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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Cold War: Turn 90 Maps
« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2020, 08:40:34 AM »
Soviet Space, Turn 90:


Coalition Space, Turn 90
 
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Cold War: Turn 90 Soviet Overview
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2020, 08:18:09 AM »
USSR
Turn 90
 The USSR has colonized four systems outside of the Solar System.  Their total extra-Solar population is currently 57 million and growing.  The Soviets maintain a trade relationship with the Coalition and a military treaty with the Bjering Consolidate.  So far, the Soviets believe that they have been successful in keeping the Consolidate and their alliance with them a secret from the Coalition. 

Soviet Fleet deployments have changed somewhat since the development of deep space sensor buoys.  The Soviets have scattered buoys across the Solar System, giving them complete sensor coverage of the entire system.  In addition, they have placed a similar sensor network in the Brezhnev system, giving them complete coverage of that system.  In addition, they have placed sensor buoys and communications buoys at all of the warp points leading to the Brezhnev system.  The USSR plans to eventually place such buoys at all of the warp points it controls.  By placing these buoys, it has allowed the Soviet’s to concentrate their fleet units into larger squadrons. 

The Soviet Military Space Service is focused primarily on defending Soviet space from D’Bringi incursions and finding a link to D’Bringi space to take the war to them.  To this end, the MSS has been advocating for the construction of a second survey fleet, however, with maintenance currently consuming over fifty percent of the budget the government has been unwilling to expand the size of the fleet.  Indeed, the six cruisers currently under construction are slated to go into mothballs shortly after launching, and given the current budget restraints, the fleet will have to mothball an existing cruiser when the battlecruiser under construction is launched. 

USSR Economic Status
Income: 13,110
Income from Trade: 1,311
Upkeep: 7,554

Soviet Fleet Deployments
Home Fleet (General Fedorov)
Earth: 6xCA, 6xCL, 1xDDC, 6xDD, 1xFGS, 6xCT
Leningrad: 4xCT(DSBC), 370xDSB-L
Tomsk: 3xDD, 2xCT(DSBC), 200xDSB-L

Red Banner Fleet (General Lebedev)
Brezhnev: 3xDD, 3xCT, 19xEXS
Tomsk: 6xCA, 6xCL, 1xDDC, 9xDD, 2xFGS

Survey Fleet (Brigadir Popov)
25xEXX

Sol System Defense Command (Marshal Smirnov)
WP Defense: 1xAF, 1xDD(Tug), 2xCT(DSBC), 1xEXS, 135xDSB-L
Earth Defense: 3xPDC

Units under construction: 1xBC, 6xCA

Total Combat Units: 12xCA, 12xCL, 21xDD, 2xFGS, 9xCT (2056 Spaces)
 
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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Cold War: Turn 90 Coalition Overview
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2020, 08:20:36 AM »
Reformation Coalition
Turn 90
The Reformation Coalition has taken the opportunity made by the peace treaty with the D’Bringi to expand far beyond the Solar System.  The Coalition has found an astounding fourteen habitable worlds in and beyond the Epsilon Eridani and Epsilon Indi systems, and has colonized nine of them.  Two of the worlds discovered are inhabited, one by the hostile Tarek and the other by the friendly Tlalelolco.  Even now, a colony fleet is on its way to deliver colonists to another habitable planet, bringing the total of colonized planets to eleven by the end of the month, including the original colony in the Sigma Draconis system adjacent to the Solar System.  The Coalition’s current extra-Solar population is 94.6 million and growing. 

The Coalition’s government currently considers the risk from the Soviets to be low, as they are preoccupied with their war with the D’Bringi.  That war seems to be going well, as there have been no D’Bringi incursions into shared-sovereignty systems such as Sigma Draconis, although there is little actual information available as the Soviets are being even more secretive than usual.  The main Soviet fleet has been deployed into the Hector system or beyond and out of sight of the Coalition navy for some time, as has the Soviet survey fleet.  Given that the only known contact point with the D’Bringi is in the Galloway’s Star system, the situation is somewhat confusing.  The Coalition naval command and the Coalition government have both made efforts to learn the truth of the situation, but with little success.  It is apparent that the Soviets are exploring beyond the Hector system, as several colony fleets have departed for that system, which has no habitable planets of its own. 

The Coalition Fleet has established five separate commands to organize its defense and expansion efforts.  These are: Home Fleet, 1st (Strike) Fleet, 2nd (Colonial Defense) Fleet, Sol System Defense, and Survey Fleet.  The Survey Fleet and the 2nd Fleet are home ported in the Epsilon Eridani system, while the other three commands are based in the Solar System.  The Coalition’s ongoing survey efforts have made the Coalition Fleet’s deployments somewhat easier.  The warp chain from Epsilon Eridani leads to four systems, all with habitable, colonized, planets.  Providing defensive squadrons for those systems would stretch the fleet’s resources, but now that the survey of the warp chain is complete, and no more open warp points exist in the chain, it has allowed the fleet to consolidate the defense squadrons for the colonized worlds to one squadron at New Plymouth in Epsilon Eridani, and a second squadron in the Sligo system.  Both Colonial Defense Squadrons include several scouts to patrol the various colonized systems under their protection.   

Coalition Economic Status
Income: 14,292
Income from Trade: 1,347
Upkeep: 7,111

Coalition Fleet Deployments
Home Fleet (Earth)
Earth: 3xCA, 1xFGS, 3xCT, 1xEXS
Saturn: 1xEXS
Uranus: 1xEXS
Sigma Draconis Picket: 3xDD, 1xFGS, 2xEXS

1st Fleet (Sol WP)
Sol WP: 9xCL, 3xDD, 1xFGS, 11xCT, 3xES, 2xEXS

2nd Fleet (Epsilon Eridani)
Squadron #1, Plymouth (Epsilon Eridani): 3xDD, 1xFGS, 3xCT, 3xEXS
Squadron #2, Wunderland (Sligo): 6xCT, 3xES, 3xEXS
Shaka Picket (Shaka): 5xEXS
System Defense, Plymouth: 4xMSY, 80xDSB-L

Survey Fleet (Epsilon Eridani)
Survey Group #1 (Kowloon): 20xEXX
Survey Group #1 Escort (Kowloon): 3xDD, 1xFGS
Survey Group #2 (Donwaltz): 20xEXX
Survey Group #2 Escort (Redwing): 3xDD, 1xFGS (Finalizing treaty negotiations with the Tlalelolco)

Sol System Defense (Earth)   
Earth: 2xTerritory class PDC, 11xSS(SY)
WP: 1xFT4(Tug), 3xDD(DSBC), 3xBS1, 8xBS0, 1xEXS, 320xDSB-L

Under Construction: 1xBC, 9xCA, 50xDSB-L

Total Combat Units: 3xCA, 9xCL, 15xDD, 6xFGS, 23xCT, 6xES (1607 spaces)
 
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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Cold War: Turn 91 RCSN Ship Designs
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2020, 08:48:52 AM »
Reformation Coalition Ship Designs, turn 91
The Reformation Coalition Navy Design Bureau has wholeheartedly embraced the new technology developed by the nation’s scientists and engineers, and is committed to ensuring that the RCSN fields the best, most technologically advanced ships possible.  This stance is approved by the RCSN’s admirals, who know that while the RCSN may not out-mass the USSR’s fleet, on a ton for ton basis the RCSN is qualitatively better than the USSR’s fleet.  To this end, advanced maneuvering and electronic warfare technology is used extensively throughout the fleet, in spite of the expense. 

This is the prototype version of the RCSN’s battlecruiser design, and the prototype will almost certainly be refitted almost as soon as it is launched to include capital missile technology, which was still being developed at the time that construction was started on the prototype.  The prototype is scheduled to be launched in turn 92. 
Code: [Select]
QUEENSLAND class BC  16 XO Racks 80 Hull TL 4
[4] Sx5Ax8H(BbS)(III)(II)(III)(II)(III)QXrRax4MgDM2RaRaDRax3DRaRaDLh?0(II)QMg [6]
80 RCP  20 MCP    Trg:3  Bmp +1     Cost =  1380/ 207
HTK 53 Sx5  Ax8  Dx4  Rax11  Mgx2 
400x SM

The Mk 2 is intended to be the standard version of this class, and the prototype will be sent into refit almost as soon as it is launched. 
Code: [Select]
QUEENSLAND MK 2 class BC  AM 16 XO Racks 80 Hull TL 5
[3] Sx5Aix16ZH(BbS)(III)(II)(III)(II)(III)QXrDRcRcMgDM2RcDRcRcD!1RcDLh?0(II)QMg [6]
80 RCP  20 MCP    Trg:3  Bmp +1  Tem -1     Cost =  1503/ 225.5
HTK 59 Sx5  Aix16  Dx5  Rcx6  Mgx2 
180x CM, 4x EDM (Mg)

The first unit of this class was launched in turn 72, and it quickly became the standard battle-line unit for the RCSN fleet.   The RCSN decided to forego advanced missile launchers on this design, preferring instead to keep its ability to engage at short range with sprint missiles.  This was a controversial decision within the RCSN, as it was known that the USSR had installed advanced missile launchers on its cruisers, giving them a higher rate of fire and thus an advantage at longer ranges. 
Code: [Select]
RODNEY class CA  12 XO Racks 60 Hull TL 3
[3] Sx6Ax6ZH(BbS)(II)(II)(II)(II)(II)WWDWDWWDWWMgQDLh(II)QMg [6]
60 RCP  40 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  863/ 129.5
HTK 43 Sx6  Ax6  Dx4  Wx7  Mgx2 
400x SM

The Mk 2 refit for the Rodney class added advanced maneuvering, ECM and ECCM, and improved armor. 

Code: [Select]
RODNEY MK 2 class CA  AM 12 XO Racks 60 Hull TL 5
[2] Sx5Aix10ZH(BbS)(II)(II)(II)(II)(II)WWDWDWWQD?0!1WWMgDLh(II)QMg [6]
60 RCP  40 MCP    Trg:1  Bmp +1  Tem -1     Cost =  992/ 148.8
HTK 48 Sx5  Aix10  Dx4  Wx7  Mgx2 
210x SM, 4x EDM (Mg)

The Mk 3 refit converts the Brazwell’s weaponry to force beams, as well as adding advanced maneuvering, ECM, and advanced armor. 
Code: [Select]
BRAZWELL MK 3 class CL  AM 9 XO Racks 45 Hull TL 5
[2] Sx4Aix8ZH(BbS)(II)(I)(II)(I)(II)FDM2FDF?0LhD(I)QF [6]
45 RCP  5 MCP    Trg:3  Bmp +1     Cost =  768.5/ 115.3
HTK 35 Sx4  Aix8  Dx3  Fx4 

The Mk 3 refit replaces the outdated point defense emplacements with the latest standard point defense. 
Code: [Select]
NELSON MK 3 class DD  6 XO Racks 30 Hull TL 3
[3] Sx3AAZH(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)QsMgWWDWD(I)QsMg [7]
30 RCP  20 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  425/ 63.8
HTK 23 Sx3  Ax2  Dx2  Wx3  Mgx2 
400x SM

The Mk 4 refits replace the gun/missile launchers with force beams, and adds advanced maneuvering, improved armor, and ECCM. 
Code: [Select]
NELSON MK 4 class DD  AM 6 XO Racks 30 Hull TL 5
[2] Sx3Aix8ZH(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)QsFD!1D(I)QsF [7]
30 RCP  20 MCP    Trg:1  Tem -1     Cost =  513/ 77
HTK 27 Sx3  Aix8  Dx2  Fx2 

The Mk 3 refits replace the older lasers with force beams.
Code: [Select]
OUTREACH MK 3 class FG  4 XO Racks 22 Hull TL 4
[2] SSAZH(I)(I)(I)(I)XrFD(I)QsF [7]
22 RCP  3 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  349/ 52.4
HTK 15 Sx2  Ax1  Dx1  Fx2 

The Mk 4 refits add advanced maneuvering, ECM, and improved armor.  In addition, one force beam turret is removed and replaced with additional armor, improving the survivability of the class. 
Code: [Select]
OUTREACH MK 4 class FG  AM 4 XO Racks 22 Hull TL 5
[1] SSAix8ZH(I)(I)(I)(I)XrD?0(I)QsF [7]
22 RCP  3 MCP    Trg:1  Bmp +1     Cost =  384/ 57.6
HTK 22 Sx2  Aix8  Dx1  Fx1 

The Mk 5 refit replaces the older laser mounted on this class with a force beam. 
Code: [Select]
DISCOVERY MK 5 class CT  3 XO Racks 16 Hull TL 4
[2] SAx3ZH(I)(I)(I)DQs(I)F [8]
16 RCP  9 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  220/ 33
HTK 13 Sx1  Ax3  Dx1  Fx1 

The Mk 6 refit adds advanced maneuvering and improved armor to the class. 
Code: [Select]
DISCOVERY MK 6 class CT  AM 3 XO Racks 16 Hull TL 5
[1] SAix6ZH(I)(I)(I)DQs(I)F [8]
16 RCP  9 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  258/ 38.7
HTK 16 Sx1  Aix6  Dx1  Fx1 

The Mk 3 refit replaces the laser with a force beam. 
Code: [Select]
NAPOLEON MK 3 class ES  (AC) 2 XO Racks 12 Hull TL 4
[2] SAAZH(I)(I)F(I)Qs [8]
12 RCP  13 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  166.4/ 25
HTK 10 Sx1  Ax2  Fx1 

The Mk 4 refit adds advanced maneuvering and improved armor. 
Code: [Select]
NAPOLEON MK 4 class ES  (AC) AM 2 XO Racks 12 Hull TL 5
[1] SAix4ZH(I)(I)F(I)Qs [8]
12 RCP  13 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  193.4/ 29
HTK 12 Sx1  Aix4  Fx1 

This design is intended to be utilized for planetary defense purposes, or to add long-ranged weaponry to warp point defenses.  The first unit of this class is under construction in the yards over New Plymouth in the Epsilon Eridani system, and will be launched in turn 94.  While it had originally decided to forego building any of these in the Solar System to avoid provoking the USSR and starting a new race to increase fortifications within the home system, the RCSN intends to build at least three of these to be placed at the warp point to Sigma Draconis, to balance the Soviet asteroid fort anchoring the Soviet defenses at the warp point. 
Code: [Select]
BS3 class BS3  17 XO Racks 85 Hull TL 4
[1] Sx7Ax10ZH(BbS)Rax5QDRax5DM2Rax5MgDFLhDQF [0]
85 RCP  15 MCP    Trg:3     Cost =  1185/ 59.2
HTK 46 Sx7  Ax10  Dx4  Fx2  Rax15  Mgx1

