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Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


First off, there’s another Aurora LP already running, and you should go read that one too! It can be found here: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3932867&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=1

Serf posted:

hell yeah

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The first time I saw Star Wars, it was a silent film.

My friend, Seema was shadowing her father as he unloaded the Lucasfilm Cooperative crate off the Luna. We knew that name, and the name Star Wars, from the radio. People said that it was unlike anything else, that it had to be seen to be believed. As soon as she saw the crate, Seema knew what had to be inside and she sprinted through the corridors to find me.

Entertainment was in short supply back then. Mostly what we had were books in a dozen different languages. We had old radio dramas that could easily be transmitted up, and a scant few board games divided amongst us. Learning new languages was a hobby almost everyone took up.

Languages were tricky on the moon. My French and Seema’s Urdu were incompatible. We were able to scrape by with English interspersed with pieces of our own tongues and a dozen loan words. A pidgin was developing across Lunagrad, slow and halting at first, but accelerating as the need for cross-cultural exchange deepened. More than that, we weren’t just exchanging, we were building a new and dynamic lunar culture that would be all our own.

But when Seema arrived, finding me assisting my mother with electrical repairs, there was no confusion.

“Star Wars!” she said to me as she ran up, speaking to my boots, which were the only thing sticking out of the corridor wall. Startled, I bumped my head and dropped my socket wrench onto my chest.

“What? What about it?” I asked, rubbing my forehead with one hand.

“Here!” She replied.

I gave myself a few more bruises as I wriggled out of the access panel, apologized to my mother for leaving her, and then took off with Seema for the spaceport.

We found out that ten copies of the filmreels had been delivered, more than enough for the few crude theaters that had been set up in Lunagrad. But that was the problem. There were a million people in Lunagrad and less than ten theaters, none with seating for more than fifty. The demand to see the movie was high. Even as more theaters were hastily assembled, additional reels wouldn’t be coming for some time. Each part of the city had a different system. Some used lotteries, others were first come first serve, and a few went by ordered lists alphabetical and otherwise. If you were selected and weren’t interested, you could give your spot to another, but with the state of communications at the time, this could become chaotic. It was reflective of Lunagrad in those early days, where we still had no governing body and the collectives had to figure things out together. It worked, but messily.

Then someone had a bright idea. Most of the habitat sections of Lunagrad were built into caves, the open ends of them sealed off and the interiors pressurized. The mouths of the caves varied in size, but the initial builders had made sure construct an observation area. Enough room for a window looking out onto the surface. There wasn’t much to see other than the Earth, stars, the spaceport and the few pressurized tunnels creating scant connections between habitats. But close by the spaceport there was Mons Solidarity. The name was a joke, as it was nothing more than a glorified hill of moon rocks and dust, but it provided a large blank space that was viewable from all the observation areas. The plan was simple: set up a projector outside and throw the film onto Mons Solidarity. This way, almost a hundred people could see it at once. The audio would be broadcast on the station radio. It was slapdash, ambitious and brilliant.

A work request was put in, and eventually someone somewhere signed off on the needed EVA equipment. A porter carrying a ‘borrowed’ film projector from Hab Unit 5, set it up. It took an hour, and after testing it out with some old wartime cartoons the setup was declared a success.

When Seema and I sat together, cramped into the observation area with almost two dozen others, and the crawl transitioned to a bare starfield, we were probably less impressed than our Earth comrades. After all, we could see the stars whenever we wanted. But then the spaceship began its slow traversal of the frame, and my breath hitched. It was nothing like the crude design of the Queen Lili’uokalani that brought us here, and far more massive than the tiny Luna we could see high in orbit above. Even for lunar pioneers, living a life that was unthinkable just five years ago, this was a vision of the future like none we had ever seen.

A minute into the film we realized there was no dialogue. No music. I was called over to check the intercom system and discovered that it wasn’t working. With no connection to the station radio we were cast back 60 years in film technology. But it didn’t matter, we understood it fine. Heroes and villains, farmboys and princesses, battles between plucky revolutionaries and evil empires. We gasped as the old man was killed, and we cheered when the false moon was destroyed. We experienced it all in cinematic silence, hearing only each other.

The next day the sound was repaired, and we saw it again. The voices didn’t change much for us, as it was in English and we caught only every third word. The music, however, was sublime. Eventually I would see Star Wars in one of the hastily-constructed theaters, and I would see it again with French subtitles, and finally with a French dub. It would be a long time before an Urdu version arrived for Seema, but it did.

No matter how many times I see Star Wars, I will never forget that first time. Sitting in a cramped, pressurized chamber among so many others, smelling of a day’s work, eating our lunar food, looking out onto the bumpy, pale piece of raised regolith and watching the adventure unfold in perfect silence. Our imaginations filled in the gaps, and we dreamed of bigger adventures that lay before us.

-Anton Traverse

Pirate Radar posted:

There is almost nothing on the Cydonia Proton--as we have begun calling the ship designated Proton-B 001 among ourselves--that is older than me. Senior Engineer Kosciuszko, the senior of the two engineers caring for the M109 nuclear thermal engine, is older than I am, as is our senior sensor operator, Senior Technician Rosario. They are both graduates of their technical schools rather than officers commissioned into the command track like myself. The other crew--the two pilots and the junior engineers and technicians under Kosciuszko and Rosario--are younger, and all of the equipment is new.

Well, except for precisely one dozen pieces of it.

What is new is not just new. It is revolutionary. I think of the ship like a beetle with its exoskeleton, and indeed, most of the structure is external rather than internal. It is made of a metal that has, within my lifetime, changed our estimations of what is possible. The key parts of the engine that hammered us into Martian orbit at eleven hundred and thirty kilometers a second are built of similar metals, and of course, the FESTER-01 array that is the center of our mission uses trans-Newtonian elements in its highly sensitive receiver and powerful computers.

The machine is a marvel of engineering. It weighs more than a tank platoon. Once its central dish has unfurled itself it can listen for infrared emissions from the depths of space, or pass over part of a world and look for pinpoint heat sources. Even the buttons and switches on its controls are made of a totally new plastic, shiny, strong, and lightweight. It outputs information to a bank of CRT monitors which can be switched through different display modes, so that an operator can see what the machine “sees” in reddish tones, or view statistical readouts of the distance and intensity of the thermal sources detected by the machine.

Those monitors have shown us that there is something hot on the Martian surface, or many somethings. I watched over Rosario’s shoulder as the information came in.

Many of the heat sources were intermittent.

“Here,” I said, tapping my finger against the glass at a line of on-and-off heat sources coming from structures near the Pyramid, “why do you think they’re doing that?”

“Could be a repeated process, like an industrial assembly line.” Rosario answered. Then she continued the thought: “Or maybe a sort of safety valve for waste heat. Like at an oil refinery.”

“Would that be so regular?” I looked around. Without thrust we had no gravity, so I was holding on to a metal ring that popped out of the sensor console, floating next to Rosario’s chair. Every member of my crew was there; the other seats on the ship’s circular command deck were fully occupied, save for the one I’d pushed myself out of to float over to the sensor console, and those who couldn’t get seats were floating near the ceiling. No one had wanted to miss the moment we reached the Red Planet and began scanning.

My eyes went “up” from my perspective and found Alstrom, one of Rosario’s technicians. He was craning his neck to see the screens in the sensor panel, though for him they were upside down.

“Comrade Alstrom, you worked at a refinery. Are those fires on the flare towers regular?”

He shrugged.

“Sometimes, Comrade Officer. Sometimes not. But who knows? I don’t think there’s an oil refinery down there.”

I had to admit that he had a point. We were getting a lot of information just from the FESTER arrays, but not enough to quickly tell what was going on. It was all being beamed back to Earth, of course, and the analysts there would be able to go over it for as long as they wanted. But if we wanted to understand more, we would have to bring one of the ships down and suit up. And there was no way to predict what would be waiting for us.

I thought again about the locker in the equipment storage module that held the only twelve pieces of equipment that were completely familiar, a dozen machines made of perfectly ordinary mundane metal that we had carried in our wondrous spaceship all the way to the frontiers of human experience. Machines we might carry to encounter an extraterrestrial intelligence. I had checked them all before we set out and, out of curiosity, looked up the serial numbers. They were all from the same batch, from the Izhevsk production line in the early 1950s. Probably they had sat in a crate until someone sent them to Ascension Island.

They had sent us to meet Martians with Makarov nine-millimeter pistols.

Aurora is a turn-based space 4X game developed by one man as a vast, glorious, awe-inspiring passion project that has taken many, many years already. Often compared to Dwarf Fortress, it brings a similar level of detail, complexity, and horrifyingly bad UI design to space strategy. Much like DF, all of these complex systems interacting with each other in often unpredictable ways makes it a drat solid story generator, and it’s a popular game to LP; there have been several extremely good ones on this very forum over the years, sometimes even multiple running concurrently. I play this game a lot, so I decided to throw my hat in the ring.

This game is played primarily through a series of spreadsheets and text menus, and what graphics there are consist of a bunch of little lines and dots. It's really not much to look at, so be prepared for that.



If you’ve played it in the past, or followed the old LPs, you’ll be noticing a few big differences in this one. This is because, a few months ago, Steve (the sole developer) finally released the much-anticipated C# Update, which he’s been working on for years and years. See, the game was originally coded entirely in VB6. It ran like rear end on even the best computers; running a 30-day turn was a matter of clicking the button and then walking away from your computer for anywhere from ten minutes to two hours. What’s more, this couldn’t really be improved without rewriting the game in an entirely different programming language – which is exactly what the crazy bastard did, making substantial changes to a number of different game mechanics in the process. The game now runs literally hundreds of times faster, especially in the early game, and a bunch of different QOL improvements have made it a much easier game to play and much less of a hassle to LP. The UI is still horrible – it is still Aurora – but it’s less horrible. C# has also introduced its own fun bugs and weird design decisions, in particular an absolutely baffling new ground combat system which features vastly more micromanagement than the old VB6 system to no real gameplay benefit.

One of the things that makes Aurora LPs so great is Goon Participation, and this one will be no different. We will be playing this game together.



Specifically, you will be playing as the political, scientific, and military leadership of the Comintern, a loose, unstable coalition that’s not quite a world government, but has aspirations on becoming one. You will begin this journey to the stars on Earth on January 1st, 1978, a few short years after the conclusion of World War Three, officially referred to in most Comintern member nations as the Great Revolutionary War. You will, at first, be the only faction on Earth reasonably capable of large-scale space travel, and will, as such, be the only Earth-based faction fully represented in the game, a situation which absolutely can change depending on your decisions and how things develop.



Don’t know how to play Aurora? No problem! I will be introducing and explaining concepts as best I can as they come up, and you should absolutely feel free to suggest courses of action even if you don't entirely understand how they would be implemented ingame. If it won't work I'll tell you.

THE RULES

This will be conducted primarily as a legislative-style game. During peacetime, legislative sessions will be convened once every in-game year, with additional emergency sessions convened whenever an urgent decision is required. We may change this timeframe later, either to make it longer or shorter, but for now we’ll give this a try. After a standard session is convened, the thread will have 48 hours to propose, discuss, and amend legislation, and then 48 hours to vote on it. There will be no specific rules on the language of legislation, except that I have to be able to understand what you're trying to do. If I can't I will ask for clarification.

