Author Topic: The Suns Never Set - Updates Thread  (Read 3672 times)

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The Suns Never Set - Updates Thread
« on: September 02, 2021, 08:41:46 AM »
In April 1860, an expedition led by the Scottish explorer John McDouall Stuart discovered the crash site of an alien spacecraft in central Australia, close to the mountain that now bears his name. While he could not fully comprehend the implications of the discovery, Stuart ensured the members of the expedition remained silent while the authorities were informed.

Within twelve months, under conditions of great secrecy, a group of top scientists from across the British Empire had assembled at the newly constructed Camp Stuart. The inaccessible, isolated location and the limited European population in Australia at the time allowed the Empire to maintain complete security for many years. At first, progress was glacially slow. As time passed and the scientists began to activate the remaining intact systems, the gradual flow of knowledge become a flood. An understanding of the Trans-Newtonian principles on which the spacecraft was based began to develop. The Empire scientists discovered that another dimension, which they named the Aether, existed alongside our own. The Aether had fluidic properties and was far more compressed in terms of distance between objects compared to ‘normal’ space. Eleven new elements were identified that existed primarily in the Aether but could be extracted and refined for construction purposes. Although the ramifications of these early discoveries were profound, it would take decades to fully realise their potential.

By 1870, ten years after the discovery, Great Britain was using tanks and the first jet aircraft to expand the Empire. In 1875, the British Empire sent a man to the Moon. Other major powers of the time were astonished at the apparently miraculous advancements in British military technology. Across the globe, from America to China, in the Russian and French empires, in the embryonic states of Germany and Italy and within rapidly modernizing Japan, valiant efforts were made to withstand the irresistible march of the Empire.

They were in vain. Despite their great strides in many fields of science, engineering and military technology, the lead of the British Empire only increased as it took full advantage of the knowledge extracted from alien computers. Even the widespread deployment of conventional armoured vehicles by the great powers was futile in the face of Trans-Newtonian tanks supported by orbital bombardment. By 1880, the wars were over and the British Empire ruled the land and the waves.

The Empire was in the fortunate position of possessing technology that literally changed the world. A conquering power that brought medicines to the sick and food to the starving was soon seen as a liberator. Apart from the initial occupying forces, the introduction of new laws and the high level direction of science and industry, the Empire governed with a light touch. Existing local authorities were left in place as much as possible and the various monarchies were absorbed into the house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

With Earth united under Queen Victoria, the Empire turned its attention turned to the exploration of space. The crashed alien spacecraft had enabled huge technological strides in a few short decades, but also represented a grave threat to mankind. Once its existence was finally made public in 1887, the initial alarm of the citizens of the Empire soon translated into support for the growing space forces of the Royal Navy. The decision was made to hold the warships in orbit until the first survey cruisers were available. On January 1st 1890, the Empire took the first steps into deep space.

Starting Conditions
1 Player Race with one point five billion pop (approximate Earth population in 1890) and normal TN start. 200,000 Research Points. 125,000 build points.
4 Non-Player Races at 75 – 125 light years. All spoilers active.

Ship Classes of the Royal Navy
The Royal Navy went into space with more than three hundred years of experience as a premier, blue water navy. This experience translated into an emphasis by the Royal Navy’s shipwrights on the most capable, long-ranged weapons, complemented by strong armour, and a combat doctrine that emphasised those weapons. While energy weapons were initially considered as a potential secondary weapon, a decision was made in the early years of spacecraft design to focus all research efforts on missile technology for the first warships. Energy weapons would be researched in the future as resources and capacity become available.

The Royal Sovereign class Battleship was the embodiment of this philosophy. Equipped with fifteen Armstrong Whitworth Missile Launchers, backed by strong armour, the Royal Sovereign was intended to operate at the heart of the battle fleet, combining with its sister ships to overwhelm any foe with massed missile salvos. The Perseus anti-ship missile was the primary weapon of the Royal Sovereign and made full use of the available sensor and fire control range. The Theseus anti-ship missile exchanged range for additional speed and warhead strength, allowing the battleship to increase its throw weight at shorter ranges. Eight Royal Sovereigns were in service in January 1890.

Royal Sovereign class Battleship      18,750 tons       505 Crew       2,451.6 BP       TCS 375    TH 1,200    EM 0
3200 km/s      Armour 8-62       Shields 0-0       HTK 107      Sensors 15/15/0/0      DCR 14      PPV 75
Maint Life 2.39 Years     MSP 1,144    AFR 201%    IFR 2.8%    1YR 274    5YR 4,111    Max Repair 300.00 MSP
Magazine 975   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-600 Triple Expansion Gas-Core Drive (2)    Power 1200.0    Fuel Use 28.58%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 615,000 Litres    Range 20.7 billion km (74 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (15)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-50 Missile Fire Control (3)     Range 51m km    Resolution 120
Perseus Anti-Ship Missile (135)    Speed: 22,000 km/s    End: 34.5m     Range: 45.6m km    WH: 6    Size: 5.00
Theseus Anti-Ship Missile (60)    Speed: 25,000 km/s    End: 9.6m     Range: 14.4m km    WH: 9    Size: 5.00

Maxwell MX-60 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 11520     Range 61m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RT-15 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15.00     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
Rutherford RE-15 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15.00     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The Diadem class First Class Cruiser was a scaled-down version of the Royal Sovereign, equipped with fewer missile launchers and lighter armour. The Diadem was intended to serve as a multi-role ship, able to function in the line of battle but also to operate as part of a independent squadron. The distinction was more philosophical than practical as the Diadem had the same broad combat capability as its larger cousin, albeit on a smaller scale. In effect, the Diadem was considered more expendable than the capital ships, which would only be risked in a major fleet battle. For an officer or sailor with a desire to see the galaxy, posting to a Diadem class was far more desirable than being assigned to a Royal Sovereign that was likely to spend the majority of its life orbiting Earth, or some future key planet. Eight Diadems were in service in January 1890.

Diadem class First Class Cruiser       12,500 tons       340 Crew       1,618.3 BP       TCS 250    TH 800    EM 0
3200 km/s      Armour 6-47       Shields 0-0       HTK 74      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 8      PPV 50
Maint Life 2.40 Years     MSP 647    AFR 156%    IFR 2.2%    1YR 155    5YR 2,319    Max Repair 200.00 MSP
Magazine 650   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-400 Triple Expansion Gas-Core Drive (2)    Power 800.0    Fuel Use 35.00%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 540,000 Litres    Range 22.2 billion km (80 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (10)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-50 Missile Fire Control (2)     Range 51m km    Resolution 120
Perseus Anti-Ship Missile (100)    Speed: 22,000 km/s    End: 34.5m     Range: 45.6m km    WH: 6    Size: 5.00
Theseus Anti-Ship Missile (30)    Speed: 25,000 km/s    End: 9.6m     Range: 14.4m km    WH: 9    Size: 5.00

Maxwell MX-60 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 11520     Range 61m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RE-5 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The Blake class First Class Cruiser was a modification of the Diadem hull, removing half the armament and a sixth of the armour to create sufficient internal space for the Tesla TJD-12500 Military Jump Drive. The Admiralty believed the considerably-reduced combat capability of the design was a price worth paying for the strategic flexibility provided by HMS Blake and her sister ship HMS Blenheim.

Blake class First Class Cruiser      12,500 tons       357 Crew       1,575.1 BP       TCS 250    TH 800    EM 0
3200 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 5-47       Shields 0-0       HTK 71      Sensors 15/2/0/0      DCR 10      PPV 25
Maint Life 2.45 Years     MSP 787    AFR 125%    IFR 1.7%    1YR 181    5YR 2,709    Max Repair 285.8 MSP
Magazine 325   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Tesla TJD-12500 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 12500 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Parsons PN-400 Triple Expansion Gas-Core Drive (2)    Power 800    Fuel Use 35.00%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 515,000 Litres    Range 21.2 billion km (76 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (5)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-50 Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 51m km    Resolution 120
Perseus Anti-Ship Missile (50)    Speed: 22,000 km/s    End: 34.5m     Range: 45.6m km    WH: 6    Size: 5
Theseus Anti-Ship Missile (15)    Speed: 25,000 km/s    End: 9.6m     Range: 14.4m km    WH: 9    Size: 5

Maxwell MX-40 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 5040     Range 40.3m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RT-15 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
Rutherford RT-2 EM Sensor  (1)     Sensitivity 2     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  11.2m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The Astraea class Second Class Cruiser was designed entirely as a fleet defence ship, intended to detect and intercept hostile missiles, using its specialised Maxwell MX-10M Missile Detection Sensors in combination with the Daedalus Light Missile. The Astraea was intended to fight either in the battle line or as part of an independent squadron and was well armoured for its size. An Astraea would never be intentionally deployed alone. Eight were in service in January 1890.

Astraea class Second Class Cruiser      9,375 tons       217 Crew       1,241.6 BP       TCS 187    TH 600    EM 0
3200 km/s      Armour 5-39       Shields 0-0       HTK 66      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 5      PPV 20
Maint Life 2.13 Years     MSP 413    AFR 141%    IFR 2.0%    1YR 122    5YR 1,826    Max Repair 150.00 MSP
Magazine 720   
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-300 Triple Expansion Gas-Core Drive (2)    Power 600.0    Fuel Use 40.41%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 434,000 Litres    Range 20.6 billion km (74 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-2 Light Missile Launcher (20)     Missile Size: 1    Rate of Fire 10
Maxwell MF-12M Anti-Missile Fire Control  (4)     Range 12.4m km    Resolution 1
Daedalus Light Missile (720)    Speed: 35,000 km/s    End: 0.5m     Range: 1.1m km    WH: 1    Size: 1.00

Maxwell MX-10M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 84     Range 11.6m km    MCR 1m km    Resolution 1
Maxwell MX-20 Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 21.6m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
ECM 10

The Pelorus class Third Class Cruiser was intended for general patrol duties, protection of smaller colonies and acting as a command ship for destroyer flotillas. The armament of five missile launchers was half that of the Diadem class first class cruiser and the magazine storage was sufficient for eleven salvos, compared to thirteen for the larger ship. The Pelorus was not intended to stand in the line of battle due to its lighter armour, but would be used in to keep hostile light forces at bay. Due to its primary mission of patrol and colony protection, the Pelorus had a greater proportion of its internal space dedicated to engineering and crew accommodation than the larger warships. Twelve were available in January 1890.

Pelorus class Third Class Cruiser      6,250 tons       182 Crew       814.3 BP       TCS 125    TH 400    EM 0
3200 km/s      Armour 4-30       Shields 0-0       HTK 43      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 25
Maint Life 2.56 Years     MSP 325    AFR 78%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 70    5YR 1,045    Max Repair 200.00 MSP
Magazine 275   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 18 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-400 Triple Expansion Gas-Core Drive (1)    Power 400.0    Fuel Use 35.00%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 245,000 Litres    Range 20.2 billion km (72 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (5)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-40 Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 40.9m km    Resolution 120
Perseus-E Anti-Ship Missile (55)    Speed: 22,000 km/s    End: 27.9m     Range: 36.8m km    WH: 6    Size: 5

Maxwell MX-40 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 5040     Range 40.3m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RE-5 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5.0     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The Havock class destroyer was a fast, light vessel with a single-use armament of twelve fixed missile launchers, intended to operate in flotillas that provide ‘coastal’ defence for colonies, with a Pelorus third class cruiser leading the flotilla where possible. The Havock had minimal armour, less endurance than the larger ships and required either a hangar bay or maintenance facilities to reload. Twenty-four were in service.

Havock class Destroyer      1,000 tons       9 Crew       98.1 BP       TCS 20    TH 80    EM 0
4001 km/s      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 9
Maint Life 2.02 Years     MSP 100    AFR 200%    IFR 2.8%    1YR 33    5YR 490    Max Repair 40.00 MSP
Magazine 60   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 1 months    Morale Check Required   

Thorneycroft T-80 Gas-Core Turbine  (1)    Power 80.0    Fuel Use 78.26%    Signature 80.00    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 11.5 billion km (33 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-3 Fixed Launcher (12)     Size: 5    Hangar Reload 111 minutes    MF Reload 18 hours
Maxwell MF-20 Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 19.3m km    Resolution 120
Theseus Anti-Ship Missile (12)    Speed: 25,000 km/s    End: 9.6m     Range: 14.4m km    WH: 9    Size: 5.00
Maxwell MX-15 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 720     Range 15.2m km    Resolution 120

The Apollo class survey cruiser was an unarmed survey ship, similar in size to a third class cruiser and intended for deep space, long duration missions of up to three years. The design included a jump drive, allowing the Apollos to enter jump points and explore new systems. Unlike all other military-engined ships in the Royal Navy, the Apollo lacked any weapons, apart from four fixed launchers for sensor drones, and the armour was minimal. Two separate designs were considered to handle gravitational and geological surveys independently, but the convenience of having both capabilities was deemed to be more important. Eight were in service when survey operations commenced in January 1890.

Apollo class Survey Cruiser      6,250 tons       161 Crew       876.1 BP       TCS 125    TH 300    EM 0
2400 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 1-30       Shields 0-0       HTK 39      Sensors 5/0/2/2      DCR 5      PPV 3
Maint Life 3.99 Years     MSP 438    AFR 62%    IFR 0.9%    1YR 44    5YR 659    Max Repair 112.5 MSP
Magazine 20   
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Morale Check Required   

Tesla TJD-6250 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 6250 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Parsons PN-300E Triple Expansion Gas-Core Drive (1)    Power 300    Fuel Use 17.05%    Explosion 7%
Fuel Capacity 658,000 Litres    Range 111.1 billion km (536 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-3 Fixed Launcher (4)     Missile Size: 5    Reload 111 minutes    MF Reload 18 hours
Maxwell MF-10 Drone Fire Control (1)     Range 13.6m km    Resolution 120
Orpheus Active Sensor Drone (4)    Speed: 5,000 km/s    End: 8.5d     Range: 3,650.5m km    WH: 0    Size: 5.00

Maxwell MX-30 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 2880     Range 30.5m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Geological Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour
Gravitational Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

Royal Navy
8x Royal Sovereign class Battleship: Empress of India, Hood, Ramillies, Repulse, Resolution, Revenge, Royal Oak, Royal Sovereign
8x Diadem class First Class Cruiser: Amphitrite, Andromeda, Argonaut, Ariadne, Diadem, Europa, Niobe, Spartiate
2x Blake class First Class Cruiser: Blake, Blenheim
8x Astraea class Second Class Cruiser: Astraea, Bonaventure, Cambrian, Charybdis, Flora, Forte, Fox, Hermione
12x Pelorus class Third Class Cruiser: Pandora, Pearl, Pegasus, Pelorus, Perseus, Phoebe, Pioneer, Pomone, Prometheus, Proserpine, Psyche, Pyramus
8x Apollo class Survey Cruiser: Aeolus, Andromache, Apollo, Intrepid, Scylla, Spartan, Thetis, Tribune
24x Havock class Destroyer: Ardent, Banshee, Boxer, Bruiser, Charger, Conflict, Contest, Daring, Dasher, Decoy, Dragon, Ferret, Hardy, Hasty, Haughty, Havock, Hornet, Janus, Lightning, Lynx, Porcupine, Salmon, Snapper, Wizard

Royal Fleet Auxiliary
4x Hyperion class Replenishment Ship: Helios, Hyperion, Selene, Themis
6x Hera class Stabilisation Ship: Argus, Echo, Hera, Jason, Samos, Typhon
4x Heracles class Tug: Cerberus, Diomedes, Heracles, Hippolyta
4x Hermes class Jump Tender (130,000 ton capability): Aphrodite, Hermes, Penelope, Tanagra
5x Athena class Colony Ship (100,000 colonist capacity)
5x Atlas class Freighter (50,000 cargo capacity)
4x Ambrosia class Fuel Harvester Station (50x Harvester Module):
4x Eden class Terraforming Station (5x Terraformer Module)

Naming Convention
Systems that are well-known, or identified in the expanded Bayer-Flamsteed catalogue, retain their popular names. Any others are named after places from classical antiquity or classical mythology. Also note that the Montcalm class is mistakenly shown as the Clemenceau in several screenshots.

1890 - 1891
The focus of the British Empire during first six months of 1890 was on the geological and gravitational survey of the Sol system and the exploration of adjacent systems. Four jump points were found in total, the innermost of which was only eleven million kilometres from the Sun. The other three were much further out, with one just inside the orbit of Uranus and the other two outside the orbit of Neptune. The geological survey was very disappointing with no suitable mining sites. Mars, Mercury, Earth’s moon and the Galilean moons of Jupiter were all entirely devoid of mineral deposits. The only highlight was the discovery of two million tons of accessibility 0.8 Sorium in the atmosphere of Uranus.

As Sol could not support the future growth of the Empire, attention turned to the adjacent systems. The system of Darwin’s Star, named after George Darwin – a British astronomer who was the son of the famous Charles Darwin, lay beyond the first jump point. The faint red dwarf star had an unremarkable collection of planets, moons and asteroids, none of which had any significant mineral deposits. The system’s redeeming quality was as a bridge to further exploration. As the Darwin’s Star - Sol jump point was only two hundred million kilometres from the primary, the M4-V class star was closer to the Sun than Mars. Two outward jump points were discovered at five hundred and seven hundred million kilometres, leading respectively to Ephesus, a brown dwarf, and Corinth, another M4-V red dwarf, this time with three planets.

