Technology of the Star Fleet Universe

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Nerroth, Apr 12, 2022.

  1. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    Of the numerous differences to be found between the Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander rulesets, one which I find to be in the latter's favour is that most empires' ships are required to pay double to fly backwards. So the concept of retrograding is not an overly practical one in FC.

    The Andromedans in FC are an exception, but only to stop them from flying backwards so as to burn off excess energy at twice the typical rate.

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    While not breaching pods per se, there is an Omega empire which has shuttle-sized attrition units that can latch themselves into the hulls of enemy units of Size Class 4 or larger, or can land onto the surface of an inhabited planet or moon.

    I would not recommend being anywhere near one when that happens...
     
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  2. publiusr

    publiusr Admiral Admiral

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    Neutronium and very good inertial dampeners would be all I could come up with. In real life…I seem to remember reading that a craft that would pass near a black hole…would not feel the centripetal force of the crew slung to to outer bulkhead…but would still be jammed along the “wall” facing the black hole…then too, I thought you had to be beneath the event horizon for only one directionality (downwards/inwards) to be permitted…

    But if Beyond’s -A incorporated Krall’s hull materials…the game breaker went the other way. They seemed to have trouble with Yorktown…and didn’t even try to hit the “bubble,” which could be a true deflector shield or puppeteer materials:)
     
  3. mithril

    mithril Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    given the time scale of SFB games, boarding wouldn't really be all the viable anyway. the fight to secure a ship is going to take multiple minutes even if unopposed, and against opposition it is likely to take hours. battles in SFB take place at FTL speeds with turns measured in seconds. by the time your boarding parties managed to get aboard the enemy ship, said enemy ship probably would have vaporized your home ship already.
     
  4. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    To quote myself from earlier in this thread:

    While there are certain SFU empires that lean quite heavily into the use of their Marine complements - several of which have been mentioned in this thread thus far - most of the others still field a number of "mission variant" commando ships. Although some of those types are better suited to launching boarding actions in open space, whereas others are better equipped to deploy their embarked Marine forces to the surface of a contested planet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  5. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    Ten years after it first arrived in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud during Operation Unity, the advanced Galactic Survey Cruiser NCC-1821 USS Sakharov set out along a recently-uncovered Andromedan Rapid Transit Network route, one set apart from the three which had ran over to the Alpha Octant.

    In Y219, when the Sakharov returned to Federation space, it brought back with it a wealth of information regarding the Omega Octant:

    [​IMG]

    Not least of which being data on how that region of the galaxy had faced a full-scale Andromedan invasion of its own...

    -----

    As a reminder, the Star Fleet Universe divides the Milky Way Galaxy into twenty-four sectors, set into five groupings divided by near-impassable Voids.

    One of these Voids divides ISC space from the nearest edge of the Omega Octant hex map.

    While there is quite a lot to be said about Omega as a unique and dynamic setting within the broader Star Fleet Universe, there are three terrain features of particular note from an Andromedan perspective:

    One is the Ryn Nebula, a four-hex "province" located close to the centre of the Omega hex map, which is surrounded by a "hollow" nebular wall. The wall itself is "standard" nebular terrain, as opposed to the hazardous radiation shell surrounding the WYN Cluster back in the Alpha Octant. Unlike their WYN counterparts, the star systems inside the wall are resource-poor, lacking certain key strategic resources such as dilithium.

    Another is the Iridani Cluster, an extra-galactic grouping of stars shown in abstract at the bottom-right of the Omega hex map. Positioned far from the edge of the Galactic Rim, the Cluster appears to be suitably located for the Andromedans to construct a fourth Desecrator starbase, were they in a position to occupy it.

    Meanwhile, the great Void to the "west" of the map is not somewhere the Andromedans can go themselves. However, it does contain the Black Sun: a star which somehow draws energy from an alternate dark matter dimension. This made it a prime beach-head into "our" universe for a dark energy species called the Souldra.

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    As has been the case in the Alpha Octant, the Andromedans spent decades establishing a Rapid Transit Network across the Omega Octant. It's not yet clear how many RTN routes were placed between Omega and the LMC - or, for that matter, from which direction the Andromedans would later move against the Iridani Cluster.

    During the Y180s, the Andromedans made two large-scale attempts to take the Ryn Nebula, but were fought off both times by is tiger-like inhabitants. Remarkably, when they made their third push in Y188, the locals had vanished in their entirety, leaving the nebula free for the invaders to move in unopposed.

    When the Andromedan invasion of Omega fully broke out in Y192, that same year saw the Souldra launch their own full-scale campaign of conquest. While the Andromedans and Souldra were by no means allied - indeed, they fought against one another on multiple occasions - both sides were able to benefit from the pressure the other was placing on the local Omega empires. Even when the Souldra onslaught dramatically collapsed in Y198, the damage they had done to that point only served to aid the Andromedans' continuing efforts.

    Meanwhile, by the time the invaders reached the Iridani Cluster in Y193, they found that not only was the majority of the Iridani fleet engaged in Quests across the Omega Octant; they had left their home space dangerously undefended. However, they had not reckoned on the resolve of the otter-like Iridani Questors to liberate their home worlds, which they did during the Grand Quest of Y195-Y197. Alas, while the Iridani learned of the existence of the RTN during this campaign of liberation, their subsequent Crusade Quests sent to fight the Andromedans over in Omega were unable to pass on this crucial information.

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    By Y202, the Andromedans were on the very cusp of total victory in the Omega Octant. Fortunately, the success of Operation Unity - which none of the Omega knew was happening at that time - threw the invaders into disarray. As their remaining forces fled to the Ryn Nebula to regroup, the Iridani were finally able to make their knowledge of the RTN known to the surviving Omega empires.

    While two prior attempts at dislodging the Andromedans from the Ryn Nebula had utterly failed, a broader grouping of Omega fleets was assembled for Operation Concerted Strike, which was launched across the Nebular wall in Y204. At great cost, this campaign succeeded in defeating the Andromedan holdouts, thus bringing their war in Omega to a dramatic end.

    So that makes three known theatres of conflict in which the Andromedan War took place: the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, the Alpha Octant, and the Omega Octant. It remains to be seen whether or not the war extended to one or more of the other inhabited regions of the Milky Way: the Sigma Octant, the Sargasso Storm Zone, and the Xorkaelian Tyranny.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
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  6. publiusr

    publiusr Admiral Admiral

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  7. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    Souldra "technology" - if indeed it can be referred to as such - is certainly a topic worth addressing in more detail. However, much as it took time to get around to the Andromedans - or rather, to build out an understanding of the Alpha Octant systems and technologies before being in a position to cover how the Andromedans in many ways subvert them - it might be a while before enough of the Omega Octant setting is built up before the Souldra onslaught can attempt to tear it down.

