities are tolerating this, but a strategically sound location for US interests this is not, for anything in Jupiter's system is in the immediate range of Russian nukes.

The maintenance crisis that limited Japanese shipbuilding and readiness is all but resolved. All available Neutronium for some time has went into new facilities and technology has advanced to the point where each facility is twice as effective as it originally was, making these the most efficient human maintenance works in existence.

   2103 - PRL Assault

Chinese preperation for the assault on the alien presence is proceeding. Four more destroyers will finish early next year and technology to exploit the system is under development. The additional destroyers are intended to replace possible losses and keep up presence in Sol, the main assault fleet leaves now. The 15 faster destroyers and all their support ships are being sent, the rest will remain in orbit of Luna.
As a force of 21 ships leaving Lunar orbit is hardly inconspicuous, notification is given confirming that the target of the expedition is the alien force reported by the Russians. Military observers in other nations could make of the failure to return by an earlier vessel what they wanted.
On June 25th the fleet arrives and the operation begins. Refueling one last time before transiting into the alien system, the five military tankers are left behind. They would have to return to Sol and bring more fuel before the fleet could come home. The jump ship escorts the destroyers through the jump point, taking up station on the jump point with sensor active to warn of incoming ships. Two random destroyers activate sensors and off the fleet goes, approaching the presumed alien position via the seventh planet as to conceal their approach.


The PRL assault fleet approaches the alien position

On July 8th planet VI comes into sensor range, revealing the five previously known alien ships and two more signatures, each twice the size of the alien ships. This is still well within mission parameters. The notable thing here is that the aliens have opted not to engage the fleet head-on as before, but are remaining on station.
Tension rises as the aliens remain passive while the distance shrinks. At under 2m km distance several ships start to come under a hail of by what appears to be tiny self-propelled projectiles, the launch or approach of which was undetected. Zhong Xiao Chen Dai Tao, commander of the fleet and a man of many talents, has to make a decision. Retreat in the face of a new, invisible weapon or continue approaching the enemy fleet for another eight minutes while under fire? Failure to destroy or even engage a force he outmasses by almost 3:1 would doubtlessly end his career and possibly his life back on Luna. Still, each incoming hit is not very strong and the PRL destroyers are heavily armored. Additionally, the hits so far are distributed over several ships, not concentrated. Chen makes the decision to head deeper into the enemy field of fire, hoping he is not weakened too much - or dead - by the time he gets into energy engagement range.
Half a minute later one of the targeted ships manages to get a fix on an incoming volley, instantly transmitting the information to all the fleet's firecontrols. Point defense destroys nine projectiles, reducing the number of impacts to 24 on the DD Whale. This pattern continues for some time, with incoming volley sometimes being locked by sensors, sometimes not.
A third of the way through the hostile field of fire it becomes clear that the destroyers with active sensors are the focus of the hostile fire. Their heavy armor belt slowly being whittled away, the Dolphin is first to have a hit penetrate and take out a weapon. The option brought forth by his first officer to detach the focused ships and retreat them outside of enemy weapons range is dismissed by Chen, wanting them around to absorb more fire. Away from the main force incoming fire could also not be reduced by the occasional point defense volleys.
A military presence on the planet is detected, likely meaning yet more guns the fleet would have to face once in range of the planet.
By the time the fleet is halfway through the enemy field of fire the Dolphin, which had suffered engine damage, couldn't keep up with the main fleet anymore and had therefore started retreating, is destroyed. Destruction or deactivation of the sensors on the targeted ships had no influence on enemy target selection.


First blood. Every 10 seconds on approach the fleet gets hit by a precursor AMM volley.

Efforts to target volleys flying past the main fleet to hit the stragglers were unsuccessful. Little later the Moray and Whale suffer the same fate.
DD Crab is the next target, looking like it will be destroyed before reaching the planet, when at a distance of 240k km the ship additionally gets hit by energy fire from the alien warships and planetary guns. Most of the distance to the planet has been crossed, but alien energy range proves to be three times as long as the PRL range.
Having sacrificed the Crab, the fleet finally enters energy range. Already four out of fifteen destroyers down, now the real fight begins. The aliens begin by proving the deadliness of their lasers at close range by instantly eviscerating DD Jellyfish, continuing the onslaught of high-speed projectiles all the while.


The melee begins as the PRL fleet finally starts shooting back

Fire on the laser ships proves ineffective, not penetrating the armor. It does, however, cause them to retreat past the planet, opening the distance further. Chen orders the orbital platforms targeted instead - one of which just began directing a massive volume of fire in kinetic projectiles at the fleet together with more ground-based units. This stationary platform proves rather easy to destroy, finally inflicting the first casualty upon the enemy as the sixth PRL destroyer goes down. Turning his fleet back around towards the planet again after having tried to get out of the station's range he orders the next volley on one of the ships keeping distance in an attempt to score a hit before they open the range again. Eleven hits are scored, but still fail to penetrate. It is undeniable that the enemy weapons are much stronger. Two more destroyers fall. It was clear to Chen that he would not get out of this with his life when the Jellyfish was eviscerated in the alien energy first strike, but this is grim. Holding position at 51k his fleet has time to unload their broadsides on the remaining orbital station without response from their close-range fire, allowing the fleet a few seconds of time between impacts. Still, he has no response to the devastating long-range lasers on the surface of the planet, which prove near impossible to hit when fire is directed against them. Their next volley would relieve Chen from the burden of having to come up with a solution as his command ship, the Octopus, is blown apart by the strength-36 ground lasers. Commander Hong takes over command from DD Devilfish. Having lost two thirds of the initial force he orders a retreat out of the planet's range. The alien ships, still at full strength, follow, but don't let themselves get baited into weapons range of the assault fleet anymore. Then, the incredible happens: The aliens break off their pursuit, returning to the planet and remaining there. The bridge crews of the remaining ships were fully expecting the alien vessels to finish them off from outside of weapons range. Could this be them showing mercy? The fleet continues it's retreat, picking up the life pods of the four ships which went down on the approach along the way.


The battlefield as the dust settles

The trip home would have to be delayed until the tankers arrive again, but there was sufficient fuel to get the fleet out of system and away from the jump point. The five remaining destroyers have escaped with their lives.

   2104

The cloak-and-dagger games between American corporations which constitute the politics of that nation have not stood still in the past few years. A new bloc of power has emerged, centered on the many new and profitable Mars businesses. This "interest group" shares many common goals, few of which still have anything to do with expending money on the defense of Earth, an economically dead planet compared to Mars. Power has shifted far enough for them to act independently. The new group seizes power over all ships and assets off-Earth and names itself the Martian Consortium. Having cut ties with their Earth-bound American heritage they have effectively lost the remaining 226m Earth population and the few facilities left on it. But all US citizens which could afford to - and are therefore of any economic significance - have already left Earth for Mars, as such it can be said that nobody important is currently left behind on Earth. The new group considers it's new organisation, free from Earth-bound anchors holding them back, a great success and will look to pursue a different approach in foreign policy.

Tayama Kiyomori develops the first functional ion drive in a Japanese government laboratory. Knowing about the importance of advances in engine technology and unwilling to upset the balance of power this development is kept secret for now. Outwards the pretense will be kept that new ships, like those of all other nations, are being constructed with INPE technology. The first application this novel tech will find is as the propulsion for AMM interceptors.

Russian exploration has this year located two somewhat near-habitable planets far from Sol, one of which bears deposits of all elven minerals at varying accessibilities. The search for a Russian colony site may finally bear fruit.

