Alternative Names:The Shrike, Lord Shrike, Primarch Shrike, Thad/Thaddy (only by those closest to him, for that matter never call him Thaddeus) Gender:MALE Height:8'7" (262cm)
Homeworld:Tanasia, Abya System, Amerikon Sector, Segmentum Tempestus Located near the fringes of the Segmentum Tempestus, Tanasia is an agri moon part of the Abya Libra interplanetary coalition. The region used to be a fresh colony during the Age of Strife and while the era of warp storms and discord severely impacted them the colonist enjoyed their bountiful system to launch a new age of prosperity. With thousands of years of history the Abya Libra had its own share of wars and reforms. They faced numerous civil wars, rebuked marauding fleets and of course fought multiple flavors of Xenos. While being an "agri world" Tanasia is also known for their martial culture and high percentage of military volunteers. Only a decade after finding the Primarch Shrike the Abya Libra officially joined the Imperium, their governance mostly unchanged. They are famed for their connection to one of the Emperor's sons as well as the Tanasian Pathfinders, an Imperial Army regiment known for their elite light recon forces. Tanasia also provides large quantity of recruits to the Solar Auxilia and of course the Void Dragoons legion. While connected to Shrike the Primarch has no particular interest of developing the Abya System as his base of operations.
Appearance: Easily mistaken as a particularly statuesque Space Marine, Shrike is perhaps the least remarkable Primarch. With height of merely 8'7"(262cm) he is also the shortest, usually only reaching to the chest of his siblings. This is further execrated by the fact he is surrounded by some of the tallest Space Marines, making him easily lost among them. Indeed, some rumors of unknown source even claim the Primarch Shrike to be an impostor, a mere Legion Master standing for their lost father. Of course for the Void Dragoons and all who met Shrike there's no doubt, he's the real deal. Shrike is curious among the Primarchs for his refusal to be treated differently from an ordinary Space Marine. Though his armor is personalizes the decorations are mundane and hardly stand out. Furthermore, he never takes off his helmet barring special circumstances. Underneath the helmet Shrike has a handsome face with precise features,sky blue eyes, brown hair and mustache now groomed in the Saturnyne fashion.
Personality: Shrike is an odd figure who could be simultaneously described one of the warmest and most aloof Primarchs. He frequently interacts with ordinary humans, listening to them, observing their lives and when it's within his official capability also help them. He considers his mission to serve humanity and has a particular fondness of them. At the same time Shrike is oddly distant, hiding behind his official position and has the aura of seriousness. Saving people is his mission in life which also explains the ease he parted with Tanasia in order to join an organization far greater. His name is Thaddeus yet he insists everyone to call him "The Shrike". When not hiding behind his official masks he could be fairly sociable, almost bordering on the childish. He has very specific interests like being a "gun nut" who drools over the most advanced weaponry and has a large collection of various small arms. He views fellow Void Dragoons like his family who in turn consider him a father figure and ideal. The fact he descends to the level of his fellow Space Marines does give legionaries ideas of becoming like him. While fully resigned to his duties and ideals the Shrike enjoys his life and has a joyful outlook.
Relationship with the Emperor: Indifferent Relationship with Primarchs (overall): Indifferent Relationship with Populance: Good Relationship with Mechanicus: Average Relationship with Psykers: Average Relationship with Xenos: Bad
The Meeting: TBA, needs deciding on the date of my discovery and which Primarch meets me first.
Skills: Combat As self-proclaimed gun-nut, Thaddeus Shrike is an excellent gunslinger who could land unlikely shots. His quick wits and reflexes makes him appear like a hurricane of action that does not rest. His strike is swift and decisive, precluded with meticulous timing. He excels in flanks and ambushes, hounding his enemies without a rest. Physically speaking he's perhaps the weakest of the Primarchs yet still obviously superior to any Astartes. Shrike is a cautious fighter who prefers to keep his distance but combined with his newfound aerial mobility he actually created a form of martial arts which combines his jet propulsion with the movement of his limbs to execute quick and effective attacks. Tactics Shrike is an excellent tactician who excels in utilizing mobility and multi-pronged strikes to collapse the opposition. Just as his legion he likes to cripple their opponent and crush their ability to further wage war. He hates missions that write off sacrifices as neccessary and rather manipulates the outcome until he has a viable advantage. His flexible mindset and love for his soldiers define his behavior in warfare.
Wargear:: - "Lanius" Artificier Armor The Shrike's personalized power armor crafted in Mars. It has improved Vox Casters including jammers and sensor scrambling properties. This not only protects the Shrike but also helps him isolate enemy groups and slow down the arrival of reinforcements. The armor also has built-in grenade launchers, jump packs with maneuvering thrusters, allowing the "murder birds" to fly in the skies or perform otherwise impossible maneuvers. Lastly the armor has built-in power blades in all four limbs, allowing Shrike's unique close combat style. - "Dexter & Sinister" Accelerator Autoguns: Pair of mastercrafted weapons manufactured in Tigris. They use the same accelerator technology as Fellblade Cannons but miniaturized to rifle size. Compared to a Bolt Carbine these guns possess incredible power while also maintain decent rate of fire. In addition they can accept various attachments including but not exclusive to: Volkite, Melta, Plasma, Multi-Laser, Lastrum Bolter and High-density grenade launcher. Obviously the latter attachment being the most common but Shrike can switch these in the heat of battle, fitting his purposes accordingly.
Legion Name: Void Dragoons Named after the Void Hoplites of the Saturnyne Order
Legion Number: XI.
Legion Strength: ~ 100,000 Astartes directly before Ullanor, albeit only fraction can be focused in a particular theater + Questoris Saturnyne order of Imperial Knights who often accompany the Legion
Warcry: "Oorah!" Lord Shrike expressed worries that Xenos and mutants may not understand the intricacies of Gothic. Instead of the mouthful that was the Saturnyne Rams' battle cry he introduced "Oorah!", something even the stupidest Ork shall get and dread to hear. This change was surprisingly popular with the Legionaries.
