• Attention All Comstar Customers, Due to unexpected interference by suspected Word of Blake operatives, the HPG systems update was *not* successful. No data was lost due to our careful and extensive backups; however, we will need to try again next weekend. Sincerely, Comstar Precentor Dune

Quest Deep Periphery Quest (Battletech Sandbox Empire Builder)

The Whispering Monk

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I wonder if rumors of our existence have reached the sphere in enough consistency for intel services to have a file.
Doubtful.

Only way I see it happening is if Comstar had assets that also have their own jumpsuit. We'll, unless there's a secret HPG network stretching between our space and the Inner Sphere.
 

mmgaballah

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Doubtful.

Only way I see it happening is if Comstar had assets that also have their own jumpsuit. We'll, unless there's a secret HPG network stretching between our space and the Inner Sphere.
The do have their explorer corp but they were founded to find the lost SLDF so all their efforts are focused on the opposite side of the sphere to us
 

Knowledgeispower

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The do have their explorer corp but they were founded to find the lost SLDF so all their efforts are focused on the opposite side of the sphere to us
Actually....there are branches of it that have their HQ in taurian space so they're looking in every direction if not for the SLDF in exile proper
 
Turn 119 - Chiquita

LordSunhawk

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Turn 119 - Chiquita

Combat activity on RN 3 has reduced significantly, with extended periods now between attacks. As a consequence, Bourbon forces are beginning to land on the planet and take over responsibility for dealing with the RN forces that remain. Meanwhile on RN 1 there has been little change, the tempo is gradually slowing but attacks remain a daily occurrence. Naval forces from RN 2 and 3 have shifted to RN 4 to assist in the orbital bombardment, it is now estimated that total destruction of RN facilities in the system will be accomplished in no more than 3 years.

A pair of Black Steel attacks have occurred.

The first, in the Arvum system, is fairly small, several dozen capital ships escorted by massive numbers of small corvette class vessels. This attack appears to have been intended to pin down any reaction forces. Admiral di Palo didn’t take the bait, however, allowing Home Fleet’s local defense forces to handle the situation, relying on the heavy fortifications provided by the Black Tower station complexes to protect the planet. After several weeks of inconclusive sparring the Black Steel departs.

The main attack hits the Waypoint 3 system and is in very heavy force. Admiral di Palo brings in the Grand Fleet, with full support from the Expeditionary Fleet, to engage the enemy. The battle consists of three main phases.

First the fighting at the jump points, the Black Steel jumped in simultaneously to both the Zenith and the Nadir points and closely engaged the defenses there. The White Tower, Oasis and Black Tower stations put up a ferocious fight, bleeding the Black Steel heavily but in the end were overwhelmed.

The system defense forces engaged in hit-and-run attacks on the Black Steel formations, but were unable to drive them off or protect the fixed defenses. 60 England-class Frigates and 120 Lyr-class Corvettes were engaged, but thanks to careful tactics managed to avoid destruction. However they inflicted relatively light damage on the Black Steel during the first phase of the fighting.

The second phase was initiated by the Expeditionary Fleet jumping in away from the Zenith jump point and beginning and engaging in the sort of high speed ‘cavalry’ tactics that they specialize in. They accompanied this by making use of some advice given by the Black Pumpernickels and the Masters of Ikea and broadcast mocking taunts at the Black Steel, calling them the Rusted Tins and that all they were good for was the scrap heap. Evidently the deadliest insult was stating that the Black Steel ran on something called an ‘Atari’.

The Black Steel promptly abandoned the jump point at that insult and gave chase, their comms frothing about how they would redeem their honor with the Expeditionary Fleet’s blood and other such threats, delivered in a screaming fury that was nearly incoherent. Taking advice from the Black Pumpernickels, the Expeditionary Fleet broadcast back that the Black Steel’s mother was an Atari and their father smelt of Apples.

The Expeditionary Fleet was hard-pressed at this point to maintain separation, as the Black Steel formation lost all semblance of coherence as every single ship lunged forward at maximum thrust, turning what had been a planned fighting withdrawal to get the Black Steel into position for a Grand Fleet pounce into a pell mell chase scene worthy of a film award.