The Mk2 refit replaces the advanced missile launchers with capital missile launchers, and adds ECM and ECCM, and improved armor. 
Code: [Select]
BS3 MK 2 class BS3  17 XO Racks 85 Hull TL 5
[1] Sx6Aix22ZH(BbS)RcRcQDMgRcx3DM2XrRcx3MgDFLhD?0!1QF [0]
85 RCP  15 MCP    Trg:3  Bmp +1  Tem -1     Cost =  1224/ 61.2
HTK 54 Sx6  Aix22  Dx4  Fx2  Rcx8  Mgx2 
190x CM, 4x EDM (Mg)

This class was originally intended to be deployed in the Solar System at the warp point to the Sigma Draconis system, however, the RCSN decided not to go forward with this class as the relationship with the Russians had improved under the Alliance and the Coalition government wanted to avoid provoking the Russians by building a base that might be viewed by the Russians as a threat to their shipping going through the warp point.  Therefore, no units of this class were built.
Code: [Select]
BS2 class BS2  10 XO Racks 50 Hull TL 4
[1] Sx4Ax6ZH(BbS)XrRaRaMgM2DRaRaDRaTWDWDLhQMg [0]
50 RCP    Trg:3     Cost =  704/ 35.2
HTK 31 Sx4  Ax6  Dx4  Rax5  Wx2  Tx1  Mgx2 

The Mk 2 refit adds improved armor and ECM/ECCM to the design, and replaces the advanced missile launchers with gun/missile launchers, vastly improving this unit’s ability to engage targets at close range.  To date no units of this class have been built. 
Code: [Select]
BS2 MK 2 class BS2  10 XO Racks 50 Hull TL 5
[1] Sx3Aix10ZH(BbS)XrWx3MgM2DWDWTWD?0!1WDLhQMg [0]
50 RCP    Trg:3  Bmp +1  Tem -1     Cost =  723/ 36.2
HTK 36 Sx3  Aix10  Dx4  Wx7  Tx1  Mgx2 
380x SM, 4x EDM (Mg)
This base is intended to be the center of the Coalition’s warp point defenses in the Solar System. 
Code: [Select]
BS1 class BS1  5 XO Racks 25 Hull TL 3
[1] Sx3Ax6ZHTDLDQsL [0]
25 RCP    Trg:1     Cost =  290/ 14.5
HTK 17 Sx3  Ax6  Dx2  Lx2  Tx1 

The Mk 2 refit changes the class weaponry to force beams. 
Code: [Select]
BS1 MK 2 class BS1  5 XO Racks 25 Hull TL 4
[1] Sx3Ax6ZHTDFDQsF [0]
25 RCP    Trg:1     Cost =  310/ 15.5
HTK 17 Sx3  Ax6  Dx2  Fx2  Tx1 

The Mk 3 refit adds improved armor and ECCM. 
Code: [Select]
BS1 MK 3 class BS1  5 XO Racks 25 Hull TL 5
[1] Sx3Aix10ZHTD!1FDQsF [0]
25 RCP    Trg:1  Tem -1     Cost =  363/ 18.1
HTK 22 Sx3  Aix10  Dx2  Fx2  Tx1 

The BS0 was the Coalition’s first dedicated warp point defense unit.  While small, the tractor beam included in the design allows the base to latch on to any ship within range, improving its chances of staying within range of its weaponry and slowing the invading ship down to keep it within range of the other base’s weaponry.
Code: [Select]
BS0 class BS0  3 XO Racks 15 Hull TL 3
[1] Sx3AAZHTDQsL [0]
15 RCP  10 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  176/ 8.8
HTK 11 Sx3  Ax2  Dx1  Lx1  Tx1 

The Mk 2 refit changes the lasers for force beams. 
Code: [Select]
BS0 MK 2 class BS0  3 XO Racks 15 Hull TL 4
[1] Sx3AAZHTDQsF [0]
15 RCP  10 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  186/ 9.3
HTK 11 Sx3  Ax2  Dx1  Fx1  Tx1 

The Mk 3 refit adds improved armor to the design. 
Code: [Select]
BS0 MK 3 class BS0  3 XO Racks 15 Hull TL 5
[1] SSAix6ZHTDQsF [0]
15 RCP  10 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  202/ 10.1
HTK 14 Sx2  Aix6  Dx1  Fx1  Tx1 

This unit is intended to control DSB-L’s placed at critical warp point links throughout Coalition space. 
Code: [Select]
DD(DSB) class DD  4 XO Racks 30 Hull TL 3
[3] Sx4AAZHXr(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)QsD(DCS)D(I)Qs [7]
30 RCP  20 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  493/ 74
HTK 21 Sx4  Ax2  Dx2 

While the RCSN has no plans to upgrade the existing DD(DSB) units, all newly constructed units will be of this design, which adds improved armor, advanced maneuvering, and ECM. 
Code: [Select]
DD(DSB) MK 2 class DD  AM 6 XO Racks 30 Hull TL 5
[2] Sx3Aix4ZHXr(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)QsD(DCS)D?0(I)Qs [7]
30 RCP  20 MCP    Trg:1  Bmp +1     Cost =  562/ 84.3
HTK 23 Sx3  Aix4  Dx2 
 
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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Cold War: Turn 91 Soviet Ship Designs
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2020, 08:53:31 AM »
Soviet Designs, Turn 91
The Soviet Military Space Service is much like other Soviet military arms.  It adheres to the Soviet philosophy of quantity, quantity, quantity.  To achieve this goal, the MSS has gone to lengths to keep the per-unit cost of its ships low, mostly by only installing expensive equipment such as advanced maneuvering or ECM on larger ships.  To date this strategy has worked well, with the MSS fleet out-massing the Coalition’s at most points of contact. 

This is the prototype design for the Sverdlov class.  It was understood by all that the prototype unit will immediately be returned to the yards for upgrade, probably immediately after launching, to convert its weaponry to capital missiles, which were not ready at the time that construction was started on the prototype.
Code: [Select]
SVERDLOV class BC  16 XO Racks 80 Hull TL 4
[4] Sx6Ax10ZH(BbS)(III)(II)(III)(II)(III)QXrRax3M2DRax3DRax4MgDLh(II)QF [6]
80 RCP  20 MCP    Trg:3     Cost =  1383/ 207.5
HTK 54 Sx6  Ax10  Dx3  Fx1  Rax10  Mgx1 
200x SM

The r1 refit for the Sverdlov class brings it up to the standard intended for this class.  The MSS design board has decided to limit the use of advanced maneuvering to capital units to reduce the overall cost of the fleet, so currently advanced maneuvering will only be utilized on the Moskva and Sverdlov classes.
Code: [Select]
SVERDLOV R1 class BC  AM 16 XO Racks 80 Hull TL 5
[3] Sx6Aix20ZH(BbS)(III)(II)(III)(II)(III)QXrRcRcDRcRcDM2RcRcMgDLh(II)QF [6]
80 RCP  20 MCP    Trg:3     Cost =  1458/ 218.7
HTK 60 Sx6  Aix20  Dx3  Fx1  Rcx6  Mgx1 
93x CM, 4x EDM (Mg)

The r2 refit for the Moskva adds improved armor as well as advanced maneuvering. 
Code: [Select]
MOSKVA R2 class CA  AM 12 XO Racks 60 Hull TL 5
[2] Sx5Aix19ZHs(BbS)(II)(II)(II)(II)(II)?0QRaRaM2RaRaDDRaDRaDLh(II)QMg [6]
60 RCP  40 MCP    Trg:3  Bmp +1     Cost =  1058/ 158.7
HTK 55 Sx5  Aix19  Dx4  Rax6  Mgx1 
193x SM, 2x EDM (Mg)

The r2 refit adds improved armor to this class.  There was a proposal to convert this classes weaponry to beams and to reclassify it as an escort for the new battlecruisers, however, the fleet has resisted such a proposal as it envisions deploying groups of Kresta class light cruisers on independent missions where they will likely need longer-ranged weaponry. 
Code: [Select]
KRESTA R2 class CL  9 XO Racks 45 Hull TL 5
[3] Sx6Aix13ZHs(BbS)(II)(I)(II)(I)(II)QMgWWDWDWDLh(I)Mg [6]
45 RCP  5 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  646.5/ 97
HTK 42 Sx6  Aix13  Dx3  Wx4  Mgx2 
200x SM

The r3 refit for the Udaloy class replaces the standard armor with improved armor, and replaces the lasers with force beams.  The MSS design board was forced to conclude that lasers, which it had previously favored for their ability to pass unhindered through the shields of opposing ships, were now obsolete due to the development of improved armor.  Therefore, all lasers throughout the fleet will be replaced with force beams. 
Code: [Select]
UDALOY R3 class DD  6 XO Racks 30 Hull TL 5
[3] SSAix13ZHs(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)(I)QsDFQsD(I)F [7]
30 RCP  20 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  469/ 70.4
HTK 30 Sx2  Aix13  Dx2  Fx2 

The r2 refit for the Kirov class replaces the armor with improved armor, and replaces the now-obsolescent laser with a force beam.   
Code: [Select]
KIROV R2 class FG  4 XO Racks 20 Hull TL 5
[2] SSAix6ZH(I)(I)(I)(I)XrDQs(I)F [7]
20 RCP  5 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  325/ 48.8
HTK 19 Sx2  Aix6  Dx1  Fx1 

The MSS was impressed with the performance of the Bjering primary beams in the one battle that the Soviet contact ship witnessed.  Therefore, the Krivak class units will all be converted to this design, which will make them a credible threat to the Coalition’s capital ships, if they are deployed in sufficient numbers. 
Code: [Select]
KRIVAK R3 class CT  (AC) 3 XO Racks 16 Hull TL 5
[2] Aix9ZHs(I)(I)(I)DQs(I)P [8]
16 RCP  9 MCP    Trg:1     Cost =  260/ 39
HTK 18 Aix9  Dx1  Px1 

This is the proposed upgrade for the Fleet HQ asteroid fort class.  The Soviets consider it imperative to upgrade the class to this standard as the Coalition will almost certainly be launching ships equipped with capital missile launchers in the next several months, and these ships will be capable of engaging the fortress from beyond its own range, negating its usefulness and rendering it vulnerable.  However, the Politburo is unwilling to remove the fortress from the warp point in the Solar System, as that would remove much of the USSR’s ability to monitor and influence the Coalition’s presence at the warp point.  There is a proposal to build another fortress to this standard, then replace the older fort at the warp point with the new one, meaning that the warp point won’t be left undefended, however, that would entail a massive investment in resources and yard time.  No decision has been made yet. 
Code: [Select]
FLEET HQ R1 class AF  117 XO Racks 585 Hull TL 5
[1]Sx100Apx300ZH(BbL)Qx5Lh(CIC)QMgWx5MgQDDTWx5MgQDDTRcx6QMgQDDQLhM3Rcx6MgDXr(DCS)(CC)Hx30LhQDQs[0]
585 RCP  40 MCP    Trg:4     Cost =  4314.5/ 215.7
HTK 491 Sx100  Apx300  Dx8  Rcx12  Wx10  Tx2  Mgx5 
400x SM, 250x CM, 28x EDM (Mg)
 
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Cold War: Turn 91-95
« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2020, 09:11:41 AM »
Turn 91
The Coalition completes development of the last HT 5 system under research and begins refits to the fleet to bring it up to standard.  Unfortunately, the bulk of the yards are occupied by the cruisers started several months ago, and won’t be clear until next month, so most refits will have to wait. 

The Soviets launch six new cruisers, and immediately place three in mothballs, keeping the other three in active service.  Refits continue on their fleet. 

The Soviet Red Banner Fleet under General Lebedev relocates to the Novosibirsk system and begins probing the unexplored warp points in the system.   The very first warp point probed reveals a binary system with two habitable and inhabited planets.  The probe frigate returned immediately and reported that the exit warp point in new system was located in the inner system of the primary star, just seven light minutes from the habitable planet orbiting the primary.  The frigate’s sensors immediately identified a small population on the planet, and a drive field orbiting the planet, so the probe ship’s commander ordered it to return and report.  General Lebedev orders his fleet to close on the warp point to the alien system, as it is almost certain that the aliens detected the probe ship.  The other frigate returned from its probe to report that it had discovered a system with a habitable planet, but no alien populations or ships.   

Turn 92
The Coalition launches nine heavy cruisers and its first battlecruiser.  While the bulk of these ships were originally intended to go into mothballs to act as a reserve, the RCSN, in consultation with the CEO’s administration, decides to keep them active at least for now.  Some are sent back to the yards for refit to the latest technology.  In addition, the destroyer group assigned to the Sigma Draconis system is rotated back to the Solar System to be refitted. 

The Soviets launch a battlecruiser this month, and continue to send ships to the yards for refits.  Construction is started on four additional battlecruisers as well. 

The Soviet Red Banner Fleet probes two more warp points in the Novosibirsk system, discovering two systems each with a single type T planet.  Communications efforts continue with the race discovered last month in the Kaliningrad system. 

Turn 93
The Coalition’s new battlecruiser is returned to the yards for refit, and two new battlecruisers are started. 

The Coalition’s trade alliance with the Enlightened Union of the Tlatelolco is six months old, and has been working out very well for both sides.  The Tlatelolco are particularly happy with this arrangement, and have been very impressed with the examples of Coalition technology that they have been able to import.  The Tlatelolco are currently technology similar to Earth of the 1950’s, and would like to advance more rapidly.  The Coalition ambassador announces this month that the Tlatelolco have agreed to a trade and military alliance, and further have agreed to allow the Coalition to establish an outpost on their world to foster the exchange of technology.  This outpost will largely consist of scientists, engineers, and trade representatives that will be involved in helping the Tlatelolco improve their technology base.  Due to the Coalition’s expansive colony projects it will take a few months to establish this outpost, but once it is in place the technology transfer will begin.  In addition, the Tlatelolco have requested that the Coalition station a squadron of warships over their planet, to deter aggression by anyone who might enter their system.  The Coalition agrees to this request, however, as with the tech transfer it might take some time to get a squadron to the system. 

The refit program is put on hold by the Soviet MSS, and sixteen new exploration ships are laid down.  The Soviet government is aware that the Coalition fields two survey fleets, and although they do not know the exact results that the Coalition has gained, they do know that the Coalition is ahead of them in establishing out-system colonies.  Therefore, a new survey fleet is to be commissioned, to restore parity.  In the meantime, the Politburo has decided to enact certain measures to slow down Coalition expansion.  These measures will almost certainly be seen as harassment by the Coalition, however, the Politburo feels that the USSR must act now to curtail the expansion of the Coalition, before the Coalition can grow its economy beyond that of the Soviet Union, leaving them behind.  The disappearance of the D’Bringi, coupled with the alliance with the Bjering Consolidate, gives the USSR the advantage, and the Politburo is determined to use it to limit the Coalition’s growth. 

The Red Banner Fleet probes the last three unexplored warp points in the Novosibirsk system, discovering two starless areas and one system with two type T planets.  The communication’s specialists succeed in establishing full communications with the race discovered in the Kaliningrad system.  The race calls themselves the Rehorish, and their nation is named the Rehorish Stellar Dominion. 

