Unknown. I might be more of an actual company without any strict territorial holdings. I am thinking about retooling my White Corps faction to fit this NRP. Alternatively I might do a "Space Hungary" but the faction being more of the successors of a pan-slavic expedition to Alpha Centaury which went through a lot over the centuries and by now think about Hungary as a mythical body or legend than anything strictly with the nationality or culture. It sounds a bit of mess and it is but in the good way. The only pitfall could be if interstellar expeditions were not done until very recently or you wish to not have anyone from outside the Solar System.
BTW, did you think about creating a Discord server to players? This is the newest trend for RPs to supplement the OOC chat and allow more through interaction/planning.
Yeah, you'd need a quite huge black hole to accomplish that, actually. Likely at least a few orders of magnitude heavier than the said planet.
What would a micro black hole do which was magically made stable? It'd keep falling in and out of the planet while likely excavating a relatively small hole in the process. So basically it'd be more like an unstoppable bowling ball which keeps circling in and out of the planet while growing ever so slightly in the process. If light enough it might also stop in the core and stabilize there, basically just adding a tiny mass to the planet. Although it might influence tectonic movements on the long run.
In the end all that the black hole is just mass. Highly concentrated for sure but it still behaves like any other object.
Also realistic micro black holes would be akin to a mini sun if not even more intense, they would be white-hot as they spread radiation leakage everywhere. That's actually how they are supposed to work as energy source. Basically you just replace nuclear reactors with a black hole and you can keep the rest of the apparatus.
@Willy Vereb Not rock solid, but hard enough that stuff like avoiding detection while in a spaceship shouldn't be considered as anything but a lost cause. No FTL exists, but you could if you wanted to beam copies of your mind or an AI at the speed of light between different locations you have the certification for.
I tend to be case-case with tech, as I know people can be rather creative with Sci-fi technology and generally I look at balance more than realism. So I'm unlikely to allow for instance, Starlifting and kugelblitz black hole generators or Death Stars.
Makes sense. Would artificial gravity be okay, then?
Also the point of Kugelblitz is to generate a tiny black hole so it's dependent on how much power you have. Also micro black holes aren't behaving like their larger brethren. They are unstable and emit radiate out their energy rapidly so rather than a doomsday scenario where any black hole can consume the planet it's better to think of micro black holes as tiny stars or on the extreme low end as outright explosives.
Without some GM authorized technobabble Kugelblitz would also have lot of issues. First, the amount of energy required for a semi-stable black hole (radiates out its energy under years rather than seconds). Second, you can't move these since we talk about an infinitely tiny point of space holding large amount of mass. You can't just push them with a plate or use propulsion to move a black hole (electromagnets might work for certain types albeit we talk about ridiculous mass). Yet they are effected by gravity thus you should absolutely avoid any large astronomical body and their gravity wells. Basically a realistic Kugelblitz generator would be put on a "stationary" remote plant which absolutely never could maneuver and its purpose would be perhaps to provide cheap energy.
If you allow gravity manipulation tech then maybe Kugelblitz can be a bit more widespread as power source but regardless you shouldn't think of weaponizing them.
This reminds me of Comic Vine roleplays and (before it shut down) Anime Vice. Big shared universe, teams, meeting places, shared roleplaying world, character tiers and so on. It's good to see this being done elsewhere and while my time is too limited nowadays to engross myself in a huge shared universe the very least more people can experience this through RPGuilds.
As for not letting powerful people ruin the world... this is difficult. Neither AV nor CV really had a hard cap on the powers of characters. Tier systems were made after a few years but nobody was prevented from making characters as powerful as they wanted. So how the hell did we keep this thing intact? One could say we didn't, we always had certain messes and the powerful characters were constantly an issue in terms of fighting balance. Or when you tried to stage a war for the globe while everyone and their sick dog could blow up the planet by accident. So in a sense it was just madness, especially on the AV side. Reboots had to be done a few times. That being said things were stable and usually drama free. Before the invention of tools to keep out unwelcome players or GMs step in when somebody RP-d maliciously or anything similar we had one "weapon", if you can even call that as such: Ignorance. RP-ing is a community and when somebody acts against this or attempts to disrupt it the roleplayers can just isolate that person without much of an effort. Actually, it can be described as a lack of effort. Did X write a post about blowing up New York for no reason?(potentially destroying multiple hero/villain bases as well as killing a number of player characters) Ignore it. That never happened. Of course this methodology can be also misused but worked well enough to handle the occasional weirdo who lacked in the roleplaying etiquette. Overusing it was obviously something that should be watched for and be sternly avoided. Since it would also reinforce a negative behavior otherwise frowned upon. So yeah, it kind of worked but not sure if people would wish to resort to this now. As an alternative you can just call the GMs/Mods to check a certain post or posts, give them a reason why you think it's disruptive and then upon their judgement they can just declare that event non-canonical. This could be an RP that got out of hand, a certain action, a post or even just part of the post. It's still good if most power levels are locked away from the playerbase but the very least it gives the GMs a tool that they can push in case of things went out of control.
As for allowing Tier 5s... I think the main reason for this need is perhaps not for the desire to nuke cities or own DBZ-lite characters lording over people. The reason is simply because the way tiers are worded it seems there isn't enough freedom to create a character with supernatural powers. RPGuilds being known for a huge influx of anime based roleplays this could easily be traced to that, I suppose.
Your overall character
Each item, ability, or other feature to which a power level might apply.
1 (self) – a person; not particularly special; no magic; mundane.
2 (local) – exceptionally talented in a particular area, such as gymnastics, sniping, persuasion, hacking, slight-of-hand, extra-sensory projection, sensing magic or minor cantrips, unusual luck. Ex Sp: detect magic, stabilize, ghost noises, prestidigitation. Ex Eq: assault rifle, flame thrower, sword and board.
3 (regional) – physically or cognitively augmented; able to cast weak spells, although not reliably; skills pushed beyond the limits of mere talent and practice; noteworthy in their field. Ex Sp: phantom image, cure poison, cure light wounds, glitterdust, obscuring mist, levitation, telepathy. Ex Eq: missile launcher, attack drone, exoskeleton, x-ray vision.
4 (national) – prominent in their field as someone whose talents defy reason, this is where magic begins to manifest as something beyond mere illusion into something potentially dangerous, mental tasks are almost of a psychic nature, and the expense of technology elevates it beyond the reach of all but a few. Ex Sp: fireball, resuscitate, invisibility. Ex Eq: light saber, interplanetary shuttle, brain upload/backup.
5 (global) – untouchable by the proletariat, yet still unworthy of worship; few challenge beings of this magnitude. They may have weapons or spells that can level towns and their intrigues shape governments to their will.
6 (planetary) – this being may as well be a god to those lesser than it, such is its might and knowledge, but its influence is limited by time and space to a handful of worlds. Ex Sp: true resurrection, meteor shower, tsunami, tornado, matter/energy absorption/manipulation. Ex Eq: IPBM (interplanetary ballistic missile), terraforming spaceship, colonization ship, fast-as-light travel.
I should note this in advance that barring a couple of posts I never visited the Arena so my understanding of its tier list is not quite comprehensive. I'm generally far less active in RPGuilds than to possibly claim I can comprehensively judge things going on here. Nor I was really active enough in the community to have thoroughly followed the growth of Expanding Horizons. If I were, I'd have been present months ago. With all this I fully acknowledge my understanding could be quite faulty yet at times you might at least bear to listen to the occasional outsider. So yeah, bear with me.
What I see here is that we have two ranks of normal, one for the realistic and other for the fictional "badass normal". That's fair, people shouldn't be forced into powering up their characters just to fit the norm for the tier. Things get weird when the third and fourth tiers come up. In theory Tier-3 allows you to use augmented and supernatural abilities but then the description of the fourth tier comes and states any magic which can be no longer explained away just as an illusion is T4. An as the ceiling T5 specifies capability to destroy towns which likely invokes the "walking nuke" trope. So you mixed anything from D&D's magic missile spell to anything sorts of Lina Inverse's Dragonslayer into one tier. That's what I see as an issue. This leads to a dichotomy where one GM thinks T4 is any guy with magic attacks thus if somebody is stronger than the generic conception of that is already T5. This is restrictive to any kind of powered characters sufficiently "interesting". Also blocks the idea of having an influential person with a squad of powered characters as NPCs. The other end is that a GM interprets T4 just as I defined, basically the type mentioned above is T4 but so is a kind of character who'd be way out of the other's league. Think of a guy who can run faster than a speeding jet, is tougher than a tank and can crash the World Trade Center with his strongest attack. IMO this is the kind of powered character who would be called "national level", a kind of threat an entire nation's military might struggle against. I don't think such a character would be unreasonable in Expanded Horizons but well, see my paragraph above.
Before I get into details I wish to tell two things. First, both AV and CV had (the latter might still do have) "tier caps" for specific roleplays. So when you had an event the organizer could determine what character tiers are allowed to participate. Also we had a sorts of OOC most of the time for both meta discussions and for sign-ups. Generally only players who have previously signed up for an event can join. Mid-game sign-ups were usually allowed, though. Second, aside from the above explained "tier gap" the other issue I have is that the tier list singles out specific abilities when these often are just as dependent on the character tier as anything. Say, fireball in D&D is effectively an artillery spell with huge AoE. World of Warcraft? Single target attack spell. Another random fantasy setting may have it as a nuke or a multi-hit ability. Or matter manipulation. There are plenty low tier matter manipulators. Do you think Alchemists like Edward Elric is a planet-wide threat? Also I am pretty sure you meant this in the context of character speeds rather than anything else but "fast-as-light-travel" and "faster-than-light-travel" are vague enough that people could think it means spacecraft. Bye-bye plots involving alien visitors or last survivors of X planet. As I said the way it's worded is restrictive beyond its probably intended purpose.