During wartime, sessions will instead be held every three months or whenever urgent input is needed, and in addition to civilian legislators the players will also represent the Comintern military's strategic and operational level command staff. You will set objectives, develop plans for accomplishing those objectives, and detail forces to carry out those objectives. These plans may be very broad, in which case I will enact them based on my interpretation of how best to carry out your goals, or very specific, in which case I will follow them to the letter. Whenever urgent decisions need to be made, you'll get to vote on those too.

Whenever there is an issue I think needs addressing, I will suggest it as an Order of the Day for the legislative session, strongly encouraging (but not necessarily requiring) the People’s Congress (that’s you!) to pass legislation related to it. When there is an issue that must be addressed, I will mark it as Urgent Business and it must be voted on this session.

Under normal circumstances, voting will be a simple Yes/No vote on each proposal, with a simple majority of votes required to pass. If at any time there is a vote with more than two options, voting will be by ranked list and will use an instant-runoff system.

Design competitions for ships, fighters, missiles//probes/mines/buoys, components, ground formations, etc. can be proposed by legislation, and can either use existing technology or (via the game’s new ‘prototyping’ mechanic) technology one tier higher than what we currently have; when proposing a design competition, specify if it is for a production (current-tech) or prototype design. You may propose multiple designs at once; if multiple designs are required by legislation, please specific whether the contest will be for all of them as a slate or each design separate and individually. New ship designs may include new components; if such a design is adopted, approval of the new components for adoption is implicit. Designs may be submitted for 48 hours after the proposal has passed, and then the thread will have 24 hours to vote on designs, unless only one design is submitted, in which case it will be automatically adopted at the end of the 48 hours. If multiple competitions are voted on in the same legislative session, they will run concurrently to avoid bogging the game down too much.

All times are approximate; I can't guarantee I'll be able to post exactly 48 hours after a session opens or whatever - in practice, voting will be open until I say it's closed.

Additional rules relating to parliamentary procedure – whether instituted by me to make the game more fun or easier to run, or instituted by you through voting – may come later.

I will reserve the right to exercise an emergency veto on legislation that will make running the LP difficult, obnoxiously time-consuming, or impossible to continue, or which will be completely impossible to implement, with a promise not to exercise it unless absolutely necessary and to fully explain why if it is ever exercised. I'll do my best to point out impossible legislation before it actually comes to a vote, and provide suggestions on other ways you might be able to accomplish your intended goal.

Active legislation will be consolidated in a Google doc. Other important information, such as current economic data, disposition of fleets and colonies, and a current directory of active ship classes will be maintained and kept available.

DWARF ME!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13Xvzd-VkUzdHorTF_fJ1aoX_FMaHFgTrVecsqbHyNxE/edit?usp=sharing

So you want to go to space, do you? Post in this here spreadsheet! Indicate whether you want to be a Naval Officer, a Ground Forces Officer, a Scientist, or a Civilian Administrator. If you have any preferences for skills, personality traits, or type of assignment, list those, optionally. If your character dies, you will automatically be added to the bottom of the list, and, upon rejoining the game, will become (your name) II, III, IV, etc. depending on how many times you've managed to get yourself killed.

I'll be following this up with a little backstory infodump which you can feel free to read or skip, and then our first proper update!

Mister Bates fucked around with this message at 04:44 on Apr 1, 2021

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Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


BIG BACKSTORY POST – HOW WE GOT HERE

This game of Aurora will, like most of them, start on Earth, at the dawn of a new age of space exploration.

The period known as the ‘Trans-Newtonian Era’ is generally accepted to have begun on January 1st, 1978. Ten years prior, in May 1968, a student demonstration in France exploded into a nationwide general strike that quickly gripped the country in insurrection. The first red flags were hoisted a few short weeks later – and, despite insurrection turning to revolution, and then to civil war, they never came down again.

NATO’s controversial decision to intervene on the side of the government in August 1968, despite France not being a member of the alliance, caused an uproar in many of its member states. Italian troops, spurred on by communist agitators in the ranks, mutinied and refused to cross the French border; less than a month later, the Communist Party, the second-largest in parliament at the time, managed to wrangle enough support from other parties to narrowly force through a bill withdrawing Italy from NATO. Spanish troops attempting to reinforce the French government found themselves coming under attack from anti-Franco guerrillas emboldened by events in France and Italy.

The Labour-led British government, unwilling to get involved in a European war less than 25 years after the end of WW2, dragged its feet on intervening in France, supported in this by elements in the British trade unions who carried out a number of sympathy strikes. Months passed, fighting raged, and, while continuing to allow the US to use the isles as a base for their own operations, the British did nothing. Mass anti-American protests outside military bases became a regular occurrence, and bitter fights in the House of Commons were soon the norm. Elements in MI5, already suspecting the Prime Minister to be a ‘Soviet puppet’, and having already been casually discussing the possibility of a coup d’etat before any of this happened, had their resolve strengthened by this growing crisis. Contacting various disaffected elements in the British government, military, and business community, and reaching out to potential supporters in the far right, they began putting a plan into motion.

West Germany, now facing the threat of Communism from the West as well as the East, became increasingly politically polarized, with the Christian Democrats quickly losing ground to the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party and the Social Democrats facing challenges from militant elements within their own base (actual communist parties generally being illegal). The government, torn between those who wished to seek closer ties with the United States to resist the rising red tide and a growing pro-unification bloc that sought to kick out the US entirely, rapidly ground to a halt.

The United States, ‘leader of the free world’, was caught flat-footed by events in France. Already heavily committed in Vietnam, they were now faced with the sprouting of a second Vietnam in their own ‘backyard’ - and their back exposed to the Soviets should they intervene. With more and more critical situations developing every day, the ‘domino effect’ theory seemingly being proven correct before their very eyes, and NATO quickly disintegrating, the US stretched itself wide in an attempt to put out every fire at once. Troops were deployed to France to relieve beleaguered government forces in the rapidly-shrinking enclaves still controlled by de Gaulle, to West Germany to discourage Ivan, and to Vietnam to keep up the ongoing war there. The nation’s vast nuclear arsenal looked more and more tempting to the generals with each passing day.

Domestically, things weren’t much better. Less than a month after the outbreak of revolution in France, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Riots spread like wildfire, gripping the country in insurrection for a full week. They had barely died down before the draft riots started. Cities burned, and confrontations between protesters and ‘patriotic’ counter-demonstrators descended into brawls or even gun battles. Police and military forces killed hundreds in the attempted crackdowns – and lost dozens, as people fired back.

In this atmosphere of general chaos, Richard Nixon was elected President of the United States in an overwhelming landslide, in a highly controversial election with an extremely low turnout, multiple reports of election-day violence at polling places, and accusations of fraud from all sides. Fans of alternate-history scenarios have speculated, based on internal information from his campaign, that he would have attempted to normalize relations with China, exploited the developing rift between them and the Soviets, and tried to develop an alliance of convenience with them in order to counter the ascendant USSR; if this had happened, the world might look much different. We will never know, however, because Richard Nixon was assassinated by a sniper’s bullet on December 3, 1968, before he could even take office. The shooter was never caught; a group calling itself the New Afrikan People’s Army, previously unattested, claimed credit for the shooting in a press statement, calling it ‘vengeance for Doctor King’.

1969 began with a few months of uneasy relative calm. Faltering morale among the USA’s draftee army, and several high-profile defections from the French national military, allowed the self-styled Commune of France to consolidate itself in the territory it controlled. The Italian far left continued to grow in power, and their opponents in the far right became more and more aggressive in their campaigns of violence in response – which served only to unite the radicals against a common enemy. Along the border between East and West Germany, a tense peace prevailed; the calm before the storm. In basements, backrooms, and alleys, people organized and plotted, on both sides of the political spectrum, for the moment the hammer fell.

In May, a year after the initial uprising, it finally did. The Commune launched a major offensive aimed at taking the French Republic’s primary mainland stronghold at Amiens – aided by the surprise simultaneous defections of two French Army brigades and one US Army battalion to the Commune. At the same time, solidarity demonstrations celebrating the anniversary of the uprising broke out around the world. In Britain, MI5 decided this was the last opportunity they’d get to crush the left and reestablish order, and, with the aging Earl Louis Mountbatten as a figurehead interim Prime Minister, launched their coup, declaring sitting Labour PM Harold Wilson a traitor. The street fighting between British Army troops and hastily-organized union militias was unexpectedly fierce; what was intended to be a swift coup and a brutal crackdown instead became the opening shots of the British Civil War.

All hell broke loose after that. Books and entire academic careers have been dedicated to covering the Third World War; for the purposes of this overview, we’ll limit ourselves to extremely broad strokes. The UK, the US, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and West Germany all erupted in insurrectionary violence one right after the other, with many of their colonial holdings quickly following suit. Their overseas deployments – particularly the USA’s – began to fall apart, with the command structure paralyzed by split loyalties as it became less and less obvious who the hell was even issuing orders anymore, and more than a few mutinies among the rank and file. It was the USA’s Joint Chiefs of Staff who, in desperation, made the unilateral decision to authorize the use of tactical nuclear weapons in early July of 1969. President Agnew may or may not have even been aware of this decision; to this day it’s unclear.

Nukes were deployed first in Vietnam, then in France. Brezhnev’s initial refusal to respond in kind, fearing that doing so would lead to nuclear armageddon, was overruled by a coalition of young radical internationalists in the officer corps, who removed him from office overnight in a quiet coup; Soviet nuclear weapons detonated over NATO troop concentrations in Belgium, France, and Germany hours later. The exchanges continued, alongside more conventional fighting, escalating in size and intensity, for weeks, each side gradually getting closer and closer to a full-scale strategic strike. It is perhaps only luck that it did not happen, that the United States fell apart so quickly, that before long there was simply no one left with sufficient authority to give that order.

Almost forgotten, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin of the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration became the first humans to walk on another world. They left an American flag planted in the lunar regolith. As they left the Moon behind, the exhaust from the ascent module’s engine blew the flag over, and it fell to the ground, where it remains to this day.

THE AFTERMATH AND THE TRANS-NEWTONIAN REVOLUTION

It took many years to finally conclude the Great Revolutionary War, and, when it ended, it was in no way a clean or decisive victory. Tens of millions perished, even more than in the Second World War a few decades prior. Entire nations were left devastated by nuclear fire, conventional warfare, or the economic collapse and famine that inevitably followed. Borders were redrawn, old nations dissolved, new nations formed to take their place. With the dissolution of the United States into a patchwork of feuding polities, the Soviet Union, which had emerged relatively unscathed (‘relatively’ being the operative word), emerged as the world’s premier military and economic power, and the de facto leader of the communist bloc.