    And before launching into Omega in earnest, it might be worth turning the spotlight back to the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, in order to cover that island galaxy in more detail.

    -----

    The LMC as a functional Star Fleet Universe setting was presented for Star Fleet Battles in Module C5, and previewed in an LMC-themed playtest pack for Federation Commander.

    In order to understand the technology - and history - of the Cloud, it is worth taking a look at a map of this island galaxy.

    The Core region of the LMC is marked as "MAG" on the map (for "Maghadim", an arthropod species which rose to prominence in the Core region). Each map hex in the Core region is densely packed with star systems and usable resources, when compared with the "average" hex on the Alpha or Omega maps. The region itself is surrounded by a deadly radiation shell, akin to that surrounding the WYN Cluster back in the Alpha Octant. Indeed, for much of Magellanic history, those on the inside of the shell had no knowledge of the universe beyond it, and vice versa.

    Surrounding the Core is a ring of "open" space with "average" stellar densities. On the eve of the Andromedan conquest, this region was primarily controlled by the quadruped Baduvai and lemur-like Eneen species. The province marked as "U" was controlled by the squid-like Uthiki; "NW" marked the Neutral Worlds, a territory which was disputed by the Baduvai, Eneen, and/or Maghadim at various points in time; while "J" marks the location of Jumok, the home world of the reptilian Jumokian species whom the Eneen usurped in their earlier rise to power. "Y" denotes the Yrol Nebula, a terrain feature whose natives have yet to be fully detailed in SFB or FC terms.

    The "hollow" hexes beyond this area represents the Fringe worlds - an area with relatively low stellar densities per map hex. The Fringe is a difficult place to build an empire, but a more useful place to go into hiding - or to wander across, in the case of the two-to-three Jindarian Caravans preset in the Cloud.

    Beyond the Fringe lies the Chomak Cluster, which (like the Yrol Nebula) remains to be more fully detailed in print at this time of typing.

    In terms of which way around this map should be read from a Milky Way perspective, it appears that the "southern" edge of the map is more or less facing towards our galaxy, while the Andromedans seemingly arrived somewhere near the "north-west" corner, perhaps close to the Neutral Worlds.

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    Each of the Module C5 factions deserves its own post. But there are a number of technological and logistical factors which are common to them all.

    Defensively, the Magellanic fleets use a unique multi-layer shield system.

    The "outer" shields have six facings, as well as a "Volley Reduction Factor" which reduces the amount of damage they take from incoming weapons fire. ("Shield-cracking" weapons ignore this VRF, making them proportionally more useful against LMC warships.)

    "Inner" shields are hemispheric in nature, but lack the VRF. (Certain smaller LMC units have inner shields only.)

    Note that a Magellanic ship has to drop both the facing inner and outer shield in order to use their transporters, which affects the other two facings covered by the dropped inner shield in question.

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    Offensively, the LMC uses warp-tuned lasers, which despite the name are "warp-class" phaser-equivalent weapons. They come in several sizes:

    light lasers (equivalent to a phaser-3),
    early lasers (akin to a phaser-2),
    medium lasers (the LMC answer to a phaser-1),
    and heavy lasers (which, like phaser-4s, are restricted to bases).

    It's possible to create a twin laser mount by installing two light lasers into the same size mount as an early or medium laser, though the result is much less powerful than the Hydrans' gatling phasers.

    Unlike phasers, warp-tuned lasers cannot be down-fired. They do not have "built-in" capacitors, rather relying on capacitance banks (marked as discrete BANK boxes on each LMC SSD). Also, they are weaker than phasers when firing at plasma torpedoes.

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    Unlike the 360-degree sensor and scanner suites which Alpha Octant ships use, Magellanic ships have overlapping FX and RX sensor-scanner tracks.

    There are relatively few cruisers in the LMC fleets by Galactic standards; the backbone of even the largest Magellanic navies are Size Class 4 warships.

    Crucially, the warp engines of LMC warships are no faster in terms of operational speeds than Andromedan ships are when the latter are operating off the RTN. While the invaders certainly made use of the network in their conquest of the Cloud, this made it more viable for them to go over the two-DisDev-ship limit against Magellanic opponents, as opposed to what they could get away with in Alpha or Omega.

    It's known that the LMC-Jindarians (who use the same phasers and single-layer shields as in the Milky Way) deployed first-generation X-ships after Operation Unity, it's not yet known if there is an equivalent of Alpha (or Omega) X-technology for the surviving Module C5 factions in the post-Unity era.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
  8. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    The Baduvai Imperium was mainly comprised of a species of large (1200kg) quadrupeds. The Baduvai species is unorthodox by Milky Way standards. With no head, an individual Baduvai's brain is encased in a hump of bone in the middle of their back. The "native" Baduvai atmospheric density is approximately, three times that of Earth; while they have an innate echolocation ability in their home environment, they are profoundly hard of hearing in a "standard" atmosphere without technological assistance.

    Critically, the Baduvai drive into space is predicated on the fate of their home star, which is set to expand into a red giant in the next 20,000 years. Which might seem like a long time to pack up one's civilization, but the Baduvai as a society favour a long-term approach to such planning efforts.

    Prior to the Andromedan invasion, the Baduvai stood as one of the three Magellanic Powers. Since their Imperium was in the ring of "open" space surrounding the Core, they found themselves alternating between hot and cold wars with the Eneen on the one hand, or allying with the Eneen to keep the Maghadim from turning the Neutral Worlds into a beach-head for further expansion out of the LMC's Core region.

    When "home" Baduvai space fell to the Andromedans, some of the survivors fled to the Fringe region, while others escaped to colony worlds granted to then by the Maghadim inside the Core region. When the Core itself was conquered a few decade later, those who managed to escape the Core in turn made a run for the Fringe worlds.

    A number of Baduvai holdouts in the Fringe survived long enough to make First Contact with the Operation Unity task forces. in the post-Unity era, the Baduvai sought to liberate their home space, though exactly which of their worlds would serve as their new captial has yet to be deciphered from the U.S. Air Force data tapes.

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    In terms of weapons, the Baduvai developed the charged particle accelerator, which has one, two, or three chambers installed at a time. (In practice, almost all CPA mounts have either two or three chambers, and are referred to as CPA-2s and CPA-3s respectively.) CPAs require a steady supply of warp power to arm a warhead, to build it up from one level to the next, or to keep it on rolling delay. These warp power demands led the Baduvai to develop AWR refits for their "wartime construction" hulls, in order to keep their battle speeds up with those their "peacetime construction" ships could manage.

