So, in order to give the Auroran ships above something local to fight with (or against), this is the first take on what I had in mind for the Mæsron Alliance
(Turns out I can use the "æ" here after all!)
As noted in the opening post of this thread, the Mæsrons have been the most prominent players upon the Omega Octant stage. First formed in Y19 when the humanoid Tazol, bat-like Wallimi and lupine Vulpa first agreed to shape a common destiny, the Alliance expanded to incoporate many new species into the fold; however, none of the new members would have the same impact as the "big three". (There is no Mæsron species; the Alliance is a union of many worlds, like the Federation and ISC.)
For a time, the Alliance held firm, as its members worked together in peacetime (and fought together in the First Great War; a conflict in which the Mæsrons took on their three most powerful rivals and won). Regrettably, Vulpa ambitions proved to be too strong to ignore, and a "palace coup" saw a self-declared Vulpa Emperor seek to turn the Alliance into the Mæsron Empire.
Eventually, the Tazol and Wallimi had had enough of this, and rose to restore the power of the Grand Council; the resulting Civil War proved devastating to the Mæsrons, not least since it precipitated the Collapse; a stampede for the bulk of Mæsron-held territory by its ravenous neighbours and rivals. With help from the Aurorans, the Tazol-Wallimi "New Alliance" won the Civil War, blamed the Vulpa for all past transgressions, and attempted to impose a strict neutrality between the emerging blocs of Superpowers that surrounded what remained of Mæsron territory.
Inevitably, the New Alliance found itself faced with fresh waves of conflict; with two insurgent efforts by Vulpa nationalists, an external invasion dragging the Mæsrons into the Second Great War, and the devastating effects of the Andromedan invasion threatening to leave the entire Octant staring into the abyss.
When the extra-galactic storm passed, the New Alliance was able to launch into a Renaissance which defined the new era. However, as the Mæsrons re-emerged as a great power in their own right, they were obliged to negotiate the threat of a bold new neighbour in the Vulpa Confederacy; the former co-founders having exploited the power vacuum left by the Invasions to finally stake a claim to empire in their own right.
(You can see a pic showing several Alliance member species here
; plus another image
offering a top-down view of a Mæsron frigate.)
Due to their central role in Omega geography (and history), the Mæsron fleet tends to serve as the benchmark for the Octant. Also, in terms of technology, their systems are as close to an Omega "standard" as can be found; their wide-angle phasers are the most commonly-used phaser types in Omega, while their tachyon missiles are the most widespread seeking weapons on offer. Plus, their civilian ships are the ones most commonly "borrowed" by other empires, though not all of these exchanges have been willing ones.
(This should not be overstated, however. There are almost two dozen published empires in SFB
for the Omega Octant, and only a relative handful of each have even one weapon system that is shared by another. There is far more diversity in technology in this corner of the galaxy than one would find back in the Alpha Octant.)
In terms of new weapons that the Mæsrons would need in ACtA:SF
, there are only three (well, technically four) that need to be worked out; Wide-angle phasers-1 and -3, tachyon guns and tachyon missiles.
This is what I have so far for each:
The most common phaser type in the Omega Octant, wide-angle phasers were pioneered by the Mæsron Alliance and later adopted by a number of other powers, including the Iridani Questors. Wide-angle phasers come in two ship-mounted flavours; phasers-W1 (akin to Alpha Octant phasers-1) and phasers-W3 (a counterpart to the Phaser-3). Wide-angle phasers are designed to spread their damage more evenly than Alpha Octant phasers; they have a shorter range (due to slightly increased energy dissipation) and have a slightly lower maximum amount of damage they can score; however, they are more consistent in the spread of damage they can inflict upon their targets. Ships using Scout functions may only fire Phasers-W1 defensively; Phasers-W3 can be fired with no penalty.Tachyon Gun:
Used as the primary heavy weapon of the Mæsron Alliance, tachyon guns are powerful and highly accurate direct-fire weapons, albeit with considerable power demands at its higher arming levels. It possesses a “pseudo-overload” ability, in that it can be given additional power to produce an even higher punch at very close range; however, this additional power has to come from somewhere. It may use the Overload Weapons!
Special Action to double its Multihit scores; however, it can only benefit if the target is within 3 inches of the firing ship (rather than 6 inches for a photon or disruptor).
Tachyon missiles are large drone-like weapons; powerful, but in more limited supply in combat than their Alpha Octant counterparts. Each Attack Die shown in the weapons trait reflects the number of missiles that ship can launch in a given turn; typically one for each pair of racks present. In some cases, a ship may have an odd number of racks (or only one rack to begin with). In this case, the “odd” (or lone) rack is represented by a separate line, with a note stating this Attack Die can be fired only once every second turn. Also, due to the time it takes for their tracking systems to acquire a lock on, tachyon missiles cannot be launched at a target less than four inches from the launching ship. However, due to the missiles’ size and durability, each requires two successful phaser hits from Defensive Fire to be destroyed (but will still be nullified by a single drone launched as defensive fire), is immune to anti-drone fire (but not short-range cannon fire), and needs a Crew Quality check of 9 or more to be neutralised via a tractor beam.
