Author Topic: From the ashes - part 16  (Read 3010 times)

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Offline Haji (OP)

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From the ashes - part 16
« on: July 06, 2016, 05:22:00 PM »
3rd May 2387

   As the newest carrier and her fighter group has been completed with no follow up units, the Hegemony mineral stockpiles have been improving despite five Morrigan class destroyers being under construction, together with two Normandy class command cruisers and of course numerous commercial ships. This makes the government finally consider their future frigates.
   Originally the carrier was supposed to provide offensive ability, the frigates were pure escorts using both point defense lasers and anti-missiles and destroyers were multi-role ships that could either attack or defend. However due to very poor performance of laser based point defense a new frigate, the Hammurabi, was designed and many believe that a simple new version should be designed, with updated engines. However there are at least two problems with the design, as far as most of the Navy can see. It has only a single laser for emergencies, which was completely useless and the ship can fire only eleven salvos. The latter was once an asset, as the detection ranges were short so the vessel had to fire as many interceptors as quickly as possible, but with new, faster reloading launchers and better fire controls it's no longer an issue. This led to the design of the X-229 frigate, which was a pure anti-missile design with no secondary armament and eight less launchers but could carry a total of seven hundred and sixty interceptors, two and a half times as many as the Morrigan class destroyer.

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X-229 class Frigate    10 000 tons     272 Crew     2168.6 BP      TCS 200  TH 1000  EM 0
5000 km/s     Armour 4-41     Shields 0-0     Sensors 36/36/0/0     Damage Control Rating 5     PPV 40
Maint Life 1.67 Years     MSP 678    AFR 160%    IFR 2.2%    1YR 290    5YR 4344    Max Repair 500 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 0   
Magazine 760   

Ding-Zheng Naval Internal Fusion Drive (1)    Power 1000    Fuel Use 25%    Signature 1000    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 550 000 Litres    Range 39.6 billion km   (91 days at full power)

Karalis-Nallie Advanced Anti-Missile Launcher (40)    Missile Size 1    Rate of Fire 5
Foxe Aerospace Industries Anti-Missile Fire Control (4)     Range 60.5m km    Resolution 1
Patriot C (760)  Speed: 65 000 km/s   End: 1.6m    Range: 6.4m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 715/429/214

Chen Manufacturing Medium Missile Detection System (1)     GPS 168     Range 30.2m km    MCR 3.3m km    Resolution 1
Chen Manufacturing Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 36     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  36m km
Chen Manufacturing EM Detection Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 36     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  36m km

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

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

   Many however were unhappy with the design for two reasons. First she had extremely limited utility and a very narrowly designed role. Second once the X-229 was out of ammunition, she could no longer fight. The designers did acknowledge it, but as they pointed out the gauss cannons, while very good pieces of engineering, could intercept only a handful of missiles from a given salvo despite their large size and secondary armament has proven ineffective, not only on the Hammurabi but also on Enki, which was much more heavily armed. One counter-argument is given however – the anti-missile duel during the battle of ES – 09 where the Hegemony vessels were unable to do anything about fast moving interceptors fired in offensive mode, but the Commune vessels equipped lavishly with beam based point defense were intercepting hundreds of them in any given salvo. And while the situation was admittedly rather specific, gauss cannons currently seem to be the only possible defense against waves of anti-missiles fired in offensive mode. As such a second vessel, the X-230 was designed using existing components, to showcase a more balanced escort. She has a twin gauss cannon turret that can intercept ten missiles without use of ordnance, a powerful spinal mounted laser that can deal enormous damage at close range, better range and can still carry almost six hundred anti-missiles, although she admittedly has only twenty launchers. She was designed as more of a sustained escort.
   The issue is the ratio of launchers to missiles carried. Currently, assuming the new vessels are attached to one of the ships with long range anti-missile sensors, twenty salvos of interceptors can be fired against enemy ordnance, assuming said ordnance is moving at sixty thousand kilometers per second. The speed of modern Commune missiles is of course unknown but it seems like a reasonable speed. In such a scenario the X-229 can fire all seven hundred and sixty of her Patriots, but the X-230 could fire only four hundred, leaving nearly two hundred rounds in her magazines. The designers of the latter ship agree, but they point out that the Commune is not the only enemy, detection and interception ranges may improve in the future, simply moving away from the enemy to prolong engagement would allow firing of two more salvos and last but not least it is currently unknown whether or not the Commune actually fires all their missiles at once. After all during the Battle of ES – 09 they had no gunboats with them and in the very first war, during the Battle of Boston the enemy was capable of accomplishing their goal with a single wave. However it stands to reason that their enemy could withhold some ammunition to finish cripples with a second strike, although it is admittedly just a theory.

