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Weapons of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Destruction
Weapons of Mass Destruction behave in one of two ways depending on the situation. Where they are launched into an ISR field such as that generated around worlds with bases or against ships with ISR drives (and platforms), the vast majority of the energy (both in the form of radiation and particles with high levels of kinetic energy) is absorbed into subspace to bleed back into normal space over a radius of a few light minutes. Only energy below a threshold remains in realspace to inflict damage on the surrounding material. As this threshold is bound by the uncertainty principle it is not cut and dried as to which particles/photons bleed off into subspace. The energy signature however shows a clear attenuation with increasing energy leading to the term Nuclear Dampening.

Where there is no ISR field such as where a GP is hit by a nuke in space of the base commander has decided that secrecy is necessary so the ISR field has been turned off, there will be no nuclear dampening of the blast. As a consequence, the WoMD will deliver its normal damage but the damage will be sustained a further 99 times. A nuclear missile will normally deliver 1,000 damage (pretty much getting through any shield unless countered by point defence), though if it successfully hits a target without an ISR field it will deliver 100,000 damage. The important thing though is that this is 100 hits of 1,000 damage, not a single hit of 100,000 damage. This means that each block of damage is attenuated individually, leading to significantly more damage due to ground splash of 60% (see Everything you need to know about Damage (Issue 11)



WoMD in Phoenix are considered tactical weapons designed to be used against hardened targets rather than weapons of genocide. The reason for this is that the larger the weapons the greater the actual energy that bleeds off into subspace. It quickly becomes self-defeating to the point a truly massive nuke may well simply fail to fully detonate, producing little more than a lot of radioactive material scattered over a modest area.
Conventional nuclear weapons use fusion or fission mechanisms while antimatter weapons use a few particles of antimatter (colloquially referred to as ‘A-dust’) held in a magnetic bottle as the trigger mechanism. In all cases there is a significant radiation component released as part of the detonation. As the actual detonation is invariably tactical, it is the radioactivity component that is of greater significance to planetary populations and is dealt with largely through roleplaying effects.

Why Roleplaying?
Phoenix is not a war game, it is far too many components that deal with other aspects to be a war game. It has history, backstory and plot arcs not to mention the ability to alter the game through special actions. It is also a game in continuous development as more parts become fleshed out and the depth is increased. As a consequence there needs to be elements to the game that allow for the sociological reaction to a perceived disaster and immoral actions and attitudes.

The Game Moderator acts on behalf of the none-playing sentient populations within the game universe as such he is responsible for their reaction to events that have a direct negative impact on civilian populations.

The populated worlds issue is not so much with the actual damage which is generally relatively small when ISR dampening fields exist, rather it is the radioactive material generated as a result of the detonation. Even relatively clean antimatter will produce radioactive material as a result of the explosion ripping apart surrounding atoms. Total destruction of a nucleus will produce a lot of highly energy neutrons which can cause other atoms to have fragment. Even if the explosions are in orbit, the irradiated debris from destroyed ships will end up contaminating the biosphere.

Population Reaction
In an example, thirty ships enter orbit of a world populated by a million humans and open fire with antimatter missiles and nuclear missiles, bombarding the only starbase on the world. There is a single urban sector which also has the starbase in it. This urban is therefore presumed heavily populated. The world has an ISR field which dampens the nuclear strike.

The nuclear contamination however will shrug off into the surrounding urban sector. It will over the next few weeks kill thousands, possibly tens of thousands if there is no intervention and certainly hundreds to thousands even if there is intervention. The urban sector stands a good chance of being re-classed as ruin and there will be a tumble in the local merchandising and trade demand. At this point it can be seen as a win-win for the attackers as not only have they smashed a starbase they are going to get the on-going benefit of seeing their enemy dealing with scorched earth. Depending on circumstance however representatives of the victims could use this information to undermine support of the faction responsible for deploying the nuclear weapons especially where there is some degree of identification with the victims. For example the DEN nuke a KRL starbase on a world with a large human population. The KRL then spread propaganda, undermining support for the DEN on worlds with significant human populations. The effects are dealt with on a case by case scenario, but where the human populations are both supporting a system owner that does not use WoMD on populated planets, the DEN can expect to have as high as 80% merchandising complexes closed in the event of significant human casualties.




