The Man-Bug War

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By the 23rd century Humankind was aware they were not the first spacefarers in the universe. Relics of an ancient, long-gone federation of sentients - the Open Palm Federation - spoke to a galaxy that had once been host to many sentient species. It gave humanity a vision of future greatness; more prosaically their technologies improved that of the various human states by centuries, perhaps even millenia.

And then in the middle of the 23rd century, it all came to an end. Disputes, grudges and contradictions finally spilled over into the Collapse that left the cradle of mankind a smouldering cinder, the Solar System plagued by automated weapons and half a hundred colonies large and small to fend for themselves.

A century and a half later, much of this has been put right. Earth remains a husk inhabited by a few tens of million techno-barbarian scavengers but the Martian Unity State has become first among equals on the Human Grid. The feral weapons and rogue AIs have been - mostly - eliminated. Outside the Grid the various worlds of the Demimonde had become players in their own right.

And then in 2402, Humankind learned that it was not alone in the galaxy. First contact with the TKK - the Bugs - went poorly but for a decade both the TKK Imperium and the combined states of Humanity grappled diplomatically with each other. Impassioned calls to aid the beleagued Chelonians have seen an undeclared war sputtering along in the Chelonian Reaches while wealth and weapons of the TKK have filtered into the Demimonde, giving 100-octane fuel to demagogues looking to settle existing grievances against the Jewels.

It is now 2412, one year away from the Year of Maxium Danger when both the TKK Empire and the Martian-led Solidarity Organization have forecast that the other is expected to finally tear away the veil and launch a general war.


Big Players

Mankind

Solidarity Fleet
Most individual fleets of the Solidarity Organization are mono-national for ease of command and less than a decade of sometimes tense cooperation against the TKK hasn't washed away the stains of the previous hundred and fifty years of galactic anarchy. Inheriting a century or more of astropolitical development as colonies of Solar states followed by a century and a half of chaos, growth and finally maturation the member states of Solidarity mostly share a common military dogma of large warships that can achieve gunfire superiority.

  • Base Support: 100

Maquis
The rough edges of the Chelonian Reaches have become home to a polyglot group of Humans, Chelonians, Caiveh and - surprisingly - disaffected or merely opportunistic TKK that have been nicknamed the Maquis. The cosmoguerilla bands fight the forces of the Imperium, seeking to break their grasp on the Reaches and perhaps incite a more general overturn. Despite sharing similar goals as Solidarity, often little love is lost between them. The Maquis operate all manner of small, often converted gunships mixed in with captured TKK bulk cruisers and Caiveh raiderships.

  • Base Support: 20
  • All ships without the Maquis tag cost double
  • Home bases in the Reaches

Blackguards
Lying on the edge of the Grid, the COMINSTEL organization was formed as a reaction to the begger-thy-neighbor merchantilist excesses of the unstable 24th century. Still suspicious of many of the Jeweler states that make up Solidarity's backbone, they nonetheless have put this aside for the time being to support the pan-Human efforts. Blackguards are prized as much as they are trusted as they have somehow cracked the secret of mass-producing cloaking devices.

  • Base Support: 40
  • All ships tagged Cloak cost 1/5th


TKK

Overlord
Only one step below the Autocrator, Overlords are military positions with immense responsibility. Long lives have resulted in a long tally of grudges and no current Overlords entirely trust their small circle of peers, but that can wait until the face-furred apes are dealt with.

  • Base Support: 100

Caiveh Caravan
More than a few Caiveh Caravans have become seduced by the ways of civilization, accepting some token of fealty to the TKK - or often just one Overlord. They often find themselves are mercenaries, fighting other Caiveh or the occasional servitor revolt.

  • Base Support: 50
  • All ships tagged Caiveh cost half


Ships and Squadrons

The basic unit in the Man-Bug War is the Task Force (TF), though various other terms such as squadrons, flotillas and divisions are interchangeable; these terms are often used to denote different types of ships. TFs are tactical units, composed of one or more types of ships such as capital ships and escorting destroyers.

All TFs also have tags; these note various limits or traits that a given TF has.

TFs may also be reinforced or otherwise modified with add-ons from the Doctrine and Technology system. This can improve their performance and add/remove tags. See below for details.


Destroyer Flotilla
A force of small, fairly speedy battle fleet ships.

  • Tags: Fast

Dreadnought Division
The dreadnought was the arm of decision for half a century before the Fall and then, once Humanity could once again build these lumbering mountains of alloy and cannon, for the last half-century as well. The TKK, for their part, mostly use their dreadnoughts as massive guardships and until the recent spate of construction they averaged two centuries in age. A basic Dreadnought Division is typically three of such ships.

  • Tags: Capital, Slow

Carrier Battle Group
Never fully matured before the Fall, it is only recently that the first proper large-deck carriers have been put into service. While having some advantages over more conventional big-gun ships, carriers and their onboard complement of attack battlecraft also have limitations.

  • Tags: Capital, Battlecraft (4)

Sloop Flotilla
The modern sloop has been steadily fortified over the decades and makes a credible multirole combatant.

  • Tags:

Intruder Wolfpack
With its cloaking field down an Intruder is revealed as an awkward mass of solid-state drive modules, electronic spines, missiles cells and crew accomodations almost as an afterthought, but with said field up it is just a hole in space.

  • Tags: Cloak


Doctrines and Technology