Corinth III, an ice-covered dwarf planet 3200 km in diameter, became the site of the Empire’s first colony in early 1891 due to the first discovery of seven hundred thousand tons of accessibility 0.6 Duranium, plus two other mineral deposits above a hundred thousand tons. While the Empire hoped to find better mining sites in the future, this was the first discovery of note and would at least provide the key mineral of Duranium once supplies on Earth were exhausted. It also had the distinction of being less than a billion kilometres from Earth, so it was easy to transport mines and the necessary infrastructure.

Corinth-A III Survey Report
Duranium:   739,328   0.60
Neutronium:   16,384   0.70
Tritanium:   350,464   0.90
Mercassium:   123,904   0.40

The main downside of Corinth III was an eccentricity of 0.49, resulting in an orbit that moved between twenty million kilometres at perihelion and fifty-eight million at aphelion. As a result, the temperature ranged from -148C to -47C during its ninety-six day orbit. While terraforming could raise the temperature considerably, and relatively quickly compared to an Earth-sized world, it would be impossible to turn Corinth III into an ideal habitable world for its entire orbit due to the hundred degree temperature range. Fortunately the planet was tide-locked so the effects of the temperature could be ameliorated by remaining within the most temperate areas, which would still support up to a hundred and fifty million settlers with the support of the necessary infrastructure. The Corinth Colony would certainly be a very interesting place to live.

Sol’s second jump point led to Epsilon Eridani, an orange K2-V star with six planets, seven moons and more than six hundred asteroids. Given the number of bodies in the system, the geological survey results were extremely disappointing, with one very notable exception; Epsilon Eridani V was a superjovian with fifty million tons of accessibility 1.0 Sorium. The future fuel supply of the Empire would be secured, if the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s Ambrosia class fuel harvester stations could be protected while in orbit. The third of the superjovian’s six moons was within human gravitational tolerance, at 0.113G, so a colony was established on the moon to serve as a naval base. The parent planet had an orbit with an eccentricity of just 0.025 so the environmental conditions were stable, albeit with no air, no water and a surface temperature of -156C. Substantial terraforming would be required, although the task was made much easier by the moon’s small diameter of 1600 km.

Sol’s third jump point, four point six billion kilometres from the Sun, led to Acheron, a planetless brown dwarf with a single outward jump point. HMS Thetis probed the new jump point in July 1890 and discovered Thebes, an M4-V red dwarf with five unremarkable planets. The final jump point, deep in the Kuiper Belt at five point four billion kilometres, connected to Alpha Centauri, a binary with a primary similar to the Sun and an orange K1-V companion. Both stars had five planets, but only two of the ten were of interest. Alpha Centauri-A III, a small, arid and airless terrestrial world, had a deposit of eight million tons of accessibility 0.7 Duranium, the largest and most accessible deposit of the key mineral discovered thus far, plus a less accessible deposit of Tritanium. Alpha Centauri-B IV, a large terrestrial world entirely covered in ice and with a thin nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere, held something potentially more valuable – the ruins of an alien settlement.

Alpha Centauri-A III Survey Report
Duranium:   8,201,250   0.70
Tritanium:   6,125,625   0.40

The existence of aliens had been a fact for thirty years, given the crash site near Mount Stuart that provided the Empire with its technological uplift, and events elsewhere in the Empire, noted below, had reinforced that beyond all doubt. Even so, the ruin site provided the potential for further technological gains and perhaps even the recovery of abandoned alien installations. Unfortunately, no immediate expedition to investigate could be launched because the Empire lacked a troop transport capability. Given existing research priorities, that would be corrected by late 1891.

On August 2nd 1890 the tracking stations on Earth detected an alien ship within the orbit of Mercury. With a speed of 4505 km/s, it was faster than the 3200 km/s maximum speed of the Royal Navy’s battleships and cruisers and the 4000 km/s maximum speed of its Havock class destroyers. The contact was fifty-six million kilometres from the jump tender RFA Aphrodite and the stabilisation ship RFA Argus, both of which were on the Darwin’s Star jump point. The first class cruisers HMS Andromeda and HMS Argonaut and the second class cruiser HMS Charybdis were dispatched from Earth to intercept. The alien vessel, designated as Moskva class, headed straight for the two Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships. RFA Aphrodite hailed the approaching ship several times without any response.



Both vessels were equipped with the Maxwell MX-20 Navigation Sensor, which had a resolution of 6000 tons and a range of twenty-one million kilometres, but could not establish an active contact even when the Moskva moved well inside their maximum sensor range. RFA Argus was stabilising the Sol – Darwin’s Star jump point and would complete her six month task in less than one day, so there was great reluctance from the Admiralty to abandon the effort. Even so, the First Space Lord, Sir Richard Hamilton, contacted the ships directly, ordering RFA Aphrodite to transit immediately. RFA Argus was ordered to follow if attacked.

Active contact was finally established at just 370,000 km with a target signature of 800 tons. The alien ship opened fire at 145,000 km with a pair of 8-inch railguns, scoring two strength-1 hits. Despite the loss of six months work, RFA Argus immediately transited into Bernard’s Star. It was a faint hope as the Moskva was almost certain to be jump-capable, given its presence in Sol, but the Admiralty hoped that by jumping back and forth the two ships could evade due to jump shock affecting the alien weapons. Instead, the Moskva ignored the jump point and set a course for Earth before apparently detecting the approaching cruisers and running in the opposite direction. The cruisers had a maximum speed of 3200 km/s so they rapidly fell astern. Once the alien moved out of detection range of the tracking stations on Earth, it disappeared from sensors. The cruiser squadron was ordered to take up station on the Darwin’s Star jump point.

The armament of the alien did not match the active signature, as an 800-ton warship could not mount two 8-inch railguns and still have sufficient space for engines, sensors, et cetera. The Royal Navy only had the pre-requisite technology for a 4-inch railgun, although the capability for 5-inch lasers had recently been developed, and even that weapon was 150 tons. The lack of a comparable calibre weapon for the Empire was due to the Royal Navy focus on missile warfare, with energy weapons taking a technological back-seat. Work was underway on remedying that deficiency, but it would be several years before it came to fruition. The assumption for the moment was that the alien ship had some form of technology that significantly reduced its active signature, so a sensor with a resolution of 800 tons or less could be needed to detect it. The thermal signature at strength-174 also seemed very low, so it was possible the Moskva’s thermal emissions were also shielded in some way.

In the meantime, the current generation of missiles were useless against the aliens unless an active fire control contact could be achieved. Based on the initial contact, that would require very close range, which seemed unlikely given the alien speed advantage, or the use of the anti-missile capabilities on the Astraea second class cruisers, which would be able to target the alien ship at eleven million kilometres. Unfortunately, the Daedalus missiles of the Astraea only had a range of one point one million kilometres. The Royal Navy required either a long-range, passively-targeted missile, new sensors with a suitable resolution, or a ship with higher speed than the Moskva that could run it down.

The alien reappeared a few hours later, commencing a series of manoeuvres that took it as far out as the asteroid belt and as close as three million kilometres from the Royal Navy warships on the Darwin’s Star jump point. As it danced around the inner system, it moved in and out of sensor range, sometimes detected via the Earth-based tracking stations, sometimes from its own sensor emissions and occasionally by the Maxwell MX-10M Missile Detection Sensor of HMS Charybdis. This continued for several week until the ship disappeared for the final time on October 21st. With the alien ship apparently departed and the jump point now guarded, RFA Argus returned to Sol to restart the process of stabilising the Sol – Darwin’s Star jump point.

Early November 1890 saw the launch of the first six Swordfish anti-stealth warfare (ASW) destroyers. The 1000-ton ships, based on the same hull as the Havock, were equipped with sensors and fire control systems that enabled the targeting of hostile ships with active signatures as low as 600 tons, plus a new Thorneycroft T-160 Gas-Core Turbine engine that produced a maximum speed of 8000 km/s. The Achilles heel of the new design was its very short range of two billion kilometres, sufficient for local defence but not fleet operations.

Swordfish class ASW Destroyer      1,000 tons       17 Crew       138.1 BP       TCS 20    TH 160    EM 0
8003 km/s      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 3      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 9
Maint Life 1.31 Years     MSP 100    AFR 200%    IFR 2.8%    1YR 62    5YR 926    Max Repair 80 MSP
Magazine 60   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 days    Morale Check Required   

Thorneycroft T-160 Gas-Core Turbine (1)    Power 160    Fuel Use 442.72%    Signature 160    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 2.03 billion km (70 hours at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-3 Fixed Launcher (12)     Missile Size: 5    Reload 111 minutes    MF Reload 18 hours
Maxwell MF-9S Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 8.9m km    Resolution 12
Theseus Anti-Ship Missile (12)    Speed: 25,000 km/s    End: 9.6m     Range: 14.4m km    WH: 9    Size: 5
Maxwell MX-7S Stealth Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 72     Range 7.1m km    Resolution 12

On June 1st 1891, a new Moskva class ship was detected in the inner system. The First ASW Flotilla, comprising six Swordfish class destroyers, was dispatched to intercept. The Darwin’s Star jump point was now stabilised and the original cruiser squadron withdrawn, so a new cruiser squadron was dispatched to guard it. The first civilian owned freighter, recently launched by the White Star Line, was in the area and a potential target for the alien ship.



The Moskva closed to forty million kilometres of the White Star freighter before apparently detecting the Royal Navy destroyers and attempting to escape. The flotilla closed in, using its far superior speed, and established an active contact. HMS Shark, HMS Sawfish and HMS Skate each launched twelve Theseus missiles. A single missile was destroyed by railgun fire and twenty-four missed. The remaining eleven struck the Moskva with strength-9 warheads and seven of those penetrated the armour. The alien ship ceased all movement. HMS Starfish launched a further six Theseus missiles, which destroyed the target.

Two weeks later, a second alien race was detected in Sol, leading some in the Admiralty to question whether the home system of mankind was some form of galactic crossroads. The alien ship, designated as Chacal class, was on the outer edge of the asteroid belt moving at 4039 km/s and was detected via its own active sensor emissions. As the speed was slightly too high for a Havock class destroyer, one of the short-legged Swordfish class destroyers conducted the intercept, with three cruisers following in support at 3200 km/s.

HMS Sturgeon moved to point blank range of the alien vessel without incident, confirming its size as 7724 tons, then continued to shadow the Chacal as it moved across the Sol system, passing within twenty million kilometres of Earth before halting at the wreck of the Moskva. Given the relatively short timeframe between the recent battle and the alien appearance, plus the Chacal’s interest in the wreck, it was possibly already in the Sol system when the Moskva was destroyed. After spending three hours close to the wreck, the Chacal reversed course and headed out-system through the asteroid belt on a reciprocal course. At least on this occasion there was no hostile action and the Chacal was responding to hails, albeit with gibberish.

On June 19th, HMS Swordfish took over shadowing duties from HMS Sturgeon just before the latter ran out of fuel and had to be rescued by the replenishment ship RFA Hyperion. The Chacal continued to head out-system in the general direction of the Acheron jump point before conducting a series of manoeuvres between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn. HMS Swordfish and HMS Sturgeon played tag team for several days, supported by RFA Hyperion, with the Havock class destroyer HMS Zephyr trying to provide support when possible within the constraints of her maximum speed, which was 39 km/s less than the alien ship.

With two alien races appearing in Sol within a few months, the question of their points of origin was high priority for 10 Downing Street, the Admiralty and the recently-formed Secret Service Bureau. The Prime Minister, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the third Marquess of Salisbury, commonly known as Lord Salisbury, was a firm supporter of the Royal Navy and was instrumental in ensuring the necessary wealth and resources to bring the fleet to its current strength and capability. With that in mind, his ‘request’ for the Admiralty to improve their monitoring of traffic within the Sol system was taken very seriously. The result was the Sentinel class Sensor Outpost, a small 229-ton space station intended to monitor jump points. The first six to be constructed were towed by Heracles class tugs to the four jump points in Sol and the two outward jump points in Darwin’s Star.

Sentinel class Sensor Outpost      229 tons       11 Crew       36.2 BP       TCS 5    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 4      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 99    Max Repair 12 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Maxwell MX-20 Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 21.6m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RE-5 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

When the tug RFA Hippolyta arrived at the Sol - Acheron jump point on July 8th 1891 to deliver a Sentinel class outpost, she detected a squadron of ships from the second alien race stationed on the jump point, comprising a Richelieu of 20,157 tons, a Montcalm of 15,467 tons and two Dunkerques at 7,710 tons. The three smaller ships all had shield signatures, a technology that was not available to the British Empire.



The position of the alien squadron strongly suggested that their origin lay in a system beyond Acheron and the adjacent system of Thebes. Acheron was planetless, while none of the five planets and twenty-four moons on Thebes were capable of supporting life. The survey of Acheron was already complete and the Apollo class survey cruiser HMS Thetis had moved into the Thebes system, where she was beyond communication range. Given the circumstances, the Admiralty decided that a more substantial survey effort was required. HMS Intrepid had just completed an overhaul so she was ordered to join HMS Thetis, along with HMS Sirius, which was diverted from Epsilon Eridani as she was one of three ships assigned to that system..

On July 9th 1891, the Chacal class ship ended its meanderings outside the orbit of Jupiter and set a direct course for the Sol – Acheron jump point. The two Swordfish class destroyers had been sent back to Sol for resupply and shore leave, leaving HMS Zephyr to pursue. She lost contact several hundred million kilometres from the jump point. Two days later, the Sentinel outpost on the Sol – Acheron jump point detected the transit of a second, identical alien squadron. With so many alien ships in Sol, the Admiralty was becoming increasingly concerned, despite the lack of any hostile acts. Therefore a powerful battle squadron was assembled in Earth orbit and sent out-system to confront the aliens. Communication attempts continued but without success thus far.

1st Battle Squadron
4x Royal Sovereign class Battleship: Hood, Ramillies, Renown, Repulse
2x Diadem - B class First Class Cruiser: Grafton, Hawke
2x Astraea class Second Class Cruiser: Flora, Fox
2x Pelorus - B class Third Class Cruiser: Pearl, Perseus

On July 22nd, the First Battle Squadron detected the Chacal moving in on a reciprocal course as it once more headed toward the inner system. Four days later, a second Chacal class ship was detected entering Sol from Acheron. The new Chacal and one of the two alien squadrons headed in-system, quickly disappearing from sensors. On July 29th, the First Battle Squadron took up station ten million kilometres from the Acheron jump point. The Havock class destroyer HMS Sunfish, which had accompanied the squadron, transited into Acheron to picket the far side of the jump point. Six days later, the second Chacal was detected as it transited from Sol into Epsilon Eridani. Given the aliens knew about the jump point to Epsilon Eridani, it seemed likely that undetected alien gravitational survey ships were at work within the Sol system. The number of known and suspected alien ships was growing rapidly.

On August 5th, HMS Intrepid entered Thebes and found no trace of HMS Thetis nor any sign of wreckage. She transited back into Acheron and sent a message via the stabilised Sol jump point. The First Battle Squadron detached its two Pelorus third class cruisers, HMS Pearl and HMS Perseus and sent them to Thebes to investigate, with HMS Intrepid providing the necessary jump capability. Both Pelorus class ships had been refitted with new sensors that would allow them to detect and engage the stealthy alien ships.

The two cruisers headed into Thebes and set course for the inner system. Four days into their mission they detected sensor emissions from two new Moskva class ships from the hostile alien race that had become known as the Corsairs. The presence of the Corsairs suggested the likely fate of HMS Thetis, but also raised the questions of how they could be moving between Sol and Thebes with a Sentinel outpost and a squadron from the second alien race on the Sol - Acheron jump point and what was the status of relations between the two alien races. HMS Pearl and HMS Perseus retreated back into Acheron without any sign the Corsairs had detected them. On the basis that the second alien race might have arrived in Acheron via a dormant jump point that was undetected by the initial survey, a complete gravitational resurvey of the system was authorised. In addition, the 12,500-ton, jump-capable, first class cruiser HMS Blenheim was dispatched from Sol to provide greater jump capability, allowing the two Diadem first class cruisers of the First Battle Squadron to enter Thebes if required.

On August 13th, HMS Intrepid was attacked and destroyed by another new Corsair ship while she was engaged in the resurvey of Acheron. HMS Sirius, also involved in the survey, was ordered to pull back to the Sol jump point. HMS Pearl and HMS Perseus were ordered to recover HMS Intrepid’s life pods then join HMS Sirius. As the third class cruisers approached the life pods, they detected five new ships of the second alien race that were apparently on the same mission. One was of the known 15,467 tons Montcalm class. The rest were all new designs, including a Gloire at 15,483 tons and three ships of 7,709 tons, designated as Bisson, Normandie and Suffren classes. The group was moving at 2686 km/s. Shortly thereafter, the Royal Navy cruisers detected active emissions from the Corsair Moskva, which was still close to the wreck of Intrepid.



As the cruisers approached, the Moskva attempted to run past them. HMS Pearl and HMS Perseus could potentially intercept but only if they allowed the squadron of the second alien race to pick up Intrepid’s life pods, which was not acceptable.



Meanwhile, as HMS Sirius ran for the Sol jump point, she detected another Corsair ship, designated as Beluga class, with a much larger thermal signature. The Beluga ignored HMS Sirius, possibly indicating an unarmed ship, especially given its speed of just 1425 km/s, but the Moskva moved on to a course that would intercept the survey ship. The Diadem first class cruiser HMS Hawke was detached from the 1st Battle Squadron and sent into Acheron to rendezvous with HMS Sirius to provide protection. HMS Pearl and HMS Perseus rescued the survivors from HMS Intrepid with the alien squadron just three million kilometres away, then headed for the Sol jump point. The alien ships held their position.

