Author Topic: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?  (Read 795 times)

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Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
It's a What If/Alternate History where the Shivans never showed up, and the Terran/Vasudan war continued, following it all the way to the end, whichever side ultimately wins.

If it doesn't exist, would anyone be interested in playing something like that?

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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
To my knowledge, no one has made a campaign like that.

There is Twist of Fate that works of a similar but very different continuity - it's an alternate timeline where the Shivans were destroyed(?) by the Ancients.


As for, if I would play it: Yes, definitely.

The Terran-Vasudan War is actually a ripe prospect for thematic exploration, esspecially since it seems to be created from different reference points and there are some intruiging open questions that could be answered that way.

EDIT: Not to forget that could be some amazing visuals to be put together too - just because there might not be something that obviously flashy and attention grabing (*cough*beams*cough*) doesn't mean it can't be amazing. (This is the point in the argument where I wish I had played any of Black Wolf's Frontlines yet)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 05:41:45 am by 0rph3u5 »
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Offline Oddgrim

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
Agree with Orph3u5, the TW has not really been explored like suggested.
I wonder what would have happened.. Maybe the war dragged on until a ceasefire had been reached, If I recall by the time the shivans appeared the confilict was a bit in a stalemate. Or if it had dragged on to its bitter end with either terrans or zods loosing their homeworld. heh A story set where the zodz occupied earth, told from the human perspective would be interesting.
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Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
I had a concept for such scenario called Unborn Legacy, where unknown race intefered during Ancient-Shivan War and destroyed the Lucifer. I even released a shippack with models associated with UL and one more, cancelled production. Also I still have started modpack, with some stuff like PVN-themed Hatshepsut. I never officially started that for various reasons [ya know, real life and stuff], but it would eventually become my side project aside from Exile.

Some of the coolest features of such scenario would be FS1-themed mood of the mod and alternate fleets based on Atens, Typhons, Fenrises, Orions... As Hecate or Deimos are probably influenced by vasudan engineering, they were never designed. This fact generate space for new, completely alternate ship classes based on technology used during Terran-Vasudan War.

It is also perfect opportunity for introduction of Ancients. Maybe as a secondary or even primary enemy, along with PVN.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 09:36:57 am by Nyctaeus »
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Offline Nightmare

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
Ah that's the campaign these shiny ships were made for. :D

The point has been brought up before:

I think there were several campaigns that dealt with that throught the years, this was just the only one that ever made it to release. There was also Woolie Wools "Twist of Fate" and some HLP project called Alternate Paths or something like that I once read about (not sure about the latter though).

What If is kind of like FS1: Reborn.  It's a similar story, but with flak guns and beam cannons.  By contrast, both Twist of Fate and Alternate Paths tell what may have happened in the Terran-Vasudan War if the Shivans had never shown up.

Alternate Paths dates from way back in HLP's history.  Here's a capture of their website.  I included a reference to it in the secret area of the Phoenix holonet. ;)

 

Online Black Wolf

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
It's a What If/Alternate History where the Shivans never showed up, and the Terran/Vasudan war continued, following it all the way to the end, whichever side ultimately wins.

If it doesn't exist, would anyone be interested in playing something like that?

I definitely would be interested! Potentially some of the Frontlines ships might be useful too if you make it; in my continuity they're mostly meant to be from early in the war, but things like the Neith, Cleopatra and Jupiter could easily be retconned as late or post-war developments.

IMO, though (and this is just my opinion) there's no way the war wasn't heading towards a definitive Terran victory within 12 months of FS1 anyway, were it not for the Shivans. When you look at the events of FS1, you'll see that the Terran fighter fleet basically replaces itself in the space of a few months, from Apollos and Athenas to a whole array of new fighters and bombers like the Hercules, Medusa, Valkyrie etc., as well as the weapons that arm them. Many of them we're explicitly told are new designs as well, and there's just no way that all those classes hadn't been in development - likely also being manufactured - for years prior to FS1. Maybe the Shivans arrival sped up their deployment a little, but the Terran fighter fleet was regenerating and upgrading itself big time in the years leading up to 2335, probably building up for an attack on the Vasudans. The Vasudans basically only gained the Thoth during that time period: clearly they weren't modernising at anything like the pace that the Terran were. Toss in the Loki and Zeus, as well as the Hades, which must have been under construction for years even prior to the Shivans, and you have a modern Terran fleet, headed by one of the most powerful and we'll defended capital ships ever designed almost certainly steamrolling through outdated Vasudans defences in 2336/37.
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Offline Nightmare

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
Good observation! :) I never thought that there could be a side winning the TV-War given how FS1 starts, but I'd guess that the Vasudans would have certainly face huge trouble even if they'd manage to take out the Hades, which would have neither beams nor shields (unlike the Lucifer). On the other hand, the war went back and forth for a long time and I'm not sure if one side ever came close to the hostile homeworld (they had atleast enough time to built up colonies). Also, one shouldn't forget the Ursa, the Harbinger and the Avenger on the Terran side.