Now back to the tier gap or at least what I perceive as such. I know, you made this circa 4 months ago. Changing things now could be quite a mess. Also keep in mind that I am just a random user who just happened to RP a lot. I have no authority and neither intend to have such. I'm merely posting a suggestion which you may or may not consider. You might as well ignore it if you want. I merely thought I could waste a few hours of my life to help you. Nothing more, nothing less. So, I perceive a sorts of mess with T3-5 here. How to solve that? Of course by introducing new tiers. The way I see it most of the "interesting" characters are currently sitting at a mandatory Tier 4. Which is a mess,IMO. I wish to spread this to several tiers to reflect the difference. At the same time I wouldn't wish to force dozens of people to rewrite their tier lists. So yeah, it isn't easy. I go back to the usual feature of half tiers to solve that.
Tier 3 - As explained. Augmented, barely powered characters. Tier 3.5 - Beginning of the "interesting" (read, supernaturally powered anime character-like) tiers. Tier 4 - As described, living artillery, tank or similar (basically their capabilities can be roughly equated to a combat vehicle) Tier 5 - Low-tier flying brick which has the combination of say a jet fighter, a tank and a bomber. Alternatively excelling in one category. Say, TV Flash from Season 1 barring the more high end feats or a walking brick of a character who can shrug off anti-tank weapons with ease.
Tier 6 - Higher tier, an intermediate between a T5 and the walking nuke level which will be T7. This is likely not allowed by player haracters. Tier 7 - Previously was T5 but now made more definite. T8 and onwards - follows from T6. Technically you could split those tiers up, too. But for what purpose? Only GM characters are allowed to be like these and they are so beyond the PCs the difference doesn't matter in general.
This is the relatively simple suggestion I have. I know it's vague as hell but I'm short on time so this is the most I can provide for now. If you are even vaguely interested I'll be glad to share more details once my time allows it. And yes, it ironically results in "allowing Tier 5" but only because the scope of T4 got expanded. With just the addition of those two tiers I think you can handle most variety issues and also help hosts to determine the "power level" of player characters more correctly. Again, I am assuredly talking from a limited experience with Expanded Horizons so I mostly used a quick research and my pool of experience in other roleplaying communities. Hope this would be of a bit of assistance to you. If not... well, I wasted 2 hours of my life on worse things.
Luxans are an aggressive warrior race bent on conquest. About 70 years ago they used to be a major power in the Stormlosweg Sector but since losing their home they were reduced to mere tribal broods and raiders, harassing their neighbors. They use their unique invasive biology as their technology and capable of evolving to adapt against their opponents. While weak as a state Luxans in battle should never be underestimated. As raiders in space they are infamous for their lightning fast attacks by abusing their slipspace drives.
The origin of Luxans is shrouded in mystery. No Luxan was found willing to communicate and it's plausible that not even the Luxans themselves know the details. It can be safely said that they were born on Lux sometime around or after the Kilonova Catastrophe. Some Mortean scientists theorize the Luxans were a biological experiment to create a lifeform capable of surviving in the new hostile environment. Others claim the original inhabitants of Lux turned themselves into these creatures. Whichever is the case by around VR100 they've taken over the planet and permanently transformed it to their nesting ground. Mortean records in earnest begin with VR11 when the Luxans invade Mortis for the first time. They lacked FTL and supposedly used standard propulsion to reach the Todderstern system. Regardless after just recovering from the Karan'esh the Morte were unprepared to face an entirely new threat. Whatever remained of thinning atmosphere of Mortis was lost and turned to corrosive gases by the invaders and in spite of their limited resources it took two decades to get rid of the Luxans. The shock of the First Luxan War also lead to the Morte abandonning their republican system and put power in the hands the charismatic general turned hero, Karl von Metzel. His dynasty ruled Mortis for centuries. [...] By the time of the 13rd Luxan War the Morte grew into a formidable body owning multiple star systems. With the balance of power flipped over the Morte chose to be on the offense and after decades of intense warfare they began the siege of Lux. After sacrificing many billions on both sides the Morte Imperium triumphed and the Luxans were scattered. Losing the Lux didn't just set back their industry but also lead to losing their most sacred place while sacrificing nearly all their leaders. It was inevitable that the Luxans would scatter into numerous small broods. Descending into a borderline tribal state the Luxans busy infighting unless there's a valuable prey nearby.
The green area shows which parts of the Stormlosweg Sector aren't held by the Morte Imperium yet. Most broods reside somewhere in this area although more and more Luxans settle outside of it and began to spread towards the Yrrkeltharl Coalition
Unknown, they used to have Lux as their homeworld and primary nesting pool but since then they splintered into dozens of broods. Due to the meticulous way to cover their tracks there's no information about the exact location of any of these broods.
Luxans are a strain of organism supposedly created on Lux. Their unique cels have the ability to absorb genetic materials and utilize them to better themselves. Primal Lux are the caste of sapient species of their kind. They have largely humanoid features but mixed with the characteristics of many other creatures. Luxans have a deep seated desire to consume and conquer which could be the driving force behind their warlike tendencies. They are a warrior race that values strength, cunning and brutality. Physically they could have varying characteristics albeit generally Primes have a distinct look which makes them easy to identify. Luxans partially earned their names for their relationship to the stars. Collecting radiation is essential for Luxan breeding and hatching mechanism which naturaly makes them dependent on stars. Albeit in the Stormlosweg region they have quite a few more option which is partially why they remained there. Luxans can live in space without much of a discomfort albeit they prefer to fill the air with toxic gases. Lastly, Luxan genetic material is infectious and when implanted to other organisms have a high chance of leading to a fatal disease. The Luxan cells consume the foreign body as they multiply, if completely successful this eventually results in the target creature turning into some sorts of Luxan itself. As such close combat and physical methods are best to be avoided with Luxans.
Luxans long lost any resemblance to a proper government and now considered a group of "Broods" united by a Matriarch each. This can be best approximated as a tribal system with the next biggest authority being the Alpha Prime who's the physically strongest or at least the most successful Prime Lux in their brood.
Luxans use biotechnology derived from their own genes. In essence everything they use are also Luxans themselves. Regardless their biotechnology evolved to the level of matching other factions which is obviously a no small feat. Luxans use lower ranking strains like other civilizations use machines. Instincts, reflexes and various forms of biological intelligences replace computers and AIs. They can excrete materials tough enough to compete with advanced materials invented by other species. Their bioreactors are capable of using strangely technology like mechanisms to match Mortean advancements. Even their weapons are often living creatures that are altered to serve their function. Luxan biotechnology in an abstract way resembles the developments of other races yet the fundamentals are quite different.
- Weinol: Name of the family of unique Luxan structural materials, named after a Mortean scientist who synthesized a few variants of it. While in Morte their understanding of Weinol is only sufficient to make them into replacement of plastics the Luxan build their entire civilization on this. It could range from extremely tough yet light and diamond hard armors to powerful muscles or even unique variants to catch antimatter unscratched. The potential applications of Weinol are seemingly limitless.
- Spore Launcher: Common kinetic weapon of the Luxans using yet not exactly understood mechanisms to launch tiny armored spores at hypervelocity. The "spore" can be microscopic or even the size of a huge boulder (for starship weapons) and can take up various shapes and functions. In essence these spores are bioengineered organisms designed to fulfill a certain purpose after impact. For small arms this usually involves just injecting Luxan DNA into bodies to act as poison while at larger scales they can act as explosives, chemical delivery systems, breeding pods to spawn creatures inside enemy ships and so on. Spores of higher complexity also often have their own maneuvering methods and guidance. Some spores may even contain multiple smaller spores. When a spore has significant self-propulsion instead of being launched it's called Locust and it could be the Luxan equivalent of missiles.
- LVASS: Licht-Verstärkung durch Antistof-Stimulation (LVASS, its Mortean name) is a sorts of gamma ray laser utilizing the energy of pair annihilation for a more focused and powerful laser. Also called as bio-laser for its distinct nature but it should not be confused with Yrrkeltharl Coalition's own bio-lasers that are more of a catch-all term for terrestrial weapons. In Luxan context only laser weapons but both for space and terrestrial use are called as bio-lasers, even those that may not use LVASS mechanism.
- Blink Drive: Around IR200 the Luxans found a derelict Ekhrilthurian spacecraft with its slipspace drive intact. After decades of effort they made a biotech replica of these and finally attained means to FTL. Over the time they made their own adjustments to the long outdated design, while not quite improving it they engineered it for better and better performances. Luxan drives could never achieve long jumps, nor the speeds plausible for modern slipspace drives. Instead they managed to overclock it, allowing fast entries and escapes for their speedy raids. Few hundred years later after the discovery the Luxan were a known menace that could appear almost anywhere within the Stormlosweg sector and when you the least expect it.
- Adaptive Biology: As a result of every piece of Luxan technology being alive these are loaded with a wealth of sensory information along with the inbuilt versatility results in what the Luxans' enemies refer to as "adaptation". After experiencing a new threat this produced a feedback which can be analyzed and using the Luxans' technology base alter their technology to adapt the best way they can know. This can result in unexpected changes in Luxan combat units over the course of a long battle. Luxans don't magically grow immune to enemy attacks but they change to better handle the threat. This can be direct like developing a different kind of armor (switching from anti-DEW to anti-kinetic properties, for example) or a more proactive response that deals with the threat by most likely killing it better (ie.: sensors to spot snipers or growing sniper weapons themselves).
