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New Cold War / Cold War: Month 221, Lothari Attack
« Last post by Kurt on January 02, 2023, 11:42:37 AM »
Month 221, Day 8, Disputed Herzberg system, Lothari Front
The Alliance Fleet had been picketing the warp point from Herzberg to Liawak for months, as reinforcements arrived from the inner systems and ships were repaired and refitted.  Skull-Splitter had decided that they could wait no more, and in twelve more days the fleet would advance on the warp point to the Lothari home system, timing it to arrive at the end of the month, at which point the fleet’s newly built, repaired, or refitted ships would have completed their work-ups and would be ready for battle. 

The Lothari were apparently working on the same timeline, because in the early hours of the day a drive field contact appeared on the Alliance picket ship’s scanners at extreme range, headed directly for the warp point.  This contact was unexpected and no notification had been made from the Lothari ambassadorial ship.  Therefore, Skull-Splitter ordered the Lothari ambassadorial liner boarded and seized, and dispatched the 2nd Fleet’s twenty-nine corvette carriers to intercept the incoming contact and determine its makeup.  The seizure of the Lothari ambassadorial ship went off without a hitch, aside from the vigorous complaints from the Lothari ambassador, and the scouts set out to intercept the incoming contact. 

Eighteen hours later the Alliance scouts were within twelve light minutes of the contact and were able to determine that it was composed of forty-nine ships.  This was a substantial force, and more ships that Skull-Splitter had thought that the Lothari would have available, indicating either they had extensive reserves or an ally.  In either case the Alliance scouts pressed forward, trying to get close enough to determine the Lothari fleet’s makeup, but were unable to get within fifteen light seconds to get detailed scans of the enemy fleet.  Before they could close to that range, the Lothari fleet launched hundreds of fighters and gunboats, which all advanced to intercept the Alliance scouts.  The Alliance corvette-carriers didn’t carry enough fighters to deal with the Lothari fighter-gunboat force, so they were forced to turn back towards the warp point and run ahead of the Lothari fleet.  The Lothari small craft were unable to catch the fast Alliance scouts, but they were able to keep them away from their fleet. 

As the Alliance scouts dueled with the Lothari fleet, Skull-Splitter was readying his force for battle. 

While he didn’t know the makeup of the enemy fleet, he had a pretty good idea of Lothari technological capabilities and standard fleet strategies at this point.  The Lothari tended to field battlecruiser-heavy fleets, supported by gunboats and fighters.  The gunboats were interesting, given their ability to transit warp points, but could not stand up to fighters in open space.  Also, the engineers and scientists that had been studying Lothari tech informed him that gunboats were too large to be carried in internal bays.  They had to be carried on external racks, which meant that the ships that carried them could not also carry external ordnance.  Or defensive equipment, like EDM’s.  This would make them vulnerable to missile attacks, and while his fleet didn’t have that many missile ships, it did have something new.  Fifteen destroyers of a new design had recently arrived to bolster his forces.  These destroyers didn’t mount any weapons.  Instead, they had large cargo bays and tractor mounts.  The bays could carry one hundred and twenty strategic bombardment missile pods, and each destroyer mounted five improved tractor mounts, meaning it could deploy ten pods a minute.  If given time, each destroyer could deploy its pods and launch a salvo of three hundred and sixty SBM’s with anti-matter warheads.  Fifteen of them could deploy eighteen hundred pods, creating a massive missile wave that most fleets would have trouble weathering.  Unfortunately, he didn’t have twelve hundred pods available, but he did load the destroyers with every pod he did have, one thousand and fifty in total.  The Lothari were in for a big surprise. 

To suck the Lothari in Skull-Splitter ordered his fleet divided into four divisions.  First, he detached a group of ships, including all of the assault battleships, and stationed them in the Liawak system, at the warp point.  They would remain in position until needed, or, in the worst case, defend the warp point should the Lothari overwhelm his fleet.  Secondly, his carriers were stationed on the warp point on the Herzberg side, and would launch their fighters and retreat through the warp point to safety before the battle began.  The pods destroyers were stationed behind his fleet, where they could launch their pods and then retreat to the warp point once their part in the battle was finished.  Finally, the twenty-four ships of his main fleet were stationed two point five light seconds from the warp point.  The apparent weakness of his fleet would suck the Lothari in, and then his SBM pods and fighters would overwhelm them. 

Month 221, Day 10, Disputed Herzberg system, warp point to Liawak
Swordsman of Stars Weber watched as the plot tank updated as his fleet crossed the invisible fifteen light second barrier around the warp point and his sensors were finally able to see more detail about the enemy fleet.   Twenty-four ships Alliance ships were assembled within three light seconds of the warp point.  He felt hope swell within him, as he had more than twice that number in his fleet.  He turned to the command ship’s sensor officer.  “Report!”

“Sir, twenty-four ships are confirmed, twelve battlecruisers, nine cruisers, and three destroyers.  Numerous indistinct drive fields detected, possibly fighters, numbers unknown.  Fifteen ships without drive fields detected, point five light seconds behind the main enemy force.”

Weber paused.  The fifteen ships without drive fields could be a problem, but they would have to be very big to offset his fleet’s advantage.  “Very well.  Signal all ships to accelerate to combat speed.  Enemy battlecruisers are the priority target, until further notice.”

The Lothari fleet accelerated and closed on the Alliance fleet, which remained motionless.  Both sides held their small craft close to their main fleet.  Two minutes later the Lothari fleet had closed to nine light seconds from the main Alliance fleet, and the tactical plot updated.  Swordsman of Stars Weber paled as he realized the true extent of the Alliance fleet’s power.  His ship’s sensors were now able to determine the number of small, indistinct drive fields around the main Alliance fleet, even if they could not determine the type.  There were almost fourteen hundred small drive fields surrounding the Alliance fleet, almost certainly fighters.  His own fleet, which he had thought so powerful only a moment ago, only boasted five hundred and eighty-one fighters and gunboats.  On the other hand, the drive-field down ships had powered up and revealed themselves as destroyers, meaning that they wouldn’t meaningfully alter the balance of power between the two fleets.  Weber was still trying to deal with the fact that the Alliance’s fighter force outnumbered his nearly three to one when an alert went off.  He turned to the sensor officer.  “Report!”