The Rehorish are very large, uniformly over 2 meters, compared to the D’Bringi, who average 1.5 meters in height.  Their bodies have a uniformly a purplish grey hue, with the exception of a purple carapace that extends from the top of their heads down their back.  Their heads are comparatively small and set forward on their upper chest, and contain only their sensory organs, with their brain being located directly under their shell in the middle of their back.   They have two eyes and two antennae in their heads with a small mouth hidden at the bottom of their head.  They have two thickly muscled arms and two equally muscled legs, and a number of smaller grasping appendages down their sides. 

The Rehorish appear open and friendly, and have stated that they are willing to open negotiations with the USSR.  General Lebedev, encouraged by their friendliness, offers them a deal similar to the one agreed to by the Bjering Consolidate, essentially a military alliance.  The Rehorish do not decline the offer, but say that they must get to know the Soviets better before they can consider such a deal. 

Turn 94
The Coalition launches its first BS3 in the Epsilon Eridani system.  Two more are started in the shipyards over New Plymouth.  In addition, construction is started a full-sized shipyard is started as well.  Meanwhile, over Earth, the refits of Coalition fleet vessels continue.  Five Rodney class cruisers are in the yards for refit, along with a battlecruiser, three light cruisers, and a corvette. 

The Coalition’s 1st Survey Group arrives in the Redwing system to begin survey efforts.  The Tlatelolco have agreed to allow the Coalition to survey their system in exchange for the Coalition providing them with the results of that survey. 

Soviet refits continue as well.  The Soviet orbital yards are refitting a battlecruiser, three heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, three destroyers, and a frigate.  Ships are being rotated out of forces deployed out-system to bring ships requiring upgrading back to the Solar system without unduly weakening the deployed forces. 

The USSR’s new survey fleet, only partially complete, is dispatched to the Kazan system to begin survey efforts.  Although the fleet only has sixteen of its planned twenty-five exploration ships, yard capacity has been diverted back to upgrading the fleet in light of the Politburo’s new policy of confrontation. 

The Red Banner Fleet under General Lebedev is ordered to reposition to the Volvograd system and once there, to establish a blockade and inspection scheme on the Coalition’s colony transports.  Coalition transits will not be stopped, not completely, just slowed and subjected to ‘random’ inspections.  The fleet will be in position early next month.  General Lebedev asks for clarifications to his orders relating to the use of force, and is told that he can take any reasonable action to accomplish his orders, and that the Coalition will back down, as it always has in the past. 

Coalition pickets assigned to the Shaka system note the arrival of the Soviet Red Banner Fleet from the Hector system late in the month.  The expectation is that the fleet will continue on through the Shaka system, likely towards the Sigma Draconis system and either Sol or the D’Bringi expanses.  A contact report is sent off to the Colonial Defense detachments in Epsilon Eridani and Sligo, as well as to Fleet HQ on Earth. 

Turn 95
Coalition scientists and engineers begin arriving on the Tlatelolco home planet.  It will be several more months before the outpost is well-enough established to begin providing the Tlatelolco the support they have requested.  Three colony fleets leave Coalition territories on Earth for newly opened colony sites on the frontier.  One is heading to the Redwing system to help establish the scientific support mission to the Tlatelolco, the second is headed to the Donwaltz system to bring the colony there to settlement size, and the third is slated for the newly explored Parsifal system and the Harsh/Very Rich planet discovered there.   
 
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Cold War: Turn 95 - Incident in the Shaka System
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2020, 03:09:17 PM »
Turn 95
The three Coalition colony fleets pass through the warp point in the Solar System to Sigma Draconis without incident.  The warp point is heavily garrisoned, with the massive Soviet asteroid fortress brooding over the entire area on one side, and the assembled Reformation Coalition 1st Fleet, all thirty ships, on the other side.  In the center, on the warp point, sit the Coalition’s bases and a small scattering of ships, including the DSB control ships and the 300 laser buoys the two nations had stationed to cover the warp point.  The days of close cooperation between the two nations are gone, but here, with the two militaries in such close proximity, there is no room for a mistake.  Therefore, when one side’s ships are scheduled to make transit, they inform the other side with plenty of time to prepare, so that no surprises unsettle the defenders or cause a mistake that could begin the Last War all over again.  The colony fleet’s arrival had been anticipated for days, and it was no surprise when they made transit. 

Once in Sigma Draconis the colony fleets crossed the system in good order, carrying almost eight million people in suspended animation.  They were escorted across the system by the Endeavor II, an Outreach Mk 3 class scout frigate.  Once they reached the warp point to the Shaka system they jumped out, and the Endeavor returned to the Coalition colony on Plateau. 

The Shaka system was a crossroads system.  It was claimed by both the USSR and the Coalition, and until now neither had stationed military forces here, although the Coalition had established a picket group of unarmed EXS class scouts, and the USSR had stationed DSB-Xr’s here.  The system itself was uninteresting, as it contained no habitable worlds, but it was a gateway to the Coalition’s two main colony areas beyond Epsilon Eridani and Epsilon Indi, as well as the Soviet Union’s main colony area beyond the Hector/Smolensk system.  Late last month the Soviet Red Banner Fleet, under General Lebedev, had arrived in the Shaka system from the Soviet territories beyond Hector.  It had been under observation by Coalition picket ships since it arrived, and the Coalition had confidently predicted that it would either return to the Solar System or proceed to the Soviet controlled systems beyond Centaurus.  However, it had done neither.  Early in the month, as the Coalition colony fleets were leaving Earth, the Soviet fleet had taken up a position a close to the warp point from the Shaka system to the Sigma Draconis system, and sent two detachments to the warp points to Epsilon Eridani and Epsilon Indi.  And then it waited. 

On Day 10 of month 95, the leading colony transports jumped into the Shaka system from the Solar System.  Captain Delila Tomlinson, commander of the lead freighter, shook her head to clear it as her crew recovered around her.  She was one of the lucky ones that seemed to be affect by warp disorientation the least, but it still left her feeling as if briefly there had been two of her, and it took a bit of time for even her to recover.  Still, they had a job to do, and a fleet of transports on a tight schedule behind them, so she cleared her head as best she could.  “Helm, clear the warp point and get us on a heading for the jump point to Epsilon Indi, standard speed.”

“Yes, ma’am.  Helm responding, computers resetting.”

“Ma’am!”

Delila turned in her chair to see her second officer frantically waving his hands.  “Yes, mister Rollins?”  This wasn’t the military, and she didn’t stand on formality and her crew wouldn’t stand for it if she did, but there were limits to decorum that she was willing to accept and excited yelling on the bridge was generally beyond the limit for her.  She forgot her annoyance as she understood what the officer was trying to convey to her.

“Ma’am, multiple ships in close proximity.  They have identified themselves as Soviet warships and demand that we stand to for boarding and inspection!”

“What!  They can’t…How dare they?”  A dozen thoughts went through her mind at once, mostly relating the insanity of the military mindset, but then her blood ran cold as the small plot screen in front of her cleared and the situation became clear.  Fifteen Soviet warships clustered close around the warp point, including six monsters every bit as big as her freighter, but unlike her ship they were packed with screen generators, armor, and weapons.  The Coalition fleet has ships as big, or bigger if the news reports were true, but they were all in the Solar system and she was here, with the Soviets demanding that she stand to for boarding.  She was trying to think through the situation when the second officer turned from his console, his face white.

“Ma’am, the Soviets have given me coordinates and ordered that we assemble there and await inspection.  They also say that if we launch a courier drone, the drone will be destroyed and we will be fired upon.  If we do not change course in the next minute, they will open fire!”

Captain Tomlinson’s mouth hung open for a second as the blatant nature of the threat made its way through her mind.  Then she pulled herself together and turned to the helm station.  “Very well, there is nothing for it.  Helm, change course, set a heading to the Soviet coordinates and assume station-keeping once we arrive.”  She hit a key on her station.  “Freight master, prepare for boarding an inspection.”  She ignored that officer’s sputtered protests and closed the channel.  “Steve, I’m going to record a protest to be sent to the Soviets.  Once it is on the chip, send it to the Soviets and make sure it goes into our record.” 

Steve Grayson, her second officer, shook his head.  “Do you think that will make a difference, Cap?”

Captain Tomlinson shook her head.  “To the Soviet’s, no.  To our government and the owners and insurers, maybe.  Now get to it.”  She turned away and began composing her protest.  She wished she had thought to launch a courier drone back towards the Solar System as soon the Soviet ships appeared on their sensors, but they weren’t the military and they hadn’t been expecting this whole thing.  As Captain Tomlinson’s freighter turned towards the assembly point, Coalition freighters continued to stream through the warp point behind them. 

Commander Thomas Wainwright, CO of the Coalition Shaka picket group and the RCSN EX(S)-007, currently assigned to the warp point from Shaka to Sigma Draconis, was shocked and appalled as the Soviets began herding the transiting freighters into a holding area.  He had already reported the Soviet Fleet’s assembly at the warp point, but this was an escalation into a whole new area.  “What are they doing?”  He remembered where he was, and realized that his tiny command’s bridge crew, all two of them, were looking at him questioningly.  The scout was a tiny ship, with only three officers and eighteen crew.  The bridge crew consisted of the captain, the sensor officer, and the helmsman.  “Sorry.  Sensors, get all sensor takes on the record.    Helm, prepare a course through the warp point.  I…” 

He broke off as a light on his console started blinking and the bridge computer said “Incoming priority message.”

Wainwright nodded to himself.  It had to be the Soviets.  He keyed in the command to play the message.  “By order of General Lebedev, all Coalition transports will be inspected for contraband suspected to be aboard.  Once the inspection is complete, all Coalition vessels, once cleared, will be free to continue on towards their destination.  No Coalition ships will be allowed to transit back to Sigma Draconis until the inspection process is completed.  A schedule of inspections will be posted shortly.”

Commander Wainwright gaped at his console in shock.  How did the Soviets think they could get away with this?  Then he realized that with transits back to Sigma Draconis banned, no one back there would know that anything was wrong for quite some time.  And then another thought occurred to him.  “Contraband?”  He looked at the other two on the bridge in incomprehension.  “What could they mean by contraband?”  The other two shook their heads. 

Wainwright thought furiously for a second.  “Very well.  I’m going to speak to General Lebedev and find out what this is about.  In the meantime, Helm, prepare a course back to Sigma Draconis.  Don’t engage until I tell you, but be ready.”

The helmsman nodded.  “Yes sir, but, ah, what about what the Reds said?  I mean, they’ve got heavy cruisers and we’re just a scout ship.”

Commander Wainwright nodded.  “That’s right, but we are a ship in the Coalition Navy, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a Soviet tell me where we can go.  Understood?”

The helmsman stared at him for a second, then nodded.  “Understood.”  She turned to her console and began to set up the course. 

Commander Wainwright pressed a sequence of keys on his console, opening a channel to the Soviet flagship.  A few seconds later the screen in front of him showed a Soviet Starshiy Liytenant aboard the Soviet flagship Marshal Zhukov.  “Put General Lebedev on the line.  Your behavior is outrageous, and he must explain himself.”

The Soviet officer glowered at the impudent Coalition Commander for a few seconds, then shook his head.  “The General is too busy with our ongoing legal inspection operation to speak with you at this time.  I am to inform you that no Coalition ship or crew will be harmed during the inspection process, as long as they do as ordered and offer no resistance.  Any ship found to contain contraband will be seized and its crew arrested pending investigation.  Once all ships have been inspected, they will be free to continue on to their destinations or return to the Solar System.”

“Contraband?  What contraband?  These ships are all bound for colony planets!”
 
“So you say.  We have information that leads us to believe that you may have established trade with the very D’Bringi that threatened humanity and willfully killed Soviet citizens through a warp point unknown to us.  Therefore, we will inspect all cargo ships bound for your frontier territories to ensure that you are not traitors, assisting the enemies of humanity.”   From the Soviet officer’s tone, it was clear that he considered the Coalition navy officer on his screen a traitor, proof or no. 

Commander Wainwright mustered a scowl of his own.  “This is an outrageous violation of Coalition sovereignty, and I am formally notifying you that the RCSN finds these actions to be in violation of the standards of conduct established since we first moved into space.  I will be reporting these actions to my superiors, who will certainly be raising the issue at the highest levels.”

The Soviet officer’s face took on a superior cast that Wainwright disliked intensely.  “You are free to do as you will, however, all transit out of this system has been suspended.  You and your ship are ordered to maintain their position until the inspection process is complete.  If you fail to comply, you will be fired upon.”  The channel closed. 

Commander Wainwright looked at the plot.  The colony fleet had been transiting for almost three minutes now.  Given that it would take almost sixteen minutes for the entire fleet to transit, that meant that the bulk of the fleet, including all of the personnel transports with their eight million colonists were back in the Sigma Draconis system, waiting their turn to transit.  He had no choice.  “Helm, full speed to the warp point, make transit immediately.”  The helmsman nodded and turned to his station, getting the small scout underway, while Commander Wainwright began composing a short message summarizing the events at the warp point, to be transmitted as soon as they materialized on the far side.  Five seconds after they started moving, the sensor officer looked up from his board. 

“Sir, the Reds are on the line.”  She had taken over monitoring comms while the helmsman got them underway and the Commander worked on his message.  “They sound pissed.”

“Ignore them.” 

“Yes sir.”  She hesitated, then said “Sir, they did say they’d fire on us.”

“I know, but I’m willing to bet that that’d exceed their orders.  They’ve gone over the line here, but firing on an RCSN ship, even a small one, would be a declaration of war.”

“I hope you are right.”

Commander Wainwright looked over at her.  “I do too.” 

Tension aboard the small ship mounted as it ran towards the warp point, past the Soviet cruisers.  Wainwright stared at the icon for the nearest cruiser as they approached the massive warship, wondering if he would have enough time to recognize what was happening if they opened fire.  Then they were past and, in a blink of an eye, through the warp point.  Even as the crew struggled to regain situational awareness in the aftermath of the transit, Commander Wainwright punched the button that initiated the comms messages he had set up.  Four more freighters transited after the small Coalition scout appeared in the Sigma Draconis system, but then the long line of freighters and transports began turning away from the warp point in response to the scout’s message.  A second message was winging its way to the warp point to the Solar System even as the freighters and transports turned away, and Commander Wainwright felt a brief sense of satisfaction, only to have it be squashed when Soviet cruisers began transiting behind him.  Orders for the civilian ships to stand to for inspection flashed from the cruisers, and the flight of the civilian ships collapsed before it even began. 

Day 11, 0202 hours
Six hours and forty-six minutes later after the Soviets stopped the colony fleets, the message from Commander Wainwright arrived at the warp point to the Solar System and was received by a Coalition scout assigned to picket the warp point.  The scout immediately transited back to the Solar System and sent the message to both the 1st Fleet and Fleet HQ back on Earth.  It would take over four hours to arrive on Earth, but Admiral Ruston aboard the cruiser Rodney received the message immediately.  Within seconds of receiving the message, another message, this one from Soviet Marshal Smirnoff aboard the asteroid fort sitting three light seconds from the warp point, arrived at the Coalition flagship.  Admiral Ruston set the recorded message to play at his station.

