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Topic Summary

Posted by: rainyday
« on: October 19, 2022, 12:08:37 PM »

full of many unrelated threads of micromanagement one needs to keep in mind and keep tabs on.

I feel you there. I've done a similar setup (inspired by this AAR, actually) in Sol at least twice now. The longest running one started with 5 races, and one had, I think, 8, and honestly, I don't know how y'all keep up with it. By the time I get jump drives, I am desperately consolidating down to 2-3.

I have two player races in my current AAR who are actively expanding in different areas, and it's been pretty manageable. Maybe even a bit easier than having them in the same system. The different maps and limited interaction make it almost like playing two games at the same time. Probably a bit too much like that, because I have 100+ systems in my database explored by 4 different races (including NPRs and Spoilers) and zero natural overlap points. My third player race is about to build their first jump drive and I'm curious to see how much that complicates the game. Their starting system was trash, so all I've really needed to do for them is manage build queue/research/etc.

I don't remember when it was added but "Show All Race Events" on the map has been huge. A bit of judicious color coding makes it pretty quick to read and process the turns without needing to juggle windows.
Posted by: Zap0
« on: October 19, 2022, 11:04:00 AM »

That's unfortunately true. 2.0 added some of that missing functionality, like the ability to transfer ships between races. In this game (1.11), I'm making do with SM-ing boarding ships and boarding parties, which can be a bit of a hassle. Transferring tech is a reasonably easy DB edit, but moving components ingame is only possible through invasion, which involves setting two empires hostile to another and that has it's own baggage. It not being easy is one of the unfortunate reasons why there hasn't been much trade between the various nations.

Time isn't as plentiful as it was before, but I do like this game and keep coming back to it. Half the fun comes from being in a game state where everybody has expanded and has their own set of strengths and weaknesses already. That's a reason to continue to play an existing game, even if it's also full of many unrelated threads of micromanagement one needs to keep in mind and keep tabs on.
Posted by: StarshipCactus
« on: October 19, 2022, 09:03:23 AM »

I tried playing a multi faction game in 1.12 and it needs a lot of work. There are so many SM tools and abilities missing so you have to crawl through the DB all the time to get anything done.
Posted by: nuclearslurpee
« on: October 19, 2022, 07:34:20 AM »

I keep hoping for someone (Steve??) to do something basically like this, maybe not with 8+ Earth factions but playing multiple races from multiple systems as they all expand, interact, and beat each other up. I don't think we've really had a game like that in Aurora, whereas this is the bread and butter of the old Starfire AARs (and the current one too!). So I would fully support this sort of shenanigan if Zap0 felt up for it.

I'd do it but I barely have enough time for one player race as it is.
Posted by: StarshipCactus
« on: October 19, 2022, 03:19:55 AM »

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NPRs sure are weird sometimes. I've come up with successor game ideas from time to time, and mostly resolved to play at least a significant portion of extrasolar empires myself. That means starting different factions in different systems, which is it's own kind of fun! Had a VB6 game like that before and it was pretty fun as well.
That does sound fun!
Posted by: Zap0
« on: October 17, 2022, 02:44:42 PM »

Nice to see much of the crowd from a before is still around and kicking :-)
Not sure how frequent updates are going to be going forward. I've certainly reached my goal of a hundred-year campaign.

Such wishful thinking on the part of the Callisto faction. I mean, it worked out okay, but still.

It helped that they had bombarded most of the troops beforehand, and the crew here was just on clean-up duty. This was the smallest size of Precursor outpost, if it was just one or two sizes bigger (like the Quanzhou one) they probably wouldn't have been able to take it.

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I'm very confused, I thought this game was Aurora?

NPRs sure are weird sometimes. I've come up with successor game ideas from time to time, and mostly resolved to play at least a significant portion of extrasolar empires myself. That means starting different factions in different systems, which is it's own kind of fun! Had a VB6 game like that before and it was pretty fun as well.

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Indeed, there could be no other resolution, even in states which are not chained to the dictates of the democratic system such a status quo remains in effect after all.

I'm sure you can picture most vividly all the arguments and shenanigans that go on on the naval conference where such decisions are made ;D

Awesome! I get the feeling the Humans might want to think about creating mutual defence treaties before poking the alien hornets nest, that is a lot of ships.