“Sir, new contact, unknown drive fields in the same location as the enemy destroyer force, numbering one thousand and fifty!”

Weber gaped at the tank, trying to understand what was happening.  This had to be a second fighter force.  “The fleet will turn away until we can determine the true strength of the enemy.  Engage enemy battlecruisers with SBM’s!”

The Lothari fleet had been advancing even as Weber issued orders, so by the time the fleet began turning they had closed to seven point five light seconds from the Alliance fleet.  The presumed fighter contacts had advanced away from the Alliance fleet, towards the Lothari fleet, and by the time the Lothari began turning they were just six point two five light seconds from the Lothari ships.  At that range the Lothari long range sensors could determine with specificity the type and class of the small drive fields, and Weber was shaken to his core.  Indeed, there were almost fourteen hundred Alliance fighters out there, but the second contact numbering one thousand and fifty was instead SBM pods!

Both sides opened fire with long range weapons, targeting each other’s long-range battlecruisers.  The Alliance only had two battlecruisers equipped with long range missiles, while the Lothari had nine.  Even so, the range was long and only one Lothari missile got through to hit an Alliance BC’s shields. 

The pods, escorted by Alliance fighters, raced at the Lothari fleet, which completed its turn and began moving away from the oncoming Alliance swarm.  The missile ships of each fleet continued dueling, to little effect, with only one Lothari missile getting through the Alliance fleet’s defenses to hit a battlecruiser’s shields.  It was then that the SBM pods fired.  Suddenly, three thousand one hundred and fifty missiles were in space, headed towards the Lothari fleet.  The avalanche of missiles was aimed primarily at the Lothari battlecruiser force, with a relative few aimed at the escorting heavy cruisers.  The missiles impacted across the fleet simultaneously, forcing each ship to defend itself, without its data-group’s assistance.   The results were devastating.  A massive wave of explosions engulfed the Lothari fleet, and when they died away most of the battleline was just gone.  Out of thirty-two battlecruisers and heavy cruisers, just five remained.  The four battlecruisers still active were all the long-range variant, and this was due solely to the fact that they carried no gunboats and instead mounted external racks that had been loaded with decoy EDM’s.  The EDM’s had saved the four surviving battlecruisers, two of which still had armor and were intact.  One of the other two battlecruisers had suffered minor internal damage, losing an engine room, while the fourth battlecruiser and the lone heavy cruisers were wrecks, reduced to 16% of their original speed.  The Lothari carrier force hadn’t been targeted, and was still intact.  The Lothari heavy cruiser force, which was its primary anti-fighter force, was devastated by the attack, with only two cruisers remaining and those both crippled. 

Swordsman of Stars Weber, who by some trick of fate had survived aboard the battlecruiser that had lost an engine room, was staggered by the destruction wrought upon his fleet.  His fleet was ruined, and all hope of victory was lost.  Surrender was not an option, as had been made clear by the Great Leader, and by the Internal Security, who had promised the execution of everyone related to any officer that surrendered in the face of the enemy, no matter the reason.  Therefore, there was only one thing to do.  Weber ordered the fleet to come about and charge the enemy.  He ordered his carriers to ram the closest enemy ships, while the gunboats and fighters were to advance on the enemy fighter force which was now racing towards his fleet. 

The Lothari gunboat force launched a salvo of anti-fighter missiles as the two groups of small craft closed on each other, taking out just over one hundred and fifty Alliance fighters, and then the two groups of small craft slammed together in front of the Lothari fleet.  Behind them, the Alliance fleet had accelerated towards the Lothari fleet, closing with the battered enemy fleet as the two groups of small craft slugged it out. 

With the Lothari small craft being so heavily outnumbered, the results were inevitable.  When the furball cleared, all of the Lothari small craft had been destroyed, and four hundred and fifteen Alliance fighters had died, leaving seven hundred and sixty-one Alliance fighters in between the Lothari fleet and the Alliance fleet.  Meanwhile, the two fleets were slugging it out, as they were now in range of their heavy beam weapons.  The Alliance had the advantage here as well.  The Alliance ships concentrated their fire on the two Lothari battlecruisers that had survived the pod attack without losing all of their armor, cutting through the already shredded armor belt and inflicting internal damage. 

With the Lothari small craft gone, the Alliance fighters now turned on the Lothari fleet.  Swordsman of Stars Weber had ordered the fleet to ram Alliance battlecruisers, so instead of trying to avoid the Alliance fighters or modulating their engines to reduce the effectiveness of their weapons, the Lothari fleet headed straight towards the Alliance fleet, which had turned and was moving to maintain the range.  Thus, the Alliance fighters were able to line up a perfect shot from directly behind the Lothari force, protected from their point defense by the blind spot inflicted by their engines. 

The Alliance heavy cruisers and battlecruisers wiped out the remaining Lothari battlecruisers and then began targeting light carriers, damaging four.  Then the fighters swept up behind the Lothari force and, just like that, the battle was over.  The seven hundred remaining fighters completely overwhelmed the remaining Lothari ships and wiped them from space in one firing pass.  No ships were spared, and the fighters hunted down the two remaining crippled ships that had fallen behind and destroyed them without mercy.  None of the Lothari ships attempted to surrender, and no life pods were ejected from Lothari ships. 