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X-230 class Frigate    10 000 tons     273 Crew     2403.6 BP      TCS 200  TH 1000  EM 0
5000 km/s     Armour 4-41     Shields 0-0     Sensors 36/36/0/0     Damage Control Rating 7     PPV 44.56
Maint Life 2.58 Years     MSP 1052    AFR 114%    IFR 1.6%    1YR 222    5YR 3326    Max Repair 500 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Spare Berths 2   
Magazine 596   

Ding-Zheng Naval Internal Fusion Drive (1)    Power 1000    Fuel Use 25%    Signature 1000    Exp 10%
Fuel Capacity 750 000 Litres    Range 54.0 billion km   (125 days at full power)

Gothe Systems 300mm Spinal Mounted Far UV Laser (1)    Range 320 000km     TS: 6250 km/s     Power 24-6     RM 5    ROF 20        24 24 24 24 24 20 17 15 13 12
Twin Gothe Systems Gauss Cannon Turret (1x10)    Range 30 000km     TS: 25000 km/s     Power 0-0     RM 3    ROF 5        1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Timblo Electronic Systems Improved Beam Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 320 000 km   TS: 6250 km/s     97 94 91 88 84 81 78 75 72 69
Timblo Electronic Systems Improved PD Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 80 000 km   TS: 25000 km/s     88 75 62 50 38 25 12 0 0 0
Mcquerry-Cassin Tokamak Fusion Reactor Technology (1)     Total Power Output 8    Armour 0    Exp 5%

Karalis-Nallie Advanced Anti-Missile Launcher (20)    Missile Size 1    Rate of Fire 5
Foxe Aerospace Industries Anti-Missile Fire Control (2)     Range 60.5m km    Resolution 1
Patriot C (596)  Speed: 65 000 km/s   End: 1.6m    Range: 6.4m km   WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 715/429/214

Chen Manufacturing Medium Missile Detection System (1)     GPS 168     Range 30.2m km    MCR 3.3m km    Resolution 1
Chen Manufacturing Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 36     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  36m km
Chen Manufacturing EM Detection Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 36     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  36m km

Compact ECCM-2 (1)         Missile to hit chances are vs targets moving at 3000 km/s, 5000 km/s and 10,000 km/s

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

   The discussion regarding the two newly designed vessels is a heated one, making the Hegemon take interest. In the end he decides that the X-229 is a designs that reeks of desperation, of a technologically inferior, bullied force trying desperately to save itself by overdesigning their ship to deal with one, specific enemy. The X-230 is a more confident and versatile design, more suited to what the Hegemony Navy is supposed to be. As soon as the refits to existing ships are complete, the new frigate, named Gharaan, will enter production. The older vessels will not have their engines upgraded however, as right now the Hegemony needs larger force rather than a fast one, and the current refits dealt with sensor, fire controls and anti-missile launchers, which were the most critical upgrades to be had.

21st May 2187

   A Commune geological survey team found previously missed deposits of duranium, corundium and gallicite on Quilotoa making it a much better location than previously thought. The Administrator plans to develop the planet and its mining industry right away.

Quilotoa mineral report
Duranium 4 917 248  Acc: 0.8
Tritanium 6 780 816  Acc: 0.8
Mercassium 28 224  Acc: 0.3
Sorium 153 664  Acc: 0.1
Uridium 960 400  Acc: 0.5
Corundium 1 382 976  Acc: 0.1
Gallicite 4 410 000  Acc: 0.7

6th June 2187

   With the jump gate complete, the Republican Battle Group Seven no longer has to keep an eye on the construction ship and makes its way towards the inner system where the expected Specter motherships lurks. It is easily destroyed, as are the twenty accompanied FACs. However the latter appear to be of a new class and take more hits to destroy, making the crews speculate the Specters have improved their armor.
   The Battle Group Seven will now head back to Phoenix to resupply and re-arm while the construction ship works on a jump gate towards an ADS held system. One of the other battlegroups will be sent to keep an eye on it, in case aliens arrive in the system and to later assault the enemy positions.

28th September 2187

   Transiting the only new found jump point in Buffalo a Hegemony survey vessel arrives in a very uninteresting binary of a white and a brown dwarf. However the check against existing records shows this may very well be a Republican system of ECN 4778, the general data of which is available in Phoenixian data net and accessible by anyone connected to them through a jump gate network – which also includes New Earth, although only through Commune space. This is the first time the Hegemony and the Republic ended up being connected directly.
   The question is what to do about it. Phoenix supposedly surveyed the system already so they either kept the knowledge of connection to Buffalo to themselves or the Hegemony arrived through a previously dormant jump point, which is unknown to the other nation. The ECN 4778 is also a site of a relatively recent battle against a Specter Behemoth and connects to, among others, the inhabited systems of Danube and Scandinavia, placing it only two jumps from the Republican capital. This makes the connection incredibly valuable from a strategic point of view.
   The relationship between the Hegemony and the Republic is a complex one as they had no direct contact. On the one hand Phoenix is well aware of the threat of the Destroyers and is willing to support anyone under attack. On the other hand they have been filled with Commune propaganda, making them unwilling to trust New Earth. In fact should the Hegemony find itself at war against the Commune again and start winning, Phoenix may very well enter the conflict on the side of their enemies. In such case a secret connection so close to their capital would be of incredible value. On the other hand revealing the connection could open trade opportunities, and perhaps closer relations between the two nations. Unfortunately the Intelligence is confident the Republic would resist any attempt at unifying Mankind under common goal of protecting against the various hostile aliens.
   Regrettably the Hegemon concludes that the hostile attitude of Phoenix towards his nation means he needs an ace in the hole, just in case. If any other connections between the two nations are found, they will be announced, but this one must stay a secret in case of hostilities.