By the end of October the PRL assault fleet finally returns to Sol. After some back and forth with the tankers the fleet finally arrives on Luna, over a year after the battle and after 18 months in space, at the very edge of what the ships will tolerate. Consequences the PRL draws from the fighting are translated into action immediately. The remaining first-generation Mighty Dolphin destroyers are upgraded to the mk II variant with faster-firing and longer-ranged lasers, as the refit mainly costs Corundium. With repairs, refits and overhauls the Lunar shipyards will be busy for the immediate future. The next generation of PRL shipbuiling will no doubt be a direct response to the lessons learned in this battle, primarily concerned with countering the devastating effects of an enemy speed and range advantage.
As the alien force seems content to stay in it's system, the assumption is that they pose no immediate threat to humanity. The outpost seemed to be of purely military nature, as even on their closest approach to the planet the fleet never detected more than the military units on the surface. Dislodging these fortified and well-armed ground forces is a task the PRL strategists have no answer for at current, given it's near-invincibility by direct fire and the devastating strength and range of their lasers. The ships still present need to be out-ranged or out-sped by a sizable force, something considered achievable.
The results of the battle are not made public, though the PRL fleet, by far the strongest human space navy, running home with their tail tucked between their legs speaks volumes.

Argentine exploration ships, looking to make up for lost time by foregoing closer exploration avenues and pushing deeper into unknown space, have for the first time revealed a jump point back to a previously known system. The connection is not advantageous but may require some creative rearranging of the map to better reflect adjacencies.

The new Martian Consortium is looking to secure it's influence over the red planet. The first step of this involves removing the PRL presence still mining the planet in force. With the expedition fleet coming back beaten down all proper PRL warships are at this time in the shipyards estimated at varying states of readiness, leaving only the old Jiangwei destroyers to contend with - which have already been beaten once at the Battle of Mars 20 years ago.
Given that the Consortium has the superior force in space for now demanding the Chinese remove their colony is possible, but would allow them to delay until their forces are ready again. An immediate ground invasion of the PRL territories on Mars is needed.
On November 26th by the Earth calendar the Martian Consortium begins ground combat operations on Mars on the grounds that the PRL violated their old demands they don't found a colony on Mars, something they forced through use of weapons and the destruction of a US military ship.
The ground attack is devastating, within a day both the Martian PRL defenders as well as the defenders of the PRL CMC on Neujmin were virtually annihilated within a day, utterly failing in their mandate to withstand a ground invasion for long enough for reinforcements to arrive. On Mars, 300 mines, 30 landed small civilian colony ships and 126m stunned population are now under Consortium control. The Neujmin invasion happened primarily because there was already a Consortium ground force present, the mines on the body are end-of-life, expecting to mine the remaining Mercassium deposits within a few years.

The whole affair is over before the Chinese even have a chance to respond, and as much as they might want to the analysis of the new Martian Consortium that their space navy is wholly incapacitated is true. Not putting every ship in repair immediately and holding some back was not possible as the ships were starting to mount systems failures due to the long time since last overhaul. The newly constructed batch was already undergoing overhaul as it finished a training tour.
The American strike may have come at the perfect time, but that does not mean the PRL is willing to simply abandon the 300 mines and it's citizens on Mars. They will be conquered back when the PRL fleet has returned to strength - eventually.
And so the end of 2104 marks the beginning of open Martian-Lunar hostilities.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 07:41:17 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2020, 08:19:41 AM »
   2105

PRL analysis of the new situation following the Martian annexiation of the PRL mining colony on the planet is as follows: the loss of 300 manned mines is a heavy blow to long-term income and should be the primary objective to recover. Loss of access to the Martian Corundium deposits is inconvenient, but two decades of mining it have allowed for the 150 automines and 100 manned mines now in operation in Santa María to be constructed. Corundium is plentiful on the asteroid Número Ocho, making reestablishment of the Martian mining operations not as important as the recovery of the facilities themselves. The loss of the population on Mars could be ignored despite their somewhat substantial size as population reserves on Earth are still massive, but for political reasons their liberation should also be a primary goal. It would not do to be seen as a government that doesn't care about it's people. Finally, 30 small civilian colony ships have been seized by the American Consortium during their assault. Their number is not high enough to be a significant reduction of PRL civilian colony shipping to have a strategic effect, nor are they likely to be of much use in the hands of the Consortium now that they have to pay for the fuel. Similarly to be ignored is the loss of the Neujmin CMCs as they were only mining trace deposits of Mercassium at this point, but the willingness of the Martian Consortium to seize unrelated civilian mining outposts on other bodies can be used as justification for similiar seizures on our side.

PRL exploration ships uncover the same near-habitable planet the Russians recently found. Once their mineral survey reports it's riches a race for colonization may well start - beginning with the development of jump point stabilizers in both nations.

The Argentinian survey cruiser Chubut has been destroyed by aliens while conducting a geosurvey in a system codenamed La Plata. Information is sparse, especially since Russian and Chinese sources were unwilling to diclose detailed information about their alien encounters, but all signs point to this force being of the same kind encountered by other nations previously.


Isn't it always interesting to see how other people color their event log? I wish there was a default scheme and I wouldn't need to try to keep it consistent between six races.

The loss of the Chubut has devastating effects. The ship was a powerful national and international symbol, being the first Argentine ship to be completed and the first ship to transit a jump point, discovering another star system, it stood for the new age of human exploration and colonization. The famous announcement of the Russian president on new years 2101 focused on the existence of aliens, not so much on the threat they posed. The destruction of the human icon of peaceful exploration by alien weapons causes a shift towards xenophobia and militarism in the general populace. The Argentine space program with it's limited resources can hardly afford to lose ships like this as well. Orders are given to the remaining explorers to avoid approaching habitable-looking planets for now.

Russian trials also concerned with the problem of detecting threats before they reach a slow and vulnerable survey ship fail. A set of slow, sensor-equipped missiles was built. Prototypes launched from military craft showed operational promise in the system, but the probes failed to detect anything when launched towards the busy civilian ports of Mars. Back to the drawing board.

A joint EU-Argentine military R&D project finishes. Pooling the knowledge of the Krupp defense company and Aragão Armaments for several years resulted in both general advances in railgun technology as well as two specific weapon systems making use of them: The Aragão Light Mass Driver 2, an upgrade over the older system with better projectile ballistics, and the all-new Krupp Heavy Autocannon, a 20cm railgun capable of hitting out to 160k km, intended for ship-to-ship combat. Both systems are now available to each nation, although the Argentine side would not be able to replicate the railgun systems to this extent and the somewhat more advanced Argentine capacitor designs used throughout the project remain out of the hands of the European engineers.
Both sides profit: The Argentine side gains a heavier and longer-ranged direct-fire system without having to invest heavily into it's development and the EU shipbuilders gain a weapons system considerably more efficient for point defense than the current Krupp Autocannons.
In November the EU begins refitting it's Hades-class cruisers to carry the heavier autocannons while Argentina adjusts it's yard to build Dorado-class destroyers with updated mass drivers.