    The Baduvai also developed the mass driver, which is somewhat like a weak direct-fire drone. Mass drivers have a "terminal approach hex" in which they slow to make last-minute course corrections, which allows the target ship to try and prevent them from impacting and scoring damage. Class-I and Class-II mass driver launchers have a standard range of ten hexes, but can fire out to Range 15 if they accept a subsequent "cool-down" turn. Class-III launchers have a range of 35 hexes, and are most commonly seen on bombardment variants. Samples of mass driver technology would be captured and reverse-engineered by the Maghadim Hives, as well as by those Jumokian pirate cells operating in Baduvai space.

    In terms of attrition units, the Baduvai are too large to fly a fighter, so developed Interceptors and fast patrol ships instead. However, these gunboats were weak by Alpha Octant standards, as they lacked warp booster packs and (due to using Magellanic "inner shielding" only) could not reinforce their shields. It's as yet unknown whether the Baduvai adopted WBPs for their INTs and/or PFs in the post-Unity era.

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    This is an unpainted 3125 scale Baduvai Strike Cruiser miniature from Shapeways, in Smooth Fine Detail Plastic:

    [​IMG]

    This is the largest class of ship the Baduvai were able to build historically In Alpha Octant terms, it,s more or less comparable to a Federation Gettysburg-class heavy command cruiser.

    It's armed with a suite of medium and light warp-tuned lasers as its phaser-equivalent weapons. It also has two CPA-2s and a CPA-3, s well as a set of four Class-1 mass drivers (upgraded later on to Class-IIs).

    Once the Baduvai deployed Interceptors and PFs, they upgraded the number of tractor beams on the CS from four to six, wile adding the mech-llinks need to deploy a full gunboat flotilla.
     
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  9. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    The Eneen are a lemur-like species native to a world with a high level of radiation. On the one hand, an individual Eneen has an average lifespan of about 600 years, while female Eneen have the ability to reproduce parthogenetically (as in, birthing a genetically-identical daughter). On the other hand, Eneen conceived via male-female pairings have about a one in ten chance of developing non-viable genetic mutations. This leads to a ruthless approach to eugenics, as well as laws aimed at preventing a loss of genetic diversity - particularly on new colony worlds on which the Eneen see this policy as supporting their colonists' adaptation to the world in question.

    The Eneen were still at a pre-warp technology level when First Contact took place with the reptilian Jumokian species. The Eneen were one of several species recruited into the Jumokian League, where their high degree of radiation tolerance was seen as a benefit. However, the Eneen eventually revolted and seized control of their immediate area of space, pitting them against the Jumokians in a struggle for regional dominance. (No doubt the Vulcans might see this turn of events as evidence in favour of maintaining the Prime Directive...)

    When the Eneen won this struggle and seized control of the Jumokian home world, driving those Jumokian ships still at large into exile in the Fringe region, they turned their attention towards the Baduvai. However, their march across Baduvai space was dramatically reversed at the seminal Battle of H'Gar; by the war's end, the "southern" Eneen-Baduvai border remained more or less locked in place through to the first wave of Andromedan conquest. By contrast, the "northern" border region would remain more volatile, not least when the Maghadim burst out of the Core region in two full-scale attempts to seize the strategically-important Neutral Worlds.

    As was the case with the Baduvai, the Andromedans drove the Eneen survivors into exile. In the wake of Operation Unity, the Eneen sought to liberate their home world, as well as to assert their "Protectorates" over their former subject species - or, at least, what remained of them after decades of Andromedan occupation.

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    To a greater extent than the Baduvai, the story of Eneen starship design was shaped by the transition from Early Years to "modern" warp technology.

    In the Y-era, the Eneen had denser and more powerful fleets compared to those of the Jumokians and Baduvai - not least since the Eneen were the first to develop a Size Class 3 ship (in the form of the early light cruiser). However, the Eneen learned to their chagrin that their "old fleet" could not be upgraded to "modern" warp standards. The best they could manage is to do what the Alpha Octant empires did with their "National Guard" ships: to upgrade their weapons and electronic systems to "modern" standards, but retaining the Y-era warp engines.

    During their "Middle Years" era, the Eneen developed a capable heavy cruiser design, as well as an experimental battle destroyer which could fight at "modern" warp speeds, but which was structurally incapable of adapting the "side-firing" weapon doctrine the Eneen had adapted in response to the onset of the Baduvai charged particle accelerator. It was not until the onset of "wartime production" classes, such as the new light cruiser and war destroyer, before the "modern" Eneen fleet truly came into its own.

    Early Years ships had light and early lasers, as well as a direct-fire heavy weapon called the neutron gun. In the "modern" era, the early lasers were replaced with medium lasers. The neutron gun was supplanted by the variable-focus neutron beam, which can be fired in "narrow aperture" with a "hit-or-miss" weapons chart, or in "wide aperture" with a more warp-tuned laser-like spread of damage on its weapons chart. The Eneen also developed the type-E plasma torpedo, which is just weak enough to prevent the Eneen from switching to a seeking plasma doctrine, yet just strong enough to deter pursuit.

    A key feature of Eneen ships is the use of high-powered reactors, which replace "standard" auxiliary power reactors. These can be "run hot" akin to Orion engine doubling - but if a "doubled" HPR box is hit, the other boxes in that row are taken out along with it.

    Unlike the Baduvai, the Eneen did not bother to develop Interceptors or fast patrol ships. Instead, they adopted a "casual" carrier doctrine, by which one or more of their ships' admin shuttles would be swapped out for plasma attack shuttles. The Eneen never went as far as to field "true" carriers or escorts, however.

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    This is an unpainted 3125 scale Eneen Heavy Cruiser miniature from Shapeways, in Smooth Fine Detail Plastic:

    [​IMG]

    This ship is armed with four neutron beams, in "off-set" pairs on the front-left and front-right corners of the hull. Since these weapons are expensive to arm and require a "cool-down" turn after firing, an Eneen captain might consider firing one pair on a given turn, and then maneuvering to fire the other pair on the next turn.

    It also has two aft-facing plasma-E launchers, which are themselves somewhat "off-set" in terms of tracking arcs. Since Plasma-Es only require two turns to arm (as opposed to the three turns needed for most types of Alpha Octant plasma warheads), one could plan to follow-up each "oblique" laser and neutron beam strike with a plasma launch aimed at complicating pursuit once the ship turns away again.

    These were the largest units in the Eneen Protectorates Navy, serving as fleet flagships. Notably, they have all-Eneen crews (and Marine squads); the Eneen do not recruit their subject species into the Eneen Protectorates Armed Forces, vowing not to make the same mistake that the Jumokians had once made with them...
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2023
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  10. publiusr

    publiusr Admiral Admiral

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  11. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    It's true that the Eneen ship (which I presume to be the heavy cruiser) on the cover of Star Fleet Battles Module C5 (as shown back in this post) had more of a "flying ziggurat" look to its "carapace" hull section, compared to the Shapeways incarnation of the CA.