 

Offline Novachen

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
Well... i always had the impression, that the Terran development is shown only, because the player is a terran.

It is more apparent in FS2, because there the player only get new GTF's, GTW's and GTM's... but no vasudan counterparts at all, even they should exist referring to the Mekhu HL-7 entry.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 11:40:03 am by Novachen »
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
Read the red line in my sig.



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Offline Nightmare

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
Well... i always had the impression, that the Terran development is shown only, because the player is a terran.

It is more apparent in FS2, because there the player only get new GTF's, GTW's and GTM's... but no vasudan counterparts at all, even they should exist referring to the Mekhu HL-7 entry.

:v: did a lot of implications about GTVA Terran/Vasudan tech similarities, but in the end the Shivans are firing Harbingers and Tsunamis too.

 

Offline HLD_Prophecy

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
I kind of disagreed with the idea that the Terrans were sure to win. I think the Terrans had more territory, can't be sure. But when I first played FS1 my headcanon was that there was no end in sight to the war. The Vasudans had a major edge with the Typhon destroyer, definitely a better ship than the Orion at that time. Also more heavy bomber capability with the Amun, and such excellent craft as the Horus, Seth, and later Thoth. The Terrans did not outdo the Zods in excellence of fighter production, the Horus/Seth/Thoth trio still stands strong as late as FS2. Also the advances made by the Terrans in the wake of the great War (Silent Threat era stuff) I always associated that with the fact that the Zods got hit harder by the Shivans. Bear in mind that by FS2 the zods had bounced back, with the best all-purpose destroyer design, better beams, amazing strikecraft, etc. I don't think we can judge the Vasudan's capability to continue the war in that hypothetical scenario based solely on what we actually saw happen after the Shivans invaded.

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
Ah that's the campaign these shiny ships were made for. :D
Actually those assets were supposed to be shared between two, different FS1-themed mods.
Good observation! :) I never thought that there could be a side winning the TV-War given how FS1 starts, but I'd guess that the Vasudans would have certainly face huge trouble even if they'd manage to take out the Hades, which would have neither beams nor shields (unlike the Lucifer). On the other hand, the war went back and forth for a long time and I'm not sure if one side ever came close to the hostile homeworld (they had atleast enough time to built up colonies). Also, one shouldn't forget the Ursa, the Harbinger and the Avenger on the Terran side.
Hades would never exist in the form shown in ST, as it was actually based on Shivan technology. However, different superdestroyer with different technology would be possible, same as whole GTI rebellion thing. Perhaps it was planned long before the Great War and it would be possible even without shivan interference. Maybe somekind of alter-Hades without beam weaponry and other systems?

I was thinking about armaments race during Terran-Vasudan War and GTA were probably those, who always throw the gauntlet first. If I remember correctly, Orion is older, while Typhons were introduced during T-VW probably to counter Orions. While the matter of any eventual older destroyers for both sides is debatable, PVN may be introducing new classes of warships only as a response to some threads in particular. Karnak is confirmed example for such manner. What conserns me the most is why PVN never actually introduced strong cruisers to counter terran Fenris and Leviathan. Aten is a crap.

Anyway if threat like Hades ever appear in such scenario, PVN would surely find a way to kill such thing. With Typhons and bombers, or with something new.

Alternate history scenario is tempting, but something that covers eventual post T-VW period is even more interesting in my opinion, mostly because possibilities are countless. Campaign set after victory of one side, ceasefire or even more exotic approach like Ancients encounter, or discovery of Knossos in Gamma Draconis. While alternate stories were proposed before, nobody ever made anything that tells a story about what happened after alternate ending of T-V War. Many alternate T-V War scenarios may be... Hmmm... Predictable?

Something 2355-2360 [alter-Reconstruction??] would be also perfect opportunity to show GTA and PVN fleets after years of armaments race. Woolie Wool had this cool idea of using scrapped EA destroyer as Orion successor in Twist of Fate, while Vasudans developed Hatshepsut separately to GTVA zods in main timeline. I even made a small upgrade to Raven's model he used.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 03:13:23 pm by Nyctaeus »
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Offline Novachen

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
:v: did a lot of implications about GTVA Terran/Vasudan tech similarities, but in the end the Shivans are firing Harbingers and Tsunamis too.