Due to our luck with NPRs there hasn't really been a concrete external threat to force something like that to happen yet, but it'd totally be up the PRLs alley.
Posted by: Garfunkel
« on: October 11, 2022, 10:19:08 PM »

Nice to see this updated!
Posted by: StarshipCactus
« on: October 01, 2022, 07:33:21 AM »

Awesome! I get the feeling the Humans might want to think about creating mutual defence treaties before poking the alien hornets nest, that is a lot of ships.
Posted by: nuclearslurpee
« on: September 30, 2022, 11:54:11 PM »

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Surprise continuation after 1.5 years!

Clearly you are suffering from El Pip's disease. For a disease about slow posting of updates it certainly spreads rapidly.

This is...actually quite a long post. Certainly a worthy comeback.

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Hopefully the 43k tons of ground pounders and tanks they carry will be able to make sure this will be the last expedition needed to secure the system.

Such wishful thinking on the part of the Callisto faction. I mean, it worked out okay, but still.

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That was good, that meant alien wars could stop somewhere before they became total and genocidal.

I'm very confused, I thought this game was Aurora?

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The PRL is in negotiations with the Japanese regarding the sale of their share of the Qian interceptors captured on Procyon's Rest. PRL escorts don't use interceptor missiles, so they have little use for them. It is in the PRL's interest to see the Japanese navy, whom they see as a likely ally against alien threats, survive, so providing them with defensive weapons makes sense. There has been some difficulty finding something the Japanese can offer in return, though.

That problem is solved when a PRL survey cruiser shows up near Neo-Kobe in Grand Bourg and transits into Sukabumi space, the location of the JP already known to the PRL due to an intelligence coup in 2138. This happened over Japanese objections, as they had always refused to share the precise location of the JP with the other powers for fear that they might provoke the aliens. The next day, the PRL negotiation head let the Japanse know they were prepared to release the interceptors to them in the interest of good relations. It was unlikely they Japanese would have agreed to give them access to the JP, but sometimes it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. The move had demonstrated two things: That the PRL was the one to dictate the terms, and that they do not need assistance to take what they want.

That is certainly one way to close a deal, though I think the Japanese resentment might cause problems later...

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Mighty Dolphins

Top ten ship class/squadron names right here.  ;D

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In the end and in true democratic fashion a compromise is reached

Indeed, there could be no other resolution, even in states which are not chained to the dictates of the democratic system such a status quo remains in effect after all.

Posted by: Zap0
« on: May 24, 2021, 04:24:16 PM »

I'm a bit surprised by the discussion of civilian shipping income, mainly because the kind of numbers Callisto has are pretty typical for all of my campaigns and having a budget driven so heavily by shipping taxation is something I never see. It may have to do with the length of the campaign though?

Probably to do with the length of the campaign. The other four powers have absolutely insane numbers of civilians, 6-9 times as much as INL and CAL.

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I've found similar happens when ships with different speeds try to maintain distances. Usually manually setting the speed of the faster fleet to match the slower fleet works, but often this requires some fancy flying to actually reach the expected range. I usually consider this to be due to the difficulties of driving a 10,000-ton spaceship and mutter some hand-wavey stuff about helm officers.

In this case, hand-wavey stuff about unruly pirate crews without proper military training.

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The jump shock system seems to interact with fleet training level so that a well-trained fleet may not suffer from it at all? The whole system is maddeningly inconsistent frankly. I'd prefer if the current system were replaced by a sensor blindness effect which would prevent opening fire as a side effect, and also make jump point reconnaissance rather less effective preserving the advantage of the defenders, if we must have a jump point system for combat in the first place.

I like that idea. Frankly I have no idea what happened to jump shock or why it isn't working. As far as I read [the rules](http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=8495.msg113856#msg113856) the incoming ship should have had a minute or two of fire delay. Jump shock hasn't been working all campaign, which may or may not be the real reason nobody has dedicated jump assault ships.

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Galactic irony has delivered a Japanse explorer with a bounty of immense strategic value: A secret passage into the unprotected backyard of the enemy.

A stabilizer is being dispatched to secure passage for the fleet.

Finally, the conflict expands beyond Venus! Are we on the cusp of our first truly interstellar war between two human factions?

Was quite excited to see that passage pop up, the Japanse have all the exciting dormant JP action this game.

There was actually another funny moment that year that stopped my heart for a bit:



I was already in "Oh no, not this again" mode when the Japanese got that message. Turns out they've managed to detect their own shipyard being towed from Earth as a seperate race named Civilians... thanks Steve  ::)

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In general it seems like Terra has the major advantage of population, they may not have the galactic resource base to effectively fuel all of that population but they can absolutely staff the large number of research facilities and other non-production installations to remain competitive until their enemies are weakened enough to strike against.

