- Published: 26 March 2020
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Battleground: Siegebreakers (GM Information)
Diyu is currently under siege by the Shohan. While they haven’t managed to establish a foothold on the surface of the moon, they have control of the rest of the system. Currently, most of the Shohan’s mobile assets are clustered around Diyu itself, and total 6 Destroyer squadrons anchored by 3 Dreadnaughts. If the game is using the material presented in the Deployment Companion, then 2 of the Destroyer squadrons are Drone Destroyers. The Shohan have also installed a sensor network around Yùshān and its moons, with additional coverage on the approaches from other stars in the sector. In addition to these eyes and ears in the outer system near the grav shore, at least one of the squadrons is dispatched for patrol duties in the outer system. While there are not enough sensor platforms to cover the entire system, the sensor drones and the patrol both remain in constant motion: jumping through the system, hoping to catch the telltale gravitational eddies of a starship crashing its wave on the grav shore. In addition to their mobile assets, the Shohan have established multiple facilities on Saci that serve as logistics, manufacturing, and repair nodes for the siege forces. These facilities mount between 4 to 6 flare guns similar to those found on Destroyers as defensive emplacements and are protected by a force field (Strength: 60). Once that falls, they are easy targets .
The overall commander for these forces is Star-Overseer Crisiant. The Star-Overseer has been in place since Shohan forces swept through the system. Although he distinguished himself well in the fighting beforehand, even among the Shohan he is rigid in his thinking. However, he is committed to his troops and those under him have formed a true espirit de corps. The Star-Overseer has two principle lieutenants; Squadron Warrior Asgre and Squadron Warrior Emris. Asgre comes from a prominent lineage amongst the currently ascendant sects. In so far as such a thing can be said of a Shohan, she is more of a free thinker, and is inclined to push Shohan tactical doctrine to the limit. Among the Siege’s leadership, she is the principle advocate for a “swift resolution” to their current operation. Emris by contrast is a former Overseer and, despite his change in Caste, retains some of his technical proficiencies. Unlike Asgre, Emris cares more about the loss of life that would result, and the idea of brute forcing the solution offends him on a technical level. While the philosophical divisions will be opaque to Terran Sphere commanders in almost all circumstances, good tactics rolls may allow them to observe the differences in their fighting styles and possibly find a way to use that knowledge to their own advantage.
If the Terran Sphere is to make gains into the sector, Diyu, as one of the worlds with the highest population behind enemy lines in the sector, becomes one of the natural priorities. Conversely, even if the war is going poorly elsewhere in the sector, the Terran Sphere may still attempt a raid to reconnect with the stubbornly defiant moon in the hopes that it can reverse the fortunes of their campaign in the sector.
Initial concerns for the Terran Sphere are going to focus on establishing the situation in the system. The Terran Sphere does not realize that the colony is still resisting at first, but analysts may become suspicious when Shohan mount more aggressive anti-recon patrols than normal, or see the strong jamming field centered on the planet. For the Terran Sphere, their response to these anomalies would likely involve dispatching a DIRT team in a phantom to get a closer look at the situation. If this is the players, they have a potential session of playing cat and mouse with the Shohan patrols, observing an attempt by the Shohan to breach Diyu’s defenses, witnessing Tupã Shield in action, only to finally charge hell for leather towards the grav shore with the Shohan hot on their tail. Should they fail, they might have to seek sanctuary on the planet.
Other complications may come from internal sources; many smaller to mid sized shipping lines have benefitted from the unintended banking holiday on their ship mortgages. The unscrupulous or desparate among these shipping lines might be willing to take action against a recon mission to the system, should they find out about one. Their response may range from pulling whatever diplomatic ties they can leverage to redirect fleet efforts or hiring Consultants to sabotage the mission itself. On a larger scale, the Fleet’s plans to retake the system may result in a slow down in critical supplies as shipping interests start dragging their feet when faced with several years of back payments finally coming due. The more diplomatic among the players may help negotiate some form of settlement for these debts on the Fleet’s behalf.
As pressure on the Shohan siege forces ramps up, they may decide they can not afford to let the Tupã Shield fall into the Terran Sphere’s hands, attempting to bring down the moonlet of Saci on the recalcitrant colony to ensure this never happens. Should the Terran Sphere discover this through its recon efforts, it will serve as a dramatic call to arms as the fleet diverts every available resource to the colony’s aid. Such a mission would have multiple avenues for the players to pursue. Some of the possibilities include: ground assaults on the engine bases built into the moonlet to disable Shohan drives, capital ships ramming into the moonlet and using their drives to counter the moonlet’s fall while lighter craft try to fend off shohan counter attacks, or psionics gathering their mental might to help propel the moonlet off its apocalyptic course.
This can be a make-or-break moment for the Shohan and Terran Sphere forces in the sector. While the sidebar above gives an idea of the initial forces available to the Shohan, it’s possible that additional forces can jump into the system once they realize that the Terran Sphere has arrived in force, providing an additional sense of urgency to the rescue mission. If the Terran Sphere can somehow scrounge up the resources, possibly due to the efforts of the players, there is the potential for the Terran Sphere to sweep up some low hanging fruit elsewhere while this battle in ongoing. On the flip side, it’s possible that the sudden rescue mission here put operations elsewhere, in great danger. New Detroit is one possible site where the loss of forces may upset a delicate timetable.
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