    Although, in terms of appearance, the main thing distinguishing the "old fleet" Eneen ships from their "modern" counterparts would be the pylons on either side of the older hulls, which (among other things) house those ships' impulse engines. The newer ships, by contrast, integrate their impulse engines into the back of their "carapace" hull sections.

    I should also mention that most Eneen ships are designed to separate their "boom" sections (where the warp engines are installed) in case of emergencies. This is a key reason why one-boom Eneen ships (such as the old CL) place their bridge boxes on the front of the boom, and why two-boom ships (such as the CA) place their bridge boxes in the port boom and their auxiliary control boxes in the starboard boom.
     
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  12. publiusr

    publiusr Admiral Admiral

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  13. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    There are rules for atomic missiles in the Early Years portion of the Star Fleet Battles ruleset, though even these move much faster than the true "sub-light" missiles of the non-tactical warp era.

    Or to put it another way: there are a number of SSDs which show "S-era" hulls, which are NTW hulls that have the ability to track (and target) ships moving at Tactical Warp speeds, as well as upgraded atomic missiles capable of moving at two SFB hexes per turn (which technically makes them "warp-class" weapons, albeit very slow ones).

    Although if I recall correctly, the Paravians are a partial exception in that they possibly never used atomic missiles; they seemingly went from "sub-light" quantum blasters (which have yet to be presented in rules form) to the direct-fire quantum cannon, before later ditching that weapon in favour of the "warp-seeking" quantum wave torpedo.

    The prior "Q-era" of ships and weapons - to include the original "sub-light" atomic missiles - has yet to be formally published, though whichever game system one might use for battles of the NTW era would likely have to be significantly "zoomed-in" compared to the scales used for Tactical Warp starship combat.
     
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  14. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In TOS we also see Earth at that time a bit ahead in space technology with orbital nuclear weapons so an F-104 in TOS could've had nuclear missiles.

    SFB's rules don't work too well in the context of simulating sublight combat though. The scale is too fast.
     
  15. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

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    The Maghadim are ten-limbed insectoids native to the Core region of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud. Their posture is akin to that of a mythical Terran centaur; the "front" four limbs are "arms" (more or less); the "back" four are "legs", while the middle pair can serve as either "arms" or "legs" as the situation warrants. As with the Seltorians of the M81 Galaxy, the Maghadim have numerous castes; the elephant-sized Hive Queens, the pony-sized Brain Drones (akin to Seltorian Sages), the wolfhound-sized Warriors, and Workers of various shapes and sizes.

    For most of Maghadim history, they had no knowledge of the broader universe outside of the Core region. Alas, unlike the Seltorians, the Maghadim seem unwilling or unable to maintain effective population control measures. Thus, after crushing at least one rival species in their initial rise to dominance, they would frequently hit the limits of the radiation shell and fall into near-genocidal civil wars. This "boom and bust" cycle would be broken only with the unexpected arrival of a Baduvai squadron during the Northern War; the Baduvai ships were searching for a means of outflanking the northern Eneen fleet.

    After a few haphazard crossings of the Core radiation shell, the Maghadim settled upon the Neutral Worlds - the "north-west" provinces on the LMC hex map - as the best place to attempt a breakout into "open" space. Thus, under the leadership of the Brain Drone Kk'chor, the Maghadim launched the First Neutral Worlds War, seizing the key world Sleern and daring the Baduvai and Eneen to try and take it back again. Alas, this new-found sense of Maghadim unity proved fragile; once they were driven out of the Neutral Worlds and back across the radiation shell, Kk'chor was assassinated and the Maghadim once more fell back into civil war.

    In the "modern" era, there were three main Maghadim factions prior to the Andromedan conquest; Northern, Western, and Eastern. The Interior War saw Baduvai and Eneen mercenaries enter the Core region, though neither force welcomed the prospect of being trapped behind the radiation shell. Over a decade after this war died down, the Maghadim launched the Second Neutral Worlds War, once again seizing Sleern... and once again being driven back into the Core.

    By the time a third push into the Neutral Worlds would be launched, however, the Andromedan invasion would change the situation in its entirety. Not only did the Baduvai and Eneen agree to turn over the Neutral Worlds in exchange for an anti-Andromedan alliance, the Maghadim agreed to host repair facilities from the other two Magellanic Powers - which became governments-in-exile when the Baduvai and Eneen home worlds fell to the new invaders. Meanwhile, the Maghadim forces in the Neutral Worlds had to abandon Sleern and flee to exile in the Fringe region.

    The Core itself would be cracked in Y183, in a dramatic event featuring the use of two Andromedan Dominators. Those few Maghadim forces which managed to escape joined their counterparts amidst the Fringe worlds; their prospects would not improve until the arrival of Operation Unity.

    -----

    Much of Maghadim technology developed in parallel to those of the "outer" Magellanic Powers. They use the same multi-layer shields, the same "split" sensor/scanner arcs, and the same warp-tuned lasers.

    In other ways, however, Maghadim design evolution followed a different course. In terms of support units, their freighters and bases were larger than the Baduvai or Eneen average; indeed, the Maghadim built three starbases, each of which serving as the "capitals" of their respective faction.

    Maghadim ships use incremental construction techniques. They build small and large primary hulls, as well as small and large secondary hulls. A small primary hull plus a small secondary hull equals a Maghadim frigate; a large primary hull plus a large secondary hull equals a Maghadim destroyer. (It appears that a small primary hull cannot be attached to a large secondary hull, or vice versa.)

    When the Maghadim learned of the existence of Baduvai and Eneen cruisers, they designed a series of "collars" which could be installed between a given ship's primary and secondary hulls. The small collar, designed with the First Neutral Worlds War in mind, could turn a frigate into a heavy destroyer, or a destroyer into a (medium) cruiser. A few decades later, the large collar could turn a frigate into a light cruiser, or a destroyer into a battlecruiser.

    In terms of weapons, the Maghadim developed the direct-fire tachyon beam, which when it fully hits scores damage on both the facing shield and the one on the opposite side. For example, a full hit on shield #1 also hits shield #4. A partial hit scores damage on the facing shield only. Tachyon beams have a "fire/fire/cool" arming cycle; they can also be overloaded. Since most "collared" Maghadim ships have three tachyon beams, it's an option to stagger one's use of them so that at least two of them can be fired in a given turn (A and B, then A and C, then B and C, etc.)

    The Maghadim also acquired samples of Baduvai mass driver technology, using it extensively - not least when developing their first attack shuttles. The Maghadim were the only Magellanic Power to adopt a "true" carrier doctrine, but this is limited by Alpha Octant standards. For one thing, they can deploy no more than a single carrier at a time, which can have one, two, or three squadrons of eight size-1 fighters aboard. For another thing, their carrier escorts were unable to adopt any form of Aegis fire control, as this system is incompatible with Magellanic sensor/scanner technology. Maghadim fighters have a dogfight rating of zero, as they were designed to fight the Andromedans, not other fighters. Still, a full set of 24 attack shuttles makes for a lot of mass driver missiles one can place on the tabletop...

