Turn 54 - Strategic Overview

Campaign by Moonsword

Moderator: Moonsword

Turn 54 - Strategic Overview

Postby Moonsword on Fri 30 Oct 2015 09:46

This is the beginning of that strategic overview I mentioned. I'm going to start with the Terran Confederation, my "player" race, before going through the Confederation's two NPR allies and ending with their new friends beyond the Sargasso.

Terran Confederation
EL 5, Total GSV 14,328.7, HI 5

Political and Historical Review
The Terran Confederation is the descendant of prior, pre-Unification international political organizations including the European Union and the United Nations. Developed from a strengthened UN to meet increasing global responsibilities and the task of coordinating economic activities and responding to the increasing political tensions and climatic stresses of billions of humans on the planet, the Confederation unified as humanity started to move out into the solar system. The final catalyst for the much stronger, more unified government was the confirmation of the Hawking-Li Wormhole Theorem. While it took some time for the actual discovery of Sol's warp points, the political processes played out mostly peacefully with the exception of the Sovereignist Movement. A primarily Sino-American movement, they objected strongly to the final dissolution of effective national authority and sovereignty in favor of the Confederation, and in addition to a wave of ugly terrorist incidents in the late 2130s, sympathizers seized control of two corvettes to force a showdown with forces that were to provide the embryo of the Terran Confederation Navy. Although the United States Space Force frigate Chesapeke was lost with all hands, Confederation-allied naval units were victorious and the Hawking Yards, now the TCN's premier naval shipyard, remained intact.

Aside from continuing quiet rumbles of Sovereignist sympathizers and one or two major political flareups, the Confederation has largely settled down over the past two decades into a functioning representative democracy. The single largest challenge since the Battle of Hawking Yards was the discovery by Conferation Bureau of Investigation auditors that the governor of Vishvakarman, a marginally habitable world in the LHS 1723 system, had managed to cobble together a major cell of Sovereignist support, even siphoning off much of the colony's economic output and suborning unwitting allies in the Navy to assemble two Queensland-class cruisers hidden in the outer system as the beginnings of a bid to create a breakaway power. Not yet crewed, the hulls were taken into TCN service and the governor is currently serving a life sentence in a (mildly) refurbished Siberian gulag. The general audits ordered by President Vanessa Reed at the direction of the Confederation Assembly have by and large managed to find most of the bad apples without creating a political witch hunt.

Current Situation
Astrographic map forthcoming

Until two weeks ago, the Terran Confederation was the undisputed economic power among the known races. As that list consisted of a single young interstellar power, a "rival" limited to their home star system that was busy recovering from a brief, highly unpleasant civil war and the change of government, and a minor race that had been uplifted to starflight capability by the Confederation itself, the claim isn't as impressive as it sounds. To their credit, many of the Confederation's key leaders were well aware of the limitations of their knowledge of what could be out there and the discovery of the Hierarchy of Axanar - at the time, a militant, potentially aggressive power - threw a splash of cold water on illusions of humanity being alone to exploit the stars in peace. Although the Confederation was able to withdraw its single probe of the system and establish fortresses and a fleet presence before initiating an ultimately peaceful first contact, the situation prompted the Confederation Navy to begin a long-delayed expansion that finally ended with an even dozen Block II Queensland-class heavy cruisers as the Navy's active strength. Economically, the Confederation has 16 colony worlds, nearly three dozen inhabited moons, and significant mining and industrial works in Sol's Asteroid Belt. An extensive merchant marine services both domestic shipping and external trade with the Consensus of Axanar and the Gilcullen Order through the warp points of Delta Pavonis. Although external trade is still a small part of the Confederation's economic diversity, internal leasing of government-backed freighters to the commercial freight haulers brings in approximately 20% of the revenue available to the Confederation's central government over and above that from taxes and tariffs alone.