Dramatis Personae: TBA
Void Dragoons used to have the color scheme of white with black pauldrons and trimmings and still use it for ceremonial purposes. On the field though they apply one of the 100 accepted camouflage patterns with only the Legion insignia remaining to identify them. While some Legions consider it cowardly or even useless given the visual acuity of most Xenos threats the Dragoons do this both for practical and moral purposes. Applying the camo paint is like a ritual preparing them for the upcoming battles.
Favored Tactics/Battlefield Role: TBA
- "Saturnyne Superior" Pattern Bolt Rifle: The second type of Bolter designed for the Saturnyne Order with the previous distributed for Solar Auxilia and generally weaker. In comparison the Saturnyne Superior is something made recently upon the Shrike's request. It fires .998 shells, the same as heavy bolters in order to reduce logistics strain. In addition it can accept wide variety of combi-attachments with the most common being combi grenade launcher somewhat distantly followed by combi-volkites. Lastly it has a separate place for bayonets (effectively a combat knife) to fit the Void Dragoons more traditional style of melee.
- "Dragoon" Pattern Accelerator Rifle: Made by Forge World Tigris this weapon is effectively a light portable cannon, firing small diameter shells of both HE and hypervelocity variants. Used as high-powered sniper rifle it finds unique use with the Void Dragoons.
My sheet. Practically finished barring a few touches.
Confederate Free States of Asteria
Nation Name: Confederate Free States of Asteria (CFSA) Alternative Names: The Confederates, The Thirteen, Asteria, CA (for Confederation of Asteria) Government Type: Federal Republic Capital: Jefferson City, Planet Artemis, New Asteria System Gateworlds Owned: 5
Asteria is a relatively new nation experiencing rapid growth. Abundant in resources and job opportunities they are one of the few Frontier states with significant domestic production capacity. This obviously puts them at tense relations with the ITC and there's a slow boiling rivalry. Occasionally dubbed as the land of hope Asteria attracts lots of migrants looking for a new life and decent work.
Like with all nations in the Eden Cluster the story of Asteria began with Project Arc. In particular this is the story of Arc Strelitza and Aurora. They were among the 316 Arcs to undertake Project Longshot, a daring wild bet to cross astronomical distances in a moment, unsure where their destination might lead. It was a disaster, while projections estimated a few lightyears of inaccuracy in fact they had not fully understood the physics behind the gate technology, namely its interaction with quantum superposition theory. Future researchers could confirm their predecessors were lucky the Arcs didn't turn into mere atoms spread across the multiverse. Presumably due to a freak cosmic event all Arcs survived the transit intact, although scattered in a massive 700 lightyear radius area. Cut off from contact and their inhabitants asleep the Arcs were trusted to the guidance of rudimentary AI pilots, only seeking out planets ideal to support life.
At least that's how it should've been for Arc Strelitza and Aurora. As luck could have it both of these arcs were relatively close to each other and contact was established between them and a third arc called Griffin. Since the AI prioritized survival, meeting between these Arcs was essential for continued operations. Yet before this contact could be made the communications with Griffin were abruptly cut off. Eventually they picked up a distress signal only to find the shattered remains of Arc Griffin. At first it appeared Griffin crashed with a giant asteroid but upon further review it turned out to be a ship of foreign construction. Not programmed to communicate with aliens the AI woke up the staff in hopes of resolving the situation. The time is AD4492 and this is the first time humans and Silicoids met each other.
While communication was troubled the Silicoids were innately peaceful people and they established a healthy relationship. Just as humans, Silicoids also faced the ruin of their home planet and sent out their own generation ships untold thousands of years ago. Rather than settling on a new planet they chose to live on these ships, promising to be no longer tainted by natural gravity. Though physiologically and culturally far different the Silicoids and humans of Streliza-Aurora forged an alliance. This marked the long period regarded as the Four Thousand Year Sleep during which the majority of the humans remained under cyrogenic stasis but humans and Silicoids jointly created their new home, Asteria. Conceived as a gigantic space cylinder with artificial biosphere and capacity to sustain life the project was beyond ambitious. Yet after millennia of effort they finally made a place which could be called home, the true birth of the nation known as Asteria. With the technological and industrial base laid down the actual construction of Asteria was a simple matter. Or could've been as material technology could not allow to build colonies of such massive scale. Instead they went for an alternative thus Asteria became a collection of 13 colonies. With their artificial "Eden" complete humans were woken up from cyro sleep en-masse. They woke up into an entirely new society yet they rapidly adjusted. At least that's how it seemed.
Under the surface the humans had a growing minority of those who were far from satisfied. The Arc staff who were awake and active during those missing 4000 years became de facto nobility and ruled Asteria like their private kingdoms. The discontent with the odd rock people known as Siliconoids also gradually rose. While not topic for public speech a lot of humans were less than thrilled to be equals with a bunch of walking rocks who hardly even speak to them (as only the elite were allowed to know the language of the Siliconoids). The tension began to rose as human populations skyrocketed. It soon became obvious that the thirteen original colonies will not be enough and construction for new habitats began at rapid pace. The old order of Asteria gradually collapsed as each colony rose up against their rulers. Silicoids as representatives of the former regime were sidelined and gradually became oppressed. In contrast the 13 colonies declared their independence. This initially meant only maintaining a loose alliance between each other but resource scarcity and outside threats eventually made them to agree on a sorts of confederation. Each state retained their autonomy but also agreed to share some responsibilities to the Federal Government. This of course didn't always work out and Asterian history has its share of revolts and civil wars.