Luxans are warlike and most of their society focuses on their ability to fight. Since their technology is biological containing their genetic materials it could be said those are also Luxans. For them fighting is less about political aims but to propagate their kind. Luxans corrupt worlds into their own image and this hostile terraformation is sometimes even part of their military strategy. Once they landed in sufficient mass it's plausible the very planet turns against the defenders.
Luxan starships are semi-living creatures created entirely through unique biological processes. As such there's no uniform design and each ship can change or even grow over their lifetime. Luxan utilizes ships for two purposes. One for patrols and raids, these ships are made for battle and are fairly compact in size. Another category is for behemoths of starships specializing to drop spore pods containing swarms of Luxan troops. While tough and heavily armed with usually a fleet of podcraft as escort they aren't really meant for actual combat. There used to be a class for dreadnoughts but these fell out of favor and after the fall of Lux they are no longer have the means to supply these gigantic beasts so it practically disappeared.
Podcraft: Equivalent to starfighters these large organism are varied and often altered by their mothership prior to launch to fit a certain puprose. Most podcraft are giant sentient creatures approaching the intelligence of Prime Lux. In a sense they are like biological drones. Albeit occasionall podcraft are modified to hold a Prime as its pilot or carry cargo/troops as an alternative to Spore Pods. Podcraft can be occasionally capable of Slipspace travel albeit they need a bioship to open a rift for them in order to do so.
Spineship: 120-400m long bioships with elongated shape made for agility and a decent loadout of weapons. It usually has one or a few spinal mounted weapons but unlike for the Morte they have an almost secondary role compared to locusts and weapon batteries. Spineships are again designed for agility and this is reflected in their Blink Drives that are fast and capable of performing two or sometimes more jumps in succession in order to confuse the enemy. Of course that also takes up extra space and requires even more time to recharge but for the Luxans the tradeoff worths it.
Behemoth: 1000-2000m long bioship with plenty of place for carrying warriors as well as breeding new tools to fight with. While compared to a Spineship they're more powerful they aren't even nearly a match for Mortean Dreadnoughts. Most of their weapons are defensive and they're reliant on swarms of Podcraft for protection. They also launch Spore Pods for either bombardment or more commonly to land units for assaults. Their Blink Drive is optimized for distance and can only do a single jump before requiring to recharge.
IR1211 (5 years ago) 1st Imperial Morte Expeditionary Fleet Approaching the Blume System
The Morteans survived a sector-wide disaster, weathered multiple wars yet what brought down their centuries long isolation was ironically peace and prosperity. It was a simple matter of overpopulation, a crisis Morteans could have never imagined to happen. Yet here they are, with their farms and habitation facilities steadily reaching their limits. Thinking back the Morte Empire could've avoided this with birth control. Yet for death world inhabitants like the Morteans the idea of limiting procreation was nearly unthinkable. Indeed, even if they were no longer target of either neighboring Xenos clan's invasion anymore the threat could be renewed in any moment. Intentionally weakening themselves was simply not an option. So with the new generation the Morte Empire had no choice but to expand. Yet with so many enemies, and even more mouths to feed, finding a suitable planet was no easy task. It took scientists and astronomers over 4 Mortean Cycles to discover a distant planet almost 20 light-cycles away. They dubbed the system Blume, reflecting their hopes in its future growth. The planet in question was the fourth in the Blume system, temporarily named Blume Vier.
As such the 1st Expeditionary Fleet had taken form. Given what the Morteans had experienced in the past they knew that space isn't a terribly welcoming place. The importance of this mission was vital and the Morte Empire spared nothing to ensure the safety of its first colonists towards Blume Vier. The 1st Expeditionary Fleet had no less than 128 warships forming its backbone. They were supported by 455 escort ships providing screen and fire support. The fleet closely guarded a huge caravan of civilian vessels, ferrying not just the fleet's supplies but also resources, tools and machines essential for colonizing Blume Vier. On the other hand millions of colonists were kept on dozens of Assault Transports, kept in the same landing pods Morte deployed their troops. Thanks to the wonders of stasis technology they have yet to experience any discomfort.They were supposed to be the first wave of Morteans to set foot on their would be new planet. Meanwhile the fleet's duty was to make sure their territory is secure.
The commander of this new fleet was the famous Kampführer Alexander von Sterbstahl. Veteran of no less than 3 wars, it was no exaggeration to say he had more experience than the rest of the fleet combined. Aged 180, he lived far longer than the average Mortean. This feat is partially thanks to the skill of Reichswehrmacht's medicine and cybernetics departments. The accumulating battle injuries forced him to gradually exchange his organic parts with machinery, latest checkup said Sterbstahl is nearly 70% cyborg. In anything but the name Sterbstahl was a living ghost, only exist to haunt his enemies for his remainder years. This man now commanded the 1st Imperial Morte Expeditionary Fleet, the key of the Reich's future. Rest assured, the irony was not lost on the elderly Kampführer.
"Reaching the system's perimeter, switching to low-warp navigation now." Noted Oberleutnant Herbert Braun, navigation officer of the 1st Imperial Morte Expeditionary Fleet's flagship, the Sieglinde. It was fresh and the first in the line of the Morte's new Sieglinde-class Dreadnoughts. In spite of its size the ship was capable of matching or even surpassing the warp speed of the fastest Frigate and have power to defeat dozens of them in a single fight. It was a design and technological marvel but, as expected, with comparably high price. After a few seconds the entire fleet switched down to low-warp, allowing ships to maneuver and engage in case of combat. According to estimations it'd take 41 minutes to reach their destination. They were at full readiness, expecting to react quickly to any sudden threat.
@Commodore "Sir, I'm picking up multiple hyper-pings, it's an unknown fleet!" Sensory chief Gerald Henlein said. It hasn't been even 5 minutes and they've already spotted a xenos fleet. Normally this would've called for immediate battlestations but the Kampführer reigned over his instincts (or the cogitator in his upper left brainstem did) and issued different orders. "Hail them! Our first priority is to establish a colony on Blume Vier. Let's not multiply our problems." The elderly war veteran made this surprisingly diplomatic decision. "Aye sir, hailing them in all known languages." Leonore Kranke the communications officer aboard the Sieglinde said. The Morte Empire made contact with four xeno species prior, none of them were friendly. Yet overcoming these statistics Kamführer Sterbstahl attempted to negotiate with the fifth. Besides with a fleet of this size any attempt at ambush was already impossible. Talk was cheap and if it achieves something then all the better. Unfortunately the Morte Empire didn't know the Galaxy's interstellar language, neither the IUC's. As such on the other end the IUC fleet only heard the following:
"Grüße, ist dies der erste Expeditionsflotte der Morte Reich! Wir haben es mit Ruhe kommen und die vierte Planet auf diesem System zu erreichen." (Greetings, this is the 1st Expeditionary Fleet of the Morte Empire! We're coming with peace and to claim the fourth planet on this system.)
Overcoming the language barrier was the first and perhaps the greatest huddle.
Oh right, so I was supposed to introduce what the Far East is like. Basically it got re-imagined into a sorts of "alien landscape", the part of the world yet untouched by Justinian's purges and where numerous races that otherwise would be long extinct thrive. This mostly concerns the two main Yuwanist faction, Lamash and Yllendthyr. Albeit some elements might spread to other nations in the East. This can include weird landscapes, objects flora and of course fauna. Even intelligent species.
Things are weird in the Yuwanist Far East. That being said everything you see there is completely natural. Yuwan won't spend her energy just to make things look unique nor reality is messed up over there. Just different. See dragons as a good example, they can fly and breathe fire without using magic. Same way landscape and creatures in the Far East just have natural abilities to allow this. Floating rocks, for example. They are unique volcanic rocks filled with a certain gas and translucent but tough mushroom species bind them in place. Bullshit? Absolutely! Magical? Absolutely not!
Welcome to the Far East, the reservation of ancient and weird creations of deities long forgotten!
Official Name: Das Grösses Mortereich aller Todestern (Gothic), Imperium Magni Morte (archaic Mortean) Common Name: Morte Imperium, Mortereich, Morte Empire Government: Elected Centralized Totalitarian Monarchy Dominant Species: Morte (100%) Capital: Mortis, Toderstern System Systems Owned: 7 Planets Owned: 4 (rest are uninhabitable) Population: 85,569,242,144 (according to last year's census)
The Morte Imperium is the most dominant power within the isolated and deadly Stormlosweg Sector, controlling over 70% of it. Stormlosweg is a death world plagued by exotic radiation, antimatter winds and most of its once habitable planets were reduced to wastelands. Yet some of the most resilient civilizations managed to survive, including the Morte. Morteans are grim and pragmatic people whose entire history involved fighting with the environment while fending off other civilizations in their war for survival. They are isolated and extremely militaristic yet for over a century now they experience relative peace. As a result their population boomed and now they struggle with overpopulation to the extreme. In order to alleviate this the Empire intends to explore the stars outside the Stormlosweg Sector to find habitable planets for the Morte to expand.
Due to the chaos of the Kilonova Catastrophe there are no proper records of the Pre-Mortean years and even the early centuries have sparse sources. Some historians support that prior to the catastrophe their homeworld was called Lieberland and it seemed to be lush green planet with a prospering civilization. Everything changed when the Kilonova Catastrophe hit. About 1500 years ago a pair of white dwarves violently collided, producing a massive kilonova right in the center of what is now called the Stormlosweg Sector. The spike in common and exotic forms of radiation accompanied by neutron star fragment impacts changed the fate of this sector forever. [to be continued...]