Strategically, the current crisis has caught the Terran Confederation Navy at an awkward time. Despite the retirement of the Rana and Beijing classes to the mothballs and the failure to properly modernize those hulls before placing them on inactive status, the Navy was determined to maintain and expand its strength and incorporate new technology. That process began with design studies and the commissioning of two additional cruiser classes, the Carthage "frontier" light cruisers and the Swiftsure battle cruisers. Although both have entered series production, delays in the Swiftsure program due to the need prototype a hull that large mean that only one hull, BC1 Swiftsure, is currently on active service, with BC2 Semillante slated be commissioned at the end of the month and four additional hulls already under construction. Further, the TCN was preparing to shift its strategic deployments in light of the alliance with the Consensus of Axanar to concentrate its fleet properly in Sol and Epsilon Eridani, the Confederation's two systems best positioned in the warp lines for a nodal response force. Light Cruiser Squadron One has taken over the TCN Gelcar Station as part of the Confederation's treaty obligations to the Gilcullen Order but First Fleet had not yet been refitted or moved to Eridani Station, leaving a single cruiser division in Epsilon Eridani under Commodore Naoki Mocizuchi as the sole force in range to respond when unknown alien forces ambushed Survey Flotilla Gamma and made an aggressive probe into Omicron Eridani.

Tactically, the Terran Confederation Navy has become very "top-heavy", with no ships in active commission smaller than a light cruiser and is comparatively slow tactically and strategically because of it. Further, the TCN bet on the wrong horse with an increased emphasis on long-range combat and missiles instead of maintaining (or even expanding) the use of light energy-armed combatants to supplement its cruiser squadrons. While the Queensland has two force beams in her broadside, the Carthage has only half the CA's beams but three-quarters of her missile armament and comparatively deeper magazines to feed them. The Swiftsure design has gone even further, using improved drives to match the old Beijings for speed but lacking any energy armament at all in favor of a massive missile broadside and the magazines to sustain fire as well as first-generation point defense systems that would have been at least somewhat effective against a comparable technology. Against the heavy plasma weaponry employed by the enemy at Omicron Eridani, those point defenses are extremely weak and even a full three ship Swiftsure squadron may have difficulty in overcoming enemy defenses against a similarly-sized opponent if the advanced counter missiles and networked defenses on the larger frigate can be scaled up appropriately. Coupled with the enemy's deployment of advanced shield technologies approximately 50% more efficient than those of the Confederation, the defensive advantages of enemy ships is difficult to overestimate.

Notable Systems
Warp Points: Epsilon Eridani, G 9-38, Barnard's Star, 14 Herculis
Inhabited Worlds: Earth (T HI 5), Mars (B); 9 moons (7 mB, 2 mE), 1 asteroid belt

Despite the new colonies acquired since the Confederation began to explore the galaxy, Sol is still the economic, cultural, and political heartland, accounting for half the total GSV of the entire Terran Confederation. Earth is the single most populated and heavily industrialized world in human space, the source of all the colonial expeditions and by itself nearly a third of the Confederation's total economic output. Luna and Mars are humanity's oldest extraterrestrial colonies, key stepping stones to the stars by developing human spaceflight even further before humanity began serious manned exploration of the outer solar system, founding small outposts among the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Not long after the Confederation began to explore other star systems, small permanent research outposts were founded on the moons Miranda and Triton to explore the feasibility and economic value of hostile environment outposts on such frozen bodies. While the returns were disappointing in an economic sense, the outposts do provide additional early warning sensor locations in the outer system and offer "exotic" tourism, an anchor point for research on Uranus and Neptune as well as the moons themselves, and support the occasional outer system exercise by the TCN formations assigned to the system or hostile environment survival training for the Ground Forces.

Because of the strategic importance of all this population and industry along with the Hawking Yards, Confederation capital and core R&D facilities, and Sol's place as one of the two key "crossroads" in Confederation space, the system is the only one in the Confederation to have fortifications at all warp points. A massive new Class Four base is under construction in low Earth orbit to provide further defense to Earth and Luna as well as the Hawking Yards' own defenses, although plans to further upgrade the Yards' defenses have been frozen while the Navy evaluates its strategic posture and prepares to invest in the new hulls needed at the front.

Epsilon Eridani
Warp Points: Sol, Delta Pavonis, Tau Ceti, HD 50281, Zeta Draconis, Wolf 294, HD 4628, HIP 12961, Omicron Eridani
Inhabited Worlds: Engai (ST); 2 moons (2 mB)

If Sol is the Confederation's heart, Epsilon Eridani is its arteries. With warp points to a staggering nine other star systems, Epsilon Eridani (formerly known just as "Eridani" outside of serious astronomers, now frequently called "Epsilon" or "the EE" in popular culture) is a vital crossroads. Although Engai has potential for future industrial development, as a super-terrestrial world with high gravity and a dense atmosphere, the planet is difficult to develop and hasn't attracted the major investments several more distant but benign worlds have. Proposals to outright abandon the world and sell it to the Gilcullen have even been floated on a few policy panels as an outside option but under the current strategic and political climate, Epsilon Eridani is too vital to the Confederation's interests to have an outside power owning its principal inhabitable real estate, particularly real estate that's already colonized and has much more value economically than Ymir, the other human world under consideration for "realtor diplomacy".