Dealing with Fallout
While Antimatter weapons are by far the cleanest in terms of having the shortest decay times of their radioactive products, it is expected that there will still be a cleanup cost to a biosphere. Basic modules can be exhausted (assigned to the civilian population) to integrate with the planetary infrastructure to scrub contaminants from susceptible areas. Generally speaking this will be in the order of 5 basic modules per Antimatter missile targeting a surface position. Where the atmosphere is unbreathable, this will be reduced 1 per AM missile reflecting much of the danger mitigated through standard atmospheric processing. Cleanup is likely to take a few weeks during which there will be possible deaths through radiation and reduction in merchandising and trade.

Nuclear weaponry is generally dirtier and as such the decontamination cost is closer to 25 basic modules per nuclear missile (or 5 on an unbreathable world). Cleanup is likely to take a few months.

As well as basic modules (used as scrubbers) 1 Planetary Restoration – Nuclear tech will be required per 500 basic modules.

These numbers are ball-park figures and reflect dealing with areas most likely to negatively impact on the civilian population. As such repairing damage to the ecology is secondary to saving sentient life. Where a serious barrage of nuclear missiles targets multiple locations on a world, there will be extensive and probably permanent damage to the environment that can’t be fixed by exhausting tech and modules. Finally, where there is a population in the tens of millions and above and high levels of infrastructure it is assumed that there already exists within the civilian infrastructure technology for dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear assault. As such, beyond the initial hit to the economy and possible ramifications of the attack (such as retaliation for an earlier nuclear bombardment), there will be no cost to the starbase for dealing with the aftermath.

NB. This article applies to weapons used in combat and not the Big ol’ bombs dropped off in starports before beggaring off. The use of these is hard-coded restricted by the profile as this considered an act of terrorism undertaken by single captain rather than a stand-up fight. In the future we may consider moving all use of WoMD into a hard-coded system but for the moment we are prepared to see how player use the current mechanic.




 
News
Is open for business...
 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Stellar Empire Re-United ***

Celebrations were held across the vast territories of the Stellar Empire as the two-halves represented by the governments of the Imperials and Caliphate determined to unite. This followed almost inevitably from the assassination of the Caliph, a crime that has gone mysteriously unresolved. The old Caliphate ministers were ‘retired’ and at first it seemed the Imperials had managed what had alluded them for decades.

However, just as orders to claim systems for the IMP went in some places, conflicting orders to claim for the CIA came from Laton. In other systems, it seems overwhelming civilian support lies with the defunct CAL government and there are a number of CIV and CAL bases that seem to have not heeded the CIA nor IMP orders. With all the Caliphate's armaments now in the CIA’s hand and no political leadership in the old government, it seems inevitable that the civilians will be dragged kicking and screaming into the future.

A muted and cautious response from the rest of the galaxy was only to be expected given the formation of a new unrivalled superpower. The chilling effect on public discourse as the Imperial war machine taps into the substantial, if stunted, economies of the former Caliphate will surely be felt for years to come. Does this mark the 'end of history' as we know it?

More on this story inside this issue of the SSS along with: * KAS v IMP/GTT v FLZ * DEN v MRC * FOCed by IMP * BHD v DEN * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Imperials Declare War Against Flagritz ***

A declaration of war came last week after an unsatisfactory reply to Imperial ultimatums that the FLZ accept resolution of the previous war. J. Jones issued the following proclamation, "We hope this reminder will prompt them to rethink the status they removed them selves from and come back to more peaceful co-existence.” Doublegood, Viceroy, doublegood!

More on this story inside this issue of the SSS along with: * Species Guide * FEL Barter With GIants * High Times &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Orion Spur Special Edition ***

Explorers of the galaxy rejoiced as knowledge of a new periphery became common knowledge, revealing charts to forty star systems. The Orion Spur is connected to the massive Coreward Arm with rumours that the locals of the Monument system at the heart of this new periphery may have been responsible for the collapse of the HarCorp civilisation.

We have in-depth analysis and information about the new periphery inside this special issue of the SSS.

Also inside this issue of the SSS: * Naplian Liberation Front Reality Show * FLZ v FEL * Mercs in Graydown * DOM Scare Stories * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Hoedown in Graydown ***

Wimbles in the Graydown system have come under repeated attacks by mercenaries. The Wimbles having already lost two outposts have had their ships come under attack by boarders. The Wimbles are pointing a hairy finger at the GTT whilst the DEN are itching to get their paws in.

