Lost Worlds

Turns

Running this is much more complicated than I had anticipated, and as time goes on it’s getting more and more so. For this reason I expanded from three to five-day turns.

However now I’m getting moves from players on day five, meaning I still have to try to put it together in one evening.

I’d like to try to get a rhythm going where if we’re on five day turns I get everyone’s turn by day 3 and then I have two days to get the turn resolved. I’m aware that this is a time commitment and I don’t want to make the game take up too much of your time as players. Keep in mind though that it takes you just a moment to send a message to fifteen worlds, I have to track where all those couriers went and follow up their arrivals turn by turn. As most of you can attest, I screw that up sometimes.

The week before the April 15th 5627 deadline we will pause the game so people can rebudget for the current year. Judging from how long it took everyone to design their initial fleets, I expect this will slow the game to a crawl. I’m going to put an arbitrary two week pause in place so everyone can have a chance to decide what they are buying and/or building. A new aspect of this will be shipyard construction times before your new ships see action. This should make the Consortium more popular.

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THE GAME BEGINS TOMORROW!

Tomorrow I’m going to send each of you an email starting the first turn. This will set up how the turn emails will work.

First it will show all news received from the last week. News is general public information.

Second it will show information received from your intelligence or espionage efforts.The first turn they will likely have nothing to report.

Third it will show information received from your naval forces. The first turn they will likely have nothing to report.

Fourth If your advisors have anything to volunteer they will say so at the end of the email.

I want you to respond with what you want to do on that turn (for the game week starting at the date given). This will consist of your orders.

If you want to issue Standing Orders, specify that they are Standing Orders. I am keeping a document with all Standing Orders from each power. Standing Orders do not revoke themselves. If you put out a Standing Order to attack all forces from Elenoy your ships will continue to consider that your order. If the order is vague your commanders will interpret it to the best of their ability.

For this first turn we will take a week, I can go back and forth with you and tell you if the order is too vague, if you are advised to change something, and so on. After that things are going to get a lot tighter. We will move to three-day turns, allowing maybe one or two back and forth exchanges before the final turn orders are given. Eventually I hope to move to one-day turns at which point I will be sending you one email a day and getting one email back with your order. At that point the training wheels are off and your orders had better be accurate. If your order isn’t clear you will get a response back that the commander does not understand. If he understands but thinks it’s a mistake, most of them will err on the side of following their orders to the limit, provided they are not obviously suicidal.

In all cases, including the first turn, at the end of the turn when I have all the moves there are NO TAKEBACKS. If you meant to order Task Force 2 but ordered Task Force 1, and I have already executed the turn, that’s it. You issued the wrong order and it was carried out. You will know I executed the turn when you get an email that starts the next turn. We may set up a specific time of day in the future to be the cutoff.

If I don’t hear from you before executing the next turn it means you got no actions on that turn. So try to maintain a schedule of checking your email at least once per turn period.

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Misjump Misadventures

Misjump Misadventures
Misjumps are uncommon. They only occur due to specific factors:
1) Jumping from within 100 diameters of a large body (Far Orbit)
2) Use of unrefined fuel
3) Unmaintained drives
4) Battle damage
5) An unskilled crew

Each of these factors increases the chance of a misjump. Jumping within ten diameters of a large body (Close Orbit) always results in a misjump.

Misjumps are usually fatal, or at least result in a vessel that is never seen again. Occasionally one gets lucky and is recovered. There are three noted occasions where ships have survived misjumps to notable effect.

2126 New America colony ship misjumped from an unknown system. After two weeks in jumpspace she arrived at the edges of the outer system of Washington, approximately .1 light years away from the primary. This was barely in survivable maneuver distance for the colony ship.

There is by no means a consensus as to exactly what caused New America’s misjump but there are several theories.

The most commonly accepted idea is that a fast-moving meteoroid large enough to create a gravity well approached the ship as she was entering jumpspace and impinged on the formation of the vessel’s jump field bubble. This is what the ship’s captain apparently believed at the time it happened.

Historian Richard Baxter states a different opinion in his paper on the subject. He believes that the crew of New America made a fatal mathematical error in calculating jump distance. Based on reconstructed logs and quite a bit of guesswork, he concluded that the navigator, or one of his aides, miscalculated the spectral diameter of a star. They may have been within 50 diameters or less of the system primary but believed they were more than 100 diameters. Baxter bases this on eyewitnesses that state the star of the unknown departure system was red (Type M) when the navigator’s log says it was orange (Type K). He believes that it would be a simple matter for the navigator to have looked at the wrong stellar data when plotting his jump vector.

