Thursday, May 28, 2015

Core Commander Named Ship List

Hi. This is a bit late, so have a double length post in recompense. It's still not complete, I just trimmed the bits that weren't ready, so expect a fix for that sometime soonish.

Notable Ships (Caledish Empire):

Unit Type: Typhoon Class Heavy Assault Platform
Number of Cores: 8
Description: Bristling with guns, the Typhoon class skycruiser is designed to have more available firepower than a Gun Drone swarm of equal surface area. Capable of sortieing a sizable army of Drones on its own, it takes point in assaults almost every time one is available. A large enough wing of them can destroy almost anything, and they pack enough fuel, supplies, and ammunition for extended sea campaigns. An individual ship produces a volume of fire frequently compared to rainfall, possibly the source of its designation, and while the guns are primarily designed for air to air combat and rely heavily on volume of fire, they can be aimed with reasonable accuracy at almost anything else.
It’s armor is only heavy enough to ignore its own lighter weaponry, however, and hence closing the distance with a small but heavily armored Commander is less suicidal than one might think.

Name: The Light of Winter
Designation: Typhoon Class Heavy Assault Platform 00-27(C) Light of Winter
Maximum Drone Support: 6400
Crew: 200-650
Maximum Speed: 300Kph
Maximum Combat Speed: 80Kph
Description: The Light of Winter was a fairly successful unit, well crewed and rarely sent too far from resupply, and as such it lasted most of the way through the war, with many hands surviving it’s destruction. It’s loss was a moderate blow to morale, although it did not mark much of a change in momentum for either side.

Name: Star of Battle
Designation: Typhoon Class Heavy Assault Platform 00-35(D) Star of Battle
Description: The first Type D Typhoon, a slightly updated model from the Type C, but mostly just given more streamlined maintenance and mild performance upgrades. More dangerous than the Light of Winter, but not by much, although several of the crew did transfer to the Star of Battle upon the former’s destruction. It was destroyed slightly faster, mainly due to it choosing a fight out of it’s depth.

Unit Type: Blizzard Class Rapid Transport and Deployment Vehicle
Number of Cores: 6
Description: The Blizzard class PCV is the second most dangerous thing in the skies, as it carries smaller command units. It has twenty four hangars, two to an end and ten on each side, and looks boxy, but nonetheless somewhat sleek. Designed around the massive ion engine that takes up the central column of the craft, it can reach greater speeds than anything else on the field, Javelins and Assassin Jets excepted.
The engine has an experimental function that reverses the sequence of its coils, allowing it to launch magnetic objects, such as grouped Drones, or their Commanders. This has frequently been useful for rapid Drone deployments, but due to the nonuniform acceleration, actual piloted units have had more mixed results.

Name: Brace of Angels
Designation: Blizzard Class Transport And Deployment Vehicle 00-8β(experimental) Brace of Angels
Description: The Brace of Angels was well crewed, unexpectedly reliable given its nature, and has been through more than it’s share of battles. It has been refitted twice, and is now widely serviceable due to the approval of a larger scale production model. It survived the war, but was heavily damaged in one of the later battles and ended up incapable of participating for the last month and a half.

Name: Painted Blue
Designation: Captured Blizzard Class Rapid Transport And Deployment Vehicle 00-3β (experimental) Painted Blue
Description: The Blizzard Class RTD Painted Blue is the stuff of legends, having contributed to the highest number of sorties, enemy ships destroyed, and solo victories in the fleet, and it is famous on both sides, not least for its background; it was stolen, still incomplete, about halfway through the war, which was a major coup for the United Front, and likely the reason it was hyped so heavily. Its following success was probably responsible for rushing the Blizzard series to mass production, and the Javelin series was directly based on it.

Unit Type: Thunderhead Class Heavy Skycarrier
Number of Cores: 24
Description: The Thunderhead class is a flying aircraft carrier, designed for precise long range fire support as well as enormous fuel and ammunition reserves. To this end, it carries a number of relatively small Cores, spread over a wide frame to ensure maximum stability. Combined with the need for large midair support bays and an enormous number of drone control stations, it ends up looking quite bulky. Like many large Push Core vessels, it cannot safely land without a large body of water, but unlike most it requires less than four meters, as opposed to twenty.

Name: Rixington Daybreak
Designation: Thunderhead Class Heavy Fortification Unit 00-03(B) Rixington Daybreak
The Rixington Daybreak was stationed as the primary guard at Dallinsberg, with only minimal AA and ground controlled drone compliment for support, leaving the entire city vulnerable when it was shot down.