17th November 2387

   The anomaly in the system of Peter's Crossing moved by over two hundred million kilometers, puzzling the Commune scientists. As soon as a science vessel is available, one will be dispatched to check it once again but the planet bound sensors detect no other change.

14th January 2388

   The Commune science vessel Procyon has arrived near the anomaly in Peter's Crossing but after two days of study they failed to find any new information. The vessel will remain on station for several weeks, but very few people expect any new breakthrough.

18th January 2388

   The anomaly in the Peter's Crossing system moved once again, nearly five hundred and fifty million kilometers further from the star. Procyon was on top of it when it happened, but while they've got a lot of readings, those are inconclusive and fail to provide any real answer as to what the anomaly is and what is happening with it. The science vessel will move to the new location to continue its studies.

8th February 2388

   The gallicite crisis in the Hegemony appears to be over. Missiles are being produced as fast as possible, all commercial yards are in constant use and military production includes the first five Morrigan class destroyers, eight Gharaan class frigates and three Normandy class command cruisers. Despite all that the current stockpile exceeds sixty thousand tonnes. Tritonium is a little more worrying as only twelve thousand tonnes of the element is available at the capital, but while the reserves are low, they have also been steady for the past months, improvements to mining rates have recently been developed and the Delawere colony is constantly expanding. In fact with population of over a hundred million it is the largest Hegemony colony outside their home system, although the system San Francisco has larger combined population of a hundred and ninety million. Thanks to this the government decides that the time has come to once again make full use of available naval shipyards. Another carrier, Resolute, is laid down, production of one hundred and twenty bombers begins and the last available yard will soon resume production of the Da Yu class destroyers, which were designed to kill gunboats at long range, but only three were constructed before economic difficulties forced the construction to cease. Consideration is also given to further shipyard expansion as the carriers continue to grow in size, requiring proportionally larger escort groups.

21st April 2388

   Over a year ago the Republican Battle Group Four was dispatched to the system of ECN 4800 to keep an eye on a jump gate construction ship. A presence of ADS was suspected in the system due to presence of three wrecks, two of which has been positively identified as belonging to that alien race. However the construction was uneventful and subsequent flyby of the major planet revealed no enemies.
   While the formation heads home, the construction ship will be reinforced by three fresh battlegroups so that construction can begin on a jump point leading to ECN 4797 where a suspected Specter Behemoth is located.

1st May 2388

   Three modern Commune cruiser divisions have completed their basic training and are fully combat ready. One heads towards the Mjolnir Naval Base where the Apollo class jump cruiser will become the new flagship of the Home Fleet, another heads to Wieliczka to serve in similar capacity for the Second Fleet and one heads to the Knossos sector. While ultimately that division will also lead the Third Fleet stationed there, their first mission will be to clear ADS from ES – 82, a system adjacent to Caylay where a critical and large R&D colony is located. As the ships found there never ventured outside their system, the enemy was initially ignored and by the time the Force was ready to secure the star, the Destroyer and the Hegemony left the Commune with significant ammunition shortages. Now however a new offensive can start and will serve as a test for the new cruisers.

3rd June 2388

   Knossos begins to convert some of their seven hundred mines to an automated variant due to manpower issues. While they finally have no shortages, they cannot expand their industry and while it could be used to build more fortifications, those rely on missiles, so new ordnance factories are needed as currently the planet cannot support what it has by itself, not even counting the massive Third Fleet guarding the sector. Colonists continue to arrive not only from Baltic but also from Herinnering but it is simply not enough.
   The planet is not the only one facing such situation. The massive industry on Eden is operating at only ninety five percent efficiency despite containing more than a fifth of the entire Commune population. Zuiderzee finally has no shortages of population, but only because expansion of its missile production and extraction sectors is currently on hold. Other planets fare better but only because of their limited industries, mineral deposits and strategic significance, but even than most of them have only very limited surplus of potential workers. All of this may lead to massive conversion of the mining sector to a more automated one, despite massive costs associated with such a project. Both the Administrator and the Oversight Committee would prefer to avoid it, as normal mines are cheaper and generate additional jobs, but as manpower has been a long standing issue, conversion may be the only way to allow Commune to continue expanding their industry.