Although there were a wide range of different ideological tendencies represented in the Red uprisings that launched this war, common enemies and common interests brought them together. Over the next few years, they coalesced into a loose confederation of states, statelike entities, and extragovernmental organizations. While some unofficially referred to this body as the “Fifth International”, this was a controversial term at best, and officially it was merely the renewed Communist International. With its member states representing just over half of the approximately 3.9 billion people on Earth, the Comintern is the closest thing the post-war world has to a replacement for the United Nations (said body technically still exists, but as a forgotten and largely meaningless afterthought).

Composed of former members of both the Soviet and Chinese camps, much of the Non-Aligned Movement, and various new polities that emerged out of the chaos of war and revolution, the young Comintern in 1978 is a fractious, argumentative, chaotic, and high-spirited body. It’s managed to hold together, mostly, but no one knows how long that will last, or if it will last. The process of rebuilding, and fighting the various capitalist remnants and insurgencies within their borders, has kept them mostly moving in the same direction, but no nation or ideological tendency is really strong enough to truly dominate the organization, and that combined with the loose, decentralized structure has kept it from solidifying into a true world government.

LITTLE GREEN MEN

In early 1973 a team of commandos from the People’s Republic of California, accompanied by liaisons from the KGB and a few scientists, launched an expedition into the disputed territory of the Nevada Desert, to investigate rumors of a valuable military secret left over from before the war. No central authority held sway here, and the military installations around Nellis Air Force Base had been largely destroyed during the initial collapse of the United States. Their target, located on the dry bed of Groom Lake, was extremely secret, extremely isolated, and intact, and they gambled – correctly, as it turned out – that no one had yet looted or occupied it.

In this secret base was an elevator. At the bottom of the elevator, a laboratory. Stored in the laboratory, the remains of the roughly disc-shaped flying object which had, in the process of crashing, collided with and destroyed a US military high-altitude research balloon over Roswell, New Mexico on July 6, 1947. The remains of its pilot and crew. Data tapes and hard-copy of the results of decades of research – unsuccessful research, mostly, as the American scientists beat their head against the wall attempting to figure out just how the gently caress this thing worked. They had duplicated it, crudely, but never really understood it.

A team secluded in a closed city in Siberia, working in the field of high energy physics, turned out to have the missing piece to the puzzle the Americans had never been able to solve. They had developed a series of mathematical proofs based on available data that suggested the existence of a near-parallel dimension, another universe, in which the laws of physics and the structure of spacetime were vastly different. They had further theorized that this dimension could potentially interact with ours, and vice versa. These theories provided them the framework needed to understand the Roswell spacecraft. Built partially out out of exotic materials which existed simultaneously in both dimensions, the vessel was able to, essentially, sidestep the normal bounds of Newtonian physics. The materials out of which it was constructed were far stronger and denser than anything humanity could have created through conventional means, and yet massed less. The remnants of its badly damaged electronics, engines, and power plants provided tantalizing hints of what else these materials were capable of. Relativistic speeds. Inertialess travel. Near-limitless electrical power, generated easily and safely. Faster-than-light communication. There was, of course, also the additional factor of the vessel being definitive proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, which is, well, a pretty big deal, to say the least.

In 1975, the two most important scientific papers in human history were published. One, the first non-theoretical xenobiology paper ever, detailed the biology and physiology of four preserved alien corpses. The second contains the framework for Trans-Newtonian Theory, the foundation upon which a new human civilization would be built.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

On January 1st, 1978, after a few years of hasty preparation, the Ministry for Outer Space Affairs was officially stood up. Taking control of the space assets of all Comintern member nations, and drawing its personnel from a new class of young cosmonauts trained specifically for the purpose, the Ministry at the time of creation has a broad mandate, an unusual amount of power, and an unclear place in the Comintern’s structure. Is it a civilian space agency? Is it a military? Is it something else entirely? Time will tell. For now, only one thing is certain – as fragile as it is, as uncertain as it is, humanity has found a shared purpose. Many in the Comintern’s leadership are looking to the Ministry as the thing that will unite the coalition, draw it closer together, forge it into something greater. In the black skies above Earth, beyond the craters and ruins, the ash and radiation, they will seek humanity’s future, for better or worse.

As the first crude Trans-Newtonian spacecraft ascend to orbit, from Vandenberg and Baikonur and Jiuquan, and the stations that will become orbital shipyards are assembled from repurposed Salyut modules and Apollo/Saturn mission hardware, plans are being drawn up. Scientists are recruited, labs staffed, administrative bodies organized, facilities slapped together out of available buildings, repurposed hardware, prefab huts, tents. There are so many volunteers that some of them have to be turned away, and the academy established at Baikonur is already filled to capacity with a second class before the first graduating class has finished clearing out their dormitories.

Humanity has, in the last hundred years, faced wars, plagues, revolutions and counterrevolutions, the rise and fall of empires. It has stared Armageddon in the face, waded through nuclear fire, and emerged battered but alive. It has endured, it will endure, and we will build a better tomorrow. There’s something in the air. People have been afraid to name it, worried that if they draw attention to it, they’ll lose it – but everyone senses it. Hope.

Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


January 1, 1978

This is the inner Sol system, our home. We'll be seeing a lot of this screen. Earth is the third rock from the Sun, visible with two little rings around it to indicate it is an inhabited body with minerals.


This is the colony window for our sole inhabited body, planet Earth.

Earth is still recovering from the limited nuclear exchanges of the late war, with atmospheric dust and ash still lingering and many heavily-hit areas still badly irradiated ruins, as you can see near the top of the left column. Large numbers of stateless refugees are still occupying camps and makeshift settlements and some populated regions, particularly in the former United States, are still not effectively controlled by any organized polity.

Approximately two billion people live in the areas under the effective control of the various Comintern member polities, as visible in the left column. The largest proportion of them are in the People’s Republic of China, with the USSR, the Commune of France, and Mexico also being significant population centers. About 287 million of those could still be put to useful labor, representing a significant and valuable resource.



A substantial amount of modern heavy industry has survived the war or been built since, all of it now totally obsolete in the face of the Trans-Newtonian Revolution. It will need to be updated to modern standards. It is visible in the central column on the main colony screen, as 3,200 Conventional Industry. Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakh SSR currently functions as Earth’s sole spaceport capable of launching and receiving hypothetical Trans-Newtonian spacecraft, and the de facto headquarters of the Ministry for Outer Space Affairs; it is also capable of maintaining hypothetical space vehicles up to about 5000 tons. Interkosmos Academy, currently training the next generation of cosmonauts, is also located there.



Four small space stations have been lofted to serve as research platforms for Trans-Newtonian spaceflight, and shipyards for orbital construction. Two of them are reserved for construction of large-scale civilian utility vessels, while the other two are set aside for smaller, high-performance militarized craft. Each of them is currently hypothetically capable of constructing a single vessel, massing at most 10,000 or 1,000 tons respectively. They are currently ad-hoc installations built mostly out of existing pre-TN spaceflight hardware and will need substantial work to be expanded into proper shipyards. We’ll look at the shipyards in more detail once there is a use for them.



Once the principles of Trans-Newtonian Theory were understood, instruments were quickly developed to identify TNEs, and a full survey of the Earth was conducted. Earth has modest harvestable stockpiles of all currently known elements. Mining them is a complicated process, requiring a lot of energy and newly-designed specialized equipment in order to separate them from the conventional elements they are mixed with, stabilize their mind-bending half-existence, and refine them into something usable. ‘Bringing them up the well’ is the colloquialism that has quickly caught on, and to do it on any kind of large scale, we will need to build specialized mines; it’s no longer as simple as just digging things up. Production, Stockpile, and Use numbers on this screen are per year, by the way.

At the moment, the only TNE which is seeing significant usage is Sorium, which exists as a liquid at normal atmospheric temperatures and pressures and can be refined into a stable, easily-transported fuel of incredible energy density. It has already become the rocket fuel of choice, and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future, as well as filling many other roles.

Active fighting is still ongoing in sub-Saharan Africa and the former United States, as well as smaller policing actions throughout the world, and most military resources are still allocated to the various national governments. Only a token contribution, in the form of a single small training camp in Siberia, has been made to the Comintern’s hypothetical joint army, and no units have been formally organized.



Arguably the greatest success of the Comintern so far has been the speed and effectiveness at which it has integrated the remaining academic and research institutions in its member polities. Though desperately short of proper leadership, the global scientific community still has substantial resources to bring to bear on any problems you instruct it to solve.

MECHANICS

So, let’s talk about research, construction, and mining.

Research
is the most important thing in the game. You need to develop new technology in order to spread to the stars – and protect your new holdings. Research depends on two things – Laboratories and Scientists. Each technology you research has a cost, in Research Points or RP. A Research Laboratory generates a certain number of RP per year so long as it is staffed by workers, modified by the Specialization and Bonus of the scientist assigned to lead them. A good scientist, working in their area of expertise, can make a huge difference.

Once you have developed a technology that allows you to design a ship component, weapon, or ground unit, you’re not done. You must then actually design something that uses that technology, and it must be researched separately. Once you’ve created the project it’s researched like any other technology, and once completed it can be used freely in designs.

Construction is mostly pretty self-explanatory. Industry staffed by workers generates Build Points or BP. Building new things costs a certain amount of Build Points, Wealth (more on Wealth in a later update), and TNEs. Your planetside industry may build Buildings, prefabricated Ship Components (we’ll talk about why you would want to do that when we cover ship design and construction later), expendable Ordnance such as missiles, probes, and buoys, Fighters and fighter-sized spacecraft, and civilian Space Stations.

In the early game you have Conventional Industry, which does all of these things, as well as mining and fuel refining, but does all of them poorly. You will want to convert them into specialized facilities quickly. Specialized facilities can only be used for their specific type of construction – a Fighter Factory will only generate BP that can be used to build Fighters, for example. Space Stations, Ship Components, and Buildings all use Construction, and as such Construction Factories are generally your second most important industry.

Mining, however, will always be your most important industry. You will use TNEs for everything. Ships cost TNEs to build and maintain, and without refined Sorium fuel in their tanks, they don’t fly. Everything else costs TNEs to build too. Without these magic space rocks, there is no super-science, and no space-faring civilization. Getting them out of the ground is therefore of vital importance. So long as your Mines are staffed by workers, they will produce a certain quantity of TNEs per year, modified by the Accessibility rating of the mineral deposit (so an Accessibility 0.1 deposit will be mined at 10% the speed of an Accessibility 1 deposit, for example).

The production output for all these industries can be increased substantially via research projects in the Construction/Production tree.

BUSINESS

There is much anticipation as the delegates to the People’s Congress begin to arrive at this year’s host city (the ‘capitol’ rotates, and this session you’re in scenic Havana). The stars have captivated humanity’s imagination, and informal hallway discussions almost inevitably turn towards space; even the most practical and down-to-Earth cannot avoid discussing how to apply Trans-Newtonian materials and technology here on the ground. The most paranoid talk of military preparations to defend against possible incursion from the Roswell aliens, the most idealistic talk of preparations for diplomacy and first contact. With many of these ideas now possible to implement on a large scale, they will inevitably dominate the agenda.