“Admiral Ruston, you have no doubt been informed that the Soviet Fleet has taken action under the Maritime Treaty of 1989 to initiate inspections of Coalition ships bound for your frontier.  This legal action has been initiated due to reports that the Coalition has initiated trade with the D’Bringi and is shipping them war material.  The rights of Coalition citizens and shipping companies will be observed, as long as said individuals and companies comply with the inspection regime as set out by the USSR and enforced by the Soviet fleet.”

Admiral Ruston settled back into his chair and his eyes narrowed.  He had never even heard of the Maritime Treaty of 1989.   He keyed the comm pad on his console.  “Marianne, figure out what this maritime treaty is.  In the meantime, bring the fleet to alert status, and warn the bases at the warp point.”

Captain Marianne Wilson, his chief of staff, nodded.  “Do you think the Soviets are going to start something?”

Admiral Ruston started to answer, then paused for a second.  “I don’t think so, but they are pushing this pretty hard.  I’m tempted to take the fleet out to Shaka right now, on my own authority, but if I do it will almost certainly lead to war, one way or another.  So instead we’ll pass it back to the politicians on Earth.  But in the meantime, we won’t let them catch us by surprise here.  Understood?”

Captain Wilson nodded and closed the channel.  Admiral Ruston began composing his message to Earth. 

Day 11, 0700 hours, Earth
CEO Campbell looked around the room.  “Well?” 

Helena Chapman, Minister for Health and Recovery Services, looked around the table.  “Isn’t it obvious?  We send in the fleet!”  She saw that her colleagues weren’t very enthusiastic about this response, and stood up and leaned over the conference table towards them.  “Damn it!  We’ve got to get those ships moving!  We can’t let the Russians do this to us!”

The attendees looked to the CEO to see if she was going to respond, but she merely looked back, inviting comment.  After a few seconds, the Minister for Defense shook his head.  “Helena, if we send the fleet to Shaka to confront the Soviets, one of three things will happen.  Either the Soviets will back down, we will back down, or the two fleets will start shooting at each other, with our colony ships in between.”

Minister Chapman gritted her teeth.  “They’ll back down!  They have to!”

The Minister for Defense shook his head.  “Why?”

The Minister for Health and Recovery Services stared at him in incomprehension.  “Because they are wrong!  That’s why they’ll back down.  They’ll have to.”  She looked around the room again and realized that she didn’t have them with her, so she tried again.  “Look, I don’t care why the Soviet’s are doing this, or whether or not they really believe that we are trading with the damned D’Bringi.  We have to get those ships moving again.  We have to!”  She turned towards the CEO.  “You of all people should know this.  With the election coming up, its critical that we keep the lifeline to the colonies open.”

The CEO frowned.  “I’m not worried about that lunatic Abramson.”  Lukas Abramson was her primary opponent in the upcoming election.  Governor Abramson had been elected two years ago to represent the newly re-organized New York Territory, which was still recovering from the Last War, and was considered by the rest of the Coalition to be a hotbed of anti-Soviet reactionary politics.  No one knew if Lukas Abramson believed what he touted on the campaign trail or whether he was just using it to rabble-rouse, but either way he was generally considered a pain in the rear by most of the centralist Coalition politicians currently in control of the government. 

The Minister for Health and Recovery Services shook her head.  “You should be.  He’s taken the stance that you are soft on the Russians.  If we are seen to be weak on this issue, we’ll be handing him a bat to hit us over the head with from now till the election.”  She could see some of the other Ministers wavering.  “Plus, the people need this.  Look, things are better now than they’ve been in a long time.  The economy’s booming, we’ve settled a bunch of other planets, everyone that wants to has work.  That’s all good.  But in spite of all of that, the average life span is down because of the lingering effects of the Last War, and the persistent fallout and radiation that lingers to this day.  And the people know it!  The flow of people to the colonies is the average citizen’s lifeline.  Their way out to a better life.  And who do you think they’ll blame if that lifeline is cut off, or even slowed down?”

A thoughtful frown had appeared on the CEO’s face, and the others knew the truth when they heard it.  Silence fell as they digested this tidbit and Minister Chapman sat down to let them think.  After a few seconds, the Minister for Industrial Development nodded.  “She’s right.  We can’t let those ships sit around out there.  The shipping companies are going to miss deadlines, loose bonuses, even have to pay penalties.  Insurers will have to get involved, and its going to be a big mess, and it’ll cost us billions in the end if we allow this continue.  Plus, I’m convinced the Soviets are just doing this to slow us down a little bit.  They have to have noticed that we are ahead of them in terms of colonization.  This is their way of closing the gap.”

The CEO was watching Fleet Admiral Reese, who had been sitting quietly throughout the conversation.  “Admiral?”

Admiral Reese nodded.  “Admiral Ruston and his fleet are awaiting orders at the warp point.  But sending him to confront General Lebedev is a very dangerous escalation.  We should be very careful at this point.”

“Escalation!”  Minister Chapman was on her feet again.  “Escalation!  The Soviets are the ones who escalated!  We need to respond and get this stopped now!”

Admiral Reese looked at the Minister for Health and Recovery Services interestedly.  “Ma’am, what orders would you give Admiral Ruston?”

Minister Chapman looked taken aback for a few seconds, then rallied.  “Why, to put a stop to the Russian interference!”

“Okay, say we order Admiral Ruston to confront General Lebedev and order him to release our ships.  What are our orders to Admiral Ruston if the General declines our orders?  Should he open fire on the Russians?”

Minister Chapman started to answer and then stopped, considering.  “They won’t disobey.  Once confronted they’ll back down.”  She didn’t sound certain, though, and her answer came out more as a question than anything else. 

Admiral Reese leaned forward.  “They might, but to be honest, the Russians aren’t noted for backing down when confronted.  After all, that’s the way the Last War started.”  Admiral Reese nodded at the Minister for Defense and continued.  “Minister Durant is right.  If the Russians don’t back down, then either we have to, or the two fleets will be shooting at each other, with our eight million colonists in between them.  There is no guarantee that we will win that battle, or that the fighting won’t spread to here as well.”

Minister Durant nodded.  “He’s right.  It’s a huge risk that we might not have to take.  This is a political problem, lets turn to diplomacy to solve it.  Jane, can you set up a meeting between the Premier and CEO Campbell?”

The Minister for State found all eyes upon her, including the CEO, who nodded for her to continue.  “Well, I’ve spoken to my counterpart in the Kremlin.  He is being obstructive, as usual, but has indicated that they are willing to talk, if the talks take place at a high enough level.”  She paused and looked around the table, trying to judge the mood, then continued.  “I don’t know whether they believe their claims or not, its impossible to tell with the Soviets.  But in either case, they have to know they’ve backed us against a wall, and that if we are pushed further, we may be forced to do something that will have bad results for all of us.  We’ve all learned the lesson of the Last War – don’t back the other side into a no-win situation.  They should be willing to talk.” 

Everyone looked at the CEO, who appeared lost in thought.  After a few seconds she nodded to herself.  “Very well.  Jane, set up a meeting with the Premier on some neutral territory, and schedule it for as soon as possible.  In the meantime, Admiral Reese, order Admiral Ruston to move his fleet to the Sigma Draconis system.  He is ordered to take up a position no closer than one light minute from the warp point in that system to the Shaka system.  He is not to interfere with Soviet operations without further orders, he is merely to observe.  Having his fleet on the move will allow me to apply some pressure to the Soviets during our negotiations.”  She paused, then looked at her Defense Minister and the Fleet Admiral.  “Gentlemen, if it should come to a shooting war, what are our odds?”

The Minister for Defense looked at the Fleet Admiral and nodded for him to field the question.

“Well, CEO, that’s a very complex question, but I believe I can break it down and give you a fair approximation.  Our ships are better than the Soviet’s on a ship-to-ship basis, but their fleet is larger.  If our 1st Fleet becomes engaged with the Soviet Red Banner Fleet in the Shaka system, the Soviets will likely win the battle, although almost certainly at a grievous cost.  If the fighting spreads, the Soviet’s have the advantage at the Solar warp point, because of their asteroid fortress, and would almost certainly be able to secure control of the warp point, although again, that would come at a cost.  And finally, if the fighting spreads here, the outcome is impossible to guess, although it would almost certainly involve the destruction of the biosphere and the death of the home world population of both sides.”

Everyone around the table looked appalled, as they should.  The Admiral’s summary was sobering.  Finally, the CEO nodded, a grim look on her face.  “Very well.  I will meet with the Soviet Premier.  Admiral Ruston will advance on the Shaka system, but will avoid contact, at least for now.”

The meeting adjourned, and the Ministers hurried off to begin their tasks.  Orders were dispatched within the hour to Admiral Ruston and the 1st Fleet.  The fleet would depart early on the 12th, and their ETA to the warp point to the Shaka system was fourteen days. 

The Minister for State began the process to set up a meeting with the Soviet leader.  The process was facilitated considerably when the Soviets received word of the departure of the Coalition 1st Fleet from the warp point in the Solar System.  Fortunately, a framework already existed for such meetings, which was largely a result of the Last War, and a recognition that both sides needed to have a method for their leaders to speak with each other, if only to clear the air and ensure a better understanding between the two powers. 

The meeting was set for the 20th, with the Coalition 1st Fleet just over half way to the warp point to the Shaka system.  The Soviet inspection of the Coalition colony fleets was still underway, grinding forward slowly.  General Lebedev was insisting on a thorough search of every ship, and each search was time consuming.  The entire process was being monitored by the Coalition scout that had sent the word of the Soviet actions in the Shaka system, and so far, at least, it appeared that the Soviets were sticking to their declared intent.  Messages had been sent from the Coalition government to the colony ship’s crews, telling them to cooperate, at least for now, and there had been no incidents, much to the apparent relief of both sides. 

On the 20th the leaders of the two nations met in Reykjavik, Iceland, long a neutral country perched between the two superpowers.  The first day the CEO and the Premier met for a marathon eight hours, and upon breaking for the day the two men looked grim and withdrawn. 

The meetings continued through the week.  The Soviets were open to negotiation, but were insisting upon their right to inspect the ships.  The Coalition’s CEO was adamant that the Soviets did not have that right, and early on had threatened to initiate inspections of Soviet colony transports if the Soviet’s did not back off their own inspection regime.  Finally, on the 25th, with the 1st Fleet approaching the warp point to the Shaka system, the Soviet’s appeared to crack.  They insisted they had a legitimate concern about trade with the D’Bringi, who they insisted on calling enemies of the entire human race, casting their continuing war as a heroic defense of humanity.  But, acknowledging the confrontational nature of the inspection regime initiated this month, the Soviets suggested a less intrusive, less time consuming, inspection regime.  Under their proposed agreement, the two nations would station inspectors at each other’s primary civilian spaceports, to ensure that cargoes loaded on each other’s freighters and colony ships were exactly what they said they were, rather than military aide for another race.  Such inspections would be minimally intrusive, and would hardly slow the colonization process of either side. 

The Coalition CEO was concerned about how his Senate would respond to such a proposal, but she was very aware of the timetable of Admiral Ruston’s approach to the Shaka warp point.  War seemed to be looming over their heads, and finally the CEO was forced to admit that this appeared to be the only way out.  And after all, allowing the Soviets to station a few inspectors at the civilian cargo ports in the Coalition was a cheap price to pay.  They would be unable to gather military intelligence that way, and any civilian or economic intel was just as easily obtained from nearly any Coalition civilian database. 

The meeting broke on the 25th with a tentative agreement between the two leaders, subject to agreement by their respective governments.  As a measure of good faith, the Soviet’s sent orders to General Lebedev to let the Coalition colony transports continue on their way, and the Coalition sent orders to Admiral Ruston to return to the Solar warp point. 

The Coalition Senate held hearings on the proposed treaty before the end of the month.  Although there was some opposition by the anti-Soviet hardliners, the treaty was passed, largely as written, by a large majority of senators who were shocked at how quickly the two superpowers had come to the brink of war.   Everyone who was ‘in the know’ about the confrontation between the two powers was relieved that they had found a way to back away from the brink.  However, these events would have far-reaching consequences. 
 
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Cold War: Turns 96-100
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2020, 08:56:28 AM »
Turn 96
Coalition scientists and engineers begin assisting the Tlatelolco in the Redwing system research IND-2 tech level. 

Coalition refits continue.  There was some debate in the Coalition government about freezing refits, to ensure that all fleet units were ready for duty in light of the recent increase in tension between the Coalition and the USSR, however, in the end the government and the Navy decided to continue with the refit schedule to ensure that the Navy fielded the best equipped units possible. 

The Soviets continue with their refits as well. 

Governor Lukas Abramson goes on the attack on the campaign trail, casting CEO Campbell and her administration as weak on the Soviets.  While the press generally considers Abramson a fringe element and downplays his anti-Soviet pronouncements, he is gaining a following of people convinced that the Soviets are taking advantage of the Coalition’s government, which since the meetings of last month appears increasingly like appeasers as details of the new treaty leak out. 

Turn 97
Refits for both the Coalition and the USSR continue.  New colony fleets depart from Coalition territories this month, inspected by Soviet delegations at the Coalition cargo ports before departure. 

The USSR initiates talks with the Bjering Consolidate about adding a trade component to their military alliance.  The Bjering readily agree.  In addition, the USSR succeeds in their long, drawn out negotiations with the Rehorish Stellar Union, who seem so delighted with the USSR that they not only agree to a trade relationship, but counter-offer a military alliance as well. 

Turn 98
The Coalition 1st Survey Group discovers one new warp point in the Redwing system.  The Survey Group’s escort force embarks a team of Tlatelolco scientists and politicians, and the scout frigate assigned to the group probes the warp point this month.  Disappointingly, the warp point leads to a starless area of space.  In any case, the Coalition promises to reserve that system, and any systems beyond it, for Tlatelolco expansion in the future. 

Governor Abramson publicly uses this as another example of the Coalition government catering to alien interests, in this case the Tlatelolco.     

Turn 99
The Coalition Colonial Defense Force squadron assigned to the Sligo system watches as the Tarek launch five medium sized space stations into orbit over their planet, along with a single escort class ship.  The frigate-scout assigned to the Sligo Colonial Defense Group approaches to within 60 light seconds of the Tarek planet before the Tarek escort leaves orbit to drive it off.  Close inspection reveals that the five space stations house medium shipyards, and that they have joined the efforts of the larger shipyard to duplicate itself. 

These developments prompt Commodore Bonaventura to recommend a mission to neutralize the Tarek’s orbital assets, before they become a problem.  The message is forwarded up the chain of command, and the Commodore’s repeated inquiries only receive messages confirming that the recommendation has been received by higher command. 

The USSR completes construction on four BC’s, bringing their fleet up to five battlecruisers. 

