Table of Contents
In the 2600s, the Human species occupies a large territory comprised of dozens of independent colonies with Earth at its center. Humanity has fully colonized the solar system and has expanded into interstellar space, claiming a myriad of alien worlds as their own. Their sphere of influence extends seventy light-years in all directions from Sol.
The dominant power in Human space is the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization that represents member states and colonies. The primary goal of the UN is the establishment of diplomatic relations and trade between the often disparate colonies, as well as ensuring peace and security through their military branch, the United Nations Navy.
United Nations Navy
The UNN is the military branch of the United Nations. It began as a simple peacekeeping force that was necessary to police interstellar space where no single nation or colony had the capacity to do so alone. After the outbreak of the Betelgeusian war in 2598, and with individual states and colonies expanding their space forces, the UNN took on a more direct military role in the protection of Human territory.
The UNN is not the monolithic force it is often portrayed as but is rather a coalition of independent navies who pool their resources to create a larger fleet capable of defending such an expansive territory. Prior to the Betelgeusian war, Human powers such as the United States, Russia, and Mars were already updating their navies and drafting new designs to better protect their interests on the interstellar stage. After the outbreak of the war, Humanity faced a genocidal threat and was suddenly thrust into a Galaxy where rival species with far greater military capabilities were operating. This created an attitude of unprecedented solidarity in which technology was shared between nations and standardized designs were drafted.
During this period, the construction of new, modernized spacecraft was undertaken on a large scale, with different nations and colonies funding one or more fleets with the newly-minted Jump Carriers at their center. Each fleet is controlled by a nation or colony, some fielding larger forces than others.
As time went on, the nature of large-scale international operations coordinated over light-year distances necessitated closer cooperation between the fleets, as well as the standardization of tactics and weapons. Before long, the Admiralty was formed, a command organization pulling from some of the greatest military minds of the various member states. The Admiralty was granted control over the UNN, which allowed the organization to operate as a single cohesive force.
Branches of Government
The United Nations is separated into three distinct branches, each with its own responsibilities and decision-making power.
The first of these is the General Assembly, the main deliberative organ of the United Nations and the seat of civilian power. It is comprised of representatives from all member states, each of which has one vote. Operating beneath the General Assembly are various other specialized councils, such as the Security Council, the Court of Justice, and the Secretariat.
The Admiralty is made up of prominent military leaders who are appointed to the position by their respective states. The War Powers act of 2598 affords them a great deal of control over the UNN’s fleets, and a degree of autonomy in their decision-making that allows them to be flexible and reactive to emerging threats. The Admiralty convenes to vote on the joint operations undertaken by fleets. Admirals are also appointed to oversee the operations of naval installations, and the UN’s seat on the Coalition Security Council is filled by one of the Admirals.
Coalition Security Council
The CSC is the decision-making body of the Coalition, and the UN is bound by the responsibilities outlined in the Coalition charter. The UN is also obligated to comply with CSC decisions, which are decided by a majority vote.
UNN Marine Corps
In the era of interstellar conflicts, the relevance of national armies began to wane, as they were unable to operate effectively without a supporting navy to transport them to where they were needed. This resulted in the Interstellar Warfighter initiative that was intended to create a next-generation fighting force. Training conducted between militaries from different states under this initiative evolved into the UNN Marine program, an attempt to create a truly space-based military organization. This was expanded to encompass all of the responsibilities of traditional armies, including ground-based armor, logistics, and infantry.
While some nations still operate their own military forces, the UNN Marine corps makes up the vast majority of the UNN’s fighting force. When other organizations participate in battle alongside them, they usually take the form of special forces units and other more specialized teams.