Unit Type: Hurricane Class Mobile Supply Depot
Number of Cores: 30
Description: The Hurricane class Skyfortress is a huge, semimobile battlestation, with nearly twice the mass of its precursor, the Thunderhead. It is capable of crushing almost any aboveground structure with its Pushfield, and actually requires more power than it can safely generate to reach altitudes safe for the ground below. They are equipped with many, many Dropsuits for descending to ground level and harvesting supplies, and the onboard food supply and power generation arrays are quite extensive, comparable to an actual fortress.
They were intended to act as a forward base from which to field other skycarriers, and to carry and harvest enough fuel and ammunition to support them, but due to the cost of construction only three were ever made. Of those produced one was captured before it was complete, and the second was a victim of repeated sabotage.

Name: Conquest Tower
Designation: Hurricane Class Mobile Supply Depot 00-02(A)
Description: The Conquest Tower was actually destroyed in a huge operation, as part of the last major push by the United Front, along with a large portion of the attached fleet. While it proved remarkably resilient, once a large enough swarm of Drones was able to breach the hull it fell, despite surviving until almost forty percent of the structure was compromised.

Notable Ships (United Front):

Unit Type: Stratosphere Class Ultraheavy Skycarrier
Number of Cores: 21
Description: The Stratosphere class is the United Front’s answer to the Thunderheads, and to a lesser extent the Typhoons, as the UF have no direct counterpart to them.
As their combat doctrine emphasizes more ablative Drone cover over heavily armored command units, firepower over endurance, and more small Commanders over larger Command Ships, their capital ships tend to primarily serve support roles, sacrificing most of the control capacity of their counterparts for deeper ammunition and fuel reserves, better guns, and more Commander hangers. The Stratosphere class is not an exception. Only moderately armored for its size, but with more than four times the firepower of a Typhoon, and with better range, it is something of an anomaly in that all of its hangars are on the underside, with the rims being dedicated to armor and structural support. From the top or bottom, it appears vaguely hexagonal, but the curve is large and smooth enough to be difficult to notice from the side, appearing more circular.

Name: Waldenberg
Designation: Stratosphere Class Heavy Skycarrier 0012B Waldenberg
Description: The Waldenberg was one of the more successful units, although mostly only known in the military, and served as support for the Painted Blue five times in the course of its commission, making it the unit most frequently paired with said legendary captured Blizzard.

Unit Type: Meteor Class Strategic Assault Unit
Number of Cores: 15(all massive, and no more than eight active at a time)
Description: The answer to the Hurricane units, the Meteor class was designed to be the heaviest vehicle ever created, and capable of pulsing its Cores to achieve speeds equal to the fastest smaller units. It’s primary defense was intended to be it’s Cores, as it was heavy enough to flatten anything beneath it, would repel air forcefully enough to be a weapon in it’s own right, and be able to personally support a drone fleet equal to twenty standard Commanders. It failed, on every count, but it was an impressively close first try, and one was actually completed before the end of the war, despite starting construction half a year later than the Hurricanes.

Name: The Wind of Changing Fortune
Designation: Meteor Class Strategic Assault Unit 01(A) Wind of Changing Fortune
The first Meteor ever built, it provides the final boss fight for the Caledish Empire campaign, after wrecking multiple cities.

Unit Type: Quarrel Class Rapid Transport Unit
Number of Cores: 4
Description: Quarrel class units aren’t quite the backbone of the United Front aerial forces, which role goes to the actual Commanders, but they might be the knees. Quarrels are fast attack transports, each carrying up to four standard Arbiters or transport crates. Large rockets provide most of its thrust, at the cost of massive fuel tanks. Due to this arrangement, it doesn’t have much room for crew or weaponry, and is primarily designed to provide rapid deployment and extraction for Commanders in combat. It is surpassed in both roles by the newer Blizzard derived Javelins, but as it requires half the time and a third of the resources to produce, as well as significantly less training, they still have wide use.

Name: Archer’s Thimble
Designation: Quarrel Class Rapid Transport Unit Archer’s Thimble
The Archer’s Thimble was mostly notable for being Dylan ‘Raven’ Lucas Jones’ personal transport, although its crew did have something of a professional rivalry with the Merry Havoc.

Name: Merry Havoc
Designation: Quarrel Class Rapid Transport Unit Merry Havoc
Description: Primary transport of Lavie Eisenhardt. Slightly modified, as it was rarely used to deploy more than two Commanders at a time, so the rear Commander hookups were replaced with extra fuel and ammunition, on a more permanent basis than the standard containers that use the same clamps.

Unit Type: Grapeshot Class Prototype Rapid Combat Transport
Number of Cores: 6 (four primary, two backup)
Description: The Grapeshot class was a prototype for an uparmored, upgunned, six hangar successor to the Quarrels, but was edged out by the Javelins just before production. Nevertheless, it performed admirably in all trials, and there is some support for beginning its production as a smaller troop transport.