Star Systems: Toderstern, Bekrieger, Heissessen, Brennenweg, Schmelzer, Grossernicht, Saltzricht Green area signifies parts of the Stormlosweg Sector that aren't under Morte control.
Mortis is the 3rd planet of the Todestern system. Before the Kilonova Disaster it was used to be Lieberland, a lush green planet. That was until VR220 (Vor dem Reich 220 - 220 years before the Empire) when a neutron star fragment impacted with their star Leichtstern and changed the fate of the system forever. The gravity of the star suddenly increased, shifting the planet's orbit thus promoting it to the third planet while the star underwent its slow and ugly transformation into Todestern. The planet is now known as Mortis, an irradiated death world with only minimal habitability yet with the use of domes, underground structures and plenty of resources it's now transformed into a ecunomepolis capable of sustaining billions of people. It's the capital of the Morte Empire for over a thousand years yet living in Mortis for the majority is anything but ideal. Overcrowding is a constant issue.
[to be continued...]
Until just recently the Morte Imperium was an isolated civilization within the Stormlosweg Sector. As such it is unsurprising that the one and only sapient species within the Empire are the Morteans. Morteans are humanoid creatures with blueish skin, red eyes that might glow in the dark, sharp teeth and slightly pointed ears. They are at average shorter in stature (~ 160 cm) due to malnutrition but at times they can grow above 2m in height. Due to the effects of radiation they have an alarmingly high percentage of mutations which is sometimes very visible. Unlike humans the Mortean blood is colored cyan. Morteans have human-like body makeup but there are considerable differences in their chemical system. Mortean bones are made of various bio-steels, enhancing their durability and tolerance to radiation. Though the not so amazing side effect is that Morteans can get stuck to sufficiently strong magnets. Their sharp teeth are capable of chewing through many things and it isn't impossible for a Morteans to chew on rocks and ores (though not the most nutritious choice for sure). Mortean stomachs are versatile and work by different reactions and this generally applies to their entire system. Toxins that could be lethal to humans may be even considered nutrients. In reverse the Morteans have a number of harmful and deadly toxins specific to their physiology. Biologically the Morteans can live for 200 years but in effect the mutations and awful living conditions reduce the average life expectancy to 40 years. Due to their relatively well-adopted physiology to their environment there's a popular theory that the Morteans were actually engineered this way. Though due to the lack of documentation from the Dark Ages and beyond it's currently impossible to determine.Due to the effect of radiation, birth defects and mutations are relatively common and according to statistics 27.4% of the children die at (or before) birth. For every Mortean death is a common experience which swayed their society into an unique direction. Morteans neither fear death nor welcome it. They accept death as a natural element of their lives and strive to serve their community during the short time they're given. Morteans are utilitarians to the extreme, working precisely like cogs in well-oiled machine. In the eyes of others Morteans themselves do appear almost machine-like, having little in the way of personal goals and instead striving to complete their duties to the community as a whole. This unique mindset also makes Morteans numb to the feeling of loss other species experience. Morteans are capable of boundless cruelty without the slightest emotion behind. Compassion in its typical sense is almost completely foreign to them. On the other hand their higher orientation towards logic means Morteans always do things with reason. They have a clear view on risks and benefits which makes negotiations with Morteans surprisingly simple.
Mortean society is all about order and hierarchy. The lines of leadership are clearly defined and Morteans work together like cogs in a well-oiled machine. Questioning the authority of your superiors is unheard of and everyone is under constant supervision of their peers to act like a respectable Morte. On the other hand incompetence is not tolerated and subordinates can and will send in reports about any misdeed of their boss. Advancing through the leadership is possible but difficult and at times certain social groups could be outright class-like. Mortean citizens know and use money with their official currency being the Reichsmark. At the same time a lot of commodities are rationed which means each person only entitled to a limited amount during shortages. Thankfully many of these rations are leased during the hundred years of peace but people are aware these can be reinstated on a moment of notice. The official language of the Mortereich is the Gothic. This effectively splits into two distinct languages. High Gothic is a borderline forgotten language used for ceremonial purposes. It strangely resembles Latin from ancient human civilization but the connection is unlikely. Low Gothic is the common language of Mortean,tt resembles German. There are also 3 other major dialects and even more minority dialects within the population which can range from slight mutation to something that doesn't even sound like the same language.
The Mortean government is imperial, formed under necessity during the early centuries to fend off the Luxans and other crazy invaders. Initially it was a typical monarchic government with the rule of Karl von Metzel and his descendants. However this soon changed and for 800 years now the Kaiser is an elected title which currently only assumed for the length of 2 years. It's possible to get re-elected but no more than 4 times in a row (so a total of 10 years of rule). Since the title is elected technically anyone can become a Kaiser, provided they pass the rigorous selection method for candidates. There are a few days of promotion and campaign and then the candidates get voted on. There are no solid political parties, albeit siding with certain social groups may provide benefits at the election. After appointed as the Kaiser he or she has absolute power to do anything for the good of the Empire. Yet the Kaiser is tightly monitored and after 2 years pass he or she is thoroughly evaluated and potentially punished for any misconduct (sometimes even executed). The Empire also have ministers and other political leaders with their own powers and responsibilities. Their conditions are similar to that of the Kaiser but to a lesser extend. In Morte everyone watches the other and ready to report wrongs straight back to the authorities. This complex relation of hierarchy and keen supervision what defines Morte social structure the most. In terms of foreign politics since every new civilization they've encountered became hostile it's practically non-existent. That being said while the government is paranoiac they don't reject the idea of coexisting with other species, it was generally down to the other party. As such the first ever Mortean expedition outside the Stormlosweg sector is watched with great anticipation.
After experiencing their paradise rapidly turning into a radioactive hell the Morteans doubled their efforts toward technology. Their first priorities were shielded homes and developing means to grow food in their changed environment. Over the centuries as Mortean society transformed, their affinity towards technology grew further. Advanced medicine, gene engineering for special plants that grow in radioactive environments, robotics, self-improving computers and so on. The achievements of the Morteans were impressive, especially compared to its neighbors within the uncharted regions. On the other hand with no contact with other advanced civilizations, their scientific development could be overall be described as average or even below average compared to the better known factions in the galaxy.
Development wise as being isolated within the Stormlosweg Sector the Mortean technology is of course somewhat unique. Just as Toderstern most stars turned into eccentric green stellar bodies producing winds of antimatter. This is the sector's curse but perhaps also its greatest boon as resourceful civilizations can gather metric tons of antimatter with relative ease. Indeed for the Morte antimatter is a rare and valuable resource used for almost every piece of technology. They are a simple and convenient medium for tasks that require compact and highly energetic sources of power. Aside from this Mortean experiences with exotic matter and easily accessible high energy source inspired them to advance their material sciences, although undoubtedly they also stole a lot of advanced from the Dorvec. Speaking of stealing the Mortean faster-than-light technology builds entirely on developments from other races. The warp drive was invented by the Karan'esh, centuries before Kilonova Catastrophe. The hyperdrive in particular was derived from the Luxan, whose drive was a biomechanical imitation of a looted ancient hyperdrive design appropriated during their raids. Being imitation of an imitation, Mortean hyperdrives have severe issues and until recently they had massive reliability problems which prevented their widespread use.
Morte Imperium is using every available natural source they could: solar collectors, geothermal plants, gravitational sheer dynamos, you name it. This constitutes the majority percentage of the power maintaining their infrastructure. That being said while the central power grid is important the war-experienced Morte have numerous backup means including hidden power cells, backup generators and even other alternatives. Cars, smaller machinery and home generators use Plasma Engines (Plasmaslok). These are the distant relative of internal combustion engines with superheated plasma gases flowing through gravomagnetic fields in place of machinery. Plasma engines are safe and highly efficient, also extremely versatile. You could utilize any kind of fuel with them so long it provides sufficient heat as the system is intelligent enough to adjust. The most powerful plasma engines rely on fusion power provided by capsules of liquid hydrogen or similar fusion material enclosing antimatter and modulated by high-gravity chambers. When nuclear power is a must the Morte relies on Atomic Reactors (Atomarkraftretter). Being experts of material and nuclear science the atomic reactor can identify and break down any common material to then use them as fuel for various nuclear fission and fusion reactions. A decent atomic reactor can use practically anything for fuel which makes them highly popular in space, especially for the industry and military. The generator turning the heat of the reactions into energy are modified plasma engines. Antimatter Generators (Antistofskraftwerk) are an ancient technology nowadays rendered obsolete. It simply uses antimatter and mixes it with positive matter to gain energy. Large devices using pure antimatter are too resource demanding to operate thus they are no longer in use. Albeit research on them now allow the Morte to utilize antimatter in very compact means which forms the basis of most of their high-energy technologies.
Power storage has many forms with two being the most common. Mechanocells (Mechanozelle) are a family of technologies that use mechanical energy like spring tension at nano scale to store considerable amount of power. They are a bit heavy but their energy density is quite decent with very minimal energy loss and long lifetime. This makes them the most common way to transport energy. Plasma Batteries (Plasmtreibzelle) are also common when one needs light and quick energy source, these use heat and electromagnetism to store energy and can also release it quite rapidly. In spite of relying on plasma they're safe albeit they aren't preferable for long term energy storage. Antimatter Capacitors (Antistofskondensator) are far from a common power source as not many applications require their power density. They are most commonly encountered with military, research and specialized industry. They work by generating antimatter particles and storing them until it's needed. They are crude but effective but due to the conversion being inefficient (only 30-50% of the energy turns into antimatter) it's really only used when you need incredible amount of energy released in a quick, easy and compact way.