6th June 2388

   The Commune develops a series of engines based on inertial confinement fusion drive. Coupled with significant improvements to fuel efficiency, the existing warships will now be able to move at a little over eleven thousand kilometers per second, and all of them will have range of at least fifty billion kilometers, instead of thirty as it was until now. The new engines, coupled with improved armor also opened some new possibilities. The venerable and long serving Piranha class gunboats now have endurance of three years and similar speed and range to other units, making them suited to large fleet operations. The old Elatha class cruisers and Rugewit class jump cruisers can now be upgraded to have the same speed as modern warships without having to sacrifice any armament. As of the current eight existing divisions five are comprised of those older designs, retaining them will make the Force significantly stronger. Of course the older divisions are smaller and weaker in energy ranged combat, but that's still a significant amount of firepower. The only exceptions to the above performance are the Shark class gunboats and their Anglerfish leaders, the Sirius class science vessels and the Nagoiu class colliers. The small craft are faster and shorter ranged, as they are supposed to operate near major naval bases, the science vessels are somewhat slower, using larger and more fuel efficient engines, but can still move at nearly ten thousand kilometers per second,  their range has been extended to over a hundred and sixty billion kilometers, and the colliers are supposed to operate within Commune territory so their speed is not that relevant. And of course, as was recommended to the Force after the last war with the Hegemony all the new ships will be equipped with brand new, fifth generation ECM suite.
   The problem is of course the significant size of the Force making immediate upgrades impractical. As gunboats are no longer being produces, those can be refitted right away, but the Commune believes they have insufficient numbers of larger ships. This is only partially true. Fifteen frigate squadrons, three destroyer squadrons, eight cruiser divisions and two battlecruiser divisions are currently in service, totaling two hundred and forty six warships ranging from small corvettes to massive ships of the line. However the current frigate divisions are considered obsolete and the new ones only begun construction, the Commune has significant territory to defend, which is why majority of their planets have only light static defenses guarding them and upgrades to this many ships would take years, stopping the growth of the Force, which is particularly risky as the Hegemony once again launches new carriers. Overall before refits can begin to larger warships, many new formations will have to be established.
   New missiles have also been designed of course, and those also incorporate new warheads and maneuvering systems, in case of anti-missiles. However while having better ordnance is always welcome, it also come at a somewhat inconvenient time. All warships and bases have their assigned load out but there are very few modern munitions available for re-arming as proper stockpile was never established due to battle expenditure ten years earlier coupled with new production. This means ninety thousand anti-missiles and eighty thousand shipkillers will have to be replaced, more will be needed for new construction, and even more to serve as a reserve. Production of that much ordnance will take years, possibly decades even with new factories being built continuously.

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Mistletoe II

Missile Size: 2 MSP  (0.1 HS)     Warhead: 6    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 65300 km/s    Engine Endurance: 50 minutes   Range: 194.1m km
Active Sensor Strength: 0.048   Sensitivity Modifier: 240%
Resolution: 180    Maximum Range vs 9000 ton object (or larger): 150 000 km
Cost Per Missile: 3.2088
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 653%   3k km/s 210%   5k km/s 130.6%   10k km/s 65.3%
Materials Required:    1.5x Tritanium   0.0288x Boronide   0.048x Uridium   1.632x Gallicite   Fuel x1660

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Trebuchet IV

Missile Size: 4 MSP  (0.2 HS)     Warhead: 10    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 83600 km/s    Engine Endurance: 42 minutes   Range: 211.6m km
Active Sensor Strength: 0.396   Sensitivity Modifier: 240%
Resolution: 160    Maximum Range vs 8000 ton object (or larger): 1 200 000 km
Cost Per Missile: 7.3136
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 836%   3k km/s 270%   5k km/s 167.2%   10k km/s 83.6%
Materials Required:    2.5x Tritanium   0.2376x Boronide   0.396x Uridium   4.18x Gallicite   Fuel x2422.5

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Arrow V

Missile Size: 2 MSP  (0.1 HS)     Warhead: 8    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 10
Speed: 86400 km/s    Engine Endurance: 14 minutes   Range: 72.3m km
Active Sensor Strength: 0.12   Sensitivity Modifier: 240%
Resolution: 15    Maximum Range vs 750 ton object (or larger): 110 000 km
Cost Per Missile: 4.352
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 864%   3k km/s 280%   5k km/s 172.8%   10k km/s 86.4%
Materials Required:    2x Tritanium   0.072x Boronide   0.12x Uridium   2.16x Gallicite   Fuel x857.5

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Spear IV

Missile Size: 1 MSP  (0.05 HS)     Warhead: 1    Armour: 0     Manoeuvre Rating: 45
Speed: 119000 km/s    Engine Endurance: 3 minutes   Range: 24.5m km
Cost Per Missile: 2.4452
Chance to Hit: 1k km/s 5355%   3k km/s 1755%   5k km/s 1071%   10k km/s 535.5%
Materials Required:    0.25x Tritanium   2.1952x Gallicite   Fuel x187.5