ORDERS OF THE DAY:
1. Research. The laboratories are at your disposal. They will need direction. For now, you should give fairly broad instructions on where to focus our efforts; all of these new fields are still in their infancy, after all. In later legislative sessions, you will have the opportunity to allocate scientists and labs to specific technologies should you so choose, and I will prepare and maintain a list of everything available. There are 50 lab complexes to be allocated between our six lead scientists as you see fit. The available fields of study are as follows:

- Biology/Genetics: Modifying planets to make them more suitable for humans, or modifying humans to make them more suitable for other planets. Before making any serious progress in this area, you will need to lay down the proper groundwork by sequencing the human genome, which is where most resources will be directed should you prioritize this.
- Construction/Production: Incremental improvements to things like construction speed, shipbuilding speed, mining speed, and research speed. Boring, and also vitally important.
- Defensive Systems: Armor, stealth technology such as baffled engines, and hypothetical energy shield tech, as well as damage control systems for emergency field repairs. Keeps spaceships alive longer.
- Energy Weapons: Lasers as well as more exotic beam weapons such as microwaves, meson cannons, and particle beams.
- Ground Combat: While mostly pretty self-explanatory – weapons, vehicles, and equipment to be used on the ground – the Ground Combat tree also includes Xenoarchaeology Equipment for studying alien ruins, Geosurvey Equipment for planetary survey expeditions, and mobile Construction Equipment for building remote outposts.
- Logistics: slightly less boring than Construction/Production and every bit as important, Logistics is the science of moving things from where they are to where they need to be, and includes cargo bays, maintenance facilities, refueling systems, and cryogenic passenger transport modules.
- Missiles/Kinetic Weapons: weapons which fire physical projectiles at their targets, including railguns and gauss guns. All missiles in Aurora are tipped with nuclear warheads. ‘Missiles’ as a category also includes mines, buoys, drones, and probes; these will be explained in more detail in a dedicated ‘missiles’ post later.
- Power and Propulsion: Engines, reactors, and things which modify the effects of engines and reactors, such as power boosts and fuel efficiency bonuses. Engines are how you make your ships move, while reactors charge and fire your ships’ weapons. Also included in this category are a series of proposals outlining a theoretical basis for faster-than-light travel, though it will represent a significant investment in lab time and resources to determine if this is even feasible.
- Sensors and Control Systems: Your civilization’s eyes and ears. Includes various sensors for detecting objects in space, thermal and EM emissions, and the like, as well as vitally-important survey sensors which will allow you to explore new worlds. Also includes additional command and control facilities that you can install on your ships, such as Science Departments which will enhance survey sensors, or Main Engineering facilities that will improve a ship’s reliability and repair rate.

The science team suggests that developing a practical TNE-based fission reactor, in addition to revolutionizing civilian power generation, would also pave the way for development of a Trans-Newtonian nuclear thermal rocket engine. Such an engine would be vastly more powerful and efficient than a conventional chemical rocket of equivalent mass, and would trivialize interplanetary travel. A proposal for a simple pressurized-water fission reactor has been distributed to all delegates, and assigning a scientist to focus on Power and Propulsion will ensure it receives the highest priority.

2. Construction. The Comintern’s industry stands idle, ready for instructions. You have 3,200 conventional factories that can be converted into any number of things, or be used to build new structures entirely from scratch (very inefficiently). Take a look at the list up there, see anything you like? If you're unsure what exactly a facility does, or what it would cost, just ask.

3. Shipyards. Do we focus on expanding the tonnage capacity of our existing slipways first, letting us build bigger ships, or adding more slipways, letting us build more ships? How should we plan our yard expansions?

4. Scientist shortage. You have only six qualified Trans-Newtonian scientists, all of them drawn from the original research team that unlocked the secrets of the Roswell craft. There are many ways to address this – you could construct an additional Academy, for example; you could also assign a scientist of sufficient rank (capable of commanding 10 or more laboratories) as the Commandant of Interkosmos Academy, which will attract more scientific talent to the program (in game terms, it will increase the likelihood of generating new scientists). We'll cover Commandants in more detail when we go over the Officer/Leader mechanics.

URGENT BUSINESS:

UB-01: MOSA HQ

The Ministry of Outer Space Affairs is currently headquartered in a temporary tent-city complex at Baikonur. It will need more permanent headquarters facilities, and where to place them is a matter of some contention. After much debate, the following four options have been narrowed down, to be voted on by ranked list:

1. Stay at Baikonur, USSR. And why not? The beating heart of the Soviet space program from the days of Sputnik and Vostok (less than twenty years ago…), the most well-developed space launch facility on the planet, where else to begin a journey to the stars? There is the matter of the ongoing argument over the inordinate amount of influence the Soviets are exercising over the program; formally headquartering the Ministry here is bound to inflame some tensions. Doing this will offend the Chinese and French, who are wary of Soviet hegemony, and will also allow the Ministry to more effectively leverage the expertise of the old Soviet cosmonaut corps to enhance Interkosmos training programs, effectively granting you one additional Military Academy for free.

2. Vandenberg Air Force Base, People’s Republic of California: The only former American space launch site that is both intact and reasonably possible for us to access (Cape Canaveral in Florida is apparently largely unscathed but not a realistic option due to local instability). California is politically unstable and engaged in active border disputes, jockeying for territory with the equally unstable non-Comintern states of Cascadia and Deseret – but, more importantly, with two other Comintern members, Mexico and the Navajo-dominated Southwestern Tribal Confederation. Setting up shop here will be seen as the Comintern granting legitimacy to Californian territorial claims, reinforcing the fragile central government and pissing the Navajo and Mexicans off quite a bit. The Californians offer the Ministry access to nearby Camp Pendleton as well as Vandenberg’s extensive sensor arrays, effectively giving you four Ground Forces Training Facilities and one Deep Space Tracking Station for free.

3. Dongfeng Aerospace City, People’s Republic of China: The center of the PRC’s nascent space program, located in remote Inner Mongolia. In terms of infrastructure it’s essentially a worse, less-developed Baikonur, but there’s a lot of growth potential. The Soviets, who already have Interkosmos Academy and the spaceport, aren’t going to mind losing the headquarters complex that much, but the Vietnamese will raise hell, and the French are just as wary of Chinese dominance as they are of the Soviets. The Chinese government have offered to expand the research city to accommodate the Ministry, effectively giving the Comintern access to two additional research labs for free.

4. Ascension Island: a 34-square-mile rock in the middle of loving nowhere, with no indigenous population (although a few hundred people do currently live there, they are not natives to the island). Formerly a British territory, the island has been in an administrative limbo since the collapse of the Empire, and should the Ministry be located here, the island will be ceded to the Comintern outright. A sizable airbase is located here, as well as a ground tracking station used by the Americans for their space program, back when there were Americans. These limited facilities can be expanded, but for now all you’ll be able to get out of it is one Deep Space Tracking Station for free. However, it would also establish MOSA as a neutral and independent entity, above the political squabbles of the Comintern’s member nations, and that may be worth a lot in the coming days.

The 1978 legislative session of the International People’s Congress is now open! You will have 48-ish hours to ask questions, make plans, and submit proposals, and then we'll get this thing rolling!

Mister Bates fucked around with this message at 19:05 on Oct 14, 2020

NewMars
Mar 10, 2013


As people's Premier of the Union of Australasian Worker's Republics, I urge you to vote 4, 2, 3, 1. The Comintern is fragile at this young stage. One spark could be what begins the fracturing. Even if it is a slight loss in the short-term, in the long term the benefits of solidarity we will reap will outdo it tenfold!

DagPenge
Jun 4, 2011

Looks like our civilians are fine, thank god for the capitalist spirit!

The Earth has seen enough bloodshed for the considerable future, so lets place the headquarters on Ascension Island and try to be as political neutral as we can.

I vote 4. Ascension Island

I must also propose that we start planning on constructing a colony on the moon, which can serve as a beacon for hope. Just before the last destructive conflict mankind had established a presence on the moon and now with peace, it is fitting that we go back and expand on this important milestep. Maybe one of the civilan shipyards can be tooled to build a small ship, which can move infrastruture and people there? The ship might be small, but its a short trip and it will give us valuable experience in space flight.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grimey Drawer

Ascension Island, Baikonur, China, and lastly California. (4, 1, 3, 2)

Comrades. The pot has been stirred enough, by setting up shop on Ascension we can transcend the past and ascend to the stars. If we chose to avoid Ascension then we should return home to where our cosmonauts grow so well. Beyond that we risk inflaming the world even more. As much as I would like to see a growing and stable presence on the North American continent, now may not be the time. What good is our fragile space program if some tribal conflict squashes it in the cradle?

Freudian
Mar 23, 2011

God Can't Hate Forever



I vote 4, 1, 3, 2.

Vinny Possum
Sep 21, 2015

THUNDERDOME LOSER


2, 3, 1, 4

Comrades, the workers of California have sacrificed much in the fight against the Imperialist Menace of the United States, don't we deserve to be thrown a bone?

Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


DagPenge posted:

The Earth has seen enough bloodshed for the considerable future, so lets place the headquarters on Ascension Island and try to be as political neutral as we can.

I vote 4. Ascension Island

I must also propose that we start planning on constructing a colony on the moon, which can serve as a beacon for hope. Just before the last destructive conflict mankind had established a presence on the moon and now with peace, it is fitting that we go back and expand on this important milestep. Maybe one of the civilan shipyards can be tooled to build a small ship, which can move infrastruture and people there? The ship might be small, but its a short trip and it will give us valuable experience in space flight.

This proposal to establish a moon colony will require designing a new engine and a couple of new ship classes, and so is a perfect excuse to talk about basic component and commercial ship design!

Component designs are assembled in this screen:

Each little drop-down menu allows us to tweak various parameters of the design. Most only have one, or zero, options at game start - for example, because we currently only have conventional chemical rockets, we are limited to designing a Conventional Engine, and because we have no engine stealth tech or fuel efficiency tech, we cannot reduce fuel consumption or baffle the engine.

A ship component has a bunch of associated stats. Size is pretty self-explanatory, being the total mass of the component in Hull Size Points (each HS is 50 tons) or tons. HTK is the total number of damage points the component can take in combat before being destroyed. Cost is specifically its cost in Wealth, Crew are the number of people required to operate and maintain the component (crew, and crew quarters, are automatically added to a ship design as needed), Development Cost is the number of Research Points required to finish designing the component (50 RP is very cheap, a Propulsion specialist with a few labs could finish this in days). Materials Required is a list of the TNEs required to construct one of this component, whether prefabbed in a factory or built at a shipyard.

Engines specifically have a few unique stats. Engine Power is a measure of how much thrust the engine puts out, measured in Some Sort Of Arbitrary Unit. Fuel Use Per Hour is self-explanatory, while Fuel Consumption per Engine Power Hour is a measure of fuel efficiency, expressed in the form of how much fuel this engine would consume if it were outputting 1EP of thrust for one hour. Thermal Signature is how much thermal energy this engine outputs at full power, and is a measure of how easily the engine can be detected by passive thermal sensors (running an engine at less than full power decreases its thermal signature accordingly). Explosion Chance is the risk of the engine catastrophically exploding when destroyed, and Max Explosion Size is the amount of damage that explosion can potentially do to the ship's internals.