By the end of October all 9 existing modern PRL destroyers have completed repairs, refits and overhauls and are operational again, putting the nation back in the fight. Several support ships are still undergoing work. Seeing as Gallicite is still short and intended to be used for the next generation of PRL warships and not for more replacements immediate aggression against the Martian Consortium may remain muted.
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2020, 04:18:21 PM »
   2106

The EU asteroid mining operation is wrapping up operations in Santa María. Unfortunately only that one asteroid was worth mining, the only other minable location in system is the sole comet which carries no Gallicite or Boronide and only half accessibility Neutronium, which are the three minerals Europe lacks. The stations are to be tugged to Bremen, three jumps from Sol towards the first encountered presence of the aliens, a system with 611 asteroids including many mineral-bearing ones. It should be able to host the mining complex for the foreseeable future.

The Martian Consortium has found a way to get use out of the captured PRL colony ships: scrapping them. Each ship yields an approximate 187 tons of reusable TN minerals, boosting Consortium stockpiles by over 5000 units of mostly Mercassium and some Gallicite, the latter of which is sorely needed.

One of the two large PRL fuel harvester stations in orbit of Neptune is being towed to Santa María V, the gas giant around which the Shèng Yuè colony orbits. There it will join a small Argentinian fuel harvester already mining the giant. The reason for the move is to spread out the eggs amonst more baskets. Neptune still remains without military presence by any Sol power as of yet.

A PRL explorer has discovered a new connection between a system six jumps out from Sol and Córdoba, the comet-only system two jumps behind Santa María inside the previously thought closed-off pocket. The concept of dormant jump point is only now being formulated to explain this and similar discoveries and the other nations don't know about the connection yet. It is unlikely to have strategic importance, but shaves off a few billion km for travel to that distant system.

   2107

The EU founds a low-gravity colony on Número Ocho, the large mineral-rich asteroid in Santa María. Creating enough artifical gravity units for an entire population will cost much Boronide, which the union is short on, but which is also a primay product of Número Ocho. The move is not without political risks as the PRL (and Argentina) also conduct automining operations on the body.

Japan begins refitting it's destroyer fleet to ion drives. The refits cost more than half of what a new ship would cost each, but Japanese maintenance capacity remains limited and, unlike in other nations, leadership does not believe in keeping outdated vessels around. Once these refits are done the long-awaited AMM escort program is scheduled to launch - the AMMs themselves have long been designed and stores built up.

A controversial Argentine program to found a new colony, Tablada City, is starting. Years ago Japanese explorers found a habitable ocean world five jumps from Sol. While an encouraging confirmation that habitable planets could naturally form on their own, it was largely passed over as a serious colony site for a near-total lack of minerals in the system (or even bodies in general) and the fact that the planet, tide-locked and almost fully covered in liquid water, only has preciously little space for colonists.
The new Argentine colony is supposed to use the nation's advantage of having commercial jump tenders, meaning only they could found a colony there at present. A large part of the driving factor behind the project is simple national prestige and keeping up the image to be at the forefront of interstellar exploration and colonization, even in the wake of the loss of the Chubut. Practically, the location can serve as a base for further exploration missions in the surrounding systems. Critics say any resources put towards this would be better spent growing the Santa María colony which is already being dwarfed 14:1 by the large European settlements on the planet.

   2108 - The Second Machholz Incident

PRL command executes a plan to test Consortium will for war and their capabilities, particularly of the new Mega class destroyer who's capabilities are largely unknown to the PRL. The plan is to provoke a naval response by invading Machholz and the Consortium's Corundium mines on it, claiming them as partial recompense for loss of the Martian Corundium mines.
Given their slow nature the troop transports are to be escorted by the slower Jiangwei destroyers. Half the Dolphins will participate in the operation by standing by in deep space. Showing the enemy beatable ships and choosing a target in the inner solar system where it can be reached before they finish unloading their troops is obvious bait designed to probe the Martian response. Analysts are confident the Dolphin squadron can beat the older fleet of American frigates which have not received significant upgrades since the Battle of Mars.
Alarm bells don't start ringing in the Consortium until the PRL force transits the Earth LP to the Venus LP and sets course towards Machholz, crossing half the distance to the comet without having had to give away their destination. Diplomatic inquiries followed by protests are issued, but they are not expected to have any effect. The Mega is ordered to abort training exercises and fuel up along with the rest of the fleet.


Sneaky approach by way of LP2

The Consortium can't afford to send a large fleet away from Mars for lack of planetary defenses. Given that the PRL force escorting the transports consists of the old "Dinosaur" destroyers which are known to be beatable by the plasma frigates, which make up the bulk of the Consortium fleet, it can be assumed that this force is intended to lure the plasma fleet away from Mars. Reconquest of their lost Mars colony is their stated main goal after all.
The decision is made only hours later, before the PRL fleet even arrives at Machholz, to send the Mega, a few escort laser frigates and all three F-94 Eagle squadrons to intercept the Chinese. They would also take the LP and fall in behind them.
The Consortium has failed to detect the Dolphin flotilla which left Luna beforehand and has taken up position 20m km from Machholz. The PRL detects the Mega and three frigates leaving Mars orbit towards the Earth LP but fails to detect the fighter squadrons escorting the ships. PRL command is pleased the Mega has left orbit, as finding out that ship's capabilities is one of the primary goals of the operation.


The chase

As the PRL fleet closes on the comet the Consortium ground force is revealed to be quite small, only the usual token defense force. The PRL force arrives on Machholz before the Martian fleet gets into strike range. Firing on the PRL force while stationary was the intent of Commander Ziv aboard the Mega either way, as having the missiles chase them would give them more time to detect them and shoot them down. Target selection once in range is simple: the Mega directs eight launchers each onto two of the destroyers, the fighters fire all 18 missiles on the DD Tyrannosaurus, which is the ship that destroyed the USS Richard P. Leary during the Battle of Mars 24 years ago.


More wrecks around Machholz?

The missile strike is detected by the Machholz DSTS fourty minutes after launch, along with the fighter squadrons escorting the Consortium task force. With those units known and the disposition of the missile strike known a reasonable assumption about the Mega's capabilities can now be made.
The Dolphin squadron is too far away to join the rest of the group before the strike hits, but is ordered to start moving anyway to be better prepared for eventual future strikes. This first volley the destroyers will have to tank.
Half the incoming missiles are destroyed by point-defense fire - unfortunately the entire half targeting DD Tyrannosaurus is not intercepted and impacts, destroying the ship with 16 str-16 detonations. The Americans have avenged their loss around Mars.
Commander Ziv on the Mega has held his fire awaiting the results of this first strike before launching more ordnance. The destruction of one hostile ship is commendable, but the destruction of half the volley by point defense fire is worrying as that amount of fire is exactly what he can put out with the Mega. Even more worrying is that the Chinese have shown their ace in the hole as thermal sensors have just picked up four of their newer destroyers approaching Machholz from deep space. He sends the Eagle squadrons home to rearm, which will take a day. He is unable to push the PRL fleet off of Machholz without an energy engagement with major parts of the fleet helping, something command is not prepared to commit to - not over a mining outpost. PRL ground forces will still take at least a day or two to unload, forcing their warships to stay in orbit. The decided course of action is for the fighters to come back tomorrow and to attempt a second missile strike, hopefully costing the enemy another ship. The Mega and it's escorts are safe to stay on station off of Machholz, Both they and the PRL fleet have a very similar speed and will be unable to catch each other before either side could run all the way home.
The PRL's judgement of the situation is favorable. The loss of one old destroyer is entirely acceptable and with the other destroyers joining the task force more missiles shouldn't be able to get through. They would be able to sit here until the comet was theirs.
38 hours later the fighters link up with the Mega again for the second strike. The targets have not moved. All missiles are launched towards a single target. The results are most disappointing, 32 out of 34 missiles get shot down. Only one makes a connection. Disheartened, the Consortium forces retreat, leaving Machholz in the hands of the Chinese. Two days later the six Consortium CMCs on the body begin sending their output to Luna instead of Mars.