In general nobody has population problems, another artifact of the conventional start and the many years of growth time afforded by it. The one closest to having pop problems is Callisto, and they still have a bit of breathing room: A worker requirement of 50m and a manufacturing sector of 70m.

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Interesting deal with Japan, Terra may become a market for "export" designs if some other power sees an opportunity to stabilize, I dunno, a severe financial crunch by selling second-rate technology? Of course, this level of realpolitik only serves to be swept aside by nationalistic enmity...

Given their newly enlarged amounts of research facilities (32 to the PRL's 31) I see Terra as being self-sufficient in the future tech-wise, with the smaller powers being more interested in buying tech, like the INL is already doing. I'd have loved to do more trading in this kind of setup, but the general lack of game mechanics to that effect put up some barriers. Not even the "trade access" diplomatic treaty works :-(

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Interesting design. The propulsion is curious, the individual engines being quite gallicite-hungry but the small displacement used for propulsion keeps the overall cost down and allows mounting a large cache of particle weaponry. The maintenance demands are likely to give Terra serious problems, it looks like they have chronically underinvested in ship engineer training and cannot staff enough engineering bays to reduce overall failure rates. Hopefully, the size and number of weapons will provide a sufficient deterrent.

The propulsion systems ratio is still 26%, I'd hoped to be able to push it down to 20, but that wasn't in the cards.

Never really understood people looking at AFR/IFR however, for a ship twice as big it's simply going to be twice as high and consume twice as many supplies, all other things even. Or are you saying 1.2 years maintenance life is a bit low for a capital ship like that? One of the beautiful things about having a slow doctrine is that you can make fast support ships that can keep up with the primary fleet. Now, if only underway replenishment worked in 1.11...

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Daimonion class Escort

Looks like an excellent design, aside from the magazine perhaps being a bit shallow. This should provide Terra with an absolute hornet's nest of defensive firepower.

Agreed on the shallow magazines, but between more magazines and more launchers, more burst defense potential won with how the known missile users of Mars and Callisto operate. The math works out to the ship being able to defend against two volleys of about 35k km/s speed across their whole defense envelope before running out of ordnance.
Posted by: nuclearslurpee
« on: May 21, 2021, 12:46:56 PM »

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Callisto of course knows a counterinvasion of Venus is coming, as this is an issue debated in public Japanese political discourse. Politicians have it on their agenda. Unfortunately the army is one arm of the regime that has suffered as a consequence of the budget cuts, and a defense of Venus on the ground is deemed infeasible. What money there is is being invested into another run of thrust blocks. The next fight for Venus will be decided in space. There will still be a refresh of the ground troops, especially in light of the losses in Smolensk, but it's a secondary priority.

This seems shortsighted as a decision by the Callisto leadership. Tonnage of well-fortified ground troops is worth quite a bit when defending a colony as they can require several times their mass in attackers to dislodge. That said, of course spaceborne defenses are a necessity otherwise the mining infrastructure on Venus will be blown up in the battle anyways.

I'm a bit surprised by the discussion of civilian shipping income, mainly because the kind of numbers Callisto has are pretty typical for all of my campaigns and having a budget driven so heavily by shipping taxation is something I never see. It may have to do with the length of the campaign though?

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The counter-volley penetrated the raider's thin plating, taking both engines and the weapon systems with it, ending the fight in one attack. Being disabled, the Garmr surrenders. The privateers had made a rookie mistake in sitting right on top of the JP and will now pay for it by spending their lives in chains.

I'd say their bigger mistake was trying to pick a fight with a military ship three times their size and weapons payload. These pirates will need to go to the clothing store and buy new pants, they've gotten too big for their britches!   :P

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The Cerberus briefly reversed course and fell to under 90k km distance, further than they had intended. The crew of the San Rafael used the opportunity to plink away at the Cerberus before their speed advantage pulls them out of their 120k weapons range again.
More #AuroraWoes:

That ship that was keeping distance exactly 33k too close? Yeah, 6.6k km/s speed over 5 seconds is that distance. The Cerberus was moving to the 120k distance it was meant to be, then the chasing ship closed in an additional 33k every tick. I wonder how many people are raging at their ships being chronically unable to do what they're told, cause the interactions of movement orders can be a science unto itself.

I've found similar happens when ships with different speeds try to maintain distances. Usually manually setting the speed of the faster fleet to match the slower fleet works, but often this requires some fancy flying to actually reach the expected range. I usually consider this to be due to the difficulties of driving a 10,000-ton spaceship and mutter some hand-wavey stuff about helm officers.

