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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Race to the Stars - 2146 Mining Comparison
« Reply #45 on: January 25, 2021, 01:44:19 AM »
   2146 - Mining Comparison

Minerals are the foundation of power and industry. Comparing yearly income rates can give us a good impression of how well an empire is doing and who is in ascendence - or decline.
Duranium is, fortunately, not a scarce resource for anyone right now. But Gallicite, the mineral required for the construction of engines, is considered to be the gold of the 22nd century and the main limiter for most empires power projection.

Interstellar League (INL)

Total: 11 484
Gallicite: 944

The INL has a relatively high income of secondary minerals, but a low Gallicite flow at the moment. They have established no less than five distant mining outposts on various Gallicite-bearing bodies, some of which are still ramping up production.


Total: 7 570
Gallicite: 874

Japan is feeling the effects of losing the Venusian mines hard. Keeping themselves over water with second-hand Gallicite sources, they are running with very tight budgets as a number of secondary minerals are almost out. Their Vendarite, Uridium and Neutronium income rates were slashed as the facilities were repurposed for new Gallicite mines.

Martian Consortium

Total: 23 637
Gallicite: 1 910

The bulk of Martian income comes from Mars itself and isn't actually needed - there are hundreds of thousands of Duranium and Corundium units in storage already. For a long time Martian Gallicite was fed by a Kuiper-belt object they had sole control over, but that is now starting to run out. For a long time the Consortium was content to stay in Sol and forego interstellar expansion, but mineral scarcity is driving them out - belatedly, some say. They are partnering with the INL in founding important long-distance colonies. The INL does not have the resources to make distant colonies productive quickly or protect a widely spread empire, the Consortium gains access to prime mining spots and an ally to use in their power games in Sol.
The rise of Mars seems to stagnate, but should the Consortium be able to reuse the expansive Martian mining industry that may well change once again.

People's Republic of Luna (PRL)

Total: 27 799
Gallicite: 3 221

The recent shipbuilding boom after Magneto-Plasma drives became practical has led to somewhat of an arms race in shipbuilding with the Martian Consortium that left both empires' Gallicite stocks depleted. Both parties are at the same time struggling with the depletion of their primary Gallicite sources, although the PRL evidently has an easier time shifting to a new source than Mars.
The arms race is considered to have been won by the PRL, who now have 600k tons of military ships in service compared to the Consortium's 457k. The Consortium's ascendence to a great power in recent decades was bought with stored up minerals and potential and seems to have reached it's zenith, while the PRL's industrial investments into mines, more mines, and even more mines is paying off exponentially.

Terran Primacy

Total: 4 502 (25 840 in mid-2147)
Gallicite: 408 (3 159 in mid-2147)

One of the primary challenges for the Terrans to establish themselves as an enduring spacefaring power will be ensuring a steady mineral flow from out of Sol. That said, the current numbers are misleading, the Hambach asteroid mining complex is currently finishing up an end-of-life asteroid. The rate will rise by 2 500 units once relocated to the next asteroid in 2147 - until that one runs out too. Asteroid mining income naturally fluctuates, but is also dependent on suitable mining locations, and the number of Gallicite-bearing asteroids in Bremen is steadily decreasing. The Primacy intends to supplement the asteroid income with more steady automines and orbitally manned mines on Bremen's planets and pick up an old EU plan to expand into the neighboring system of Hannover and exploit the Gallicite of two small planets and a large comet there. The plans are almost exclusively concerned with securing long-term Gallicite sources as there is enough of all other minerals except Neutronium on Terra to last decades yet. Any future secondary mineral demands will then be met by the asteroid miners.

Callistoan Regime

Total: 13 973
Gallicite: 2 670

Callisto is doing well between their income from conquered Venus and the Novokuzneck colony. At the moment they're concerned with consolidating their holdings rather than expand to new ones. There are still a number of challenges Callisto faces, such as low wealth income, the challenge of defending Solar and colonial holdings and an awkward fleet doctrine highly dependent on prime mining income and industrial output for effectiveness. If they can overcome these challenges these numbers indicate that in a few decades they will grow from a minor power into something more.

Race comp 2146
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 01:05:12 AM by Zap0 »

Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Race to the Stars - 2147-2148
« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2021, 04:36:38 PM »
It's been a while since I touched this - blame RL. Had most of the update written out already after the last update, but wasn't quite satisfied with it as things repeatedly failed to take a dramatic turn. Two more peaceful years it is :D


Salto LP2 Ambush

The ones who entered a shipbuilding race against another now enter a maintenance shortage together.

The Martian Consortium knows well that the People's Republic of Luna (PRL) is having a Gallicite deficit after the recent bouts of shipbuilding, much like they themselves have. The CEOs of the Consortium would like to deepen their competitors crisis. It is known that their mineral transporter from Chongqing always takes the LP2 in Salto on it's way back to Sol, even now that the LP has shifted far enough from the Wuhan JP that a direct route would be shorter. Consequently, it spends a lot of time in Salto away from the trade routes and can get "lost" without anyone really noticing.

During the next scheduled shore leave and maintenance cycle of the pair of frigates stationed on Concordia, the Consortium's civilian colony in Salto, the ships don't stay inside their docking bays and instead receive a skeleton crew of black ops operatives. Their mission is to take the ships to the LP the target is expected to be approaching, wait until it appears on sensors, retreat back through the LP and jump through again when the target has closed the distance, blasting it away from close range. If all goes well, they will never have the time to send a distress call or identify their attackers.

The ships move into position on the LP under radio silence, but the plan fails. Calculations for the arrival time of the PRL freighter were off by a bit, not more than 10 or 15 seconds, and the black ops unit enters the LP at virtually the same time as the freighter on the other side. As the target is now in the inner system and and a mere 200m km from Concordia and the busy civilian traffic there, the operation is aborted. Although it is unlikely they ever saw the frigates, another attempt won't be made in case they noticed something was up and increase security for the next run.

The ships cross-jumped the LP, never seeing another. The killers jumped to LP2 and the target, the PRL's FT Luda II, jumped into the inner system at the same time.

A few months later a different cargo convoy eventually returns to Luna and unloads 6k Gallicite from Fùguó, the Rich Frontier, allowing PRL maintenance workers to get back to it. The People's Republic of Luna was very careful to not show to outsiders just how far the situation had deteriorated before. A significant number of ships have suffered reduced readiness. Now the situation can improve again. The Chongqing delivery was never critical and only 263 Gallicite in size. The Consortium was unaware of just how far the yield from Chongqing had decreased.

The most critical overdue repairs being carried out after the load from Fùguó has been processed.

San Rafael First Contact Situation

A strange sensor ping is received by the small San Rafael asteroid colony. The format and intensity of the ping does not correspond to a known human signature, so it is assumed to be alien in origin. The Interstellar League (INL) sends a ship to investigate, as the position of the ping is very strange. It came from between the JP to the known Qian system of Quanzhou and the Bremen JP, leading into human core systems.

The Terran force in Bremen, the system before San Rafael, detects the lone INL destroyer coming to investigate. Given that it's well-known that there is a whole squadron of ships on station in Bremen, it's assumed that the mission of the vessel has nothing to do with the Terran mining operation in Bremen. Two ships are sent to follow the INL vessel and learn it's mission.

The INL ship, DD Isparta, is holding position on the San Rafael JP, in case the UFO comes through, when the two Terran ships come on sensors. As the Isparta is an Adana D and faster than the incoming Adana Cs of the Hambach Protection Force it can safely retreat, but that would leave it's mission unfulfilled. The Isparta transits into San Rafael to try and find the alien.

The INL was always the most likely to come into contact with new aliens first.