Another historian, Dr. Dena Pelton thinks it may have been the fuel. Again she formed this opinion by looking through the logs. New America had a fuel shuttle which drew atmosphere from gas giants and transferred it to a holding tank. This unrefined slurry usually included methane, ammonia, water ice crystals and other impurities and a refinery processed this into liquid hydrogen for use in the jump drive’s fusion reactor. This is still how frontier refueling is carried out. Pelton’s discovery, however, was that the length of time between the fuel shuttle’s last sortie and the colony ship’s attempt to enter jumpspace would have been insufficient to refine all the fuel in the ship’s tanks. It is possible that an impurity in the fuel caused a brief loss of power to the drive, which could account for the fateful misjump.

It is unlikely that the exact cause will ever be known for sure. All of the above factors may have contributed to the event, but the ultimate results are well known. New America’s drive was badly damaged and could not be properly repaired. The passengers had to abandon ship in the Washington system and founded a colony there.

5322 Intrepid, a scout ship from Washington bound for Quincy also survived a misjump. She was on Washington’s seventh scheduled scout mission after the jump drive’s reinvention and it was the second mission for the ship herself. Intrepid misjumped because she was using unrefined fuel and did not have a fuel refinery, the importance of which was not yet known. She was jolted out of jumpspace at the 100 diameter limit of the gas giant in the previously unexplored Jeferson system.

Intrepid was in jumpspace for six weeks and the crew only survived because the ship had fuel for two successive Jump-1. They used the remainder of their jump fuel to operate the power plant. As it was the crew was nearly starving upon arrival and was fortunate to discover edible native life in Jeferson’s ocean.

Just like New America, _Intrepid_’s jump drive was badly damaged by the misjump. Unlike their ancestors, however, they were able to make emergency repairs over the next few weeks and return home. Their journey took on historical significance as theirs was the first vessel to travel so far from Washington and also because they made first contact with the Thrantix on their return journey.

5434 Bellevue, a tramp merchant barque based out of Grant had the misfortune of being in the Jonson system when it was attacked by a naval squadron from Lincun. _Bellevue_’s captain, Roger Hayes, was content to spend the battle landed on the floating platform that constituted Jonson’s starport. He witnessed the attacker’s defeat of the system squadron and he watched as they took orbit around Jonson and began bombarding the surface and population centers with nuclear weapons.

Thinking quickly, Hayes raised ship and made an escape just as the starport was destroyed. As he broke atmosphere he was intercepted and engaged by a pair of fighters which he managed to defeat despite sustaining damage from a missile strike. More fighters were directed toward him, and he desperately engaged the jump drive from well within the 100 diameter safe limit.

The entire population of Jonson was killed in the bombardment causing outrage among all the powers of the sector. To dodge this, Lincun claimed at first that Grant had destroyed its own colony at Jonson in order to put the blame on their enemy. Lincun’s allies were disgusted at the action, but could hide behind the claim that there were no witnesses and nobody was sure what had happened.

Six weeks after the attack, Bellevue emerged from jumpspace 100 diameters from Grant. She had arrived at her programmed destination, just very late. Two crew members were dead of radiation sickness, another had died from injuries sustained in the battle with the fighters. The captain and three other crew members were in low berths as their power plant fuel had been exhausted two weeks before. Their stories, plus the log and flight recorder information from Bellevue, made a damning case. Despite efforts at censorship, Bellevue’s news made it to Lincun itself. The ensuing public outcry brought down the government. Lincun’s allies could not justify their continued association and soon jumped ship and started asking for peace.

Bellevue’s misjump and recovery led directly to the end of the First Regional War. There is a statue commemorating Bellevue and Roger Hayes in Grant’s Capitol Square.

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The (non)battle of Jersey
An example of how not to give orders

October 16th, 5556
Newyork was at war with Elenoy (at that time, a loose confederation). They were winning the war, at least from their perspective, when the government obtained second-hand reports of warships in the Jersey system.

For over two decades, Carolina had been conducting a humanitarian aid mission on Jersey, one of Newyork’s former colonies. There were rumors afoot that Carolina and Elenoy had made some sort of treaty. The Newyork government became concerned that Carolina had permitted fleet elements from Elenoy to operate and base at Jersey.

To address this, Newyork High Command sent Task Force Seven, consisting of the cruiser Wall Street, three frigates and two destroyers under the command of Commodore William Bunch.

Bunch’s orders were as follows:
Take Task Force Seven to the Jersey system. Observe any naval or base construction activity taking place there. If enemy forces from Elenoy are encountered, engage them with reasonable caution. If forces from Carolina are encountered, do not reveal the purpose of this mission. Do not engage forces from Carolina under any circumstances.