The last, and most important, thing to note there is 'Commercial Engine'. Aurora divides engines into Commercial and Military. Military engines are high-performance and high-maintenance; Commercial engines are low-power, low-maintenance, and extremely fuel efficient. Commercial engines have to be big - this 25HS engine here is the minimum size for a Commercial engine. They also have to be low power, with 50% Engine Power being the maximum upper limit. Anything 25HS or bigger, with 50% Engine Power or less, is classified as a Commercial Engine. Anything else is a Military Engine. Commercial engines can be mounted on commercial or military ships and built in commercial or military yards; Military engines can only be mounted on military ships and built in military yards. We'll get into the distinction in just a minute.

Once you're satisfied with a design, you name the component, name the company that designed the component, and send it over to the Research screen, where you research it like any other technology. Once it's researched, it can then be built and used immediately.

This is literally the only commercial engine you can make with current tech, so I'm just going to give you this engine design as a freebie and research it instantly so we can move on to Ship Design.


Ships are designed on this invitingly blank screen. Space stations and fighters, despite being built in a much different way, are considered ships and are designed the same way as ships.

On the left side of the screen is a list of all of the empire's ship classes, of which we currently have none. One column over, a list of all currently available ship components. By default, Obsolete components and Prototype components are not visible here, but there are options to enable them. A ship class is assembled out of these components, encased in armor. Let's throw a basic design together real quick.


We switch over to the Class Components tab to see everything we installed in this ship. I've designed four classes, two passenger transports and two cargo ships, a Fast and Slow variant of each, using only technology you currently have. You could build any of these right now. This is the Fast variant of the cargo ship. It has three of the engines we just designed, five of the smallest cargo hold available, two Cargo Shuttle Bays (ships of this mass cannot land on planetary surfaces, so you need these to load or unload on planets without spaceports), a bridge, some crew quarters, an engineering deck, a fuel tank, and a whopping 2000 tons of steel hull plating despite being basically unarmored (low-tech armor is incredibly mass-inefficient). Its three huge sorium rockets can push this thing at a max speed of 197 kilometers per second, which is enough to reach the Moon from Low Earth Orbit in about half an hour. The Passenger variant is exactly the same except that it carries 250 passengers instead of 2500 cargo. The Slow variant drops the speed to 66 km/s, which will reach the Moon in an hour and 45 minutes or so, but doubles the passenger and cargo capacity. Both versions have the same absurd 8 billion kilometer range and could easily reach as far as Jupiter without having to worry about fuel, albeit slowly (space is huge).
A ship design can be output as text, which for the Fast Luna looks like this:
code:
Luna-F class Cargo Ship      9,504 tons       71 Crew       155.5 BP       TCS 190    TH 38    EM 0
197 km/s      Armour 1-39       Shields 0-0       HTK 22      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 10    Max Repair 20 MSP
Cargo 2,500    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 2    
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    

Korolev Design Bureau NK-125 Sorium Rocket (3)    Power 37.5    Fuel Use 11.18%    Signature 12.5    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 8.5 billion km (496 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes
On the top row, we have the class name and type, its mass, the crew requirement, its cost in Build Points, and its Target Cross Section, Thermal Signature, and Electromagnetic Signature, which determines how easy the ship is to detect with Active Sensors, Thermal Sensors, and Electromagnetic Sensors respectively. We'll give Sensors their own post later. Below that, its max speed, the thickness and width of its armor belt (1 and 39 squares respectively in this case), Shields (we don't even have those), the number of hits it takes to kill, the type and number of sensors it is carrying, how effective its damage control systems are, and its Planetary Protection Value, which is how much of a colony's demand for military protection this ship will satisfy parked in orbit (an understandable zero in this case). Below that, its Maintenance Supply capacity and the repair cost in MSP of the most expensive component on the ship. For military ships this is also where maintenance life and average failure rate are, but we don't have those, because this is a Commercial ship. We'll get to it. Finally, we've got the cargo capacity, the bonus to load/unload speed from cargo shuttles, the rank an officer has to be to command it, any additional junior officer positions the ship has (it has none), and how long it is intended to be deployed. Below that, a list of major components, a short list in this case.

The key thing about Commercial ships is that, aside from fuel, they require no maintenance. Their crews do not accrue deployment time and do not need shore leave, their components do not accumulate wear or fail, the ships never need to be overhauled. I could technically turn the deployment time on these down to squeeze out a bit more mass (the lower the deployment time, the more spartan the crew quarters, and thus the less mass you need to house the same amount of crew), but there's not really any reason to for these.

These are extremely basic and low-tech, for the most part representing conventional 1970s-era technology with some very crudely-applied Trans-Newtonian enhancements, but you could build them now, and they would definitely be enough to establish simple permanent outposts. As you develop more technology, you'll be able to create things which outperform these primitive designs by orders of magnitude, but you've gotta start somewhere, right?

Without prefabricating components you could build one of these per slipway about every six months or so with current shipbuilding tech; prefabbing the engines and other parts in groundside factories could shave a couple months off that.

We'll go over Military Ship design once you've researched things that can go in military ships. That reminds me - we still need to decide how we're going to prioritize our 50 labs and 6 scientists! If you feel like you don't have enough information to suggest a course of action there, tune in shortly for a more detailed explanation of how research works!

Mister Bates fucked around with this message at 19:07 on Oct 14, 2020

Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


Research!

I gave a short overview of how research works in the first update, but let's look at it in more detail.



Research is shared throughout your empire but is organized on a per-planet basis. All our labs are on Earth right now so that's where all our research will be conducted. At the moment we're researching nothing. Let's change that.



Pressurized Water Reactor is an important technology, it will allow us to generate power for weapons and is also a necessary prerequisite for our first engine technology. Let's start with that. We have a Power and Propulsion specialist, so let's assign them that project and give them, say, one laboratory.



poo poo, that's going to take a while. Even with their huge bonus more than doubling the output of the laboratory, it'll still take a couple years for them to deliver us a breakthrough. Fortunately we have 49 more unassigned labs. Let's add more up to this scientist's administration ability.



That's more like it, now it'll be done in about a month and a half.

Scientists can get better at administration (increasing the number of labs they can control) or research (increasing their RP generation bonus) by working - interestingly, they don't necessarily have to be working as scientists, and can still gradually increase their skills by running an academy instead of researching a project. Giving scientists a project and a single laboratory to give them hands-on time and build their skills is a common practice, although not one we can really afford right now.

Scientists can research projects outside of their specialization, and because we're missing several key specializations right now, they will probably have to. This is inefficient, as the Research Point bonus for a scientist working in their specialty is pretty big, so we'll want to avoid doing it when possible.

mcclay
Jul 8, 2013

Oh dear oh gosh oh darn


Soiled Meat

4

A new start for a space program sounds good to me, and it'll keep us out of inter-Comitern squabbles.

Veloxyll
May 3, 2011

Fuck you say?!

4 Space should be shared amongst all of the peoples, playing political favourites is what lead to the downfall of the decadant capitalist nations in the first place.

We should work in converting say 500 Conventional Industry over to TN Factories, then a similar number to Mines to feed the newly converted factories. And say 100 to fuel refineries to cap off our initial construction order.

Grizzwold
Jan 27, 2012



4,3,1,2
The indigenous inhabitants of the Americas have long suffered under colonialist oppression, and under no circumstances should we legitimize further aggression against them. Tying ourselves too closely to the PRC or USSR may prevent us from truly realizing the dream of a space program for all of Earth's peoples, and therefore Ascension Island seems the best option for our base of operations.

I further suggest that our research should for now be prioritized as
Power and Propulsion
Construction/Production
Logistics
though at present I am unsure how labs and researchers should be best distributed.

idhrendur
Aug 20, 2016



4, 3, 2, 1
For the sake of unity we should avoid existing power centers as much as we can.

As a leading scientist from the California Republic, I recommend we continue the recent assignment of groups under Matveyev. Nikitin should be assigned 10-15 labs to study Genome Sequencing. I can bring to bear California's knowledge of computing to Sensors and Control systems, if my comrades would pick an appropriate project (what are the available choices there?). Any remaining labs should be split between Vasilyev and Sergeyev to an appropriate logistics project.

And I second the motion to work towards a permanent base on the moon.

Xarn
Jun 26, 2015


4, 1, 2, 3

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


4,3,1,2

Let's get the heck into space, comrades.

thatbastardken
Apr 23, 2010

strewth


Grizzwold posted:

4,3,1,2
The indigenous inhabitants of the Americas have long suffered under colonialist oppression, and under no circumstances should we legitimize further aggression against them. Tying ourselves too closely to the PRC or USSR may prevent us from truly realizing the dream of a space program for all of Earth's peoples, and therefore Ascension Island seems the best option for our base of operations.

I further suggest that our research should for now be prioritized as
Power and Propulsion
Construction/Production
Logistics
though at present I am unsure how labs and researchers should be best distributed.

I concur with my illustrious comrade in all respects.

Kodos666
Dec 17, 2013


4, 1, 3, 2

Baikonur currently has the biggest and most capable infrastructure but is limited in growth by the fact that it is located in the middle of nowhere, without good infrastucture outside the a rail-line. The same goes for the Dongfeng Aerospace City, but without the already existing infrastructure. Vandenberg is just a couple of military infrastructure, without industry, but being located near Los Angeles and San Francisco would allow for rapid growth.

Ascension Island on the other hand is located close to mayor shipping lines, mainly the Europe-South America as well as well as the Cape-bound traffic from Europe as well as the former US, which allows us to quickly ship massive amounts of freight to and from the launch-site. The place is located closely to the equator, greatly simplifying launch-procedures and allowing for the construction of a space-elevator at a later date. Furthermore the place is only remotely aligned with any major power, making the base a true symbol of international fraternity.

Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


Voting on resolution UB-01 is closed!
In the end the vote is nearly unanimous, and sleepy Ascension Island is chosen as the site for the Ministry's headquarters facilities.


Featuring a single concrete runway, small but well-equipped airport facilities, advanced communications and ground-tracking systems, one grocery store, one school, a three-screen movie theatre infamous for its popcorn-scented air fresheners and total lack of popcorn, and a football pitch capable of seating nearly fifty spectators, Ascension has a lot of potential, albeit not much else right now.

A scouting team from the Ministry was already on site in case the location was selected, and basic administrative functions can be brought online quickly; it will take months at least to construct more permanent facilities there, but it will be done. The tiny population of the island will increase at least tenfold in the coming weeks, likely more, as it is inundated with construction crews, technicians, administrative personnel, and all the various workers needed to support them. A harbor will need to be built, an additional runway laid down, and a new power plant constructed to run all this new stuff. Volunteers will be easy to find, and no expense will be spared.

A few more proposals have been brought to the floor for consideration:

idhrendur posted:

As a leading scientist from the California Republic, I recommend we continue the recent assignment of groups under Matveyev. Nikitin should be assigned 10-15 labs to study Genome Sequencing. I can bring to bear California's knowledge of computing to Sensors and Control systems, if my comrades would pick an appropriate project (what are the available choices there?). Any remaining labs should be split between Vasilyev and Sergeyev to an appropriate logistics project.

And I second the motion to work towards a permanent base on the moon.