On August 15th, the alien squadron on the Sol – Acheron jump point, comprising a Richelieu, a Montcalm and two Dunkerques, transited into Acheron and was detected on a reciprocal course by the two Pelorus class ships as they approached the Acheron side of the jump point to rendezvous with HMS Hawke and HMS Sirius. As there were no longer any hostile ships on sensors, the Admiralty decided that HMS Sirius could resume the resurvey of Acheron with HMS Hawke acting as close escort. HMS Pearl and HMS Perseus were ordered to the Acheron - Thebes jump point to protect the stabilisation ship RFA Typhon, which had continued its task throughout the recent activity.

En route, they detected the Beluga class ship and changed course to attack. As they closed, they detected active  emissions from two Moskva class ships that were apparently acting as escorts. The stealth capabilities of the Moskvas meant they could not be attacked by the cruisers beyond seven million kilometres, so they launched a salvo of ten Perseus-E missiles at the Beluga from their current range of twenty-seven million kilometres. The Perseus-E was a shorter range version of the Perseus that exchanged fuel capacity for an onboard ECM system. Nine of the ten missiles were destroyed by point defence, leaving just one to hit the target. The effectiveness of the point defence suggested that more Corsair class ships were present than those currently on sensors. Therefore the two cruisers were ordered back to the Sol jump point. The stabilisation ship RFA Typhon was ordered to make its own way to the Sol jump point using a dog-leg course.

Five days later, HMS Pearl and HMS Perseus received an unintelligible communication from an undetected source. Despite the lack of an origin point, the communication appeared to be from the second alien race, which had been attempting to communicate, but without success so far. The nature of the communication was unknown but analysts at the Secret Service Bureau believed it could be a request to leave what the aliens regarded as their space, based on the level of their activity in Acheron. Given the casualties already suffered beyond the Acheron jump point, the Admiralty recommended withdrawal from the system to let the two alien races fight over it, assuming there was hostility between them. Lord Salisbury agreed, as there was no desire within the British government to provoke a war with an alien race of unknown strength. HMS Hawke, HMS Sirius, HMS Pearl, HMS Perseus and RFA Typhon all transited into Sol over the following days.

On August 22nd, a week after the withdrawal order was given, a squadron from the neutral alien race was detected in the inner Sol system close to the wreck of the Moskva. The third class cruiser HMS Proserpine was dispatched to shadow them. The continued presence of the aliens in Sol was of great concern within the government and the Admiralty, but as they had shown no hostility so far, despite close interactions with the Royal Navy, establishing communications remained the priority, so they could be politely asked to leave the Sol system.

That strategy paid off three days later when a linguistic breakthrough resulted in full communication being established with the alien race, which identified itself as the Beershebae Hegemony. The first official, diplomatic communication from the British Empire was a request to leave the Sol system. The Hegemony accepted the request to leave Sol without complaint, stating they had no significant interest in the system and were merely conducting survey and reconnaissance operations. In return, they asked that the Empire cease all operations beyond the Acheron jump point, which was quickly agreed. The Hegemony began withdrawing its ships immediately. In response, the Royal Navy’s First Battle Squadron was ordered to return to Earth for resupply and overhaul.

By early October, both known alien squadrons and all three known Chacal class ships had transited into Acheron.  HMS Proserpine remained on the Sol side of the jump point as a picket after shadowing one of the squadrons as it withdrew. On the 11th, a small Ambassador class diplomatic station was deployed on the Acheron side of jump point to act as a conduit for further communication. Given the station’s small size and lack of armament, the Hegemony accepted its presence and deployed their own Courbet class diplomatic ship on the Sol side of the jump point. The first report from the new station was that a Moskva class wreck had appeared near the wreck of HMS Intrepid. It appeared the Hegemony had destroyed a Corsair ship, confirming the state of hostilities between the two alien races.

Ambassador class Diplomatic Station      1,884 tons       66 Crew       372.7 BP       TCS 38    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 11      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 123    Max Repair 300 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 1   BRG   DIP   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

Maxwell MX-20 Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 21.6m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RE-5 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

As 1891 came to a close, the first pair of Phobos class troop transports were launched. Their first mission was to move four Xenoarchaeology Expeditions to Alpha Centauri-A IV to investigate the alien ruins.

Phobos class Troop Transport      47,782 tons       308 Crew       1,052.3 BP       TCS 956    TH 1,920    EM 0
2009 km/s      Armour 1-117       Shields 0-0       HTK 115      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 13    Max Repair 80 MSP
Troop Capacity 20,000 tons     Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 4   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   

CD-240 Commercial Gas-Core Engine (8)    Power 1920    Fuel Use 2.89%    Signature 240    Explosion 4%
Fuel Capacity 500,000 Litres    Range 65.1 billion km (375 days at full power)

Maxwell MX-20 Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 21.6m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RE-5 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

As peaceful diplomatic relations had been established with the Hegemony and there was no further contact with the Corsairs, the Royal Navy moved to a state of watchful alertness rather than active operations. Detached squadrons were established at the colonies in Corinth and Epsilon Eridani and at the alien ruins in Alpha Centauri. For administrative purposes, the deployments were designated as Stations, which included the ships and any support infrastructure such as maintenance facilities or refuelling stations.

Centauri Station
Diadem-B class First Class Cruiser: Argonaut, Diadem
Astraea class Second Class Cruiser: Hermione

Corinth Station
Diadem-B class First Class Cruiser: Europa
Astraea class Second Class Cruiser: Cambrian
Pelorus-B class Third Class Cruiser: Pallas
Swordfish class ASW Destroyer: Mallard, Quail, Razorfish, Sparrowhawk, Thrasher, Virago
14x Maintenance Facility

Eridani Station
Diadem-B class First Class Cruiser: Ariadne
Astraea class Second Class Cruiser: Astraea
Pelorus-B class Third Class Cruiser: Pandora

Home Fleet
10x Royal Sovereign class Battleship: Centurion, Empress of India, Hood, Ramillies, Renown, Repulse, Resolution, Revenge, Royal Oak, Royal Sovereign
2x Blake class First Class Cruiser: Blake, Blenheim
6x Diadem-B class First Class Cruiser: Amphitrite, Andromeda, Grafton, Hawke, Niobe, Spartiate
6x Astraea class Second Class Cruiser: Bonaventure, Flora, Forte, Fox, Marathon, Medea
11x Pelorus-B class Third Class Cruiser: Pearl, Pegasus, Pelorus, Perseus, Phoebe, Pioneer, Pomone, Porpoise, Prometheus, Psyche, Pyramus
30x Havock II class Destroyer: Ardent, Banshee, Boxer, Bruiser, Charger, Conflict, Contest, Daring, Dasher, Decoy, Dragon, Ferret, Fervent, Hardy, Hart, Hasty, Haughty, Havock, Hornet, Hunter, Janus, Lightning, Lynx, Porcupine, Ranger, Salmon, Snapper, Sunfish, Wizard, Zephyr
12x Swordfish class ASW Destroyer: Angler, Ariel, Avon, Bittern, Otter, Sawfish, Seal, Shark, Skate, Starfish, Sturgeon, Swordfish

Survey Command retained eight Apollo class survey cruisers, with the construction of HMS Naiad and HMS Sirius in January 1891 compensating for the loss of HMS Thetis and HMS Intrepid. The total number of known systems had grown to thirteen by the end of 1891, with the exploration of three jump points in Epsilon Eridani and single outward jump points in Corinth and Ephesus. Two of the new systems had planets of interest.

The first was Argos, a red dwarf system three jumps from Sol via Darwin’s Star and Ephesus. Argos II was a super-terrestrial world with a diameter of 22,000 km, a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 0.75 atm, including 0.23 atm of oxygen, and an ice sheet covering a quarter of the surface. The oxygen content was slightly too high, at thirty-one percent, and the temperature was low at -45C, albeit with the impact reduced due to tide-locking. The planet also lacked any mineral deposits. Even so, with minimal terraforming the colony cost of the planet could be reduced from 2.00 to 0.30, making it a good location for a base to support further exploration along the chain.

Tegea, which lay beyond Epsilon Eridani’s outermost jump point, was a trinary system of three red dwarf stars with a total of seven planets, four of which orbited the tertiary star. Tegea-C I was a terrestrial world, midway between Earth and Mars in size, with a stable orbit, an atmosphere that was very close to breathable and an ice sheet covering almost forty percent of the surface. It would be an excellent terraforming target, especially if it had mineral deposits. Unfortunately, the tertiary star orbited the primary at one hundred and seventy-five billion kilometres and had the only Lagrange point in the system. The primary had a lone gas giant that would permit the creation of a new Lagrange point, although it would require over two years due to the relatively small mass of the planet.



Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: The Suns Never Set - Updates Thread
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2021, 09:57:23 AM »
The period from 1892 to 1897 was something of a golden age for the British Empire. As a result of the agreement with the Beershebae Hegemony, which became known as the Acheron Accords, the border remained quiet, with just the Hegemony diplomatic ship maintaining contact. There was also no sign of the Corsairs. The focus of the Empire was on exploration, scientific research and economic expansion. By November 1897, known space had grown to sixty-five systems, the most distant of which was eight transits from Sol. Five new colonies were established and terraforming took place on six different worlds. Ion technology was discovered and the Royal Navy built its first energy-armed warships.



The number of Apollo class survey cruisers increased to twelve, with the construction of HMS Brilliant and HMS Sybille in February 1892 and HMS Amphion and HMS Arethusa in March 1893. The intrepid survey crews continued to expand the horizons of the Empire, making a number of interesting and valuable discoveries, with the greatest impact on the future of the Empire coming from the geological survey of Alexandria II. The tide-locked, dwarf planet lacked both air and water and had an eccentric orbit that moved between six and twenty-six million kilometres from the faint M3-V primary, resulting in a temperature range of almost two hundred degrees during each twenty-three day orbit. It was not an ideal location for a colony.

Regardless of suitability, the Admiralty knew it would be a major colony as soon as they received the survey report. Over two million tons of accessibility 1.0 Duranium, accompanied by accessible, million-ton-plus deposits of Gallicite, Corundium, Boronide and Vendarite and four hundred thousand tons of Uridium. With Earth’s own deposits being rapidly depleted, Alexandria II was very likely to be the future mining hub of the Empire, unless an even greater discovery was made.

Alexandria-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   2,324,168   1.00
Neutronium:   23,716   0.50
Tritanium:   9,604   0.90
Boronide:   1,587,600   0.80
Mercassium:   12,544   0.90
Vendarite:   1,623,076   1.00
Uridium:   379,456   0.90
Corundium:   1,382,976   0.60
Gallicite:   1,449,616   0.70

Earth Survey Report – November 1897
Duranium:   435,516   0.90
Neutronium:   59,944   0.60
Corbomite:   22,160   0.29
Tritanium:   2,843   0.15
Boronide:   29,925   0.33
Mercassium:   80,675   0.68
Sorium:   3,809   0.16
Uridium:   60,120   0.39
Corundium:   12,120   0.27
Gallicite:   14,975   0.30

By the end of 1897, the colony had a population of twelve million and the surface installations included two hundred and forty-six automated mines, ninety manned mines, twenty-eight construction factories, twenty-four maintenance facilities, a refuelling station and an ordnance transfer station. Terraforming had cooled the planet a little, created a breathable atmosphere and added the first surface water. The colony cost was 1.39, but that would reduce as more water condensed out of the atmosphere. With the temperature range between -90C and 110C, the planet would still need infrastructure and was likely to have a final colony cost around 0.70 due to tide-locking. The water cycle was complex, with the planet going through frozen, liquid and vapour hydrosphere types at different points of its orbit, but the time spent in the hottest part of the orbit was not sufficient to evaporate more than a small fraction of the surface water.

To protect the valuable colony, a fleet known as the Alexandria Station was established in orbit, comprising two Diadem first class cruisers, an Astraea second class cruiser, two third class cruisers and eight destroyers, totalling fifty-five thousand tons of warships. The first Plymouth class maintenance base was also in orbit to provide support for the fleet without taking up valuable manpower on the surface. The four battalions of the Buffs (Royal East Kent) Regiment provided the local garrison, with three thousand two hundred infantry, ninety-six Maxim machine guns and a dozen 32-pounder field guns. Two Royal Artillery batteries, each with six 8-inch ultraviolet lasers, and two Shore Defence batteries, each with four twin 4-inch laser turrets, provided surface-to-orbit capability.

The adjacent system of Epsilon Eridani was home to the Empire’s fuel production operations. By the end of 1897, thirty-one harvesters were in orbit of Epsilon Eridani VI, a superjovian with fifty million tons of accessibility 1.0 Sorium. The colony on the third moon of the superjovian, established to provide a base to protect the harvesters, had grown to twelve million and supported sixty-four maintenance facilities. The moon had also undergone terraforming. However, with a diameter of only 1600 km and a parent body that had a stable orbit, it was a much easier task than in Alexandria. The terraformers departed by 1896, leaving a breathable atmosphere, pleasant temperatures and scattered lakes that were growing slowly as water vapour condensed from the atmosphere. The fleet in the system, known as Eridani Station, was almost identical to that in Alexandria, with the exception of an additional third class cruiser. Ground forces, including surface-to-orbit, were also similar, with the Royal Scots Regiment serving as the garrison.

Both Alexandria and Eridani were connected to Sol, with a link from the former being discovered in July 1893. However, due to the distance of the jump points, it was actually faster to reach the two systems by moving through Darwin’s Star, Ephesus and Argos. In fact, apart from the systems beyond Alpha Centauri, Darwin’s Star was the gateway to all of known space. Given the importance of the system in astrographic terms, a colony was established on the first planet, a tide-locked, mid-sized terrestrial world with a large ice sheet and a thin nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. As the planet itself had little inherent value beyond its location, no effort was made to terraform it. However, as the planet was less than three hundred and fifty million kilometres from Earth, it became a popular destination for settlers looking for a new life. By 1897, the population of the Darwin Colony was over eleven million, most of which had been transported by the colony ships of the White Star Line, a civilian shipping company operating nine vessels. The Northumberland Fusiliers Regiment acted as garrison, supported by two batteries of the Royal Artillery. There was no permanent naval presence in the system, given it was so close to Earth.

One jump point out from Darwin’s Star was Corinth, the third planet of which was home to the first off-world colony of the British Empire, established in early 1891. Corinth III was similar to Alexandria II in both size, also being a dwarf planet, and eccentricity of orbit, with a perihelion of twenty million kilometres and an aphelion of fifty-eight million. The temperature range was almost as large, ranging from -72C to 105C once terraforming was completed in 1895. Corinth III was an ideal habitable world for a small portion of its orbit, before reaching colony cost 0.6 at the two temperature extremes. The proximity to Sol and the early terraforming resulted in the largest population of any colony, passing twenty million in late 1897. While Corinth Colony did have some mineral resources, it was completely overshadowed by the survey of Alexandria II and found a new identity as a centre for banking and wealth generation. One hundred and seventy-six financial centres were in place. The planet was also home to a small naval base, which housed the fleet designated as Corinth Station, comprising three cruisers, one of each class, and six destroyers. The Queen’s Royal Regiment served as the garrison force.

Corinth-A III Survey Report
Duranium:   739,328   0.60
Neutronium:   16,384   0.70
Tritanium:   350,464   0.90
Mercassium:   123,904   0.40

After the four large colonies in Alexandria, Eridani, Corinth and Darwin’s Star, there was substantial drop in population size to the remaining three colonies in Alpha Centauri, Achaea and Delphi. The Centauri Colony was originally established because of the alien ruins on the surface of Alpha Centauri IV. Once those were surveyed and anything of value recovered, the colony became a base to support for exploration of the Centauri Arm, a chain of eight systems that lay beyond Sol’s outermost jump point. There were systems six transits away from Sol that were closer in real distance than the primary of Alpha Centauri, which made the chain the most remote in the Empire. Alpha Centauri had a single outward jump point close to the primary so it made sense to create a naval base in the system that could support independent survey operations and provide early warning of any threat.

The colony had a population of less than three million in late 1897 and its sole focus was providing manpower for twenty-eight maintenance facilities, which were the only installations on the planet except for a refuelling station and a tracking station. A small cruiser squadron, known as the Centauri Station and comprising a Diadem, an Astraea and a Pelorus, was based at the colony, with the remaining facilities available to overhaul survey cruisers. The Royal Warwickshire Regiment was stationed on the surface.

Achaea Colony, located two transits out from Epsilon Eridani, had a population of one point two million and was the most unusual outpost of the Empire. In September 1893, an alien construct was found on Achaea II, a huge super-terrestrial world dominated by arid mountains. The dense nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of 5.4 atm and the gravity of 2.28G were both well beyond human tolerance. A study of the construct revealed that it was intended to support research into energy weapons and would double the effectiveness of any such research conducted on the planet. This was extremely frustrating for the Empire’s scientists as the planet was not suitable for human habitation. However, while a fully fledged research colony was not possible, the British government, under pressure from the Royal Society, decided to create a scientific outpost in orbit. An orbital habitat, designated as the Isaac Newton class, was designed to house two hundred thousand colonists. Six were built and towed to the planet. While no research was conducted on Achaea II, the study of the construct was sufficient to boost energy weapon research in the rest of the Empire by approximately ten percent. A Pelorus-B third class cruiser provided security for the colony.