The Red Banner Fleet has been sitting in the Volvograd system, monitoring Coalition colony transports and other civilian traffic.  Early in this month it sets out for the Kirov system.  The Kirov system is the gateway to the Soviet colonial territories.  Soviet survey ships discovered four warp points in the system during their rough survey, back in Turn 78, but never completed their detailed survey as they had been ordered to survey the habitable planets found through the existing warp points.  A soviet survey group is scheduled to complete the detailed survey this month, and the Red Banner fleet will probe any newly discovered warp points next month. 

Turn 100
The Coalition launches two additional battlecruisers, bringing their fleet to a total of three BC’s. 

The Coalition’s 2nd Survey Group probes three new warp points in the Alfred system (beyond Donwaltz).  The three warp points lead to a system with no habitable planets, a system with one type T planet, and a binary system with a grand total of three habitable planets.  That system is named Medial, and the 2nd Survey Group jumps into the system to begin a planetary survey immediately. 

The Russian Red Banner Fleet begins probing the unexplored warp points in the Kirov system.  One of the warp points leads to the Novosibirsk system, giving the Kirov system two warp points that led to that system, one led to a starless area, one to a white dwarf with no planets, one to an essentially uninteresting system, and the last led to a system with one habitable planet.  The Reb Banner Fleet sets out for the neighboring Vladivostok system to begin probing warp points there. 

Abramson wins election as the Coalition’s new CEO.  His last second revelation that the Coalition government was consistently ignoring the threat presented by the military buildup underway on the Tarek home planet proved surprisingly successful.  He promises a more confrontational stance with the USSR, and to enlarge the Coalition fleet.  He also orders the fleet to avoid contacting new races, if at all possible. 
 
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Cold War: Turns 101-105
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2020, 10:44:32 AM »
Turn 101
The Coalition begins construction on three battlecruisers and six heavy cruisers.   

Soviet scientists achieve HT 6.  Work begins immediately on developing new systems. 

The Soviet 2nd Exploration Fleet returns to the Izvesk system (beyond Novosibirsk) to begin a planetary survey of the type T planet found there.  After entering the system and heading into the inner system to begin the survey, the exploration ships find a Rehorish colony already established on the planet.  The exploration ships identify themselves to the Rehorish and agree to withdraw, and then report back to Soviet HQ on Earth. 

The Politburo decides to send some DSB-L’s and control ships to the Novosibirsk system, along with a small group of warships to establish a picket in the system.  Although the Rehorish are allies, the Soviets are firm believers in defending borders from possible threats. 

The Red Banner Fleet begins probing unexplored warp points in the Vladivostok system this month.  They find two starless areas, a system with a type T planet, and a system with a type T and a type ST planet. 

Turn 102
Six Russian Krivak r3 class corvettes and four deep space buoy control ships leave Earth, bound for the Novosibirsk system.  The USSR also ships 185 DSB-L’s to the Novosibirsk system, to set up a defense in that system. 

The Red Banner Fleet probes a warp point in the Petropavlovsk system, discovering a system with a type T planet. 

The newly installed CEO Abramson orders the Coalition Navy to conduct a demonstration cruise off of the Tarrek home world, in order to convince them to become less aggressive and perhaps open negotiations.  Three cruisers and three destroyers from the home fleet leave Earth on Day 10, bound for the Sligo system. 

Turn 103
The USSR begins construction on a second asteroid fort, alarming the Coalition.  At the time the USSR built the first asteroid fort, the Coalition decided not to respond to it, as they feared that it would lead to an escalating defense arms race in the Solar system.  The original fortress proved to be a thorn in the Coalition’s side, though, as it was stationed close to the warp point, and thus potentially controls all traffic through the warp point, even if the Soviets never exercised that command and control.  To counter the fortress, the Coalition stationed their 1st Fleet at the warp point, balancing the strength of the asteroid fort, and giving their primary striking force a good strategic position.  The problem with this arrangement was that if the fleet was called away from the warp point, as it was several months ago to counter the Soviet Red Banner Fleet, this effectively gave control of the warp point to the Soviets.  The Coalition’s Home Fleet could be deployed to the warp point to counter the fort, but then that would give the Soviet’s the advantage at Earth, if it came to a showdown. 

The new Coalition government is much more confrontational than the last.  Therefore, the CEO and his ministers decide to begin construction on a group of BS3’s to be stationed at the warp point.  This project will take some time, as the yards are currently occupied with a major expansion to the fleet, but once the new bases are complete, they will counterbalance the asteroid fort at the warp point, and the base constellation can be enlarged to balance the second fort as well. 

On the Soviet side, their motivation to build the second fortress was primarily to give them the flexibility to replace the first so that it could be refitted.  The current asteroid fortress was designed to give the D’Bringi pause, and to give the Soviet fleet a safe anchorage.  When conditions in the Solar system changed, it became the perfect way to project Soviet command and control over the system’s only warp point, which had, up to then, been dominated by Coalition defensive bases and DSB-L’s.  Unfortunately, with both sides deploying capital missile armed battlecruisers, the existing fortress was outdated and vulnerable.  Its existing armament of standard missile firing gun/missile launchers was no longer sufficient, as a Coalition battlegroup of battlecruisers could stand off, outside the Soviet fortresses range, and bombard it into submission without possibility of response.  It needed to be upgraded, but such a project would take time, first to tow it back to Earth, and then to refit it.  During that period of time the warp point would effectively be under the control of the Coalition, unless one of the USSR’s two fleets were deployed to the warp point.  Unfortunately, both of these fleets were needed where they were, therefore, construction was begun on a new, upgraded fortress.  Once complete, this fortress would replace the one at the warp point, which would then be towed back to Earth and refitted.  It would then anchor the USSR’s defenses close to Earth, although it could not be placed directly in Earth orbit due to existing agreements with the Coalition. 

The Red Banner Fleet probes unexplored warp points in the Bratsk system, discovering a starless area, a system with no habitable planets, a system with one type T planet, and a binary system with three type T and one type ST planets. 

On Day 20 the RCN cruiser group, with escorts, arrives at the colony of Wunderland in the Sligo system.  There are celebrations across the colony when the cruisers enter orbit, and the ship’s crews are treated like heroes by the colonists, most of whom supported Abramson in the recent election and see the cruisers as a visible sign of Abramson’s commitment to their colony’s defense.  After spending several days in orbit, the cruiser group and its destroyer escorts, along with the entire Sligo defense squadron, set out for Tarek Prime, and settle into place just eight light seconds from the planet.  This is a provocative move, and closer than any Coalition ship has approached in the past.  The Tarek fleet, which has grown to seven escort class units, sits impotently in orbit.  Just one of the Coalition cruisers could likely deal with the entire Tarek mobile force, and the entire group comfortably out-massed every armed unit the Tarek had in space, including the armed space stations orbiting the planet.  The Coalition commander attempts to communicate with the Tarek, in the hopes of establishing some sort of agreement.  While the Abramson administration has taken a hard line in terms of relations with other races, it has no interest in war with the Tarek.  CEO Abramson considers the Tarek to be inconsequential and a distraction from the Coalition’s real problem, the Soviets.  The Coalition government is prepared to guarantee the Tarek’s right to colonize the rest of their system, including the two type ST planets, if the Tarek will agree to guarantee the existence of the Wunderland colony.  Unfortunately, although they appear overawed by the Coalition cruisers, the Tarek refuse to talk with the Coalition officials. 

Turn 104
The Red Banner Fleet moves to the Novosibirsk system, in transit to systems beyond which have unexplored warp points. 

The Coalition begins construction on two BS3’s intended for the warp point defense detachment. 

On Day 10, after spending a month in the Sligo system, the cruiser group departs.  The Wunderlanders are very disappointed, as they thought that the cruisers would remain in the system. 

Turn 105
The RCSN is becoming more and more concerned over the activities of the Tarek, in spite of the recent visit by a cruiser group to the system.  The Tarek have continued to launch ships from their growing shipyards, and have fielded a fleet of nine escort class craft.  Their construction capacity has grown as well, and they are building one additional escort every month.  When their latest shipyard goes online their production will likely go up, unless they devote their new capacity to building another shipyard.  While the Tarek do not pose a strategic threat to the Coalition, given the fact that they likely don’t know about warp points and haven’t even surveyed their own system, they can and do pose a potential threat to the growing colony of Wunderland.  The Colonial Administrator of Wunderland has now added his voice to that of Commodore Bonaventura in calling for the Tarek threat to be confronted.  The Colonial Defense Squadron assigned to the Sligo system consists of six latest-generation corvettes and three EXS scouts.  Commodore Bonaventura feels confident that her corvettes can deal with the growing Tarek navy, for now, but warns that there will come a point, not that far down the road, when the Tarek navy will be able to overwhelm her command. 

The RCSN is primarily focused on the increasing tensions with the USSR, and so continues to feel that it cannot divert any large units to the frontier.  In addition, there continues to be a…distrust…of Commodore Bonaventura, who has been passed over for promotion after the loss of her command at Saturn and her extended stay with the D’Bringi.  Finally, the RCSN decides to send reinforcements for Commodore Bonaventura’s command, delighting both the Commodore and the Colonial Administrator, but when those reinforcements arrive, both are disappointed.  The reinforcements consist of three Napoleon Mk 4 class escorts, along with the warning that no further reinforcements will be available for some time. 

The Soviet Red Banner Fleet moves to the Ivanovo system and probes the two unexplored warp points in the system.  One of the warp points leads to a system with no habitable planets, while the other leads back to the Novgorod system, which is adjacent to the Tomsk warp nexus. 
 
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Cold War: The Return of the D'Bringi
« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2020, 09:03:02 AM »
Since the formalization of the treaty between the USSR and the Rehorish Stellar Dominion, the two nations had maintained embassies in their border systems.  Representatives from both races resident in each of the border systems, to facilitate trade and military matters.  For the USSR this was the colony of Titov in the Novosibirsk system, and for the Rehorish it was the colony of Sapporo Prime within the Sapporo system, located adjacent to the Soviet system of Novosibirsk. 

On Day 25 of Turn 105, the Rehorish Ambassador to the USSR on the Titov colony requested an urgent meeting with the Soviet representatives.  The Rehorish Ambassador stated that the Rehorish had encountered the D’Bringi while exploring, and that the D’Bringi had attacked their survey ships and were advancing on their home system.  The Rehorish ambassador invoked the mutual defense clause of the military component of the treaty with the USSR, and requested immediate assistance.  The ambassador provided sensor logs of the initial encounter with the D’Bringi, along with estimates of the D’Bringi force closing on their home system. 

The Soviet ambassador immediately sent his courier/scout out-system to search for the Red Banner Fleet, last known to be located in the Ivanovo system, just one jump away.  Once the scout was on its way, he dispatched several CD’s to Earth to inform the central government of this development.  The CD’s would arrive in the Solar system in twenty days.   

Turn 106
Day 1, 0200 hours, Ivanovo inner system
General Lebedev sat in his ship-board office on his flagship, the destroyer Marshal Zhukov, pointedly not looking at the paperwork piling up on his desk.  He had set the wall display to show the planet below.  The planet, much like most type T planets, was beautiful when seen from orbit, and the lights of the newly bustling colony of Afanasyev lit the continent below like a string of diamonds along the major land mass.  His contemplation of the beauty was interrupted by the comm. 

“General, we have received a message from the picket at the warp point to Novosibirsk.  A courier has jumped into the system and has a priority message for you.  We have downloaded the message and begun decryption.”

“Very well.  Route it to my terminal for final decryption.”  He closed the channel and settled back into his chair, wondering what had happened.  There were many possibilities, but the fact that the message came from the Ambassador, rather that fleet command, was suggestive.  After a minute or so his terminal chimed and he brought up the message, then keyed in his personal code to launch the final decryption routine. 

The message from the Ambassador was short.  The Rehorish claimed to have encountered the D’Bringi, and were requesting assistance.  The Ambassador had included several files that appeared to be sensor logs, perhaps from the D’Bringi.  After a few second’s thought, General Lebedev punched up the comm interface and connected to his chief of staff.  “Yuri, call the staff together.  I’m sending you some sensor logs.  I want you to have them gone over with a fine-tooth comb.  Ambassador Alekseyev’s message says that the Rehorish are requesting assistance under the mutual defense clause of our treaty, and that it’s the D’Bringi that are attacking them.”  A wolfish grin spread across Polhovnik Khrunov’s face.  “Yes, Yuri, if it is them then we finally have a chance to push this war home.  Get the boys on those logs, and we’ll meet within the hour.”  He almost closed the channel, but then turned back.  “And spread the word, we’ll be moving out this morning.”

General Lebedev could feel the anticipation growing.  Finally, they were going to come to grips with the illusive D’Bringi. 

One hour later he was together with his staff in the flagship’s main plotting room.  The room was circular, and built around a large table that could display system plotting information, or fleet dispositions, or whatever the General needed, either on the table top or on the monitors built into the walls of the room.  Right now, it was set to show a visual representation of the logs provided by the Rehorish.  Polhovnik Khrunov’s bulldog face was split by a wide smile as he pointed out the particulars being displayed.  “As you can see, the logs clearly show a fleet of nine heavy cruisers with emissions identical to those of the D’Bringi fleet that attacked us.  It is unmistakably the D’Bringi, there can be no mistake.”

General Lebedev stood up.  “In light of this information, there can be no hesitation on our part.  The Rehorish have provided information on their standing fleet, as well as astrogation information into their territory.  They have requested that we send forces to assist them in fending off the D’Bringi, and then to assist in prosecuting the war all the way to the D’Bringi home world to bring their depredations to an end.  I will be ordering the fleet to leave orbit this morning, with the intent of traveling to the Rehorish home system to face the D’Bringi fleet.  The Rehorish fleet will meet us en route to the Rehorish home world, and together we will proceed to the site where we will meet the D’Bringi.  Between our fleet and theirs, we will crush them.”

“Sir?”

“Yes, Mayor Volkov?”  Mayor Volkov was his legal advisor, and in his opinion a pain in the ass and probably an informer for higher command.  Still, the man had been useful on occasion. 

“Sir, isn’t this properly a political situation that must be resolved before we commit ourselves?”  He paused and looked at the other officers, and realized he had little support.  Still, he plunged on.  “Sir, the request by the Rehorish is a political one, by its nature, based on our treaty with them, and must be decided upon by our political leaders.”

General Lebedev nodded.  “You are entirely correct.  Or you would be if we were not already at war with the D’Bringi.  The fact that war already exists means that, under the orders I have been given from fleet command, I can prosecute that war as opportunities arise, without waiting for confirmation from Earth.  The Rehorish are offering us a route to the enemy, and we are going to take it.  I am absolutely certain that specific orders to do just this will chase us as we advance into Rehorish territory.”  Mayor Volkov opened his mouth and General Lebedev shook his head.  “No.  The question is closed, we will advance into Rehorish territory and assist our allies.”