The alien is found easy enough, or at least three other alien ships are, as they are in the spot from which the original sensor ping originated. As the trio detects the approaching vessel (it is assumed), a new sensor ping is received some 30m km north of the current position. There the initial alien frigate is found. After a short while and a few more sensor pings, the frigate sets out towards the other ships. As that was the direction the Isparta just came from, the assumption is that the ship wants to attack and battle stations are sounded, but then the alien frigate harmlessly passes by. These are the kinds of misunderstandings that happen with a lack of communications. Were the Isparta missile-armed, it may well have fired on an approaching vessel of superior speed. As none of the four alien ships seem to be going anywhere, the Isparta settles down nearby and prepares to act as a relay to open just one such communications channel. In the meantime Taíno considers sending more forces to San Rafael, as only an old autocannon battery protects the colony in the system and the three smaller alien vessels outmass the Isparta by 3:1 and have a higher speed.

Four weeks later communications make a breakthrough and the alien vessels identify themselves as belonging to one Solway Confederation. They acknowledge the Isparta's request they leave San Rafael, but don't follow through. The additional warships will be there in a week. The Terran ships that were sent after the Isparta never jumped into San Rafael after it for fear of an ambush on the other side (and the possibility of setting one on this one). With five more INL warships approaching the JP they give up their position. They deem it unlikely they will attack Bremen now, after having shown their hand.

Over a month later, after the INL reinforcments have been staring down the alien visitors for a while, the aliens transit, revealing a previously unknown stabilized jump point at their location. That would explain how they got here in the first place. Since an expeditionary force is already assembled, the fleet goes to say hello. On the other side is an uninteresting orange dwarf system, and the alien squadron, of course. The alien ships are heading away at a slow speed, escorting the large work barge in their midst, which is being suspected of having just performed the stabilization of that JP in the first place. The expeditionary force follows at a respectful distance, transiting twice more until they land in a system where the return JP is unstabilized. Evidently the next target for this work detail. The expeditionary force will have to await the arrival of a jump ship to return home - luckily the INL navy operates one - and turn the task of finding the homeworlds of the Solway over to the survey ships.

Smolensk Campaign

At about the same time as the INL starts following the Solway aliens back into their systems, the Smolensk Assault Force returns for the second time, intent on wiping out the remaining two Qian stations. They are easily found, having drifted another 55m km from their last sighting. They are cleared as efficiently as the last ones, albeit this time with slightly cheaper Pavlov D missiles. A seperate expedition will come to clear the ground weapon on planet B-III and then there is nothing standing in the way of full exploitation of the system.

Ruins are located on Smolensk A-V, the planet which was abandoned by the drifting Qian stations. As there are no defenders on the surface, an expeditionary team lands and secures a whopping 12k Qian Interceptors, significant loot. It looks like domestic interceptor production can be stopped for the foreseeable future, especially if the base in the B component also holds this much. All the other powers which got Qian Interceptors from their hand-holding party on Procyon's Rest are certain to be baffled when they find out the Callistoans also managed to get their hands on Qian Interceptors!

The anomaly on B-II, one planet further in from where the first battle was, turned out to hold a disused alien sensor station, apparently set up to study the Qian. The investigating xenologists estimate setting up a research facility here will outright double any research efforts in the field - a great find indeed. A colony on the small desert world is planned, the body can be made habitable with only minimal atmospheric modifications.

Mineral-wise, Smolensk is not a great find with a lack of any accessible Gallicite. B-II, the desert world with the sensor outpost, has the only deposits worth mentioning: Duranium, half-accessibility Neutronium and trace amounts of other minerals. The survey of B-III, the super-earth with the Qian ground turret, is still pending.

Lipeck Diplomatic Mission

The diplomatic vessel has arrived from Callisto and has taken up position near the large alien fleet blockading the Lipeck-Novobirsk JP two jumps out from Novokuzneck. The mission of the DIP Kara will be to establish communications with the force and try to find out as much as possible about their intent, capabilities, allegiance and to judge if they're a threat to Humanity, Callisto and the Novokuzneck colony in particular.

They didn't take very long to parse our comm protocols, as they've met humans before.

Not two weeks later the alien task force identifies itself as belonging to a polity called the Sukabumi Alliance. They don't divulge any details about their mission. This is the same species that the Japanese made contact with after one of their ships popped up next to Neo-Kobe twenty years ago. Naturally, they had never shared the communications codes they used to communicate with the Sukabumi or the location of the JP leading back to their space, and given the current bad relations with Japan, it's unlikely they ever will. So be it, should the Japanese decide to exploit this only-known-to-them connection and anger the Sukabumi, Callisto will not warn them of their overwhelming military strength encountered here.
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Race to the Stars - 2148 Alien contacts overview
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2021, 11:38:08 AM »
An overview of the alien contacts of Humanity


The Xining Monarchy was the first live alien contact of Humanity. Encountered in 2110 by a PRL (People's Republic of Luna) ship and kept a secret for years, Human-Xining relations are relatively cool these days as they've come to view Humans as unreliable. They were not amused that the PRL kept their existence secret and lied about representing all of Humanity, do not like ships approaching their homeworld and dislike the Human neutrality in their war against the enigmatic Split.

In popular culture the Xining are known as the Chinese-speaking aliens, as the first non-PRL ship making contact with them was greeted in the language. Conspiracy theories have it that they are secretly allied with the PRL, promising to keep them in a dominant position among the Human powers, but in truth they like the PRL least out of all their Human contacts.

INL (Interstellar League) and Martian interests are settling in systems near the Xining home system. These systems are not claimed by the Xining, but there are voices saying Humanity should not expand that way because of the potential for future conflict. These are not the voices of those in power, however.

INL-settled systems highlighted. First contact with the Xining happened at a totally different location of the jump network.


Ten years after first contact, the Xining fought a destructive war against another alien empire termed the Split. Not much is known about them and communications could never be established. Their proper name is unknown, even to the Xining. The Xining have lost the war, but were able to hold on to their homeworld and major colonies. Witnessing this conflict was an important lesson for the fledgeling Human powers, as it changed the way space warfare was thought about. Particularly the PRL, who had a ship get caught up in the fighting, restructured their navy with alien wars in mind as they were the greater threat.


The Qián tǐ are not a live species anymore, as far as is known. Human contact has been solely with their automated defense systems, some on once settled worlds, some on purely military outposts. Their homeworld has been located, presumed so because of the immense Qian fleet in orbit of an otherwise habitable world going through an extended nuclear winter.
Through observation and sharing of their findings with other alien races Mankind has become reasonably certain that they pose no active threat if not approached, and are starting to be seen more as an obstacle rather than the menace they were made out to be during first contact.


Suddenly appearing through a dormant jump point near the Japanese Grand Bourg colony one day, the Sukabumi Alliance is well known due to the Christmas Miracle, where communications with the alien ship with unknown intentions near the undefended Japanese colony could be established within record time. Peaceful relations were established, but as usual with alien contacts, much secrecy is being kept around the precise location of the alien JP in Grand Bourg or what the Japanese found in their expeditions into Sukabumi space. And what they found indeed: The homeworld of the Sukabumi was home to an enormous belt of wreckage, with none of their ships in sight. The Japanese assumption is that their fleet was destroyed by some unknown enemy that spared their homeworld itself, but unbeknownst to them Callisto has recently found a very large Sukabumi fleet stationed on a JP elsewhere in space. The two Human enemy nations are unlikely to share that information with another.

While there has been a good amount of cultural exchange with the Xining, communication with the Sukabumi is still somewhat rudimentary, and sometimes ships of theirs couldn't be contacted when entering Grand Bourg and had to be destroyed. Unfortunately experience with the Xining has shown that even better communications and an open cultural exchange is largely something relegated to a niche academic interest, as the alien ways are often too strange to make sense of in human terms.


A new race encountered only a few years ago by PRL scouts after the attack on the Qian in Quanzhou. A handful of their ships were observed carrying out operations in a distant system with Qian wreckage - likely the handiwork of this species. Their ability to take down Qian presences and the observed speed of 8k km/s on one of their scout ships suggests high tech and high capabilities, exactly the kind of threat the PRL aims to prepare for. As the PRL only had a limited amount of contact through their scouts, communications with these aliens have not been established yet.

PRL exploration beyond Quanzhou. System #372 was the encounter system with the dismantled Qian outpost.