The smallest populated colony of the Empire was on Delphi II, which was four transits from Sol on the shortest route. A destroyed alien outpost was found on the planet in May 1893 and the Royal Engineers recovered a small number of installations, including sufficient infrastructure to house one million settlers. The White Star Line saw an opportunity to transport paying colonists to a planet with available accommodation and the Delphi Colony was born. As the colony was on the stable jump network and had a single outward jump point leading to the Luxor system, the Admiralty arranged for a tracking station to be delivered so that it could provide early warning of any alien incursion from that direction. In addition to the populated colonies, a number of civilian mining colonies were setup. By the end of 1897, there were ten civilian colonies in Sol and a further two in Alexandria, totalling thirty-seven civilian mining complexes.

Technology progressed considerably between 1892 and 1897, with the most notable advances being ion engines and laser weapons. 8-inch, 5-inch and 4-inch ultraviolet lasers were developed, along with a relatively primitive 4-inch railgun, and the first new energy-armed classes were designed. The first to see service was the Gem third class cruiser, an interim design with gas core engines that was intended to provide close-in anti-missile defence while the Empire developed higher technology lasers. HMS Amethyst, HMS Diamond and HMS Sapphire were launched in September 1894 and followed by three sister ships a year later. All six were refitted with ion engines once that technology became available.

Gem class Third Class Cruiser      6,250 tons       213 Crew       810 BP       TCS 125    TH 400    EM 0
3200 km/s      Armour 4-30       Shields 0-0       HTK 45      Sensors 2/2/0/0      DCR 3      PPV 36
Maint Life 2.02 Years     MSP 243    AFR 104%    IFR 1.4%    1YR 79    5YR 1,190    Max Repair 200 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 14 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-400 Triple Expansion Gas-Core Drive (1)    Power 400    Fuel Use 35.00%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 250,000 Litres    Range 20.6 billion km (74 days at full power)

4-inch Railgun (12x4)    Range 20,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 3-3     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
Barr and Stroud MK I Railgun Fire Control (3)     Max Range: 48,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s     79 58 38 17 0 0 0 0 0 0
R-12 Gaseous Fission Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 36.5    Exp 5%

Maxwell MX-20 Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1440     Range 21.6m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-4M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.4m km    MCR 393.3k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RE-2 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 2     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  11.2m km
Rutherford RT-2 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 2     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  11.2m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The laser-armed first ship to see service was the Griffon class destroyer, a 1000-ton vessel mounting a twin 4” turret. With a range of nine billion kilometres, the Griffon could provide coverage of an entire star system or support larger ships in short-ranged fleet operations. As the lasers were turreted, they were capable of providing anti-missile defence. Twelve were in service by late 1897.

Griffon class Destroyer      1,000 tons       28 Crew       163.6 BP       TCS 20    TH 80    EM 0
4003 km/s      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 7      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 8.16
Maint Life 1.25 Years     MSP 100    AFR 200%    IFR 2.8%    1YR 66    5YR 994    Max Repair 52.4 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Morale Check Required   

Thorneycroft T-80 Ion Turbine (1)    Power 80    Fuel Use 87.50%    Signature 80    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 44,000 Litres    Range 9.1 billion km (26 days at full power)

Twin 4-inch QF Laser Turret (1x2)    Range 64,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 6-6     RM 40,000 km    ROF 5       
Barr and Stroud MK III-S Laser Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-6 Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 6.2    Exp 5%
Maxwell MX-2M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 3     Range 2m km    MCR 175.9k km    Resolution 1

The Eclipse Second Class Cruiser was the first laser-armed warship intended to serve as an integral part of the battle fleet. Her main armament comprised six 8-inch ultraviolet lasers, supported by a secondary armament of two twin 5-inch quick-firing turrets for missile defence and increased damage output at closer ranges. The Eclipse also featured the first next generation active sensors to be included in any design. Three Eclipses were laid down at the Thorneycroft Shipyard and were scheduled for completion in late November 1897.

Eclipse class Second Class Cruiser      9,375 tons       305 Crew       1,559.8 BP       TCS 187    TH 750    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 5-39       Shields 0-0       HTK 70      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 5      PPV 57.76
Maint Life 2.37 Years     MSP 519    AFR 141%    IFR 2.0%    1YR 127    5YR 1,899    Max Repair 187.5 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-375 Triple Expansion Ion Drive (2)    Power 750    Fuel Use 40.41%    Signature 375    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 409,000 Litres    Range 19.4 billion km (56 days at full power)

8-inch Ultraviolet Laser (6)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3.5     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Twin 5-inch QF Laser Turret (2x2)    Range 160,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 8-8     RM 40,000 km    ROF 5       
Barr and Stroud MK II Laser Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Barr and Stroud MK III Laser Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor R12-A (3)     Total Power Output 37.7    Exp 5%

Maxwell MX-38B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 3840     Range 38.6m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-2MB Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.5m km    MCR 222.5k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The development of Ion technology also led to a series of refits for the existing, missile-armed classes of the Royal Navy. In each case, the gas core engines were replaced with their ion equivalent with no other design changes being made. As of the start of November 1897, all ten Royal Sovereign class battleships, all twelve Diadem class cruisers, all twelve Astraea second class cruisers and the thirty Havock class destroyers had been refitted. The refit programme for the fourteen Pelorus third class cruisers was just beginning and only one ship had been upgraded to ion engines. There were no plans to refit the two Blake class jump cruisers or the eighteen Swordfish class destroyers.

On November 12th 1897, the survey ship HMS Sybille entered the Babylon system to conduct gravitational and geological surveys. The system, six transits from Earth and two beyond the Delphi Colony, was discovered two years earlier by HMS Aeolus, but she was at the limit of her endurance and returned to Earth for an overhaul. HMS Sybille took on the mission instead and headed in-system, surveying several asteroids en route. Following standard procedure, she fired an Orpheus active sensor drone at Babylon II, the only planet that appeared to be suitable for a colony. The planet was arid with small seas and had a nitrogen, water vapour and methane atmosphere of 1.9 atm and a surface temperature of 64C, although that would go as high as 145C as the planet’s eccentric orbit moved it closer to the star.

As the drone approached Babylon II, it detected a large fleet from a previously unknown alien race. The four largest ships, designated as Bismarck class, were almost twenty-nine thousand tons, fifty percent larger than the 18,750 Royal Sovereign class battleships. Five more ships, a Beowulf, a Heimdall and three Bluchers, were all in excess of 19,000 tons. They were accompanied by nine smaller ships of five different types, all of which were similar in size to a second class cruiser. In total, the alien fleet was almost three hundred thousand tons, which was almost half the mass of all the warships in the Royal Navy. The drone was destroyed one point five million kilometres from the planet by a small explosion, indicating the aliens had an anti-missile capability similar to the Royal Navy’s Daedalus light missiles.



HMS Sybille was over a billion kilometres from the planet. As the jump point to the adjacent Luxor system was  already stabilised, she sent an urgent contact report to the Admiralty then ran for Luxor. The First Sea Lord, Sir Frederick Richards, who had assumed the position after the tragic, accidental death of his predecessor, ordered the creation of a forward defensive position at the Delphi Colony. Delphi was two jump points from Babylon and astride the only route into the rest of the known space. While the colony only existed due to the business acumen of the White Star Line, it had sufficient manpower to host an initial fourteen maintenance facilities and provided a platform for the rapid development of a naval base. A force of four cruisers, comprising two Diadems, an Astraea and a Gem, was despatched to Delphi as a tripwire force. HMS Sybille was ordered to remain at the Babylon – Luxor jump point as a sensor picket until she could be relieved by a Pelorus third class cruiser.

Given the size of the alien force, the Admiralty had no plans for any aggressive moves into Babylon and hoped to eventually reach an agreement similar to the Acheron Accords. In the meantime though, establishing a strong presence in Delphi was the priority. Once the warship picket arrived in Babylon, permission was given for HMS Sybille to conduct a gravitational survey. Two jumps were discovered on the edge of the system, leading to Naxos, a planetless red dwarf, and Nineveh, which had four planets and a moderate-sized asteroid belt. A geological survey of the latter found two large asteroids, both of which were over a thousand kilometres in diameter, fell within human gravitational tolerance and had large, accessible mineral deposits. The colony costs were 2.69 and 2.00 respectively. Once the situation in Babylon was resolved, they would be ideal locations for mining colonies

Asteroid #2 Survey Report (1080 km diameter – 0.127G)
Duranium:   451,630   0.90
Neutronium:   1,866   0.90
Corbomite:   37,791   0.80
Tritanium:   268,739   0.80
Boronide:   16,796   0.90
Vendarite:   134,836   0.90
Corundium:   14,113   0.80
Gallicite:   10,527   0.80

Asteroid #53 Survey Report (1018 km diameter – 0.12G)
Duranium:   283,746   0.90
Neutronium:   116,301   0.80
Corbomite:   209,856   0.80
Tritanium:   169,983   0.80
Boronide:   8,394   0.90
Mercassium:   23,317   0.90
Vendarite:   5,829   0.80
Sorium:   4,378   0.90
Uridium:   248,821   0.80
Corundium:   9,353   0.90
Gallicite:   18,887   1.00

Ten months after the events in Babylon, a Moskva class Corsair ship was detected less than fifty million kilometres from the Darwin colony. There had been no contact with the Corsairs for almost seven years, so even at the Admiralty a degree of complacency had set in regarding their potential return, which explained why a colony of twelve million in a key transit system had no standing naval force. The only military force in the system comprised two Royal Artillery batteries on the surface. Three freighters of the White Star Line were in orbit, unloading their cargo of infrastructure and a fourth was close to the Sol jump point. Ten Atlas class freighters of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary were passing through the system, bound for the Alexandria colony with a cargo of twenty automated mines. Sentinel sensor outposts  were stationed at all three jump points in Darwin’s Star, so the Admiralty was starting to believe the Corsairs used some alternate method of travel between systems.



Twelve Swordfish class destroyers, short-ranged but capable of 8000 km/s, were dispatched from Earth, followed by a cruiser squadron comprising the first class cruisers HMS Diadem and HMS Ariadne and the Eclipse second class cruiser Diana. The Moskva headed straight for the three civilian freighters in orbit of the Darwin Colony. The two Royal Artillery batteries begin tracking the Corsair ship as it entered their active sensor range. The twelve 8-inch ground-based lasers fired without success at 315,000 km and again at 247,000 km before finally registering five strength-2 hits at 188,000 km. The Corsair fired on the freighters from 159,000 km, scoring three strength-1 hits, and continued closing, apparently focused on the soft targets.

The Corsair suffered further armour damage at 114,000 km, then returned fire at 92,000 km, inflicting six hits on a freighter, one of which penetrated the armour without causing internal damage. At fifty thousand kilometres the alien ship was devastated by ten strength-8 hits from the 8-inch lasers of the Royal Artillery. The Corsair ceased all movement and its railguns fell silent. Fifteen seconds later a follow-up volley blew it to pieces. Apparently, the aliens had badly under-estimated the effectiveness of the surface-to-orbit weapons at close range. Even so, the Admiralty ordered the three cruisers heading to the system to take up station in orbit of the Darwin colony. Over the next few weeks, maintenance facilities were transported to the colony and an Astraea second class cruiser was assigned to the Darwin squadron to provide missile defence.

In October 1898, a small colony was established on the first planet of the Jericho system, five jumps outward from the Corinth colony. The planet was home to an alien construct, similar to that in the Achaea system but apparently a more primitive version intended to boost research into construction technologies. The xenoarchaeology expedition that surveyed the construct believed it would add as much as thirty percent to the effectiveness of research conducted at the colony. That was unlikely to be any time soon as the focus of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary was in building up the mining colony in Alexandria and the naval base in Delphi.

Exploration continued on the frontiers of the Empire. Of particular interest was the area around Cyrene, a planetless M3-V dwarf star four transits out from Alexandria, via Delta Carinae, Sigma Draconis and Tarsus. Cyrene had five outward jump points, leading to several interesting systems. The outermost jump point led to Carthage, which had only three planets, but two of those had significant, accessible mineral deposits. Both were barren worlds, without air or water, but relatively small – 5400 km and 3600 km in diameter – allowing for relatively fast terraforming. A moon in the Zeta Doradus system had seven million tons of accessibility 0.7 Duranium, plus large accessible deposits of nine other minerals. A dormant construct was found in Memphis. The only system adjacent to Cyrene of no immediate interest was the planetless Iota Doradus, which left Byzantium, a system with a young, G5-V primary and ten planets, three of which were colony cost 2.00. HMS Spartan was assigned to conduct a geological survey.

Carthage-A I Survey Report
Duranium:   285,768   1.00
Tritanium:   352,836   0.40
Vendarite:   5,517,801   0.50
Corundium:   3,992,004   0.10
Gallicite:   2,537,649   0.90

Carthage-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   3,453,192   0.60
Neutronium:   331,776   0.80
Corbomite:   2,125,764   0.60
Tritanium:   2,802,276   1.00
Boronide:   352,836   0.20
Mercassium:   236,196   0.40
Vendarite:   1,871,424   0.90
Sorium:   26,244   0.80
Uridium:   1,411,344   0.20
Corundium:   11,664   0.20
Gallicite:   352,836   1.00

Zeta Doradus-A V - Moon 15 Survey Report
Duranium:   7,038,752   0.70
Neutronium:   1,073,296   1.00
Corbomite:   3,013,696   0.30
Tritanium:   7,840,000   0.60
Boronide:   112,896   1.00
Mercassium:   451,584   0.10
Sorium:   1,449,616   0.10
Uridium:   571,536   1.00
Corundium:   132,496   0.80
Gallicite:   1,658,944   0.70

By March 1899, HMS Spartan was overdue so the jump tender RFA Tanagra, already in the area to support tugs moving terraforming stations to a new colony in the nearby Gamma Carinae system, jumped into Byzantium to check on the survey cruiser. There was no sign of the ship so RFA Tanagra sent an urgent update to the Admiralty. A squadron of six cruisers was dispatched from Sol on the forty day journey to Byzantium, including a refuelling stop in Alexandria.

Byzantium Squadron
Blake class First Class Cruiser: Blenheim
Diadem II class First Class Cruiser: Edgar, Europa
Eclipse class Second Class Cruiser: Eclipse
Astraea II class Second Class Cruiser: Flora
Gem II-B class Third Class Cruiser: Amethyst



The squadron arrived in Byzantium on May 2nd 1899. The jump cruiser HMS Blenheim remained at the jump point while the other five ships conducted a sweep of the inner system. Two hundred and fifty million kilometres from the jump point, they detected emissions from a single contact, designated as Roma class, from a previously unknown alien race. The Roma was moving toward the Royal Navy cruisers at 6338 km/s. Commander Ewan Hamilton, senior officer of the squadron, ordered the five ships to begin pulling back to the jump point. The alien vessel, eighty million kilometres away, set an intercept course.



When the alien ship moved within active sensor range, a further six ships were detected. The Roma itself was a massive 64,310 tons, well over three times the size of the Royal Sovereign class battleships and more than double the size of the two 28,125-ton Formidable class battleships that were under construction. It was accompanied by three 21,455-ton Venezia class, assumed to be smaller battleships, and four cruiser-sized Ancona class. The total alien tonnage was 170,000 and they appeared to have far superior engine technology.



Seventy minutes later, sensor emissions from a further four contacts were detected, designated as Stromboli class. They were on different bearing at a similar distance, but moving at 9708 km/s. Rather than close in alone, the Strombolis moved to the largest ships and approached from the same direction at a similar speed. The situation deteriorated even further when a new formation of three Venezia class battleships and three Ancona class cruisers appeared at the edge of sensor range. Alien forces were converging on the cruiser squadron from multiple directions. Given the disappearance of HMS Spartan, the aggressive movements of the large alien fleets, and the lack of response to hails, Commander Hamilton requested position from the Admiralty to treat the alien forces as hostile. The request was relayed via HMS Blake on the jump point, as the adjacent Cyrene system was on the stable jump network.



The government of Lord Salisbury, once again in 10 Downing Street after the administrations of Gladstone and Lord Rosebery, was loathe to begun a major conflict with an alien race of unknown size and capability, especially with the unresolved situation in Babylon. The First Space Lord, Sir Frederick Richards, was equally loathe to allow Royal Navy ships to stand defenceless and wait to be fired upon. The unknown fate of HMS Spartan was the deciding factor and Lord Salisbury gave Sir Frederick permission to set whatever rules of engagement he deemed appropriate. Commander Hamilton was ordered to fire single a missile volley if the aliens moved within ten million kilometres. If the aliens did not cease pursuit, he was ordered to use all means necessary to preserve his force.
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: The Suns Never Set - Updates Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2021, 09:56:32 AM »
Thirty minutes after the Byzantium Squadron received the new rules of engagement from the Admiralty, the emissions contacts of four Stromboli class alien ships broke off from the main formation and closed on the Royal Naval ships. As they moved within eleven million kilometres, the Maxwell MX-10M Missile Detection Sensor on HMS Flora confirmed their size as 695 tons. Unfortunately, they were not alone. One hundred and nine alien ships were in the rapidly closing armada, including thirteen Strombolis, thirty Palestro class of 761 tons, thirty-one Etna class of 772 tons and thirty-five Vesuvio class, also of 772 tons.