Grizzwold posted:

4,3,1,2
I further suggest that our research should for now be prioritized as
Power and Propulsion
Construction/Production
Logistics
though at present I am unsure how labs and researchers should be best distributed.

I-02 and G-03 are two competing proposals about research priorities.

I-02 suggests that we prioritize Power and Propulsion (assigning 25 labs to reactor and engine development), Biology/Genetics (assigning 15 labs to the Human Genome Project), and Sensors/Control Systems (assigning the remaining labs).

These are the available research projects for Sensors/Control Systems projects. I will explain all of these in full detail later, but for now, the ten labs will first be allocated to Geological Survey Sensors, an absolutely vital technology for exploring new worlds, without which we will not be able to detect new TNE deposits.

G-03 also prioritizes Power and Propulsion, and will assign labs to reactor and engine development. Remaining labs will be split between Construction/Production to improve research speed and industrial output, as well as developing high-capacity passenger transport modules and improved cargo lander shuttles, both of which are extremely important to colonization efforts.

Foxfire_ posted:

Genetic modification wasn't implemented in 1.11 and isn't in the 1.12 changes, so Human Genome Project is mostly mechanically useless I think. There's some ground unit stuff behind it and all the other research is unusable.

Research Personnel Proposal
- Viktor Sergeyev, as Most Redundant Scientist, is sent back to school to become a Sensors & Fire Control specialist
- Shurik Nikitin, as Scientist with Big Admin Rating but Not That Useful Field, is sent back to school to become a Construction & Production specialist
- Nadia Konovalova, as Scientist with Not-Immediately-Important Field, becomes Academy commandant to train & get more scientists

Complete Industry Conversion Proposal
3200 CI =>
- 1000 construction factories
- 1000 mines [10k tons / year of acc 1 minerals]
- 400 fuel refineries [20m liters / year, using 10000k tons of sorium/year, Earth sorium deposits tap out in 10years]
- 800 financial centre [$24000/year, cost to run 50 labs with worst possible scientist is $10000/year, at a 25% in-specialty it's double]
Missiles & Fighters wait till we actually want them and build from scratch instead of sitting idle

Veloxyll posted:

We should work in converting say 500 Conventional Industry over to TN Factories, then a similar number to Mines to feed the newly converted factories. And say 100 to fuel refineries to cap off our initial construction order.

V-04 and F-06 are two competing proposals for industry conversion. V-04 proposes we convert 500 of our 3200 Conventional Industry to TN Construction Factories, 500 to Mines, and 100 to Fuel Refineries, leaving 2100 left over for us to convert as we please later. F-06 is a more sweeping plan, and proposes a radical restructuring of the planetary economy to use Trans-Newtonian materials. If Foxfire's proposal passes, we will convert our industry into 1000 Construction Factories, 1000 Mines, 300 Fuel Refineries, and 800 Financial Centres.

F-07 is a proposal to reallocate our research personnel, retraining two of our scientists and assigning a third as Commandant of Interkosmos Academy.

DagPenge posted:

I must also propose that we start planning on constructing a colony on the moon, which can serve as a beacon for hope. Just before the last destructive conflict mankind had established a presence on the moon and now with peace, it is fitting that we go back and expand on this important milestep. Maybe one of the civilan shipyards can be tooled to build a small ship, which can move infrastruture and people there? The ship might be small, but its a short trip and it will give us valuable experience in space flight.

DP-05 is the most ambitious of these proposals, and the one that has sparked the most discussion among the delegates. DagPenge suggests that the Ministry's first mission be to establish a permanent base on the Moon as soon as possible. This is a significant undertaking. We will have to construct life support infrastructure on the Moon, design and build ships capable of carrying cargo and passengers, transport settlers to the new world, and ensure they remain alive. Only two humans have ever walked on the Moon, and it was nearly a decade ago; this plan proposes we send hundreds, thousands, maybe even more. It's a big engineering challenge, but very feasible with current technology. If this is voted down, we will instead focus on internal development for now.

Later, when a proposal requires a ship to be designed, we will hold a ship design contest, and you will make all our ship designs; this early in the game, there are too few options for a contest to be interesting, so we'll skip it to save time. If this proposal passes, the following ship classes will be designed, and one of each will be built (additional hulls may be ordered later if you want them for some reason):
code:
Luna-F class Cargo Ship      9,504 tons       71 Crew       155.5 BP       TCS 190    TH 38    EM 0
197 km/s      Armour 1-39       Shields 0-0       HTK 22      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 10    Max Repair 20 MSP
Cargo 2,500    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 2    
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    

Korolev Design Bureau NK-125 Sorium Rocket (3)    Power 37.5    Fuel Use 11.18%    Signature 12.5    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 8.5 billion km (496 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes
code:
Tranquility-F class Passenger Cruiser      9,661 tons       166 Crew       275.4 BP       TCS 193    TH 38    EM 0
194 km/s      Armour 1-40       Shields 0-0       HTK 25      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 17    Max Repair 100 MSP
Passengers 250    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 2    
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 3 months    

Korolev Design Bureau NK-125 Sorium Rocket (3)    Power 37.5    Fuel Use 11.18%    Signature 12.5    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 50,000 Litres    Range 8.3 billion km (496 days at full power)

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes
To summarize, there are three things up for vote:

Research: vote for either I-02 (Power/Propulsion, Biology/Genetics, Sensors/Control) or G-03 (Power/Propulsion, Construction/Production, Logistics)

Industry: Vote V-04 (partial conversion) or F-06 (radical restructuring)

F-07: Vote Yes or No

DP-05: Vote Yes or No

Mister Bates fucked around with this message at 03:28 on Oct 16, 2020

thatbastardken
Apr 23, 2010

strewth


Research: G-03

Industry: F-06

F-07: Yes

DP-05: Yes

We will go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things. For all mankind.

thatbastardken fucked around with this message at 08:51 on Oct 16, 2020

Foxfire_
Nov 8, 2010



Genetic modification wasn't implemented in 1.11 and isn't in the 1.12 changes, so Human Genome Project is mostly mechanically useless I think. There's some ground unit stuff behind it and all the other research is unusable.

Research Personnel Proposal
- Viktor Sergeyev, as Most Redundant Scientist, is sent back to school to become a Sensors & Fire Control specialist
- Shurik Nikitin, as Scientist with Big Admin Rating but Not That Useful Field, is sent back to school to become a Construction & Production specialist
- Nadia Konovalova, as Scientist with Not-Immediately-Important Field, becomes Academy commandant to train & get more scientists

Complete Industry Conversion Proposal
3200 CI =>
- 1000 construction factories
- 1000 mines [10k tons / year of acc 1 minerals]
- 400 fuel refineries [20m liters / year, using 10000k tons of sorium/year, Earth sorium deposits tap out in 10years]
- 800 financial centre [$24000/year, cost to run 50 labs with worst possible scientist is $10000/year, at a 25% in-specialty it's double]
Missiles & Fighters wait till we actually want them and build from scratch instead of sitting idle

Votes
Research: G-03
DP-05 (Build Earth-orbit only ships and colonize moon immediately): Yes
V-04 (Some industry conversions): Yes

Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


Foxfire_ posted:

Genetic modification wasn't implemented in 1.11 and isn't in the 1.12 changes, so Human Genome Project is mostly mechanically useless I think. There's some ground unit stuff behind it and all the other research is unusable.

Research Personnel Proposal
- Viktor Sergeyev, as Most Redundant Scientist, is sent back to school to become a Sensors & Fire Control specialist
- Shurik Nikitin, as Scientist with Big Admin Rating but Not That Useful Field, is sent back to school to become a Construction & Production specialist
- Nadia Konovalova, as Scientist with Not-Immediately-Important Field, becomes Academy commandant to train & get more scientists

Complete Industry Conversion Proposal
3200 CI =>
- 1000 construction factories
- 1000 mines [10k tons / year of acc 1 minerals]
- 400 fuel refineries [20m liters / year, using 10000k tons of sorium/year, Earth sorium deposits tap out in 10years]
- 800 financial centre [$24000/year, cost to run 50 labs with worst possible scientist is $10000/year, at a 25% in-specialty it's double]
Missiles & Fighters wait till we actually want them and build from scratch instead of sitting idle

Votes
Research: G-03
DP-05 (Build Earth-orbit only ships and colonize moon immediately): Yes
V-04 (Some industry conversions): Yes

since you submitted these so soon after voting was opened, I went ahead and accepted them, and they've been added to the list of proposals up for vote in the previous post.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Research: I-02, if I understand it right, these research goals will eventually allow us to mutate me a second head, thus making me twice as communist.
Industry: F-06, comrades, if I have learned anything, it's that anything with "radical" in the name is the superior choice.
F-07: Abstain, all this thinking is making my brain hurt.
DP-5: Yes, we must bring communism, and me, into space as soon as possible. Ideally with a comically large Soviet flag to plant on the moon, large enough to be visible form Earth.

idhrendur
Aug 20, 2016



Research: I-02, of course
Industry: F-06
F-07: Yes. There is a slight conflict with I-02, surely the party leadership can develop a reasonable resolution.
DP-05: Yes!

Xarn
Jun 26, 2015


Research: G-03

Industry: F-06

F-07: No

DP-05: Yes

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grimey Drawer

thatbastardken posted:

Research: G-03

Industry: F-06

F-07: Yes

DP-05: Yes

Boksi
Jan 11, 2016


Research: G-03
Industry: F-06
F-07: Abstain
DP-05: Yes

I must ask, however, what will be the political status of the moon colony? And of space itself, for that matter? Can a single polity stretch between multiple planets? With our new technology we can travel to the moon in less time than it takes to travel across the Soviet Union by airplane, so distance isn't such an issue anymore.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010




Xarn posted:

Research: G-03

Industry: F-06

F-07: No

DP-05: Yes


Xarn knows.

Deep Dish Fuckfest
Sep 6, 2006


Fucking computers...


Toilet Rascal

I will not be voting on this, but I would like to point out that "Financial Center" sounds Extremely Bourgeois and Counter-Revolutionary and Extremely Suspicious and I'm not saying that some re-education might be in order here but...

Grizzwold
Jan 27, 2012



Boksi posted:

Research: G-03
Industry: F-06
F-07: Abstain
DP-05: Yes

I must ask, however, what will be the political status of the moon colony? And of space itself, for that matter? Can a single polity stretch between multiple planets? With our new technology we can travel to the moon in less time than it takes to travel across the Soviet Union by airplane, so distance isn't such an issue anymore.

It is my hope that such extraterrestrial colonies would be full members of the Comintern rather than controlled by faraway bureaucrats. We must be on guard against the potential to fall into the old habits of imperialism.

Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


Boksi posted:

I must ask, however, what will be the political status of the moon colony? And of space itself, for that matter? Can a single polity stretch between multiple planets? With our new technology we can travel to the moon in less time than it takes to travel across the Soviet Union by airplane, so distance isn't such an issue anymore.

An excellent question, one which you have the authority to craft legislation to answer!

For the moment, the Moon colony, which at this point is unlikely to number more than a few thousand people, will be administered as a scientific outpost similar to bases in Antarctica, but obviously that's not going to be sustainable if there are ever hundreds of thousands or millions of people there.

Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


Voting remains open! Additionally, here is a bit more information on the Roswell object, in the form of a classified report from the USSR's military intelligence directorate, included with the materials transferred to the Ministry's control when it took possession of the object. This information has not been made publicly available to avoid causing a panic; as far as the public knows, the Roswell object was unarmed.

Report on ‘Object A’
GRU Ninth Directorate

March 8, 1974

‘Object A’ is the badly-mangled wreck of a disc-shaped spacecraft approximately 25 meters in diameter. The total wreckage recovered by the Americans massed approximately 500 tons empty, in addition to crew corpses, personal effects, consumable supplies, and several thousand litres of what we now know to be refined sorium fuel. It is metallic gray in color, with an outer hull composed of a duranium-based composite material. There is a small angled porthole window forward, composed of an as yet unidentified material; this window provides visibility to the vehicle’s main cockpit. Aft, marring the symmetry of the disc, is the remains of the primary engine assembly. This assembly has been almost completely destroyed, but based on the wreckage recovered, was composed of three small, independent, gimballed engines. Around the circumference of the object are over one hundred small attitude control thrusters, and several dozen small sensors encased in the same transparent material as the cockpit window. Forward, along the spacecraft’s dorsal surface, are ten shutters which, when closed, integrate seamlessly into the spacecraft’s hull. When open, each shutter exposes a long, thin internal compartment. Along the ventral surface are the remains of three landing struts and a number of antennae, which when retracted integrate seamlessly into the hull. The spacecraft has no movable control surfaces (no ailerons, rudder, elevator, etc).

While the internals were severely damaged in the crash, the spacecraft had a pressure-sealed crew compartment composed of a single deck, with access via ladder from a hatch directly aft of the cockpit. We believe, based on the layout, that it had a crew of either four or five humanoids. The size of the seats, controls, and other fixtures in the crew compartment are consistent with the size and shape of the four corpses recovered with the craft, and we believe these occupants were of the same species that designed and built the object. Many of the internal components are surprisingly identifiable – four padded rectangular shelves of the appropriate size to serve as bunks, implying a need for sleep; something which is very obviously a lavatory, implying a need to evacuate waste; four stools around a table near a storage compartment containing what we believe to be processed foodstuffs, implying both a need to eat and a desire for group socialization. The four seats in the cockpit have a variety of what we believe to be computerized instrumentation; disassembly of an intact display panel for one of these instruments revealed it to be a very sophisticated version of a ‘Liquid Crystal Display’.

Our team believes, based on an analysis of the object, that it is a mass-produced, armed spacecraft intended for military use. They believe it was armed with missiles, rockets, or some sort of similar self-propelled projectile weapon. Furthermore, they believe that it was intended for very short operations of no more than a few days, and have been unable to find any provision for reloading the ten compartments tentatively identified as missile launchers. This implies the existence of a larger ‘carrier’ vessel for storing and replenishing these craft, as well as a complex logistical system for resupplying munitions, fuel, and provisions, and an organized command and control structure to maintain it.

Based on the remnants of the engines, the craft was fueled by refined sorium. Rather than serving as a traditional combusting propellant, we believe the sorium served as a working fluid which was passed through a nuclear fission reactor in order to generate thrust, what is generally referred to as a ‘nuclear thermal rocket’; it should be noted that the engines were very badly damaged, however. It would have been capable of single-stage takeoff to orbit from sea level with minimal difficulty, and in vacuum could likely achieve inertialess travel at speeds in the multiple thousands of kilometers per second. Its duranium-composite shell would have been extremely tough and resistant to conventional weapons, and its very small radar cross-section would make it difficult to target or hit with current air defense weaponry.

Tactically, Object A represents a serious threat. That having been said, while extremely durable, it is not invincible, and we have developed suggestions for countermeasures should similar vehicles approach the Earth with hostile intent. In atmosphere, conventional anti-aircraft weaponry, particularly large surface-to-air missiles, can achieve success through extreme volume of fire – multiple direct missile hits should penetrate the armor shell, and the internal components are not significantly more durable than those of a human aircraft. Air-to-air weaponry is an option of last resort, as this vehicle would be unimaginably fast and maneuverable by conventional standards, and our aircraft would take disproportionate casualties in such an encounter; even so, with enough planes, we would be all but guaranteed a few kills. Nuclear weapons are a more viable option – based on our materials testing, a direct hit or near miss from a nuclear warhead in the 100+ kiloton range will reliably penetrate Object A’s armor 100% of the time, while a warhead in the 250+ kiloton range should usually destroy the spacecraft outright. Actually hitting the craft with a missile is a difficult proposition, and, again, a high volume of fire is recommended, but unlike conventional weapons, we’ll only need a single hit.

If the builders of this spacecraft had invaded Earth in 1947 it is unlikely we would have been able to stop them. Today, we believe an engagement with such a force would be enormously difficult and result in great loss of life, but may we winnable. We strongly recommend the development of defensive countermeasures to prepare for a potential military threat from outer space.

Addendum, from source codenamed BALCONY VIEW, director, GRU Ninth Directorate:

Speaking candidly, this thing scares the hell out of me, but not for any of the reasons enumerated in this report.

This thing was heavily damaged, understand? It shouldn’t have been that mangled if it just crashed; just impacting the ground wouldn’t have done that kind of damage. The exterior hull was melted through in places. The engines were practically obliterated. I don’t care if it’s a MiG or a BF-109 or a flying loving saucer, I’ve been in enough dogfights to know battle damage when I see it.

There’s something else. The Americans found nothing in the missile tubes, and the amount of fuel they recovered is not consistent with the volume of the tank; it was at maybe 1/10 capacity.

In short, this thing burned hard, expended most of its fuel, fired all its missiles, and then something shot it down. It wasn’t the Americans, they found it like this. So who or what was it? Where did they go? And why hasn't anyone come to get it?

Mister Bates fucked around with this message at 20:18 on Oct 30, 2020

I ride bikes all day
Sep 10, 2007

I shitposted in the same thread for 2 years and all I got was this red text av. Ask me about my autism!





College Slice

Perhaps more relevant than the political status of a lunar colony, we should be asking why. What is the benefit of this proposed colony? The costs of creating and supporting it are sure to be substantial, and to what benefit for the workers? Surely we don’t intend to do such a thing simply because we can, like the wasteful Americans did a decade ago?

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


I ride bikes all day posted:

Perhaps more relevant than the political status of a lunar colony, we should be asking why. What is the benefit of this proposed colony? The costs of creating and supporting it are sure to be substantial, and to what benefit for the workers? Surely we don’t intend to do such a thing simply because we can, like the wasteful Americans did a decade ago?

Comrade, please. Consider it to be a morale-building exercise. As a government we demonstrate our mastery of space, our control of such a large artifact of nature as the Moon, and once we can control it we can carve a hundreds-of-miles-wide hammer and sickle into the surface facing Earth, forever reminding everyone of the true path.

It will also be a useful test of our ability to expand into the solar system before setting up facilities elsewhere, like Mars and the moons of Jupiter, closer to home while we work out the initial difficulties, but that sounds like boring nerd stuff.

Foxfire_
Nov 8, 2010



Also the moon is cool and it doesn't have to be a huge investment. With magic space rocks, it's a soda can of fuel and half an hour to get there, and something the size of a passenger car can provide life support for 5000 people.

thatbastardken
Apr 23, 2010

strewth


I ride bikes all day posted:

Perhaps more relevant than the political status of a lunar colony, we should be asking why. What is the benefit of this proposed colony? The costs of creating and supporting it are sure to be substantial, and to what benefit for the workers? Surely we don’t intend to do such a thing simply because we can, like the wasteful Americans did a decade ago?

In addition to the points provided above the lunar facility will serve as a test and training facility for the materials, techniques, and crew required for further extraterrestrial expansion, and a base for mineral exploitation of the lunar regolith.

NewMars
Mar 10, 2013


As someone who is new to Aurora, is there any possibility of slash potential benefit to building gundam-esque orbital colonies?

Kodos666
Dec 17, 2013


G-3 A strong industrial basis is the foundation of any society. We need to heal the scars left by the revolution, and for this we require the workers in the laboratories to provide the tools to the industrial workers.

F-6 To paraphrase the great Lenin: Communism is the international gouvernance of the Fifth International and the TNE-implementation in the whole industrial complex. Building only a few select TNE-combines would demonstrate a lack of resolve in easing the labours of our workers as well as demonstrating such a lack of resolve to the yet undecided political entities on Earth which might lead to a re-emergence of the outmoded capitalistic method of production.

Implement F-7 Unlike the western-imperialistic forces we can not abide slack in our technological efforts to spread the revolution.

Implement DP-05 While there's no immediate need for expansion, building a limited outpost in preparation of future endeavours would be beneficial. But I must stress the correct nomenclature of this project. A 'colony' is a tool of imperialism to exploit and enslave the workers. We should stress the fact that we will build an outpost, a shining beacon of the final liberation of mankind from the shackles of capitalism.
PS: We should totally name the place 'Lunagrad'.



NewMars posted:

As someone who is new to Aurora, is there any possibility of slash potential benefit to building gundam-esque orbital colonies?

Totally. They won't even need shipyards to build.

Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


NewMars posted:

As someone who is new to Aurora, is there any possibility of slash potential benefit to building gundam-esque orbital colonies?

There certainly is, and on some planets orbital habs are the only viable option for large scale settlement (Venus, for example). However, we currently lack the technology for building them.

The main benefit to orbital habitats is that they bypass the restrictions of the planet they're on entirely. Colony cost doesn't matter, infrastructure doesn't matter, even the population capacity of the planet doesn't matter. The main downside is that they're huge, way too big to realistically move them under their own power (even the smallest one will require a shipyard over fifty times the size of our largest if we tried to build it as a ship). You either need to build powerful tugs to tow them to their destination, or ship building materials and construction equipment there and build them on-site.

Mister Bates fucked around with this message at 14:06 on Oct 17, 2020

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Mister Bates
Aug 4, 2010


Everyone who has signed up for a leader position is now ingame! Anyone else, feel free to sign up by adding your name to the spreadsheet in the OP!

Voting is closed!
Resolution G-03 is adopted, and research assets will be allocated to Power/Propulsion, Construction/Production, and Logistics.
Resolution F-06 is adopted, and a vast, sweeping Trans-Newtonian industrialization program will be undertaken.
Resolution F-07 is adopted, and three of our eminent scientists are reassigned to better serve the interests of the Comintern.
Resolution DP-05 is adopted, and we will go to the Moon.


January 1, 1978
Required listening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2wFknH7E5Y
For the first time in the Comintern's short history, the deliberations and results of this year's legislative session are broadcast in real time, and the decisions made begin implementation before the affair has even concluded. Many in the Comintern's member nations are able to watch the proceedings via television broadcast, and there is much discussion in homes, workplaces, and social spaces about the implications of these decisions.

Like or dislike, agree or disagree, there is one thing that's certain: there is a whole lot of work to be done.