Planetary Transport Even in the world of reactors and starships the Morte seemingly relies on simple modes of transportation on the surface. Wheels and tracks are common even if the technology behind them advanced by miles. Driving axles are retained but almost optional as in the new age of gravomagnetics even the wheels are spun by fields. Wheels and tracks utilize superfluidics that increase their toughness and can flow to damaged portions to retain the same shape. Citizens of higher status or those who work in heavy duty jobs might be familiar with Gravomagnetic Actuators (Gravitationsmagnetisch-Beteatiger). Hydraulics, linear motors and tension mechanics are overtaken by gravomagnetics that provide motion without any moving mechanics within. Gravomagnetic acutators are widespread and for example are an essential part of plasma engines. But when they're mentioned as propulsion it usually involves lifts, presses and powered exoskeletons. The latter are special work equipment allowing a squishy Morte to accomplish tasks normally impossible by their own strength. Heavy lifting, carrying large weights, operating equipment requiring more strength. The possible range of utility are huge. Lastly gravomagnetics can interact with the gravitational and magnetic field of the planet to achieve a hover like effect. These are the Gravomagnetic Hovercrafts (Gravitationsmagnetisch-Heberkraftzeug). They are complex and usually not that efficient compared to other landcraft but they do have a certain niche. In addition since they don't need any part sticking out they are relatively easy to install to grant hover capability for almost anything. Hovercrafts are also used for certain air transports but most often the main propulsion for these are the Plasma Turbines (Plasmastreibwerk), these utilize modified Plasma Engines fit for higher velocities and utilize mechanism akin to ancient jet, turbine and propeller engines. Plasma turbines for high-speed aerial propulsion are often called as Plasma Thruster while sometimes plasma turbines can have virtual propellers usually referred as Variable Gravity Umbrella (Variabelschwerenkraftenschirm), usually to provide upwards lift albeit they are phased out in favor of hover technologies.
Space Propulsion Propulsion in space generally requires dramatically different methods than for planetary vehicles and this is also true for the Morte. Plasma Rockets (Plasmantreib) have niche in other uses but they are mostly associated with space travel. They can be extremely compact but not so fuel efficient compared to others. They are mostly used in tiny vessels and for verniers and other minute maneuvering utilities. Gravity Drive (Schwerenkrafttreib) is less of a propulsion and more of an extension after it's use for inertia dampening and other purposes. Regardless while inefficient it can be used as reactionless space propulsion and maneuvering assistance to ships without requiring any exhausts or other obvious systems built. Some space station chiefly on these. Antriesskraftzeug (Impulse Drive) is a nebulous name describing a wide range of advanced propulsion systems utilizing virtual mass particles. Impulse drives are the dominant space propulsion for the Morte and can be found on many vehicles albeit their hazardous interaction with the atmosphere makes them discouraged in the atmosphere, thus any vehicle expected to operate near or at planets have plasma jet backups at their disposal.
Faster Than Light Warp Drives used by the Karan'esh Pirates was the first time Morte would know about the possibility of superluminal travel. After a century of struggle and gradual success they managed to imitate the mechanism, dubbing it Spatienkeilfaltertreibwerk or Fold-Space Drive, also referred just as Fold Drive or Falter. It warps space-time in order to effectively reduce the distance an object travels and achieve FTL while effectively moving slower than light. Warp/Fold travel happens in realspace and while the field pushes away lighter obstacles like space dust it requires precise calculations and decent astrogation to avoid accidents. It's effectively a standard travel method but the difficulties turned up to eleven. As such in general it's unadvised to travel at warp during combat, especially since it drains other systems like shields or weapons while in use. Around IR900 the Morte encountered a whole new kind of threat, slipspace drives. Used by the Lux their bioships could pop up anywhere in Morte space. The following centuries went with developing countermeasures and gradually reverse engineering the drive which they dubbed Fernreisers AKA Farcasters. Farcasters are still mostly in prototype stage and limited to specialized vessels or gate systems while Fold travel remains the mainstay FTL to the Morte for now.
Warp/Fold Drives: - Extremely slow (couple of lightyears per day at best) - Travels through realspace - Needs large enough space to maneuver and precise astrogation data - Has a windup time but can run almost constantly otherwise - Can be intercepted without requiring anti-FTL technology - Doesn't show on FTL warning sensors but does on standard sensors - Susceptible to FTL jammers but not to jammer missiles
Slipspace/Farcaster Drives: - Slow (dozens of lightyears per day) - Travels through slipspace (a lower band of subspace) - Requires precise and exotic slipspace calculations to work - Has a windup, starter cost, travel cost, requires large capacitors charged to work - Doesn't interact with physical objects or sensors and requires special FTL warning systems to be detected - Susceptible to both FTL Jammers and Jammer Missiles aimed through slipspace
Hyperspace Drives: - Has no Morte equivalent yet - Fast (can traverse the map in days, hundreds of lightyears per day) - Travels through hyperspace (higher band of subspace) - Hyperspace travel is complicated by the mass shadow of astral bodies - Requires precise hyperspace calculations and known hyperspace routes to work - Much more predictable than Slipspace Drives - Doesn't interact much with realspace and requires FTL warning systems to be sensed - Susceptible to both FTL Jammers and Jammer Missiles (latter only if launched into hyperspace)
With almost a thousand years of constant warfare with outside aggressors Morte became a militaristic nation where soldiering is part of every citizen's duty. Just prior to reaching adulthood all Morteans regardless of gender receive combat training and discipline. The best of the trainees are offered to become part of the Reichswehrmacht which, given the overall better living conditions of soldiers, is an offer not many refuses. Even after the training adult Morteans are obliged to periodically refresh their soldiering skills and accept to be drafted in a moment of notice. This kind of social structure aided Morte to eventually triumph over their technically superior enemy, very much drowning them in numbers. On the other hand having a hundred years without war the Morte civilization faces the greatest crisis since their foundation: Peace and prosperous growth.
Mortean military technology is mass-prouced and usually cheap. They want reliability and numbers above almost everything. As such while their technology is advanced they really only use them conservatively. For example while hover technology is mature tanks or other vehicles rarely use it as malfunctions or messing with hovercraft is considerably easier. Instead Morte makes use of advanced track and wheel propulsion systems. Similarly in favor of having more weapon systems for relatively low cost Mortean doctrines like to use manpower wherever it isn't a detriment. While many other civilizations would find means to keep soldiers away from dangerous missions the Morte side has volunteers and given their overpopulation issues there's no incentive to stop this.
Patronen aus Antistof schützen mit Electrogravitischenrahmen (projectile made from antimatter covered with an electrogravitic frame) is a type of weaponmechanism unique to Morte. It utilizes nanograms of antimatter safely contained by gravomagnetic means until the impact where it explodes in contact with the target with the power of a small grenade, usually obliterating unarmored infantry and anyone near it. PASERs are quite destructive and require a comparatively simple mechanism to be fired. On the other hand the shot only has a few joules of kinetic energy thus easily stopped. This is especially problematic against shields or special material without electrons that will fail to trigger even the explosion. Due to the value of antimatter PASERs are rarely if ever used at any larger scale than infantry level. Due to weapon cells holding usually enough antimatter to hundreds or for automatic variants even thousands of shots they also found an alternative use as improvised explosives.
Gravoelectromagnetic Rails are a technology using both gravity and electromagnetic force to accelerate objects. Its utilization is versatile and not limited to just weaponry but the purpose is relatively the same, to propel an object. Railguns (Scheinegeschoss) are widespread from infantry rifles to cannons and even outfitted for starships. Most of the time railguns rely on hypervelocity impacts but certain variants only use it as a delivery method for shells. Other utilities of GE-Rails for example include the first stage in missile launchers or as catapults to launch starfighters.
A wide family of explosives that utilize high intensity radiation absorbed by some medium to deliver explosive force. The inventor being Morte this often involves antimatter albeit it isn't a clear requirement. A simple single-stage plasma explosive involves a weinol core embedded with antihelium surrounded by inert material composite embedded with microscopic durachrome impactors as shrapnel. This is effective enough but larger explosives tend to use double, triple or even more stage for even more efficiency. A typical double stage design involves antimatter reacting with fusion fuel and only then meeting the inert material matrix (IMM). Plasma explosives are very specific and barring a lucky shot reaching their microscopic core they won't detonate by accident.
Promptverdichtetsuperschwerentheilschenbeschleuniger (flash-compressed superheavy particle accelerator) is a family of devices with wide range of applications including research, specialized industry and of course military. Dubbed as Massenlanz (mass lance) it focuses large amounts of matter into a microscopic point for a stream at relativistic velocities. The process is energy demanding and unless used at large enough scale would require considerable time to prepare the next shot. On the other hand it has extremely good armor/barrier penetration for relatively low energy cost. If calibrated right when the lance penetrates armor it also explodes as the pressure forcing matter together vanishes which has nasty consequences to anything found within. Massenlanz is a popular weapon against armor and bunkers and of course found application on starships. The weakness of the weapon is that it loses penetration power rapidly with range, albeit at what range it's inefficient depends heavily on which type of weapon system we talk about.