Though far from a public knowledge but Asterians were aware of the beacons laid down by Eden. Thinking of their survival as a species they chose to follow the beacons in hopes of once reconnecting with their long lost brethren. AD9675 (773EC), Asterians finally reached the region of Eden Cluster, even though they were unaware. The system which later be known as New Asteria had a habitable planet and a number of astral bodies fit for colonization efforts. Unfortuantelly they were not alone. They treaded on the land of the Kroatans, a tribalistic space-capable alien race. The aggressive and xenophobic Kroatans and the greedy Asterians had no reason to approach this the civilized manner. 773-771EC, the period of the First Aster-Kroatan War. Though the aliens had numerical superiority their inferior tech and the still ongoing rivalry between tribes.
Asterians spent the following decades in war, gradually gaining ground in Kroatan space. Meanwhile they finally managed to activate the gate of New Asteria, allowing them to contact Eden. 808CE, Asterians stabilized their hold over the 5 systems, also controlling the gates. With Kroatan aggressors either assimilated or fled to dark space they enjoyed a period of peace. Thus the modern age of Asteria had begun...
In spite of the migrant waves the core of Asteria's population are still the descendants of the original nomadic colonist who first arrived to this world. Asterians are of course humans. While developed separately from Edenians, enough that they have genetic markers unique to them, the differences are down to culture rather than anything else. The ancestors of the Asterians lived in dangerous times and their emphasis on individual liberties over government control can even seem a bit odd. Then again with the isolation of deep space nearly every country in Eden created their own unique culture, Asterians are just one of them. For an Asterian liberty is a birthright and compliance to the government is a social contract with both sides as active parties. They view laws and even taxes as something which could only be allowed through consent and don't appreciate when the government may appear to infringe upon this idea. The first shock for newcomers though is undoubtedly the Asterian view of arms. In the distant past Asterians lived in uncertain times and carrying weapons was the only sure way for security. While troubles can still arise in the more rural regions for the overwhelming majority this concern is long gone. Yet the tradition never disappeared and it's fairly common to see people walking up on the streets with rifles.
Asterians love guns, they view them as symbol of their freedom and unsurprisingly marksmanship competitions are one of their favorite sport and pastime. To the outsider the sheer density of guns may seem threatening but Asterians are generally friendly folk who do not treat misusing weapons lightly. In addition it's a common belief for Asterians that if a wrongdoer may try to start something there are always 10+ good boys with similar rifles to put a quick end to this rampage. As weird as it may seem the Asterians feel less secure when there aren't many gun wielding people around. Asterians have two essential items that define them. One is their gun while the other is owning a decent ride. Hovercars are a must for every self-respecting Asterian and most of them also own personnal shuttles for interplanetary commuting purposes. They have a different view on distances than the average Edenian. Some Asterians even love the long treks and would consider it part of their national pride. While there's an increasing need for mass transportation these tend to be government owned and offered for free, paid by tax money. They are of course unpopular with "true" Asterians who consider reliance on them as a mark of shame, equivalent to accepting handouts.
Asteria has open border policies and with ever expanding ventures and growing industry they are constantly hungry for workforce. Aside from the obvious draw of the core worlds Asteria has perhaps the largest percentage of immigrants. Some dare to say Asteria is the melting pot of the galaxy. Humans of various cultural backgrounds venture towards Asteria in hopes of starting a new life. Even alien population move to Asteria, often also trying to escape oppression and prejudice they might face in other regions. While some hardline Asterians may view them with disgust, this is indeed the land of the free. Be it foreigners, aliens or fellow Asterians, all is viewed as equal. There are only two exceptions: Silicoids and Kroatans.
Silicoids are aliens with mysterious bodies that essentially makes them living rock statues. Asterians contacted Silicoids early on their journey and soon enslaved them. Since then they have been considered as borderline property while also essential to work in environments where no human could survive. Ever since settling down the overall treatment of Silicoids improved yet most of them are still forced to be servile to Asterians. Compared to them the Koratans are considerably better. Used to the true owners of the systems now owned by Asteria these native aliens were vicious and lived in tribalistic communities even though they were technically sophisticated enough for space travel. They waged brutal wars with the Asterian settlers but ultimately lost. For a long time they were viewed as savages that must be contained. Although nowadays they find it relatively simple to integrate into society. Still, compared to other aliens they suffer way more prejudice. This is in part because a tiny minority is still on the loose. Some of them are radicals not much different from other states' terrorist threats. While an even more significant portion is just hiding within deep space, still retaining their old culture. These pre-civilized Kroatans semi-frequently launch raids and skirmishes against Asterians, providing an ever present security concern. Due to such activities the way larger portion of "civilized" Kroatans face enmity or discrimination for acts they should not be responsible for.
The Confederate Free States are considered a true federation where each state retains most of their autonomy and only relinquish their rights in regards of important matters that concern the entire nation. Even then each state made individual agreements with the Federal State, resulting in varying levels of Federal control. These agreements can be also be renegotiated or even denied, provided they have a strong reason behind it. While there's a constant Federal push for increasing government control but these are often met with resistance. Administration wise Asteria has 5 regions (for each system they own) and altogether 24 states. These include planetary government, moon/planetoid bound colonies, space colony clusters or even space mining operations that grew large enough to become their own state. Becoming a state used to be a fairly dynamic process where a colony with sufficient weight and reason to self govern could have voted to grant stateship almost immediately. Yet with the growth of the Federal Government and the influence of already existing states this process is currently all but non-existent. The Federal leadership preferred to increase the power of already extant states than further upset its legislation. As a consequence many newer colonies which traditionally would earn states rights are instead rolled into their neighboring states, creating tensions. While these "territories" are given representatives the fact they are alone against the much larger representative base of the mother state does feel oppressive. This is partly intentional as states have the legal right to vote for secession. With many fresh would be states containing vital resources the Federal leadership of Asteria could not allow these territories to turn independent.