The meeting broke up as the staff officers scurried away to their individual tasks.  The fleet would set out for Rehorish territory within hours.  Before moving out, CD’s were dispatched both to the Soviet Ambassador in the Novosibirsk system and to Earth. 

On Day 15, with the Red Banner Fleet still an hour from the warp point in the Soviet Novosibirsk system to the Rehorish Sapporo system, General Lebedev turned to his chief of staff.  “Yuri, remind me now about the procedure for us to transit into the Rehorish system.”

Polhovnik Khrunov’s face split with a smile that had chilled many junior officers when they spoke out of turn, or asked questions that the chief of staff thought they ought to know the answers to.  The smile slid right over General Lebedev’s impassive face without apparent effect.  “As you wish.  We approach the warp point in our system.  A Rehorish destroyer, from their picket force in the Sapporo system, awaits us, after having been allowed into our system to observe the transit.  They will send a CD through as we approach, to warn their forces on the far side of our impending transit.  Once we are through the warp point, the Rehorish picket force, which we are told is composed of a trio of destroyers, will accompany us to the warp point on the far side of the system where we will transit out of the Sapporo system.”

General Lebedev sat quietly for a second, absorbing this information that he already knew, testing it against his sensibilities.  “Yuri, we will transit into the Sapporo system with the destroyers first.  The cruisers will not transit until we know that everything on the far side of the warp point is as we have been told that it is.  By our own ships.”

Polhovnik Khrunov’s face tightened.  “Do you believe that the Rehorish present a threat?”

General Lebedev sighed.  “No, Yuri, I do not.  But there is no harm in being careful.  We are the USSR’s striking power.  I will be cautious.  Now, what about the rest of our voyage?”

“Once we transit through the next warp point in the Sapporo system, we will be in a system the Rehorish have named Tokyo.  This system, according to them, is uninhabited.  The warp point to the next system is just 84 light minutes from the warp point to the Sapporo system.  According to the information given to us, the next system after that is the Rehorish Home system.  We will be met by the Rehorish Fleet just short of the warp point to their home system.  Their fleet will escort us through the warp point and their home system.  From there we will jump through one more system before reaching their contact point with the D’Bringi.”

“And the composition of the Rehorish main fleet?”

“They have provided us with general specifications.  Their fleet is composed of six heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and three destroyers.  They have other ships, such as the picket force in the Sapporo system, but they are scattered and only amount to another two destroyer squadrons.  They are rushing to reactivate mothballed units, but fear that the D’Bringi will advance on their home system before they can be made ready.”

General Lebedev again sat silently for a few seconds.  “Very well.  We will continue.”

One hour later the Red Banner Fleet crossed over into Rehorish territory.  The transit went as planned, and the Rehorish destroyer group escorted them across the system without incident. 

Turn 106, Day 15, Earth:
The arrival of the CD’s from the Soviet Ambassador in the Novosibirsk system caused an uproar throughout the Politburo and the Soviet military.  Some in the leadership had convinced themselves that the D’Bringi were gone, and that the war was effectively over.  This new event was viewed either as a disaster or an opportunity by those in power in the USSR’s capital, depending on their point of view. 

While the Politburo debated, the MSS was given orders to send limited reinforcements to General Lebedev, and to approve his almost certain decision to move to the assistance of the Rehorish.  A battlecruiser group, accompanied by three heavy cruisers and three light cruisers, were ordered to move to support General Lebedev’s fleet.  The Politburo also decided to activate their alliance with the Bjering Consolidate, and sent their ambassador orders to negotiate for as much Bjering fleet strength as possible.   

Day 30, Turn 106, Rehorish Tokyo system
The Soviet Red Banner Fleet meets up with the Rehorish Home Fleet as they move through the Tokyo system.  Soviet General Lebedev begins working with his counterpart, Cho-Sho Banzan, the commander of the Rehorish Fleet.  He finds the Rehorish officer a bit standoffish, but skilled and knowledgeable. 
 
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Cold War: Soviet Space Turn 106
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2020, 09:03:39 AM »
 
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Cold War: Ambush!
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2020, 08:38:31 AM »
Day 3, Turn 107:
The Combined Fleets were approaching the warp point to the Rehorish Home System.  The Soviet and Rehorish fleets were spaced five light seconds apart, and approaching the warp point, which was now four light seconds from the two fleets.  Half of the Rehorish fleet would transit first, followed by the Soviet fleet, and then the rest of the Rehorish would transit. 

General Lebedev had made sure that his best teams were on duty throughout the Soviet fleet, as they were transiting into their ally’s home system, and he wanted no mishaps or accidents to mar their progress.  The Soviet ships were not at combat stations, though, as they were deep within their ally’s space and there was no reason for concern, as the last reported position for the D’Bringi was three systems away.  Still, General Lebedev and his crews were watchful as they approached the warp point. 

Suddenly, the calm throughout the fleet was shattered as alarms began ringing on every command deck in the fleet.  Unidentified ships were transiting ahead of them, unexpectedly.

“Polhovnik, did the Rehorish schedule any transits?”

“No sir, nothing on the schedule!”

“Sir, scans have identified the transiting ships as cruisers.  Four, now five in the system.  They are coming to a stop just out of the warp point!”

A pit opened in Lebedev’s stomach.  Cruisers.  Both his fleet and the Rehorish used cruisers, but another race was known for their cruiser attack fleets.

Even as the General’s thoughts reached that point, the sensor officer called out again.  “Contacts identified!  D’Bringi cruisers entering the system, confirmed!”

General Lebedev punched the code into his console to silence the alarms ringing across his command deck, then opened the all-ships channel.  “All ships, combat alert!  Hostiles on the warp point!  Prepare for action forward!  The fleet will come to a halt and prepare for action.”  He glanced at the plot and saw that it had been updated.  Six D’Bringi cruisers were in the system, huddling close to the warp point as they recovered from the transit effects.

“Sir, priority communication from the Rehorish!”

General Lebedev opened the channel, and the wall plot was replaced by the bridge of one of the Rehorish cruisers.  Cho-Sho Banzan’s various arms were constantly in motion, something General Lebedev had come to identify as a form of nervousness or agitation in the Rehorish.  “General Lebedev, those are D’Bringi ships!  I do not know how they got there!  They cannot have beaten their way through our defenses!  It is impossible.”

General Lebedev shook his head.  “It doesn’t matter how they got there, Cho-Sho, they are in front of us now.  I am bringing my ships to alert status.  Together we can defeat them, I’m sure of it.”

“Yes, together.  I will prepare.”  The bridge of the Rehorish cruiser disappeared, replaced by the plot.  There were now nine D’Bringi cruisers on the warp point, three light seconds in front of the stationary Russian fleet. 

“Sir, the D’Bringi fleet is leaving the warp point, course directly towards us, standard cruiser speed!”

General Lebedev’s head whipped around at that last part.  The plot clearly showed the D’Bringi ships moving at standard cruiser speed for a military engine equipped ship, indicating that they had made significant changes to their ships in the time since they had seen them last.  They no longer used commercial engines on their cruisers.  He needed to buy time to get all of his ships active.  “All ships will pull back at the speed of the slowest unit.  Maintain as much distance between us and the D’Bringi as possible.”

As the Russian ships pulled back and the D’Bringi raced towards them, the Rehorish fleet turned and began moving towards the Russian fleet at their full speed, obviously racing to their rescue.  Something about the Rehorish maneuver bothered General Lebedev, but too much was happening at once.  The D’Bringi had opened fire on the Russian ships, doing significant damage at 1.25 light seconds range.  Three Soviet cruisers suffered serious internal damage, but two-thirds of the Soviet cruisers were returning fire, and about half of the smaller ships were active too.  The D’Bringi paid heavily for their punishment of the Soviet cruisers, and three of their cruisers were slowed and leaking atmosphere. 

The Soviet fleet continued turning away from the warp point, but had to turn to keep the D’Bringi out of their blind spot.  The four undamaged short-range D’Bringi cruisers raced ahead, while the damaged cruisers, escorted by the long-range cruisers, turned away to open the range.  The D’Bringi short-range force ended up just .75 light seconds from the Russian fleet, while the long-range force opened the range to 3 light seconds.  Meanwhile, the Rehorish fleet raced towards the scene of combat, closing to 1 light second from the advancing D’Bringi cruisers, and the same distance from the fleeing Russian group. 

General Lebedev had little to do at that point, aside from watch as his fleet and the D’Bringi fleet savaged each other at short range.  His commanders were fighting their ships, and they were committed at this point, anything he did at this point would only throw them into confusion.  The new force beams were working beautifully, ripping through the D’Bringi ship’s armor and shields, but the D’Bringi had obviously upgraded their ships as well, and were returning fire with force beams of their own, as well as sprint missiles and energy cannons.  The result was horrendous.  On the D’Bringi side, three of the four of their short-ranged cruisers were limping and streaming atmosphere through multiple holes in their armor.  The D’Bringi were focusing their fire on the Soviet cruisers, and eight of the nine had suffered heavy internal damage, some from the armor-skipping energy cannons.  The damage was shocking, but with the Rehorish about to enter the fight, it was all but over. 

“Sir!  The Stalingrad just blew up!”

“What!”  General Lebedev’s head whipped around to look at his sensor officer in shock.  The Stalingrad was his most intact cruiser.  His mind reeled.  How could this have happened?  An inarticulate sound brought his attention back to the plot, where his chief of staff was pointing at the icons for the Rehorish fleet.  The Rehorish were one light second behind his fleet, solidly in their blind spot. 

“It was them!”  Polhovnik Khrunov turned towards his General.  “Sir, it could only have come from the Rehorish!”

General Lebedev fell back into his seat in shock.  Just as he opened his mouth his sensor officer broke in. 

“Sir, new force detected!  Thirty-nine drive fields, twelve strength twelve, twelve strength nine, and fifteen strength seven!  Closing at standard cruiser speed, now fourteen light seconds away.”

General Lebedev could feel the trap snap shut around him.  Even as he watched, another Soviet ship, this one a light cruiser, exploded under fire coming in from their blind spot.  As he tried to come up with something, anything, to get them out of this, his comm officer turned to face him. 

“Sir, incoming message from Cho-Sho Banzan.” 

The command deck fell quiet as General Lebedev stood.  “Very well.”  He nodded at the comm officer, and the bug-like Rehorish admiral appeared on the wall-monitor. 

“General Lebedev, you are ordered to surrender your fleet immediately, or be destroyed.  Lower your drive fields and deactivate all targeting systems, or my fleet will destroy yours.”

General Lebedev looked at the small plot at his station.  All of his cruisers were damaged, some critically.  His smaller ships were intact, though.  For one long second he stood looking at the plot, while everyone else looked at him, their lives hanging on his next words.  He slowly straightened and turned to the monitor.  “Russians do not surrender to cowards and traitors.”  He gestured to the comms officer to cut the link.  When the monitor flickered off, he punched the all-ships channel.  “We fight!  Our primary target is the Rehorish Fleet!  We will make them pay for their betrayal.  We will die, but we will die free, and we will die fighting!  All ships will launch all of their CD’s immediately!  We must get word back home!”

The Soviet formation unraveled dramatically.  With courier drones streaming away from them, the soviet cruisers each moved at their maximum speed, attempting to keep the range to the Rehorish open.  Some were barely moving, while others were still at full speed.  The D’Bringi close-range cruisers charged into their midst and were soon intermingled with the Russian cruisers.  The five Russian light cruisers, still undamaged, all continued moving away from the oncoming Rehorish ships, but then began turning back towards their tormentors.  The Rehorish cruisers closed on the fleeing Russian cruisers and then slowed to a halt behind the slowest Russian cruisers.  The nine Russian DD’s all crashed to a halt right after General Lebedev gave his order, and began modulating their engines to make themselves harder targets.  This move came as a surprise to the Rehorish cruisers, which overran the Russian DD’s in their eagerness to get to the Russian cruisers.  The Russian command group, which included the two scout frigates and the command destroyer, continued ahead at full speed, trying to put some distance between themselves and the oncoming Rehorish fleet.  They were forced to turn at the last second, to keep the Rehorish out of their blind spot, but that put the D’Bringi long-ranged ships solidly within their blindspot. 

The battle was a horrific free-for-all, with ships desperately evading or trying to close on their enemies, and all semblance of tactical control evaporated.  A Soviet destroyer group savaged a Rehorish cruiser that raced past it at point blank range, only to have the cruiser’s consorts turn their weaponry on the other Soviet destroyers.  Within seconds most of the Soviet destroyers were heavily damaged, but two big Rehorish cruisers had exploded under fire from the stubborn destroyers.  The Russian light cruisers, still in good formation, turned on two D’Bringi cruisers that had closed to a half light second, intent on targeting the Russian cruiser line.  The light cruisers fired their missiles in sprint mode, chewing into the lead D’Bringi cruiser, gutting and leaving it barely under power.  The two lead D’Bringi cruisers, in exchange, savaged one of the Russian cruisers that had turned to fire on the approaching Rehorish fleet, catching it before it could fire and ripping it from stem to stern. 

Ships belonging to all three sides were exploding left and right as the fleets savaged each other.  The two Soviet frigates, which had been escorting the Soviet command ship out of the fray, turned back and plunged into the furball, closing to nearly point-blank range on a D’Bringi cruiser before unleashing their force beams.  The D’Bringi cruiser was already damaged and leaking atmosphere, and the two force beams from the frigates chewed deeply into its internal spaces.  In response the wounded D’Bringi behemoth lashed out at its tormentors, wiping one of the frigates from space with its remaining force beams. 

The Soviet ships were desperately evading their attackers, twisting and turning to either close to point blank range or, for the cruisers, attempting to keep the range open so that they could use their long-range launchers.  For about a minute it looked like the Russians were giving as good as they got, but then the Rehorish cruisers out-maneuvered the Russian ships and closed to point blank range of the big Soviet ships.  In a matter of seconds three Soviet cruisers were swatted from space by the Rehorish force and sprint missile fire, and the others were crippled.  The Soviet light cruisers, which had maintained their organization and some separation from the battle, allowing them to pick their targets and avoid at least some of the return fire, now plunged into the heat of the battle to relieve their bigger brethren.  The five light cruisers launched their standard missiles in sprint mode at the last second, ravaging a Rehorish cruiser, but then the Rehorish destroyer group swooped in on them from behind and let loose with their own weapons, savagely falling upon one of the light cruisers.  The Soviet ship was tough, though, and took everything they had and continued throw hate at the Rehorish cruiser in front of it. 

General Lebedev watched the battle, aghast at the destruction of his command.  In ninety seconds of close-range combat the Soviet Red Banner fleet had ceased to exist.  Five light cruisers remained intact, more or less, but were surrounded and had seconds to live.  Three cruisers were technically still extant, but they were crippled hulks with no weapons or drive field.  A single destroyer remained, reduced to a single force beam turret that continued to spit at the enemy ships around it.  The enemy had paid a price, though.  The D’Bringi lost three cruisers, and all six of their remaining CA’s were more or less damaged.  The Rehorish lost two cruisers and had a third heavily damaged.  As he watched his last five light cruisers plunge into the fireball at the center of the battle he came to a decision.  “Communications: To all ships, it’s over.  This is a priority command, cease fire and drop your drive fields.”   Turning to his comm officer he saw that the order had gone out.  “Get me whoever is in command of the D’Bringi.”