The USSR's aerospace industry is the first and most eager to get to work. Their manned lunar program was abruptly put on hold by the outbreak of the Great Revolutionary War, and they've been desperate to get up there ever since; the American lunar lander still resting on its surface was taken as a quiet insult by many in the Soviet space program. The designs for many of these modules were already completed, and it's just a matter of building them. The factories come online within hours, and the mood among the engineers and workers is happy and celebratory. There are reports that Korolev Design Bureau's engineering staff all watched the broadcast of the final vote together, crowded around a pub television, and that they erupted into cheers when DP-05 passed almost unanimously.

The same cannot be said for the rest of the over one hundred and sixty million workers whose lives are about to be radically, permanently altered. Reactions to Resolution F-06 among the people, and governments, of the Comintern range from enthusiasm to confusion to anger and dismay. Lives will be upended by this decision, communities destroyed, and everything touched by it permanently altered. Your leaders are confident it is for the best, and that this will lead to a better future for all - but getting there from here is going to be rough. It will likely take several months before large-scale industrial conversion even starts, and the full slate of projects contained in Resolution F-06 will take years. Government agencies, and the equivalent bodies in the Comintern's few members that do not officially consider themselves states, are already working overtime developing plans for how to implement this - how to build the new industry, how to staff the projects, supply them, how to manage the transition, what to do with the old stuff. A lot of bureaucrats and administrators are going to lose a lot of sleep in the coming weeks - but it will be done.



The work will require enormous quantities of Trans-Newtonian materials - more neutronium than has ever been mined, for example. The crude, primitive, inefficient systems with which we currently extract them will be pushed to their absolute limits in the coming years, and the development of a proper TNE-extracting infrastructure will be, well, revolutionary.




Assigned to oversee this project is the Comintern's lead industrial troubleshooter, DagPenge, whose reputation is already well-established among the member nations. Callous, blunt, direct, fanatically loyal, brave, and legendarily creative and resourceful when faced with a problem, DagPenge's knowledge of mining techniques is unmatched, and their expertise in environmental engineering, ecology, and urban planning is also substantial. DagPenge's leadership has already proven invaluable in the rebuilding efforts after the war, and they were a logical choice to lead the largest engineering project in human history. Due to a computer error, DagPenge's age is listed as 20 on all official records, and cannot be corrected.


Available research laboratories all over the world are brought online and given tasks and direction.

The lion's share of the Comintern's available R&D assets are tasked with developing practical Trans-Newtonian fission power, under the leadership of Dr. Uriah Matveyev. Early testing with alloys of boronide has shown promising results for both reactor containment vessels and control rods, and as the basic design of the reactor will be unchanged, they expect to be able to apply this technology in a practical form in as little as a few months. An existing nuclear reactor has already been selected for conversion and work will begin immediately.

Dr. Kodos666 is assigned 15 research complexes and tasked with applying TN technology to telecommunications, building upon the USA's ARPANET project, the USSR's own data network experiments, and the work of computer experts and theoreticians the world over. It is believed that corundium-based fiber-optic cables would allow for truly enormous transfer rates at incredible speeds, and uridium-based transmitter/receiver arrays show great promise for wireless telecommunications. The end goal of this project is enormously ambitious - a worldwide, decentralized, international 'web' of linked computers, that could be accessed by anyone, from anywhere. The physical infrastructure for this 'Internetwork' is only part of the project - protocols will have to be developed to operate it, software written to interface with it, and a standardized terminal developed with which to access it. It is expected to take several years, during which the project will consume large quantities of resources and require millions of workers, but has incredible implications for the future of communications and computing.

Dr. Zory Vasilyev, a 'cryonicist' once dismissed as a crank, has been given five lab complexes, and an opportunity to prove that TNE-based compounds can allow for practical cryopreservation, and more importantly revival of cryopreserved patients. If his theories prove true, the so-called 'Vasilyev process' could allow for people and animals to be held in 'suspended animation', which has many potential applications.

The requirements of Resolution G-03 fulfilled, the remaining few research complexes are allocated to Dr. Idhrendur to develop a suite of sensors and scientific instruments which will allow for high-resolution multi-spectrum survey of planetary bodies from orbit, the most economically important of which is basically a 'TNE detector', that will allow a ship or probe to scan for TNE deposits from orbit.


Young prodigy Nadia Konovolova is assigned as the first Commandant of Interkosmos Academy, and tasked with encouraging the development of new scientific talent among the academy's cosmonaut-cadets.

The delegates to the People's Congress begin the journeys to their home nations.

January 5, 1978
Augusto Pinochet, the disgraced Chilean military officer who led an attempted coup against Salvador Allende's government in 1973, dies in prison. The death is ruled a suicide. Conspiracy theories about his assassination begin cropping up almost immediately.

January 13, 1978
A production run of six Trans-Newtonian rocket engines, running on a refined sorium/liquid oxygen mixture, are completed by Korolev Design Bureau in the USSR. The crews worked rotating 12-hour shifts to work on the project 24/7 for nearly two weeks, completing it in record time. They immediately move on to other parts for the lunar spacecraft ordered by Resolution DP-05. Though the plans are still technically confidential, they are an open secret, and an artist's concept of the 'Luna' makes the front page of Pravda this morning.

January 25, 1978
An enormous blizzard, the worst in North American history to date, strikes the Great Lakes region of the former United States. Snowfalls of up to 40 inches are recorded over the course of the three-day storm, and the scattered patchwork of factions and microstates that make up the territory are completely unprepared to deal with it. The Detroit Commune and the Free City of Chicago, both Comintern member states, formally petition the body for aid, and humanitarian relief flows into the territory, though distributing it is extremely difficult. The rump US Federal Government impotently denounces the aid efforts as a Communist invasion, and local militant groups engage in sporadic fighting with Comintern peacekeepers and each other. Thousands will die in the coming days, and the 'Great Blizzard of 1978' is sure to go down in history as a great humanitarian disaster. Refugees fleeing the aftermath scatter throughout the continent, forming huge columns that settle wherever they can. Many of them find their way to existing encampments of war refugees.

February 5, 1978
A second catastrophic blizzard strikes the former United States, this one hitting the New England region. Over 20 inches of snow fall on Atlantic City. The Commonwealth of New England, which is not a Comintern member nation, politely declines offers of humanitarian aid. Damage from the blizzard is enormous and hundreds of lives are lost; it is a massive blow to the fledgling state.

February 12, 1978

XTR-1, the first Trans-Newtonian power plant, officially comes online. It is a fission reactor of the pressurized-water type, and, as predicted, is capable of outputting much more power, much more safely and efficiently, than equivalent designs constructed out of conventional materials. The personnel and equipment assigned to the project are immediately re-allocated to research into a TNE-based nuclear thermal engine design. Using knowledge from the USA's NERVA program and analysis of the wreckage of the Roswell alien spacecraft, the project has much of its work already finished, and Dr. Matveyev promises results within a few months.

On the same day, humanity's first Trans-Newtonian spacecraft, the Luna and Tranquility, are officially laid down at the Comintern's brand new orbital shipyard stations. Nothing like this has ever been done before, and the process of building these spacecraft promises to be an important learning experience.

March 1978

Humanitarian relief efforts continue in areas effected by the Great Blizzard, finding increasing success as the snows melt, and going a long way to building goodwill with the embattled residents of the former United States.

The white ethnostate of Rhodesia falls to a joint force consisting of local, ANC, Angolan, Namibian, and Cuban forces. The remnants of its government and military flee to South Africa, whose days are surely numbered. The Republic of Zimbabwe is declared.

After months of preparation, the process of converting the Comintern's industry to use Trans-Newtonian materials officially begins; Administrator DagPenge uses a shovel of pure duranium in the groundbreaking ceremony of a factory in Hamburg.

April 25, 1978

Dr. Matveyev's team test-fires a sorium-powered nuclear thermal rocket on live television. The test is an unqualified success, and the project is officially complete. The Luna and Tranquility, just over half-finished in their orbital cradles, with workers still swarming over their steel skeleton frames, are instantly obsolete.

On the same day, a roadside bomb destroys an armored car belonging to the Irish Republican Army's 5th Brigade during a routine patrol in East Belfast. Eight IRA soldiers are killed, the Irish military's largest loss of life in a single attack since reunification. The Ulster Volunteer Force claims responsibility.

May 1, 1978
International Workers' Day, the socialist world's greatest and most important holiday. Workers the world over take the day off, and parades, commemorations, and celebrations bring millions out onto the streets. Even the orbital shipyards cease their work for a few hours.

June 17, 1978




She is finished. Inspectors in EVA suits finish their final checks, examining every centimeter of the ship, making sure everything is in order. Her crew, working inside, goes over their own checklists. Primary computer, check. Backup computer, check. Life support, check. Main power, check. Auxiliary power, check. Floating through the central access tube, observing all, is her captain.

Captain Akratic Method was hand-selected for this role. Patient and careful, they are an ideal choice for such an important mission- and the charming and attractive young cosmonaut makes an excellent propaganda figurehead, too. Everything must be perfect. Half a dozen television cameras are recording all of this for posterity. This is the moment of truth. The future of humanity begins, really, truly begins, right here, right now.

In the newly-constructed control facility on Ascension Island, the staff check and re-check every single line of data.

Finally, after hours and hours of preparations, everyone is satisfied. The inspectors return to the station, the crew straps into their launch seats, and Akratic Method speaks into the ship's radio, voice ringing out across Planet Earth. "Ascension Control, this is the Luna, we are go for launch."

The docking clamps are released, and, at an order from the captain, the ship - the largest humanity has ever built - slowly, slowly drifts out of its shipyard slipway, propelled by occasional puffs from its RCS thrusters. It rotates to orient itself, its brilliant white hull gleaming as it catches the sun.

No cargo will be carried on this, its first test flight. The only thing the Luna has to do on her first journey to the Moon is prove that she can go there. Prove that we can go there.

After verifying that everything is still working properly, which takes a few more hours, Ascension Control finally gives the ship the go-ahead, and officially transfers command authority to her captain. The television cameras catch the moment the order is given. "Helm, fire up the main engines, all ahead full."

Her three cavernous engine bells fill with fire. The crew are pressed back into their seats. The Luna pulls away from the shipyard, slowly at first, but then faster, and faster, and faster...

...until she's gone.

The Luna is officially launched, and begins her maiden voyage, sailing to the Moon in just over half an hour. She will remain there for several weeks, during which her crew will carry out experiments, perform various maneuvers in Lunar orbit including simulated landings (they will not actually land on the Moon just yet), and run every last component of the ship through extensive tests. They will also take lots of photographs.

July 5, 1978

Matveyev delivers another breakthrough, this time an iterative improvement on sorium-based fuel mixtures.

July 11, 1978


Tranquility finishes her work-up and is officially commissioned as the Comintern's second interplanetary spacecraft. The officer assigned as her first captain, Dirt5o8, is a skilled and charismatic speaker, ideal for the role.

Competition for the first 250 slots in the Tranquility's passenger compartment is fierce, and final selection is over a month away. Over a million people signed up for the initial selection.

Mister Bates fucked around with this message at 14:02 on Oct 18, 2020

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