Evidently this was a very good insult… but the Black Steel had more tonnage in light, fast units than the entire Expeditionary Fleet combined, by several orders of magnitude. Thankfully the Expeditionary Fleet also had a rather substantial lead.

The third phase of the battle began when the Grand Fleet under Admiral di Palo jumped in right behind the Black Steel. Warned by HPG of the situation, Admiral di Palo decided to be bold and jumped in almost on top of the onrushing Black Steel forces.

One nice thing about KF jumps, especially against an enemy who is so enraged that they are ignoring most of their sensors, the emergence bubble from the KF drive has a nasty habit of annihilating anything that happens to be occupying that space, without harming the emerging unit. There’s a reason fixed defensive stations are locating inside the KF limit, not outside it.

The Grand Fleet pretty much obliterated the heavy, slow units of the Black Steel with that emergence, and promptly tore into the survivors with everything they had. The lighter Black Steel units had far too much velocity built up from their headlong pursuit of the Expeditionary Fleet that they had no chance of doubling back to save their heavy units and were now in the rather dreadful position of being pinned between the Expeditionary Fleet and the Grand Fleet.

The Expeditionary Fleet promptly made their day even worse by jumping out, depriving the Black Steel of their target. The Black Steel forces themselves then jumped out, after the single most lop-sided battle of the entire war with the Black Steel.

Unfortunately the fixed defenses in the system, along with the parasite forces and ASF units attached to them, were completely destroyed, making this a far from bloodless victory. But the exchange ratio is incredibly favorable. When the initial reports come in there is a great deal of celebration in Navy HQ, and it is rumored, but not confirmed, that Admiral Fisher was seen sipping bourbon and actually smiling.

He certainly seems a bit more relaxed a few days later when he comes in to brief you on some new designs.

“First of all, the boys and girls over at Majeure Electrique managed to actually accomplish something useful that doesn’t break my design rules.” He rumbles, although it appears his heart isn’t in the pro forma complaint that he’s always had about the private design firms out there. “Is a bit too gold-plated in my opinion, but there’s no question that it can do the job.” He pauses a beat, then to your surprise actually smiles, which has you glancing over at Admiral Sims to make sure that Fisher hadn’t been replaced by a doppelganger. “The Sacramento-class Fast Fleet Support Vessel combines the roles of the Supply and Vestal-classes into one platform, and also has the capability to be used as a hospital ship with minimal modification. They’ll take up a Medium yard and are the single most expensive ship we’ve ever contemplated building, but they can carry a massive amount of cargo, have a large repair bay, and are quite capable of taking care of themselves as part of the fleet train. Hardly a proper warship, but as an auxiliary they are quite competent. Pity about how ridiculously expensive they are, but we shouldn’t need too many of them, and worse comes to worse we can develop a cheaper one in house at some point.”

He checks his notes. “My people have turned out a quartet of designs for the Home Fleet as well, although when Admiral di Palo saw them she started making grabby hands and has been besieging my office for the past few days practically begging to have priority on them.” He smirks. “She is not getting priority on them, they are for Home Fleet. Once they have sufficient numbers then she can get a few to play with for Grand Fleet. They are too short-legged for fleet deployment, but I concede that they are impressive little ships.”

His expression is scaring you… Admiral Fisher…. Happy? “Two of them are actually the same tonnage as some of our parasites.” He pauses, letting that sink in as you boggle a bit at him. “You heard that correctly, the Tarantul-class Missile Raider and the Asheville-class Raider are only one hundred thousand tons, the same as a Mikasa-class Parasite Battleship. The Tarantul is a little missile boat, armed with Killer Whale missiles, while the Asheville is a gunboat, armed with naval lasers. Then there is the Skjold-class Corvette, at 240 thousand tons they are the same mass as the old Lyr-class. Like the Tarantul these are missile boats, with sixteen Killer Whales apiece, but unlike their smaller cousins they have a substantial naval laser battery as well. Finally, the Constellation-class is based on the same hull as the Skjold, but like the Asheville is an energy boat, armed with a heavy battery of class 55 naval lasers.”