There was little doubt in Commander Hamilton’s mind about the threat this presented. His ships included the Diadem class first class cruisers HMS Edgar and HMS Europa, each armed with ten anti-ship missile launchers, HMS Flora, armed with twenty light missile launchers, HMS Eclipse, armed with six 8-inch lasers and two twin 5-inch laser turrets and HMS Amethyst, with a dozen 4-inch railguns. His force was only fifty thousand tons in total, smaller than the largest alien ship and even out-massed by the approaching horde of small ships.

HMS Edgar and HMS Europa each had two Maxwell MF-50 Missile Fire Controls with a fifty million kilometre range and their Perseus missiles had a forty-six million kilometre range. Unfortunately, those fire controls had a resolution of six thousand tons and would only be able to lock on to the small alien ships at 800,000 km. Fortunately, they also had a single Maxwell MF-9S Missile Fire Control, added as a result of Corsair raids, with a resolution of six hundred tons and a range of nine million kilometres. Commander Hamilton ordered them to fire a single salvo, using five launchers each, as soon as they were in range.

Five minutes after launch a single missile from each salvo struck two Etnas and penetrated armour, without any apparent effect on the targets. The gap was now down to seven million kilometres. The aliens showed no sign of changing course, so Commander Hamilton ordered the two Diadems to fire until their magazines were exhausted. They changed to salvos of eight, to try to increase damage without overkill. Most of the Perseus missiles were fired before the first hit and it quickly became apparent that eight missiles per salvos was not enough. One Etna maintained full speed after two penetrating hits. The sum total from a combined two hundred Perseus missiles was three Etnas disabled plus sixteen damaged but still in formation.

Each cruiser also had thirty Theseus missiles, which were faster and had larger warheads but only one third of the range. As the aliens had shown no missile capability, that range reduction was not an issue. The Theseus missiles were fired in salvos of five and targeted on damaged but still mobile Etnas. They were far more successful, destroying four and disabling two more. Even so, with a total of four destroyed and five disabled, that only reduced the alien formation to one hundred ships. As the two Diadems could not longer contribute to the defence of the squadron, Commander Hamilton considered ordering them to break away in different directions, but he knew that would be futile given the speed of the alien ships. Instead, he ordered them to remain in formation in an effort to draw fire away from the combat capable ships.

The next phase of the battle fell to HMS Flora and her twenty light missile launchers. Her seven hundred and twenty Daedalus light missiles had only a strength-1 warhead and a range of a million kilometres. Three minutes after her first missile launch, she was joined by HMS Eclipse, who opened fire with her 8-inch lasers at 200,000 km. So far, HMS Flora had launched two hundred and eighty light missiles, destroying three Etnas and disabling a fourth.

At 176,000 km, HMS Eclipse was attacked by energy weapon fire from the thirty-five Vesuvio class ships, suffering eighteen strength-1 hits. The Vesuvios fired every five seconds, with the range decreasing by almost thirty thousand kilometres between each volley. HMS Eclipse returned fire every fifteen seconds, with her 5-inch turrets joining in at 62,000 km and disabling an Etna. By that point, her armour had been severely damaged and her fate was sealed when the remaining Etnas fired some form of microwave weapon that ignored armour and disabled all her electronic systems. Five seconds later the aliens fired again and HMS Eclipse exploded.

The range fell to less than 5,000 km and HMS Amethyst joined the fight with her ultra-short-range railguns, scoring fourteen strength-1 hits on a Vesuvio. The alien armada focused on HMS Europa, quickly disabling her electronics and wiping away a third of her armour. HMS Flora continued to launch salvos of Daedalus light missiles. So far, only seven alien ships had been destroyed in total, with seven more disabled. HMS Amethyst fired again, targeting a Palestro class ship, then suddenly blew up as the incoming fire caused a devastating engine explosion.

To the shock of the surviving ships, and to the crew of HMS Blenheim monitoring the battle from the jump point, HMS Europa reported hostile boarders. The aliens were hideous, multi-limbed monstrosities with hooved, backward-jointed legs, an upper pair of limbs that served as curved, bladed weapons and smaller, secondary limbs that disgorged bolts of acid. Their bodies were covered by hard exoskeletons that absorbed weapon fire. While the grey-skinned, large-eyed Beersheba were obviously alien, the creatures swarming on to HMS Europa were something from a horrific nightmare. The crew fought back as best they could with sidearms, but the aliens cut through the valiant defenders without sustaining losses.

The Palestro class ships, which had apparently carried the boarders, departed for the inner system. HMS Flora took the brunt of the next alien attack, losing most of her armour and all her fire controls. The end was close, with none of the three remaining Royal Navy ships capable of returning fire. HMS Flora exploded, then the aliens ceased their attack, even though HMS Edgar was undamaged, but continued to shadow the two Diadem class cruisers.



Thirty seconds after combat ended, HMS Europa began taking further damage. The energy weapons used by the Vesuvios had apparently caused a reaction with the materials in her hull, resulting in a form of acid eating away at the ship. On board the ship the alien ground units, already being referred to as the Swarm in hasty combat reports, continued to massacre the crew. The resolute defenders were inflicting many hits on the invaders and the occasional minor wound, but had to yet to bring one down. Four minutes after the alien ships ceased fire, HMS Edgar also reported alien boarders. Even though the ship was undamaged, the aliens had apparently landed on the full then blasted their way into the ship through its armour. As the battle began on HMS Edgar, the crew of HMS Europa was finally overwhelmed and the ship was captured by the Swarm Warriors.

There seemed to be far fewer alien warriors on HMS Edgar, although the crew was still gradually giving ground. With more time for defensive fire, the crew final managed to kill one of the invaders four minutes into the battle, followed by another eight minutes later. Crew casualties were still mounting though and their numbers were falling faster than the Swarm. Eventually, forty minutes after the combat begin and with five aliens dead, the last defenders fell as the Swarm warriors took the bridge.

The loss of all five cruisers was a significant blow to the Royal Navy, especially as the alien casualties were relatively light. More worrying through was the sheer size and technological advantages of the Swarm. Once the action was reviewed and analysed the Admiralty was concerned that even a large Royal Navy fleet centred around battleships could be overwhelmed, especially if the larger alien ships mounted weapons with a range advantage to match their speed advantage. For the moment, the British Empire would have to focus on defensive actions only until technology could be improved or the right tactical situation presented itself. The only good news was that Byzantium was five transits from the major colony at Alexandria, so it would take some time for the Swarm to be a direct threat to major populations and industrial centres.

An advance through Cyrene into Tarsus would cut off the small colony of 200,000 that had been established on Gamma Carinae II, two jumps out from that system, but in cold military terms that was almost irrelevant. Six terraforming stations had been deployed at the planet so an operation was started to move those stations back into the core worlds of the Empire. To provide early warning of any alien advance into the area, Sentinel class sensor outposts were deployed at the Cyrene – Byzantium and Tarsus – Cyrene jump points, while tracking stations were based on Tarsus II and on a comet in Cyrene. The Royal Sovereign class battleships HMS Centurion and HMS Empress of India were ordered to Alexandria in the first extra-solar deployment of Royal Navy capital ships.

On July 16th 1899, two months after the Battle of Byzantium, HMS Formidable and HMS Implacable were launched from the Devonport Shipyard. The two Formidable class battleships were fifty percent larger than the preceding Royal Sovereign class and mounted one-third more missile launchers plus a secondary armament of four 8-inch lasers. Armour thickness increased by twenty percent and total armour was sixty-five percent greater. Despite the increase in combat capability, the ships would be extremely vulnerable to the Etna’s microwave weapons or the boarders carried by the Palestros. Refits would be required for the both battleships before they could be risked in action.

Formidable class Battleship      28,125 tons       765 Crew       4,045.6 BP       TCS 562    TH 2,250    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 10-82       Shields 0-0       HTK 161      Sensors 15/15/0/0      DCR 20      PPV 124
Maint Life 2.13 Years     MSP 1,798    AFR 316%    IFR 4.4%    1YR 528    5YR 7,926    Max Repair 375 MSP
Magazine 1,300   
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-750 Triple Expansion Ion Drive (3)    Power 2250    Fuel Use 28.58%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 890,000 Litres    Range 19.9 billion km (57 days at full power)

8-inch Ultraviolet Laser (4)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3.5     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Barr and Stroud MK II Laser Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor R14 (1)     Total Power Output 14.1    Exp 5%

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (20)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-50 Missile Fire Control (3)     Range 51m km    Resolution 120
Theseus II Anti-Ship Missile (80)    Speed: 31,240 km/s    End: 7.7m     Range: 14.4m km    WH: 9    Size: 5
Perseus II Anti-Ship Missile (180)    Speed: 27,520 km/s    End: 27.6m     Range: 45.6m km    WH: 6    Size: 5

Maxwell MX-80B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 17280     Range 81.8m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RE-15 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
Rutherford RT-15 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

Three months later, HMS Majestic and HMS Magnificent were launched. The Majestic class battleships were the same size as the Royal Sovereigns, with similar amour, and the first Royal Navy battleships with an entirely energy-based armament. Their Majestics were effectively an upscaled Eclipse class cruiser, mounting a main armament of twelve 8-inch lasers, supported by four twin 5-inch laser turrets.

Majestic class Battleship      18,750 tons       590 Crew       3,142.3 BP       TCS 375    TH 1,500    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 8-62       Shields 0-0       HTK 126      Sensors 15/0/0/0      DCR 12      PPV 115.52
Maint Life 2.10 Years     MSP 1,256    AFR 234%    IFR 3.3%    1YR 381    5YR 5,709    Max Repair 375 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-750 Triple Expansion Ion Drive (2)    Power 1500    Fuel Use 28.58%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 639,000 Litres    Range 21.5 billion km (62 days at full power)

8-inch Ultraviolet Laser (12)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3.5     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Twin 5-inch QF Ultraviolet Laser Turret (4x2)    Range 160,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 8-8    ROF 5       
Barr and Stroud MK II Laser Fire Control (3)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Barr and Stroud MK III Laser Turret Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor R12-A (6)     Total Power Output 75.5    Exp 5%

Maxwell MX-60B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 9600     Range 61m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-2MB Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.5m km    MCR 222.5k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RT-15 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

In early November 1899, six months after the battle, a single Swarm ship, designated as Duilio class, transited into Cyrene and was detected by the Sentinel class base on the jump point. There were no warships available due to the Admiralty’s decision not to commit forces unless they had a realistic chance of success. A troop transport and a replenishment ship were in the system, heading home after recent missions, and attempted to move around the hostile alien ship to reach Tarsus. However, the Duilio did not even attack the nearby Sentinel outpost, which suggested it was unarmed.



Two months later, a second Swarm ship of a new type, designated as Lepanto class, appeared in the Achaea system, home to six 500,000 ton orbital habitats and a colony of one point two million on the second planet. Achaea was eight transits from Byzantium, with no known connection between the two system except via both Alexandria and Epsilon Eridani. This unexpected Swarm presence resulted in near-panic at the Admiralty as the new incursion was only two transits from Epsilon Eridani, via Neapolis, and three from both Alexandria and Sol. There were also two survey cruisers and a stabilisation ship in the eight systems beyond Achaea. The Admiralty was very reluctant to commit major forces to the system with none of the new technologies available, but decided to send the Second Destroyer Flotilla from Epsilon Eridani to the Neapolis – Achaea jump point to guard against any minor incursion into Neapolis. Meanwhile, the Lepanto visited the first planet and then headed out-system in the general direction of the Neapolis jump point. Contact was briefly re-established on February 10th 1900 in the sparse asteroid belt orbiting close to the primary.

2nd Destroyer Flotilla
Pelorus - B class Third Class Cruiser: Pegasus
Havock III class Destroyer: Ardent, Banshee, Boxer, Bruiser, Charger, Conflict
Griffon class Destroyer: Brazen, Crane





On February 15th 1900, the Duilio class ship that was detected in Cyrene three months earlier was detected in Neapolis, between Epsilon Eridani and Achaea and just two jumps from Sol. The presence of this ship confirmed a previously unknown link between two widely-separated parts of known space. The Second Destroyer Flotilla, stationed on the Neapolis - Achaea jump point detected the ship at eight million kilometres. Given the ship was discovered in Neapolis without passing through the jump point from Achaea, it appeared that the Swarm may have entered Neapolis first, not Achaea, which presented a serious and immediate danger to Epsilon Eridani, which hosted a major colony and the forty Ambrosia class harvesters that were the primary source of fuel for the whole Empire.

HMS Pegasus, the third class cruiser leading the flotilla, opened fire on the alien ship with her Perseus-E Anti-ship missiles, an old design with gas core engines. She launched four salvos of five missiles then ceased fire to await the result. Four of the first salvo were hit by point defence and the fifth missed. The second salvo scored a single strength-6 hit. The third also inflicted a single hit which penetrated the armour and slowed the alien vessel by fifty percent. Three missiles from the fourth and final salvo destroyed the ship, leaving no wreckage. As the Swarm was already in Neapolis, the destroyer flotilla was ordered to move across the system and take up station on the Epsilon Eridani – Neapolis jump point. A couple of days later, a second Lepanto was briefly detected in Achaea and a third on February 26th.

With Neapolis and Achaea now compromised, although no Swarm warships had been detected so far, an operation was launched to rescue five Eden class terraforming stations from Sparta, adjacent to Neapolis, where they were working on a new colony site. The Admiralty was not prepared to send an escort as a small force would be overwhelmed by an serious opposition and a large escort could not be risked. Instead, the tugs made a straight run across the nine hundred million kilometre gap between the Neapolis - Epsilon Eridani and Neapolis – Sparta jump points.

In Epsilon Eridani itself, the guard force on the Neapolis jump point was increased to four Pelorus third class cruisers, one of which had ion engines, and fourteen destroyers. The newly formed Eridani Fleet was based at the Eridani colony and comprised six Royal Sovereign class battleships, four Diadem first class cruisers, two Astraea second class cruisers, a single Gem third class cruiser and twelve destroyers. All the capital ships were armed entirely with first generation Theseus missiles, as the short-ranged, larger-warhead missile had proven more effective in the only engagement to date.

Eridani Fleet (200,000 tons)
Royal Sovereign II class Battleship: Centurion, Empress of India, Hood, Ramillies, Renown, Repulse
Diadem II class First Class Cruiser: Hawke, Niobe, Royal Arthur, Spartiate
Astraea II class Second Class Cruiser: Bonaventure, Fox
Gem II-B class Third Class Cruiser: Onyx
Havock III class Destroyer: Hornet, Hunter, Janus, Lightning, Lynx, Porcupine, Ranger, Salmon, Snapper, Sunfish, Wizard, Zephyr

Neapolis Guard Force (40,000 tons)
Pelorus - B class Third Class Cruiser: Pegasus, Proserpine, Psyche
Pelorus II class Third Class Cruiser: Pelorus
Havock III class Destroyer: Ardent, Banshee, Boxer, Bruiser, Charger, Conflict, Fervent, Hardy, Hart, Hasty, Haughty, Havock
Griffon class Destroyer: Brazen, Crane

On March 11th, the stabilisation ship RFA Argus emerged from the Achaea - Thessalonica jump point and began her attempt to run across both Achaea and Neapolis to reach relative safety in Epsilon Eridani. The survey cruiser HMS Andromache passed through the same jump points, but remained in Neapolis to conduct a resurvey to locate any newly-active jump point. That dangerous endeavour bore fruit far more quickly than expected with the discovery of a previously unknown jump point less than seven hundred million kilometres Achaea jump point. The Havock class destroyer HMS Fervent was detached from the Neapolis Guard Force in Epsilon Eridani to rendezvous with HMS Andromache at the new jump point. HMS Fervent would conduct a probe while HMS Andromache remained in Neapolis to hold the jump point open.



Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: The Suns Never Set - Updates Thread
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The destroyer HMS Fervent transited through the recently discovered jump point in Neapolis and did not return, which suggested that Swarm warships were on the far side. HMS Andromache was ordered to pull back into Epsilon Eridani. For the moment, the Empire would operate on the worst-case assumption that the new jump point in Neapolis led directly to Byzantium and the huge Swarm fleet in that system.

The British government and the Admiralty were faced with a grim situation. A large and powerful alien fleet was two transits from Epsilon Eridani and three transits from both Sol and Alexandria. The alien weapons and tactics, including the ‘Acid-Laser’, the microwave weapon that ignored armour and disabled electronics and their boarding capability, were deadly against the current generation of Royal Navy warships, which lacked any effective protection. The Perseus II and Theseus II anti-ship missiles were not fast enough and large salvos were required to disable even the small Swarm craft. The capabilities of the alien battleships were unknown, but probably formidable. The Empire needed time to develop new technology, in particular shields and hardened electronics, to deploy that technology on new ships and to refit the existing fleet. This would have to accomplished amid growing economic difficulties, with a shortage of both Duranium and Gallicite and pressure on the financial resources of the Empire.

For reasons unknown, the Swarm granted the Empire the time it needed. The years from 1900-1906 saw an unprecedented military and economic expansion, accompanied by ever-expanding frontiers. By the end of 1906, known space comprised over one hundred and fifty systems, albeit with an emphasis on those areas far away from the Swarm. Existing colonies grew rapidly, with the populations of Alexandria Colony and Delphi Colony both exceeding eighty million. The former had accessible deposits of Duranium, Boronide, Vendarite, Corundium and Gallicite, all of which exceeded a million tons. The latter had similar deposits of Tritanium, Mercassium and Corundium, plus two hundred thousand tons of accessible Gallicite.