20th June 2388

   The Commune Eight Cruiser Division closes on the ADS positions near the AGKH6 B IV, a reasonable candidate for terraforming. Two bases, a frigate and a destroyer were located, but strangely the two vessels did not try to close. The seven Harpy class cruisers unleash two hundred and ten Trebuchet IIIs, which until recently were the most modern variant. One of the bases was of course armed with anti-missiles and in the past several hundred missiles were needed to get through the defenses, but Captain Wirginia Kupis, commanding the small force, hoped the speed of the recent munitions will make them more effective.
   The enemy anti-missiles weren't particularly effective, but to the horror of the human crews dozens of Trebuchets were destroyed by point blank defenses. Apparently the destroyer, which was a new class, mounted fast firing gauss cannons. Kupis immediately ordered another salvo, this time comprising four hundred and twenty missiles. This proves to be enough, with a hundred and fifty shipkillers self-destructing.
   The battle was as one sided as ever, but the fact the ADS managed to surprise the human crews is an unpleasant reminder that even a well known enemy cannot be taken lightly. If the enemy unveiled a new offensive weapon rather than defensive one, the result could be catastrophic. For now however the Commune has secured the system, although the Eighth will remain until gravitational survey is complete. It is very likely there are some surveillance destroyers present and Kupis hopes the science vessel will detect them during its work.

2d July 2388

   One of the hottest political issues in the Commune is the status of Eden's defenses. Over five hundred and seventy seven million people live there, which constitutes nearly twenty percent of the entire Commune population but only a single frigate squadron is assigned there permanently. Of course the system is under protection of the Second Fleet, which is a very powerful formation, but the two major task forces are stationed at Wieliczka and Ceylon, which are two and three jumps away respectively. Because of this the population has long been wishing for establishment of the Sixth Fleet which would be tasked with defending the Athens system and supporting the Second Fleet in case of hostilities. Unfortunately despite many politicians chosen for the Oversight Committee who won their elections promising such a fleet there is a long standing problem, namely the fact that Eden is located in such out of the way, inconvenient part of the galaxy, the issue actually became the punchline of many jokes over the years.
   Even so the politicians coming from the Athens system has been doing what they can to improve defenses, even if only indirectly. Aside from building numerous missile bases, they also managed to successfully lobby construction of new naval yards in the system, which led to new warships coming for refits and training. Thanks to this, while officially only a single frigate squadron protects the system, three are actually present. The planet has been trying to get new yards, preferably ones building either cruisers or battlecruisers, but the Administrator and the Navy refused due to lack of founds. With recent gunboat refits and other shipyards working at full capacity the current budget is barely in the green, which means the industry will have to be expanded carefully. Fortunately it is not really a large issue as large financial reserve is available, which should suffice for years of deficit if need be.
   Unfettered, the politicians decided on a different approach, trying to find a new type of warship that would be tempting enough to build but not enough so that existing yards would be used, which would result in construction of a new one, with Eden being the logical place. With the recent advances to engines, they decide to lobby creation of space superiority fighters and of course appropriate carriers for them. The Edenian R&D even prepared a full design that could be used immediately.

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Space Superiority Fighter 2388 Version class Fighter    163 tons     3 Crew     97.9 BP      TCS 3.25  TH 96  EM 0
29538 km/s     Armour 1-2     Shields 0-0     Sensors 1/1/0/0     Damage Control Rating 0     PPV 1.35
Maint Life 19.5 Years     MSP 38    AFR 2%    IFR 0%    1YR 0    5YR 3    Max Repair 48 MSP
Intended Deployment Time: 0.5 months    Spare Berths 3   
Magazine 4   

Lior & Leonte Fighter Inertial Fusion Drive (1)    Power 96    Fuel Use 462.98%    Signature 96    Exp 30%
Fuel Capacity 10 000 Litres    Range 2.4 billion km   (22 hours at full power)

Iagar Systems Chaingun (1x5)    Range 30 000km     TS: 29538 km/s     Accuracy Modifier 12.5%     RM 4    ROF 5        1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Eklund Incorporated Chaingun Fire Control (1)    Max Range: 30 000 km   TS: 32000 km/s     67 33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Blom-Samuelsson Fighter Hardpoint (4)    Missile Size 1    Hangar Reload 7.5 minutes    MF Reload 1.2 hours
Szewc Engineering Fighter Fire Control (1)     Range 6.9m km    Resolution 4
Banshee (4)  Speed: 92 200 km/s   End: 1.5m    Range: 8.2m km   WH: 3    Size: 1    TH: 614/368/184

Szewc Engineering Fighter Radar (1)     GPS 20     Range 2.3m km    Resolution 4

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

This design is classed as a Fighter for production, combat and maintenance purposes