The Federal Congress is the heart of Asterian interstate governance. Held in the capital city of Jefferson AC this is where the 96 territorial representatives and 24 state governors run the legislation. The head of the Federal States is the President. As the representative of all Asteria his position has a lot of responsibility and technically would have a lot of power to accompany it. In practice though the President is incapable of doing anything meaningful without the Congress' approval. That being said the President is often also the leader of either of the two major parties in Asteria: the Hippos and the Centaurs (both named after constellations). Hippos are the "conservative" group, representing more traditional Asterian values. They are against overt government control, pro security and usually enjoy support more from frontier territories. Centaurs are pro-government, promote higher economic regulations and often support relations with the ITC. There are numerous small parties but these tend to be rolled into either of the two sides as causalty of this centuries long rivalry. With the lines long drawn there's littl hope for this political system to ever change.
Economy & Industry
Asteria is considered curious among the frontier nations. The classic beginning of a frontier state is via one or a few Arcships with their small populations still clueless in cyro sleep. In case of Asteria they spent centuries as a growing nation of space nomads. This allowed them to establish their new society without requiring any assistance from the ITC. Actually, by the time the ITC became aware of Asteria they had already established their control over a system and were in progress of expanding further. They were strong, independent and possessed a long history separate from that of the rest of the Eden Cluster. Asterian industry is robust, although somewhat compartmentalized. This traces back to their nomadic culture when fellow space colonies had to operate away from others for months and occasionally even years. After settling down this tendency is gradually making way for classic centralized efforts but you should not underestimate the lobbying power of local companies when investing in the region. Combine this with the different state laws and it could be said that Asteria still has a lot of room for growth. Regardless, while no competitor for the giant of the ITC this makes Asteria a regional powerhouse with considerable export revenue. Galactic Dollars (also abridged as Galado) is a trade currency recognized in most countries.
Speaking of exports, Asteria is best known as the largest supplier of Helium-3 and other essential fuels. Since fuel is less the matter of "where" than "how" the diffuse nature of Asterian industry actually helps them a great deal, topping even the performance of individual ITC members'. Asterian traditions combined with the abundance of fuel also set them up to a booming transportation industry. Hovercars are absolutely ubiquitous for Asteria and most citizens also own their own personal space shuttles. While no match for the sophistication of the ITC the Asterians are very famous for their fusion technology and the sheer number of industries specialized in their production. Lastly, Asterians introduced a new material to the Eden Cluster: The Zero Element (Z0). Z0 production is something learned from Silicoids and could be harnessed from certain stellar bodies or at the outer asteroid fields of star systems. Z0 enables gravity manipulation through conversion of electrical power and it's essential for Asteria's own gravity plate tech (among others). It's a curious material sought after by other nations for special applications. Its production is troublesome due to the inherent dangers and the long supply lines required for the operation thus it could be said Asteria has near monopoly on it. While that sounds amazing the international demand for Z0 is fairly small, if weren't it's almost assured the ITC would join the race. As things are Z0 is a stable source of revenue for a number of Asterian states and essential for Asteria's own technology but not much else. Gravity manipulation has been accomplished without relying on rare materials literally centuries before Asteria arrived so it only has a small niche.
- Gravity Plate: A flat surface capable of gravity manipulation mostly to enable hover capabilities. These are very compact and overall simple although their construction requires Z0 which makes them a bit costly. Still, a lot of Asterian technology including hovercars use them extensively. Gravity plates are also used on smallcraft for inertialess maneuvering.
- Plasma Engine: The Asterian take on the old combustion engines. An ultracapacitor flash heats inert fuel to almost a hundred thousand degrees while driving a turbine. Useful for power generation, air propulsion and locomotion.
- Plasma Impulse Drive: Asterian take on space propulsion which maximises the velocity of the exhaust while manages to turn the majority of the energy into motive force. The result is higher efficiency and less obnoxious exhaust thus these tend to be safer than regular torch drives. Impulse Jets are a derivative of this that compress the surrounding air rather than consuming fuel while being terribly simple (although a bit energy demanding) to install.
- Annie: Sometimes also referred as Antimax this is a composite material allowing to unleash massive amount of energies in a compact package. On the microscopic scale Annie includes an anti-helium molecule surrounded by a neutralizing matrix which passively contains antimatter in its natural electromagnetic field. Annie is inherently safe to store and barring plasma-hot sparks they won't react thus they allow very limited utilization of antimatter for ultracompact high energy applications without making it too risky.
- G-Cell:Using layers of opposingly charged gravity plates it's possible to catch energy as minuscule amounts of mass. G-Cells combine batteries and hypercepacitors for Asteria, capable of storing massive amounts of energy and also unleashing them rapidly. G-Cells are relatively safe to use although the larger ones are still prone to explode when ruptured, unleashing a tiny fraction of its stored energy in a plasma discharge.
- Ultracompact Fusion Engine: Fusion power is desirable yet trying to scale it down to the extreme proves very challenging. Instead of creating micro reactors Asteria went for another approach. Enter the fusion engine. Unlike reactors this mechanism operates in a cyclic fashion and may even be slaved to a drive to power locomotion. More importantly it enables extremely small scale utilization of fusion power. To accomplish this ultracompact fusion engines use liquefied helium-3 fuel catalyzed by Annie charges, effectively making this into a weird nuclear internal combustion engine. Naturally the ultracompact fusion engine technology is not cheap and only utilized in very high grade equipment.