The Alliance force expended 1,050 SBM pods and lost five hundred and sixty-eight fighters.  One heavy cruiser suffered minor armor damage.  Skull-Splitter ordered his fifteen pod destroyers to return to Liawak, as they had expended all of the available pods and more wouldn’t be available until next month, along with the twenty carriers of various sizes that had lost their fighter complements.  With his reorganization complete, he ordered the one hundred and six ships of the 2nd Fleet to set course for the warp point to the Lothari home system.  For now, they would ignore the Lothari colony in the inner system. 
New Cold War / Cold War: Month 221, The Observers
« Last post by Kurt on January 01, 2023, 10:05:24 AM »
Month 221, Day 3, Alliance Liawak system
Skull Splitter entered the flagship’s conference room and activated the room’s V/R system.  It was time yet again for his weekly meeting with the Observers, a group of representatives from the Alliance Associate nations.  Given the recent problems the Alliance had suffered, the Council felt it was a good idea to get the Associate races more involved in Alliance-wide issues.  One step in that direction was forming Observer Groups, assigned to the major military commands within the Alliance.  The Observers had no power and could not directly influence his fleet’s actions, of course, but politics had been evolving in the Alliance since the D’Bringi civil war, and keeping the Associated Races happy and involved had become a primary concern of the Council.  So, he met with the observers every week, whether he wanted to or not. 

The room faded away and he was transported instantly to an ornate throne room that he quickly recognized as ancient Doraz architecture. 

“Ah, Tai-sho, it is good of you to join us!” 

Skull-Splitter turned and saw the small slug-like Doraz representative floating towards him on her ornate hover carriage.  “Of course, representative, I value our weekly meetings.” 

The small Doraz laughed.  “You lie horribly for a politician, but I’m delighted you make the effort.  Come, join the rest.”

As they walked through the palace Skull Splitter gestured at their surroundings.  “I assume you chose this setting?  Very beautiful.  Tranquil, even.”

The small Doraz gestured for assent.  “Yes, it was my turn.  This is from our Renaissance, and many still consider it the height of our culture.  I’m not so sure, but it was a time of great architecture and refinement.”

Skull-Splitter followed the small Doraz in her carriage as she led him out to the gardens, where apparently this meeting would be held.  Like the palace, the gardens were ornate and impeccably maintained, something that was easy to ensure in a V/R matrix.   Rounding a hedge, he saw the rest of the Associate Race representatives.  The tall, ethereal Torqual, the bestial quadruped Chirq, and the horribly frightening-looking but extremely gentle Bir.  As always, the Zir representative, a large ambulatory mushroom-like being, stood apart from the group and watched the proceedings as the others talked. 

After entering the garden’s clearing, the Doraz turned and faced Skull-Splitter, and extended a tentacle.  “We are curious.  The Alliance Council has ordered you to advance on the Lothari home system, but you have not given any such orders.  Do you intend to flout the Alliance Council’s wishes on this matter?”

Skull Splitter sighed.  This was a continuing theme that the Observers never tired of bringing up.  The rest were more circumspect than the Doraz representative, but no matter how they approached the question, it always ended up here.  “I have not been given orders by the Council.  I am in command of Alliance forces on this Front, and I have been given leeway to prosecute this war as I see fit.”  The Doraz representative opened her mouth, but before she could speak, he continued.  “It is true, I have received communiques from the capital urging action, but I will take action when I decide it is time, not before.  I have explained my reasoning to the Council, and they have seen fit to retain me in command.”

The Bir representative stirred.  “And when do you anticipate moving forward?”

“This month.”  Skull-Splitter suppressed a laugh as the representatives all looked at each other.  They hadn’t expected that. 

“This month?”  The Doraz was looking intently at him as she said it. 

Skull Splitter marshalled his thoughts.  Most of the representatives had no direct interest in the conduct of this war.  The Bir and the Chirq were too far away, and had fleets that were too tiny or backward to participate in the war, so they viewed this conflict as a mere matter of interest.  The Torqual and Doraz, though, were much closer to the fighting and the Torqual, at least, had a significant fleet.  In addition, the Torqual and Doraz were close to joining the Alliance as full members, and thus had a vested interest in the conduct of the war and its outcome.  The Zir, as always, were a mass of contradictions and were standoffish on top of it, making their representative hard to predict.  In any case, Skull Splitter was fairly sure that the Doraz had secretly been pleased by his delays, as they wished to send forces to join in the battle against the Lothari.  They hid it well, but their warlike nature and desire to repay the Alliance for expelling the Aurarii from their home system meant they really wanted to get involved in the fighting.  Unfortunately, their fleet had been largely destroyed in the war against the Aurarii, and they had yet to rebuild it to the point that they could dispatch significant forces far from their home system. 

“This month.  The repairs and upgrades to my fleet are largely complete, and the flow of reinforcements has slowed to a trickle.  I plan to wait until later in the month and then advance through the Herzberg system to the warp point to the Lothari system.  If the Lothari fleet does not come out to fight, then on the first of next month my fleet will launch an assault into the Lothari system.”

“And then?”  Everyone looked around in surprise as the Zir representative stepped forward.   “What of the negotiations you have been conducting with the Lothari ambassador?”

Skull Splitter’s lips curled away from his teeth, revealing a grimace made much worse by the disfigurement that twisted the left side of his face and body.  He wore the scars as marks of honor, and he had programmed his avatar to faithfully reflect every mark on his body.  “I used the negotiations with the Lothari ambassador to buy time.  As I suspect he was doing as well.  Neither of us ever intended to come to a peaceful resolution.  Not after what they’ve done to our people.”

The Zir took another step forward.  “Negotiations are always worthwhile.  I restate my question.  What will you do after you enter their system?”

Skull-Splitter saw that the other representatives were watching his conversation with the Zir avidly.  This question was currently the single largest issue in the Alliance, and images and videos of the devastation inflicted on the Liawak and Thoen colonies ran nearly constantly on most of the inhabited worlds.  Several documentaries had already been produced detailing the depravities of the death camps that the Lothari had set up on the conquered colonies, and the numerous references that had been found in the camps to similar camps they had used on their home planet only made the whole thing more horrific.  “Once we have swept aside their defenses the Lothari will be given a chance to surrender.  They will be required to surrender unconditionally, but we will offer guarantees of good treatment for their people.”