   The fighter, which lacks official name, is very fast, very small and has surprising variety of capabilities. The main armament consists of fast firing, small albeit somewhat inaccurate chaingun, but it is supported by four anti-fighter missiles. Being the same size as interceptors, they are fast, quite destructive, have on board sensors that can detect and target small craft from over a hundred and ten thousand kilometers and their avionics package makes them deadly accurate despite their deceptively low speed, at least when compared to anti-missiles. A full salvo of Banshees should be able to destroy any fighter, and some believe two such craft could easily kill three enemy fighters with missiles alone.
   The Administrator and the Force look at the design and are amazed by its capabilities, then promptly reject it. The problem as they point out is that the design has no other uses. The missiles could in theory be used in anti-ship mode and the officers have no doubt that modification can be made to make the design and the munitions very good in both roles, but in order to deal with any reasonable point defense huge numbers of fighters would be required and neither the Administrator, nor the Oversight Committee nor the Force want to split their warships into two mutually competing groups. The current doctrine worked well enough.
   Of course this still makes the proposed design very good fighter-killer, but only one nation uses fighters and said nation not only is not the primary problem for the Force – the Destroyers are – but has been soundly defeated several times already using the forces currently available. Admittedly if their fighters could be intercepted before launching in the next war, it would save huge numbers of precious anti-missiles and limit the loss of life, but in the only war so far where the Hegemony used their fighters, the small craft were used from within anti-missile umbrella of their own ships anyway.
   Some officers however also note a very interesting fact about the presented proposal – the fighters are faster than the Destroyer. In theory this would allow them to launch a strike and if said strike failed to kill the incoming alien, they could safely retreat. They point out that the original Third Fleet was wiped out completely because it could not run and if the combined Home and Fourth Fleets failed to kill the incoming enemy in a single strike as they did, the entire armada would have been annihilated. At the moment fighters like those presented may be the only relatively safe way of dealing with the greatest enemy of Mankind.
   The Administrator considered it and three basic problems presented themselves. First as the only type of vessel encountered so far was for all instances and purposes a long range scout, it is very likely it's not as fast as proper alien warships, trading speed for fuel efficiency. Second while the fighters are faster, they would still have to fly in, attack, retreat and rearm for each single strike and they aren't that much faster than the Destroyer. As such the number of times they could attack would be very limited and carriers very likely would not be as fast. So the impunity of the fighters is illusional, or more precisely, time limited.
   Third and last approximately ten thousand second generation Arrows were required for the kill. Even assuming that the new munitions are more accurate, their warheads are lighter which means two and a half thousand fighters would be needed. Even the massive Hegemony carriers carried less than two hundred each although those were admittedly larger. But even assuming a new small craft version was designed, one optimized towards anti-ship strikes, it would still likely take over a thousand bombers to kill a single Destroyer scout, not even to mention a probable warship. That is simply too much hardware for too little return, and that's assuming the Commune could fit as many fighters into the carriers as the Hegemony does. Considering however that the Force ships use larger, less fuel efficient engines but still have significant range it's very likely their carriers would have proportionally smaller hangar decks than those of the Hegemony Navy. All in all likely ten carriers would be needed, each massing over a hundred thousand tonnes. To put it simply the Commune would have to completely switch towards carrier doctrine from what they currently have. That is simply impossible.
   Overall while the design is certainly very promising and the Force intends to keep it safe and maybe even updated, there is currently no need for the fighters.

15th August 2388

   The Commune must move the fuel harvesters orbiting Bjornoya in Sudets to a new location due to dwindling reserves and accessibility. While there are good existing locations, the Administrator wants every sector to be able to support a fleet by itself, within reason. In such a case the best spot would be ES – 29 AH4 IV. The system is only two transits from Sudets and the target gas giant has nineteen million of maximum accessibility sorium. There are two potential problems however. First the system is no only uninhabited but quite out of the way from the inhabited areas. Second there is unsurveyed system only two jump away and as reaching it requires transiting a nebula, the Force was putting off any missions in that area. However the only other entry into the system other than the nebula is Sudetes itself which is home to the Second Fleet. Overall the system seems quite vulnerable but could be secured rather easily, assuming sufficient tracking stations will be available to finally monitor the area and survey is conducted to secure the chain. In the end the decision is made to go ahead with the move. The system is renamed Shamash, after an Akkadian god of sun and justice, due to being a bright, white star. The gas giant itself is named Skarv.
   The removal of the fuel harvesters is another blow to the prestige of the Sudets system. Wieliczka, the only inhabited planet there, remains the second largest colony in the Commune, is also a sector capital, homeport of the Second Fleet and base of operations for numerous commercial mining operations, but the government had no interest in the system for a long time, people are actually leaving for other stars and the planet itself now mostly helps to develop younger colonies rather than itself.