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Oh, and apparently the San Rafael forgot that it was supposed to be under jump shock, it just jumped into the system via standard transit as it was stabilized and was able to move immediately and shoot 5 seconds after, but only because I didn't give the order to shoot immediately. I'm still on 1.11, but I don't think it is broken in this version. One guess would be that it didn't apply an order delay because there were no hostile ships in the system.

The jump shock system seems to interact with fleet training level so that a well-trained fleet may not suffer from it at all? The whole system is maddeningly inconsistent frankly. I'd prefer if the current system were replaced by a sensor blindness effect which would prevent opening fire as a side effect, and also make jump point reconnaissance rather less effective preserving the advantage of the defenders, if we must have a jump point system for combat in the first place.

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The INL reaction at least confirms that shipping is the point to hit with them, and intelligence on their newest ship class could be gained.

Making the best spin out of a bad result, indeed.

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Galactic irony has delivered a Japanse explorer with a bounty of immense strategic value: A secret passage into the unprotected backyard of the enemy.

A stabilizer is being dispatched to secure passage for the fleet.

Finally, the conflict expands beyond Venus! Are we on the cusp of our first truly interstellar war between two human factions?

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Faction Profile: TERRA
Terran Primacy (2150)

In general it seems like Terra has the major advantage of population, they may not have the galactic resource base to effectively fuel all of that population but they can absolutely staff the large number of research facilities and other non-production installations to remain competitive until their enemies are weakened enough to strike against.

Interesting deal with Japan, Terra may become a market for "export" designs if some other power sees an opportunity to stabilize, I dunno, a severe financial crunch by selling second-rate technology? Of course, this level of realpolitik only serves to be swept aside by nationalistic enmity...

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Development of proper long-range weapon systems will take a while, but as a first step the Hestia class has been designed:

Interesting design. The propulsion is curious, the individual engines being quite gallicite-hungry but the small displacement used for propulsion keeps the overall cost down and allows mounting a large cache of particle weaponry. The maintenance demands are likely to give Terra serious problems, it looks like they have chronically underinvested in ship engineer training and cannot staff enough engineering bays to reduce overall failure rates. Hopefully, the size and number of weapons will provide a sufficient deterrent.

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Daimonion class Escort

Looks like an excellent design, aside from the magazine perhaps being a bit shallow. This should provide Terra with an absolute hornet's nest of defensive firepower.

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Although expensive, a population in an orbital habitat station is much easier to control than one on the surface of a large planet.

A true, if mildly concerning, point to be raised.

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Remind the colonials of their place - the eventual, if far-off goal, is to make all the independent powers pay Terra their dues again, but the INL is first in line due to their relative weakness. A fight against Mars can't be won yet, so limited engagements that don't call upon them to defend their ally yet are the plan. Raids on targets of opportunity, further sponsorship of privateering and perhaps the takeover of a few minor outposts.

An ambitious if long-term goal. It will be difficult to defeat the colonials with a philosophy that prioritizes Terra first, despite her limited resource base though still yet substantial.
Posted by: Zap0
« on: May 20, 2021, 01:56:56 PM »

Very interesting update! How did you handle the raiders? Did you make a new race for them or just made Terra & INL hostile to each other for a bit and hoped that there wouldn't be any accidents elsewhere? I guess if INL doesn't really have any assets in Sol, there wouldn't be.

The raiders were just part of Terra, and I didn't even make them hostile to another. I've considered setting them hostile to another (I've temporarily set empires hostile for individual fights or screenshots before), but they do share a colony on Procyon's Rest, and a number of systems are used by traffic from both sides, like Wuhan and Salto. The sharing-a-colony issue can be solved by putting all units on both sides into rear position, but the killer problem would be constant detections of civilian ships in Procyon and shared transit systems. But hostile relations are required for a few mechanics to function (like interrupts when they enter your space or sensor range, ground combat and AMMs working). If only all these mechanics didn't tie to the same control... That's an #AuroraWoes moment.

More #AuroraWoes:

That ship that was keeping distance exactly 33k too close? Yeah, 6.6k km/s speed over 5 seconds is that distance. The Cerberus was moving to the 120k distance it was meant to be, then the chasing ship closed in an additional 33k every tick. I wonder how many people are raging at their ships being chronically unable to do what they're told, cause the interactions of movement orders can be a science unto itself.