UNN Marines are equipped with standard-issue battle armor. This armor is rated for vacuum and can protect the wearer from chemical agents or hostile environments for as long as the suit’s battery lasts. The ceramic plates are designed to absorb the energy of a plasma bolt and spread it over a wider area, reducing its ability to penetrate, and their angled shape is effective at deflecting shrapnel. The helmet incorporates a HUD that can link with weapons systems, showing targeting data, battery charge levels, and ammo counts. Cameras mounted in the helmet can also broadcast a live feed that can be shared with squadmates or superiors. The suit’s functions and onboard computer can be controlled via touch panels on the wrist or the side of the helmet. It also incorporates electromagnetic pads in the boots that allow the wearer to walk in a microgravity environment, such as a ship with a damaged AG system or the outer hull of a vessel.
Planetary Defense Force
The Planetary Defense Force is made up of military reserve forces and colonial militias tasked with defending planets from invasions and policing their local territory. Their jurisdiction extends to a single planet or solar system.
Despite the immense size and manpower of the UNN, it can be logistically impractical to get fleets to where they need to be on short notice, if not impossible. For this reason, many colonies, especially those in outlying systems on the frontiers of UN space, must rely on their own populations to hold off potential attacks until UNN reinforcements can be dispatched. Due to the length of time it can take vessels to cross interstellar distances, PDF may be expected to hold out for weeks or even months with only the resources and equipment they have on hand. This has resulted in many population centers, especially frontier worlds, employing elaborate systems of bunkers and forts to keep their population safe if such an attack should occur.
The PDF have a reputation for being underequipped and poorly trained, but this is not always the case. While some PDF units are equipped with modern armor and XMR platform weapons, most use caseless weapons that are considered last-gen, and their access to armored vehicles is similarly restricted to older platforms that may no longer see widespread use. Many PDF units have access to STS missile systems used to attack targets in orbit, and more recently, MAST systems have been delivered to many outlying colonies. The MAST was developed as an interdiction weapon designed to cripple Betelgeusian fleets in orbit. It is a form of ASAT missile that launches a swarm of tungsten penetrators, making it very difficult for point defense weapons to defeat. These weapons are mostly intended to be used as a stopgap measure to buy time for reinforcements to arrive.
Police actions undertaken by the PDF involve customs and immigration, law enforcement, and anti-piracy operations.
United Nations Naval Intelligence
UNNI is the intelligence branch of the United Nations Navy, officially tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing security information from across UN space, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). UNNI reports directly to the Admiralty and is authorized to carry out and oversee covert actions at its behest, including surveillance, paramilitary operations, counter-terrorism, and cyber operations.
UNNI agents (often referred to colloquially as Ninnies) have access to cutting-edge technology that is often experimental in nature, leveraging this advantage to stay ahead of their enemies. Their operatives are highly-trained and are skilled in both combat and infiltration.
UNNI is often viewed with a certain degree of mistrust and distaste by other branches of the Navy, with their allegiance and loyalty to their fellow servicemen frequently brought into question. They are seen as ruthless and manipulative, which may very well be traits valued and sought out by the organization. SWAR has an especially strong rivalry with UNNI, as their methods and values are diametrically opposed, sometimes bringing them into conflict.
Special Weapons and Advanced Recon
SWAR is an offshoot of the Interstellar Warfighter program, a special forces branch that operates under the authority of the Admiralty. The organization’s main functions are conducting small-unit special operation missions in hostile or sensitive environments that are unsuited to Marine units. SWAR teams are typically ordered to eliminate high-level targets, sabotage enemy infrastructure, or gather intelligence behind enemy lines, leveraging their technological edge and mobility to succeed where conventional forces might not.
SWAR is unusual in that they only recruit veterans who have suffered amputations due to battlefield injuries. Operatives make extensive use of cybernetic enhancements, favoring quadruple-amputees, where all four limbs can be replaced with advanced prosthetics that make them more effective fighters. This may be an attempt to get around the Yellow Sea Treaty, which prohibits the augmentation or the alteration of the human body for the purpose of warfare by way of cybernetics, genetic engineering, or indoctrination. The amputation of a healthy limb or the removal of a functioning organ to be replaced with a prosthetic equivalent is prohibited by UN law, and such surgeries can only be performed for valid medical reasons. This does not change the fact that cybernetic technology has many advantages that could be leveraged by the more unscrupulous elements of the UNN, however.