In the postmortem of the engagement both sides conduct a review of their fleet's performance. The Martian fighters are considered to have performed well, being able to undertake successive actions in the inner solar system without assistance and being the element that boosted damage to a level where it could hurt the enemy. More squads to join the existing three are recommended. The PRL side considers their ability to absorb enemy fire as their greatest strength between this engagement and the battle with the aliens, reinforcing their armor-heavy doctrine further. Still, they lacked the ability to actually engage the enemy themselves in this operation. Faster warships or missile armament themselves are needed. Faster engines are already under development as a consequence of the engagement with the aliens.
Actually taking control of Machholz and it's Corundium mines was only a secondary objective of the fight, but it has been achieved as well. More important is to know the new preference of the capitalists for missile weaponry. Now that this is known a counter can be prepared.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 07:30:51 AM by Zap0 »
 
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2020, 12:56:27 PM »
   2108 (cont.)

The Russian state is looking to secure itself a source of Tritanium to secure it's future ordnance production. A new generation of extremely capable missiles has just entered production and reserves will run out in eight years at the current rate of 100 heavy missiles manufactured every year. Conquest of an EU or Argentinian mining operation may be an option, but no suitable targets are around. There may be no alternative to establishing a mining operation from the ground up. The state still has sufficient mines for conversion but Corundium stores and income are limited, as is industrial capacity.

As a consequence of their failed ground campaigns during the first Machholz incident Argentina is the first nation to deploy military construction units. This will help them fortify their units better

The Martian Consortium loses a geological survey craft to unknown alien weapons seven jumps from Sol in orbit of an uninhabitable desert world. The source of the fire was not detected as the old American survey ships lack passive sensors. Another exploration program joins the club for trying to detect alien presences before they destroy survey ships. Aside from "really big passive sensors" and "shoot missiles at suspicious planets and see if they get shot down" no options have been discovered yet.

   2109

The EU and Argentine exploration programs will work more closely together in the future, sharing gravsurvey and geosurvey data with another. As the agreement only applies to newly gathered data the benefits to another will take time to develop.

The European Hambach mining complex is finally in position in the system named Bremen. In the time it took for all the stations to arrive the first asteroid has already been mined out, the Hercules class tug is now moving the complex to the next designated mining location in the system.

A Chinese exploration vessel makes a curious discovery in an empty brown dwarf system eight jumps from Sol: a stabilized jump point. This location is far outside of the network of systems the Europeans have stabilized, so is this a naturally stable jump point or has an alien empire stabilized it? Scientists agree that the former is unlikely. The ship moves to investigate, jumping through.

   2110 - Second Contact

Seven alien ships of a new race are discovered in orbit of the first planet. To the great relief of the survey crew the aliens remain passive as the ship approaches. It seems not all aliens shoot on sight. The planet itself has a nitrogen atmosphere but is otherwise pretty dead, so it's unlikely to be the home of another sentient spacefaring species to the minds of the surveyors. Communication attempts using short-range radio emissions are made, but it quickly becomes clear that proper communication will take a long time to achieve.

Russian military labs on Callisto are testing new plasma weapons. They are chiefly concerned with energy weapons to equip their ground troops, not their ships, and plasma weapons are the most cost-effective for that purpose.

Tension over Mars grows as the Consortium alleges that the EU does not spend adequately on defense of the red planet. It is true that their force stationed on Mars is small both compared to the total European forces and the Martian navy present. The planet, despite it's large population and extensive mines, is not nearly as important as Earth to the EU however.
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2020, 12:58:30 PM »
Okay, it's been a while since I touched this. Shall we reacquaint ourselves with our competitors?

The last post I had mostly played and written up already, just not posted.



   European Union

Colonies
Earth, 1132m
- capital
Mars, 446m
- 350 mines: Duranium, Corundium
- 32k maintenance capacity
- tension with the Martian Consortium over overlordship of the planet
36 CMCs in Sol
Taíno (Santa María II), 82m, CC 2
- minor amounts of manufacturing industries
- 100 mines: Duranium, Uridium
- 10 terraformers
Número Ocho, 1m, CC 2 (LG)
- large asteroid/dwarf planet in Santa María
- shared with Argentine and PRL autominers
- low gravity colony
- being terraformed (very quickly due to small size)
5 CMCs in Santa María
Salto III Moon 3
- listening post, 10 DST
- system between Sol and Santa María
- can detect traffic near Sol JP
Hambach Mining Complex
- stationed in Bremen, 3 jumps from sol. Asteroid rich system
- 3x station with 50 asteroid mining modules each
- 1x maintenance station for 4 frigates (32k) and 1x recreation station
- two frigates on permanent station

Fleet
6x Hades B Cruiser, 20k
- 24 fast-firing missile launchers
- strong secondary rail armament
- slow. Secondary armament serves to discourage other ships closing to energy range
- largest military ships in space at 20k tons
9x Adana A Frigate, 8k
- many deployed as station guards: 2x Earth, 3x Mars, 2x Taíno, 2x Hambach
- inefficient railgun armament intended as PD
- newer, faster variant with more efficient Argentine railguns in production (3x in training), old ships can continue to serve
36x Eurofighter, 500 t
- 24x Earth, 12x Mars
- ~10 box launchers each
- slow, unupdated, vulnerable in their positions against enemies striking point-blank
- no carrier capacity to move them
1x Aachen, 20k
- fuel/supply/ordnance ship
- 1k magazine
- fuel capacity: 3m

4x survey cruiser, 8k
3x stabilization ship, 67k
- 180d module
3x Hambach mining platform, 254k
- 50 mining modules each
1x Quad Destroyer Drydock, 102k
- 32k maintenance capacity
1x Administrative complex, 102k
- recreation station
1x Hercules tug, 67k
- stationed with Hambach mining complex
2x Eirik Raude fuel refinery station, 267k
- Neptune
- 9.6m l per year total
2x Starfreighter tanker
- large, slow tanker
- 30m l capacity
1x troop transport


The EU fleet is centered around the six Hades-class cruisers, the largest human warships currently in existence. Escorts provide point defense for the capitals and protect colonies and other assets. There are no jump ships in service, the EU relies on it's stabilizers for access to remote systems. Other military support ships are one small tanker/supply vessel and two large commercial tankers which may be unsuited to accompany a fleet.
Tonnage-wise the fleet is the largest after the PRL fleet, even after their losses at the hands of the aliens. A more modern run of the Adana class escort frigates is being built now to replace the older ones. Refits are not possible as every major system of the frigates is being replaced. The new escorts are quite similar in profile to the Argentine Dorado class destroyers with whom they share the same weapon system.
The European Cerberus missiles may not carry the punch of the Russian Pavlov or even the American cruise missiles but hope to make up for that shortcoming with greater numbers. Being size 3 with a warhead of 4 each ship can carry more of them, which should make an EU missile strike harder to defend against than one of their competitors. No AMMs are employed by the EU, they rely entirely on railguns for missile defense.