NameCostMaterialsHPA/DSpecials
Sacramento-class Fast Fleet Support Vessel$4,620,008,820.00DHS, LFA44663866
  • Armored 50
  • AMS 160
  • Missile 132
  • Capital
    • 3/830
  • Capital AMS 316
  • Command 1
  • 20 Drop Collars
Tarantul-class Missile Raider$467,703,800.00DHS, LFA43224272
  • Armored 5
  • AMS 160
  • Missile 308
  • Capital
    • 1/2622
    • 2/21
    • 4/46
  • Capital AMS 28
  • Capital Missile 30
  • Command 1
Asheville-class Raider$468,289,800.00DHS, LFA46434593
  • Armored 5
  • AMS 160
  • Missile 308
  • Capital
    • 1/2622
    • 2/84
    • 4/45
  • Capital AMS 76
  • Command 1
Skjold-class Missile Corvette$698,442,800.00DHS, LFA46124512
  • Armored 10
  • AMS 160
  • Missile 308
  • Capital
    • 1/2622
    • 2/63
    • 4/168
  • Capital AMS 64
  • Capital Missile 80
  • Command 3
  • 2 Drop Collars
Constellation-class Corvette$532,346,620.00DHS, LFA45974497
  • Armored 10
  • AMS 160
  • Missile 308
  • Capital
    • 1/2622
    • 2/63
    • 4/277
  • Capital AMS 112
  • Command 1

He glances again at his notes. “I will note that while the old Lyr-class technically has greater firepower, this is due to the use of sub-capital cannons as a major component of the design. In addition the Lyr is significantly slower than the new designs. In addition, the Lyr completely lacks any sort of enhanced sensor suite, making it wholly dependent on other ships for such things thus making it incapable of independent operation. All of the new designs have a solid sensor suite, superior acceleration, and a tightly rationalized and uniform secondary and tertiary battery. The Skjold can even carry a pair of parasites, further enhancing the capabilities of any squadron that it commands. Currently the plan is to assign a single Wright-class dockable ASF platform and leave the other collar open for logistics purposes, or special missions.”

He brings up another graphic. “The current plan is to deploy these ships with Home Fleet in 12 ship flotillas, with one Skjold as flagship, one Constellation, five Tarantuls and five Ashevilles. Our intention is to reserve them for Home Fleet until every colonized system has an assigned flotilla, then decide from there.”
 
Cost updates

LordSunhawk

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Due to discovering a lovely anomaly within Battletech construction rules that makes zero sense whatsoever, I have had to update the costs for Warships. Previously it was possible to make a full Warship that was *cheaper* than a dropship. Let that sink in. I've corrected this situation by adding a cost multiplier for warships.
 

Artifex

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Can we please have a direct comparison between the Sacramento-classes and the Potemkin-classes based on the quest rules? :)

When I read the stats of the Sacramento I was nearly swayed to say that we should make it the mainstay of any command circuits we ever create, or, even better, make a civilian version of it? 🤑 🤤
 

AlphaOmega

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Thankfully the Expeditionary Fleet also had a rather substantial lead.
I either don't get the joke or the emphasis is weirdly placed.
When I read the stats of the Sacramento I was nearly swayed to say that we should make it the mainstay of any command circuits we ever create, or, even better, make a civilian version of it? 🤑 🤤
Jumpships are for that. You don't see people make civilian versions of military ships IRL.
 

Yacovo

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Jumpships are for that. You don't see people make civilian versions of military ships IRL.
Once Black Steel is dealt with, I can see a Sacramento in each of our exploration fleets. Just not now since I can see them getting blown to bits after discovering a Black Steel base.
 

Knowledgeispower

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Due to discovering a lovely anomaly within Battletech construction rules that makes zero sense whatsoever, I have had to update the costs for Warships. Previously it was possible to make a full Warship that was *cheaper* than a dropship. Let that sink in. I've corrected this situation by adding a cost multiplier for warships.
I'm guessing ships like the Vincent, Mako, Essex, and Lola-III are the canon examples of ships like this
 

ShadowArxxy

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To be fair, this seems to have been overlooked mostly because despite the creation of sub-capital weapons for "Pocket WarShips", there's like only *one* canon Pocket WarShip that is even remotely like our combat parasites, i.e. built at the top of the DropShip size range and armed to the teeth with not only subcapitals but also extremely massed 'Mech scale weapons.
 