Oh, and apparently the San Rafael forgot that it was supposed to be under jump shock, it just jumped into the system via standard transit as it was stabilized and was able to move immediately and shoot 5 seconds after, but only because I didn't give the order to shoot immediately. I'm still on 1.11, but I don't think it is broken in this version. One guess would be that it didn't apply an order delay because there were no hostile ships in the system.
Posted by: Garfunkel
« on: May 20, 2021, 11:47:27 AM »

Very interesting update! How did you handle the raiders? Did you make a new race for them or just made Terra & INL hostile to each other for a bit and hoped that there wouldn't be any accidents elsewhere? I guess if INL doesn't really have any assets in Sol, there wouldn't be.
Posted by: Zap0
« on: April 27, 2021, 12:56:42 AM »

That's...quite something. Looks like the Callistoanskiy Rezhim has learned not to place nearly so much trust in their active sensor readings when it comes to ground forces...that 600 tons was probably closer to 3000 due to fortification modifiers!

I might have known that, but the people in charge over there only saw small numbers! :P

I recommend air-dropping two thousand main battle tanks, this works every time.

Ah, the PRL approach then. You'll be glad to know that the next (hopefully final?) military expedition to Smolensk does indeed carry tanks, though they only have a hundred or so to spare.

A smart admiral would load the Qian missiles first and fill the magazines with domestic models. Hopefully this can convince the Callistoans that they face a stronger enemy than they really do, and press them to retreat before the Qian missiles are exhausted.

That was the plan, but perhaps some more Qian interceptors can be obtained from somewhere before then yet...
Posted by: nuclearslurpee
« on: April 26, 2021, 08:47:11 PM »

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The PRL is struggling to get enough infrastructure to Fùguó quickly enough to cover the explosive growth of it's colony. Local refueling and maintenance capacities are badly needed due to it's distance from other PRL bases, the system is only really reachable due to the refueling station on Procyon's Rest already. A repair yard, central administration, naval facilities, more than just a token ground defense force, even a full gravimetric survey of the system are still lacking. Fùguó is in a very vulnerable stage of it's growth. The PRL may need to react early and decisively if it looks like another power is making a move on it.

A familiar feeling...Aurora is maddening at times, you need to get things done as fast as possible but the game takes forever to advance once you've started really playing it.

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The crunch has also highlighted the inadequacy of existing PRL logistics ships, which are an overworked collection of ancient military vessels combining fuel and supply duties, with low capacities of either. A dedicated series of bulk haulers and fast couriers is a must.

Sooo you gotta spend gallicite on your gallicite haulers to get gallicite for your actual fleet. Like I said...maddening!  :P

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The disembarkation process went smoothly, all units got in formation and advanced on the enemy. Upon treading across some unknowable perimeter, the defense systems of the compound sprung to life and began the slaughter. The mobile units of the Qian moved with ease through the thick mists and sharp inclines of the local terrain, efficiently cutting down squadron after squadron as the soldiers in their heavy armor struggled to hit anything. The whole assault was over within an hour, the occasional lucky hit taking down not nearly enough of the defenders.

That's...quite something. Looks like the Callistoanskiy Rezhim has learned not to place nearly so much trust in their active sensor readings when it comes to ground forces...that 600 tons was probably closer to 3000 due to fortification modifiers!

I recommend air-dropping two thousand main battle tanks, this works every time.

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The Japanese Situation

Japan has been having tough times. Ever since the loss of Venus budgets have been tight in virtually every area. The plan is to change that with the reconquest of Venus and the liberation of it's population, for which rough preperations have been ongoing for years. It is now time for a concrete plan and timetable.

This is really starting to take on a Hatfields vs. McCoys feel now.

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The downsizing of the attack destroyer squadron opens up extra capacities for more escort destroyers, which will be needed to counter the Callistoan navy, as has been demonstrated in the skirmish over Encke a few years ago. The remaining three ion-engined escorts can be kept in service, as they do not depend on their movement speed for their efficacy, but the goal is to build up to 8 escorts again, with 6 as the minimum. Reserves of Qian Interceptors are too low for comfortable supply of all units with 1330 interceptors remaining. Good numbers of domestic interceptors are in storage, but they are not as efficient.

A smart admiral would load the Qian missiles first and fill the magazines with domestic models. Hopefully this can convince the Callistoans that they face a stronger enemy than they really do, and press them to retreat before the Qian missiles are exhausted.

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Maintaining and maximizing Gallicite production is of the highest priority.

An ill-advised raid on a Qian shipping lane may be called for.

So it seems that the battle is some years off. I wonder what the other powers might get up to in the intervening time...