Strategic Situation
The EU has a minor conflict brewing with the Martian Consortium over the Mars colony, but the real enemy is considered to be Russia. Argentina has been won as an ally after their loss against Russia. Still, at current there are no great tensions and Russian strength is not overbearing, allowing the EU to focus on extrasolar colonies instead. Recent focus has been on turning the Taíno colony in Santa María into a self-sustaining manufacturing economy independent of Earth, the first such project.

Economic Situation
Mineral stocks are low on Gallicite and Neutronium, as is the case with most nations. With mining operations on Mars, Santa María and the Hambach mining complex income is acceptable however.


   Russian Federation

Colonies
Earth, 756m
- capital, shipyards, manufacturing, ordnance production financial centers
Callisto, 119m, CC 4.1
- main fleet base, ground construction
- 60 mines: Vendarite, Corbomite
- 10 terraforming installations: adding greenhouse gas to reduce CC further
- research in the process of being moved here from Earth
- goal is to get all critical infrastructure off Earth, mainly shipyards. Limit: worker capacity
11 CMCs and 70 automines in Sol (Venus, Machholz)

Fleet
6x Krivak Missile Frigate, 4k
- 24 box launchers each
- fast, but outdated engines, so average speed nowadays (4k)
- 3x are AB subtype: Anti-Bomber. Has special fire control to target fighters
2x Kirov Sensor Frigate, 4k
- large missile and fighter detection arrays
- unarmed
8x Moskva Escort Frigate, 4k
- AMM escort, 10 launchers, 100 capacity
- faster than the Krivaks/Kirovs (5k)
2x Kuznetsov Jump Frigate
- unarmed

1x Slava Supply Ship, 4k
- dedicated MSP carrier
7x Kresta Survey Frigate, 4k
6x Kiev Fuel Harvester, 50k
- 4.32m l per year total
- stationed on Jupiter near Callisto colony
4x fuel transporter, 10l
- 3.8m l capacity each
2x troop transport

Strategic Situation
The navy is growing incresingly obsolete and there is not enough Gallicite to replace ships or engines or even expand the limited strike capacity. Novel concepts to make the most out of each unit of Gallicite are being considered.
Establishment of a rich extrasolar colony is one of the main goals and now that a possible location has been found five jumps from Sol a project to stabilize the jump points there is underway. Unbeknownst to Russia, the PRL is also planning to colonize that body.


Economic Situation
Gallicite is the main shortage, but reserves of many other secondary minerals aren't too large either. Tritanium in particular is a worry as ordnance production is critical to the navy. Conquest of a mining outpost, like it was done with Machholz, would be ideal but is not considered possible at the moment.


   Martian Consortium (USA)

Colonies
Mars, 1415m
- capital, only populated body
48 CMCs and 200 automines in Sol

Fleet
2x Mega Missile Destroyer, 16k
- reduced reload missile launch platforms (16 tubes)
- large, long range missiles
- decent speed (3.7k) and range (18b)
10x Lexington v4 Frigate, 6k
- plasma armament
- 2x are sensor variants with slightly reduced weapons
6x Enterprise Frigate, 6k
- turreted lasers
- 9k tracking
26x F-96 Eagle, 250 t
- single box launcher tube for heavy cruise missile
- can take on ground support role
- being built up to 40x units
- no carrier

4x survey frigate, 6k
- 1x Geosurvey, 3x Gravsurvey
- armed
1x tractor ship, 24k
1x salvage ship
2x troop transport
no fuel harvesters

Strategic Situation
The Martian Consortium seeks to consolidate it's hold over Mars. Nominally the planet is a member of the European Union, who also have many civilians, a large mining operation and a small military presence on the planet. The Consortium has already incurred the ire of the PRL by conquering their large mining colony on Mars, starting open conflict with both the largest (the PRL) and the second largest (the EU) space force of humanity would be inadvisable, so current efforts are political and propagandist: seperatist sentiment is stirred among the EU citizen population and Martian nationalism bolstered.

Economic Situation
Wealth shortage due to lack of civilian shipping income, being compensated by taxing more CMCs.
Gallicite is short and being automined in Sol, Martian Corundium income can afford many mines here.
A colony must be founded to stimulate the civilian shipping sector again, but interest in extrasolar colonies remains vague.


   Japan

Colonies
Earth, 795m
- capital, all installations
Venus, 18m, CC 25
- population lives in infrastructure, no manufacturing sector
- 50 automines
- Russian automines also present
27 CMCs and 51 automines in Sol
Neo-Kobe City, 12m, CC 2
- Grand Bourg system, 1j past Santa María
- 60 mines: high accessibility Duranium, Boronide, Corundium
- planet at -47°C, 2 atm nitrogen pressure, 100% covered in ice sheet and has 0.28 terraform rate: terraforming very expensive

Fleet
8x Tama B/C Destroyer, 12k
- particle beams
- shields
- half of them have undergone secret refits to upgrade their engines to faster ion engines
10x Amai Fighter, 500 t
- microwave armed
2x Hiro tanker, 6k
- 2.5m l capacity
- designed to extend Tama-class operational ranges
- slow

4x survey cruiser, 12k
2x troop transport
6x fuel harvester, 50k
- Neptune
- 5m l per year total

Strategic Situation
With a high-tech destroyer fleet and high-tech ground troops deployed the Japanese government feels secure and is focused on it's long-term colony projects on Venus and Neo-Kobe City. The first orbital habitat for Venus will be built soon now that enough Neutronium to create a shipyard big enough for a decent tug could be scrounged up.
AMM escort destroyers will be built once current engine refits complete.

Economic Situation
Japan is the only nation not hit by a Gallicite shortage due to the Venus income. Neutronium (for shipyard expansion/retooling and maintenance facts), Vendarite (ground troops) and Mercassium (research labs) are the current shortages. Some of these will require new sources to be tapped.


   People's Republic of Luna (China)

Colonies
Earth, 2.7b
- maintenance facilities, ground units
Luna, 890m
- capital, all manufacturing/yards, research etc.
38 CMCs and 50 automines in Sol
Shèng Yùe, 38m, CC 7.9
- resource-rich moon of Santa María V: Duranium, Neutronium, Corbomite, Vendarite and Uridium in high quantities and accessibilities
- being terraformed
- maintenance facilities for small destroyer squadron
2 CMCs and 100 automines in Santa María (on Número Ocho)

Fleet
9x Mighty Dolphin II, 12k
- heavily armored laser destroyer
5x Jiangwei II, 12k
- outdated laser destroyer
5x Jiangjuan I/II, 12k
- military tanker/supply ship
- token armament
- 3x are newer versions which can keep up with Dolphin-class destroyers
- 2.5 to 4.5m fuel capacity each
3x Xian I/II/III, 12k
- jump escorts
- token armament
- only the newest ship fast enough to keep up with Dolphin-class destroyers

5x Yinchuan class Survey Cruiser, 12k
2x tugs, 50k
3x troop transport
2x fuel refinery station, 270k
- 9.6m l per year total
- one on Neptune, one on the Gas Giant Shèng Yùe orbits

Strategic Situation
The PRL this year deployed new and powerful ground laser units to all it's major colonies.
The primary antagonist in Chinese minds is the Martian Consortium which occupied the PRL Mars colony six years ago. With ship numbers still below where they were before the engagement with the aliens all-out war with the Consortium will have to wait.
Encountering a non-hostile alien race in the far reaches of space could have any number of implications. For now the encounter is not being made public. The survey ship which made first contact was ordered to finish surveying the system before continuing communication attempts. A special project is being prepared to establish relations with the aliens, if at all possible.