Massenlanzewerfer (Mass Lance Projector) - infantry portable variant used against hard targets. Massenlanzgeschütz (Mass Lance Gun or just Mass Gun) - gun version generally used by vehicles Massenfalterbeschleunigerlanzenwaffe (Mass Accelerator Lance, MAL) - main guns of starships
Starship variants are considerably different from the rest even if they use the same basic principle. Among others they utilize fold-space technology to shoot their beams at superluminal velocities whenever the theater permits it. In addition as it turned out Mass Lances are more versatile than just mere anti-armor weapons. By calibrating the velocity or in case of MALs even the folds-pace corridor it's possible to set up patterns where the matter stream collapses into something akin to a directed explosive. Thus Mass Lances can also have a shotgun or shell like effect depending on how they're utilized.
Be it in space or on the surface Morte does make use of various missiles. Planetary use generally involves various plasma explosive based warheads but kinetic, chemical and Atomic warheads are all a possibility. Missiles used in starship combat are a bit different and often can be considered as disposable miniature spacecraft.
There are two main families of them: missiles and torpedoes. Missiles come in light,medium and rare heavy categories with numerous variants each. They are usually medium to long range weapons but certain variants might even be designed for extreme distances. Missiles are compact, designed to be agile and attain their combat velocity over a short-medium distance as their priority. Torpedoes are launched from long accelerator systems to attain combat speed almost immediately. They're usually warhead-heavy and less maneuverable but this isn't a set rule. Torpedoes also have the ability of assisted Fold travel, using a Fold Catapult mechanism and Fold Sustainers to travel at superluminal speeds towards the target. Once getting near the torpedo cancels Fold and does terminal guidance under sublight speed. As such the use of Missiles and Torpedoes have very distinct doctrinal differences. Torpedoes are usually anti-ship weapons although variants for orbital bombardment are not unheard of. Missiles are mostly defensive or swarm tactics reliant. They are backup weapons and utilities for a ship.
- Plasma Warhead: Plasma explosives are the cheap alternative to atomics albeit their increased propellant mass does make them attractive to specialized roles, too.
- Atomic Warhead: Compact nuclear devices commonly used for long range ordnance. They can use various types of fusion and fission alike depending on which design fits the purpose the best. The most popular type splits superdense radioactive metamaterials for massive power. Jagd variants are shaped charges concentrating nearly all the atomic might against the hull or shields of the enemy ship. Another variant is the Zerstörer "destroyer" which is an anti-material or orbital bombardment warhead. It involves unique mechanics allowing limited chain reaction as part of the environment is also converted into nuclear fuel, this explicitly doesn't work on exotic materials like starship hulls thus its role as bombardment device.
- Antimatter Warhead: While nuclear reactors can be catalyzed by antimatter this kind of warhead relies entirely on the pair annihilation of matter-antimatter for destructive effects. They are undoubtedly powerful but nowadays Morte considers them a waste of strategic materials since Atomic Warheads can reach yields close to the same level. As such pure antimatter warheads are rare though not completely unheard of within the Empire.
- Jaeger Warhead: By shaping the power of atomic reactions it's possible to unleash a relatively coherent "lance" of extreme velocity plasma to attack reinforced targets. This usually have a shortish range and generally discontinued for a few hundred years now. Jaeger-B usually just called "Jaeger" took its place as it unleashes a focused and coherent bomb-pumped laser beam at the target. Jaeger-B2 which has no connection to the original instead relies on capacitors and compact lasing device to achieve similar performance with the option of multiple shots and increased range. While weaker than the original Jaeger-B its advantages and the appearance of the Lanzer warheads prompt it to become the new mainstay Jaeger.
- Lanzer Warhead: Mass Lances are soon recognized to be also decent as missile payload. The common Lanzer uses compact mechanics akin to an overpowered Massenlanzgeschütz to unleash a single or a few lance strikes at distance, usually with considerably less range than Jaeger warheads. This is called Lanzer-A. B variant is a newer type made for smaller warheads. It's a defensive missile dispersing high velocity matter at a range, making it a good interceptor. Lazer-C is a relatively recent development which uses well placed smaller warheads to compress the matter to superdense state while launching it like a focused jet at the target. Basically the result is a bomb-pumped Mass Lance. It has less range than Lanzer-As but can pack a surprising punch.
- Kinetic Warhead: The simplest form of space missile, it's nothing but propulsion with a superdense penetrator core at the front.
- Multi-kinetic Warhead: Missiles that carry multiple kinetic penetrators and disperse them in well-calculated pattern prior to impact. Sometimes the sub-munitions also have guidance and limited propulsion to assist them finding targets. Other times the warhead is nothing but the void combat equivalent of a canister shot.
- Beehive Warhead: When canister shots are put to the logical extreme. Beehive Warheads are a deceivingly sophisticated weapon which uses countless micron-sized balls of superdense metamaterials precisely positioned by an gravomagnetic field emitted from the center of the device. The result is a deadly "wall" of trillions of relativistic micropellets usually spread 1-10 centimeter from each other spread in a circular area with dozens to hundreds of kilometers in diameter. Beehive warheads are excessively used for long range interception and they can be dangerous to anything not sufficiently protected. This usually means fighters and missiles.
The Reichskriegsflotte (Imperial Fleet) is the Reichswehr's special branch dealing with starships and generally the region of space. Like for any interstellar civilization an absurd majority of their territory is space thus the Imperial Fleet has a prominent role of securing it. Since the Mortean triumph in Lux the Imperium haven't faced any existential threats and enjoys a relative peace. Of course there are always Karan'esh pirates, Dorvec remnants or rouge Luxan raiders to worry about yet at their current strength the navy is way prepared to deal with them. In order to reduce maintenance problems the PAX Accords were signed which currently limits the Mortean navy to 2500 warships, most of them being "Attack Frigates" a newly invented class for what is essentially fast traveling light cruisers. 2500 is the minimal count required for the Morte to secure their borders and that's only because the new faster ships permit them such low size. At the same time large amount of old starships are mothballed but preserved enough that they can return to battle upon any demand.
Smallcraft Tiny spacecraft generally limited in role and barring very specific exceptions incapable of FTL travel. Shuttles, starfighters or even tiny parasitic starships are all under this category.
- Pod: Tiny and short range craft, mostly know for the escape/landing pods although research vessels can also be pods. - Shuttle: Short range spacecraft used for transport of either cargo or personnel. - Starfighter:Small and agile spacecraft made for short range combat. - Heavy Craft:Tiny starships with limited crew and specialized roles usually launched from carriers.
Escort Ships Small starships outfitted with FTL but not fit for individual combat. As their name implies they usually support the warships. The divide between Heavy Craft and small Escort is thin and so is between large Escorts and small Warships. The difference is often decided on per case basis.
- Blockade Runner: The smallest type of escort to be equipped with a Fold Drive, mostly unused. - Recon Ship: A vague category for small escorts fit with sensors. - Gunboat: Basically a tiny warship about used for patrols. They are rarely part of a war fleet. - Cutter: Speedy small escort ships on the lower end of the scale. - Minesweeper: Specialist escort made for mine warfare and mine clearance. - Patrol Ship: Catch-all term for small escort classes. - Corvette: Medium-sized escort class. - Monitor: Pocket warships of medium to large size sporting considerable power but little strategic range. - Frigate Escort: Large escort made for speed and patrol. Frigates that are too small otherwise. - Destroyer: Large escort type also usually specialized against a certain form of threat or to a style of warfare. - Escort Carrier: Large escort specializing to carry strike craft but may lack facilities to maintain them. - Assault Transport: Not strictly an escort but neither a warship. Carries and deploys troops. Can be even 900m long. - Logistics Ship: Responsible for carrying supplies or capabilities to maintain vessels. They can be also tugs to carry away disabled vessels. Mining and hospital vessels also count under logistics. 40-600m long. Often made from scrapped escorts or warships.
Warships Large starships fit for individual long range travel and combat. They usually start at the length of 150m and some grow over a kilometer in length.
- Frigate: The smallest class of warships usually known for their speed in sacrifice of protection and usually firepower.150-250m long in general but Attack Frigates can be 450m long. - Cruiser: Mainline warship uniting speed, endurance, defense and firepower. 300-450m long. - Battleships: Warships specialized to be heavy combatants. 350-600m long. - Dreadnought: Superheavy class of ships made to breach defensive lines. 900-1500m long. - Flagship: Dreadnought-sized vessels sacrificing some of their capabilities for command&control facilities and electronic warfare. - Interdictor: Huge, usually 800-1000m long, vessels that sacrifice nearly everything to carry a mobile FTL jammer. In spite of their size they're rather vulnerable and desperately need escort.
Starbases Effectively fortresses in space they are slow and not very mobile but can sport tough defenses and powerful weapons along with providing support, resupply and maintenance to fleets. Most Mortean star-bases have propulsion and even capable of FTL travel.
Mainstay starfighter of the Morte Imperium. Created with offensive capability in mind the fighter is almost completely made of engines and weapon systems. It has two modular swiveling arms which can support a launcher or weapon battery each. The weapon systems can rotate and swivel for more freedom to fire also the set-up has an important role when the fighter is put on carriers with limited space. The standard armaments of the Walküre-IV are a pair of weapon systems with oversized capacitors providing power to 4 Mass Lances total. Due to their size these have sufficient power to even penetrate ship hulls at the weak points and generally be a threat not just against fighters but even ships. Aside from that the arms can even support a heavy missile each with yield enough to match torpedoes although usually the deployment of ordinance is left to the Hummel-type craft. While fast and powerful the Walküre-IV isn't as agile of more interception specialized craft and its weapons are a bit on the heavy side to engage fighters with. In addition they obviously sacrificed protection and the weak structure and shields only enough to handle micrometeorites and distant blast effects would immediately fold against direct firepower.