    Notably, Maghadim collars have laser option mounts, which allow for a certain degree of flexibility in terms of which "outer" faction they are expected to fight. Ships facing the Baduvai tend to use twin lasers in those mounts, to help deal with inbound mass driver fire; against the Eneen, medium lasers are more common.
     
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  16. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The Uthiki Harmony was comprised of a species of floating squid-like invertebrates, which emerged in the ammonia/water layer of a Class-A (Jupiter-type) gas giant. Aboard their own starships, the Uthiki would keep the gravity down to less than .02Gs; their Marines used anti-grav lift belts when operating in "standard" gravity levels. (Even so, there is an in-game penalty for Uthiki boarding parties aboard most other empires' ships, and vice versa.) The Uthiki communicated with one another primarily through VHF band radio waves, along with rapid changes of colour on parts of their epidermis. Records are unclear as to how Uthiki history unfolded prior to contact with the Baduvai, but it appears that they had been focused on a "Project" involving eugenics-based experiments aimed at climbing the ladder of civilization.

    The Uthiki home province (marked as "U" on the LMC hex map) was close to the three-hex Yrol Nebula, on the path between Baduvai home space and the Neutral Worlds. Initially, First Contact between the Uthiki and the Baduvai did not go well, which hindered the Imperium's northward expansion for some time. Eventually, however, a degree of communication was established, at which point both sides realized that respective efforts at colonization could readily overlap. For example, the contested Neutral World of Sleern was in fact a class-M moon of a class-A gas giant; while the moon itself was contested between the Baduvai, Eneen, and Maghadim at different points in time, the gas giant hosted Uthiki outposts. (Perhaps the closest point of comparison back in the Alpha Octant is between the Hydrans and the various oxy-nitrogen-breathing species in their area of space.)

    Eventually, the Uthiki Harmony became an autonomous part of the Baduvai Imperium; the Baduvai provided a war cruiser hull which the Uthiki adapted for use as their flagship (as the Uthiki had no Size Class 3 ships of their own design), while a number of Uthiki warships would be dispatched to serve in joint patrols across more far-flung corers of Baduvai space.

    Alas, for reasons which might never be adequately explained, the Andromedans singled the Uthiki out for extermination. Every conquered Uthiki world, to include the home world Uth itself, was subjected to relentless bombardments, while the invaders made a point of chasing down every last Uthiki warship they could find. Only two isolated Uthiki colonies survived to be discovered after Operation Unity; both had lost most of their technological base, yet neither was of any mind to re-gain it.

    -----

    Uthiki-built ships used much of the same baseline technology as other Module C5 empires, though they tended to lean heavily on twin laser mounts. That said, they had a number of unique technologies which set them apart from their erstwhile counterparts.

    The boson drill was a direct-fire heavy weapon with two components: the "drill" element (which operated somewhat akin to a Seltorian or M81 Pirate shield cracker) and the "bit" element (a piece of "ammunition" requiring warp power to arm). Against ships with two shield layers, the "drill" would strike the facing outer shield (ignoring the Volley Reduction Factor) while the "bit" would strike the facing inner shield. Against ships with only one layer of shields (such as "metal-hull" Jindarian ships), the "drill" would hit the facing shield while the "bit" would score internals. Alas, against Andromedan power-absorber panels, the "drill" had no impact at all (unlike shield crackers, which at least are absorbed by the facing panel even if they cannot score internals) while the "bit" impacted the facing panel. So there was no point arming this weapon against Andromedan opposition, basically.

    The positron lancet was another direct-fire heavy weapon with a four-point capacitor. It had both a standard load and an overload function. It also had two different firing modes: "standard" mode was combined with other direct-fire weapons in the same volley as normal, while each "lancet" mode shot was rolled as a separate volley, using a distinct damage procedure - but only against a downed shield or a de-activated PA panel bank. "Lancet" mode also halved the amount of damage scored, but at least all of that damage was scored as panel degradation against active PA panels.

    The Uthiki also had a unique Target Acquisition Gear system, which improved the accuracy of any warp-tuned laser fired from the marking ship at a marked target within a certain range bracket. As with the boson drill and the positron lancet, the TAG was unique Uthiki technology.

    The Uthiki did not last long enough as a warp-capable species to consider deploying fighters and/or fast patrol ships - or, indeed, to determine whether or not they would have been physiologically capable of operating either type of attrition unit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2023
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  17. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    The Jumokians are a species of warm-blooded brachiating reptilians. Their home world is marked "J" on the LMC hex map. There is a significant degree of gender dimorphism; females have scent glands which are used to convey various signals (such as whether or not they are pregnant), while males have secondary olfactory organs for sensing these signals. Jumokian society is strongly patriarchal, in contrast to the female dominance among their Eneen partners-turned-nemeses.

    When the Jumokians expanded into space, they incorporated a number of less technologically advanced species into the Jumokian League. Of these, the lemur-like Eneen were the most promising candidates, not least as the high radiation tolerance possessed by individual Eneen made them suitable for use in more hostile environments than the Jumokians (who are no more radiation-resistant than humans or Klingons) could themselves operate in effectively. However, the Eneen soon chafed at their inferior status within the League, and launched a revolt that saw them seize the northern portion of Jumokian space - and, later on, to conquer the home world of Jumok itself.

    When the home world fell to the Eneen, the surviving Jumokian ships fled to the sparsely-populated Fringe region. While there, they acquired the means of operating small and large asteroid shipyards from the Jindarians of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, in exchange for serving as mercenaries on behalf of the two-to-three Caravans active across the LMC. But this still left the Jumokians with a problem: how to match the larger and more powerful warships used by the Eneen to subjugate their home space.

    Jumokian engineers addressed this problem in two ways. On the one hand, they designed their ships to equip the same Pinnace packs (cargo, self-defence, commando, etc.) used by the LMC's most common civilian transport units. This enabled them to use these packs in lieu of fielding dedicated "mission variants" as the Eneen would do. On the other hand, the Jumokians proved able to weld two of the primary hulls of their frigates together in order to field a destroyer, or three frigate primary hulls together in order to create a light cruiser.

    At first, these ships were used as "pirate" ships, raiding into Eneen space and escaping back out to the Fringe worlds. Eventually, the Jumokian Resistance launched a bid for independence, seizing Jumok itself... only to be brutally crushed by the vengeful Eneen, with the home world bombed back into the Stone Age for good measure, when the promised help from the Baduvai never materialized. At this point, those Jumokians who survived the second fall of Jumok turned to piracy as an end in and of itself, to include expanding their operations into Baduvai space.