- Waldo Wears: Domestic walker type invented long centuries ago by Asteria. As a humanoid machine it acts as a strength multiplier, enabling to carry more or use heavier equipment. Waldo Wears are made with space operation in mind and they can finely operate in such environments while also able to walk inside colonies. Waldo Wears tend to be on the small side as increasing the scale would rather warrant specialist vehicles that are overall better in their job. Their versatility also used to make them very attractive to the military although nowadays they only fulfill a secondary role. Waldo Wears nowadays aren't that different from the myriad of Edenian mech types although they incorporate domestic technologies that are rarely found anywhere else.
Asteria has a sizeable military force, fitting that of a regional power. While conscription is technically still active in effect Asteria utilizes all-volunteer military of professional soldiers. Asterian State Army forms the core of their military, consisting of regiments "borrowed" from all 24 states. In theory these troops belong to their respective state but in effect they are under the Federal Government's control. Quality and equipment variances used to be a major issue in the past hence Federal Laws now govern this aspect, making the arms and equipment of the common soldier more or less uniform. Arms manufacturers in each state also unified their production for military contact thanks to Federal sponsored programs. To provide reserves and home defense they also have the tradition of the Colonial Guard, second-line soldiers tasked with local garrison duties. Lastly but not least you have the Confederal Astro Marines, a force created by the Federal Government and whose job involves being on Astrofleet starships and often taking up expeditionary duties. When it comes to space Asteria has two organizations: Colonial Sentinels and Confederacy Astrofleet. Sentinels are the space variation of the Colonial Guard, they patrol the state's territory and provide secuirty in space. Confederacy Astrofleet is the Asterian navy itself but they are also the primary operators of starfighters. The overall system of the Asterian military is complex but it can be dumbed down the following way. Barring a few the Federal Government technically has no military on its own, instead the states "lend" their armies and fleets into the government's service. Of course in effect they are just the army of Asteria and the Federal Government can order them to do nearly anything. In addition while this would technically prevent mixed regiments with members from different states in effect there are numerous exchange programs and overall mixing armies from different states provides little if any trouble.
- Shock Technology: Asterian development of plasma weaponry which relies less on the heat and more on the raw concussive force of the bolt exploding. Shock rifles and other small arms with this technology are notoriously powerful while also versatile, capable of switching between a wide range of explosive modes to fit the situation. For non-Asterians though shock weaponry are needlessly overpowered and complex, not to mention dangerous. The explosive nature of the bolts make them often fairly hazardous to the user at close quarters unless one carefully picks a very modest setting. Furthermore achieving rapid-fire with this technology requires lot of bulk hence nearly all of them are semi-auto or repeater in nature. Shock technology is also commonly utilized for ordinance, although with decreasing popularity. Shock gunnery is versatile and fairly economical compared to railguns but lacks in terms of anti-armor performance, making it feel a bit underpowered. Shock artillery has far less of these problems although since you can't put sensors into plasma bolts they lack guided bombardment functions common for more physical artillery.
- Hyperlances: Asterian answer to combat armor the "Lance" is a very sophisticated mass accelerator which fires micron-thin streams of metastable ultradense matter. The stream is accelerated to ludicrous velocities thanks to its overall tiny mass and enables it to pierce through armors you'd normally require much more bulky equipment to breach. As the stream penetrates the armor it slows down, giving time for the metastable matter to violently expand. Essentially this means Hyperlances punch a tiny hole in the target and their energy explodes within the more vulnerable internals. That being said hyperlances can be more easily disturbed and they exponentially lose their effectiveness with distance. While anti-armor utility was their main purpose through manipulating the containment field and matter matrix it's possible to make hyperlances even more versatile than shock weaponry and numerous advanced technologies aim just for that. Regardless their chief application is still against enemy armor although they have become pretty much ubiquitous in the Astrofleet as standard starship guns.
- Plasma Warheads: Asterian plasma technology is also utilized in their explosives, giving them higher yields than standard conventional explosives. In ground combat this leads to dramatically scaled down explosive devices that can still perform the same role. Asterian hand grenades are for example are tiny ~2.5 inches diameter discs (akin to the stones you might bounce on the water) yet every bit as lethal as standard grenades. Missiles are also scaled down, not just in warhead size but also propulsion as micro impulse jets and their power source require way less space. In space application though plasma warheads are a specific low nuclear yield device outfitted with an inert jacket to create plasma. This improves efficiency while also driving down costs for the warhead thus these are the most common missile fillings in space combat.
- Blazearms: Asterian firearm type akin to old chemical powered slug throwers but instead using plasma detonation mechanisms for greater performance. They used to be mainstay of Asterian weaponry but pure shock technology replaced them. Nowadays blazearm tech is mostly relegated to the civilian sector and law enforcement with the only a few odd service pistols in the military still relying on such mechanisms.
- Higgs Shield: Standard shielding method which uses dense layers of pseudo mass to block incoming attacks. They are derived from your typical forcefield technology and don't appear to be much different from the typical shields. What changes is the way Asterians apply them. Higgs Shields are layered, there's always at least two of them: one inner almost hugging the body and an outer shield providing standoff protection. This makes the Higgs Shield behave a bit like composite armor, although it does add complexity. Personal shields are almost unheard of in this type and even for terrestrial combat vehicles the higgs shields only have an auxiliary function.
- Flare Shield: Also called gravity pulse shield, a very simple type of shielding which can only activate for moments hence its name. Flare shields use specialized gravity plates that blast the incoming attack with massive gravity waves in order to defeat it. Flare shields are widespread in hazardous work conditions although military grade ones are a bit too expensive for the common soldier. Another application of flare shields is the PRA (pulse reactive armor) which has the gravity plates embedded in the inner section of the vehicle's frame, releasing a counterpulse once a projectile digs deep enough into the armor. Flare shields are of course weak against repeated attacks, higher performance ones may even have minutes of cooldown period before they could be activated again due to them overstressing the gravity plate.