SWAR teams have access to cutting-edge equipment and are afforded a great deal of autonomy when it comes to approaching a mission. They commonly make use of Coursers that have been modified for stealth and equipped with shipboard weapons, leveraging their speed and small profile to infiltrate enemy territory. Deployment to the ground happens either by shuttle when the tactical situation permits, or by drop pod. Drop pods are small, compact capsules that are able to accommodate three passengers, and are able to make landfall under their own power using a combination of retro thrusters and aerobrakes.
The Myrmidon program was a UNN initiative to develop a safer and more effective means of engaging Betelgeusians in their hives, where traditional Marine and even elite SWAR units were experiencing unacceptable losses. The cramped tunnels of a hive are fraught with dangers such as chemically-triggered mines, hidden compartments where Drones can stage ambushes, sections of tunnel that can be intentionally caved in or flooded, pitfalls, and other hazards intended to stop invaders from reaching sensitive areas of the structure.
Hardened Marine units who specialized in tunnel work, colloquially known as Trogs (shorthand for Troglodytes) heavily influenced the program’s development, bringing their considerable experience to the table. These were mostly made up of combat engineers and infantrymen who had taken up the unenviable but crucial task of assassinating Queens and destroying critical infrastructure below ground. Due to their notoriety, they retained their existing name.
What resulted was the development of specialized doctrines, equipment, and weapons that greatly enhanced the survival and success rates of their missions. Officially, Trogs are designated as combat engineers, forming elite units from especially qualified or experienced individuals who are transferred from other branches of the Navy. The process is strictly voluntary, but every Marine knows that the Trogs are perpetually shorthanded, so the call to serve is seldom refused.
Trogs are equipped with armor that was derived from explosive ordnance disposal gear, heavily reinforced to provide a high level of protection in hostile environments. It is resistant to explosives, plasma weapons, environmental hazards, and sharp implements. The suits were initially considered too cumbersome by their designers, but the Trog advisors argued that their benefits outweighed their downsides, as agility and speed inside tunnels are far less important than being able to soak up a great deal of damage. Even with the added protection, the nature of engaging Betelgeusians in close quarters on their home turf results in higher casualty rates than other units.
Trogs commonly employ XMR and XMH weapon systems configured for CQB, along with specialized microwave emitter weapons that can saturate entire tunnels with deadly radiation that excites the water molecules in a target’s body, cooking them alive. Being able to reach through thin barriers and damage both electronics and organic matter makes them especially suited to tunnel fighting, where their relatively short range is no hindrance. All Trogs are trained in the use of explosives, giving them the nickname fire ants in some circles, and they carry a large quantity of plastic explosives and grenades during their operations.
The UNN makes extensive use of alien auxiliaries in its forces, forming integrated, multi-species units. The UNN is largely responsible for training and outfitting auxiliaries, ensuring that they are able to meet the standards required by the organization.
Borealan Shock Troopers
Borealan Shock Troopers are most commonly used as their name implies, spearheading assaults and leading boarding operations where their natural aggression and strength can be leveraged to devastating effect. Their keen senses also make them excellent trackers.
Shock Troopers wear a variant of Marine armor with all of the same protections and capabilities, and are often equipped with large frame XMR variants. On their native planet, Borealans make extensive use of powder rifles that resemble muskets, making them well-suited to long-barreled, semi-automatic weapons. These rifles are commonly equipped with bayonets for use in CQB.
Borealans operate in packs of between four and eight that are often designated by UNN commanders using the Greek alphabet. They are fierce warriors with a strong concept of duty and honor, and will fight to the death if orders are not given to retreat. Despite their reputed aggression, they can be cautious and methodical when required, with Elysian Rangers and Araxie making especially successful scout snipers.