9th October 2388

   With the entry jump gate complete, the Republican Battle Groups One, Six and Seven enter the system of ECN 4797. The enemy Specter vessel detected earlier turned out to indeed by a Behemoth but with slightly different electronic signature and speed ten percent higher than those encountered before. Once again it carried eighty FACs, but of the new upgraded type encountered a couple of years previously. Twelve hundred Catapults were needed to deal with the enemy warship and similar number to kill the smaller craft.
   While the recent offensives were launched specifically to clear stocks of older missiles and were very successful – not a single Federal vessel was damaged – the munitions expenditure was significant. There are no longer enough old generation shipkillers to equip all warships. What truly worries the government however is the fact that there are still more Catapults than the newer Ballistas although the difference is not high. Even so the recent series of conflicts was much smaller in scale then the massive battles fought by the Commune and the Hegemony against themselves or the Destroyer which means Phoenix needs more ordnance factories. Fortunately Albion, which serves as the nation's armory, has increased its population to one hundred and seventy million people, so hundreds of new manufacturing complexes can be moved there. Unfortunately those still need to be constructed, moved and the budget is already on the red, relying on still sizeable financial reserves to keep the economy going. A massive increase in missile production will have to be carefully balanced with continued economic expansion.
   Fortunately the stocks lasted long enough to complete the primary strategic goal of the Republic. The Specters have been cleared form their territory, with the only known mothership located in a Commune system adjacent to Phoenixian space and the only ADS presence is limited to a single surveillance destroyer in one system and possibly the system of ECN 4782 where the suspected base is too far out to be checked. While the system will remain off-limits it's only a single star and it will be cleared in time.

21st October 2388

   Enough new warships have been built to make the Hegemony Defiant Carrier Group a completely modern force. Aside from the massive carrier and her hundred and twenty fighters, the formation comprises a Normandy class command cruiser, five Morrigan class destroyers and eight Gharaan class frigates. As some of the escorts are equipped with offensive missiles, this makes the carrier group a self-contained miniature fleet that can can strike multiple targets with its numerous fighters, deliver a single devastating strike, fight at close range, organize a warp point assault, albeit a somewhat weak one and perform many other duties over a large area of space and numerous systems simultaneously. The government and the naval designers plan to continue along this route, and as the last Normandy leaves the yard, it is very likely new multi-role cruisers will be designed and added to the roster, making carrier groups even more versatile. For this reason the Defiant will be reinforced by two Da Yu class destroyers, once some of the new, fast versions are available.

14th December 2388

   The Republic finds the most Earth-like planet so far. ECN 4808 III, orbiting a bright F class star four jumps from the capital through a system held until recently by a Specter Behemoth has almost perfect gravity, atmospheric pressure and day-night cycle. It is also similar in size to Earth, although the temperature and oxygen content are somewhat low. Fortunately those can be modified by terraforming. The only two real issues are low axial tilt, which means seasons aren't as pronounced and high water coverage, leaving only seven percent of the planet as a dry land. Of course as the vast majority of Republicans have been born and raised on various colonized planets, they have now a varied set of desired planetary conditions. Even so this is the first readily habitable planet found by Phoenix since their arrival in this area of space and there is of course a lot of competition for colonization rights.
   To solve the issue the government decides on a rather drastic step – the planet will be opened to no single nation, but to all of them and will be under authority of the central government, as New Atlantis is. As the capital is not overpopulated and there is nothing to attract industry it is unlikely the planet will be heavily developed and only very few people are interested in moving there and those are mostly scientists and novelty seekers. The vast majority of people willing to emigrate are those looking to rebuild their lost societies and they want a planet for themselves.

25th January 2389

   The recently constructed three ship group of Republican Lancelot class fast destroyers have scored their first kill eliminating an ADS surveillance destroyer in ECN 4787. As the alien warship was known to be passive, this was mostly a formality as the system has already been surveyed and the Republic had no intention to exploit it yet anyway. They will now move to ECN 4782 where two ADS fast scouts are located. As it was not known if those are armed or not, and the suspected alien base of operation is too far out, the system remains unexplored.

3rd March 2389

   The Lancelots have been in ECN 4787 for several weeks now but the ADS refuses to close on them. With not enough fuel to check the secondary component with a candidate for colonization, which is over thirty five billion kilometers distant, the ships head home. The star will remain off-limits to traffic for now, as the government is not currently interested in building a tanker which would be necessary to carry operations in the system.

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: From the ashes - part 16
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 06:33:58 AM »
I am slowly reading through this long running campaign.

With the strategic significance of one power or another secretly discovering dormant warp points, I wonder if it would be worth building a few resurvey craft.

A resurvey craft is designed to operate in friendly space, space that has already been surveyed, and possibly colonized.  It would not need the maintenance supplies, fuel supplies or crew quarters for really long missions, nor would it need sensors or weapons or armor.

Of course, they only make sense if you have at least one human controlled NPR, which would have the strategic restraint not to USE a secret jump point until it could be most effective.

From a roleplay perspective, resurveying important systems seems like a relatively cheap way to deal with anxiety over dormant jump points.  At least if you remember to leave a note when the last time particular systems were surveyed.  Be kind of nasty, having what you THINK is a secret jump point, only to find that a cheap make-work survey craft doing welfare for survey crew work discovered it in turn.

Offline Haji (OP)

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Re: From the ashes - part 16
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 09:51:24 AM »
I was thinking about it. The main reason it hasn't happened yet was because I was too lazy to do it and was simply hoping no one will call me on it. As for in story reasons each nation has their own.