“The guarantees of a conqueror.”  Skull-Splitter began to answer, but before he could the Zir held up a grasping appendage and continued.  “Apologies.  Unfair statement admitted.  You cannot help the position you find yourself in, and this one will admit that the position of conqueror is more preferable to that of the conquered.  However, you have choices in how you proceed.  The Lothari seem unable to surrender or admit defeat.  Should they continue in this stratagem, will you invade or bombard their planet?  Or both?”

“The Lothari attacked the Alliance without provocation or justification.  They murdered millions of civilians and destroyed helpless naval crew in life pods, and set up horrifying camps that killed tens of thousands of innocent people.  They will not be allowed to do this again, under any circumstances.  They will be given a chance to surrender.  If they do not, then they will be forced to surrender.  By whatever means I determine to be necessary.”

“Prevarication.  Ignorance.  Both?  You are unaware of the Lothari justification for attacking the Alliance, and thus cannot truly judge the level or truth of the provocation.”  The Zir watched Skull-Splitter carefully, intent on his answer to this critical question. 

“That doesn’t matter at this point, after what the Lothari have done.  Once this has been settled and the Lothari are under our control, then we will determine what led to this war.”

The Zir stood silent for a few seconds, processing this answer.  Finally, it dipped it body in agreement.  “Truth.  But by then it may be too late.”
New Cold War / Cold War: Month 220, Confederated Sentient Races Update
« Last post by Kurt on December 29, 2022, 11:03:46 AM »
Confederated Sentient Races

Total Income: 150,191 MCr’s
Total Upkeep: 47,402 MCr’s (31.6%)

Total Fleet
3xML, 27xBC, 9xCV, 1xCVL, 16xCVS, 9xCL, 33xCVE, 34xDD, 37xCT, 294xF0, 336xF1, 258xF2(L)

Under Construction
9xML, 1xSSSY, 120xAMMF, 345xDSB-Xr, 96xF2(L)


6xBC, 2xCV, 1xCVL, 5xCVS, 3xCL, 10xCVE, 2xDD, 4xCT, 3xDDAW, 2xBS4, 2xPDC, 7xBS2V

The CSR has undergone a major reorganization over the last few months.  The informal division between the former Tomsk and Bjering territories has been codified by creating two sectors for administrative purposes, with the capitals for the two sectors being Tomsk and Bjering Prime. 

The Tomsk Sector, centered on the Tomsk system, comprises one hundred systems, forty of which are inhabited.  The sector contains two hundred and sixty-six discrete populations, and comprises 51% of the CSR’s production.  The sector’s total population is 1,500,000,000, and is primarily human.  The Tomsk system is the CSR’s fifth most productive system, with the Petropavlovsk system and the Budapest system being the second and fourth most productive systems. 

The Bjering Sector is centered on the Bjering Home System, and comprises one hundred and six systems, twenty-nine of which are inhabited.  The sector contains two hundred and eight populations, with a total population of 41,400,000,000, almost exclusively Bjering.  The Bjering home system is the CSR’s most productive system, and is twice as productive as the CSR’s second most productive system.  The Sutr system is the third most productive system. 

In month 219, the CSR absorbed the Bedu refugees that fled to Bjering space after the Mintek conquered their empire.  The rulers of the Bedu refugees realized early on that they did not bring enough of their people out to establish an effective state, and so from almost the first were focused on joining the CSR.  The merger brought a few carriers and support ships into the CSR navy, but the Bedu refugee’s most important contribution was their map of Bedu space, including its connections with other races.  This revealed several interesting connections not previously known.  For example, during their explorations, the Bedu had discovered no less than two closed warp points from their frontier systems that led to uninhabited systems in the Tomsk sector.  Another led to an important human Colonial Union colony system.  Plans are being made to fortify both of those systems as the Mintek either know about those access points, or will know at some point.  There is an ongoing debate about whether to tell the humans of the link to their colony. 

Colonization of new systems has slowed over the last six months, largely because the CSR has been focused on building up the populations of the primary Tomsk Sector colony worlds.  Prior to the merger, the Tomsk Union was population starved, with its primary worlds barely capable of supporting out-system colonization and constantly running short of colonists.  Since the merger, the CSR has focused on boosting the populations of those worlds, to extend the reach of the colonization program, and on boosting the populations of benign/rich and benign/very rich worlds in the Tomsk Sector.  This has had the secondary effect of creating several multi-racial worlds.  While the leaders of both races were concerned about the possible difficulties this might create, so far the results have been positive. 

The lull in colonization has given the CSR’s exploration fleet’s a chance to be recalled for refits to the latest technology.  The CSR has decided to discontinue use of the venerable explorer class units, as being too small and too vulnerable for exploration duty.  Instead, the survey fleets will be made up of survey cruisers, supported by survey destroyers and corvette scouts.  The refit of the survey fleets will give the survey cruisers a heavy punch with their gunboat flotillas, meaning that the survey groups will be able to defend themselves from all but a significant enemy force. 

The CSR fleet is currently undergoing a massive refit to HT-10 standards, taking advantage of advanced shielding, improved targeting, and advanced point defense.    Gunboat racks will be added to all carriers, and to survey units, but fleet ships will retain their standard XO racks, largely to carry defensive EDM’s and offensive ADM’s. 
New Cold War / Cold War: Month 220 Colonial Union Update
« Last post by Kurt on December 27, 2022, 10:33:28 AM »
Colonial Union Update, Turn 220

Total Income: 132,285 MCr’s
Total Upkeep: 63,491 (48%)

4xCV, 20xCVL, 1xCVS, 100xCVE, 15xSD, 3xBB, 33xBC, 32xCA, 49xCL, 46xDD, 19xFG, 43xCT, 2807xF0

The Colonial Union has recovered from the brief war with the Alliance and is looking at reorganizing its political and military system to account for the growth of the both the Union and the military.  The political defeat of the New Dawn Party and their fall from grace as a result of pervasive corruption and a myriad of prosecutions has shifted the focus of the Union from politics to economics, revealing an increasingly bitter economic war going on underneath the surface. 