By the same token as the system's economic importance, Epsilon Eridani's limited internal economic potential and unprecedented number of warp points make it difficult at best to fortify economically. Instead, Confederation strategy was built on covering the system from the existing fleet concentrations at Sol and Pavonis. In light of the increasingly warm relations, preparations were underway to refit in Delta Pavonis with second-generation datalink before stationing them in orbit of Engai to provide a significant mobile defensive force able to either respond to incursions in Epsilon Eridani itself or move to establish a blocking position while additional squadrons were brought up from Sol. At the moment, with the war and the attendant disorder in Terran naval dispositions, no garrison has been put into place, and the fundamental strategic necessity is under continued scrutiny by the Admiralty and the staff of the Naval War College.

Delta Pavonis
Warp Points: Epsilon Eridani, Lambda Serpentis (Consensus of Axanar), Nu Phoenicis (Gilcullen Order)
Inhabited Worlds: Kutkh (Gilcullen Order; ST); 2 moons (2 mB)

Delta Pavonis is in the process of transitioning from the fortified spearpoint of Confederation power - and possibly the TCN's forward base in the event of a war - to the interstellar trading post between three different races. Originally colonized to provide supporting infrastructure to the TCN fortifications at the Lambda Serpentis warp point, Pavonis's two inhabited moons are mining colonies and fabrication sites originally operated by carefully vetted contractors but over time, with the thawing relations and blosssoming of peaceful trade between Earth and Axanar, the Navy has become much less nervous about the system's security. The Pavonis Yards in orbit of Kamchatka, the first moon of Pavonis's inner gas giant, were the first extra-solar military shipyards established by the Confederation Navy and have played a large part in the constrution of the Carthage-class light cruisers.

More recently, Delta Pavonis has become the home of the Gilcullen Order's first extra-solar colony on the previously Terran-owned (but completely unoccupied) world of Kutkh. A super-terrestrial with a paucity of available mineral resources and limited economic value, Kutkh was never seriously considered for colonization by the Confederation. However, study of the survey data as part of the Gilcullen uplift program lead to a proposal to settle the world with Gilcullen colonists. Although the system is still technically under Conferation jurisdiction, Kutkh has a thriving agricultural economy and is becoming an important market for the small Terran lunar outposts in the system in its own right, trading carefully tended Terran produce and the limited Gilcullen foodstuffs that are edible by Terrans for the raw ores and other materials not readily available on Kutkh's surface.

Terran Confederation Navy
Over the past five years, the Terran Confederation Navy has been forced to transition from a system defense fleet with - even by current Confederation standards, let alone those of the advanced aliens beyond the Sargasso - a comparatively crude tech base and limited engineering experience into a fleet capable of policing and protecting a volume of space spread across more than a dozen star systems. Indeed, that process was still ongoing, and despite the TCN's current tactical imbalance (see Current Situation above), the fleet was expanding and design studies were being conducted to begin redressing the Navy's issues.

Active Designs
Queensland-class Heavy Cruiser
The Queensland is currently the oldest ship on active commission, although plans are being made to reactivate the Beijings and provide necessary refits. Built largely on the pattern of the Beijings, Queensland was laid down during the period of uncertainty between the discovery of Lambda Serpentis and first contact with the Hierarchy of Axanar. While the Confederation had no desire to go to war, the realization of another advanced race - particularly one two jumps from Epsilon Eridani and three jumps from Sol - prompted the TCN to leapfrog an intermediate size class and introduce the first heavy cruisers. In many respects, while Queensland is a capable design, she's also highly conservative, largely a scaled-up derivative of the Beijing destroyers the Queenslands replaced as the TCN's primary combat hull. Indeed, the class ship still used a "doubled" weapons fit of the older-style launchers and force beams aboard the destroyers because the improved types introduced on the Block II spec weren't available in time to be integrated into the final design, although she has since been refit and all hulls now feature external ordnance racks.