The new guys on the block. A stabilization squadron of theirs was found in 2147 to have opened a passage into a INL-settled system not far from Human core space. They too are considered a potential threat due to their high observed ship speeds, but as so often with aliens, not much about them is known.

The passage into their space is unknown to the other Human powers. Future exploration into this region of space has been tasked with finding their worlds. The INL never ventured into Quanzhou themselves after the reports of Qian activity there.


There are also a number of other encounters made by Human explorers over the years. Some of them could be attributed to Qian, some as likely encounters of other races, but many are still a mystery: Unexplained energy spikes and weapons fire, mystery wrecks and artificial structures in space. Explorer crews often come home with stories so fantastic and outlandish that they seem unlikely to be true, but should they indeed be there may be as many as a dozen alien species active in the stellar neighborhood.

Then there are also a number of species which aren't alive anymore, the Qian taking a special position among those. While major alien ruins haven't been found yet, a number of smaller digs and excavations have unearthed a number of curiosities, some of which with great scientific value. First among these is the multidimensional complex on the surface of Procyon's Rest.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 11:51:17 AM by Zap0 »
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Race to the Stars - 2149
« Reply #48 on: April 26, 2021, 05:19:54 PM »

INL (Interstellar League) ordnance manufacturies are now producing Martian missiles under license, as the Martian market is struggling to keep up with demand. The produced ordnance will either be sold to the Martian Consortium or used in Mars-built ships acquired for the INL navy.

PRL Interstellar Ambitions

A new branch has been inaugurated into the People's Republic of Luna's (PRL) armed forces, the Xeno Operations Branch. Seperate army units, specially trained and equipped to wage surface wars on alien worlds and against alien species. A host of the older and slower warships, with speeds nearer that of the large dropships at the core of the force, have been transferred to the new command. Their first task will be the invasion of the Qian base in Quanzhou. Ten division and their respective logistics chains are in training.

PRL settlement of Fùguó, the Rich Frontier, has exceeded the most optimistic forecasts. Despite it's distance from Sol, over 40m citizens are registered to the Gallicite-rich system only 13 years after it's discovery, living on two moons of planet III and the habitable main world, Fùguó Prime. Mineral output from the system alone already exceeds that of minor powers and will exceed that of the "regular" Gallicite automining operation in Baotou as soon as enough equipment from Luna arrives.

Colonies and outposts of the PRL near the end of 2149. Being the largest human power, they maintain the most extrasolar presences as well.

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.

Fùguó on the map. PRL maintenance locations highlighted.

The many fleet bases and refueling points established by the PRL recently are meant to provide the foundations for Humanity's first truly interstellar empire. An empire that is not centered on Sol, or any other homeworld, and is spread out over a region of space instead, where the loss of one world does not necessarily need to mean the end of the other worlds, too. Power projection over that space is the first requirement for this. With the Gallicite crunch after recent shipbuilding rounds supplies hauled out to bases were hauled back to Luna; It is evident that the envisioned network of fleet bases will require a major investment to stock all with supplies, create a distributed fuel refining infrastructure and expand the capacities laid down to actually support fleets, not just explorers. 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. Add to that scouting and monitoring requirements for all the space it intends to operate in and the PRL has it's development plans laid out for the next few decades.

Smolensk Campaign

The fourth Callistoan foray into Smolensk has happened. Pelting the Qian ground weapon with barrages of interceptors yielded results, even if the light warheads were insufficient in number to completely destroy the target. One of the two escorting Krivaks, standing by with their heavy missile racks, was needed to finish the job. It is quite likely that any installations the units were defending was destroyed along with them. With the many thousands of Qian interceptors captured here in Smolensk it seemed a good use for the now-obsolete domestic interceptor ordnance.

The seperate STO Ground Forces Signature, once reading 1300 tons, is no more.

Once spent, the depleted ships head towards the already secured Qian base in the A component to load up with some of just these Qian Interceptors for transport home, leaving only one Krivak and the command frigate in orbit of B-III while the troop transport, having already arrived from Novokuzneck, is called to unload.

A 10k ton division of a thousand infantry units in power armor, all slaughtered in the thick mists of some unforgiving alien world.

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.

Once more Humanity had been reminded of the harsh and unforgiving nature of space. Now that there were no more of their own troops mingled in with the defending war machines, the missile frigate Fidonisi emptied it's tubes onto the battleground, burying the fallen soldiers under torn-up gravel and the scraps of their foes. Another expedition would have to be put together to finally secure this outpost, as not all of the remaining defense systems were disabled even in that final salvo. The lesson learned here today is not to underestimate an opponent who was quite literally built for the terrain they are defending.

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.

Military analysis:

There are six particle-armed Tama-class destroyers in service. Four of them are an older model. Doctrine usually calls for refits to keep the ships up-to-date, but with the last upgrades quite a while ago due to the ongoing Gallicite shortage and the Venus war, all major systems would need replacing. As the ships are meant to fight other beam-armed opponents by outranging and outspeeding them, that means outdated warships can't fulfil their role anymore as they'd get outsped or outranged. Additionally, the current threat the navy is supposed to counter is the missile-armed Callistoan one, not the heavy beam-armed PRL one anymore. As such the decision is made to shrink the attack destroyer squadron from 6 to 2, keeping only the two most modern Tama H class ships around. The remainder will get scrapped or sold. Already a deal has been struck with the INL to sell one of the Tamas for 25,000 units of Uridium, allowing the reallocation of 20 automines towards Gallicite. Negotiations with the Terran Primacy are ongoing.

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.

Twenty heavy fighters have been built and form the third leg of the navy. Their high speed (9k km/s) is meant to enable them to chase down the fast CAL missile ships and take them down in close quarters, as they lack direct-fire energy weapons to defend themselves with. The fighter's small size will make detection and targeting difficult for the enemy. When not attacking, the nimble craft can be used to intercept missile volleys, providing an extra layer of defense. There are no carrier platforms and the craft only carries air for three days - they are meant for use in Sol.

A greatly contentious issue is that of a dedicated dropship. There is no question that one is needed anymore, the Callistoan deployment of STO guns on Venus has made one a hard requirement for any campaign to retake the body. An ordinary troop transport could not stay in orbit for a day or two while the troops disembark, a dropship can launch a simultaneous orbital insertion and immediately retreat. The question is in the nature of that dropship. Designs for military dropships have come and gone over recent decades, the latest one was even ordered, but then canceled. As such, there is a yard immediately available to build a cruiser-sized military dropship:

Code: [Select]
Meiya class Dropship      20 000 tons       276 Crew       2 287.7 BP       TCS 400    TH 2 720    EM 2 130
6800 km/s      Armour 5-65       Shields 71-532       HTK 93      Sensors 6/0/0/0      DCR 3      PPV 0
Maint Life 0.58 Years     MSP 330    AFR 914%    IFR 12.7%    1YR 572    5YR 8 577    Max Repair 111 MSP
Troop Capacity 6 000 tons     Drop Capable   
Kaigun-Chōsa    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Morale Check Required   

MP Plasma Drive (17)    Power 2720    Fuel Use 70.0%    Signature 160    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 849 000 Litres    Range 10.9 billion km (18 days at full power)
Rutherford Field Generator Delta71 A (1)     Recharge Time 532 seconds (0.1 per second)

Hiraseli Short-Range Sensor (1)     GPS 40     Range 5.4m km    Resolution 10
Matsuhita Electric Thermic Detector B (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes

It's defenses aren't particularly impressive, but they likely won't need to be, as the Callistoans employ lighter STO weapons than most other powers. The important part is the presence of a shield that can recharge between drops: With just 6k drop capacity repeated runs will be needed to build up a force on Venus. A round-trip from Earth can happen every two days, much better than the two-week round-trip times Callisto had during their invasion. Building multiple dropships is out of the question due to the Gallicite cost. Part of the risk in having to do repeated drops comes from the uncertainty of the naval battle that is certain to unfold and the potential for loss of control of Venus' orbit. Dropping enough troops to have a fighting chance on the ground at once would be preferrable. Design studies show that the alternative, an armored commercial dropship after the PRL example, would also not be deliver an appropriate amount of troops at once (which is likely to reach the 100k tons mark), be more susceptible to damage buildup from repeated drop runs due to lack of shields, and would cost a comparable amount of Gallicite due to needing to move much more mass in addition to a higher cost in Neutronium for more armor and more parallel drop bays, which the nation can't really afford either.
The order is given to start construction on the Meiya as soon as resources are available.