While Earth remains the cultural center of the Union in many ways, the economic focus of the Union has left that isolated planet behind and has shifted to younger, more vital systems.  The reality is that the Solar system isn’t in the top five most productive Union systems.  Sigma Draconis and Epsilon Eridani, two of humanity’s oldest colonies, are the first and fifth most productive systems in the Union, and are separated by a single system, giving them a significant power base within the Union.  Meanwhile, the Manticore, Orphicon, and Shadowa systems, all clustered around the Sligo system, are the second, third and fourth most productive systems in the Union.  They are more widely separated than the Sigma Draconis and Epsilon Eridani systems, though, and this has made it difficult for them to coordinate their economic activities to oppose the economic power of the inner systems.  Their growing wealth, though, has made them hard to ignore, and they have been pressing for a reorganization of the Union into Districts, which would isolate them somewhat from the inner colony’s economic power. 

Now that the immediate threat from the Alliance is ended, the Union is looking at reorganizing the fleet and reducing its size, somewhat, to reduce costs.  Likely most of the superdreadnought fleet will be mothballed, along with the Assault Corps, once they are both modernized.  This will not happen for some months, as there is new technology under development and it will take some time to push this tech out to the fleet. 

The Colonial Union is facing a significant problem which was recently recognized by the Colonial Bureau of Relocation, or BuReLoc, and has been classified at the highest levels while possible remedies are being studied.  The Union’s colonization program has been continuously expanding the Union, however, as the Union’s survey ships move farther and farther from the established colonies, it has become increasingly expensive to ship colonists to newly discovered worlds.  Before the seriousness of the situation became clear, BuReLoc asked the CU’s embassies in the Confederated Sentient Races and the Alliance to investigate openly available material within those states to determine their methods of colonization, to see how the Union’s two neighbors were dealing with the problem.  This query revealed a significant weakness within the Union that the other two states did not suffer from, and the entire situation was classified and taken under study at the highest levels.  Essentially, both the CSR and the Alliance had access to worlds with very large populations, and had the economic strength to form massive colonization fleets that could boost a newly discovered world’s population to a level where it would be able to support colonization itself without depleting its population.  This allows both the Alliance and the CSR to establish forward colonization bases that could colonize newly discovered systems several months travel from the nation’s most populous systems without prohibitive costs.  Unfortunately, the Colonial Union has no high population planets.  New Moscow in the Sigma Draconis system is Earth’s oldest colony and has the highest population, recently reaching ‘large’ size at 400 million people.  Earth, depleted first by the war and then by the massive colonization efforts of the New Dawn Party, only boasts a population of just over 300 million at this point.  While the Union has numerous planets with a medium population, twenty-five at last count, none can support the sustained and massive colonization efforts that the other two nations are undertaking without quickly depleting their population.  There appears to be no quick resolution to this problem.  Population cannot just be wished into existence.  There has been some discussion in the halls of the capital about the possibility of merging with one of the other nations.  This is, after all, how the Tomsk Union solved its identical problem, by merging with the Bjering.  However, currently there is little interest in solving this problem in this manner, as it would not bolster humanity’s population, merely dilute it with aliens.  In the meantime, while the problem is studied, the Colonial Union will focus on expanding its economy as quickly as possible within their current limits, to remain economically viable. 

As of month 220, the CU has officially divested itself of control over both alien races found within its borders, as promised by the new government.  The Tlatelolco, in the Redwing system, have agreed to a trade and military treaty with the Colonial Union, and are exploring the possibility of a partnership agreement in the near future.  For the Tlatelolco, this is a recognition of the reality of their situation. Under the New Dawn party’s rule, the human population on the Tlatelolco home planet was drastically increased to the point where humans almost outnumber the Tlatelolco on their own planet.  In spite of the current Colonial Union government’s determination to treat with the Tlatelolco fairly, there was never a possibility that the human colonists on their planet would leave, so the ever-reasonable Tlatelolco have decided to form an even closer relationship with humanity.  They have signed a shared sovereignty agreement with the human government on their planet, and that agreement extends throughout their system.  Unfortunately, there are no open warp points or unsettled worlds nearby, so for now the Tlatelolco are confined to their home system. 

The Tarek, in the Sligo system, are an entirely different matter.  The Tarek have been unremittingly hostile to humanity from the time of first contact, and were, at best, sullen and difficult during the CU’s long occupation of their planet.  The CU’s withdrawal from their planet came, not as a result of an agreement with the Tarek, but more in the form of a threat to bombard their planet should they attack a human ship or colony, and a clear statement about where the Tarek would be allowed to go within their system.  The CU has allowed the Tarek to retain their colonies on the two type ST planets in the system, considered hostile for both humanity and the Tarek, and their asteroid outposts in their star’s asteroid belt.  In addition, the Tarek are allowed to colonize the moons of the two ST planets and their home planet.  The Tarek have been informed that they are under no circumstances allowed to leave their home system, and if they attempt to do so the ship they send will be destroyed without warning.  What the Tarek think of this is not known, but in the two months since the occupation ended, they have been circumspect in their actions.  So far, they have focused on building small PDC’s on their home planet that the CU Navy believes are anti-missile bases, as well as bolstering the populations of their allowed colonies.

The release of the Tarek from occupation was very unpopular on Wunderland, the primary human colony in the Sligo system.  The inhabitants of Wunderland have been under threat of attack from the Tarek since the establishment of their colony, and in the early days that threat was very real.  The fact that the Tarek now have no navy and are very far behind humanity in terms of technology has done little to assuage the Wunderlander’s fears, which is perhaps understandable given the fact that over three billion human-eating Tarek lived just a few light minutes away, presumably dreaming dreams of invading Wunderland and eating and/or subjugating all of the humans there.  The reality is of course, that there is no conceivable way that the Tarek could threaten Wunderland, given the Tarek’s weakness and the state of Wunderland’s defenses.  Even should every naval ship in the system be called away, Wunderland is orbited by a massive asteroid fortress that anchors its defenses, three battlecruiser-sized missile bases, and four cruiser sized automated warfare bases to control the mines and other automated weapons kept in orbit for deployment elsewhere in the Union.  Still, in reaction to the end of the occupation, the planetary government of Wunderland has reinstituted its civil defense programs, employing many of the soldiers that were demobilized when the occupation ended. 