With the introduction of the Swiftsures, the Queensland has begun to fade from the role of the Navy's "big stick" to the solid core of generalists supporting the heavy missile ships. In combat, current tactical doctrine releases the Swiftsures to maneuver independently to maintain the range while the Queenslands meet the enemy head on thanks to their energy weapons. Refit proposals to reduce the class's force beam mounts have been shelved entirely in light of combat experience in Omicron Erdiani, although plans are being drawn up to upgrade the ships' automation support and refit with the improved armor composites recently introduced to significantly thicken their armor belt. Whether those plans can be implemented with the need for heavy ships at the front lines remains to be seen.

Carthage-class Light Cruiser
Designed as a lighter, cheaper counterpart to the Queensland and largely a scaled-down derivative, the Carthage class was intended to provide a meaningful amount of combat power without diluting the fleet's nodal forces of heavy units. Although the possibility of providing a single light cruiser squadron to cover each survey flotilla is still under review as the TCN is regaining its balance from the recent unpleasantness, the Carthages are often described as "frontier" cruisers. The class ship was modified on the ways to incorporate second-generation datalink and their build numbers were planned from the outset around the new three ship squadrons that technology made practical for cruisers.

In integrated fleet operations, the Carthages serve two roles. They're ideal to detach for defense of the fleet train. If operating in direct support of the heavy cruisers, Carthages are designated to deal with lighter enemies attempting to get into the rear of other units or supplement the Queensland cruisers in the "slugger" role.

Swiftsure-class Battle Cruiser
BC-01 Swiftsure is the new flagship of the Terran Confederation Navy, the banner-bearer of where the TCN expected technology to lead them. Built from the keel up with missile combat in mind, she has improved engines that make her 25% faster than the smaller cruisers and 20% more space dedicated to passive defenses. In addition, the Swiftsures mount the first active anti-missile technology introduced to meet the threat of the drive-field missile. Her missile broadside is significantly heavier than her smaller counterparts, new, larger sensor installations give her better awareness of the space around her, and her magazines are deep enough to allow a sustained engagement. Against a peer competitor, the Swiftsures should have been a powerful combatants, well able to hammer smaller ships at range - especially if supported by a well-handled cruiser force.

However, the enemy the Navy actually encountered into was well-equipped to blunt Swiftsure's capabilities with advanced, networked anti-missile defenses built on interception at extended range with counter-missiles. Powerful ECM and previously unknown drive-field manipulation techniques degrade targeting solutions, further weakening a missile ship's ability to engage. On top of that, Swiftsure was intended to stay at range and her point defenses should have blunted enemy fire, meaning that her shields and armor are thinner than they might have been otherwise. While untested in combat, observed performance suggests that TCN defense systems' capabilities against the heavy plasma weapons employed by the enemy are much more limited. Even so, the Swiftsures' heavy broadsides will make them a key part of the combat mix, supporting beam-armed units by (hopefully) throwing enough missiles at the enemy to saturate their defenses and still wear down shields and armor or pick off ships whose datalink connections have failed. Plans are already being made to thicken the ships' passive defenses in the hulls still on the ways but the first two ships of this class have already launched and are needed on the frontiers, so refitting them will be delayed.

Navy Reserve Fleet
Rana-class Corvette
The Ranas are ex-British Commonwealth designs that originated as an Anglo-Indian joint project. Although one Rana and a comparable Chinese design were pounded nearly to scrap by USSF hulls defending the nascent Hawking Yards, the basic design was retained in TCN service and two more hulls were laid down. Operating alongside the Beijings as they commissioned, the Ranas are light knife-fighters, swift and equipped to fight in close where they can slip around an opponent while the heavier destroyers maneuvered for advantage and held the enemy's attention with missile fire.

Because of their thin armor, limited shielding, and antiquated design and systems, refitting the Ranas was never seriously considered despite occasional studies in the Navy's Bureau of Shipbuilding. Despite this, they have a surprisingly large legacy. A Rana was the first ship to contact the Gilcullen Order and these ships served for a long time on customs patrol in Delta Pavonis. Their overall design and basic engineering was actually copied by the Gilcullen Order to create their Halloran, although those ships incorporate lighter GON energy mounts that provide them with the space and tonnage for the thicker passive defenses the Ranas lack. In the TCN, much of their role and basic doctrine has been transferred to a new frigate design codenamed "Gladiator", already earmarked for accelerated mass production.