As with drones, ships using Scout functions may launch tachyon missiles with no penalty; however, jamming will reduce only 1 tachyon missile Attack Die per Scout function used, as opposed to 2 Attack Dice per function that affects drones. As with drones, no more than three ships may target a single enemy ship with tachyon missiles in the same turn; Scout ships may use Drone Control (or, in this case, Tachyon Missile Control) to attack a Scouting Target with its tachyon missiles, even if the enemy has been attacked by three other ships firing tachyon missiles. Only one Scout ship can do this against any one target. Tachyon missiles may be used in conjunction with the Escort Trait.Weapon Range Arc AD Special
Phaser-W1 16 Varies Varies Accurate +2, Kill Zone 10, Precise
Phaser-W3 5 Varies Varies Accurate +1, Kill Zone 3, Precise
Tachyon Gun 24 Varies Varies Accurate +2, Killzone 6, Multihit 2, Reload
Tachyon Missiles 4-36 T Varies Devastating +1, Multihit D6, Seeking
Wide-angle phasers are shorter-ranged than their Alpha Octant phaser counterparts, but have a wider range in which they can do more damage. Tachyon guns could gain the same Devastating +1 trait as photons, but the increased accuracy should make up for its absence. The missiles are not meant to be relied upon too heavily, as the following ship samples may show:
-----Mæsron Initiative: +0
Mæsron Fleet List:
Destroyer (DD) 120 points
Heavy Cruiser (CA) 180 points
-----DESTROYER - 120 POINTS (DD)
The Mæsron destroyer has a long pedigree; dating from Y49, this class fought during the Great War, helped enforce the Pax Mæsra, and bore witness to the trauma of the Civil War. With the same aft platform as the heavy cruiser, the construction of both classes was made that much more efficient, which reinforced the fleets of the Alliance in its ascendance – and kept the New Alliance alive in the wake of the Collapse.Ships of the Class: Backstop
Agile, Labs 2, Tractor Beam 2, Transporter 2Weapon Range Arc AD Special
Phaser-W1 16 F, P 2 Accurate +2, Kill Zone 10, Precise
Phaser-W1 16 F, S 2 Accurate +2, Kill Zone 10, Precise
Phaser-W3 5 AH 2 Accurate +1, Kill Zone 3, Precise
Tachyon Gun 24 F 2 Accurate +2, Killzone 6, Multihit 2, Reload
Tachyon Missiles 4-36 T 1 Devastating +1, Multihit D6, Seeking
-----HEAVY CRUISER - 180 POINTS (CA)
One of the mainstays of the Alliance since its introduction in Y51, the heavy cruiser shared a “floating” aft weapon platform with several other Mæsron designs, not least the dreadnought and light cruiser. It also served as the basis for a number of later variants. This was the ship which won the Great War, showing the accomplishments the Alliance could achieve when it had a common purpose. Sadly, its presence on both sides of the Civil War showed how far the Mæsrons could fall when that partnership was rent asunder.Ships of the Class: Consolidation
Labs 4, Quick Launch, Tractor Beam 2, Transporter 4Weapon Range Arc AD Special
Phaser-W1 16 F 4 Accurate +2, Kill Zone 10, Precise
Phaser-W1 16 PH 1 Accurate +2, Kill Zone 10, Precise
Phaser-W1 16 SH 1 Accurate +2, Kill Zone 10, Precise
Phaser-W3 5 A 2 Accurate +1, Kill Zone 3, Precise
Phaser-W3 5 PH 1 Accurate +1, Kill Zone 3, Precise
Phaser-W3 5 SH 1 Accurate +1, Kill Zone 3, Precise
Tachyon Gun 24 F 2 Accurate +2, Killzone 6, Multihit 2, Reload
Tachyon Gun 24 F, P 1 Accurate +2, Killzone 6, Multihit 2, Reload
Tachyon Gun 24 F, S 1 Accurate +2, Killzone 6, Multihit 2, Reload
Tachyon Missiles 4-36 T 1 Devastating +1, Multihit D6, SeekingBOMBARDMENT CRUISER VARIANT (CBA) +0 POINTS
In the wake of the Collapse, the New Alliance was no longer the immense industrial powerhouse it had once been. While the Mæsrons had once been able to quickly bounce back from the loss of a fleet, they were now faced with the need to lean more heavily on the use of attrition units in order to minimize losses. One example of this shift is the bombardment cruiser; first fielded in Y175, designed to provide additional tachyon missile options to a squadron or fleet.
This variant replaces all four Attack Dice of Tachyon Guns with two additional Attack Dice of Tachyon Missiles.FIRE SUPPORT CRUISER VARIANT (CAF) +0 POINTS
This is actually a variant of the “floating” firing platform more than a variant of the ship itself. One of the Vulpa construction yards experimented with this version in Y156, during the Mæsron Civil War; using the extra phasers to counter enemy tachyon missiles. The probe launcher, seen as useless by the belligerent Vulpa, was replaced with a tachyon missile rack.
This variant replaces the two F arc Attack Dice of Tachyon Guns with 2 AD of Phaser-W1s, adds 1 AD of Tachyon Missiles (that forms a separate weapon system; which may only fire once every second turn), and has the Probe 0 Trait.
The missile thing might seem a bit awkward, but the limitations are part of the point; Mæsron fleets are not supposed to overly benefit from going too missile-heavy. (While there are missile variants available in the SFB
Mæsron fleet, even they have their own limits.) Still, at least one should be able to get a little bit more out of each missile they do
have, in the right circumstances at least.
(And speaking of missiles, i've gone back and added the missile-variant Destroyer to the FRA post.)
So, how does V1.6 of these unoffical Mæsron rules look to you?