As the Soviet ships complied, dropping their drive fields and coming to a halt, the comm officer turned to General Lebedev.  “Sir, D’Bringi Clan Chief Fortress-Breaker for you.”

The wall monitor flickered on to show a massive reptilian D’Bringi wearing a shaggy cape made of some beast, and holding an equally massive sword in front of him.  “General.  You fought well, but it is good you surrender now.  There is little more glory to be gained here.”

General Lebedev stepped forward.  “We are surrendering to you, do you understand.  Not those oath breakers.”

The D’Bringi nodded, a gesture they had obviously picked up from the humans.  “I understand, although I think you don’t have all of the information about the Rehorish that you should.  In any case, we would like you to order your crews to…”  Even as the D’Bringi Clan Chief spoke, life pods began to race away from Soviet ships as their crews abandoned them.  A few seconds later, as the stream of pods ran out, the ships exploded.  All of the ships, except one light cruiser and one crippled cruiser, self-destructed. 

The D’Bringi Clan Chief grumbled to himself for a few seconds as he watched the Soviet ships blow up, then looked at General Lebedev again.  “I expected no less, although I had hoped to have some ships as prizes.”  He turned and sat down on what looked like a throne in the middle of his command deck.  “I would ask that you surrender as well, General.  True, you are clear of the battle and beyond our weapons range, but think, where will you go?  This is a Rehorish system, and the only ways out are covered by Rehorish ships.  You cannot escape.”

General Lebedev stared at the monitor for a moment, his mind racing to work its way through his options.  His command ship was out of the enemy’s weapons range at the moment, and they could stay out of their weapon’s range indefinitely, but then what?  The destroyers they had seen in the Sapporo system undoubtedly had the warp point back to that system picketed, and the only other way out that he knew of was the warp point in front of him, to the Rehorish home system, if that’s truly where it led.  With the D’Bringi and Rehorish fleets in between him and that warp point, going that way was out of the question as well.   They could remain free for some time, and perhaps lead some Rehorish ships on a merry chase for a while, but his ship had little in the way of supplies, and in a month or so they’d be forced to surrender or starve. 

He came to a decision.  Turning away from the monitor, he spoke directly to his chief of staff.  “All hands will abandon ship.  All officers will purge the databanks, and I will set the self-destruct.”  Turning back to the monitor, he said, “We surrender.  Our fight is over, but the war has just begun.” 

Two minutes later, with life pods streaming away from the Soviet ship, the command ship of the Red Banner Fleet exploded as her engines overloaded.  The life pods were picked up by the D’Bringi ships, as were the rest of the Soviet life pods.  The battle was over. 

The D’Bringi fleet split into two elements, based on the speed of the surviving ships.  All of the D’Bringi ships headed for home and repairs, with the two slowest ships traveling together with an ETA at the shipyards of home of Turn 110.  The other four D’Bringi cruisers were twice as fast, and would reach the home system on Turn 108. 

The Rehorish fleet that had appeared to cut off the Soviet fleet closed on the scene of the battle and assisted the Rehorish ambush fleet with life pod recovery.  Once that was complete, the two Rehorish fleets combined and set out for the Sapporo system, with sole exception of the Rehorish cruiser that had sustained damage.  The damaged cruiser returned to the Rehorish home system for repairs. 

Results of the Ambush in Tokyo:
D’Bringi Fleet initial forces: 9xCA
Losses: 3xCA
Damaged: 5xCA

Rehorish Fleet initial Forces: 6xCA, 3xCL, 3xDD
Losses: 2xCA
Damaged: 1xCA

Soviet Fleet Initial Forces: 9xCA, 6xCL, 10xDD, 2xFG
Losses: Total

The Rehorish captured one crippled cruiser with only two intact systems, an undamaged light cruiser, and a destroyer hull destroyed by energy beam damage. 
 
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Cold War: The Rehorish Attack
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2020, 09:57:56 AM »
Turn 107, Day 3, Soviet Novosibirsk system
The USSR had established defenses at the warp point to the Rehorish-controlled Sapporo system shortly after first-contact, mostly out of caution more than anything else, given the friendly nature of the Rehorish.  There had been some talk about removing the defenses once the trade and military treaty was signed, but so far at least, the defenses remained in place.  With civilian traffic a somewhat common occurrence, though, the defenders were at a rather low level of readiness.  The Soviet Ambassador to the Rehorish, who essentially controlled relations with that race, had ordered the MSS to deactivate all DSB-L’s on the warp point and to keep them deactivated, to avoid any potential accidents that might threaten their relationship with their allies.  This relationship was particularly critical now that General Lebedev had moved the Red Banner Fleet into Rehorish space.  No mishap here could be allowed to endanger their relationship now. 

The Soviet forward picket force, assigned to this system from the Home Fleet, consisted of one Kirov r2 class frigate/scout, six Krivak r3 class corvettes, and four corvette DSB control ships.  They were stationed in a group two light seconds to one side of the warp point.  Periodically they would reposition to another point two light seconds from the warp point, to avoid sitting in one place for too long.  One hundred and eighty-five DSB-L’s were arrayed around the warp point, but were deactivated as ordered by the Ambassador. 

On the far side of the warp point, in the Rehorish system of Sapporo, the reinforced Sapporo Patrol Group of the Rehorish Stellar Navy had gathered.  Thanks to reports from the last group of civilian Rehorish freighters that had passed through the warp point just two days ago, Dai-i Watanabe, commander of the Sapporo Patrol Group, knew exactly where the Soviet ships were on the far side of the warp point, and the exact number and type of ships that waited for them.  His orders to his ship commanders were clear, the Soviet corvette(DSBC) ships must die first, to prevent them from activating the DSB-L’s. 

Dai-i Watanabe gave the order, and his ships began moving through the warp point.  The Soviets were led to believe that the Sapporo picket consisted of a mere three Hosho class destroyers, when in fact it had been heavily reinforced before the Soviet fleet had passed through the system, on its way towards its rendezvous with destiny. 

And so, the Soviet picket group was completely surprised when three Rehorish heavy cruisers emerged from the warp point, followed by three light cruisers.  The Soviet ships were caught completely unaware, and beyond not knowing that the Rehorish border picket had been reinforced, didn’t even know that they were at war with the Rehorish or that the Red Banner Fleet had been destroyed several hours ago. 

The three Rehorish heavy cruisers were through the warp point first, and once through the warp point, they headed straight towards the group of Russian ships sitting two light seconds from the warp point.  Three light cruisers followed, also headed straight towards the Russian group.  The Rehorish heavy cruisers fired first, unloading their salvoes of sprint missiles and lasers at the unsuspecting Russian DSB control ships.  The Rehorish ships were still suffering the effects of warp transit, so their targeting wasn’t up to their usual exacting standards, but this was the Rehorish Stellar Guard.  The lead cruiser battered through the Soviet corvette’s defenses and ripped through the small ship, crippling it and destroying its DSB control systems.  The second cruiser fired right after the first, targeting the next Soviet control ship.  This cruiser’s targeting was better, and the small Russian ship simply blew up under the punishment she was taking from the Rehorish cruiser.  The soviet guard corvettes finally began firing back, targeting the lead Rehorish cruiser with their primary beams, but the surprise had thrown off their aiming and they missed their target.  The third Rehorish cruiser’s weapons ripped through the third Soviet control ship, destroying its control systems and left it limping.  Then the Rehorish light cruisers began firing, targeting the last Soviet control ship.  The light cruisers were farther away, though, and had less weapons, so they struggled to inflict enough damage to destroy the last control ship’s internal systems.  The last two light cruisers, in desperation, launched their XO mounted weapons in a last-ditch attempt to destroy the Soviet ship, despite the poor odds of getting a hit.  Out of the eighteen missiles launched from the two cruiser’s racks, only one hit, but it was enough to wipe out the Soviet corvette’s control systems.  In response, a single Russian corvette scored a hit with its primary beam on the lead Rehorish cruiser, destroying an engine, and the Russian frigate scored a hit on the same cruiser with its force beam, taking out its shields. 

The Rehorish cruisers closed on the Russian force, which now turned sluggishly to open the range.  Behind the Rehorish cruisers, six Rehorish DD’s entered the system and opened fire on the Soviet ships, adding their weight of fire to the fray.  The line of Rehorish ships, led by the cruisers, curled around the Soviet group, in between it and open space, limiting its ability to turn away from the warp point.  A Soviet corvette fired first, launching its XO-mounted missiles and firing its primary beam.  The primary beam scored a hit, passing through the Rehorish cruiser’s armor and taking out a laser mount.  At that point the battle pivoted, as the Rehorish cruisers had recovered from the transit effects and re-established their datalink.  All three cruisers fired at once, at three of the Soviet primary-beam armed corvettes.  All three corvettes were heavily damaged, one was left a drifting wreck without a drive field.  The Soviet frigate returned fire with its force beam, taking out most of the lead cruiser’s armor, but then that was it for the Soviets.  Their remaining corvettes had either failed to activate their weapons or had fired last turn, meaning their primary beams had to cool down before firing again.  Most wouldn’t get that chance.  The Rehorish light cruisers savaged the three remaining undamaged Soviet corvettes, and then the Rehorish DD’s joined in, ripping the Soviet frigate from front to back, leaving it a burning wreck with a few scattered life pods driving away from their former home. 

The battle was nearly over.   Of the six remaining Soviet ships, only the three DSB control ships had engine power, and they were reduced to about fourteen percent of their former top speed.  The three primary-beam corvettes had all lost their engines and all of their other systems, only retaining their deeply buried primary beam armament.  Dai-i Watanabe ordered his fleet to cease fire, and sent a message to the Soviet ships to surrender.  The Soviet crews, enraged by the betrayal of those that they had considered allies, refused and, knowing that they were dead, continued to pump out primary beam fire at the lead Rehorish cruiser, hovering a half light second away from their crippled ships.  Unfortunately for the Soviets, the Rehorish were exquisitely trained, and when they had come to a halt close to the Soviet wrecks, they had begun engine modulations to make it harder for the Soviets, should they prove to be stubborn, to hit them.  Of the three Soviet corvettes that fired their primaries at the lead cruiser, only one hit, taking out the cruiser’s forward quarters.  Meanwhile, the DSB control ships continued to try to escape, knowing that they were pitifully slower than the Rehorish ships, but refusing to surrender. 

Reluctantly, Dai-i Watanabe ordered his ships to open fire, and in seconds the remaining Russian ships had been reduced to vapor.  Three corvette hulls remained, stripped of their active systems by Rehorish energy cannons but otherwise intact.  The battle was over.    As the fleet began moving in-system, Rehorish survey ships jumped in behind them and began a warp point survey of the system. 

Three hours later, emergency messages from the Soviet border guard force arrived at the colony of Titov in the inner system.  The Soviet Ambassador and the colony’s governor immediately dispatched an emergency CD warning of the betrayal of the Rehorish to the Solar System.  The Soviet Ambassador boarded one of the scouts remaining in orbit and departed for the Solar System as well. 
 
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Cold War: Turn 107, Loose Ends
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2020, 09:57:41 AM »
Turn 107, Day 5, Soviet Tomsk System
The CD from the Politburo on Earth arrived on this date, instructing the Soviet Ambassador to the Bjering to file an official notification, requesting assistance under the military treaty between the two powers.  The Soviet Ambassador immediately met with the Bjering Ambassador, who relayed the request on to his home system.  On Day 6 the Bjering Admiralty Council agreed to assist the Soviet Union, in exchange for a sum of MC to be paid monthly to support the forces being sent to assist them.  The Bjering agreed to send two fleets, a total of four battlecruisers, six destroyers, and eight corvettes.  The forces will get underway and are to rendezvous with Soviet forces in the Novosibirsk system. 

Turn 107, Day 6, Rehorish Tokyo system
One hundred and two Soviet courier drones launched by the Red Banner Fleet reach the warp point in the Tokyo system.  Unopposed, they jumped out of the system, to the Rehorish Sapporo system.  There the CD’s didn’t find the DSB-n that they were looking for.  The DSB-n had been deployed by the Soviet fleet as it passed through the system, under their agreement with their ‘allies’ the Rehorish, but the Rehorish destroyer group had destroyed the DSB-n’s deployed by the Soviet fleet at around the same time that the Soviet fleet was being ambushed.  Without the DSB-n many of the CD’s lost their navigation lock and wandered off into deep space.  Only thirty-six continued on towards the warp point back to the Soviet-controlled Novosibirsk system. 

Turn 107, Day 8, Novosibirsk warp point
Thirty-six CD’s, all that remained of the swarm launched by the Red Banner Fleet, jumped into the Novosibirsk system and immediately began searching for a friendly ship so that they could dump their data.  Unfortunately, there were no friendly ships, just three Rehorish destroyers set to watch the warp point.  After a short time, the CD’s shut themselves down, their message of warning from the Red Banner Fleet undelivered. 
 
Later that same day the Rehorish forward fleet reached the Soviet Titov colony in the inner Novosibirsk system.  The colony, having no defenses to speak of, promptly surrendered. 
 
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Cold War: Turn 107 - The D'Bringi Attack
« Reply #44 on: June 21, 2020, 10:19:34 AM »
Turn 107, Day 15, Soviet Brezhnev System
For several years the USSR had known that the D’Bringi had a closed warp point into this system, and had planned accordingly.  The system was covered by over one hundred DSB-Xr’s, as well as seventeen scouts and a small squadron of warships.  For years the ships had watched the system, waiting for the D’Bringi to return.  Their time had come. 

At 1200 hours a force of D’Bringi ships jumped into the system through a previously undetected (but suspected) warp point.  They appeared approximately three hundred and thirty-six light minutes from the system primary, and just twenty-four light minutes from a DSB-Xr and forty-eight light minutes from a Soviet scout.  The Soviet ship was lurking with its drive field down, and was thus undetectable to the D’Bringi ships.  None of the Soviet sensors was close enough to pin down the precise location of the warp point, but both had locked down the general area.  D’Bringi ships popped into the system, and as more ships appeared the ones already in the system shut their drive fields down and then reactivated them, creating a confusing jumble of sensor contacts for the Russians.  The Soviet scout sent a contact report to its fellow scouts, and the report was relayed by the other scouts into the inner system, where it was received by the commander of the six warships of the guard force.  Unknown to them, they were all that remained of the Red Banner Fleet. 

Following established protocol, the warships sent a CD towards the Solar System with a contact report, and then set out for an assembly point in the outer system.  They could move with confidence that the D’Bringi did not know that they were there as the progress of the D’Bringi force was being followed by the sensors of the watch force. 