Constellation-class Frigate
Originally built for the United States Space Force, the surviving Constellation-class frigate was the largest hull in Confederation service until Beijing was commissioned. Serving for some time as a training ship until enough destroyers and corvettes were commissioned to relieve the need for a dedicated space-side training platform and the Confederation Naval Academy had established additional facilities to service the requirements, TCS Constellation was placed into the inactive mothballs. Over the years, various studies have been done about refitting her, sometimes out of nostalgia as the first tour of duty by many of the TCN's starship commanders and the last command of the current CNO. On the basis of those studies and operational requirements laid down as the Navy consumes the lessons of recent events, Constellation is going to be scrapped and reclaimed instead, with all materials going to a new TCS Constellation that will serve as the class ship for a new type of missile-armed light combatant. Intended as picket ships and to provide a long-range component to the capabilities of the "Gladiator" design, a limited number of these Constellation II frigates will be built and attached to an upgraded Beijing acting as a squadron leader.

Beijing-class Destroyer
Originally categorized as cruisers when they were introduced, the Beijings were later redesignated as destroyers as the Queensland class began to commission. Over a third larger than the American Constellations that had previously been the heaviest warships built, the Beijings were built as multi-role combatants. While they were meant to be capable long-range missile ships, they weren't specialists and incorporated a force beam turret to increase their capabilities at close range. Although all eight hulls are in the mothballs, their reactivation has been authorized along with refits to incorporate second-generation datalink and improved armor as they're refurbished for service.

Looking forward, a further refit will be necessary to replace the ship's weapons. With newer, heavier cruisers filling the role of the fleet's line of battle, the Beijings will be fitted out as fast DDGs using the same improved engines from Swiftsure and newer missiles to fit an additional broadside tube. Their sensor systems will be replaced with the improved area sensors from Swiftsure, allowing the hulls to act as destroyer leaders and pickets alongside an advanced FFG type.
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Re: Turn 54 - Strategic Overview

Postby Moonsword on Sat 30 Jul 2016 08:19

Consensus of Axanar
EL 5, Total GSV 4,644.2, HI 10

Axanarian Physiology
Although entirely unrelated, Axanarii bear a strong resemblance to the advanced maniraptoran dinosaurs in the theropod family tree, cousins to Earth's birds. With sharp teeth and slender but well-muscled arms, they are most similar to the troodontids and possess three fingers on each hand as well as an opposable thumb. Across most of their bodies, Axanarii have a layer of soft, downy feathers and long feathers on their erect tails that once served as displays, although many modern Axanarii - especially spacefarers - prefer to trim their feathers back. Their custom in good weather is to wear an embroidered tunic and harness with tools, packs, and other materials.

Political and Historical Review
The past century or so has been a tumultuous one for the Axanarii. Not long after their discovery of drive-field technology, the Hierarchy was established by the military and economic predominance of one of their pre-space nations being parleyed into political power. Over the course of a decade, the traditional ruling caste of the nation of Ger managed to forcibly unite the rest of the planet into a bureaucratic, despotic system commanded for the benefit of the elite. At the apex of the cronyism, corruption, and violence was the ruling line of San, under whose son the whole system came crashing down in flames.

Axanar is at a crossroads, with a nascent democratic government establishing itself in place of a despotic regime under the command of a strong man named Xan the Tyrant (the title may lose something in translation, as it is one he claimed himself). Ultimately, Xan's judgment was occasionally lacking when it came to the bread and circuses department and considerable disquiet erupted under his rule. When the Hierarchy finally came unglued, a brief civil war and anarchy ensued as the bureaucracy tried desperately to keep the economy somewhat functional, the internal security forces cracked down, and the Navy - still wary and battered in the wake of the desperate battle against the "Slumbering Titan" - watched from orbit in horror. Naval forces secured the orbital habitats and fortifications, keeping space-side industry intact despite the chaos below while denying orbital bombardment to the combatants below, and actually opened a tentative trade relationship with the Terran Confederation that both kept the orbital habitats and economic infrastructure intact and has proved to be immensely valuable in stabilizing and rebuilding the Axanarii economy.