Ground Forces Asteria has environments ranging from ships and space colonies to urban concrete jungles to even literal deserts and jungles. Regardless of the surroundings the Asterian military has to maintain boots on the ground. Since they didn't want a huge bloated army of specialists this obviously lead to lot of expenses on training and equipment. Thankfully they hardly have any shortage of volunteers. Asterian soldiers are well-trained and compared to the average Frontier folk they have excellent equipment. Most recruits already know the basics of shooting their rifles so while marksmanship is empathized they have time to teach the rest of their trade. When it comes to armor the Asterian vehicles prefer utility over direct combat prowess. This often receives criticism from certain military circles, calling their vehicles either outdated or just ineffective. Of course field troops perceive it differently and barring the few odd noises they love these for their sheer practicality. Asterian military forces are very mobile with park of exclusively hover vehicles, orbital insertion and air transports, ground attack craft integrated into army structures and even the individual soldier often having their own mobility alternatives.
- GI/Dogface: The standard Asterian infantry doing the grunt work. They carry C14A2 shock carbines as their standard weapon and usually carry 6-12 demo-disc "grenades". They wear decent body armor which resists small arms fire and especially engineered to withstand blast effects (so they can use their shock carbines in close combat without worry). Their name comes from their bottom line position and the fact their elongated rebreather masks makes them look like a bunch of hound dogs. Asterian infantry is also known for often having hoverpads or micro impulse packs for extra mobility. The former being a very compact one person high-speed transportation vehicle while the latter is a jetpack for limited maneuverability in space environments or to perform short jumps in other theaters.
- Jarheads:More eloquently referred as the "Astro Marines" these troops are trained by the Federal Government and tend to receive a wider variety of equipment. They are still considered line soldiers but the fact they operate from starships and they tend to be the first line of offense in war kinda gives them an "elite" reputation, for whatever that is worth. As they participate in assaults and even boarding actions they tend to wear heavier armor and equip personal Flare Shields which can even take a direct shock rifle hit. They carry M1197A6 Shockguns, a heavily modernized version of the scattershot shock weaponry available on the civilian market. Unlike the base variant this is semi-auto and can also function as a shock rifle firing a massive plasma bolt. Marines are also nearly always equip their M75 Jump Packs while for infantry these are more of an auxiliary "per demand" basis device.
- Rangers: An elite recon corps of the Asterian Army. They are light infantry and are meant for special missions rather than operate like your usual GI. They are rightfully called elites and if not for the Devil Dogs perhaps they'd be the prime example. Rangers have great freedom in terms of equipment. Anything that is light enough to pack is free game for them. Rangers also tend to customize their CR10 shock rifles to make them even deadlier.
- Devil Dogs: Also called as the Mobile Infantry, they are the most elite soldiers in the Asterian military and are rightfully feared. Calling them infantry might be an understatement, they are effectively compact fighting vehicles and aircraft at once. Their primary armament is their shoulder-mounted hyperlance which could handle a wide range of threats. They also have rapid-firing shockguns for self-defense and a pair of automated grenade launchers firing "micro pills", very tiny high-yield plasma grenades capable of acting as explosive, incendiary or even anti-armor munitions. In addition the Devil Dogs are wearing a power armor which not only protects them but also provides them jet assisted mobility. They can technically fly but to avoid being an obvious target to air defenses they prefer to be "on the bounce" where they keep repeating short range plasma jet assisted jumps while constantly dealing out hurt.
Asterians spent centuries living inside the confines of their O'Neill type colonies so their concept of transportation shifted and consequently their idea on what a combat vehicle needs are also divergent from the Edenian norm. To put it simply hovercraft are the norm in Asteria and thus all their vehicles are designed with that in mind.
- M4A6 Schwarzkopf: Asterian hover MBT designed with utility and survivability in mind while fulfilling its overall role. Armed with a P75 Shock Cannon it has sufficient firepower to take on anything but the heaviest armored ground vehicles and has a frontal Flare Shield to take an incoming attack. Its duracomposite armor also has PRA blocks hidden in them to survive common anti-tank threats at least once. More importantly the tank's layout is such that most penetrating hits are unlikely to cause fatalities and the crew could survive almost any crash. Schwarzkopf tanks are also nimble and could cruise in the excess of 100km/h. In spite of this the now nearly 100 years old tank design has a lot of critics calling out its meager firepower (especially against the best tanks of other nations) and other less factual claims like undeservedly calling the M4 series a "death coffin".
- M106A4 Griffon: Built on Schwarzkopf hulls this is the latest family of assault mortar carriers in the Asterian military. It carries a massive P120 Shock Mortar and in order to fit this it sacrificed most of its duracomposite armor and installed four times as many G-Cells to accommodate the increased firepower. The result is a mobile, reasonably protected assault gun which could provide direct fire support and could demolish any but the heaviest fortifications. It still retains the frontal Flare Shield and PRA blocks and its Shock Repeater on top can help dealing with infantry and similar threats. All of these are necessary to stay close to the frontlines. Some even argue that in certain situations the Griffon is effectively a tank and indeed it could fight as such to an extend. While its Shock Mortar lacks the piercing power of the Schwarzkopf's Shock Cannon its sheer firepower can crack open many vehicles.