    Ironically, when the Andromedans launched their waves of conquest across the LMC, it would be the Jumokians who would provide a much-needed lifeline for the various Magellanic exiles, through the provision of asteroid shipyard technology. In the wake of Operation Unity, the Jumokians did not rush to ask for the liberation of Jumok; their post-Unity goals are unknown at this time of typing.

    -----

    As with the Orion Pirates in the Alpha Octant and with the High Pirate Bands of the M81 Galaxy, the Jumokians are the "pirate" faction of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud.

    Like other "pirate" ships, the Jumokians have weapon option mounts on their hulls. Historically, the bulk of a given pirate cell's weapons are sourced either from the Baduvai or the Eneen. Since they never operated in the Core region, and since the Maghadim had relatively brief tenures as "open space" powers during the two Neutral Worlds Wars, no pirate cell used the Maghadim as a "primary" source of salvaged technology. Unique Uthiki technologies, such as the boson drill or the positron lancet, were off-limits to the Jumokians.

    Note that unlike the Orion Pirates (who can double their engines) or the M81 Pirates (who have generous power curves due to their bonus wing-mounted warp engines), Jumokian pirate ships have more modest power outputs. Not least since they cannot operate Eneen high-powered reactors, as they lack the required high levels of radiation tolerance.

    The Jumokians developed a system known as the distortion field generator. While the DFG proper had to be woven into the hull during construction, the system requires discrete tuning crystals to operate. Unlike a cloaking device (which can be run more or less indefinitely, so long as there is enough power available to do so), these crystals have a short operating life. Once they reach a certain threshold of use, they shatter, rendering the DFG inert (unless spare crystals ave been bought as Commander's Option items), Even then, their tactical benefits are somewhat limited when compared to a cloak, though they do make it impossible for the ship to be targeted by enemy mass drivers, as well as decreasing the range from which thy can disengage by distance. By and large, a Jumokian pirate captain should consider their DFG as a means of getting out of trouble.

    There are two current "generations" of Jumokian pirate hulls. Their "Middle Years" ships are based on the single-hull frigate; as noted earlier, this leads to the double-hull destroyer and to the triple-hull light cruiser. The later new frigate and new destroyer are each single-hull designs; two new frigates can be combined to create a new light cruiser. One key difference is that the FF, DD, and CL have one, two, or three separate option mounts. Whereas the NFF has a pair of centerline adjacent option mounts (with the NCL having two pairs) and the NDD has three centerline adjacent option mounts - which enables the "new" series ships to install certain weapons, such as CPA-3s, which are too large too be installed on the "Middle Years" pirate hulls. The Jumokians are not noted as operating fighters or PFs.

    Unlike Orion or M81 Pirate ships, Jumokian ships cannot land safely on planets, as their main focus is on capturing ships in open space rather than launching raids on planetary surfaces.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2023
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  18. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    As noted earlier, when the Operation Unity task forces made it to the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, they were surprised to encounter the remnants of the native Magellanic empires, clinging to a precarious existence in the sparsely-populated Fringe region.

    What they were equally - if not more - surprised to encounter was a series of Jindarian Caravans. The Jindarians, a nomadic species adapted to life in microgravity environments, was known to operate across the Alpha Octant. Prior to Operation Unity, the Jindarians of Alpha and those of the LMC were totally unaware of the other's existence.

    Even more remarkably, when the Federation GSX Sakharov made its return voyage from the Omega Octant via the LMC, it was revealed that the Jindarian species was also active in Omega - and, as if that was not surprising enough, had a permanent territory (marked as "JF" on the Omega Octant hex map) which they fought fiercely to defend.

    -----

    So who are the Jindarians, exactly?

    Biologically-speaking, the Jindarians have a unique mixed endoskeleton and exoskeleton. They are adapted to live in microgravity environments, somwhat akin to the LMC's Uthiki species (though the Jindarians are humanoid, breathing a "standard" oxy-nitrogen atmosphere). It's not clear if the Jindarians evolved in micro-gravity, or adapted (or indeed genetically engineered themselves) away from a prior life inside a planetary gravity well.

    In any case, the Jindarians have been a star-faring species - in Alpha, Omega and the LMC - for approximately 100,000 years. There is no indication as to where they might originated from; the extant Caravans in known space seemingly have no records of this, nor are they all that interested in looking back far enough to find out.

    Societally, there is no unified Jindarian government; each Caravan is a law unto themselves. If a given Caravan gets large enough, it will split into two, with each new Caravan going its own way. There is no published data as of yet regarding the Jindarian Freehold (the "permanent" territory the Jindarians hold over in Omega). However, Bruce Graw (the "father of Omega") offered his own thoughts on the matter in his Omega's Lost Futures article in Captain's Log #36.

    It appears that there is some kind of communication network which connects Caravans in a given region of space. For example, once first-generation X-technology was introduced in the Alpha Octant, Jindarian X-ships began to appear at approximately the same time across Alpha. However, these networks did not extend beyond their home regions, at least not prior to Operation Unity; the LMC-Jindarians only adopted X1-ships of their own in the post-Unity era, while it is as yet unclear as to what (if any) X-tech was adopted by the Jindarians of Omega.

    It is not yet known whether or not the Jindarians exist elsewhere in our galaxy, in any of the Milky Way's other satellite galaxies, or in galaxies further afield.

    -----

    In terms of technology, the Jindarians operate a mix of "asteroid" ships, which as the name suggests are converted from suitable asteroids, and "metal-hull" ships more akin to "standard" Alpha, Omega, or LMC warships.

    Asteroid ships are designed to be able to power down and hide in plain sight as regular asteroids. These ships are the key to their civilization; even their shipyards are themselves "asteroid ships". In the LMC, it was the exporting of this asteroid shipyard technology (with unique Jindarian technologies swapped out for "native" Magellanic technologies) which enabled the Jumokians, and later the Triple Pact exiles, to survive the long decades of Andromedan occupation.

    Defensively, asteroid ship have weak shielding - when they bother to operate them, as it's easier to stay hidden when they are inactive - but thick directional armour blocks. These blocks absorb damage, but do not block transporter activity - but then, the morass of tunnels and traps found inside n asteroid ship, added to the microgravity conditions, make boarding attempts by most other species quite difficult. "Export" asteroid shipyards in the LMC have Magellanic inner shields, but no outer shields.

    "Metal-hull" ships, by contrast, are much more "conventional" in design, with "standard" (single-layer) shielding; even in the LMC, they never adopted Magellanic multi-layer shields.

    As a rule of thumb, any Jindarian units marked as having a Year in Service date of "Y1" could be assumed to have existed for as long as they are known to have been present in whichever region of space they might be encountered. Their subsequent technology developments would vary based on the local circumstances.