Approximately six months ago, a political settlement was reached and the Accords of Democracy were signed on the flag deck of Golden Palace, the Navy's flagship, and the Consensus of Axanar emerged from the ashes of the Hierarchy to act as the people's obedient stewards. The Consensus operates as a democracy driven by frequent plebiscites, although the Consensus has established some provision for communication delays imposed by the distances of space travel as it looks toward a proper survey for warp points and colonizing systems beyond Axanar. The establishment of the first permanent offworld settlement on Theryon is an important stepping stone. Relations between the Confederation and the Consensus are still settling into a permanent relationship, although lack of experience with the Confederation's sometimes raucous, free-wheeling traditions of public media and debate have the potential for concern. At the diplomatic level, both governments are firmly committed to building a permanent, profitable, and equitable peace. The Confederation recently brokered first contact between the Consensus and the Gilcullen Order in the Delta Pavonis system. While both races are able to communicate indirectly in Standard English, proper communications and translation expertise are still in very early days.

Notable Systems
Lambda Serpentis
Warp Points: Delta Pavonis
Inhabited Worlds: Axanar (T HI 1); 1 moons (1 mT)

The home system of the Axanarii and currently the second-richest star system in known space, Lambda Serpentis apparently has a long history in interstellar affairs. Home to a single habitable planet along with the curiosity of a marginally habitable moon, Serpentis also apparently played host to an outpost of another species in the past, approximately the same age as the Slumbering Titan left in the outer system. Until recently, the Hierarchy had never paid much attention to the possibile economic value of settling Theryon or any of the other system real estate, preferring to keep the population bottled up just where they could get at it. The Consensus, on the other hand, favors economic development and has embraced the opportunities represented by Theryon and is even considering, from Terran experiences, the potential value of settling barren environments to provide raw minerals to the industrial infrastructure of Axanar. The discovery of a cache of advanced weapons on the moon of Ryagan, orbiting the next gas giant out from Theyron's parent Relafar, has only deepened the enigmas of Lambda Serpentis's ancient history.

Axanarian Consensus Navy
The Navy is one of the institutions that has been the least transformed by the political changes shaking Axanarian society. Aside from rare, isolated incidents, the Navy was largely detached from planetary affairs and domestic politics, leaving its reputation largely unsullied. This was especially true after the Navy's current Commanding Admiral, Van, refused to take sides in the late unpleasantness, countermanding orders from his estranged cousin to engage in orbital bombardment and enforcing his decision even against the static fortifications. Combined with his successful engagement against the "Slumbering Titan", an ancient alien robotic warship that had lain quiescent in the outer system for centuries, Van's reputation catapulted him to the top of the list for officers to command the Navy.

Active Hulls
Flame of the Nation-class Frigate
Derived directly from the predecessor National Will frigate lineage, the Flames have increasingly been recognized as a transitional design that lacks considerable refinement. Losing their largely unused shuttle bays and second force beam, the Flames incorporated a pair of the newly developed plasma guns in their stead along with improvements in automation and crew support technologies. The final addition was the support infrastructure necessary to mount a "plasma canister" - an externally-carried plasma torpedo, equivalent to the rack-launched missiles of the TCN - combined with the first deployment of datalink technology in the Hierarchy Navy.

While the Flames are fast and - if they survive to point-blank range - potentially capable of wreaking havoc on an opponent, the limitations of the design became rapidly apparent in action against the Titan's sophisticated defenses. In the event, no Flame was able to land a plasma gun shot against the robotic warship and their force beams were only marginally capable because of the damage they absorbed from long-range missile fire. However, the ships did successfully force the drone warship to maneuver and presented a threat it had to honor, buying time for the cruiser force to close and engage in decisive action, at the cost of five hulls destroyed outright and a sixth scuttled as too damaged to be worth the cost of building a tug to maneuver her back to the yards. Six more Flame of the Nation-class frigates remain in service, their fate uncertain as the ACN debates how to refit them. Based on both the engaement with the Slumbering Titan and high-level information shared with the Consensus Navy about the Confederation's battle in Omicron Eridani and the ambush of its surveyors in the Sargasso, opinion is hardening in favor of a refit to restore her second force beam and potentially some of the advanced electronic warfare systems promised "any year now".