New Cold War / Cold War: Month 220 Alliance Update
« Last post by Kurt on December 21, 2022, 06:09:52 PM »
Alliance Update, Month 220

Total Income: 233,904 MCr’s
Total Upkeep: 93,551 MCr’s (40%)

Alliance 1st Fleet (Rehorish Home Fleet)
1xSD, 2xCV, 6xBC, 2xCA, 2xCVE, 2xCTV, 123xF1, 12xF0
Detached Units: 2xBC, 6xCA, 3xCL, 4xDD, 5xCVE, 2xCTS, 10xCTV, 111xF1, 24xF0 (Guarding Allied worlds)

Alliance 2nd Fleet (Liawak System, Lothari Front)
12xBBA, 11xCV, 24xBC, 2xCVL, 16xCA, 6xCVS, 3xCL, 8xDD, 35xCVE, 29xCTV, 345xF0, 918xF1

Alliance 3rd Fleet (Aurarii Home System, Aurarii Peacekeeping)
3xBC, 3xCVS, 3xCL, 11xCVE, 6xDDE, 21xCTV, 60xF0, 306xF1

Alliance 5th Fleet (T’Pau Home Fleet)
T’Pau System: 3xCA, 9xCVE, 9xCTV, 189xF1
D’Bringi System: 6xCA, 11xCVE, 9xCTV, 219xF1

Alliance 6th Fleet
Thoen System, Lothari Front: 12xBC, 1xCVL, 9xCL, 1xCVS, 4xDD, 14xCVE, 10xCTV, 5xCT(Pinnace), 72xF0, 252xF1, 20xPinnace
Villiers System: 6xBC, 9xCA, 3xCL, 7xDD, 3xCVE, 45xF0

7th Fleet (Thoen System, Lothari Front)
7xBC, 5xCA, 3xCVL, 3xCVS, 6xCL, 3xCVE, 3xDD, 5xCVE, 7xCTV, 159xF0, 183xF1

Detached on Patrol or Guard Duties
6xCA, 6xCL, 18xDD, 11xCVE, 10xCTV, 24xF0, 201xF1

Units Captured from Aurarii – en route to shipyards at Kumamoto

En Route to the Liawak System: 2xCVL, 3xDD, 60xF1
En route to the Thoen System: 4xCVE, 1xCTV, 66xF1

Under construction:
8xSD, 16xBC, 8xDD, 7xBS4, 6xBS3, 120xF1

5xBC, 1xCA

3xBB, 7xBC, 2xCA, 5xDD

The Alliance is completely restored at this point, with all colonies brought back into contact with the Core and accepting the authority of the Alliance Council, and all foreign troops that had occupied Alliance colonies either expelled or destroyed.  The Alliance Council has been restored as well, with a D’Bringi interim representative until Skull-Splitter can return from prosecuting the war against the Lothari. 

The D’Bringi Home World is still recovering from the recent unrest.  At Skull-Splitter’s orders, the ringleaders of the rebellion have been arrested and are awaiting trial, along with everyone who served the Empire and broke the existing law while doing so.  The bulk of the Empire’s most virulent supporters who have not been charged with a crime have been ‘encouraged’ to join a massive colonization program aimed at increasing the hostile environment colonies in the Chruqua Nexus, fulfilling a recent Alliance program of increasing that critical system’s output to help support the defenses and fleet installations that are being built there.  By the end of month 220, the population of the Chruqua Nexus has been increased to just over fifty million, mostly D’Bringi who are either eagerly seeking work, or who have been discouraged from remaining in the home system. 

The war with the Aurarii has been successfully resolved, with the Aurarii agreeing to pay reparations to the Doraz, and to free their Norn neighbors, in exchange for an Alliance pledge to guarantee the security of their home planet.  To this end, the Alliance 3rd Fleet is stationed in the Aurarii home system, and will remain indefinitely.  The 3rd Fleet has attempted to establish contact with the newly freed Norn state, however, the Norns have been prickly and negotiations have been slow moving.  The Doraz, who had much difficulty establishing contact with the Aurarii, have had much more success in establishing contact with the Norn, and have been making better progress towards that end than the Alliance, perhaps because the Norn perceive the large Alliance fleet in their system as a potential threat. 

The collapse of the Aurarii leaves the Kingdom of Lothar as the last state in open war with the Alliance.  The Alliance has been building up strength to launch an assault on the genocidal Lothari, however, the Lothari willingness to fight and their advanced technology have made advances difficult.  Skull Splitter’s 2nd Fleet, the core of which is made up of former Imperial D’Bringi ships, is now the most powerful fleet in the Alliance, but Skull Splitter has been waiting on the defensive for reinforcements to arrive and for the older ships in his fleet to be refitted to modern standards.  He has done this in spite of intense pressure from the interior of the Alliance to strike a decisive blow and finish this war as soon as possible.  His decision to wait was largely made because of the destruction of the last Alliance fleet that approached the Lothari system.  Skull Splitter is a wily old warrior, and has no wish to rush into another ill-fated battle with the evil Lothari before he is entirely ready.  Unfortunately, four of the most heavily damaged battlecruisers will not be out of the yards for another two months, and it is not clear if Skull-Splitter can delay that long, especially given the fact that they are all older designs that would then need to be refitted to be more effective.  Skull Splitter currently plans to advance through the Herzberg system to the warp point to the Lothari home system next month, and then assault the warp point in the following month, after all his crews have finished shaking down from the extensive repairs and refits that many of his fleet units have undergone. 