That leaves the ground unit situation. The first Venus war was fought mostly in the normal-pressure underground tunnels connecting mines and surface settlements, very little action happened on the surface proper as the crushing pressure, corrosive winds and extreme temperatures made combat extremely dangerous - any kind of damage would usually be enough to cripple a surface vehicle and kill the crew inside. Only the large TSF Mecha were sturdy enough to be used on the surface. An entire army (100k tons) of troops has been trained and equipped with equipment specially designed for the conditions on Venus, and a new generation of TSF is set to enter production before 2150.

Operational Outline:

Simple. The CAL navy will be challenged with the aim of drawing them as far as possible from their base, perhaps using a similar scenario as with the Encke skirmish. This will enable their ships to be run down by the fighters once the Callistoan missile strike has been absorbed. If the CAL fleet can't be detected while firing, as was the case during the Encke skirmish, the fleet may need to be ran down back to it's base. If it does not return to base, it poses no threat as it can't reload. Once naval superiority has been established, the landings on Venus can begin. As long as our side can reinforce and the enemy can not, an eventual victory on the surface is assured.

Sufficient ground troops are technically already available, but another 3760 Gallicite is needed on top of maintenance and ordnance requirements to build the minimum force deemed necessary for the operation. Regular Gallicite surplus is around 700 per year, so six years are projected to pass before the new vessels are ready. 2155 - 23 years after the invasion - is slated to be the year of Venus' liberation.

Economic and political considerations:

Maintaining and maximizing Gallicite production is of the highest priority. Some Gallicite will be able to be repurposed from decommissioned ion engines, but rising maintenance requirements during the build-up and the need to create new supplies for the new ships and occasional returning exploration cruisers will more than counteract this boon.

The relocation of shipyards to the Neo-Kobe colony, and most types of TN-manufacturing following that, is now possible due to the growth of the colony and a good idea in case open warfare with Callisto threatens these vital industries. Now, the Japanese space power is often considered to be a relic of a bygone age of nation-states. All other nations that once set out in the Race to the Stars changed forms, some less peacefully than others. This has always come after the focus of economic activity shifted away from Earth. There are founded fears that Japan will undergo a similar transformation, especially with the specter of the Terran Primacy steadily depriving the nation of influence on Earth. Nobody wants to lose the Home Islands, but with Nippon dependent on it's colony, the Terrans controlling the rest of the world and the PRL's whims just a stone's throw away, continued independence may prove untenable.

Fulfillment of Goals:

In the Faction Profile from 2137, 12 years ago, Japanese goals were stated as:
  • Reconquest of the Gallicite mines on Venus - The economy has found a new equilibrium, a probing attack on the Callistoans has been executed and informed several decisions, a concrete plan moving forward has been formulated.
  • Naval plans for beating Calliso - The 20 fighters built as a counter are, frankly, not enough. Construction of other ships has priority, however, and the fighters will play a subsidiary role in the larger fleet.
  • Exploitation of the alien sensor station in the Kurashiki system - The first research facility has gone into operation on the dwarf planet this year. A minor mining and terraforming effort is also underway, all enabled by LG infrastructure brought from Neo-Kobe over the past decade.
  • Probing Sukabumi space and their capabilities - No real progress has been made on this. Passive monitoring is now in place on their entrance to our space and other key locations and diplomatic efforts have been continuing, but proper scouting of the systems in their space where ships were lost requires new capabilities such as a small jump-capable scout, and development priorities lie elswhere. Given that the first expedition encountered only a massive field of wreckage in orbit of their world, finding out their threat level is considered a lower priority.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 05:29:10 PM by Zap0 »
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Race to the Stars - 2150 Faction Profile: TERRA
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2021, 04:30:13 AM »

Callisto is pulling in more Gallicite than it can use at current, due to budget deficits. Much of recent industrial output was used to improve the regime's financial infrastructure, but with the moons small industrial base that only helped little. The core problem is the tiny amount of commercial shipping under control of the regime.


Callisto's atmosphere will finally become breathable in about 6 years time, after decades of greenhouse-gas generation. Once a hydrosphere has been established and the need for special housing infrastructure becomes obsolete, a colony on Ganymede or Io can be established. Although it would take precious shipping capacity to Novokuzneck and Smolensk away, it should stimulate the commercial sector enough to put the financial worries firmly into the past. If only it would be clear just how long a hydrosphere will require to take hold.

Only the INL (Interstellar League) sees comparable numbers due to similar civilian shipping problems. All others, even small Japan, make Callisto's annual budget from freight shipping taxes alone.

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.

Wuhan Anti-Piracy Operation

Tensions between the Terrans and their wayward colonial subjects are rising again, as an INL civilian mass conveyor has been left drifting in Wuhan with several crew dead after an assault by what seems to be Terran privateers. The distributed nature of the INL makes them very dependent on their shipping sector, so they've announced increased patrols and retaliation "with all appropriate force". As such it didn't come as a big surprise to the privateer ship Garmr, appraising prey on the Wuhan-Salto JP, when the INL patrol destroyer San Rafael jumped through.

Small-scale piracy and armed vessels in private hands have been a thing for over 70 years at this point, and the advances of technology and the general increase of the wealth of mankind are steadily lowering the barriers of entry for private starships below the scale of the major civilian shipping lines. This new breed of state-backed Terran privateers is a size bigger than those minor pirates, sporting corvettes with military-grade armaments and impulse drives. That must be what emboldened the privateers when they opened up on a destroyer more than three times their size.

The San Rafael quickly lays in a pursuit course as the privateer pulls distance from the JP.

The San Rafael is the most advanced warship the INL has, having left the docks just a few months prior. It has a speed competetive to the war fleets of the major powers and advanced Martian electronics, and even it's fresh crew is able to navigate the vessel and fire on their target only seconds after having cleared the jump point.

More guns than you

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.

The news on Taíno were already alight with stories about the successful anti-piracy operation when a second raider, the Cerberus, appeared on the San Rafael's screens, approaching from the inner system. Not responding to hails, the second raider kept closing in. The San Rafael was still engaged in securing the Garmr for transport to Taíno, but if these pirates wanted holes in their hull too, they could come and get them. The Cerberus reversed course as the distance between ships shrunk to 167k and began firing. The lone battery on the raider proved unable to cause much damage at this range, the few impacting projectiles barely damaging the San Rafael's advanced Martian shields. The crew of the San Rafael, unable to fire back, now understood why the second pirate had chosen to engage: They outranged them. Perhaps they hadn't known and only hoped. They also had a slight speed advantage, which made for a potentially devastating combination.

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.

Reversing for just a second delivered the Cerberus to 87k distance, 33k closer than they meant to be. Having a speed advantage of 442 km/s, they'll remain within enemy wepon range for 75 seconds.

The armor status of the Cerberus after two volleys from the San Rafael. Despite poor accuracy, the volume of fire of the larger ship threatens to overwhelm the light plates of the raider.

40 seconds into their extraction out of the San Rafael's fire range - not that they have a timer like that aboard the Cerberus - the armor is penetrated and the reactor gives. A thruster follows the volley after, ending the fight. The closer range had afforded them the opportunity to bring the enemy shields down to half, but the mishandled attempt to drop closer cost the crew this battle. No longer able to escape, the privateers aboard the Cerberus offer their surrender and join the same brig as the crew from the Garmr who they'd meant to liberate.

As the INL prize crews repair battle damage and prepare both raiders for travel, the Terran handlers of the privateers meet. An overabundance of bravado and a corresponding lack of professional precision was to be expected. An option to escalate by intercepting the San Rafael with Terran military units is put forward, but rejected as the stakes are not high enough to warrant an escalation. 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.