- M110A7 Basilisk: Based off the shelved XM103 heavy tank concept this artillery is a sizeable beast equipped with a massive P254 shock artillery. It sports a massive accelerator coil capable of lobbing plasma bolts just under escape velocity. The original plan was to create a mobile siege artillery but mid-development this changed to a heavy artillery meant not just for sieges but also for division level fire support. Dubbed the "grid space remover" its plasma bolt broke up into hundreds of smaller bolts to fill a huge area in catastrophic blast effect. Due to its naturally overpowered nature they also devised a variant called M110D which utilized a slightly longer but smaller capacity shock artillery capable of throwing hypervelocity plasma into outer space for orbital defense purposes. This variant actually got further developed to what currently known as the MIM-110A3, a mobile platform equipped with a G127 hyperlance battery. Back to the development of the regular M110 it eventually became the mainline artillery of Asteria even used down to brigade level. One such vehicle and a pair of M992 auxiliary power vehicles could provide fire support for entire armies and had 3 times the firepower of old divisional artillery batteries. M110A5 onwards it was also plausible to significantly dial back the firepower of the shock artillery to conserve power and increase rate of fire to upwards 4 times. While the system is inherently incapable of firing guided munitions its programmable flight path and plasma containment field settings can achieve a great deal of versatility. In terms of protection the Basilisk has decent armor, sufficient to withstand near impacts from other artillery which is further assisted by its deployable G-Screen to block incoming fire. This is essential since in order to utilize its massive P254 shock artilelry the Basilisk must use gravity anchors and thus remain completely stationary. While shoot&scoot is plausible in lot of scenarios the Basilisk batteries were hit by counter fire before they could evacuate.
- M104A1 Scorpion: While the M110 provided amazing capabilities the Asterians eventually realized that their over reliance on what is essentially a superheavy artillery made them vulnerable during smaller skirmishes. Enter the M104 Scorpion, a fairly compact and nimble vehicle which unlike the Basilisk didn't require gravity anchoring in order to fire. Its ultralong P90 shock artillery could achieve 70% the range of the Basilisk artillery yet being cheap, small and overall very nimble. The extreme velocity of the plasma bolts also enable this vehicle to fight back aerial threats, although doing so requires data linkage with dedicated sensor and anti-air command vehicles.
M18A1 Wolverine FAV: Speedy light vehicle equipped with a really powerful hyperlance against armor and fortifications. The weapon is mounted on a flexible ball mount allowing it to have nearly all around traverse where the distinction between vertical and horizontal direction don't exist. Unlike its predecessors the M18 was built with the versatility of the new generation hyperlances in mind. While still being a power hog and struggled in terms of demolition the hyperlances were no longer just anti-armor specialist weapons. Their diffuse beam settings allow for functions like airburst detonations or "shotgun" like effects, opening up possibilities of the Wolverine fighting infantry or various aircraft. Wolverine has G-screen and Flare Shields for extra portection yet its true defense is speed and positioning. Due to their sheer versatility the new generation of tank destroyers were renamed Fast Attack Vehicles. Some argued that FAVs like the Wolverine should replace tanks in the assault role but in reality these vehicles are both expensive and not really well suited to operate without cover. Deep advance with FAVs this innately risky and more conventional approaches are still preferable.
- M113A21 Gavin: After the cutting edge FAV here's a real oldie. Predating even Asteria's arrival to the Eden Cluster this mundane yet efficient APC stands as a reminder of simpler times. During its conception Asteria had no need for troop transport vehicles. Instead the Gavin was envisioned for military police and special law enforcement. Since then the Gavin had many dozens of variants and went on to become the symbol of Asterian military. Through its almost 400 years of career the Gavin had every last piece of her replaced by new components at least a couple of times. The modern Gavin thus only resemble the first one in rough outline and effectively a whole new design. M113 Gavins are the best known for their simplicity and reliability. They are built to be very modular for quick repairs and easy upgrades. Their overall performance though can be the best described as average if not worse. They are lightly armored with only sufficient protection against shock rifles and other hi-powered small arms. They have no shields although from the A18 onwards they can be outfitted with PRA plates to survive certain anti-vehicular weapons. Its main weaponry is a simple P15 shock repeater cannon but a light M134 3-barrel rotary shock repeater turret. While outdated this setup is fairly sufficient to deal with common threats while the Gavin is never intended to be a frontline vehicle.
- M1025 Goat: Light transport and utility vehicle seen carrying most military equipment. It replaced old M151 Heavy Jeeps and various hovertruck types in the said role, improving logistics and overall mobility considerably. The Goat is a deceivingly sturdy vehicle which might not have much armor but was engineered with crew and passenger survivability in mind. M1025A3 is the designation of the baseline current production model of Goats but the vehicle has myriads of different variants ranging from specialists like ambulance, tow and engineer vehicles to weapons carriers like missile, hyperlance and shock mortar variants. M1051A1 is a whole new vehicle called the Great Goat. It has increased armor including PRA blocks to resist modern threats and could carry heavier equipment. With the Great Goat production in full swing it is expected that the vehicle type will serve Asteria for another 40 years.
- Hoverjeep: Speedy and cheap hover vehicle used for personal transportation and reconnaissance. While there are universal requirements from the military to their jeeps these vehicles are created by myriad of manufacturers with varying features and capabilities. Jeeps are generally have little if any protection and are advised to leave combat at the soonest opportunity.
Talked with @Sigma about the Jump Gate camping. There's an Eden Accord that prohibits the laying of mines directly at the gate's close proximity, as well as for turrets. Weaponizing or Disruption of Jump Gates is prohibited, lest they want to incur the wrath of the combined power of accord abiding nations.
There's also a reason that gates won't function correctly if there's an object in the immediate vicinity of the exit point. Possibly your pitch with the radiation burst can tie up with that as well, let's just wait for Sigma's approval.
I think the radiation burst idea can be toned down if needed but the fact it's there means locking down gates is far from simple. If we add that it's prohibited to do so adds some extra layers. For two reasons. 1.) It might be prohibited because it could accidentally damage the gate itself, a very reasonable concern. 2.) Even if it can win a fight there might be some methods a determined attacker can use to still breach through if somebody wants to "gate-camp" still.
So this could work to prevent scummy tactics and keep the game entertaining.