The Republic while surveying surrounding space, is effectively confined to only four systems and of those only Phoenix itself has any real value. Even when they will begin to colonise again, they will settle not the best planets, but the closest planets to keep their nation as compact and easy to defend as possible. The only thing that could force them to change this strategy and spread out would be mineral situation but by this point in the campaign they have no issues on that front.
For Hegemony detection is irrelevant. Their strategy is to keep as much industry and all the forces in central location. The argument is that the Destroyers are so powerful engaging them in piecemeal is far too risky and since the enemy is faster any detached force, covering borders for example, could be caught and destroyed in detail, possibly for minimal enemy loses. Since all their forces will always be in Sanctuary (unless they were engaged in campaign against other enemies) it doesn't really matter if they detect dormant jump points or not, those will not be picketed anyway and if something attacks from them the nearest formation will the the fleet in Sanctuary anyway.
The Commune is the hardest to justify but in this case it's a matter of limited resources (they really, really need more ships due to how spread out they are) and the fact that the tracking stations on Pacific has detected Hegemony activity. In short they don't want to waste shipyard time for more survey vessel, they are always hungry for minerals which means they need to search for more of them, making it impossible to interrupt the ongoing survey operations and the steps they already have taken to keep an eye on their systems appear to be working.
What I think I'll do with the Commune will be to do re-survey once they have explored so far the ships are spending more time in transit for refuelling and back than actually surveying. That would be a logical time for something like that but I'm not sure when exactly will that happen.

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: From the ashes - part 16
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 12:26:17 AM »
I wasn't thinking of surveying with SHIPS.  I was thinking of using fighters, precisely to avoid clogging up the shipyards.

A bare-bones survey craft, designed to operate inside friendly space, will be a LOT cheaper than survey ships designed to fly for several months before and after surveying.  Survey ships that don't need jump engines because they operate within a jump gate system.

It wouldn't take that many fighter sized survey ships to resurvey every populated system every 5 years.  It would be an RP way to keep survey officers employed while the nation isn't expanding.  Build them with decent endurance and simply scrap them when they get old and build more up to date ones.

But I appreciate 'laziness' as a reason.  It is a lot of work for very little reward, and if spending time on resurveying makes the game slower or less fun, I won't bitch because I LIKE your stories.

It is a policy that can always change.  Just as a first starting out civilization might not build a space navy until it encounters evidence of other races, a nation may not bother with developing a resurvey problem until the issue of dormant jump points becomes both evident and a serious concern.

Offline Haji (OP)

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Re: From the ashes - part 16
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2017, 06:04:17 AM »
The problem with fighters is that even with reasonably fuel efficient engines (the Commune was using fighters at the very beginning after all) is that they will be either unbearably slow or will have relatively short range. I say relatively because the Commune has by now over two hundred systems and while the actual inhabited area is quite smaller than that, the resurvey would still require a lot of fuel stockpiles.
Anyway I've been thinking about it a little more and I think I can excuse lack of resurvey for Hegemony and the Republic they way I did in the last post. As for the Commune the tracking stations put on their colonies mean its basically impossible to find a dormant jump point into inhabited system without the ship being spotted, unless it specifically uses stealth technology. However as there are many systems, well outside the habitable areas, which don't receive tracking stations for years or decades, it may be possible for dormant jump points to exist there, but those are of little danger since any attacking force would still have to move towards the Commune heartlands - and through many empty systems with tracking stations giving advanced warning.
However once those systems, which were not monitored for years or decades, become inhabited, the situation will change and I think in such a situation I will seriously consider resurvey, but that is still in the future.

But I appreciate 'laziness' as a reason.

Thank you, I appreciate that. One of the problems with Aurora (at least until C# version comes up and I won't be able to move this campaign there) is the long increment time. Because of that I often try to essentially run the game on autopilot, doing something else and basically just pressing the next increment button with as little decision making as possible. Unfortunately the truth is I overdid it and recently, when I begun to look more closely on what is going on, I found numerous problems that I really had to strive to justify in story, such as the fact that I design new ships only when a lot of new technologies are available rather than creating a new version every time any new upgrade is available, as would be expected normally.

I guess in the end it really comes down to what people care about and how much disbelief are they willing to suspend. I do a lot of stuff that from gameplay view or even logic is not very good, but I think most of the time I'm also able to justify it story wise. The issue of resurvey however is definitely something I should take into larger consideration however, as dormant jump points can have large strategic impact under the right circumstances (although admittedly most of the time they are either busted right away or just 'meh').

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: From the ashes - part 16
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2017, 06:17:46 AM »
I am learning a LOT about what to do in a campaign that goes on through that many tech levels.  Including some what not to do. ;)

I will definitely make driveless troop transports, salvagers, and fuel harvesters and a lot more tugs.  That way, I never have to upgrade them.  And I will come up with an RP reason why my empire conquers/uplifts low tech planets.  Cause it seems that while early in the game empires are mineral limited, there will be many points where it is population limited.

And given the need for occasional invasions, I am going to continually build combat engineers if nothing else.  It is really amazing to me how many stories there are with multisystem empires that simply don't have enough ground troops to take a single planet.