Alexandria-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   2,152,682   1.00
Boronide:   1,450,411   0.80
Vendarite:   1,451,590   1.00
Uridium:   225,118   0.90
Corundium:   1,280,084   0.60
Gallicite:   1,329,576   0.70

Delphi-A II Survey Report
Duranium:   3,232,317   0.10
Neutronium:   1,235,118   0.10
Corbomite:   1,614,333   0.10
Tritanium:   21,723,691   0.80
Boronide:   7,591,885   0.10
Mercassium:   1,719,118   1.00
Vendarite:   15,793,324   0.20
Sorium:   20,771,713   0.10
Uridium:   7,018,849   0.10
Corundium:   4,933,172   0.60
Gallicite:   194,673   0.90

By October 1906, Alexandria Colony was home to five hundred automated mines and six hundred manned mines but was running into the limits of expansion. The colony was on a tide-locked dwarf planet with a highly eccentric orbit. The maximum theoretical population was one hundred and sixteen million, but the practical limit was closer to ninety million. The planet had been terraformed, but due to the temperature range of -76C to 133C the hydrosphere changed from ice to liquid to vapour within just thirty-three days. The water vapour locked up in the atmosphere did not have time to condense and the hydrosphere extent varied between ten and eleven percent. With ten percent of the population dedicated to agriculture and environment and a growing service sector, the manufacturing sector was at thirty-six percent and falling. Further colonization would reduce that percentage so Alexandria Colony would not expand further except for automated mines.

Delphi-A II, site of Delphi Colony, was slightly closer to Earth in actual distance and the high accessibility Gallicite deposit was extremely useful in supplying the resources for a widespread refit of Royal Navy warships to Magneto-plasma drives and the accompanying growth in commercial shipping. Duranium was less of a short-term issue as Earth still had accessible deposits and the movement of mines to Alexandria, which had higher accessibility deposits and a governor with a mining background, had increased the overall supply. Without the presence of the Swarm, the Delphi Colony may have remained a minor outpost due to better options in the Carthage system, but the route to the latter passed within a single transit of Byzantium. Delphi underwent a significant terraforming operation and by the end of 1906 was almost an ideal habitable world, with a colony cost of 0.2 and falling. Five hundred manned mines were in place, along with one hundred and thirty ordnance factories. The combination of Tritanium and Gallicite made the colony ideal for ordnance production and helped in mitigating a growing manpower shortage on Earth.

The next three largest colonies were Eridani Colony, Corinth Colony and Darwin Colony, with populations of forty-three, thirty-nine and thirty-five million respectively. The former was setup as a large naval base on a moon of Epsilon Eridani VI, the superjovian that provided the Empire’s entire fuel supply. However, by late 1906 it was seen a future manufacturing centre, close to the fuel supply and between the key resource nodes of Alexandria and Delphi. A single shipyard had been towed to the moon but was not yet in use. The latter two colonies were close to Sol, both within a billion kilometres of Earth, and devoted to the financial industry. Epsilon Eridani also had a colony on its fourth planet, which had reached a population of seventeen million. The moon on which the main colony in the system was based had a maximum population of less than two hundred million so the secondary colony was a long-term backup in case Epsilon Eridani did become an industrial centre and ran out of space. Epsilon Eridani IV had a maximum population of three billion and terraforming was underway.

The remaining small colonies that existed prior to 1900 had not grown noticeably, with the exception of Jericho. Alpha Centauri remained the base for survey operations along the expanding Centauri chain, but with no further colonies created down the chain the Centauri Colony remained small, with the population at three point five million. The colonies in Achaea, based entirely in orbital habitats, and Gamma Carinae, threatened by potential expansion by the Swarm, remained at just over a million. Jericho, seven transits from Sol in a dead-end chain, had a ancient construct dedicated to construction research and three million tons of accessibility 0.8 Gallicite. On that basis, ten terraforming stations had been assigned to the colony and were focused on adding water vapour after ensuring the atmosphere was breathable. The population had grown from a few thousand to three point five million and the colony cost was 0.76

Jericho-A I Survey Report
Duranium:   9,248   0.20
Tritanium:   1,849,600   0.30
Mercassium:   842,724   0.50
Vendarite:   9,572,836   0.80
Gallicite:   3,625,216   0.80

Of more interest were the colonies that had been established since 1900. With Alexandria hitting its limit and Delphi having only a few years before the Gallicite accessibility began to fall, the hunt was already on for the next generation of mining colonies. To support this expansion, two colonies were setup as forward bases for cruiser squadrons and survey ships in the Antioch and Endymion systems, five and nine transits from Sol respectively. Both were key crossroad systems with five jump points each and the two colonies each had populations of over two million by late 1906. Endymion proved a particularly fortuitous location for a colony for several reasons.

In December 1902, an exploration of one of Endymion’s jump points led to Wolf 359, a star that was close to Sol in real space. An exploration of Wolf 359 found three outward jump points, one of which connected to the known system of Thebes, two transits from Sol via Acheron. Both Thebes and Acheron were within the territory of the Beershebae Hegemony, which had requested that the British Empire stay out of both systems. A sensor drone from the survey ship, HMS Amphion, confirmed the existence of a Hegemony colony on Thebes I. In return for the Empire remaining on the Sol side of the Acheron jump point, the Hegemony had agreed to stay out of Sol. However, the new link brought Endymion and the frontier much closer to Sol, with less than eight billion kilometres between Earth and the Endymion colony.

The Admiralty was considering whether violating Hegemony territory to make use of the shorter route was worthwhile when several additional exploration reports arrived. The first was from the Daedalus system, adjacent to Endymion. Daedalus II was a Venusian world with fifty-five million tons of accessibility 0.8 Gallicite, twenty-four million tons of accessibility 0.8 Neutronium and minimal to low accessibility deposits of the other nine Trans-Newtonian minerals. The Empire had no current source of Neutronium, except for 0.1 accessibility on Delphi, and the only other realistic option was Carthage, with the attendant risk of Swarm attack. The only moon of Daedalus III had almost a million tons of accessibility 1.0 Duranium, eight hundred thousand tons of accessibility 1.0 Boronide and low-to-mid accessibility deposits of five other minerals, including Neutronium. The moon lacked both air and water but with a diameter of just 3000 kilometres, it could be terraformed relatively easily and the temperature of -86C meant a starting colony cost of 3.16.

Daedalus-A II Survey Report (Venusian)
Duranium:   102,359,432   0.10
Neutronium:   24,010,000   0.80
Corbomite:   39,337,984   0.10
Tritanium:   52,591,504   0.10
Boronide:   31,203,396   0.10
Mercassium:   28,005,264   0.40
Vendarite:   48,413,764   0.10
Sorium:   63,011,844   0.30
Uridium:   1,882,384   0.10
Corundium:   33,431,524   0.10
Gallicite:   55,472,704   0.80

Daedalus-A III - Moon 1 Survey Report
Duranium:   952,200   1.00
Neutronium:   189,225   0.30
Tritanium:   1,988,100   0.60
Boronide:   837,225   1.00
Mercassium:   1,404,225   0.40
Sorium:   1,742,400   0.50
Uridium:   1,988,100   0.30
Corundium:   8,100   0.60

The second report was from the Orpheus system, two jumps out from Endymion. Orpheus I was similar to the moon in Daedalus, but with the addition of four million tons of accessibility 1.0 Gallicite. Orpheus became the priority for a new mining location as it was the perfect successor to Delphi, had a substantial amount of accessible Duranium, which Delphi lacked, and even had a deposit of Neutronium. The route to Orpheus via Acheron and Thebes was twelve billion kilometres. The alternative route was almost nineteen billion.

Orpheus-A I Survey Report
Duranium:   870,546   0.90
Neutronium:   174,506   0.30
Boronide:   1,410,908   0.60
Mercassium:   3,020,280   0.50
Vendarite:   592,827   0.10
Sorium:   2,794,930   0.90
Corundium:   2,722,209   0.40
Gallicite:   4,367,373   1.00

A third report arrived, this time on the exploration of two further jump points in Wolf 359 by HMS Amphion. The first led to Helios, a red dwarf system with a Hegemony population on the second planet, and the second to Epsilon Indi, a trinary with seven planets orbiting the orange K5-V primary. Six wrecks were scattered around the inner system of Epsilon Indi, including a known Hegemony class. HMS Amphion launched a sensor drone at the third planet, a large terrestrial world with a breathable atmosphere and extensive ice sheet that was dominated by tundra. The drone detected a large force of the Babylonian aliens in orbit, including fifteen Arminus class ships of 64,581 tons, four Bismarcks at 28,917 tons,  sixteen 20,000 ton ships of three different classes and nine ships just under ten thousand tons. It appeared the Hegemony and the Babylonians were at war.

15x Arminus 64,581 tons.
4x Bismarck 28,917 tons
12x Blucher 19,287 tons
2x Beowulf 19,282 tons.
2x Heimdall 19,266 tons
1x Moltke 9,639 tons
3x Kronprinz 9,637 tons
2x Rhein 9,626 tons
3x Leipzig 9,607 tons





In mid-1903, with no sign of an attack from the Swarm, the need for new mining colonies and the apparent conflict between the Hegemony and the Babylonians, the Admiralty decided to send survey ships into the territory of the Beershebae Hegemony to better understand the local astrography and locate any other signs of conflict. They also decided to send commercial shipping, survey ships and a small cruiser squadron via Acheron and Thebes to Endymion and Orpheus. If the Hegemony protested strongly, the decision would be revisited.
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: The Suns Never Set - Updates Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2021, 11:01:02 AM »
Post 2/3 for today

While the expansion of the Empire’s colonies and borders was underway, the Royal Navy was taking steps to improve its ability and readiness to fight the Swarm. The first step was a change to the design and intended role of destroyers. Until 1900, destroyers were equipped with box launchers, such as the Havock and Swordfish classes that could launch a salvo of Theseus missiles before retiring to reload, or intended as fleet escorts with quick-firing 4-inch lasers, such as the Griffon class. All pre-1900 destroyers were 1000 tons with speed similar to, or slightly faster than, the larger warships.

On April 18th 1900, the Vosper & Company Shipyard launched the first Myrmidon class destroyers. The Myrmidon was designed specifically to fight the Swarm small craft that had destroyed or captured five Royal Navy cruisers in Byzantium. Missiles had proven either ineffective or required large salvos, so the Myrmidon was armed with an 8-inch laser that outranged the Swarm weapons and a Thorneycroft T-200B Plasma Turbine that gave it a top speed of 10,250 km/s. The combination of speed and weapon range meant the Myrmidon could theoretically hold position outside Swarm weapon range and pick off the small alien craft. As this tactic would result in a high chance of weapon failure, the Myrmidon had large maintenance storage facilities for a ship of its size. The downsides to the design were very short range and very high fuel consumption. Forty-eight were produced between April 1900 and June 1902.

Myrmidon class Destroyer      1,000 tons       42 Crew       253.6 BP       TCS 20    TH 205    EM 0
10250 km/s      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 8      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 6
Maint Life 1.58 Years     MSP 200    AFR 200%    IFR 2.8%    1YR 93    5YR 1,389    Max Repair 102.4 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Morale Check Required   

Thorneycroft T-200B Plasma Turbine (1)    Power 204.8    Fuel Use 494.97%    Signature 204.8    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 66,000 Litres    Range 2.4 billion km (65 hours at full power)

8-inch Ultraviolet Laser (1)    Range 256,000km     TS: 10,250 km/s     Power 10-3.5     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Barr and Stroud MK IV-S Laser Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 10,000 km/s
R-3A Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 3.5    Exp 5%
Maxwell MX-2M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 3     Range 2m km    MCR 175.9k km    Resolution 1

The availability of the Myrmidon design lead to the creation of the Portsmouth class Maintenance Base, which provided basing facilities and resupply for up to a dozen destroyers. Bases were towed to a newly-established colony on a moon of the innermost planet in Neapolis, one transit from Epsilon Eridani, and to the habitat-based Achaea colony one transit further out. The former colony was restricted to 150,000 settlers, sufficient to provide shore leave for the Royal Navy crews. The two systems had seen Swarm scout and survey activity but no warships so far. Six Myrmidons were assigned to each base, providing security for the colonies and allowing patrol activities and jump point pickets in the two systems. A third Portsmouth class maintenance base was towed to a location in Epsilon Eridani approximately half a million kilometres from the Neapolis jump point, allowing a flotilla of six Myrmidons to guard the jump point and pick off any Swarm ships attempting to enter the system.

Portsmouth class Maintenance Base      34,743 tons       348 Crew       862.7 BP       TCS 695    TH 0    EM 0
1 km/s      No Armour       Shields 0-0     HTK 58      Sensors 5/6/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 2,515    Max Repair 100 MSP
Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 1   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months   
Maintenance Modules: 6 module(s) capable of supporting ships of 12,000 tons

Fuel Capacity 2,500,000 Litres    Range N/A
Refuelling Capability: 50,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 50 hours

Maxwell MX-27B Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1920     Range 27.3m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RE-6 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km

The bases worked well, but moving the destroyers around proved troublesome due to their short range. The solution was the Argus class escort carrier. The Argus was similar in size to a second class cruiser but eschewed armament and protection in favour of a hangar bay that could house four Myrmidon class destroyers. The small carriers provided fuel and supplies and could remain on station for up two years. They could also be supported by one of the small maintenance bases. Six were constructed in total and half the Myrmidons were assigned to the carriers. Two carriers based in Eridani were alternatively stationed at the base near the Neapolis jump point and two more based in Alexandria were rotated at a fourth Portsmouth class base that was deployed in Tarsus near the Cyrene jump point, guarding the other potential breakout route for the Swarm fleet in Byzantium.

Argus class Escort Carrier      9,375 tons       160 Crew       1,239.3 BP       TCS 187    TH 960    EM 0
5120 km/s      Armour 1-39       Shields 0-0       HTK 52      Sensors 5/6/0/0      DCR 6      PPV 0
Maint Life 3.73 Years     MSP 1,295    AFR 117%    IFR 1.6%    1YR 145    5YR 2,180    Max Repair 240 MSP
Hangar Deck Capacity 4,000 tons     
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 24 months    Flight Crew Berths 80    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-480 Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 960    Fuel Use 40.41%    Signature 480    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 526,000 Litres    Range 25 billion km (56 days at full power)

Maxwell MX-50B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 6720     Range 51m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RE-6 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km

Strike Group
4x Myrmidon Destroyer   Speed: 10250 km/s    Size: 19.98

A second, simultaneously-developed solution to the short range of the Myrmidons was the Cormorant, the largest destroyer class to date at 1821 tons. The 8 inch laser of the Myrmidon was replaced by a 12.5 inch spinal laser and the fire control was replaced by a new model with a range of 320,000 kilometres and electronic hardening that would provide fifty percent resistance to the Swarm microwave weapon. Endurance was increased to five billion kilometres, which allowed the Cormorant to move between most Empire colonies or bases without refuelling en route. A single prototype was produced in 1902, which lacked the improved fire control and had a less efficient engine, before production began on the Cormorant II. Eight were built between May 1903 and May 1905. The combination of maintenance bases, escort carriers and laser-armed destroyers accounted for four Swarm survey ships in Achaea, one in Neapolis and three that entered Epsilon Eridani. There were no encounters with Swarm warships.

Cormorant II class Destroyer      1,821 tons       78 Crew       473 BP       TCS 36    TH 408    EM 0
11206 km/s      Armour 1-13       Shields 0-0       HTK 17      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 10
Maint Life 2.81 Years     MSP 281    AFR 53%    IFR 0.7%    1YR 52    5YR 777    Max Repair 204 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Morale Check Required   

Thorneycroft T-400BE Plasma Turbine (1)    Power 408    Fuel Use 300.59%    Signature 408    Explosion 20%
Fuel Capacity 152,000 Litres    Range 5 billion km (5 days at full power)

12.5-inch Spinal Laser (1)    Range 320,000km     TS: 11,206 km/s     Power 26-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 35       
Barr and Stroud MK IX-SH Laser Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 320,000 km   TS: 11,200 km/s
R-4B Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 4    Exp 7%
Maxwell MX-10S Stealth Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 144     Range 10m km    Resolution 12

While the Royal Navy’s light forces were monitoring the points of contact and eliminating the occasional Swarm survey ship, a substantial effort was underway to improve and expand the cruiser and battleship forces. The smallest cruisers, at 6250 tons, were rated as third class and comprised various models of the Pelorus and Gem classes. The fourteen surviving units of the Pelorus class, built in 1891 or earlier, were all upgraded to the Pelorus III model by late 1903. The refit was bare bones, replacing the engines with the latest plasma drive technology but other changing nothing else from the earlier Pelorus-B and Pelorus II models except the magazine loadout. While the Theseus III was specified as default for the class, due to the need to employ faster missiles against the Swarm, there was a shortage of the Theseus III, and the more modern Theseus IV, and any available supplies went to larger ships. Only four of the Pelorus class had the default loadout, four more were armed with the earlier Theseus II and the rest had various models of the longer-ranged but slower Perseus series.