Other happenings in 2150:

Every power has only low stocks of Neutronium, the primary construction material for heavy industry. After the general hunger for Gallicite, it's shortage is the second most bemoaned subject, and has been for decades. There are however few initiatives aimed at procuring a significant amount of the mineral, as more industry does not help when one does not have the input to use it. Building capacity is not the problem, the Gallicite to make use of it is. This is now changing with the PRL planning a large-scale Neutronium mining operation. With Fùguó and the regular Baotou automines ramping up production Gallicite income levels are up 75% over the 2146 level. Humanity's largest shipyard complex is about to be expanded even more.

Machholz, it's large Corundium deposits once the cause for several bouts of fighting over the comet, is nearing the end of it's useful life, with several factions pulling out their equipment and redeploying it elsewhere. It is the last of the great commercial mining endeavors that once transformed Human economy. The enormous PRL mining operation on the body will still putter on for a decade or two at appalling efficiency until the last drop has been squeezed from the body, but it is certain that this rock will be no cause of further conflicts anymore.

A new passage is explored, landing the explorer 400m from the enemy's prized mining colony.

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

The new passage on the map, a dormant Jump Point only findable from one side.

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

Faction Profile: TERRA
   Terran Primacy (2150)

General Outlook and Personality
The Terran Primacy is a pan-nationalist Earth state, now controlling most of the planet. The Terra Prime movement took the desperate masses by storm after the downfall of the EU and the sharp decline in wealth arriving on Earth after the independence of the colonies. Terra Prime views are proud and militaristic, viewing Earth as the cradle and eternal capital of Humanity and positing that mankind should be united, centralized and all colonies arms to execute Earth policy and increase it's splendor. In reality they're unlikely to realize these visions anytime soon as they are only a middling power. Being a new nation born through struggle, they have achieved something of a unity on Earth through the reestablishment of order and public investments. Now they are looking to space to assert themselves and increase their power. The Primacy is led by Primarch Vappu Miettinen, effectively dictator of Earth. She has been called a ruthless and uncaring psychopath, which may not be far from the truth.

Foreign Relations
Relations with the other powers range from bad to at best neutral. The Primacy is openly hostile to the INL and would be to Mars too, if only they didn't have a larger fleet and were so close to Earth. The independence of Mars and Taíno that sparked the Terra Prime movement still fuels much of that hostility. Opinion of Callisto is not much better as they are the ones who had forsaken the people of the Russian motherland.

Terra-Luna relations are quite peculiar. Both powers see themselves as rightful rulers of mankind and should be fundamentally at odds with another, but don't let these grand ambitions get into the way of realpolitik. There is indeed much overlap between their policies and interests, not the least of which is the shared enemy of Mars. The prospect of an unholy Earth-Moon alliance frightens the Consortium and is one of the reasons they don't want to push the PRL too hard. The only real point of contention between Terra and the PRL is the latter's control of China on Earth.

The Primacy is pressuring Japan, the only other remaining power with a presence on Earth, and has already stripped away much of it's previous sphere of influence in east Asia. The Japanese and their homeward tendencies would make for a good ally to the Terran empire, although they'd prefer the relationship to be that of vassalage or absorbtion. Knowing the small power is pressured, they offer security and help against Callisto on one hand, and threaten to suffocate and invade the Home Islands on the other.

  • 2130 - The European Union is dissolved after Mars and Taíno successfully defend their independence from the polity. Significant parts of Earth descend into Chaos.
  • 2133 - The "Terra Prime" movement gains steam, managing to deflect resentment between earth states against the offworlders that had declared their independence.
  • 2139 - After the movement unites much of Earth, Vappu Miettinen is made Primarch of Terra.
  • 2143 - "Terra" becomes the official name of Earth in the Primacy.
  • 2144 - Terran forces stop an INL freighter in Sol. A Terran ship is destroyed in the ensuing fighting, keeping anti-offworlder sentiments running high.

Terran tech is good, and with recent investments into public education it's only going to become better. Even with the instability of recent years and emigration of entire governments and those on their payrolls, there are still a lot of people on Earth, including many private laboratories that would be subcontracted by other powers. Total research output even surpasses the PRL at over 30 laboratories. Recent negotiations with Japan highlighted Terran advancement: In a bid for Terran Vendarite, the Japanse had offered to share their interceptor technology as the Primacy had shown interest in light of it's doctrinal requirements. The Terrans were thoroughly unimpressed by the Japanse sales pitch, as their Shuriken AMMs don't even reach the effectivity of Qian Interceptors which the Primacy already has a stock of. Domestic models could exceed those by a significant margin. It became clear that the Japanese could only offer know-how and doctrinal experience, which is applicable as their domestic interceptors operate under the same maneuverability-based principle as the Terran prototypes. Their opposite are speed-based projectile interceptors like the Qian ones or their Martian replicas.

More generally, the Terrans have good kinetic weapons and industrial technology in exchange for atrophied energy weapon tech. That last point is something they're looking to change, as longer-ranged and turreted energy weapons are a requirement under the new doctrine. As a stopgap measure while domestic industries catch up, Japanese particle weapons will be imported for the planned run of cruisers - the Japanese got their Vendarite deal after all.

Military buildup is one of the primary goals of the Primacy. The establishment of a large, regular army is already well under way on the surface, the expansion of the navy, not so much. The current space force consists of two slow cruisers and nine outdated escort destroyers, four of which on permanent station in Bremen. Bremen and Procyon's Rest have decent-sized fleet resupply points. Having taken over most of the old EU logistical assets, the Primacy is well situated in that regard and only lacks modern warships. So far a series of raiders to be put in the hands of privateers have been built and the old EU cruisers have been refit. Now it is time to use that new shipbuilding experience for an entirely new run of warships. Seeing that the economic reality seems to be a permanent Gallicite shortage of all powers, the Primacy has envisioned a fleet doctrine using slower, less Gallicite-intensive ships, sacrificing the speed advantage at the design stage. Instead these ships will carry more weapons and armor. There are some requirements that come with a slow doctrine, such as the need for long weapon ranges. The old EU ships are rather short-ranged. Development of proper long-range weapon systems will take a while, but as a first step the Hestia class has been designed:

Figured seeing the design screen with the component list might give a different perspective on other people's ship designs rather than just seeing the summary.

Hestia is, in mythology, the sister of Hades, the name for the other Terran cruiser class. She represents family and domesticity, the hearth and the state. All values espoused under Terra Prime ideology, with the hearth and homeliness underlining the defensive and slow nature of the ship, staying near home. More practically, it's envisioned as a heavy direct-fire combatant with a focus on range to avoid getting kited. The missile tubes give a chance to fight back in case one does get kited or can add to the volley of missile cruisers. It should do well against beam-weak fleets if it can force an engagement or current kiting doctrines like the Japanese, whose weapon it is using. It's weakness would be a faster beam-armed combatant with better damage output at short range, like the PRL navy.

Current anti-missile ships are the railgun-based and therefore speed-dependent Adana-class escorts, which are to be replaced by a series of interceptor launch destroyers.

Code: [Select]
Daimonion class Escort (P)      12 000 tons       326 Crew       2 224 BP       TCS 240    TH 1 037    EM 2 130
4320 km/s      Armour 6-46       Shields 71-532       HTK 141      Sensors 8/0/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 50
Maint Life 1.74 Years     MSP 463    AFR 288%    IFR 4.0%    1YR 187    5YR 2 805    Max Repair 210.0 MSP
Magazine 690   
Fregattankapitan    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 24 months    Morale Check Required   

Terra Impulse Labs MP Impulse Drive Unit (3)    Power 1036.8    Fuel Use 100.44%    Signature 345.6    Explosion 13%
Fuel Capacity 712 000 Litres    Range 10.6 billion km (28 days at full power)
Terran Shield Generator (1)     Recharge Time 532 seconds (0.1 per second)

Interceptor Launch Port (50)     Missile Size: 1    Rate of Fire 10
Wasp Interceptor Guidance (5)     Range 24.3m km    Resolution 1
Yellow Jacket B AMM (680)    Speed: 37 600 km/s    End: 0.9m     Range: 2.1m km    WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 363/218/109

Active Perimeter Scan System (1)     GPS 168     Range 24.3m km    MCR 2.2m km    Resolution 1
"Cockroach" Redundancy Radar (2)     GPS 7     Range 4.7m km    MCR 422.7k km    Resolution 1
Kaiser Hitzelspitzel (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m 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

The nearest equivalent to the planned design is the Japanese Yayoi class which, despite identical mass and defenses, only has 20 instead of 50 interceptor launch tubes. The increased armaments from cutting back on engine tonnage are very noticable here.