Name: Captain Jensen
Designation: Grapeshot Class Prototype Rapid Combat Transport Captain Jensen
Description: The Captain Jensen was one of the field prototypes of the Grapeshot class, and its Captain Jensen’s most memorable moment was probably when it actually charged a Typhoon to provide suppressing fire, and got away only partially due to the sheer surprise of the maneuver.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cultural Analysis of Darkshaping and Lightwielding

Hi. Sorry about the hour, pretend I live in a late timezone.


Darkshaping and Lightwielding are the two Shaping Arts by which the world moves. Darkshaping is the socially accepted, slightly safer one, and it at its most basic is reshaping and moving matter. It allows healing, shielding, and rapid construction, and in the process of charging it consumes the shape and stature of its sources. Its advanced powers include nanosurgery, rapid sculpture, large scale area manipulation, and personal shapeshifting, although this last is quite dangerous. The sentient inhabitants of the local planet are naturally nocturnal, providing significant bonuses to its popularity, and also everyone likes access to magic healing.
Lightwielding, on the other hand, is generally unpopular for several reasons. Unlike Darkshaping, the most basic application of Lightwielding is not to reshape matter, nor to simply obscure something with pure Darkness, but rather a ray of Light that destroys everything it touches. It has no direct applications in construction, no healing abilities, and its advanced uses include puppeting dead or damaged bodies.
Light controls reactive movement, chemical energy, and thereby fire. It’s illusions are distortions at best. Darkness controls shape, including on the chemical scale, but it cannot cause or manipulate reactions, it merely changes how the Prism refracts Light, but this can be used to create wonders, including lifelike puppets, although they can usually be detected by how they move, underneath their clothes.
Lightwielding is therefore considered to be messing with the forces of life, and therefore ought to be beyond the actions of men, especially given the results almost any time it is tried, as there are very few competent supervisors. It has recently been winning greater respect and approval within fringe groups, as it does allow some useful effects, but it is still largely regarded as dangerous, difficult to practise safely, and reserved for fools and murderers.
Darkshaping, on the other hand, is believed to be a highly respectable skill, the foundation of medicine, useful in combat, and roughly as important as writing. All gentlemen are expected to have at least a passing knowledge, and all respectable schools will have it as part of their curriculum. There are a few philosophies that reject it, claiming that it upsets the natural order, or that its potential dangers outweigh the benefits, but these are about as popular as normal religions that reject modern medicine, which is to say not very.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Core Commander Technological History

Ack! I kept forgetting to post this today, even though it's been done for a while. Oh well, at least it should be a better read than most of my posts. It was certainly easier to write.

Late 1910s--Lt. Dominic Herschel finds proof of a couple of phenomena when he accidentally builds the first Push Core, in the process of trying to design a new capacitor to use in radios during World War I. Able to recognize something interesting when he sees it, he shows it to Professor Nazady of the Hillford University Physics Department, who happens to be a friend of his. His studies allow him to name the Nadazy Sphere, and lead him to postulate that stars are actually much heavier than they appear, and burn chemically, merely appearing to be lighter due to a naturally occurring Push Core. He is wrong, but never learns it, as nuclear technology is never pursued seriously enough to prove such.
Push Core: A type of circuit with remarkable properties including the Pushfield, which resembles an inverted, much stronger form of gravity. Multiple Push Cores can exist on the same circuit, so long as they each have a power source. There is a minimum power requirement based on the size of the circuit, or the core collapses.
Pushfield: A very powerful, omnidirectional repulsive field, with fairly rapid tapering. Repulsion affected by density, allowing Push Cores to hover over heavier than air substances. Does not affect objects encompassed by a Push Core circuit. Rather than repel other Push Cores, it synchronizes velocity of their projectors. Can’t impart or receive more energy than is put into it this way.
Nazady Sphere: Found in the center of active Push Cores, it takes the form of a glowing sphere in the center of the apparatus, appearing amber at most tested power levels, although this may be a result of the materials (copper wire). Not solid, but rather causes all matter inside its circumference to glow, and appears to produce light equal to the power the circuit is fed, causing confusion over the other effects. Oddly cool, as well, resembling a laser more than any heat based light source. Size is based on the size of the circuit, but may vary slightly based on power input, as it gets brighter towards the center, at a rate that mimics the Pushfield.