Pelorus III class Third Class Cruiser      6,250 tons       183 Crew       935.7 BP       TCS 125    TH 640    EM 0
5120 km/s      Armour 4-30       Shields 0-0       HTK 42      Sensors 5/5/0/0      DCR 4      PPV 25
Maint Life 2.23 Years     MSP 374    AFR 78%    IFR 1.1%    1YR 101    5YR 1,516    Max Repair 320 MSP
Magazine 275   
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 14 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-640 Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (1)    Power 640    Fuel Use 35.00%    Signature 640    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 245,000 Litres    Range 20.2 billion km (45 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (5)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-40 Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 40.9m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MF-9S Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 8.9m km    Resolution 12
Theseus III Anti-Ship Missile (55)    Speed: 40,000 km/s    End: 6m     Range: 14.4m km    WH: 9    Size: 5    TH: 133/80/40

Maxwell MX-40 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 5040     Range 40.3m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-7S Stealth Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 72     Range 7.1m km    Resolution 12
Rutherford RE-5 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The Gem third class cruiser was a stopgap design introduced in 1894 as an energy-armed anti-missile escort. Twelve were built between 1894 and 1899, although one was lost to the Swarm in Byzantium. Four of the remaining eleven were upgraded to the Gem III design before the refitting shipyard was re-tooled for a higher priority task. The other seven were Gem II-Bs, with ion engines, magnetic mirror reactors and less capable fire controls, but otherwise functionally similar to the Gem III. There were no immediate plans to resume the upgrade program as the class was not suitable for combat with the Swarm.

Gem III class Third Class Cruiser      6,250 tons       216 Crew       964.7 BP       TCS 125    TH 640    EM 0
5120 km/s      Armour 4-30       Shields 0-0       HTK 46      Sensors 2/2/0/0      DCR 3      PPV 36
Maint Life 2.09 Years     MSP 337    AFR 89%    IFR 1.2%    1YR 103    5YR 1,551    Max Repair 320 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 14 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-640 Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (1)    Power 640    Fuel Use 35.00%    Signature 640    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 275,000 Litres    Range 22.6 billion km (51 days at full power)

4-inch Railgun (12x4)    Range 20,000km     TS: 5,120 km/s     Power 3-3     RM 20,000 km    ROF 5       
Barr and Stroud MK VI Railgun Fire Control (3)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 5,200 km/s
R-12 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 37.1    Exp 5%

Maxwell MX-4M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 12     Range 4.4m km    MCR 393.3k km    Resolution 1
Maxwell MX-27B Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1920     Range 27.3m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RE-2B EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 2.4     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  12.2m km
Rutherford RT-2 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 2     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  11.2m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

Twenty-one second class cruisers of 9,375 tons were in service in late 1906, comprising sixteen Astraeas, built between 1890 and 1900, and five Eclipses constructed from 1897 to 1899. The Astraea was a fleet anti-missile escort, armed with Daedalus light missiles. All sixteen ships were refitted to the Astraea III variant, but none of that type had been built from scratch so the design included some older technology.

Astraea III class Second Class Cruiser      9,375 tons       223 Crew       1,463.1 BP       TCS 187    TH 960    EM 0
5120 km/s      Armour 5-39       Shields 0-0       HTK 67      Sensors 5/0/0/0      DCR 5      PPV 20
Maint Life 1.98 Years     MSP 487    AFR 141%    IFR 2.0%    1YR 165    5YR 2,473    Max Repair 240 MSP
Magazine 720   
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-480E Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 960    Fuel Use 34.64%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 389,000 Litres    Range 21.6 billion km (48 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-2 Missile Launcher (20)     Missile Size: 1    Rate of Fire 10
Maxwell MF-15MH Anti-Missile Fire Control (4)     Range 15.1m km    Resolution 1
Daedalus IV Light Missile (720)    Speed: 67,200 km/s    End: 0.2m     Range: 0.8m km    WH: 1    Size: 1

Maxwell MX-10M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 84     Range 11.6m km    MCR 1m km    Resolution 1
Maxwell MX-27B Navigation Sensor (1)     GPS 1920     Range 27.3m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 20

The Eclipse Second Class Cruiser was the first laser-armed warship in the Royal Navy and was intended to serve in cruiser squadrons or as part of the main battle fleet. Her armament was mixed, comprising six 8-inch ultraviolet lasers, supported by a secondary armament of two twin 5-inch quick-firing turrets for missile defence and increased damage output at closer ranges. Six were built, one of which was lost in Byzantium. The remaining five were refitted with plasma drives and upgraded fire controls between 1905 and 1906.

Eclipse II class Second Class Cruiser      9,375 tons       304 Crew       1,713.4 BP       TCS 187    TH 960    EM 0
5120 km/s      Armour 5-39       Shields 0-0       HTK 70      Sensors 5/8/0/0      DCR 5      PPV 57.76
Maint Life 2.24 Years     MSP 571    AFR 141%    IFR 2.0%    1YR 154    5YR 2,309    Max Repair 240 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-480E Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 960    Fuel Use 34.64%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 394,000 Litres    Range 21.8 billion km (49 days at full power)

8-inch Ultraviolet Laser (6)    Range 320,000km     TS: 5,120 km/s     Power 10-3.5     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Twin 5-inch QF Ultraviolet Laser Turret (2x2)    Range 160,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 8-8    ROF 5       
Barr and Stroud MK VIII-H Laser Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 320,000 km   TS: 5,200 km/s
Barr and Stroud MK III-S Laser Turret Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
R-12 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 37.1    Exp 5%

Maxwell MX-38B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 3840     Range 38.6m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-2MB Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.5m km    MCR 222.5k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RE-8 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 20

The Eclipse was the first of three laser-armed cruiser classes and was succeeded by the 12,500-ton Monmouth and Devonshire first class cruisers. The three Monmouths were constructed in 1901, shortly after the plasma drive was developed but before 10-inch lasers became available. The design replaced the mixed armament of the Eclipse with a battery of twelve 8-inch ultraviolet lasers and the larger hull allowed an increase in overall armour protection of almost seventy percent due to the larger hull. The four Devonshires, built in October 1904, were an evolution of the Monmouth, armed with 10-inch lasers, equipped with a more advanced ECM system and introducing the first shield generators. While the Devonshire had less overall protection in theoretical terms than the Monmouth, the shields would prevent boarding attacks and absorb the impact of the Swarm microwave weapon without damage to electronic systems.

Monmouth class First Class Cruiser      12,500 tons       410 Crew       2,295 BP       TCS 250    TH 1,280    EM 0
5120 km/s      Armour 7-47       Shields 0-0       HTK 88      Sensors 5/6/0/0      DCR 7      PPV 72
Maint Life 2.09 Years     MSP 803    AFR 179%    IFR 2.5%    1YR 246    5YR 3,696    Max Repair 320 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-640 Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 1280    Fuel Use 35.00%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 525,000 Litres    Range 21.6 billion km (48 days at full power)

8-inch Ultraviolet Laser (12)    Range 320,000km     TS: 5,120 km/s     Power 10-3.5     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Barr and Stroud MK VIII-H Laser Fire Control (3)     Max Range: 320,000 km   TS: 5,200 km/s
R-14 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 42.6    Exp 5%

Maxwell MX-60B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 9600     Range 61m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-2MB Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.5m km    MCR 222.5k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RE-6 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

Devonshire class First Class Cruiser      12,500 tons       415 Crew       2,245.4 BP       TCS 250    TH 1,280    EM 1,380
5120 km/s      Armour 5-47       Shields 46-368       HTK 92      Sensors 5/8/0/0      DCR 7      PPV 72
Maint Life 2.02 Years     MSP 785    AFR 179%    IFR 2.5%    1YR 256    5YR 3,838    Max Repair 320 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-640E Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 1280    Fuel Use 30.0%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 393,000 Litres    Range 18.9 billion km (42 days at full power)
Eridani Defence Systems EDS-46B Shield Generator (1)     Recharge Time 368 seconds (0.1 per second)

10-inch Ultraviolet Laser (9)    Range 320,000km     TS: 5,120 km/s     Power 16-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 20       
Barr and Stroud MK VIII-H Laser Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 320,000 km   TS: 5,200 km/s
R-12 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 37.1    Exp 5%

Maxwell MX-60B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 9600     Range 61m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-2MB Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.5m km    MCR 222.5k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RE-8 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 20

The other first class cruisers in service in late 1906 were the Diadem III and the Blake II. Twelve Diadems were built between 1890 and 1894, two of which were lost in Byzantium. The others underwent several different modifications over time but all ten were refitted to the Diadem III variant by January 1906. The upgraded design incorporated some up-to-date technology, such as the engines and hardened fire control systems, but left older components in place, such as the missile launchers and the sensor suite, where the gain in effectiveness did not justify the additional cost. Shields were deemed unnecessary as the Diadem was likely expend its missiles before any Swarm ships reached energy range. As with the smaller Pelorus, the default loadout was based on the Theseus III as the Theseus IV was reserved for battleships. Five ships had the required loadout, two more were equipped with the Theseus II and the remaining three ships had the old gas-core Theseus I missile.

Diadem III class First Class Cruiser      12,500 tons       343 Crew       1,934.4 BP       TCS 250    TH 1,280    EM 0
5120 km/s      Armour 6-47       Shields 0-0       HTK 77      Sensors 5/8/0/0      DCR 8      PPV 50
Maint Life 2.16 Years     MSP 773    AFR 156%    IFR 2.2%    1YR 222    5YR 3,323    Max Repair 320 MSP
Magazine 650   
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-640E Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 1280    Fuel Use 30.0%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 435,000 Litres    Range 20.9 billion km (47 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (10)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-50H Missile Fire Control (2)     Range 63m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MF-24SH Small Signature Fire Control (1)     Range 24.5m km    Resolution 12
Theseus III Anti-Ship Missile (130)    Speed: 40,000 km/s    End: 6m     Range: 14.4m km    WH: 9    Size: 5

Maxwell MX-60 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 11520     Range 61m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-20SH Small Signature Search Sensor (1)     GPS 384     Range 20.7m km    Resolution 12
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RE-8 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 20

The two Blake first class cruisers were built in 1890 and were the only jump-capable warships in the Royal Navy. They were based on the Diadem design, with a jump drive replacing half the armament and a sixth of the armour protection. Both ships were refitted in August 1906, using similar principles to the upgraded Diadems.

Blake II class First Class Cruiser      12,500 tons       359 Crew       1,845 BP       TCS 250    TH 1,280    EM 0
5120 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 5-47       Shields 0-0       HTK 75      Sensors 15/16/0/0      DCR 10      PPV 25
Maint Life 2.30 Years     MSP 922    AFR 125%    IFR 1.7%    1YR 236    5YR 3,536    Max Repair 320 MSP
Magazine 325   
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Tesla TJD-12500 Military Jump Drive     Max Ship Size 12500 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3
Parsons PN-640E Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 1280    Fuel Use 30.0%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 450,000 Litres    Range 21.6 billion km (48 days at full power)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (5)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-50H Missile Fire Control (1)     Range 63m km    Resolution 120
Theseus Anti-Ship Missile (65)    Speed: 25,000 km/s    End: 9.6m     Range: 14.4m km    WH: 9    Size: 5

Maxwell MX-40 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 5040     Range 40.3m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RT-15 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
Rutherford RE-16 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 16     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  31.6m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 20

The ten 18,750-ton Royal Sovereigns, the last of which was constructed in 1891, were the first battleships to be deployed by the Royal Navy. Originally powered by gas-core drives, they were refitted to ion drives and eventually to plasma drives. The second refit also added hardened fire controls, upgraded ECM, a small troop transport bay and the latest Eridani Defence Systems shield generator. The shield generator was more powerful than on the Devonshire first class cruiser and while it provided similar protection against the Swarm, it was also intended to prevent damage during a long-range missile engagement. The troop transport bay allowed the Royal Sovereign to carry a small detachment of twenty Royal Marines, each equipped with heavy powered armour that mounted a Lewis machine gun. The marines would provide the last line of defence against a Swarm boarding action.

Royal Sovereign III class Battleship      18,750 tons       515 Crew       2,748.6 BP       TCS 375    TH 1,920    EM 2,130
5120 km/s      Armour 5-62       Shields 71-426       HTK 110      Sensors 5/8/0/0      DCR 14      PPV 75
Maint Life 2.07 Years     MSP 1,282    AFR 201%    IFR 2.8%    1YR 398    5YR 5,968    Max Repair 480 MSP
Troop Capacity 250 tons     Magazine 975   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-960E Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 1920    Fuel Use 24.49%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 563,000 Litres    Range 22.1 billion km (49 days at full power)
Eridani Defence Systems EDS-71 Shield Generator (1)     Recharge Time 426 seconds (0.2 per second)

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (15)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-50H Missile Fire Control (2)     Range 63m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MF-24SH Small Signature Fire Control (1)     Range 24.5m km    Resolution 12
Theseus IV Anti-Ship Missile (195)    Speed: 48,000 km/s    End: 3.7m     Range: 10.7m km    WH: 9    Size: 5

Maxwell MX-60 Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 11520     Range 61m km    Resolution 120
Rutherford RE-8 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 20

The two Majestic class battleships, built in 1899, were the first energy-armed capital ships of the Royal Navy. Their design, with 8-inch lasers as the main armament supported by four twin 5-inch turrets, reflects the accepted wisdom of the time. The influence of the Eclipse second class cruiser, the first of which launched two years earlier, is clear and the Majestic is effectively an upscaled Eclipse with twice the armament and much greater protection. The Majestics have not been refitted, mainly due to the expense of retooling a large shipyard for the benefit of only two ships and therefore their top speed is restricted to 4000 km/s.

Majestic class Battleship      18,750 tons       590 Crew       3,142.3 BP       TCS 375    TH 1,500    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 8-62       Shields 0-0       HTK 126      Sensors 15/0/0/0      DCR 12      PPV 115.52
Maint Life 2.10 Years     MSP 1,256    AFR 234%    IFR 3.3%    1YR 381    5YR 5,709    Max Repair 375 MSP
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-750 Triple Expansion Ion Drive (2)    Power 1500    Fuel Use 28.58%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 639,000 Litres    Range 21.5 billion km (62 days at full power)

8-inch Ultraviolet Laser (12)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3.5     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Twin 5-inch QF Ultraviolet Laser Turret (4x2)    Range 160,000km     TS: 16000 km/s     Power 8-8    ROF 5       
Barr and Stroud MK II Laser Fire Control (3)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Barr and Stroud MK III Laser Turret Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 64,000 km   TS: 16,000 km/s
Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor R12-A (6)     Total Power Output 75.5    Exp 5%

Maxwell MX-60B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 9600     Range 61m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-2MB Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.5m km    MCR 222.5k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RT-15 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The Duncan class battleship is an evolution of the Majestic in the same way as the Monmouth and Devonshire classes were developed from the Eclipse. In fact, that original, humble second class cruiser design has played a significant part in the history of Royal Navy warship design. Two Duncans were built in 1902 and were the last 18,750-ton battleships as shipbuilding priorities shifted to larger, hybrid designs. As a new-build class, the Duncan included all the latest technology available at the time, including a pair of Eridani Defence Systems EDS-46B Shield Generators, hardened fire controls, a troop transport bay, twelve 10-inch lasers and a single 12.5-inch spinal laser.

Duncan class Battleship      18,750 tons       617 Crew       3,286.5 BP       TCS 375    TH 1,920    EM 2,760
5120 km/s      Armour 5-62       Shields 92-368       HTK 132      Sensors 5/8/0/0      DCR 13      PPV 106
Maint Life 2.11 Years     MSP 1,424    AFR 216%    IFR 3.0%    1YR 429    5YR 6,435    Max Repair 480 MSP
Troop Capacity 250 tons     
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-960 Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 1920    Fuel Use 28.58%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 573,000 Litres    Range 19.2 billion km (43 days at full power)
Eridani Defence Systems EDS-46B Shield Generator (2)     Recharge Time 368 seconds (0.3 per second)

12.5-inch Spinal Laser (1)    Range 320,000km     TS: 5,120 km/s     Power 26-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 35       
10-inch Ultraviolet Laser (12)    Range 320,000km     TS: 5,120 km/s     Power 16-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 20       
Barr and Stroud MK VIII-H Laser Fire Control (3)     Max Range: 320,000 km   TS: 5,200 km/s
R-14 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (4)     Total Power Output 56.8    Exp 5%

Maxwell MX-60B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 9600     Range 61m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-3M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 256.9k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Rutherford RE-8 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 8     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  22.4m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The two Formidable class battleships, constructed in July 1899, mark an interesting turning point in Royal Navy battleship design. They were the first hybrid battleships, with both missile launchers and energy weapons, the only battleships with 28,125-ton hulls and the largest battleships to use 3000-ton engines, as 5000-ton engines became the standard for subsequent hybrids. As with the Majestics they were not refitted due to the retooling overheads and therefore reflect the state of technology at the end of the 19th century when the Swarm threat was not yet apparent. On that basis, the Formidables and Majestics are deployed in Alexandria to protect the vital mining operations, rather than guarding Earth or the main point of contact in Eridani.