The Alliance is divided on what approach to take with the Lothari when the 2nd Fleet finally breaches their defenses.  There is a strong current of anger in the Alliance against the Lothari both for the way they treated the civilians on the planets that surrendered to them, along with the merciless way they have prosecuted their war, which was obviously doomed from the start.  The fact that the Lothari apparently believe that they can go back to the way things were before the conflict started without paying a price for their genocidal actions has not helped their cause.  The T’Pau are firmly in favor of bombarding the Lothari home planet until they surrender as an abject lesson to those that would engage in such behavior.  The D’Bringi are supporting the T’Pau, perhaps out of a desire to show their loyalty to the Alliance in the aftermath of their civil war, while the Rehorish are reluctant to take such a step without first exhausting all other options.  There is some belief in the upper reaches of the Alliance government that Skull-Splitter is delaying his entry into the Lothari system to give the Alliance time to come to a consensus on their approach to the Lothari.  To date no such consensus has emerged. 

In the aftermath of the D’Bringi civil war, it has become clear to the Alliance Council that the Alliance will have to become much more involved in the affairs of its associate members.  The Alliance’s hands off policy allowed the rebel D’Bringi to take advantage of the relative isolation of the Chirq, which led to the invasion and conquest of their home planet by a race from outside the Alliance and influenced by the rebel D’Bringi.  Therefore, once the Lothari conflict is over, the Alliance will be stationing significant squadrons in each of the associate member’s home systems, as a defensive force for that race and an assurance that the Alliance will come to their aid.  In addition, the Alliance will establish a multi-national fleet in the Chruqua Nexus, and will require every associate member to provide forces to be stationed there as a reaction force capable of responding to any threat faced by any member.  The forces sent to this reaction force will be dependent on the size of the navy involved, and will likely be smaller than the forces the Alliance sends to garrison their home systems, meaning that the associate members will actually be gaining in security by sending ships to the multi-national force.  This plan is currently being fine-tuned by the Council, which is in close contact with the associate members.  It is unclear when it will be implemented given the ongoing actions against the Lothari. 

Associate Alliance Members

Aurarii Republic
Total Income: 24,170 MCr’s
Total Upkeep: 11,453 MCr’s (47%)

Fleet: 2xSD, 3xBB, 1xCV, 5xCVL, 10xCL, 150xF1

Under Construction: 3xML, 1xSD

The restored Aurarii Republic has been steadily downsizing their fleet since their peace treaty with the Alliance.  Three monitors, three superdreadnoughts, two carriers, seven light carriers, and six light cruisers have all gone into mothballs, a necessity now that the Republic can no longer count on resources taken from the conquered Norn Regime to pay for its fleet.  It is likely that most of the four capital ships currently under construction will go into mothballs as well. 

The newly re-established Republic, with the Emperor as a constitutional monarch, is very interested in exploring a closer relationship with the Alliance.  Given the fact that they have no outlet for growth, and war failed to obtain access to open and unexplored warp points, full membership in the Alliance is literally their only route forward towards future expansion. 

Bir Meritocracy
Total Income: 1,890 MCr’s
Total Upkeep: 444 MCr’s (16%)

The Bir have reached HT-2 and are researching various systems available at that level, with Alliance assistance.  They have constructed five orbital shipyards, and are currently building five BS2’s as orbital defense stations for their home world.  The Bir have no navy as of yet, but have fielded a survey group of explorer class craft.  The Bir have taken no position on the Lothari conflict.  The fighting is far from their home system and, as they have no navy, they strongly feel that the eventual fate of the Lothari are not their business.

Chirq Cooperative
Total Income: 10,314 MCr’s
Upkeep: 1657 MCr’s (16%)

Fleet: 4xDD, 8xCT, 2xES

The Chirq have fully recovered from the Khozun invasion and occupation of their home world, and have reached HT-4, with Alliance assistance.  The Chirq currently have ten orbital shipyards and are building an extensive orbital defense network, along with defenses for the warp points in their system.  Although basically a peaceful race, the Chirq have no desire to be conquered again, and are building up their defenses and their navy as fast as they can.  In addition to building up their defenses, the Chirq have a survey fleet which is kept busy surveying the nearby systems, and they have established colonies in five of those systems, although none of the colonies have larger than a small population. 

Having recently suffered through the invasion and occupation of their home world, the Chirq are supporting the Rehorish, who rescued them, in their stance on the Lothari question.  Like the Rehorish, the Chirq feel that the Lothari should be forced to surrender and that their society should be restructured to prevent anything like this happening again. 

Doraz Contingency
Total Income: 33,736 MCr’s
Total Upkeep: 6,722 MCr’s (20%)

Fleet: 1xML, 3xBC, 5xCA, 9xCVE(proto), 2xDD, 33xCT

Refitting: 1xML
Construction: 9xBS2

The Doraz were fortunate to have avoided invasion during the recent war with the Aurarii, but did manage to lose most of their fleet during the conflict.  They have recently reached HT-8 and are researching the various systems available at that level. 

The Doraz are gratified that the Alliance and the Torqual sent strong fleets to help defend their home system and push the Aurarii back, but were disappointed when the Aurarii managed to negotiate a peaceful end to the war.  The Doraz leadership had hoped to take the lead in occupying the Aurarii system, but had no recourse when the Aurarii began negotiations, as their fleet was the weakest of the three fleets opposing the Aurarii.  Worse, their own fleet leader took the lead in the negotiations, meaning that the Doraz leaders on the home world would have a difficult time repudiating the agreement.  Still, the resources that the Aurarii sent as reparations have been very helpful, and the damaged light monitor captured by the Alliance and turned over to the Doraz navy have gone a long way towards alleviating any resentment the Doraz might have had towards their allies over the peace negotiations. 

The Doraz strongly support the T’Pau and the D’Bringi in their desire to bombard the Lothari until they surrender.  Indeed, the Doraz are preparing a force to be sent to the Lothari front to assist the Alliance now that the Aurarii conflict has ended. 

Torqual Free State
Total Income: 50,765 MCr’s
Total Upkeep: 16,516 MCr’s (32.5%)

Fleet: 9xBC, 28xCA, 34xCL, 13xCT

Construction: 1xCA, 1xCVE(proto)

The Torqual have recently reached HT-8 and are researching the systems available at that level.  The Torqual are fervent supporters of the Alliance, having been saved from a despotic and repressive government by elements of their navy supported by the Alliance.  It is likely that the Torqual will join the Alliance as full members as soon as possible.