    For example, the Alpha-Jindarians developed "hot warp" Interceptors and PFs in the Alpha Octant, whereas the LMC-Jindarians never did - not even after contact with the Operation Unity task forces. It's not yet known if the Omega-Jindarians operated "volatile warp" INTs and/or PFs or not.

    -----

    Weapons-wise, they use "standard" Alpha-type phasers, even in Omega or in the LMC.

    Their heavy weapon, the warp-augmented rail gun, is available in three varieties: light, medium, and heavy. All three are unique to the Jindarians, so cannot be used by "pirate" ships (be they Orion, Jumokian, or Zosman).

    Light rail guns are on Size Class 4 ships, fighters, INTs, and PFs. They require one point of warp power per turn over two consecutive turns to arm. (Fighters and gunboats have limited ammunition bins for these weapons.)

    Medium rail guns are on the light and heavy strike cruisers, the largest "metal-hull" Jindarian ships known to exist. These cost two points of warp power to arm over two consecutive turns, though the can be "down-fired" as light rail guns if so required.

    Heavy rail guns are only found on asteroid ships; they require three points of warp power per turn over two consecutive turns.to arm. They in turn can be "down-fired" as a light or medium rail gun shot.

    Both medium and heavy rail guns have a defensive fire mode, which sprays a series of pellets out to Range 4 in the weapon's firing arc over a series of eight consecutive impulses. These are very useful against enemy shuttles and seeking weapons (and, alas, against any Jindarian shuttles foolish enough to be placed into the firing line), but have no effect on larger unit types. Asteroid ships have unlimited ammunition for this firing mode, yet "metal-hull" ships have to track their ammunition usage instead.

    Most Jindarian ships spread their firepower in "all-around" firing arcs, making it difficult for them to concentrate their firepower if so required. But then, most of the time, this is not an issue - except perhaps when the Jindarians of Omega were faced with an Andromedan attack on the Freehold in the midst of the Sixth Cycle of Omega Octant history.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2023
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  19. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    On the far side of the Inter-Stellar Concordium from Romulan and Gorn space is a vast Void; one of five which exist across the Milky Way Galaxy. On the far side of this Void from the ISC lies the Omega Octant.

    In terms of stellar cartography, the Omega Octant runs from the farthest edge of the Alpha/Omega Void through to the nearest edge of the Void in the Upsilon Sector which divides Omega from the as-yet-uncharted Sigma Octant. Although, the Omega hex maps leave much of the Phi Sector as a de facto "off-map" zone; while Omega as a setting also includes the extra-galactic Iridani Cluster.

    As for the Omega map itself, there are a few features of note:

    The Wasteland is a mostly "empty" area of space - but unlike the Void, it is navigable. Getting across it typically involves placing a series of bases as waypoints, or perhaps bringing a tug or other such support unit to assist more transient task forces seeking to make the crossing.

    As noted in the Andromedan coverage earlier in this thread, closer to the centre of the map is the Ryn Nebula: a four-hex "province" enveloped in a nebular wall.

    Coreward of the Ryn Nebula is the three-hex Nucian Cluster, about which little has been outlined in astro-geographical terms thus far.

    Forming a "triangle" of sorts with the Ryn Nebula and the Nucian Cluster is a one-hex area originally known as the "storm cluster", where a higher than average number of ion storms kept the local Omega empires from investigating the area too closely.

    Closer to the Galactic Rim lies the one-hex Qixavalor Cloud, where the local star systems are engulfed in a mix of highly volatile gases - to the point where most starships suffer shield damage simply by moving through it. Although there are pockets of "clear" space inside the cloud, to include inside the gravity wells of any stars and planets therein.

    Yet another one-hex feature is the Jindarian Freehold, where (as noted earlier) the otherwise-nomadic Jindarian species stake a permanent claim.

    And in the depths of the Alpha/Omega Void, there is an unusual "Black Sun" which provides a connection of sorts between this realm of existence and a "dark matter" dimension.

    Of course, the Galactic Energy Barrier runs along the Galactic Rim here in Omega, just as it does over in the Alpha Octant. Getting through the Barrier is just as great of a challenge.

    -----

    So what about the various empires present in Omega?

    Unlike in the Alpha Octant, relatively few of the star-faring species in Omega are mammalian, and/or are bipedal. Many, but not all, of those native to Omega are found in the multi-species Mæsron Alliance.

    Among the various other carbon-based organisms, the jellyfish-like Koligahr are aquatic; the salamander-like Probr are amphibious; the bee-like Hivers and arachnid Vari are arthropods; while more unorthodox species, such as the mushroom-like Worb, are also to be found.

    Beyond those, one of the major species in Omega, the Trobrin, are silicate life forms.

    The Chlorophons are a species of sapient trees, who form a symbiotic relationship with the aardvark-like Keepers.

    The Sigvirions are a species of intelligent virii, who are able to infect a broad range of Omega species for use as hosts.

    The Drex are robots who took over the running of heir civilization from the walrus-like Drexari who had created them.

    The ancient butterfly-like Loriyill possess a strong group consciousness; their Souldra nemeses are a dark energy life form which used the aforementioned Black Sun system as a bridge into the material universe.

    While two species - the land-octopus Mirn and the reptilian Branthodons - each use different types of "deep space life form" (domesticated "space whale" alunda and lobotomized space dragon clones respectively) as their living ships!

    And aside from those species "native" to Omega, there are a number of arrivals and transplants from further afield: from the amoeba-like Bolosco to their hated Zosman rivals, and from a group of Paravian exiles to the "lost colonies" which formed the Federal Republic of Aurora. And of course, those aforementioned Andromedan invaders.

    Suffice to say, there is plenty of scope to cover each of these species and empires, and many more besides, going forward...

    -----

    Speaking of ships: while there is a vast variety of technologies in Omega, there are a few commonalities.

    The Omega equivalent to the "Middle Years" era in Alpha lasts for more than a century. "Modern" warp travel appears much earlier, yet for most empires it takes longer than in Alpha to move past this.

    For example: most "metal-hull" empires field "middle years" heavy cruisers with warp engines which can go no faster than Warp 2.96 (or Star Fleet Battles Speed 26) in battle. "Middle years" Omega light cruisers are mostly capped at Warp 3 (or SFB Speed 27); most Omega destroyers at Warp 3.04 (or SFB Speed 28); while most of the earliest Omega dreadnoughts are stuck at Warp 2.88 (SFB Speed 24). In most cases, only "middle years" Omega frigates can fight at Warp 3.1 (SFB Speed 30).

    On the other hand, there are relatively few "weapon refits", of the kind often seen in the Alpha Octant. As in, most Omega empires already have the equivalent of such refits installed as standard.