Formidable class Battleship      28,125 tons       764 Crew       4,069.1 BP       TCS 562    TH 2,250    EM 0
4000 km/s      Armour 10-82       Shields 0-0       HTK 161      Sensors 15/6/0/0      DCR 20      PPV 124
Maint Life 2.14 Years     MSP 1,808    AFR 316%    IFR 4.4%    1YR 529    5YR 7,931    Max Repair 375 MSP
Magazine 1,300   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-750 Triple Expansion Ion Drive (3)    Power 2250    Fuel Use 28.58%    Signature 750    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 905,000 Litres    Range 20.3 billion km (58 days at full power)

8-inch Ultraviolet Laser (4)    Range 256,000km     TS: 4,000 km/s     Power 10-3.5     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Barr and Stroud MK II Laser Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 256,000 km   TS: 4,000 km/s
Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor R14 (1)     Total Power Output 14.1    Exp 5%

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (20)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-50 Missile Fire Control (2)     Range 51m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MF-20S Small Signature Fire Control (1)     Range 21.2m km    Resolution 12
Theseus III Anti-Ship Missile (260)    Speed: 40,000 km/s    End: 6m     Range: 14.4m km    WH: 9    Size: 5

Maxwell MX-80B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 17280     Range 81.8m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-20S Small Signature Search Sensor (1)     GPS 480     Range 20m km    Resolution 12
Rutherford RE-6 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 6     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  19.4m km
Rutherford RT-15 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 10

The London class battleship was the largest design to date, at 31,250 tons, and the first to be powered by the newly-developed Parsons PN-1600 Triple Expansion Plasma Drive. Two ships were built in December 1901 with a further two built in December 1903 to an improved design that included an early shield generator and a troop transport bay. All four ships were refitted to the London III variant by 1906, which included three of the latest shield generators and modern fire control systems. In principle, the London is a slightly larger Formidable with similar armament but with considerably improved protection and electronic systems.

London III class Battleship      31,250 tons       888 Crew       4,736.6 BP       TCS 625    TH 3,200    EM 6,390
5120 km/s      Armour 5-88       Shields 213-426       HTK 188      Sensors 15/16/0/0      DCR 28      PPV 124
Maint Life 2.03 Years     MSP 2,652    AFR 279%    IFR 3.9%    1YR 862    5YR 12,935    Max Repair 800 MSP
Troop Capacity 500 tons     Magazine 1,300   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-1600 Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 3200    Fuel Use 22.14%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 745,000 Litres    Range 19.4 billion km (43 days at full power)
Eridani Defence Systems EDS-71 Shield Generator (3)     Recharge Time 426 seconds (0.5 per second)

8-inch Ultraviolet Laser (4)    Range 320,000km     TS: 5,120 km/s     Power 10-3.5     RM 40,000 km    ROF 15       
Barr and Stroud MK VIII-H Laser Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 320,000 km   TS: 5,200 km/s
R-14 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 14.2    Exp 5%

Armstrong Whitworth AW-1 Missile Launcher (20)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 25
Maxwell MF-24SH Small Signature Fire Control (1)     Range 24.5m km    Resolution 12
Maxwell MF-50H Missile Fire Control (2)     Range 63m km    Resolution 120
Theseus IV Anti-Ship Missile (260)    Speed: 48,000 km/s    End: 3.7m     Range: 10.7m km    WH: 9    Size: 5

Maxwell MX-80B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 17280     Range 81.8m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-20SH Small Signature Search Sensor (1)     GPS 384     Range 20.7m km    Resolution 12
Maxwell MX-3M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 256.9k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RE-16 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 16     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  31.6m km
Rutherford RT-15 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 20

The King Edward class battleship was an upgraded version of the London class that included improved armour protection, due to the development of laminate composite armour, AS-4 missile launchers with a twenty-second recycle time, more efficient engines and 10-inch lasers rather than 8-inch. Two were constructed in November 1905 and two more were under construction in late 1906 with an estimated delivery date of May 1907.

King Edward class Battleship      31,250 tons       907 Crew       4,998.6 BP       TCS 625    TH 3,200    EM 6,390
5120 km/s      Armour 6-88       Shields 213-426       HTK 190      Sensors 5/16/0/0      DCR 28      PPV 132
Maint Life 2.07 Years     MSP 2,799    AFR 279%    IFR 3.9%    1YR 869    5YR 13,038    Max Repair 800 MSP
Troop Capacity 250 tons     Magazine 1,300   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-1600E Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (2)    Power 3200    Fuel Use 18.97%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 643,000 Litres    Range 19.5 billion km (44 days at full power)
Eridani Defence Systems EDS-71 Shield Generator (3)     Recharge Time 426 seconds (0.5 per second)

10-inch Ultraviolet Laser (4)    Range 320,000km     TS: 5,120 km/s     Power 16-4     RM 40,000 km    ROF 20       
Barr and Stroud MK VIII-H Laser Fire Control (1)     Max Range: 320,000 km   TS: 5,200 km/s
R-16 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (1)     Total Power Output 16.1    Exp 5%

Armstrong Whitworth AS-4 Missile Launcher (20)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 20
Maxwell MF-24SH Small Signature Fire Control (1)     Range 24.5m km    Resolution 12
Maxwell MF-50H Missile Fire Control (2)     Range 63m km    Resolution 120
Theseus IV Anti-Ship Missile (260)    Speed: 48,000 km/s    End: 3.7m     Range: 10.7m km    WH: 9    Size: 5

Maxwell MX-80B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 17280     Range 81.8m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-20SH Small Signature Search Sensor (1)     GPS 384     Range 20.7m km    Resolution 12
Maxwell MX-3M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 256.9k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RE-16 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 16     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  31.6m km
Rutherford RT-5 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 20

The Dreadnought class battleship represented the pinnacle of Royal Navy battleship design in the early 20th century. At 62,500-tons, the Dreadnought was twice the size of a King Edward with fifty percent more missile launchers, seventy-five percent more magazine space, triple the number of 10-inch lasers and an improvement to far ultraviolet wavelength. Ten light missile launchers were added to the design to give the Dreadnought an inherent anti-missile capability, as well as additional firepower at close range. The passive defences were substantially increased with eight shield generators instead of three and more than double the total armour weight. The benefit of such huge size was that the Swarm would need to expand considerable effort to bring down the Dreadnought’s shields before their superior weapons and boarding capability could be used against the hull. HMS Dreadnought and her sister ship HMS Bellerophon were launched on October 1st 1906 and were expected to set the standard by which all future capital ships would be judged.

Dreadnought class Battleship      62,500 tons       1,773 Crew       10,136.7 BP       TCS 1,250    TH 6,400    EM 17,040
5120 km/s      Armour 8-140       Shields 568-426       HTK 380      Sensors 15/16/0/0      DCR 55      PPV 256
Maint Life 2.03 Years     MSP 5,575    AFR 568%    IFR 7.9%    1YR 1,802    5YR 27,026    Max Repair 800 MSP
Troop Capacity 500 tons     Magazine 2,260   
Captain    Control Rating 2   BRG   AUX   
Intended Deployment Time: 12 months    Morale Check Required   

Parsons PN-1600E Triple Expansion Plasma Drive (4)    Power 6400    Fuel Use 18.97%    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 1,341,000 Litres    Range 20.4 billion km (46 days at full power)
Eridani Defence Systems EDS-71 Shield Generator (8)     Recharge Time 426 seconds (1.3 per second)

10-inch Far Ultraviolet Laser (12)    Range 320,000km     TS: 5,120 km/s     Power 16-4     RM 50,000 km    ROF 20       
Barr and Stroud MK VIII-H Laser Fire Control (2)     Max Range: 320,000 km   TS: 5,200 km/s
R-16 Stellarator Fusion Reactor (3)     Total Power Output 48.3    Exp 5%

Armstrong Whitworth AS-4 Missile Launcher (30)     Missile Size: 5    Rate of Fire 20
Armstrong Whitworth AW-2 Missile Launcher (10)     Missile Size: 1    Rate of Fire 10
Maxwell MF-24SH Small Signature Fire Control (1)     Range 24.5m km    Resolution 12
Maxwell MF-50H Missile Fire Control (3)     Range 63m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MF-15MH Anti-Missile Fire Control (2)     Range 15.1m km    Resolution 1
Theseus IV Anti-Ship Missile (390)    Speed: 48,000 km/s    End: 3.7m     Range: 10.7m km    WH: 9    Size: 5
Daedalus IV Light Missile (310)    Speed: 67,200 km/s    End: 0.2m     Range: 0.8m km    WH: 1    Size: 1

Maxwell MX-80B Active Search Sensor (1)     GPS 17280     Range 81.8m km    Resolution 120
Maxwell MX-20SH Small Signature Search Sensor (1)     GPS 384     Range 20.7m km    Resolution 12
Maxwell MX-3M Missile Detection Sensor (1)     GPS 4     Range 2.9m km    MCR 256.9k km    Resolution 1
Rutherford RE-16 EM Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 16     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  31.6m km
Rutherford RT-15 Thermal Sensor (1)     Sensitivity 15     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  30.6m km
ECCM-1 (1)         ECM 20

Royal Navy Warships and Survey Ships – October 1906
Dreadnought class Battleship: Bellerophon, Dreadnought
King Edward class Battleship: Dominion, King Edward
London III class Battleship: Bulwark, London, Prince of Wales, Venerable
Formidable class Battleship: Formidable, Implacable
Duncan class Battleship: Mars, Victorious
Majestic class Battleship: Magnificent, Majestic
Royal Sovereign III class Battleship: Centurion, Empress of India, Hood, Ramillies, Renown, Repulse, Resolution, Revenge, Royal Oak, Royal Sovereign
Devonshire class First Class Cruiser: Antrim, Argyll, Carnarvon, Devonshire
Monmouth class First Class Cruiser: Cornwall, Essex, Monmouth
Diadem III class First Class Cruiser: Amphitrite, Andromeda, Argonaut, Ariadne, Diadem, Grafton, Hawke, Niobe, Royal Arthur, Spartiate
Blake II First Class Cruiser: Blake, Blenheim
Cressy First Class Cruiser: Cressy
Eclipse II Second Class Cruiser: Diana, Dido, Juno, Minerva, Venus
Astraea III Second Class Cruiser: Astraea, Bonaventure, Cambrian, Charybdis, Daphne, Forte, Fox, Hermione, Iris, Magicienne, Marathon, Medea, Medusa, Mercury, Nymphe, Vestal
Argus class Escort Carrier: Argus, Courageous, Eagle, Furious, Glorious, Hermes
Gem III Third Class Cruiser: Diamond, Emerald, Garnet, Opal
Gem II-B Third Class Cruiser: Amber, Malachite, Onyx, Ruby, Sapphire, Topaz, Tourmaline
Pelorus III Third Class Cruiser: Pallas, Pandora, Pearl, Pegasus, Pelorus, Perseus, Phoebe, Pioneer, Pomone, Porpoise, Prometheus, Proserpine, Psyche, Pyramus
Apollo II class Survey Cruiser: Andromache, Tribune
Apollo class Survey Cruiser: Aeolus, Amphion, Apollo, Arethusa, Brilliant, Naiad, Scylla, Sirius, Sybille
8x Cormorant II class Destroyer
1x Cormorant class Destroyer
48x Myrmidon class Destroyer
29x Havock III class Destroyer
18x Swordfish class Destroyer
24x Griffon class Destroyer
« Last Edit: October 22, 2021, 11:02:34 AM by Steve Walmsley »
 
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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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Re: The Suns Never Set - Updates Thread
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2021, 11:01:36 AM »
Post 3/3 for today

While the Royal Navy was building new ships and refitting older ships with the latest technology, exploration continued, with the focus from mid-1903 onwards on the Hegemony territories and the area around Endymion. Acheron and Thebes were both surveyed, resulting in the discovery of one new jump point in Acheron and two in Thebes. HMS Arethusa conducted the probe in Acheron, encountering a small Beershebae squadron of five ships guarding the jump point. Beyond was a system with a yellow G0-V primary and six planets, one of which was an ideal habitable world. Given the Hegemony sensitivity in the area, it was possible the habitable world was the Beershebae home planet. As remaining would likely result in a serious incident HMS Arethusa quickly withdrew from the system, designated as Athens.

In the adjacent Thebes system, HMS Andromache transited one of the new jump points on March 6th 1904 and found a red dwarf system, designated as Rome, with five planets, a small asteroid belt and the wrecks of twenty-eight ships, seven of which were known Hegemony designs. all the wrecks were close to the orbit of the first planet, a mid-sized terrestrial world with liquid oceans, a nitrogen – oxygen atmosphere of 0.22 atm and a surface temperature of -12C. A relatively small terraforming effort would be required to transform Rome I  into an ideal habitable world. A sensor drone from HMS Andromache detected a ground force signature for the Babylonian aliens, but no sign of any ship nearby. The system was already connected by Thebes by a stable jump point, allowing HMS Andromache to notify the Admiralty. A small force, comprising an escort carrier with four Myrmidons, two Pelorus third class cruisers and a Gem third class cruiser, was sent to the system to investigate.

The Royal Navy warships arrived on March 26th and detached a Myrmidon to conduct a close approach to the planet. Sixteen surface-based energy weapons opened fire at just under 400,000 kilometres, all of which missed. The fortunate destroyer returned to its carrier, HMS Eagle, and the Admiralty designated the Babylonians as a hostile race. The Duncan class battleships HMS Mars and HMS Victorious were dispatched from Sol to deal with the alien surface-to-orbit weapons. The Duncans were each armed with¬ twelve 10-inch laser and a single 12.5-inch spinal laser and protected by two Eridani Defence Systems EDS-46B Shield Generators, with a total shield strength of 92.

The battleships closed to 250,000 kilometres, well inside the range at which they could destroy the alien STOs with a single hit, but far enough out that their shields could absorb the return fire. The targets were very difficult to hit and the battleships had to temporarily retreat at one point to recharge their shields, but the issue was never in doubt. After twenty-three minutes of combat, every Babylonian surface-based weapon was eliminated. The main problem for the battleships was a fifty percent reduction in their maintenance supplies as a result of keeping their weapons operable during the long period of continuous fire.

After the engagement was concluded, there was still a ground force signature of 1300 tons. Three Phobos class troop transports travelled through Acheron and Thebes to land the Royal Fusiliers, Devonshire Regiment and Suffolk Regiment, comprising ten thousand infantry, three hundred machine guns and thirty-six field guns, on Rome I. They came under immediate attack from the Babylonian forces, which were entirely mechanical rather than organic. Most of the alien force, numbering perhaps six hundred, was comprised of humanoid automatons almost seven feet in height and equipped with machine guns. A few larger machines seem to be armed for defence against atmospheric fighter craft and a couple seemed to perform a command function. They provide to be highly effective adversaries and the British Army suffered over a thousand casualties before the alien devices were finally overcome.

With the planet taken at such cost, the British government and its armed forces were determined to secure the planet against any claim from the Beershebae Hegemony. Colony ships and freighters were soon making the journey through Hegemony space, bringing infrastructure and new settlers to Rome. Several terraforming stations were towed into place to begin the process of making the atmosphere breathable. A geological survey revealed two million tons of accessibility 0.5 Duranium and five other minerals at minimal accessibility, plus the ruins of a destroyed alien outpost. With no sign of any alien settlers and the mechanical nature of the Babylonians, some Empire scientists speculated that the Babylonians were ‘guarding’ the ruins.

So far, the Babylonians had been detected in the systems of Babylon, Epsilon Indi and Rome. A fourth system was added to that list when HMS Tribune detected four battleship-sized Babylonian ships in orbit of Eridu IV, a planet on the far edge of known space eight transits out from Alexandria. In all four cases, the Babylonian were confined to the orbit of a single planet and each fleet had made no attempt to leave their respective systems. While the ‘ruin guarding’ theory would require a closer look at the other Babylonian planets before it was more widely accepted, it was the best explanation so far for their observed behaviour.



There were occasional reports of Hegemony warships in Acheron and Thebes, so it was inevitable that the Beershebae would detect the increasing amount of traffic passing through those two systems. At first, there was very little protest and the Admiralty began to believe had accepted the situation. However, from April 1905 onwards the diplomatic messages became more frequent and by mid-1906 they were being sent approximately twice a month. They remained polite requests to leave, rather than demands, so for the moment they were being ignored. The British government, by this point under the stewardship of Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, believed that supporting the new colonies in Rome, Endymion and Orpheus was worth the diplomatic pressure, especially the latter given its mineral wealth. Besides, the Hegemony had plainly suffered losses in battles with the Babylonians in Epsilon Indi and Rome while the Royal Navy was feeling very pleased with its new battleships. The fear of hostilities with the Hegemony was decreasing as the Empire became stronger.

Exploration continued in the rest of the Empire. HMS Andromache, surveying the Nineveh system, one transit beyond the alien-occupied Babylon system, found a connection to Odessus, two transits beyond Achaea in the territory that was effectively cut off by Swarm activity. The new link meant it was possible the Swarm could encounter the Babylonians. HMS Aeolus found a similar connection between Philippi, three transits out from Endymion, and Tau Ceti, also in the cut-off territories, creating a new route from Sol to Endymion and a long-term potential threat from the Swarm expanding in that direction. A third connection was found between Beta Antilae and Antioch, which brough the distant Gamma Carinae colony within seven billion kilometres of Sol. The Galactic Map was becoming increasingly intertwined and confused.

As 1907 approached the Empire was focused on expanding the Orpheus and Endymion colonies and exploring the systems beyond Rome. The first shipyards and factories to be moved away from Earth were heading to Epsilon Eridani and Delphi and the Empire began to consider a distant future where Earth was no longer its industrial heartland. The Royal Navy planned more Dreadnought and King Edward class battleships and perhaps a new cruiser class, but otherwise the focus of shipbuilding was on economic growth, providing freighters and colony ships to service the more distant colonies. The Swarm remained a serious threat, but for the moment they appeared to be content to remain in Byzantium or perhaps to expand in a different direction. More intelligence was needed, so the first plans for a stealthy scout were being drawn up. Relations with the Beershebae Hegemony could also become strained, given the Empire traffic passing through their space, and that could also result in conflict. Finally, the mysterious Babylonians merited more study, so the proposed new scout class would also operate in their systems. Interesting times lay ahead.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2021, 01:21:55 PM by Steve Walmsley »