Turn 119 - Three Mile Smile

LordSunhawk

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Turn 119 - Three Mile Smile

You receive reports of a pirate raid on New Libertalia that local defensive forces handily defeated with minimal damage. A few merchant vessels were damaged in the initial hours of the raid but overall it was a successful defense. Indications are that pirate groups are still active in the Galactic East.

The Black Pumpernickels are currently putting on a sold out performance of The Sound of Music in the Nowa Warszawa system. Considering that they are playing in the former Olympic Stadium with a capacity, in the configuration they are using, of over a hundred thousand that is rather impressive. You’ve sent them a note thanking them for the advice in dealing with the Black Steel and they send back another list of insults ‘carefully tailored to our lunatic cousins, enjoy!’.

Meanwhile, on the home front, the family raptors are Up To Something now that all of the kids are out of the Palace, either in school or military service. The various weddings are now in the planning stages, but without the kids to keep them distracted the raptors have evidently achieved the terrifying state of ‘boredom’. This becomes minorly troublesome when they decide that their playtime is more important than your work-time, invade your office, and proceed to drag you into playing with them by the simple expedient of alternately being cute and annoying.

You and Markus wind up spending the rest of the day on the Palace grounds romping with the raptors, much to their delight. This also results in a number of schoolchildren who were visiting the Palace on a class trip to learn about the Imperial government getting roped into duty helping throw the stick and the ball and the plush toy. Relatively little learning happens, but much fun is had by all.

On the plus side, you are much more relaxed than before. Tired, perhaps, because you’ve not run so much in years, but relaxed. On the minus side you are now behind on your paperwork, which means you’ll need to work much harder to get caught up, which is not a pleasant prospect.

You do decide to, going forward, block out a few hours each day for playing with the raptors, to prevent something like this from happening again and to also ensure that you keep a better work-life balance in general. You do not want to end up like your grandfather, after all.

The theater troupe that you’ve chartered in coordination with the Black Pumpernickels is rehearsing for their first show, which will be taking place early next year. They’ve decided to put on an ancient show from the Black Pumpernickels’ files called ‘An American in Paris’, which evidently has some truly marvelous music. You’re looking forward to it.

It is then budget time, which you find you still quite enjoy.

Amaunet chuffs slightly as she enters the room, curling up on the dias like usual. “Padrone, I bring to you good news. The military across the board is performing to a highly effectives standard, and thanks to recent combat operations we’ve been able to identify a good number of solid and effective leaders while cleaning out additional deadwood. The superb performance of the Navy has been of particular interest, and while Admiral di Palo is complaining about losing people, we’ve begun transferring some of her top people to the Home Fleet and Expeditionary Fleet in order to spread the experience around. Once we have somebody capable of replacing her, we intend to order Admiral di Palo to the Naval War College as the commandant, we need her training a new generation of officers more than we need her at the front, to be blunt. It’s a good problem to have. General?” She nods her head to General Bradley who comes up to the podium.

“Your Majesty, the Army has reached an equilibrium point for our front line forces. For the short term we’ll be shifting our mech production facilities to a sustainment mode rather than an expansion mode, while we continue to build up militia, garrison and purely conventional formations.” She reports. “Without any peer opponents on the horizon for our ground forces, it makes no sense to spend resources on building up a possibly unneeded army. Instead we will maintain a solid cadre, build up our production facilities, and in the event of an encounter with an enemy that we must fight on the ground we’ll be able to ramp up our numbers rapidly.”
  • Imperial Griffon Army
    • Procurement
      • Conventional
        • 8 Infantry Divisions
        • 2 Armored Divisions
      • Garrison’
        • 27 Garrison Divisions
        • 25 Militia Divisions

General Perkins is up next, looking somewhat less optimistic than the others. “Your Majesty, our Aerospace forces have taken heavy losses recently, which we need to make up for. Our current production levels are sufficient for the task, thankfully. We will, however, need to make a decision about how to equip the Home Fleet in regards to ASF assets.”

He pauses and brings up a display.

“We have a few options, and discussions have resulted in us narrowing it down to two possible paths. Since a great deal of future ASF procurement, at least in the next decade or so, will be dedicated to supporting the Home Fleet this will be a pretty major consideration.”