The Torqual are against the indiscriminate bombardment of the Lothari, and are supporting the Rehorish on this question. 

Zir Contemplative Union
Total Income: 72,620 MCr’s
Total Upkeep: 25,175 MCr’s (35%)

Fleet: 2xCVE(proto), 41xDD, 66xFG, 137xCT

The Zir have recently reached HT-8 and are researching the systems available at that level.  The Zir are very excited about fighter technology, and view it as a logical extension of their swarm fleet concept.  While they have built several prototype carrier hulls, they currently debating plans to convert some or all of their warships to hybrid carrier-warship designs as soon as the fighter technology has been developed. 

There is a huge debate going on amongst the upper levels of Zir society on their home world.  From the time of first contact the Zir have not been able to understand why the other races have had a hard time getting along.  While they understand the need for a vigorous defense force, the Zir abhor aggression, and have viewed the recent instability within the Alliance with alarm, and the current wars the Alliance is fighting with disdain.  The Zir intelligentsia have formed numerous factions, as is their habit, and they are currently arguing over possible ways forward.  The largest single group wants to continue their current relationship with the Alliance, but they are far outnumbered by the other groups, many of which want to end or limit their relationship with the Alliance, which they view as, at best, misguided, and at worst unstable warmongers.  The Zir refused to provide ships to the Alliance to help prosecute their wars, something the Alliance allowed given their withdrawal of the 6th Fleet from the Villiers warp nexus and the proximity of the Mintek beyond that nexus.

The Zir were horrified at the Lothari treatment of captured Alliance military personnel and civilians, but are equally horrified by fact that the Alliance is considering a general bombardment of the Lothari home world, and this has added to the heat of their debates over the future of their relationship with the Alliance.  Should the Alliance actually bombard the Lothari home world, it would almost certainly drive the Zir into opposition of the Alliance, and the Zir representative to the Alliance Council has made their stance clear.  It is unclear how seriously the Alliance Council takes the Zir, though, as the other races in the Alliance have come to a near consensus in their determination to destroy the Lothari state, if not their people.  More and more the Alliance races have grown to see the Zir as rather flighty and unserious beings. 

Total Alliance Fleet (including associated states)
13xCV, 8xCVL, 13xCVS, 126xCVE, 3xML, 1xSD, 12xBB, 72xBC, 89xCA, 73xCL, 123xDD, 143xFG, 537xCT

A comparison with the combined Alliance fleet strength in Month 205 shows that the overall Alliance fleet has lost some battlecruisers and cruisers, which currently number at 72 and 89, respectively, compared to 76 and 97 in month 205.  On the other hand, the number of carriers has grown considerably, from 107 (including CTV’s) to 262.  This makes sense, as the Alliance had depended on battlecruisers, and to a lesser extent, heavy cruisers, as its primary striking arm, so losses to those classes have been relatively heavy and not completely replaced by new construction as resources have been shifted to producing carriers and fighters. 
New Cold War / Re: Cold War Comments Thread
« Last post by StarshipCactus on December 17, 2022, 02:13:46 AM »
All hail the Great Leader!
New Cold War / Re: Cold War Comments Thread
« Last post by Kurt on December 14, 2022, 10:21:17 AM »
Truly the Great Leader will lead us to victory with his Brilliant and offensive plans, we should not doubt his glorious victory. Or his secret police

Now you're getting it!  All hail the Great Leader!
New Cold War / Re: Cold War Comments Thread
« Last post by Andrew on December 13, 2022, 04:57:48 PM »
Truly the Great Leader will lead us to victory with his Brilliant and offensive plans, we should not doubt his glorious victory. Or his secret police
New Cold War / Re: Cold War Comments Thread
« Last post by Kurt on December 13, 2022, 04:53:16 PM »

Or they are led by a crazy dictator, who thinks he can continue to manipulate the entire universe.  <G>
The  Crazy/incompetent option it is. If I was the diplomat for the mad great dictator I would keep talking as long as possible rather than admit failure
I would agree with that but narratively that likely isn't the case. Recall that the D'bringi Empire got help from some sus aliens so maybe he's waiting for help from them? Or some other glorious wunderwaffe. Possibly they're just slathering their home WP in minefields, that'd be my guess.
They had a lot of Gunboats and fighters to repalce which is expensive and explains some delay's  but mining the wp and other defenses are not enough to give them any real chance for victory so either the Great Leader expects diplomacy to work because he says so! and the ambassador is stalling for his own interests , or as you suggest intervention by an outside power is a possibility we have seen no sign of that and the Lothari are in a cul-de-sac so a new arrival or strategic breakthrough is unlikely.
The most likely is the Glorious Leader has a GREAT PLAN and they are setting that up which is probably doomed

Mining the warp point, or even moving bases to defend the warp point would be defeatist and might cause the people to question the Leader's conduct of the war.  Can't have that!
New Cold War / Re: Cold War Comments Thread
« Last post by Andrew on December 13, 2022, 10:24:38 AM »

Or they are led by a crazy dictator, who thinks he can continue to manipulate the entire universe.  <G>
The  Crazy/incompetent option it is. If I was the diplomat for the mad great dictator I would keep talking as long as possible rather than admit failure
I would agree with that but narratively that likely isn't the case. Recall that the D'bringi Empire got help from some sus aliens so maybe he's waiting for help from them? Or some other glorious wunderwaffe. Possibly they're just slathering their home WP in minefields, that'd be my guess.
They had a lot of Gunboats and fighters to repalce which is expensive and explains some delay's  but mining the wp and other defenses are not enough to give them any real chance for victory so either the Great Leader expects diplomacy to work because he says so! and the ambassador is stalling for his own interests , or as you suggest intervention by an outside power is a possibility we have seen no sign of that and the Lothari are in a cul-de-sac so a new arrival or strategic breakthrough is unlikely.
The most likely is the Glorious Leader has a GREAT PLAN and they are setting that up which is probably doomed
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