Yes you are right. The similarities are also present in the game. The mentioned Mekhu HL-7/Subach HL-7 similarty. Another one is the GVF Ptah/GTF Pegasus.

So i still think, that there is a vasudan version of the Maxim aswell a vasudan Trebuchet and a vasudan GTF Ares counterpart. Like the mentioned similarities the difference is only small, but it is there. Maybe the vasudan Trebuchet has a shorter range, but is more maneuverable or something like that. Mekhu and Subach are also different only in details, because the Vasudans have their own style to fight.

But i think that this stuff is not in the game, because it is not relevant for it. Because we are playing a terran and most of the time we are part of the terran fleet in the GTVA. Only for a handful of missions on the GVD Psamtik/Memphis  :v-old: had to create a whole tech tree for the vasudans. Would be nice to have for the immersion, but nothing more. Not really relevant for a commercial game.

The same is the vasudan tech in FS1... it is not really relevant for the official campaigns if the Vasudans have their own counterpart of Avenger, Phoenix V, Athena etc., so there were not created by  :v-old:

I do not believe, that the Vasudans twiddle thumbs only in both games and watches without reaction how the Terrans develop all these new shiny ships and weapons...


Maybe someone like to create a whole vasudan tech for FS1 and FS2 in the future that can be properly used for FreeSpace Port and Blue.


But well, to the original question.
Well, i am not very sure if this war could be won by anyone. It has similarities to the western front in World War I, some of the front systems had back and forth battles since 14 years only.
Even with the Hades, i am not sure if this would be the ultimate end-of-the-vasudan-days-weapon, because without all the shivan tech the Hades would have been a different ship. It would not have any beam cannons, it would not have a superior subspace drive and whatever other tech the Hades only had due to the Shivans. And also we do not have any information about which was neglected for the Hades. Because i think, that all the resources that were put into a super destroyer would have some effects in other aspects of the military.

Maybe the Vasudans would have been able to destroy the Hades right in time. Even in this Shivan enhanced version the Hades had some weaknesses, without it would had surely some more of them. It would not be able to hit the Vasudans from the back, which was the biggest advantage the Hades had in ST:R. Without it, it had to fly through the front lines, without beam weapons. Actually i have doubt, that the Hades would be able to reach the vasudan core systems at all or heavy damaged only.
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Offline HLD_Prophecy

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
A large-scale war can both stifle or increase innovation/advances in technology.

The reason I say this is because a technological power is presented with two main choices upon being thrust into conflict: Do we focus time, money, labor, raw materials, and other resources into technological advancements that will help us win later on, or do we focus our resources into maintaining the current assets?

Actually, both plans can be quite workable. It very much depends on your situation. Investing in technological advances can leave you vulnerable when what you really need are a few dozen more squads of older but dependable front-line vehicles. On the other hand, the longer a war goes on, the better the chances that your enemy will boost their technological level and you will need to counter that.

With the passage of time it has been repeatedly demonstrated that forgoing technological advancement usually has dire consequences. However I believe this should be balanced with a respect for what you already have - if it's cost-efficient and can hold back the enemy, make use of it.

It appears to me that, exclusively during the TV war era, we might see at least a slight tendency with the Terrans to prefer rapid advances, while the Vasudans preferred to upkeep older designs as long as they remained competitive - which indeed they did, I do not agree with the notion that Terran designs outdid Vasudan counterparts even as far back as the TV War. Terran cruisers were better for sure, but Vasudans had the superior destroyer, some superior auxiliary designs, and arguably superior fightercraft depending on the scenario. At least zod strikecraft remained competitive.

  

Offline rubixcube

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
I'd love to play a campaign around this idea.

You could almost set this as an alternate universe in BP's multiverse. Then again that might constrain your story space too much, maybe you'll want to do your own thing.
Either way, hope it gets made  :D.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
Since we are all now putting forth ideas, and I see a flaw in many of those put foward, I'd like to add my response to that flaw to the mix:

What many have mentioned is that they see that the Terran-Vasudan War would progress and resolve itself (strictly) along the Species divide. But what if it did not?

It's not like a war-weary population "walking out" on their wartime leadership has not happened before (e.g. the Kiel Mutiny* and the Novemeber Revolution of 1918). So what if an anti-war, non-alligned block of planets formed?
There is much potential there to then go into the history of the conflict and explore if and how there were contacts and exchanges on non-military levels, e.g.