[]Home Fleet ASF CompositionArgument
[]Carrier WingsThe balanced composition of a Carrier Wing would allow for both offensive and defensive operations, while biasing towards high intensity combat operations. The additional Attack Squadron compared to the Patrol Wing increases actual combat capacity at the expense of non-combat patrol capability, which is a viable trade off.
[]Patrol WingsThe Home Fleet will be spending most of its time in rear areas handling home defense missions, missions which the Patrol Wing is ideally suited for due to its exceptionally long operational endurance and the high flexibility of the Sunderland platform. The Patrol Wing would only be down four each of the Quetzalcoatlus and Griffon assault ASFs anyways, hardly a crippling disadvantage in the grand scheme of things.

  • Imperial Griffon Aerospace Force
    • Procurement
      • 100 CAP Wings
      • 25 Carrier Wings

Admiral Fisher then takes over. “I know, I know, we won a big victory, we hurt the Black Steel, yadda yadda yadda.” He glares around the room. “Does anybody think that matters worth a damn in the grand scheme of things? No? Good.” He levels a glare around the room. “This is not the time to slack off in the slightest, we’ve dealt them a blow, but they still have a massive number of light units that we know of, and for all we know they’ve got another fleet the same size just sitting there waiting for us. The KF jump trick will not work twice. I don’t care how furious we can make them, assuming that the enemy is stupid is simply a way to get a lot of people killed. We need to keep on building up our forces, so we can still win even if one of our genius plans goes to shit.”
  • Imperial Griffon Navy
    • Production
      • Orbital Shipyards
        • Expand all Orbital Shipyards
      • Refit & Repair Yards
        • Expand all Refit & Repair Yards
      • Escort Yards
        • Neubayern
        • Neuhessen
        • Nouvelle Bourgogne
        • Nuova Lombardia
        • Nuova Puglia
        • Nuovo Abruzzo
        • Nyū Shikoku
        • Stenen Tuin
        • New Libertalia
        • Nuova Tripoli
        • Catachan
        • Feurstern
        • Neuthüringen
        • Nowe Mazowsze
        • Nox
        • Platzregensburg
        • Iskra
        • New Algiers
        • New Clew Bay
        • Nubifragio
        • Bellaterra
        • Bohren
        • Landprettig
        • Porto Milano
        • Shin Tōkyō
        • Hot Mess
        • New Narnia
        • The Hub
      • Small Warship Yards
        • New Castor
        • New Port Royal
        • Nowy Wrocław
        • Nowy Slask
        • Chuma
        • Awha
      • Medium Warship Yards
        • Glorreich
        • New Phoenix
        • Okusawa
        • Pieklo
        • Bari
      • Large Warship Yards
        • Griffon
        • Calliope
        • New Pollux
        • Nowy Warszawa
    • Procurement
      • Standard Dropships
        • 200 Shimakaze-class Parasite Destroyers
        • 200 Spruance-class Parasite Destroyers
        • 67 Wright-class Dockable ASF Platforms
      • Large Dropships
        • 200 Mikasa-class Parasite Battleships
        • 30 Saipan-class Parasite Carriers
        • 19 Charleston-class Logistics Transports
      • Jumpships
        • 5 Windjammer-class Jumpships
      • Escorts
        • 100 Battle-class Destroyers
        • 10 Skjold-class Missile Corvettes
        • 10 Constellation-class Corvettes
        • 50 Tarantul-class Missile Raiders
        • 50 Asheville-class Raiders
      • Small Warships
        • 40 Dido-class Light Cruisers
        • 30 Guiseppe Garibaldi-class Light Cruisers
        • 5 Hosho-class Light Carriers
      • Medium Warships
        • 20 Prinz Eugen-class Heavy Cruisers
        • 5 Sacramento-class Fast Logistics Ships
      • Large Warships
        • 10 Dreadnought-class Battleships
        • 6 Jean Bart-class Battlecruisers
    • Fortress Command
      • Jump Point Defenses
        • Waypoint 3
      • Oasis II
        • Waypoint 3
      • Black Towers
        • Waypoint 3
        • Platzregensburg
        • Porto Milano
        • Nuova Fortezza
        • Nowe Mazowsze

Amaunet glances over at Fisher as he sits down, then speaks. “Padrone, the Admiral is right, we need to keep the pressure up on the Black Steel. If we do not take risks, we will not win, but they must be considered risks. We have a number of survey missions in mind to hopefully pin down more Black Steel forces and reduce their infrastructure. I’ll leave that to Minister Lee.”