  • Earth, save for PRL and Japanese-controlled enclaves in east Asia, is under full control of the Primacy. It is the center of all things, just as it should be.
  • The Bremen system houses the old Hambach asteroid mining complex in it's two dense belts. While the Gallicite deposits the complex has been moving between for decades are declining, there are also a number of more permanent settlements in the system now. The primary settlement is around the first planet, a scorching venusian world so close to it's parent star that it takes up a full 20° in the sky. Local construction facilities are slowly expanding the orbital habitat station network to allow ever-more of the planet's rich crust to be accessed. The world also serves as a collection point for minerals mined in the belts and the other planet and has facilities to permanently house a naval squadron, making it the most important extrasolar colony of the Primacy. The Primacy is not looking to found civilian colonies that can have their own ambitions and attempt to break away. All expansions of the population in Bremen are strictly tied to workforce requirements in the mines and refineries. Although expensive, a population in an orbital habitat station is much easier to control than one on the surface of a large planet.
  • Hannover is the neighboring system behind Bremen and just before Callisto's Novokutznetsk. Plans to exploit the system's various Gallicite-bearing bodies have been around since before the EU collapsed, but only that the Primacy has achieved some state of stability they are pursued. Of note is a short-period comet with 420k units of Gallicite on it that is marked to receive orbital mining stations.
  • Terra wields a good amount of influence on the research planet Procyon's Rest, having a fleet base and a decent-sized military there, contrary to the initial treaties that posited the world remain largely demilitarized to ensure lasting peace between the five powers on it. At some point there will be a fight over Procyon's Rest, and the Primacy makes no efforts to avoid it for it intends to win it - planets shared with other powers are it's trauma.

The defining factor of Terra's economy is it's continued dependency on offworld minerals. Almost all income comes from Bremen, making the passage back to Sol through Wuhan and Salto important. There are a number of deposits still untapped in Sol, but either hard to exploit or only of unimportant secondary minerals, not the big cahoonas. This makes Venus attractive, it's Sol's very own Gallicite well - controlling it would mean a much reduced dependency on extrasolar shipments.

Terra has a surprisingly large amount of influence on all bodies throughout Human space. After all, every Human has come from Earth at some point in the not-so-distant past. It also turns out that some types of corporations are slower to move to the stars than others, and Terra is still a major hub for commercial traffic, putting large swaths of civilian shipping at their disposal. This makes financial problems a non-issue.

Goals, active and planned projects
  • Expansion of the Bremen mining operations into Hannover, the neighboring system, due to the declining Gallicite deposits in the Bremen asteroid belts and the availability of more steady supply there.
  • Influencing Japan. Japan would make a good ally, a good subject or a good new province - either way, a small, independent nation based on Earth simply existing does not fit into the self-image of the Primacy. They are weak enough to be influenced and should be molded to fit our designs.
  • Development of technology for the new naval doctrine, meaning long-ranged energy weapons, turrets and missiles. Particle weapons, like those bought from the Japanese for the first new cruisers, are more of a stopgap and not the end goal - heavy lasers are.
  • General expansion of the navy. We require more ships to defend ourselves and bend others to our will.
  • 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.
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Offline Zap0 (OP)

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Race to the Stars - 2151-2152
« Reply #50 on: September 30, 2022, 04:55:37 PM »
Surprise continuation after 1.5 years!


Smolensk Campaign

Another military expedition of 11 ships has arrived in Smolensk from Callisto, filled with tools of war. 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. Only a signature of 300 tons remains visible from orbit of Smolensk B-III after the last orbital strikes, and the first landing squadron estimates some 400 infantry-sized units and associated support units remaining. The landing is messy, and units get immediately assaulted by the machines that had observed their approach and were lying in wait for them. Once all units are landed, the Qian units don't stand a chance against the numerical superiority of the Callistoan divisions though, and a few short days later, the planet is declared secured. Another 24k Qian interceptors are found in underground storage cells, but no active installations could be recovered. The ordnance lift and the surrounding region was flattened by the preceeding orbital strikes already.

A salvage vessel is part of this expedition. Many of the command and control systems of the platforms were still intact, and there is one component in particular that stands out amongst the others. It's apparent purpose is to project a field of backscatter towards hostile targeting systems, making the vessel it is installed on harder to target accurately. Although the effect of the recovered Qian component was too small to defend their vessels fully, this does present a promising research lead. Current Human targeting systems are considered near-impossible to fool, so the Callistoan navy being equipped with such devices would be a surprise for an opponent. Perhaps countermeasures for future combat with the Qian can be developed, too.

A nice haul for just four orbital defense stations.

The advances in technology are not unsubstantial for the small nation. Will the Callistoans develop an appetite for alien ship wrecks?

With the final victory over the Qian in Smolensk, the survey of the system could finally be completed. There are some additional deposits of mainly Corundium on B-III and one of its moons, but nothing more. Just like with the base in the A component of the system, there are some minor ruins that can be investigated, but the expected gains from them are small.

Exploitation of the Smolensk system will be difficult for the small Callistoan state, mainly because of its distance, being some ways even behind the already rather distant Novokuzneck colony. Since there are no outstanding mineral deposits, mining on Novokuzneck, Venus and various Sol comets will continue as before. A small research outpost will be established on the planet with the alien sensor station, but the movement of infrastructure and installations will take away from the shipping capacities growing Novokuzneck.

PRL Xenointelligence Campaign

The PRL (People's Republic of Luna) is beginning a new campaign to gather information about alien forces. The first mission is sent towards the first encounter area with the Xining and Split.

The stealth scout squadron appears to have remained undetected.

A Split fleet is quickly observed on one of the JPs leading to their (presumed) home system. It consists of ~316k tons of vessels, or more than twice that if the six largest ships turn out to be battleships instead of supply barges as is assumed. A more accurate assessment of their types and capabilities is not in the scope of this mission; The scouts are just meant to touch base with as many points of interest as possible and build a profile about extent and sizes of alien spread.

The Split homeworld reads ~820k tons of indeterminate ships and very large shipyard and ground unit signatures. The thermal signature of the colony has increased by 73% compared to the last reading 30 years ago, and the shipyards have grown by 128%. For comparison, the emissions of the Luna colony, heart of the PRL empire, are at a third of the strength of these readings.

The difference in scale between these alien powers and humans is worrying.

It appears the small PRL scout fighters approached undetected - the last time a Human ship approached this world, all vessels had left orbit to avoid detection. Unfortunately it appears that the squadron was detected at some point while making their scans, as a frigate flotilla set course towards the scout squadron when it turned to scan one of the Split colonies in the inner system. A game of cat and mouse ensues, but the scouts are ultimately destroyed as a Split fleet caught up to them at the exit JP where they had to wait on the jump tender to transit out of there again.

The Fury type is classed as a combat cruiser, it's armament similar to a PRL cruiser. It's observed speed is, at 4.5k km/s, slower than even the Jade Rabbit class cruisers that were introduced just around the time of first contact with the Split 30 years ago. All the ships in the task force here were scanned in orbit of their homeworld just a few weeks ago.