- what happened if control of a planet shifted and a population from one species was no under the jurisdiction of the government that was hegemonially not their species?

- what kind of psychologcial warfare did the PVN and GTA engage in? (this conjures up the image of an Osiris flying over a city dropping pamphlets :) )

- how did each side deal with dissent in their own ranks? (The GTVA still practices strong divisions, and the mere existence of the NTF proves that even after two generations of contact there is enough to practice the extreme othering; but what if there are minorities on both sides that are way more comfortable with each other, e.g. Vasudans that are not part of the Vasudan Imperium, yet live under the umbrella of the PVE)

- how a GTA defector live in the PVE? (I mean, McCarthy must have had some kind of plan for the time after the Avenger-hand off...)


I admit, these are all things I want to tackle myself, but in the main Freespace continuity where there are Shivans, which alters the way you answer these questions.


*The use of the word "mutiny" by is literal definition to describe the events is in german academic cricles considered to be a conservative-to-right-wing colouring of the events. The more mainstream version translated to "revolt" or "uprising" with a more neutral conotation. Yes, the Sailor did mutiny against their commanders but it is considered to be legitimate act of disobedience in modern interpretations.


EDIT: *Waits for the image of what a nBSG-Gaius-Baltar would look like for the T-V-War to give Dekker the shock of his life*  :p
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 07:43:27 am by 0rph3u5 »
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Offline HLD_Prophecy

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
An interesting suggestion Orpheus. Reminds me of your work with the Lost Generation - such things investigate the human question and not just "two one-dimensional galactic powers head to head"

 

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
Hades would never exist in the form shown in ST, as it was actually based on Shivan technology. However, different superdestroyer with different technology would be possible, same as whole GTI rebellion thing. Perhaps it was planned long before the Great War and it would be possible even without shivan interference. Maybe somekind of alter-Hades without beam weaponry and other systems?

There's not actually any evidence in-game for this, but my assumption has always been that the warships in Freespace take a decent chunk of time to build, comparable to modern warships. Even if it's slightly faster or slower, it almost certainly should be measured in years, particularly once you include R&D, design, commissioning etc. Given that ST is set 6 months or so after FS1, it stands to reason that the Hades must have been conceived, designed and largely built before the events of FS1. I figure there are two possibilities: either the GTI were observing the Shivans for some significant amount of time prior to FS1, and conceived of the Hades as a result of those observations, or they had already designed and partially built the Hades, discovered the Shivans just prior to FS1, and then retrofitted as much Shivans tech as they could (probably they also accelerated it's completion to fight the Shivans). In the case of the former, no Hades in this universe, since the GTI would never encounter them, but in the case of the latter, the Hades should look essentially identical, as it would have been structurally complete (or at least designed and artially built) before the Shivans came on the scene anyway. I'll grant there's potential for a spectrum there, with the "No Shivans" Hades looking more and more different depending on how long the GTI had to study the Shivans before FS1 (it's implied they knew about them, but no detail is given on how long for).

FWIW, my personal impression is that the GTI didn't have a vast amount of advanced warning that the Shivans were out there, and that the Hades was likely conceived as a GTI superweapon, either to take over the GTA as it eventually became, or to win the war against the Vasudans. Or even just possibly as a response to the Typhon?
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Offline Nightmare

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
I think that the Hades was the GTAs final attempt to win the war. Both sides were exhausted at that point, so the Hades could have been there last straw before public opinion would prefer a ceasefire. So they built the ship under supervision of the GTI in a remote system, where they could control anyone who's trying to access it (unlike if they had built it at the outer region of Sol) in order to prevent any information being leaked. When the jump node collapsed, they took it over for their own purposes.

 

Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: Has anyone ever made a campaign like this?
It is possible, but without beam weaponry, Hades is as powerful and terrifying as any other destroyer in FS1. Pair of Typhons would be sufficient to kill such thing, not to mention bombers.

What I really liked about INFA and demo of ToF was different anti-capital weapons system. So called "railguns". I always loved big, fast blobs with long trails much more than actual beam cannons. Alter-Hades might appear in alternate story scenario even as flagship of GTA forces, but it would be useless without somekind of dedicated, anti-capital weaponry to compensate lack of beam cannons. Sometimes I joke about T-V War because everything is armed only with tons of useless blobs and that war would never end because both sides had no proper weapons against enemy warships. Aside from bombers.
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