Elizabeth chuckles as she takes the podium. “Thank you, Amaunet. Your Majesty, we indeed have a number of survey targets this year. Two of them are practically guaranteed to not have any usable planets, but might have Black Steel forces present, one being a bit higher likelihood than the other.” She brings up a chart.
  • Survey Targets
    • GX-D23
      • A relatively dim red dwarf with evidence of rocky worlds but, interestingly, no evidence of any gas giants in the system
    • GX-C23
      • An orange main-sequence star. The system has a relatively high dust concentration, but there are signs of rocky planets according to our astronomers.
    • GX-C22-1
      • The most distant of a distant trinary system, this is the only main-sequence star of the trio. A somewhat cool yellow star, due to optical interference from the rest of the trinary we are unsure if there are any usable planets here but our scientists are confident that there are.
    • GX-C22-2
      • An extremely hot white dwarf with no remaining signs of a planetary nebula, this star is a possible Black Steel location. Unfortunately this star is also a threat in and of itself, due to the nature of a white dwarf if there is any significant mass transfer from the third member of this trinary system there is a high likelihood of a Type Ia Supernova, similar to the infamous SN 1006. If that happens it would be a threat to all nearby colonies
    • GX-C22-3
      • A massive and highly luminous red supergiant, this star is highly likely to have a Black Steel presence. There is currently no data indicating any propensity towards instability, and no sign of mass transfer to GX-C22-2, which is a situation which will need to be monitored.

Elizabeth gives you a moment to absorb the data on the screen, then continues. “We have three idle DoME teams, and several projects for them to be assigned to.”
  • DoME
    • Planetary Optimization - Peripheral
      • Neuthüringen
    • Terraforming
      • Neuhessen
      • Pinball

“Meanwhile, we have our usual economic and investment advice, and some changes in our focus for infrastructure expansion and industrial zones.”
  • Economic
    • Focus
      • Core
        • Bāṛi
      • Peripheral
        • Bohren
    • Major Investment
      • Core
        • Awha
      • Peripheral
        • Kaiyo
    • Investment
      • Novolar
    • Infrastructure & Industrial Zone
      • Hot Mess
      • New Narnia
      • The Hub
      • Nouvelle Bourgogne
      • Nuova Puglia
Agostina is up next for the Foreign Ministry. “Your Majesty, diplomatic activities are fairly routine at the moment, with the usual back and forth. We would like to bring your attention, however, to the proposal to host a German Cultural Festival on Neuhessen to celebrate Oktoberfest. We recommend Imperial support for this.”

Tiberius is on his best behavior, for a change. “Your Majesty, it’s been a while, but we’d like to recommend an empire-wide public relations campaign in the wake of the recent victories. The people need to hear from you directly to build up their spirit and morale, and doing so now with the winds of victory at your back is far more advantageous.”

Grace is off-planet at a conference on New Phoenix, but has sent a memo recommending investment in Materials Research while waiting for the results of other R&D teams.

General Messerschmidt is also at a conference and has sent you a short briefing on the various polities surrounding the Empire, in general things are as they’ve been, with no real changes from an intelligence standpoint.

Martina, however, is present. “Your Majesty, while we have no budget requests this year, I would like to draw your attention to a number of legal issues that are simmering on the horizon as the result of various court cases moving through the system. We don’t need to take action, but there are groups within the Empire protesting the use of the Maximum Security Prison Station in Griff’s Leap, arguing that this is ‘cruel and inhumane’. They’ve not made it out of the appellate level yet, so this may be a nothingburger, but is something to consider.”
 

charclone

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[X] Carrier Wings

Last thing we need is a deep strike smashing aside the Home Fleet. No sense leaving it vulnerable. Besides, if necessary, we can add patrol elements on top of Home Fleet.
 

KyranKandosa

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[X] Carrier Wings
I agree with Charclone. Home Fleet is supposed to be the final line of defense, and they need to be able to fight like mad bastards if they need to fight at all.
 
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