Aside from the Split home system and associated fleets, there were confirmations of outlying presences:
1 Small Split ground force
1 Medium Xining ground force
1 Medium Xining colony with medium ground force
1 Small Split colony with a medium Split ground force and a small Xining ground force
1 Split patrol ship that ran away as soon as the scout squadron jumped into it

Most of these colonies were known before. It seemed their conflict some time ago had not resulted in the destruction of one or the other species or resulted in much territorial changes. That was good, that meant alien wars could stop somewhere before they became total and genocidal. What is still unknown is the connection towards the Xining home system from this region. The system itself has previously been discovered through exploration of a different region of space, but the JP that connects the Xining homeworld to the Split systems, including the system of first contact, still needs to be found by a survey cruiser braving an expedition into this inhabited part of space.

There are no pressing take-aways from the intelligence gathered on the Split fleets. Most of their combat ships seem to cruise at around 4.5k km/s, decidedly under the combat speed of the modern PRL navy. Only two destroyer-sized vessels were observed at 7k km/s, just above the speed of the PRL navy. These ships may just be scouts or interceptors, or they may represent the next generation of the Split combat force. While that possibility may present a problem in the future, the main problem is and remains the sheer size of the alien fleets. On paper, the PRL has a naval tonnage of 560k. Only 256k of that are actually modern warships - and that number is still significantly above that of all other Human powers, except perhaps for the Martians. Current doctrine emphasizing naval expansion and maintaining the balance of power between Human nations is reinforced by the intelligence gathered in this expedition. As competetive numbers to even one alien species can't be guaranteed, even if these ones do not seem to possess a technological edge, the other Human fleets can be of use as a shield in the case of an alien invasion. Therefore they must be preserved and destructive intra-Human wars avoided.

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.

On the other side of the JP, the Alpetragius - the most modern PRL survey cruiser, just launched - finds the Japanse-Sukabumi diplomatic mission. It begins charting the system, but as neither the Japanese nor the Sukabumi themselves are likely to divulge the location of the JP leading to their homeworld, it'll be some time before can find them and get more detailed info.

Quanzhou Campaign

After nearly a decade of preparation leveraging the large amounts of resources the PRL can muster, an invasion force has been assembled to land on Quanzhou-A VI, also called Zhēnjùn, the base for the first alien ships Humanity had found some 50 years ago. The initial attack on the Qian encountered here was a failure, in large part due to the overbearing strength of the surface weapon emplacements on said planet. A renewed expedition in 2137 destroyed the mobile ships of the Qian, leaving only the immobile surface weapons and thereby opening up the rest of the system to exploration and exploitation. Although Quanzhou has taken a back seat in PRL development plans due to the great success of the Fùguó colonies, an army of 125k tons of ground forces has been mustered, complete with five 100k ton armored commercial dropships. Specially built and trained for the fungal jungle terrain of Zhēnjùn and organized into the new Xeno Operations branch of the military, they are about to be tested in battle.

The PRL drop fleet assembled before the attack.

The five large dropships move at over 3.5k km/s and are designed to weather incoming fire. Their high speed - for a transport ship - is intended to reduce the time that an opponent has to fire upon them during approach. They are escorted by the remaining seven Dolphin-class destroyers that have a speed of 3.75k km/s. Most of them are veterans of the first abortive attempt at attacking the planet. They will escort the dropships during the approach, hopefully drawing fire away from the dropships. The idea is that the Qian units recognize these vessels as a known threat and preferentially direct their fire against them. If any survive, they can provide orbital bombardment support as soon as the STO weapons have been neutralized by ground forces.

The attack is still a gamble. Although estimates and simulations show a chance of success, it is far from certain that the dropships will be able to weather the surface batteries well enough, or that the ground force - of which only parts may make it to the planet - will be able to overcome the defenders. PRL intelligence is aware of recent losses the Callistoans suffered on the ground against the Qian in their first landing. An entire division lost is hard to hide, after all. The fresh XenoOps troopers should be considered superior in quality to an old Callistoan infantry unit, at least.

Should the operation fail catastrophically, the fallback option is orbital sterilization of Zhēnjùn via nuclear bombardment.

In the early morning hours of May 4th, Lunar time, the fleet nears Quanzhou VI. The 200k km mark is crossed, then the 100k km mark... and none of the expected laser barrages come. Are the Qian holding their fire until the ships enter orbit for maximum damage?

The previously identified STO units are still being detected. Why are they not firing?

The Qian hold their fire, and the drop goes off without a hitch. The dropships immediately retreat as planned, and the destroyers take up position in orbit to support the ground troops, given the apparent lack of fire directed against them.

Orbital targeting remains difficult, but takes out one of the inactive Qian STO units in this report.

The fighting goes as well as could be expected; no overwhelming resistance is met. Around 1500 Infantry-sized Qian and some 200 larger combat units are estimated, with both sides technologies seeming evenly matched. The PRL XenoOps infantry proves effective in combat, with the supporting armor elements having difficulty maneuvering in the difficult terrain of Zhēnjùn. Losses on the PRL side are still about three times as high as those of the Qian, who are making good use of their prepared defensive positions, but have trouble penetrating the armor of the PRL vehicles.

After a week of fighting 20k of the 125k of PRL drop tonnage have been ground up in the fighting, with the Qian signatures having reduced from 11 800 tons to 8 200 - a relative reduction in tonnage of 30% for the Qian and 16% for the XenoOps troops. One divisional commander has been killed. About half the PRL supplies have been used up, with the Qian showing no signs of running out of supplies anytime soon either. A change in posture is ordered by command as the fighting begins to drag on, with the infantry units being ordered to dig in so as to reduce their losses.

State of the forces two weeks after the drop. Supplies on the heavy armored units are running low, and 33k tons of the initial 125k have been lost.

The supplies of the armored divisions run out after two weeks of fighting. There are still some supplies left with the infantry units, but they are kept in reserve for them due to their improved kill rate compared to that of the armored units. Although the orbital support has not contributed much to the battle, the ships are being kept in orbit and being resupplied by the fleet tenders. In light of its successes in securing new Gallicite sources, PRL command is willing to allocate the 5000 or so MSP that are being used up by the fleet if it saves some lives on the ground.

Fighting drags on, and eventually the Qian are broken. Cleanup takes a long time. The Qian supporting units, after their fighting force was destroyed, disperses and hides in the surrounding terrain, waiting for a relief force that will never come. Only on August 8th 2152 Zhēnjùn is finally secured. The final tally counts 3 769t of ground forces destroyed by orbital support. 42k of the 125k troops that landed were lost - replacements are being built. The STO units, while present until the very end, kept holding their fire. The only losses in orbital assets were a few burnt-out guns.

The venerable Dolphin-Type destroyers can add more entries onto their scorecards. They remain the Human ship class that has seen the most action.

Zhēnjùn has the expected supply of Qian interceptors (11 839) and some ruins of unknown extent. Exploration of the planet and it's resources will begin shortly. The XenoOps ground army will remain in place for the moment, securing this newest posession of the PRL until its worth can be ascertained. As for the missiles, the PRL rents a Japanese munitions transport to move them home. The payment is a cut of the haul.

During the campaign a PRL explorer discovers that Fùguó (the Rich Frontier) and Quanzhou, previously thought to be on opposite sides of the empire, turned out to be much closer to another than expected. A new connection is found between the systems just behind Quanzhou and Fùguó respectively, putting some 25b km between the two colonies. That is about the distance from Sol to Quanzhou itself, or about half the distance from Sol to Fùguó. An interstellar empire not economically and geographically centered on Sol is becoming increasingly viable.

Quanzhou is one of the big diagonal lines. The map is getting real unwieldy, especially if you like to have systems aligned to a grid and want to keep it consistent between six empires. I'm increasingly favoring just leaving it a mess of cross-connections instead of wasting hours rearranging it.

Other happenings in 2151-2152:

The INL (Interstellar League) has to decide what to do with the two Terran raiders it captured last year. Disassembling them for study is an option. They contain modern military-grade hardware of the Terrans, but the actual amount of components to analyze is low due to the small size of the ships. As the vessels are - again - modern, it is instead decided that the long-ranged raiders will be repaired, refurbished and integrated into the INL patrol command. And so the INL navy, already composed of an eclectic variety of vessels from different sources, grows by two more ships of foreign origin.