Glory-class Light Cruiser
Unlike the refit National Will-class frigates, refit from an older light combatant after the Hierachy took over, the Glories were the first new-build class under the government and replaced both of the pre-Hierarchy destroyers still in serivce. Originally named Glorious Leader, these light cruisers are by and large the archetypal Axanarian warship - fast, moderate but respectable defenses, and a potent force beam armament. Although some new technologies were refit into the older National Wills along with newly constructed Flame of the Nation hulls, the basic Glorious Leader design never underwent a fundamental refit before the battle with the Titan. What emerged from the yard after the battle and the rise of the Consensus preserved the ship's quartet of force beam turrets but found the space to incorporate the advanced counter-missile point defense system introduced as a counter to the Titan's long-range heavy missile armament. Newly developed armor compounds capable of standing up to post-drive-field weapons were added at the cost of some of her shields, rounding out the ship's defenses. 75% faster than a Confederation Carthage or Queensland, these fast, aggressive light cruisers may no longer be the ACN's premier line-of-battle unit with the introduction of larger hulls but are never to be discounted.

Panopticon-class Sensor Picket
Not considered warships by the ACN, instead designated as "sensor pickets", the three Panopticons are derivatives of the National Will hull form, using the same basic design, propulsion fit, and systems but completely unarmed. In place of her force beams, the Hierarchy Navy fitted one of their new, highly sensitive long-range sensors, what the Confederation refers to as a "capital strategic" sensor. Unlike the TCN, which traditionally relies on planetary sensor installations for its long-range monitoring, Hierarchy Navy doctrine (continued under the Consensus Navy) incorporates a sensor picket into major detachments to provide extended surveillance coverage to squadrons.

Golden Palace-class Command Cruiser
A derivative of the Glorious Leader hull, ACS Golden Palace trades half of her sisters' force beams for a command deck and enhanced tactical coordination and command and control systems. Although she was repaired and returned to service after the Titan battle, she is no longer the flagship of the Consensus fleet with the commissioning of ACS Thunder of Democracy. Not yet refit to the technological standards of the Glories, some proponents favor refitting Golden Palace into a standard Glory hull but current planning is leaning toward bringing her systems up to par and retaining the ship as a light command hull for detached forces and a backup in case some untoward fate should befall Thunder.

Pinnacle-class Heavy Cruiser
A third larger than the Glorious Leaders, the Pinnacle of Wonder-class cruisers are heavy brawlers, slower and significantly better armed than their counterparts. The most notable improvement was the ship's additional pair of force beams, bringing it up to three double mounts, although the support equipment was dispersed to prevent easy mission kills. As the largest ships in service at the time of the Titan's attack, the Pinnacles carried the weight of the fighting once they managed to close into range and their heavy force beam batteries gutted the drone warship. Although damaged in the wake of the battle, both hulls were repaired and later upgraded to incorporate anti-nuclear hull armor, datalink systems, and a counter-missile installation along with their new, less "Hierarchy-esque" names. They form the heart of the Axanar Consensus Navy's heavy striking power as Battle Squadron One alongside the Thunder.

Thunder of Democracy-class Command Battle Cruiser
Built in a simlar fashion to the Pinnacles, the Thunder of Democracy remains the only new warship built in the wake of the fighting with the Slumbering Titan. Although built too quickly to incorporate the first fruits of the post-engagement defensive upgrades, Thunder does have a slightly heavier force beam installation along with a brand new command deck. Fully equal to Golden Palace's facilities, the CIC marked her as the fleet's new flagship, although her armament is slated for a downgrade in the near future to mount improved defenses, although the full extent of the refitting will depend on the availability of the capital force beams modeled on the cache discovered on the moon of Ryagan during re-surveys.
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Re: Turn 54 - Strategic Overview

Postby Moonsword on Fri 09 Sep 2016 06:05

Given the time and my other commitments, I probably won't write up the Gilcullen Order and the Terrans' mysterious new adversaries but more information will be forthcoming. I've managed to get the campaign itself moving again, going into Turn 57, and while nothing exciting has happened militarily, the Gilcullen did accept an amalgamation offer.

In the meantime, the TCN isn't going to press the offense against a technologically superior and largely unknown opponent until they've got more of their new construction out of the yards and drilled. As for why that opponent isn't pushing, well... I've got one story idea in mind that should lay out their opinions and perceived strategic options much more clearly.
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