Large boxy 28 meters long weapon carrier craft with 4 modular bays that can sport various weapon systems including but not exclusive to railguns, mass lances, missile pods, heavy missiles (2 per bay) or heavy bombs (4 per bay). Bombs in particular are basically stripped down missiles using the velocity of the Hummel alone with only maneuvering engines for further guidance. They match heavy missiles in power but possess less range and mostly reserved for capital ship rushes. In case of them being deployed on planets they lack the aerodynamics or lift to efficiently operate in the atmosphere. Instead they dive down while deploying their munitions (usually stacks of many dozens of guided bombs or KKV munitions) then zoom back into space.
Vaguely based on the old Nagel-type starfighters the Geist is a stealthy recon craft used for scouting ahead and providing more accurate targeting data for ships. Using its encrypted hyper-radiation comms it can accurately and subtly beam data back straight for the designated ship thus leaving the chance for interception quite low. The Geist has a stealthy hull along with low-emission propulsion to be more difficult to detect along with minor electronic warfare suite and multiple "stealth field" like tricks, depending on the type of sensor the enemy uses. For defense they have a few 125mm light missiles and a mass lance in a flexible mount but it's not necessarily enough to fight back. Geist crafts have an elongated 21m shape and four of them stacked together roughly occupy the same space as 4 Walküres do.
Classification: Cutter Role: Patrol and Close-In Defense Length: 60m Mass: ~ 7.5 kilotonnes Complement: 18 Armament: MAL-25 Mass Lances x4, Class-10 Lasers x 8, 90mm Light Missile Pod x 2
Speedy patrol craft equipped for the bare minimum of space warfare. As a transitional piece between Heavy Craft and Escorts a disgusting proportion of the ship is dedicated to the engines.
Classification: Corvette Role: Defense and Interception Length: 72m Mass: ~ 16.9 kilotonnes Complement: 36 Carrying Capacity: Walküre Fighters x 4 Fixed Armament: 25mm Railguns x 4, Class-12 Lasers x 6 Weapon Modules: 4 Module Options: MAL-10 13-shot Pod, MAL-50 Defensive Mass Lance Pod, 125mm Missile Pod, 60mm HVM Pod, 425mm Medium Missile Pod
Corvette exemplifying the general role of escort ships. It has four modular weapon systems that can be switched around for varying features. Each weapon option serves a different role and it's rare for ships to mix them. Mass Accelerator Lances provide long range flak and supression against light targets while missiles offer more versatile defense at the expense of endurance. As a defensive ship it's less focused on speed and even outfitted with more decent armor. In addition it has the ability to carry 4 fighters albeit without any capability to rearm or service them. Lastly the top portion is a detachable escape vessel in case the hull receives critical damage. Sharjagers are versatile and not exactly the rookie captain's ship. On the other hand their features are well-respected by experienced soldiers.
Classification: Destroyer Role: Anti-Ship Warfare Length: 86m Mass: ~ 22.5 kilotonnes Complement: 48 Armament: MAL-40 Mass Lances x 4, 35mm Railgun Turrets x 2, Class-15 Lasers x 6, 125mm Missile Pods x 2
Compact escort vessel dedicating most of its space for a quad set-up of Mass Accelerator Lances to provide extra firepower at long range. Due to its lightness it's reasonably agile and at times even used as a general patrol ship. For this purpose it has reasonable amount of defensive armaments with all the layers expected for a Morte ship.
Class: Destroyer, Patrol Ship Role: General Escort Vessel Length: 102m Standard Mass: ~ 32.3 kilotonnes Complement: 152
After the Luxans' defeat the Morte enjoys a century of relative peace. The empire is revitalized while design philosophies shifted considerably. Focus went from easy and quick production to hulls with decent longevity and more efficiency. Keiljaeger is a late product of this era, literally meaning "wedge(-shaped) hunter" which is also the new curiosity of the Mortean Navy. Previous designs were boxy and focused firepower to the front, this put them at odds when it came to close combat and larger ships mounted a large number of secondary MAL batteries to compensate. The so-called "curved hull" instead opts for a more balanced setup with each main cannon having a wide area of coverage. This along with technological developments eliminating the advantages of the "light" mass lances meant the looks of the entire Mortean Fleet is transforming. Keiljaeger is supposed to represent this view with capabilities surpassing even old-type Frigates they are considered the next generation of escort vessels, just called Patrol Ships. They have mass lances, laser batteries, HVM slots, missile pods, torpedoes, minor hangar space and all this can be easily reconfigured at the nearest dock or large Logistics Ship.
Standard but not the only assault transport of the Morte. It carries a hundred landing pods filled with troops,vehicles and other special equipment for assaulting planets. For ease of maintenance of both machinery and err... human resources the contents of each pod are kept under a stasis field until they're needed. This way you can literally fill a box full of potentially over tens of thousands of soldiers. Albeit for some practical purposes a lower count is also utilized. Regardless the potential to deploy over a million troops makes the Lazarus-class the favored target of anti-orbital defenses thus require heavy escort.
Classification: Frigate Length: 172m Mass: ~ 93.8 kilotonnes Complement: 245 Armament: MAL-40 Mass Lances x6, 425mm Missile Pod, 125mm Missile Pods x 3, 50mm Railguns x 6, Class-20 Lasers x28
Speedy warships that are basically oversized escorts to make them fit for individual combat. They are unfit for frontline combat but neither they are supposed to. Has the limited hangar space for 20 fighters or 5 Heavy Craft albeit detailed maintenance/repair would require specialized logistics ships instead. Due to attrition no longer being a heavy concern they are phased to be eventually replaced by the new Attack Frigate designs.
Utilizing the new curved hull and compact impulse engine technology the Tristan-class Attack Frigates are effectively superior to the last generation cruisers in anything but armor. As explained for the Keiljaeger this shift happened due to both economical and doctrinal changes.
Irdishstreitkrafte der Mortereich (Planetary Armed Forces of the Morte Imperium) is a virtual term describing three different military branches: Reichsheer (Imperial Army), Reichsgrenadierkrafte (Imperial Grenadier Force) and Volkswehr (People's Defense AKA Militia). Reichsheer is the main army of the Empire with exactly 2 billion troops (mandated by the PAX Accords from IR1121). This is their bare minimum and any loses are to be recovered within a week. As per the Morte attitude to recruitment, every Morte who passes the physical tests are considered "reserves" to the Heer thus in times of crisis this number can increase considerably. In the current "peacetime" days their purpose is defensive but they also form the numbers for every major invasion. Reichsgrenadierkrafte is effectively the "marines" of the Morte, they are elite highly mobile force constantly traveling aboard starships. They are the primary response of the Morte during peacetime and the spearhead of major assaults. Volkswehr is an institution rather than an outright military branch, used during crisis when the regular military isn't present or requires backup. By its nature the Volkswehr is poorly equipped if not forced to use improvised weapons but they can compensate with their sheer numbers and fanaticism.
Morte ground combat doctrine focuses on massed infantry formations supported with a great deal of artillery. Morte likes fortifications and defensive combat as their wars frequently involved the other side as the primary aggressor. Armor is generally what each army division has asigned to them. It often provides fire supports but there are pure armored forces for breakthrough and maneuvering combat. Air force is a bit of a maligned child in Mortean warfare. Both Reichsheer and Reichsgrenadierkrafte has aerial detachments that can be linked with any division for support but usually their number is insufficient. This is often reinforced by space fighters from the Reichskriegsflotte but the different chain of command is a source of other issues.
- Antistof-Gewehr: Semi-automatic rifles using PASER mechanism,the most common kind of infantry weapon. Not recommended for hunting, though.
- Scheinen-Gewehr: Rifles using GE-Rail technology,their ownership by civilians is non-regulated (because no sane Morte shoots other for no reason) and for the army these provide an alternative where the PASER's features and drawbacks are detrimental. Scheinen-Gewehr are select-fire by default.
- Maschinegewehr - often bulky PASER weapons adjusted for rapid fire. Leichtes Maschinegewher (LMG) are portable and can be operated by just one man. Usually there's an LMG user in every squad.
- Sturmgewehr - Assault rifle variant of PASER weapons introduced in IR409. They are increasingly more common as standard arms for Grenadiers.
- Scharfschützengewehr: When something more precise is required than the tuned up version of standard rifles these weapons come into play. They are usually GE-Rails but at times even available in PASER variants.
- Plasmgranate - Standard hand grenade filled with plasma explosive. Simple variants exists but unpopular. Nowadays instead they have a micro rocket engine along with a simple INS guidance to fly further thus keeping the ones throwing it safe while also drastically improving accuracy. For the same reason they are too expensive for standard infantry and are more commonly used by Grenadiers.
- Granatenwerfer: Specialist weapon that can be described as a mini artillery working like a grenade launcher to lob plasma explosives at ditance or against fortified targets.
- Massenlanzewerfer:Mass Lance Projector. Takes time to compress particles and its effectiveness inversely proportional to range but its power is undoubted. There's a more rare two-man heavy variant called Grössesmassenlanzewerfer, used at platoon level for mostly anti-fortification roles.
Also just referred as Volkswehr, same as the military organization which covers them. They are militia of usually the most desperate kind, erected when either there's a local emergency and lack of manpower or the Morte potentially is running thin on soldiers. Volkswehr are civilians, people who semi-regularly undergo combat exercise but still civilians. In addition they rarely receive proper equipment, almost lucky to receive an old model of the PASER rifle. Their purpose is to fill out numbers and given their fantaticism mixed with desperation they fulfill this duty as expected. Thankfully it's been over a century since the Morte required the Volkswehr's services and they wish to keep it that way.