The last sentence, which wound up causing all the trouble, was added at the insistence of the President of Newyork. He did not want to give Carolina a casus belli and end up with a two-front war. What he did not know, and could not have known, was that Carolina had already made a decision to go to war against Newyork that very day.

When Task Force Seven arrived in the Jersey system on October 23rd, they found a squadron of four destroyers in orbit around the gas giant. This was Carolina’s Desron Four under the command of Commodore Jacob Lawson. Bunch analyzed the situation. He couldn’t get to the gas giant without running past the Carolina destroyers. He had clear orders not to engage them, and they would likely consider this a provocation. So he hailed Lawson and asked for permission to refuel.

Lawson knew that he was at war with Newyork, and he also knew that he was severely outgunned. Yet from Bunch’s actions, he surmised that Bunch did not know they were at war. He could allow Bunch to refuel and leave and everyone would be all right and none the wiser. But Lawson was a shrewd commander and instead told Bunch no.

Because of this, Bunch was in a bad situation. His ships only made jump 3 and they had used all their jump fuel traveling from Newyork to Jersey. They couldn’t refuel without calling at the gas giant. The system had no water present and no other source of fuel. Furthermore, the task force had been assembled by a committee and had no courier craft along that he could send back to inform Newyork High Command of his problem. The obvious solution would be to wipe out the Carolina destroyers and just refuel at the gas giant, but he had been told Do not engage forces from Carolina under any circumstances.

Bunch attempted to negotiate with Lawson, but Lawson stonewalled him. Meanwhile, he took the time to send one of his destroyers back to Carolina to inform them of the situation.

And so began the longest and quietest engagement of the Third Regional War.

After a week, Newyork High Command noted that TF7 had not returned or reported back. They determined that a force from Elenoy had likely destroyed or disabled them. They prepared to send a larger force but due to the war they did not have the ships to send.

Meanwhile, Carolina Naval Command got Lawson’s message. They quickly put together and dispatched Task Force 3 consisting of the battleship Charleston, two cruisers and nine destroyers under the command of Admiral Lawrence Shand.

Shand arrived November 8th to find the situation unchanged. Bunch’s task force was in the inner system, waiting while Lawson’s remained in orbit around the gas giant. Shand did some calculations and figured the Newyorkers had about one or two more weeks of fuel for their power plants. He could engage and defeat Bunch now and take losses, or he could accept his bloodless surrender when he ran out of fuel. He fell into orbit around the gas giant and waited.

Due to shrewd power conservation, TF7’s power plants lasted three more weeks during which no help arrived. Finally, on December 1st with only hours of life support left, Bunch admitted defeat and surrendered his force. Shand boarded and took all the ships intact without firing a shot.

On December 8th, the Newyork Third Fleet jumped into the Jersey system and found only a single courier. It was another four weeks before they found out they were at war with Carolina and they didn’t learn what had happened to TF 7 until the end of the war.

It should be noted that William Bunch was no idiot, he was just painted into a corner. He was repatriated after the war and, oddly, decorated for following the very orders that had defeated him.

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The Game Begins in Ten Days!

THE GAME BEGINS MAY 1st 2015

The first turn will be May 1st-May 7th (7 real-time days)
Second turn will be May 8th-May 10th (3 real-time days)
Third turn will be May 11th-May 13th (3 real-time days)
Fourth turn will be May 14th-May 16th (3 real-time days)
Fifth turn will be May 17th-May 19th (3 real-time days)
Sixth turn will be May 20th-May 22nd (3 real-time days)
Seventh turn will be May 23rd-May 25th (3 real-time days)
Eighth turn will be May 26th-May 29th (3 real-time days)
Then I will evaluate whether to move to two-day or one-day turns depending on how difficult it is for me to keep up the schedule.

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Leaders List

Take a look at the competition under the Characters tab: Leaders

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5623 Treaty of Wisconsin Declarations
Declaration from all powers on ships laid down over 2 years

Treaty Declarations PDF

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Changes and Updates
Changes to the Lost World Campaign Guide

These are minor changes, mostly typos.

Maneuver Drive: Corrected an error with truncated text at the end of the maneuver drives sidebar.

Systems: Clarified that traveling to the Outer System takes a week. Returning takes another week. To clarify, breaking off in combat by fleeing to the outer system still takes a week for both pursuers and pursued.

Clarified that melting ice on Ice Planet for use as fuel takes a week.

Map Correction: Washington is at 1620 not 1820.

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