Economic Situation
No Gallicite, enough of everything else. Santa María Gallicite deposts on Número Ocho will run dry soon, a distant colony in a system called Wenzhou is planned. A stabilization ship is under construction to enable civilian shipping to reach the location.


   Argentine Republic

Colonies
Earth, 445m
- capital, all manufacturing
Santa María II, 6m, CC 2
- 35 mines: mainly Duranium and Uridium
- planet shared with EU colony
Tablada City, 0.23m, CC 0.37
- colony outside of currently stabilized network -> unreachable by civilian shipping
- intended as exploration base
- maintenance facilities for 10k shipping underway
- no way to move maint. supply there yet
Número Ocho (asteroid/dwarf planet)
- mining colony site, shared with PRL and EU
- 26 automines: Duranium (low amount), Boronide, Uridium, Corundium, Gallicite (low amount)

Fleet
3x Dorado Destroyer, 10k
- fast (5k), modern versions with 10x4 light railguns
- each ship has a different resolution main sensor: R10, R120, R240
1x Aspirante Morel Jump Destroyer, 10k
- lightly armored but unarmed
- older, slower engines than modern destroyers (4k)

3x survey cruiser, 10k
3x civilian jump tender, 30k
- with 50k size civilian jump drives, enough for virtually any standard freighter
3x fuel harvester
- 2x Neptune, 1x Santa María, 1x more under construction
1x troop transport

Strategic Situation
Argentina is too weak to stand on it's own and is allied with the EU. It has limited capacities for virtually everything: a single military and civilian yard, few mines, a low amount of research labs, low mineral stocks, low maintenance capacities, little shipping.
Recent investments into ground forces hope to enable the nation to have local superiority on individual bodies.

Economic Situation
Argentine mineral stocks are as low as ever, with Gallicite and secondarily Duranium being the primary concern. All mining happens in Santa María now and must be moved to Earth to be utilized. A new source of Gallicite will have to be found yet again as the PRL strip miners on Número Ocho will deplete the reserves within a few years. In addition, Argentina does not have civilian mining operations.


Race comps 2110 - The EU has high fuel on ships because I SM'd their tug to over it's capacity as there is a bug with tug fuel requirements.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2020, 01:23:34 PM by Zap0 »
 
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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2020, 07:56:28 PM »
   2111

A EU survey cruiser detects artificial emissions from the surface of a planet in it's path, marking first alien contact for an EU ship. It also detects the wreck of another ship in orbit, apparently of human make. Putting two and two together, the ship turns to leave the system. Before jumping out, they warn a Russian survey ship that had just entered the system.

In November a different Russian exploration frigate encounters hostile ships of the known alien race in a system six jumps from sol as they activate sensors. Their point of origin seems to be a dead terrestrial world. The frigate is destroyed by missiles, leaving the state with six explorers and the still unresolved problem of how to detect these threats before they destroy you.

By the end of the year many powers are investing into faster engine technology, either to get an advantage over another or the aliens they have encountered. Improved Nuclear Pulse Engines were considered the plateau for recent years, with only the Japanese secretly upgrading to ion engines. As a consequence, they are now in possession of a very modern and capable fleet. PRL scientists also arrived at the principles of ion engines in their search for a counter to the alien fleets, Russia depends on fast ships and missiles and Argentina is plain worried about falling behind in tech.

   2112

The mining operation supposed to keep Gallicite flowing towards Luna is being established on a moon in a system named Chongqing, four jumps from Sol and one system before the new Argentine colony site of Tablada City.
The Argentine replacement for Número Ocho's fading Gallicite deposits will be a small moon in Aguascalientes, the system reachable through Sol's asteroid belt JP. Between 10 and 20 automines will be mining up to 10k units each of Duranium, Gallicite, Vendarite and some smaller deposits there.


The star map, PRL view

The Martian Consortium founds a civilian colony on Salto IV, the busy transit system between Sol and Santa María. The Earth-sized planet is a cold desert world without any TN resources but has a thin atmosphere, making it comparable with Mars in regards to terraforming. The colony is being founded mostly to stimulate the Martian civil economy but it's strategic location between 90m and 750m km from the Sol JP puts it in an interesting position as this puts it 4b km closer to any extrasolar destination compared to the inner Sol sytem.

A training accident makes an engine unit on an Argentine destroyer unusable. The repairs will cost five months worth of Gallicite production.

The Russian box-launcher frigates are the oldest warships in space and have for the past fifty years not received any notable upgrades along with their escort vessels. The Krivak launch platforms in particular were built before effective TN armor had emerged and are clad in crude Duranium plating. A series of refits to all warships will replace their plating and upgrade their electronics. Engine upgrades, what the old majority INTE-engined vessels really need, are not possible for lack of Gallicite. On the Krivak launch platform a gambit is made: the freed tonnage by the replacement of armor and the electronics miniaturization is used to increase the number of launch tubes by 50% to 32 but the armor will remain paper thin. The state may not be able to build more ships, but it can pack more punch into the existing ones.

   2113

Russia takes the lead in their colonization race with the PRL by being the first of the two to complete a stabilization ship. There are four stabilizations to be completed for Novokuzneck III to be reachable and their chosen stabilization equipment is the compact 360 day variant.
The planet in question is of particular interest because of the presence of all 11 TN elements on it's surface. With a CC of 2, medium ground survey potential, a nitrogen-carbon dioxide-oxygen atmosphere and a large hydrographic extent on top of that it's the best colony site human explorers have found to date.

Code: [Select]
Duranium: 74 005 778 0.30
Neutronium: 54 641 664 0.10
Corbomite: 29 052 100 0.70
Tritanium: 148 225 0.10
Boronide: 21 344 400 0.80
Mercassium: 49 098 049 0.80
Vendarite: 4 322 241 0.70
Sorium: 2 371 600 0.10
Uridium: 2 869 636 0.10
Corundium: 35 153 041 0.10
Gallicite: 39 866 596 0.50

   The Third Machholz Incident

Argentine military planners are making plans to reconquer the lost mining outpost on Machholz with European help. The crux of the matter is how to defend against the Russian missile volley of at least 100 heavy warheads. Together with the recently expanded EU forces enough escort destroyers should now be available to absorb such a strike without too great a danger. The remaining question lies in how to distrubute this defensive power over different points: the landing force targeting Machholz needs to be protected in any scenario.
There are two reasons for why an operation must happen now. First, it may not be much time before the Russians can move their shipyards away from Earth orbit to safety, taking away their number one disincentive to fight in Earth orbit. Second, the orbits currently place Earth between Jupiter and Mars, allowing an approach on the EU possessions on Mars to be reacted to by a strike towards Callisto, therefore allowing Mars to stay without additional defense.