I don't think ITC can economically bully people, they likely can ransom peeps if they are literally giants but they can't really bully them when they can just say "nah" and they could still operate reasonably with the wealth of resources they already have. Then again, not necessarily all colonies are developed enough they can do decent exploitation of their own system. Some colonists might be brand new, even. They might explicitly need the ITC economic aid to just survive. That'd be a curious development.
Anyways, I think I could drop the space nomad thing. Alternatively they could had O'Niel space colonies in the past but the gates explicitly forced them to change that. Now I am only have to imagine up a plausible shape for said colonies. Perhaps the same cylindrical setup but with multiple layers with each providing gravity through "gravity plates" tech?
The Interstellar economy is highly developed. Very few, if any, planets are actually capable of autarky anymore. Blockading your own system would effectively immediately remove your ability to fight the war, and once the enemy eventually clear the mines you're doomed.
You can certainly try to seal yourself off, but given any gate can connect to any gate you're just hurting yourself. Moreover, I imagine (given the ITC, a power bloc) that by now a number of treaties regarding gate commerce have been passed, or forced, by or onto the governments of the Cluster.
So sure, you can cut yourself off. Your people will probably starve and your economy is almost certain to collapse, but don't worry! Once you eventually open your gate again you're going to be sanctioned and persecuted by just about every major trading nation.
That's my take. Sigma and Hyper can chime in if their opinions differ.
I meant to post a longer response but I feel in the current format the constant back and forth exchanges would not help and would not resolve in a timely manner thus further frustrate players.
I don't think interdependent economies are plausible with entire star systems' worth of raw materials. Maybe if you play almost absolutely hard sci-fi but that's a fringe nobody will do (and you'd effectively have to reject all NS submissions that way). I also don't think the solution you came up with is sufficient to prevent abuses.
I'd propose a solution more grounded in the mechanism of the gates. You see in order to transfer untold metric tons of mass through some wormhole style travel mechanism it'd require ridiculous amounts of energy. Since this is soft sci-fi we don't need to think hard about this but it could open a possibility. Basically when a gate transit happens it is accompanied with a gigantic radiation burst, enough to fry electronics in 10,000 mile radius and blind sensors for a while. Due to the specifics of the gate transfer the object coming through the gate is immune to this effect thus they can safely fly out of it. The consequences? Gate camping is not only ineffective, it'd be actively dangerous. So instead of mining up regions or ready to snipe ships at the gate, both sides have ample time to position up for an upcoming proper battle. This should resolve one problem.
As for the isolation shenanigans, while I criticize it, being made an interstellar pariah is a good deterrent as any for now. Still, I feel a bit strange with the idea of an interconnected economic block involving the whole playerbase. This would require syncing sheets to a ridiculous degree. Does this game really wants to run by this or it's just something you thought about in response to my post? I feel this is a gigantic matter which would be put at the forefront for the OOC because it changes basically everything you do in this game compared to normal nationgames. Actually, this way it would not be a space opera at all, rather playing a cold war era NRP with less doomsday concerns but the exact same political shenanigans and overall discouraging of any direct military actions whatsoever.
Anyways, since we don't have a discord I apologize in advance if OOC will be taken up with a couple of discussions which will likely involve me. Not necessarily my faction but the setting.
As to expand upon the gate-camping issue. Basically, with FTL gates being the sole method of reliable interstellar travel, if it ever comes to war... they just won't happen. Why? Because whoever owns the gate can just mine up the region, camp up the place with defensive turrets and effectively make anyone passing through the gate to never survive the aftermath.
This is a severe issue if you want a classic space opera game without having to deal with FTL shenanigans dominating like you apparently do. As I said this effectively makes interstellar warfare impossible unless you have the paradox situation of already infiltrated and defeated your opponent before you'd pass through the gate. Alternatively somebody can effectively isolate themselves for years doing this trick and nobody could do anything against it.
So... do you actually have a solution for this? On a side note, do we have any sorts of FTL communication?
@Willy Vereb Alright we've come to a decision. I would agree with @Crispy Octopus in that the mobile castles would be too large. @Hyperdrive feels the whole "anchoring" thing would defeat the purpose of having Jump Gates for the setting. He also suggest that instead of large mobile castles, why not a large fleet of regular sized ships?
First of what's a "regular sized ship"? I don't think I mentioned castles but you may have read the sheet I linked before. Said castles range from 250 to 2500m in length. If you flubbed up and meant my mobile colonies, see my second point.
Second, in order to sustain life the O'Neil cylinder needs to be fairly large in diameter, at least a few kilometers I say so centrifugal force based acceleration doesn't need many revolutions per minute to work. Length is secondary in comparison but of course add weight to the artificial environment. The better question is why can't gates be larger? If the gates are the size of regular vessels or even an Arc then it's a massive pain in the ass to navigate through them. Make them a few dozen kilometers in diameter and this concern no longer applies. It might also eliminate other problems to an extent like gate-camping, although this trouble still remains.
Third, I agree on FTL gates that can be anchored being possibly disruptive for the setting. Although I also feel there's a plothole if they don't exist. Then again, story above worldbuilding, I'd say, so maybe we can just accept it and move on.
@SigmaIt actually can work without me being so unique to not have claims. They just have to currently occupy regions without habitable planets. As for origins I plan them to have developed independently from Core culture and only recently arrived from the Frontier.
Arcs did, I figure so would my own cruising cities. I am also thinking of either having the colonies have the ability to "anchor" to an orbit and produce a gate for travel or there are specific gate colonies that perform this purpose.
@SigmaWould it be acceptable to have a faction that has no systems outright owned but rather they live in mobile space colonies? Think of gigantic 25-100km long O'niel cylinders with engines. They are very vulnerable and lumbering to the extreme. They are not meant to represent my faction's industrial capability at producing warships and while numerous these were made over a long period of time. Would it be acceptable?