Late 1930s--Experimental Push Core based aircraft are fielded in a combat setting for the first time, acting more as skyships than as conventional airplanes. Due to the mobility and cargo capacity of these craft, as well as the difficulty of hitting them at range due to their Pushfields, they become the primary military investment on both sides. Of the ways to counter this, one of the most successful is the fielding of small drones, both rocket and Core equipped, controlled by both radio and Core pulses, although this requires Drone commanders to be trained.
Although bullets with extremely weak Cores are eventually fielded, they never get small enough to justify giving them to standard infantry, and why settle for a tank when you can have a flying tank that can go as low as five feet off the ground, while avoiding most forms of tank trap and still being able to run over opponents? War ends when a huge Push Core is used as an earthquake bomb that wrecks Paris, and in the process puts nuclear weapons research off indefinitely.
Drones: Remote controlled, high explosive warheads with a Core just strong enough to piggyback off of their Commander or opponents. By the end of the war, both gun equipped and stealthed versions have been developed, but are never deployed until near its close.
Core Signalling: As Push Cores double as working mass sensors, there was a major push to replace Drone radios with a cheaper Core based signalling system. Never succeeds entirely, but aids encryption enough to satisfy the project backers.
Commanders: As AI was limited in this era, all Drones had to be controlled manually requiring great skill. As they controlled Push Core equipped drones, while riding in vessels with Cores of their own, the game is called Core Commander.
Strategic Pushfield Warhead: It turns out that a big enough Push Core can, if buried deeply enough and fed enough power, cause a large enough earthquake to level most cities. Delivery method is a groundpenetrating bomb case, albeit scaled for significantly greater penetration. End result is a bomb the size of an SUV.

1940s-1970s (Late WWII to beginning of Space Race)--Push Core vessels get larger and larger, and while they don’t entirely phase out ships, they revolutionize trade and can usually double as sea vessels. Mass drone deployment is developed for them, although out of wartime the process is slow. Likewise, computer assistance for controlling them becomes an even bigger priority, leading to better computers at the start of the space race.
Incidentally, jets are finally developed in the sixties, and propeller planes are phased out over the next twenty years.

1976--Space race is interrupted by World War III. ICBMs haven’t yet been developed, so even countries willing to face the punitive sections of the Geneva Conventions cannot deliver an SPW without using an airplane/airship. Much larger Core equipped ships appear, with much greater Drone compliments. Other types of drone come into their own. Experimental technology, such as the Blizzard‘s Rapid Deployment Coilgun, is fielded.
Set of Core Commander II. The United Front is once again a major player, and while barely half as many lives are lost as Core Commander I, battles tend to be larger in scale, and more impressive.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pendulum Basic Power Theory

Hello. Sorry this is a bit late, but it is still Thursday.

Heartbeats, breaths, flares, the ticking of a metronome, the cycle of the day or night. The swinging of a pendulum. All carry power, or can, beyond what they must to exist. Pendulum is a world alongside our own, only accessible when day and night are at the end of their arcs, about to trade their duties, for the top of the morning is the part where it stands still.
The Somniac is one of the few people who has been able to reach Pendulum, perhaps the only one, depending on where its denizens come from. This appears to be mostly happenstance, a case of her being in the right place at the right time, but in any case she gained an ability from the experience she never displayed before. Said ability appears to be inherent to the world of Pendulum, whose denizens can shift something like weight between cyclic systems, such as the aforementioned heartbeat or breath. In order to be used effectively, one must draw in Weight at one of the inactive periods, at the top of a systems Arc, and release it during their most active period, at the Equilibrium. This allows one to gain power rather than merely distributing it over a larger Weight, and to release the most power at a time, without losing too much Weight in the process.
The process manifests as an effect quite similar to a rhythm game, with the objective being to gain the most power from outside sources as possible, while simultaneously wasting as little as possible when releasing it. It also adds an element of strategy, in that systems with more Weight are harder to stop, and systems without much at all can be affected much more easily, forcing one to balance between mobility and durability, all the while keeping in time, in order to avoid letting one’s Velocity get too low.
The Somniac is very, very good at keeping her Velocity up, although this is most likely because she travels so frequently between the worlds, allowing her to leech a high starting Velocity in the process. She is quite inexperienced with her power, however, and cannot use its more complicated effects to start with, her learning to do so is one of the driving forces of the plot, as she observes the various functions and attempts to replicate them, usually by facing those who specialize in them in combat.
When on Earth, she retains her powers, albeit somewhat restrained, as Earth systems are much more difficult to shift Weight between without losing so much Velocity as to make the process worthless, and no one knows or remembers how to do so without the training Pendulum provides.
Or at least, that’s the explanation she came up with. Whether or not others can use her powers is unconfirmed, as it requires enormous Velocity expenditure on her part to do anything visibly unnatural, and she may have used most of her spare power strengthening and regulating her sister’s heart when it was damaged.