Inner Sol before operations start

The Russian deployment concentrates the bulk of their fleet in Earth orbit. Their doctrine calls for their ships to break orbit and maintain distance to Earth several million km off of it, but in practice that is almost never maintained for fuel and maintenance reasons. So, four out of six Russian frigates and the majority of their escort frigates are in Earth orbit, in terms of stellar warfare at direct point-blank range from Argentine and EU forces.
The Russian need to strike first, dictated by their box-launcher doctrine, complicates matters as it may drive them to unpredictable moves in an effort to preempt moves on our side. Even so, Argentine command is willing to gamble that the Russian commanders will not open fire in any scenario where their ships are jeopardized through immediate energy weapon retaliation. So, simply attaching a number of energy-armed ships to follow them as closely as possible on any move they make should prevent them from firing. This is possible as both the 9 new EU Adana C escorts and the Argentine Dorado 3's outspeed the Russian warships, with the Dorados even being able to keep pace with their escorts. Ideally the number of ships involved here should be as large as the enemy number to prevent them from splitting up to increase the number of targets that need to be covered.
Some ships need to stay behind to cover Earth's shipyards and other assets just in case and enough ships need to be available to cover the troop transport on Machholz from the two other Russian strike frigates presumed on station on Callisto.
The European side is not quite as enthusiastic about these plans for war, but has been convinced to demonstrate their Argentinian allies that they are indeed reliable. Given that the public image of Russia as an adversary is still being maintained in the EU populace the joint operation is possible, but politically it is preferrable to minimize EU involvement in the operation. All attacks must be spearheaded by Argentine units, the Hades-class cruisers will remain in Earth orbit and any ground fighting on Machholz will be done by the Argentine army.
One version of the plan where EU Hades cruisers threaten Callisto to divert Russian forces and attention is shelved because of the EU unwillingness to commit these ships and the need to provide additional PD power to protect them in addition to the other forces.

On July 11th Russian high command is alerted to an ARG/EU task force leaving Earth on a direct course to Machholz. Two ARG and five EU destroyers escort the sole ARG troop transporter. They have already passed outside of strike range from the Earth-stationed ships within the few hours of their departure, ruling out an immediate first strike without repositioning.
Calculations estimate that around 15 missiles from a full strike of the whole navy would penetrate the defense screen. While this would still deal a lot of damage, the ability to reload and refire may not be a given in light of the long reload times of the box launchers. It would also consume an unacceptable amount of ordnance to destroy the enemy escorts at this penetration rate. A strike against the troop transport itself is set as the goal.
Troop reinforcements from Callisto would not be able to arrive on Machholz in time given the time needed load the troops onto the transports in the first place, but two army corps are ordered to board the transports anyway. Still, this will mean nothing if space superiority over the comet cannot be established.
The Earth-stationed strike frigates, along with a number of escorts, are ordered towards Callisto for rendezvous with the remainder of the fleet. Here, the enemy's plan becomes clear: six enemy destroyers follow the departing ships almost without delay.


Hugged!

This presents an issue. The enemy simply follows, but does not open fire. Firing in this situation is possible, but enemy point defense will still be able to operate. Continuing towards the rendezvous with the enemy in tow would increase available firepower by 50%, but still leave the ships at the mercy of enemy energy weapon reprisals.
Opening fire with hostiles at point-blank is tantamount to suicide, regardless of what damage could be caused to the enemy and ruled out. Attempts to outsmart the enemy by splitting up have obviously been anticipated and are smoothly countered with one destroyer following each detaching frigate.


All according to plan. What could they have done?

Russian admiral Jebtsundamba Juchin, part of a minority of Mongolian origin, curses at the inadequacy of his forces. The state's inability to fund engine upgrades - the technology for which was already readily available and well-tested - has caused him to lose this battle before it even began. Still, he had the two frigates on Callisto free of enemy encumberance set an intercept course to the enemy troop transport. Perhaps enough missiles would still get through. The Earth force would return to near Earth, hopefully binding the destroyers following them there.
The Callisto squadron makes contact and launches it's ordnance.


Wonder why there's so much fighting around Machholz? After Mars it's the next best Corundium source in Sol.

The EU had picked up and followed the emissions of the Russian sensor ship approaching the troop convoy. Now that they suddenly halted position 20m km away, the commanding officer orders his ships to activate sensors and prepare for PD fire.




179% dead is very dead. Yes, they were all toast, even if only four out of five transport bays got blown up.

Admiral Juchin was hoping for just a couple missiles to penetrate, but a whole thirteen making a connection is cause for celebration. The transport's bays are ripped open, it's contents exposed to space; It's unlikely any of the troops aboard survived. A strike by the whole fleet, not just a third of it, could have probably overwhelmed this force completely.
The Callisto squadron is called back to rearm and the convoy turns around, now escorting the crippled freighter back home.

Options are being considered in Argentine command, the EU Eurofighters or the cruisers could well be put in a position to strike at the hostile group, but the European admirals put their foot down. This battle is lost and an escalation serves no purpose, the Argentinians overestimated their PD capabilities just as they had during the first Machholz Incident. Even three destroyers per hostile frigate are not enough, as had just been proven.

Russian doctrine has proven it's mettle again today, but the enemy checkmating the ships stationed on Earth due to their superior speed is a situation that needs to be rectified. If ships can't be permanently kept on station off of Earth, more forces must be relocated to Callisto to respond to threats like they did today. The real solution is faster engines, of course, but the automines on Venus can only dig so fast.
The European assessment is rather aloof of the whole affair. Of course it'd be better if the Russians weren't emboldened and their allies won, but they themselves didn't lose anything, the incident is seen as a matter between Argentina and Russia and the main gambit regarding the Russian ships on Earth worked.
Argentina is understandably angry. A whole army corps of good troops has been annihilated without even getting to fight, representing enough life and Vendarite that it'll take years to recover. Not even an estimate of the defenses of Machholz could be made and now the enemy may well reinforce the location. Argentine mining remains understrength. The one silver lining is that the troop transport itself was not destroyed and can be repaired.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 08:22:42 PM by Zap0 »
 
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Re: Race to the Stars
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2020, 12:16:57 AM »
   2114

The Japanese 100k-tug has finished. The first orbital habitat has been completed a while ago and is now being moved to Venus. 22 of the 1m capacity each stations will be needed to house the population currently living in hardened infrastructure on the planet's surface.
As soon as the manned mining operations begin the automines will be redeployed.

The Russian navy begins it's planned refits of the Krivak box-launcher frigates, increasing it's launch tubes from 24 to 32 and now also it's speed from 4k to 6.25k. The refit is very inefficient economically and will drain the Gallicite set aside for the next generation of warships. Even so, this will solve the nation's short-term military deficit.

Seven jumps from Sol in the eastern map direction a Russian explorer discovers some small ruins on the surface of a planet. Given the alien ships encountered in other systems it is not surprising to come across something like this, but it's still a first for human explorers.

The PRL diplomatic envoy ship arrives in orbit of Xining I, the encounter location of the new aliens. The seven ships spotted previously are still there. Transponders are active and it seems the aliens are still willing to respond to communication attempts.
After several months of effort, the aliens manage to produce intelligeble spoken Mandarin. The Xining, as they continue to be referred to as their proper name appears unpronouncable, are an hierarchic society of carbon lifeforms serving a great monarch.

Argentina has finished fortifying it's Earth ground troops. There is no Vendarite to build more and a new source has just been tapped, so it's very important for the existing troops to have maximum staying power. The first two idle construction brigades are being transferred to EU commands to help with their defenses.

   2115

The Russian stabilizer ship has finished the first set of stabilizations towards the rich colony site on Novokuzneck III. Now the ship is being joined by the two recently completed PRL stabilizers who were surprised to find the previous JP already stable. It becomes apparent to both sides that they are after the same prize. Political negotiations begin.
Neither side is really willing to accept sharing the body. It's mineral reserves are plentiful, but the PRL does not want to introduce a liability by having Russian military present on their farthest colony and Russia does not want to see PRL superiority in numbers and resources grow. They also don't have a great fear of the PRL militarily as they consider their massed-missile doctrine to be effective against the large PRL laser fleet which lacks dedicated anti-missile defenses.
The way to the planet will be clear by the end of the year. If no agreement can be reached it may well come down to who can project their power at that far-flung location the best.