Also referred as Reichser. The typical Mortean infantry armed with PASER rifles and wearing durachrome helmet, fortified uniform and rebreather as standard. They don't wear armor in the strict sense but their uniform protects against mild fires, toxins, vacuum, radiation and can stop shrapnel from distance. Some suits are also coated in a bit of neutrozine allowing it to absorb one PASER hit to the same area. They usually operate in the squads of 10.
The Reichsheer's elite the Jaeger are usually formed of veterans who receive durachrome-plated and neutrozine layered armors as well as overall higher standard of equipment. While described as "elite" there are many millions of them regardless. Their number used to include soldiers who underwent special training after signing up to the Heer and they were supposed to lead assaults. Nowadays these people are funneled into the Reichsgrenadier instead to bolster its numbers further. They shouldn't be confused with the Jaegerschützen which is a title for designated marksman in certain units or even scouting light infantry of the Heer with unique training, albeit certain Jaeger units or individuals are obviously fulfilling the same role.
Members of the Reichsgrenadierkrafte, a branch specializing on expeditionary missions and thus very commonly deployed from ships. There was a time when they were considered elite special forces or assault specialists hence their name, Grenadiers. Nowadays while they receive higher training they are mostly common infantry under a doctrine different from normal. They receive equipment of considerably higher quality than the Reichsheer including modern body armor with layers of durachrome/neutrozine hard panels, integrated comms, sensors and usually carrying select-fire assault PASER rifles. Their combat emphatizes assault, mobility and at times small unit tactics compared to the Heer. Unlike the Reichschützen they almost always have grenades, including special variants for anti-tank use. Reichsgrenadiers also have specialists called the Grenadierjaeger who are veteran and act as special forces. Grenadierjaegers can choose their equipment including special tools that aids them to accomplish their mission.
Heavily equipped troopers specializing for high risk missions like boarding or leading assaults. They wear heavier armor assisted by a powered exoskeleton underneath. Thanks to their increased strength Panzergrenadiers can carry heavy portable weapons with the same ease as a rifle. Weapons that are used on the squad or company level now can be equipped for each individual soldier.
Special unit developed for the growing need of light and agile fire support that can also participate in the assaults along with the infantry. Dubbed as the Dragoners (Dragoons) they became the cavalry of the modern times. Imperial Dragoons wear a heavy power armor called Panzermotorisiertharnisch (Armored Powered Harness) which makes them into something akin to a light vehicle. The suit is about 2m tall, making them tower above the average soldier and its most remarkable feature is the solid egg-like armored shell encompassing both the head and torso. The suit is bulky and requires more than anti-personal level firepower to sufficiently threaten. In spite of that the gravomagnetic hover and plasma engine setup provides some well-deserved mobility for them in combat. The suit can be powered by plasma cells, plasma generator or occasionally an atomic reactor. It all depends on the weapon loadout as its chief consumer. The current model is called Drache-III and it has the latest advances in Mortean sensors and electronics along with new active protection systems. The Drache has sensors in redundancy and at all directions. Instead of moving his head the operator only needs the intention to turn his/her head and the system rotates the visual display accordingly, even to the center of their backs. Overall the Drache is considered the safest place for a Mortean soldier to be and with good reason.
The Reichswehr loves firepower to which end they reintroduced old infantry operated light weapon batteries in a whole new form. Infanterieverstarkerswaffe are special equipment too heavy for usually an infantryman to carry but not large enough to be vehicle mounted. These usually wheeled platforms are self-propelled and are designed to keep up with the infantry unit. In case of breakdown they are also light enough to be pushed by the troops themselves. On the first glance IVW seems like an outdated and backwards move but for the Morte who value manpower less than advanced machinery this is a fitting choice.
Common examples - Zwillingsmaschinegewehr: Twin PASER machinegun mount for company level covering fire. - Infanteriemassenlanzgeschütz: Mass Lance utilizing cartridges to match the firepower of tanks. - Langesmassenlanzewerfer: Powerful long range Mass Lance Projector for ambushes. - Infanteriemörser: Minor artillery lobbing heavy shells for its size. - Automatischgranatewerfer: Larger rapid-fire variant of the squad level grenade launchers with longer range. - Selbstating Munitiontrager: Usually not a weapon but a versatile carrier using the same base to ferry munitions or carry heavy weapons in place of the troops.
Not all infantry support weapons are mounted on a self-driving carriage, though. Heavy missile launchers used on company level for example tend to be carried by hand. Maschinegewehr also have portable variants as the twin mounts are only necessary when you require hours of sustained fire.
Mainline battle tank of the Morte Imperium. It was first fielded in IR506 after the Fifth Dorvec War. It's barely 5m long but due to its durachrome construction weighs approximately 120 metric tons. For perhaps this reason there's only accomodations for the crew of 3: driver, gunner and commander. As a tank with over 700 years of history the Löwe went through hundreds of refits, retrofits and complete overhauls yet the basic shape and features remained mostly the same. The current Jahre 1101 variant is a beast made for the intense battlefields of the 13rd Luxan War. It's armed with an advanced 128mm Plasma Cannon with its GE-Rail system capable of unleashing various matter and energy projectiles. It has two Massenlanzewerfer turrets on the side for additional close range firepower and the sponsons mount shortened ZaG-88 (Zwilligsautogewehr Modell-88) which pair a PASER machinegun with a small-caliber railgun each. It has the latest sensors especially edged for finding exotic lifeforms and deter underground ambushes. Many variants are installed with gravomagnetic hover system to escape toxic swamps and drive through difficult terrain as an emergency measure. The inertia dampeners are also tuned up to deal with not only shock from explosives and munitions but even the blunt force received from giant creatures. As shown in the picture the tank can be also outfitted with sensor-detonated explosively reactive jet buttons (the little bolt looking objects) to intercept heavy munitions or act as last resort against incoming masses. The current Löwe variant is equipped to drive through massive number of opponents and preferably survive. Since Morteans enjoy relative peace since the 13rd Luxan War they never had any reason to refit their tanks for any other purpose.
Multi-role assault vehicle made as a specialized variant to the Löwe. It has somewhat reinforced front profile but more importantly it mounts a Massenlanzschweresgeschütz AKA the Heavy Mass Lance. While it undoubtedly provides firepower to defeat enemy vehicles its main role is to siege fortifications and generally provide close range fire support. This is the level of firepower where the versatility of Mass Lances show the most. Depending on how the projector field and the velocity of the stream is modulated it can:
Hunt superheavy vehicles
Penetrate multiple walls/barriers before exploding at a determined location
Detonate on impact akin to an artillery shell, both HE and HEAT can be reproduced
Detonate in the air, either omnidirectionally or at a certain frontal arc
Unleash an expanding cone of energy to decimate targets in a line
Unleash a low velocity attack akin to a superpowered shotgun in effect
This is without actually manipulating the matter matrix or use ultratough microfilaments for some nasty patterns. The possibilities are practically limitless. As a relativistic direct fire weapon though the Mass Lance has a limited range on the ground and hence it's referred as an Assault Gun. Said weapon also have a limited traverse of around 110-135 degrees in a forward arc along with decent depression so these guns are particularly effective from mountains and other elevated points. Since they already require powerful inertia dampeners to withstand the stress of firing the Feuergeist has gravomagnetic hover assistance by default which helps a great deal for it to scale difficult terrain. Most vehicles also saw heavy use during the invasion of Lux thus they're equipped with the same AI-operated autogun sponsons as the Löwe.
Self-propelled Mountain Artillery are present in the Morte arsenal for centuries and one of the most common application for legged propulsion. Zweörg was first fielded in the 12th Luxan War during IR1064 where the yet prototype system showed that it could outperform past designs and perform similarly to standard artillery even if with less overall firepower. Prior to this mountain artillery relied on their advantage in elevation to attain decent ranges but for the Zweörg it became optional as it achieve extra-atmospheric trajectory. The mechanism is highly compact and has the crew of two people: driver who also handles data link during stoppages and an artillery operator responsible for controlling the weapon. Zweörg is so compact the cannon is almost right next to the operators, making it one of the most uncomfortable artillery to crew. It also completely lacks self-defense weaponry, requiring other units to protect them.
Standard Morte mobile artillery since its introduction during IR932. Like many of its predecessors it's based upon the Löwe's hull. For a long time there was a divide between static artillery large mobile artillery pieces and "medium" types that based on tank hulls. As technology progressed though this gradually evaporated and with the Basilisk now the Morte has a compact system that can match every other regular artillery. The main doctrine of using artillery is through firing shells at extra-atmospheric trajectory. Being almost in space the shell can ignore air resistance, travel great distances (hundreds to thousands of miles depending on many factors) and regain most of its velocity during the terminal phase. As such Mortean artillery mostly relies on the raw kinetic energy of the projectile. This is rarely done as a single solid projecile but rather the shell splits into various sub-munitions before the impact. This spreads out the damage without requiring explosives. Although there are still specialized duties where the usual plasma charge loaded warheads are preferable. Aside from these they can deliver various shells from chemical agents to micro mass lance canisters, chaff/smoke discharges to very rarely even nuclear devices. Obviously, artillery is used because the Morte hasa reason to not ruin the planet. Although in very specific situations your artillery might be needed to do extreme demolition. For any other purpose though such firepower is far more of a detriment than a benefit. Not even the death-insensitive Morte are crazy enough to use tactical nukes as their standard.