    Furthermore, the pace of technological advancement is much less uniform than in Alpha. The first cruisers capable of fighting at Speed 30 show up from Y173 onwards; the first "war cruisers" and "war destroyers" are fielded in Y187; Interceptors and fast patrol ships (which use a separate "volatile warp" engine system to the "hot warp" INTs and PFs in Alpha and the LMC) appear in the Y190s, as do the earliest Omega X-ships.

    Indeed, since the surviving Omega empires first designed gunboats to fight the Andromedans and Souldra, they were prone to varying widely in terms of size and in the number fielded in a given flotilla. Which certainly made things interesting once those invasions receded, and these various types of gunboat began to be turned against once another...
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2023
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  20. Nerroth

    Nerroth Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The "modern" Omega tiimeline is sub-divided into a series of eight Cycles; the consolidated history of Omega through to the end of the Seventh cycle in Y221 is published in the 2011 edition of the Star Fleet Battles Omega Master Rulebook. Yet while the First Cycle does not formally begin until Y50, the "early years" of Omega should not be overlooked.

    For example, three bipedal, mammalian species - the humanoid Tazol, the bat-like Wallimi, and the wolf-like Vulpa - each developed non-tactical warp travel in a region of space close to the centre of the Omega hex map.(This is an illustration of what these species look like.) However, while First Contact between the Tazol and Wallimi went smoothly, this was very much not the case when the Wallimi stumbled into Vulpa-held territory. The resulting war was brought to a dramatic end when the Tazol developed tactical warp travel - and promptly offered it to both the Wallimi and Vulpa, thus ensuring that each species now had the capacity to destroy one another (and thus, themselves) if peace was not made. Thus, the Treaty of Mæsra brought all three governments into a new "federation": the Mæsron Alliance.

    As the Mæsrons expanded, a host of new species were contacted and brought into the Alliance. These new members would be granted seats in the Mæsron Grand Council, but the three Council Presidents were always from the "big three" founding species.... for a time, at least.

    Other First Contacts led to tentative borders being drawn up with other star-nations - borders the exploration-minded Wallimi often crossed via their large number of survey ships. Indeed, when the first "unified" Mæsron hull designs were built, it initially proved more cost-effective to upgrade some of these Wallimi-hull survey cruisers to "modern" standards than it was to build survey variants of the "unified" cruiser designs.

    Yet unlike the more or less upward trajectory followed in the Alpha Octant by the UFP and the ISC - the brief withdrawal of the Orion Enclave from the Federation in the midst of the General War notwithstanding - the Mæsron Alliance proved to be a less perfect union. Victory in the First Great War led the Vulpa to seize control of what they now referred to as the "Mæsron Empire". Yet when the first Emperor died a few decades later, a tragic series of events led to a full-scale Mæsron Civil War and Collapse. By the end of the Civil War in Y161, a "New Alliance" led by the Tazol and Wallimi had defeated the Vulpa faction, but now held only a fraction of the old Alliance's pre-war territory.

    And yet, the New Alliance's troubles did not end there. While their former enemies busied themselves in the Superpower Wars of the Fourth Cycle, a group of Vulpa nationalists - who by now had abandoned any sense of a shared Mæsron identity - launched two full-scale insurgencies in an effort to establish their own "post-Mæsron" star empire. To make matters worse, the later insurgency led to the outbreak of the octant-spanning Second Great War... and no sooner was that over before the Andromedan and Souldra invasions broke out with a vengeance.

    The Seventh Cycle, known as the Mæsron Renaissance, would see the New Alliance catch its breath and re-emerge as a major power in the Omega Octant - albeit one with a dangerous new neighbour, as the Vulpa rebels had used the chaos if the Invasions to establish an independent Vulpa Confederacy.

    -----

    Like most "metal-hull" Omega ships, the Mæsrons use broadly similar sensor, scanner, shield, transporter, tractor beam, and other technologies as seen in the Alpha Octant. For example, Mæsron ships have "single-layer" shields, not the multi-layer shielding seen out in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud.

    The Mæsrons deploy wide-angle phasers, which are the most commonly-used phaser type in the Omega Octant. Phaser-W1s and phaser-W3s have a broader spread of damage they cause relative to Alpha Octant phaser-1s and phhser-3s respectively, but are shorter-ranged and have a slightly lower maximum damage output as a result.

    The primary heavy weapon used by the Mæsrons is the tachyon gun. Arming over two turns, it is a very flexible weapon which can be armed from as few as two to as many as eight points of power, which can come from any source. However, the more power is loaded in, the shorter the weapon's range becomes - so it is often prudent to use reserve power to "top up" a TG set at a lower arming level, depending on the circumstances. While the TG's accuracy is quite high, its holding costs are expensive to match.

    Instead of drones, the Mæsrons developed tachyon missiles - which are large enough for Alpha Octant anti-drones to treat them as shuttles, rather than drones, for the purposes of arming them. However, the type-A and type-B racks commonly used by Mæsron ships can only launch one missile for every pair of racks in a given turn, and cannot be reloaded during the course of a given scenario. Further, TMs have a "myopic zone" in that they need time to acquire lock-ons to their targets, so the Mæsrons have to plan their battle basses accordingly. That said, each missile is highly customizable, more and more so as new advancements become available over time.

    Mæsron size-1 fighters have 14 attack shuttles per squadron (rather than the "standard" 12 per size-1 squadron back in the Alpha Octant), though certain Mæsron carriers are obliged to field "short squadrons" due to lack of hangar space. Mæsron "Volatile warp" gunboats, larger than the Alpha Octant average (due to their need to make room for those tachyon missiles), are deployed 4 to a flotilla.

    The Mæsrons are noted as pioneering first-generation X-technology in Omega - for "metal-hull" ships at least - though the exact details of what this X-tech looks like has yet to be detailed in print.

    -----

    Here is an unpainted example of a Mæsron Heavy Cruiser in 3125 scale, in Smooth Fine Detail Plastic:

    [​IMG]

    And here is the same ship with a less-than-stellar attempt to paint it:

    [​IMG]

    This ship has a "floating" fire platform to aft, a design trait shared by several other Mæsron ship classes, from the destroyer to the dreadnought. (The conjectural battleship design had, or would have had, two such platforms.)

    The ship itself is armed with six wide-angle phaser-1s, four wide-angle phaser-3s, four tachyon guns (two on the "floating" platform, and one to each side of the primary hull), and a pair of type-A (three-missile) TM racks.

    Variants of this ship include the bombardment cruiser, which swaps out the four TGs and two type-A racks for six type-B (five-missile) TM racks; and the strike carrier (which retains a pair of TGs and makes room for a full squadron of size-1 fighters).

    For anyone seeking to get a better sense of what the Omega Octant is about, the Mæsron fleet is a solid "baseline" from which the other Omega empires can be judged - both in terms of fighting against (or alongside) their rivals, or (alas) in those instances where they found themselves shooting at one another...
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2023
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