The first Yayoi class Destroyer Escort are built in Japanese orbital yards. The vessels reuse the Tama class' hull and are armed with 20 AMM launch tubes. Missile detection systems are integrated.

Code: [Select]
Yayoi class Destroyer Escort      12 000 tons       267 Crew       1 510.1 BP       TCS 240    TH 1 250    EM 1 200
5208 km/s      Armour 4-46       Shields 40-500       HTK 98      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 26
Maint Life 1.00 Years     MSP 237    AFR 576%    IFR 8.0%    1YR 235    5YR 3 523    Max Repair 62.5 MSP
Magazine 437   
Kaigun-Ch?sa    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

ION Kiyomori Drive (10)    Power 1250    Fuel Use 70.0%    Signature 125    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 465 000 Litres    Range 10 billion km (22 days at full power)
Nippon Forcefields Deflection Field (2)     Recharge Time 500 seconds (0.1 per second)

Sugitani High Power Microwave (2)    Range 15 000km     TS: 5 208 km/s     Power 3-3    ROF 5       
Matsusmega Electric Fast Tracking System B (1)     Max Range: 32 000 km   TS: 5 400 km/s     69 38 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nagasaki Three-Point Reactor (2)     Total Power Output 6    Exp 5%

Defender Start Ramp (20)     Missile Size: 1    Rate of Fire 10
Modegi Shuriken Guidance System (5)     Range 10.9m km    Resolution 1
Shuriken (437)    Speed: 29 400 km/s    End: 0.5m     Range: 0.9m km    WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 137/82/41

Modegi Perimeter Electronics System (1)     GPS 60     Range 10.7m km    MCR 963.4k km    Resolution 1
Matsuhita Electric Thermic Detector (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

Japan may continue to see it's primary threat in China/the PRL, but these additions to the fleet will allow them to engage missile-armed opponents too.

   2116

The Russian state sends colonizers towards Novokuzneck III without having reached Lunar consent. A few days later the PRL responds by sending their own colonization convoy: 24 ships in total, colonizers, freighters, troop transports carrying an STO division and a dozen older warships and their deep space support vessels. The older destroyers are chosen as they are expected to handle Russian missile strikes almost as good as the newer ones.
Russia is undeterred by the demonstration of force and seriousness that such a fleet entails, they still believe themselves to have the superior hand in military strength. A similar troop convoy is sent after the colonizers already en route, but if they want to prevent the PRL STO force from landing the military will have to detach from the convoy and race ahead as the Russian troop transports are slower than the PRL ones.
This moment was picked intentionally, the fifth Krivak box-launcher frigate just finished it's refit, with enough Gallicite for the last refit months out. All strike frigates will be sent on the mission. Russian doctrine makes measured application of force difficult, and too weak a strike will leave them without the ability to reload and fire again. In case Argentina makes another attempt to recover Machholz, there are already five divisions in place there.
The Russian task force sets up a blockade at the JP two jumps from the destination, blocking off the PRL force and freighters still approaching. The Russian freighters are still behind them. As the PRL fleet comes into sensor range, they issue a warning. A few tense moments follow, but the PRL commander eventually backs down as he does not believe the Russians are bluffing and his ships, with a bit over a hundred slow-tracking laser cannons, won't be able to stop their barrage. The Russian freighters are assumed to be catching up still, but blocking or detaining them would require finding them first, a task that, despite some efforts, was unsuccessful.
PRL command is dismayed at having lost the gamble for this excellent site for economic long-term development. The PRL colonizers are redirected to a site in their current system. Wuhan V is another icy world with a rare, breathable atmosphere, ignoring the 6% fluorine content. Mineral content both on the planet and in the system as a whole is negligible, but the Wuhan system's central location on the map gives the location strategic value. Using this site to launch an invasion of Novokuzneck later is a possibility.
Russia recalls it's squadron as it becomes assured that their troops and colonists will land first. There is some worry about how to ensure the continued security of the new and distant Novokuzneck colony. Russian doctrine calls for massed forces unsuitable for covering large swaths of space. Prioritized establishment of a naval base on Novokuzneck to permanently station at least one or two ships there or the development of STO plasma weapons are considered.
No Argentine aggression to retake Machholz while the Russian navy is out of system happened as their sole troop transport is still not repaired for lack of Vendarite.

The PRL unveils it's next generation warship: The Jade Rabbit Strike Cruiser. The design is an evolution upon the existing laser destroyers, incorporating their heavy armor plating and extensive laser array armament. A greater proportion of new ion engines intends to propel the ship into combat range at very high speeds. It's laser arrays are not of the flexible, fast-firing 12cm type previously mounted on PRL warships, but of a heavier type designed to have more punch at range. It is also the first PRL ship to mount energy shields. It is intended to counter the fast alien laser warships and the Japanese navy, both of which it outspeeds. Each unit costs over 1.3k Gallicite, or two years worth of production at current rates. 3k Gallicite are in stores.


The EU Hades, the only other ship type this large, costs similar Duranium, 500 Tritanium and 500 Gallicite.

Code: [Select]
Jade Rabbit class Strike Cruiser (P)      19 999 tons       501 Crew       2 950.9 BP       TCS 400    TH 2 625    EM 840
6562 km/s      Armour 7-65       Shields 28-373       HTK 109      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 7      PPV 60
Maint Life 1.05 Years     MSP 645    AFR 457%    IFR 6.3%    1YR 586    5YR 8 790    Max Repair 187.5 MSP
Zhong Xiao    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 11 months    Morale Check Required   

Feng-Dai Thrust ION Capital Ship Drive (7)    Power 2625    Fuel Use 40.41%    Signature 375    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 452 000 Litres    Range 10.1 billion km (17 days at full power)
Lunar Beta Deflector (1)     Recharge Time 373 seconds (0.1 per second)

Assault Laser (10)    Range 192 000km     TS: 6 562 km/s     Power 10-4     RM 40 000 km    ROF 15        10 10 10 10 8 6 5 5 4 4
Xue-Fen Capital Fire Director V (2)     Max Range: 192 000 km   TS: 6 600 km/s     95 90 84 79 74 69 64 58 53 48
Kong-Liao Nuclear Starship Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 36.3    Exp 10%
Gas Power Unit II (1)     Total Power Output 4    Exp 10%

Ying Combat Sensor II (1)     GPS 2     Range 1.5m km    MCR 136.2k km    Resolution 1
Xue-Fen Long-Range Scanner (1)     GPS 3600     Range 34.1m km    Resolution 120

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

A different project to develop a missile defense system has been in progress for years and is expected to become production-ready on destroyer-sized escort platforms within the next few years. PRL researchers are highly trained, turning the 30 Lunar research labs into well-oiled machines of progress.


PRL research is getting scary strong and can afford to pick up many fields of study.

A new generation of Mecha for the Japanese SDF, the Type-04 Gekishin (loosely "Attacking Quake"), is entering Development. It's armor, now properly adapted to such a massive yet mobile behemoth, is twice as effective as that of the Type-01. The armament, a heavy tri-barrel autocannon, is merely updated. Each unit will cost 60 Vendarite, new inflow of which will come from a planet in the Japanese colony system of Grand Bourg.
In other Japanese news, orbital habitat construction is stalled with 4 units built until more Mercassium can be mined in this same location.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 12:25:37 AM by Zap0 »
 
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