2152 Order of Battle of the INL forces: (138kt total)
  • NAV Interstellar Navy:
    • Attack Destroyers:
      • 2x 10kt - DD Salient, Reduit: Esperanza class, 6250 km/s - The last and most modern warships constructed by the old Argentine government. Kinetic armament.
      • 1x 12kt - DD Hibiki: Tama F class, 5208 km/s - Particle beam armed destroyer bought from Japan
    • Fast Escorts:
      • 3x 10kt - DD Paladin, Vigilant, Guardian: Dorado 3 class, 5000 km/s - Argentine point-defense destroyers, often compared to the EU Adana class
      • 1x 8kt - ES Isparta: Adana D class, 5250 km/s - Ion-engined generation of the European Adana escort destroyer design
    • Slow Escorts:
      • 4x 8kt - ES Ceyhan, Karabük, Kastamonu, Tekirdag: Adana C class, 4250 km/s - European INPE-era escort destroyers
    • System Defense Craft:
      • 20x 500t - FAC System Defense Craft 1-20: 10260 km/s - 10 external launch pods each, built to make us of old EU Cerberus D missile stocks /
  • PTL Patrol Command:
    • Patrol Ships:
      • 2x 10kt - PV San Rafael, Tablada City: San Rafael Class, 6600 km/s - Modern attack destroyers with longer endurance, sensors and probe launchers. First major ship type built on Taíno, the capital of the INL. Magneto-Plasma drives.
    • Raiders:
      • 2x 3kt - RD Cerberus, Garmr: Hellhound C class, 7042 km/s - Fast and decently long-ranged attack frigates captured from Terran raiders.

Callisto finishes a naval expansion and now operates 12 Thrust Block units, with each having a missile module and a plasma module standing by. Depending on the mission parameters, the Thrust Block will dock with an appropriate mission module and carry it into battle, forming a modular warship. While this is impressive, the small Callistoan state has to budget its expenses and other projects were shelved to be able to afford this one. To rectify this situation the Callistoan Regime has negotiated a trade deal with the Martian Consortium. Mars will get 2k tons of Gallicite in exchange for 20k wealth. Gallicite is in short supply in all other Human polities, but the fortunes of war and colonization have blessed the small state with a surplus production. This much wealth is about 1.3 years of economic output for Callisto, but only half of Mars' yearly surplus.

17k Gallicite in the bank, and not enough wealth to use it.

The regime can afford giving away this much Gallicite, and may trade more in the future if a need arises. Even with increased consumption afforded by the wealth injection, Gallicite extraction will remain significantly above consumption. Long-term mining prospects look good, especially as this year explorers from Callisto have found yet another uninhabited and near-habitable planet with all minerals, including 0.9 Gallicite some 12b km behind the Novokuzneck colony.

Mars will use the minerals to supply its enlarged navy, whereas Callisto is looking to start a new program. One of the challenges facing the Callistoans is the problem of strategic mobility between Sol and Callisto and their Novokuzneck colony (27b away), and eventually beyond to Smolensk (another 7b). Large alien fleets have been observed in the region and the Callistoan navy has been built with a massed strike doctrine in mind, making spread-out assignments to cover all colonies difficult. Half-hearted strikes from a handful of ships stationed here and there are not likely to win battles. Callistoan ships are also built for speed, not endurance. While support ships exist to enable operation in remote systems like Smolensk, they are slow to move and those operations are logistically involved. Fuel itself is plentiful. Therefore, in order to allow the fast thrust blocks to travel between colonies in weeks instead of months (due to the need to bring along a slow tanker), a series of deep-space refueling stations is planned, positioned in hopefully secret locations a little ways off the main trade routes. As the range of a loaded Thrust Block is 6b km, that means five refueling posts between Sol and Novokuzneck. The stations themselves can be restocked after the fact by existing tankers, and could also hold caches of ammunition and supply. For now, a dozen small refueling stations will be built and towed to each refueling point, each holding enough fuel to top up a thrust block twice. That way, all thrust blocks can be refueled simultaneously instead of needing to wait turns, further speeding up their journey between colonies.

Japanese shipbuilding has completed it's cruiser-sized dropship, the Meiya, and is transitioning to the next and final phase needed to fulfill the current naval plan. For that, the final shipyard that built the Meiya is now being transferred from Earth to the Neo-Kobe colony in Grand Bourg, along with the remainder of trans-newtonian manufacturing that remained in Japan. That makes them the last human nation to move their core industry away from Earth, leaving the Terran Primacy the only power with industry on Earth. The Japanese were always reluctant to take this step, as it has been associated with social upheaval and identified as catalyst for the transformation that happened to all other nation states that once set out to the Race to the Stars. Yet with renewed war with Callisto likely, they can not deny the need to keep their critical industry secure by moving it out of the vulnerable inner Sol system and out of the immediate strike range of missiles from Callisto. And away from the bigger neighbors of the Terran and the Lunar governments as well.

The next step is the construction of 3-5 additional interceptor missile escorts. Orthodox doctrine demands an iteration upon the previous generation of escort, the ion-engined Yayoi B (see 2130 ship designs thread) of which three are still in service. Doctrine also demands that the existing ships be refitted with new engines to keep the whole fleet at high combat speed. But that doctrine was established around an attempt to kite hostile ships with beam-armed combatants by outranging and outspeeding them, which is not the battlefield reality facing the Japanese navy today anymore, and most importantly there simply is no spare Gallicite to afford those upgrades. Expansion of PD capacity to absorb Callistoan missile strikes is the primary need at the moment, ship speed and beam engagements are secondary. Alternatives to the orthodox design are considered, with lowered speeds, increased interceptor counts and improved electronics. The Japanese missile electronics are not particularly advanced, and can't make use of the full range of the Qian interceptor, of which a sufficiently large supply has recently been procured from the PRL. So a purchase of a new system there and it's integration into the design and fleet is being discussed. This all happens in the shadow of the fact that the Hanabusa destroyer yard on Neo-Kobe is already prepared to construct updated Yayoi C destroyers of the orthodox type. Factions argue, with many admirals favoring a break from tradition in favor of current need. A counterposition in favor of adherence to existing doctrine is being supported by designers, theorists and politicians, which are groups that also include some retired admiralty.

Code: [Select]
Yayoi C class Destroyer Escort      12 000 tons       266 Crew       1 783.1 BP       TCS 240    TH 1 600    EM 2 130
6666 km/s      Armour 4-46       Shields 71-532       HTK 105      Sensors 6/3/0/0      DCR 3      PPV 25
Maint Life 1.38 Years     MSP 325    AFR 329%    IFR 4.6%    1YR 185    5YR 2 782    Max Repair 111 MSP
Magazine 581   
Kaigun-Chūsa    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

MP Plasma Drive (10)    Power 1600    Fuel Use 70.0%    Signature 160    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 531 000 Litres    Range 11.4 billion km (19 days at full power)
Rutherford Field Generator Delta71 A (1)     Recharge Time 532 seconds (0.1 per second)

Defender Start Ramp (25)     Missile Size: 1    Rate of Fire 10
Modegi Shuriken Guidance System (5)     Range 10.9m km    Resolution 1
Qian Interceptor (581)    Speed: 72 200 km/s    End: 0.5m     Range: 2m km    WH: 1    Size: 1    TH: 240/144/72

Modegi Perimeter Electronics System (1)     GPS 60     Range 10.7m km    MCR 963.4k km    Resolution 1
Modegi Electromagnetic Analyzer (1)     Sensitivity 3     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  13.7m km
Matsuhita Electric Thermic Detector B (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m 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

In the end and in true democratic fashion a compromise is reached whereby the new ships will be constructed with modern doctrinal speed, able to keep up with the remaining two attack destroyers. In return simultaneous launch capacity will be expanded from 20 to 25 by reducing armor mass and removing the secondary armament of microwave projectors, a step that has also been taken with the newest generation of attack destroyers. The resulting design is close enough to the orthodox model that the Hanabusa yard can still start construction right away.
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