On that same day, elsewhere in the Soviet Union’s territory…
Some time ago the D’Bringi had found a back-door into Soviet territory.  Now, a D’Bringi fleet used that route to jump into an area that the Soviets thought was secure.  This was the Leningrad system, located squarely between the Solar system and the Brehnev system, now under threat from a D’Bringi incursion.  A fleet of thirty D’Bringi ships, led by three battlecruisers, jumped into the system.  They entered the system unopposed and undetected.  They immediately set course for their target; a point in deep space located in between the other warp points in the system.  The D’Bringi fleet took an indirect course to get to their destination, avoiding getting too close to the warp point that leads back to the Solar system.  After the combat units cleared the general area, another four ships jumped into the system.  The four ships were a cruiser, a corvette, and two freighters, and once assembled they set out directly for the warp point that ultimately led back to the Solar System. 

Turn 107, Day 20:
The D’Bringi fleet in the Brezhnev system arrived in the inner system on this date, settling into orbit over the main D’Bringi colony in the system.  The fleet consisted of ten corvettes and several freighter/transports.  They began landing troops on the administrative center, and one by one all of the outposts in the system signaled their surrender to the new arrivals.  The D’Bringi had reclaimed their territory.  During the landings, intelligence units in the colonies sent data-streams to the Russian squadron hiding in the system.  None of the Russian officers noted that the D’Bringi ‘troops’ were little better than security guards, poorly equipped and barely trained. 

Turn 107, Day 22, the Solar System:
CD’s from the Titov colony in the Novosibirsk system arrived at the warp point at 0800 hours.  The Soviet asteroid fortress guarding the warp point received the data-dump and immediately passed it on to the inner system. 

Four hours later the warning caused consternation and near panic throughout the Politburo.   The general consensus seemed to be that if the Rehorish had attacked Novosibirsk, then they had almost certainly attacked the Red Banner Fleet first.  And if they had used the threat of the D’Bringi to suck the Soviet fleet forward into unknown space, then the D’Bringi were almost certainly involved in the ambush. 

As the Politburo debated, the Soviet Admiralty reacted.  The Home Fleet was put on emergency alert status and warned to be prepared to move out with little notice.  CD’s were sent to every Soviet ship and force outside the Solar System, including specifically the Home Fleet force advancing to reinforce the Red Banner Fleet.  Even as the CD’s left Earth the reinforcements were transiting through the Smolensk system, on their way towards the Kirov system, where they would rendezvous with the Bjering before continuing. 

The Politburo was still debating when the CD’s from the Brezhnev system arrived in the Solar System approximately twelve hours later.  The fact that the D’Bringi were invading at exactly the same time as the Rehorish had attacked them was enough confirm their belief that the Rehorish had betrayed them.  There was near panic in the halls of the politicians, but Marshal Padorin, the officer in command of the Military Space Service and all of its ships and bases, was not moved.  He was known as a rock, immovable and imperturbable, and the fact that his stolid exterior hid a lively and intelligent mind was something that few guessed. 

As Marshal Padorin walked down the hall approaching the General Secretary’s outer office, he passed a cluster of aides, all of whom were arguing over something, and none of whom were listening to what any of the others had to say.  He snorted.  That was typical for what was happening across the entire building.  He entered the General Secretary’s outer office and was confronted by a group of Politburo members, all arguing just a senselessly as the junior aides had been outside in the hall.  General Secretary Kuznetzov looked beleaguered, caught in the middle of an argument that appeared to have been going on for some time.  Inwardly Padorin seethed, but of course none of his emotions reached his face.  For a brief second he wondered what it was about political jobs that turned people, even good military officers, into politicians, but then he ordered his mind for the ordeal in front of him. 

“General Secretary, I am here for your briefing!”  Padorin’s bass voice rumbled across the office, quieting the arguments in spite of him not yelling, or even really raising his voice. 

The General Secretary brightened.  “Ah, good Yuri.”  He turned to the other Politburo members.  “Comrades, we will meet you in two hours for the general briefing.”  Grudgingly, the other Politburo members filtered out, leaving the General Secretary and Marshal Padorin to continue into the General Secretary’s inner sanctum. Once they were in and settled, the General Secretary looked at the commander of his fleets.  “What are we to do, Yuri?”

Padorin didn’t like the incipient despair he saw in the General Secretary’s eyes, so internally he switched gears from the presentation he had originally intended to give.  After briefly hesitating to gather his thoughts, he began.  “We must assume General Lebedev and his fleet are lost.  The presence of a sizeable Rehorish fleet over the Titov colony can mean nothing else.”

“How is this possible?  We had a treaty with the Rehorish!”

Marshal Padorin looked at the General Secretary incredulously, although his emotions never came close to his face.  Was this the man who had skillfully played the broken European nations against each other, befuddling them with a web of conflicting treaties and alliances until they no longer knew who was on which side?  The man who broke the threat of a combined Indian and Chinese alliance by enticing the Chinese into stabbing the Indians in the back at the critical moment?  He really looked at the General Secretary for the first time and was shocked.  The man was…old, and haggard.  He looked as if he hadn’t slept, for the first time Padorin began wondering about the man’s health.   “The Rehorish have broken our treaty.  Perhaps the D’Bringi gave them a better deal.  Or, perhaps, they were always in league with the D’Bringi and never bargained with us in good faith.  Either way, it does not matter now.  We must face the situation as it is, not as we wish it to be.  We cannot bleat about words on a piece of paper, while missiles are flying.  Still, we are not beaten.  We are Russian, we do not give up, no matter what the odds!  We survived a nuclear war to dominate this planet, and we will not let alien barbarians tear us down now!”

The General Secretary peered at him for a few seconds, teetering on the precipice, then visibly pulled himself together.  After a few seconds some color appeared in the old man’s face, and he rallied.  “Yes, we are Russian.  We are used to setbacks.  They merely make us work harder to achieve our goals, which, with the efforts of the people, are inevitable.” 

Marshal Padorin settled back into his chair.   “Yes, General Secretary.  All is not lost.  With your permission?”  He gestured at the General Secretary’s desk.  After the man nodded, Marshal Padorin spread a paper map out on the man’s desk. 

The map depicted the warp map of Soviet territories.  There were fifty-one systems shown at the present time.  The Solar System was prominently marked, and at the center of the chains of warp lines that led to the various systems.  Two warp chains were prominently marked as well.  One, a relatively short chain, was marked in bright blue, and it led from the Solar System, through the Moskva and Leningrad systems, to the Brezhnev system, which was marked with an icon that denoted the presence of hostile D’Bringi ships.  The second warp chain was longer, leading from Sol, through Moskva, Volvograd, and Smolensk, to the Kirov system.  From the Kirov system the chain split, heading to the Novosibirsk system, which was marked with an icon denoting the Rehorish presence, with the other chain heading to the Bjering home system.  The systems along this chain contained the vast bulk of Soviet colonies, as well. 

Once the General Secretary had had a second to take in the map, Padorin continued.  “We face two threats, along the two warp chains highlighted here.  Of the two, I judge the D’Bringi threat to be more serious and immediate at this time.  In the Brezhnev system they are a mere three jumps from the Solar System, and worse, they know the warp links in that area as well as we do.  Perhaps better, given they know the location of the closed warp point in the Brezhnev system.  The Rehorish, however, do not know they warp chain layout of the area they are advancing into.  They may be able to obtain some information from the Titov colony, or from Lebedev’s ships, if they managed to capture any intact, however, even that will be of limited use.  It will take months, even with their survey ships surveying ahead, to make progress.  And, worse, at least from their point of view, they have no way of knowing which are the critical warp links that lead to important places.  For instance, they have taken the Novosibirsk system.  They know of the warp point that leads back to their systems, but that system has seven other warp points.  Without capturing information, they cannot know which warp points lead to important systems, and which lead back to the home system.  It will take them quite some time to figure out the correct route of advance.”

The General Secretary frowned, and pointed out the Kirov system.  “All of that is true, but the Kirov system is critical.  If we lose control of the Kirov system, we will lose access to not only our colonial frontier, but the Bjering as well.  We cannot afford to lose that system!”

Marshal Padorin nodded, pleased that the General Secretary’s mind was engaged again.  “This is true, however, as I said, it will take time for the Rehorish to figure this out, and, we have the added advantage that the warp link from Kirov to Novosibirsk is closed on the Novosibirsk side.  They cannot find it with surveys.  It is possible that they may find the information on Titov, but we cannot predict that one way or another.” 

Both men stood and stared at the map for a few seconds, pondering the strategic situation that the USSR found itself in at the current time.  Finally, Marshal Padorin leaned over the map, pointing at the Brezhnev system.  “This is the most critical and immediate threat!  The D’Bringi are closest to the Earth, and they know the route without having to explore and survey.  We must stop them here!” 

The General Secretary’s eyes narrowed.  “The reports indicate only a force of light D’Bringi ships present in the system.  You suspect a trap?”

Marshal Padorin nodded.  “The D’Bringi don’t like standup fights.  They misdirect, and try to hit us where we aren’t.  They know that they risk revealing the location of the closed warp point in the Brezhnev system, and this warp point leads back to their systems.  They would not run such a risk merely to regain a few minor mining colonies. I do not know what they have planned, but we have the advantage in the Brezhnev system.  We have enough detection buoys spread across the system to see any force trying to sneak through the system, and we have automated weapons blocking their exit point back to our own territory.  We will have the advantage there.”

The General Secretary peered at the map for a few minutes, thinking.  “What is it that you propose?”

“It is simple.”  Marshal Padorin’s finger stabbed down on the Kirov system.  “I will order Polhovnik Semenov and his Second Fleet to hold here, along with the Bjering fleet.  They will prevent the Rehorish from advancing into the Kirov system.  In addition, they will picket the secondary route of advance through the Novgorod system, to monitor any Rehorish advance towards the Tomsk system.  The 2nd Fleet, combined with the Bjering forces, is a powerful force with seven battlecruisers, and should be able to stop any probes from the Rehorish.  In addition, I will give Semenov orders prohibiting him from risking his fleet, ordering him to withdraw back towards the Solar system if necessary.  His fleet must remain intact to delay the Rehorish as long as possible, while we deal with the D’Bringi.”

Marshal Padorin shifted his gaze across the map, and once again his finger stabbed down, this time in the Brezhnev system.  “In the meantime, I will order Polhovnik Fedorov to advance to the Brezhnev system with the Home Fleet.  His orders will be to locate the closed warp point and to advance into D’Bringi territory.  He will be warned that we believe the D’Bringi are present in the Brezhnev system in greater strength than they have shown, but he has six battlecruisers, which should be sufficient to deal with the D’Bringi, particularly if they have sent forces to assist the Rehorish in their battle with General Lebedev and their advance into Novosibirsk.  The forces already in Brezhnev will shadow the D’Bringi and gather information for Fedorov while his fleet approaches.  We do not have to worry about the D’Bringi breaking out of the Brezhnev system, because we have a blocking force in the Leningrad system, at the warp point to Brezhnev, with enough automated weapons to block any but the heaviest attack.  Once Fedorov and his forces find the warp point to D’Bringi space, we will stab at their heart for a change!”

The General Secretary pondered the situation for some time before speaking.  “Your plan is bold.  I like that, it is a time for boldness.”  He glanced at the door, and Padorin knew he was thinking about the other Politburo members, some of whom could still be heard arguing outside the door.  “But you leave the Solar System stripped of ships.  They will not like this.”

Marshal Padorin waived towards the door dismissively.  “They will not like anything I do at this point.  We have our defenses at the warp point to protect the entry point to this system, and even if they somehow bypassed that, we have our planetary defenses here.”  He shook his head.  “That’s assuming they get past our fleets, which I believe to be unlikely, or I would not be sending them out.”

The General Secretary nodded, still looking at the map spread across his desk.  “That brings us to what the other Politburo members are actually concerned about.  The Coalition.  They have noted our fleet movements.  They will have the advantage here, if we strip the system of ships.  They fear the Coalition, in a way that they do not fear the D’Bringi and the Rehorish.  The barbarians are not here, are not pointing hundreds of nuclear weapons at our homes and families.  Your proposed movements, putting the fleets out of sight of the Coalition, will either worry or embolden them, at a time when we can ill afford it.”

Marshal Padorin looked at the map for a few seconds.  It was true, he was focused on the external threat, and his plan was aimed there.  He had given no consideration to the Coalition.  Still…  “Comrade General Secretary, the Coalition doesn’t want war with us.  They will press any advantage they think they have, while they can, but even this new administration does not want to provoke open war.  Just like the Rehorish, they are a threat for the future.  We must focus on the most immediate threat.”  He paused in thought for a few seconds.  “And, there is always this.  The Coalition has signed a non-aggression treaty with the D’Bringi, but not the Rehorish.  The Coalition fleet will be bound to prevent the Rehorish from obstructing their shipping routes in the Moskva system, as it is the gateway to their colonies.  That will delay the barbarians.  And, should the worst happen and the barbarians penetrate even into the Solar System, think on this.  Will the Coalition feel at ease with rampaging alien war fleets in the Solar system?  I can tell you, for certain, that the Coalition will not allow the barbarians to engage our defenses here on Earth.  Such an engagement would mean massive collateral damage to Coalition territories and populations on Earth, something they cannot and will not tolerate.  So, not matter what happens, we will always retain our holdings here, at the seat of our power, and with those, we can eventually regain anything we lose.”

The General Secretary turned away and moved to the window, where he stared out at the sky for several minutes, thinking through what he had been told.  Marshal Padorin simply sat and waited, recognizing his leader’s need to organize his thoughts, and put what he had been told within the framework of the politics of the Politburo.  Finally, after nearly five minutes, the General Secretary turned back to the Marshal.  He looked re-energized.  “Very well.  We will do as you say.  I will convince the others.  But, Marshal, much turns on this.  If this goes poorly the responsibility is yours.  And yours alone.  Understood?”

Marshal Padorin stood and saluted.  “Yes, General Secretary.  I understand!”  He turned and walked out. 

The orders left Earth shortly thereafter.     

Meanwhile, in the Brezhnev system…
The Soviet forces in the Brezhnev system were following the plan established for this eventuality, meaning that the warships had withdrawn to the outer system, somewhere along the path that the D’Bringi ships would have to take during their move into the inner system.  The task force’s orders were not to challenge the D’Bringi directly, but to continue to monitor the D’Bringi and attack targets of opportunity.  The scouts attached to the force would move to try to localize their entrance point into the system.  The entire force carried enough maintenance to sustain it for approximately ten months if cut off.  The defenses in the Leningrad system, which was the next system inwards from Brezhnev, were alert and their DSB-L’s had been activated.  Nothing would transit through without first being engaged. 

Turn 107, Day 24, Leningrad System
The D’Bringi clan fleet that had entered the system undetected now approached their destination, sixty light minutes from the warp point to the Moskva system, and one hundred and eight light minutes from the warp point to the Brezhnev system.  Once in place they shut down their drive fields and waited, watchfully.   
 
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