Pleasantly rotund Wolf Lord Lyceum reported the destruction of one mercenary ship, a Corsair class explorer called "Eye of the Chosen" which had earlier dropped off ground forces flying the banner of "God Hates Wimbles.” Which God and why he or she hates Wimbles has yet to be revealed. We suspect its corporation-loving Mammon.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Sargasso Update * Wakerians * Naplian Liberation Front * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Breaking News: Caliph Samuel Assassinated ***

The nominal head of the Caliphate, Samuel has been murdered in broad daylight at the starbase CAL Sidon in the Fortress system. The allegedly mad zealot was on his way to meet representatives of various civilian factions when a shadowy figure *cough*CIA agent*cough* shot him dead.

The CIA issued the following statement to the SSS with a customary nudge and a wink: "In these difficult times, as we come to terms with the loss of Samuel, we are taking things one day at a time.

"Samuel was not only our Caliph, but our leader during the Second Civil War which laid the foundations for the Confederacy after he left the Human Empire and settled in the Darkfold. It is truly a sad day and one that will be marked in history as one of many great leaders who were cut down in their prime.

"We will strive now to look to the future, whilst remembering our past”

Speculation is rife that this is the first step towards a unification of the two-halves of the Stellar Empire. Others are more hopeful this is a return to the Confederacy or the mark of greater separation with the Imperial bloc. Time will tell what nebulous motives the shadowy puppet-master Laton turned out to have had and which alien faction will be blamed for the Caliph’s murder.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * HEX / FET Invade Sargasso * Magnus v Nevets Fight! * Dewiek Black Hole Disaster * FLZ Correction * &etc

 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** STOP PRESS: Felini Victory ***

In an unexpected development, the FEL have scored a decisive victory against the FLZ. Destroying or maiming some 20 Flagritz Baseships in the Onwards system.

What is more remarkable than the victory was there was no subsequent comment by Crazy Uncle Flagritz. We might need to have a lie down now.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DEN and FEL * Valhalla Fighting Pits * RIP smacked * &etc


 
***** Christmas Special Edition *****

*** Ho Ho Ho ***

Welcome to the SSS Christmas Special Edition! We the Editors have put together a nostalgic pudding treat intended to delight and tickle even the scroogiest megacorp executive. So gather your cubs, squidlets and larvae for some silliness and song. Time to catch up with some classics from years gone by, raise your glasses and drink your gluttony and shame away!

Wishing you all a merry Christmas free from Krampus Jones's invading armies!

The Editors


 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Claws Out in Valhalla ***

In a bold rebuke of Crazy Uncle Flagritz’s attacks in the Avalon system, the cunning Felini Nevets ordered a hit on a FLZ outpost in the Valhalla system. Claiming miscommunication with his warships, the mischevious Avatar cocked a snook at the washed-out Dewiek warrior in charge of the system whilst claiming an important victory in the often one-sided conflict against the FLZ.

This isn’t the first time the foxy Feline has masked daring-do in the shroud of incompetence. It remains to be seen whether this turns out as disastrously as the time when the FEL had to pay the costs of a war started by Prince-turned-meklan LiQuan.

Meower-in-chief Chamiah apologised for the incident in a public address laced with snickering subtext and unconcealed laughter when she got to the bit about the unfortunate loss of “5 FLZ Warships in Onwards.”

A second incident in Valhalla was reported the next day with mardy Magnus complaining he wasn’t getting his claws in on the action. Could this be the pithy ploy that puts the cat on the mat?

Inside this issue of the SSS: * Merc-y Wimbles * Valhalla Fighting Pits Get Weird * Profile of Lyceum Amaguk * &etc


 
***** Inter Galactic News *****

*** Nun on the Run ***

Alleged cosplayer Carmilla D’Morenta got the vicars in the Brotherhood all hot and bothered when she made a run for it. Possibly tired of being tied up by the reverends and denied the love that dare not howl its name. With a sizeable, almost unbelievable, bounty on her head, the barking sister took refuge with the Dewiek Elder Nation.

In possibly the shortest chase in history, the BHD managed to strike a blow for oppressed collars everywhere when they squared off with the naughty doggy-wannabe at the Valhalla stargate. The cheeky chaplains blew their hyperdrive at close range and both the BHD and DEN flagged ships were reported to be lost in space.

Inside this issue of the SSS: * DEN Ban BHD * Ulian * FLZ in Avalon * Valhalla Fighting Pits * Interview with Carmilla * And more


 

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