Krell Linebreakers are heavy infantry equipped with light machinegun variants of the XMR platform and other heavy weapons. They make use of heavy armor modeled after UNN bomb disposal suits, supplementing the already impressive survivability of the Krell to make them highly resistant to damage. They are used to counter enemy assaults, to reinforce the line, or to defend key strategic positions. Marines often describe them as mobile pillboxes, providing covering fire as other squads maneuver around them.
The Krell are known for their loyalty and devotion, often putting themselves in danger to rescue a wounded comrade, which has earned them a great deal of respect and admiration. Units that include Krell have markedly higher survival rates than those who do not.
While usually good-natured, Krell are capable of entering a state of enhanced metabolic activity known as a frenzy when provoked, making them especially destructive in close quarters.
Valbaran Commando units are disciplined and coordinated, their speed and reflexes making up for their relative lack of stamina. They are highly trained when compared to other auxiliaries, and are one of the few Coalition species that operates a modern, professional military.
They are often equipped with small frame XMRs in PDW variants but sometimes favor their own laser-based weapons systems, especially when it comes to sidearms. Commandos wear their own armor, which has similar capabilities as that used by Marines, albeit being more lightly-armored.
Valbarans are suited to most battlefield roles, but their small size and lack of stamina mean that they should be supported by vehicles where possible, as marching over any significant distance will exhaust them. Native Commando tactics favor vehicle-based striking and fading, deploying from dropships or personnel carriers to overwhelm the enemy with precision assaults.
UNN fleets make use of many spacecraft variants in their operations, combining different specialized craft to maximize their flexibility.
Assault Carriers are transport vessels that carry armored battalions to and from combat zones. The bulk of the vessel is taken up by the garages, where up to 150 vehicles can be carried. 136 vehicles constitute one UNN armored battalion.
The vehicles are arranged in rows six long and five deep in five tiered garages which are accessible by elevators located towards the bow. The vehicles are attached to trolleys that operate on a sliding rail system that allows fast, easy transport. Towards the stern are a pair of clamshell doors that open to expose the docking ports at the rear of the hangar to space, allowing specialized landers to dock and receive vehicles directly. They connect to the rail system, allowing the vehicles to slide into their bays on their trolleys, making the process of loading and unloading vehicles extremely quick and efficient. These dropships remain docked inside the protective doors during transit, and up to 25 can dock at once.
Due to the presence of the docking ports at the stern, Assault Carrier engines are mounted on nacelles that extend from the port and starboard of the ship. There is a secondary hangar for shuttles and troop transports situated closer to the bow, just behind the bridge.
Along with an armored battalion, an Assault Carrier can accommodate up to 3000 UNN Marines and personnel.
Assault Carriers are named after historical invasions, such as the UNN Okinawa or the UNN Overlord.
Mass: 39,000 tons
Armament: 2x defensive CIWS guns
Battleships are the most heavily armed class of vessel in the UNN fleet, sporting some of the heaviest and most destructive weapons available. Often described as Martian Battleships due to their close association with the shipyards that produce them, they share many design principles with their smaller cousins the frigates.
The angular, sleek profile and RF-absorbent coating helps to reduce radar cross-section and affords the ship a smaller profile when facing its targets head-on, making it a remarkably stealthy ship considering its 350m length.
The Battleship’s primary armaments are the super-railgun and the massive ventral gun.
Super-railguns are electromagnetic accelerator turrets with a length of 55m, making them larger than some of the smaller ships in the fleet. They fire projectiles that are four meters long and weight in excess of fourteen tons. These projectiles can be solid tungsten carbine or depleted uranium slugs or discarding sabots with various specialized payloads. When firing, the recoil is so great that the vessel must make use of its main engines and thrusters to keep from being knocked off-course.
The most destructive weapon in the Battleship’s arsenal is the ventral gun, an electromagnetic railgun 200 meters in length. The vessel is built around this weapon, giving it the appearance of a flying gun, the magnetic rails running all the way from the prow to the bridge. This massive accelerator is fed by a rotating cylinder – not dissimilar from a revolver – that loads a 150ton, 15m projectile capable of being accelerated to Mach 30 at the highest power setting.
The ventral railgun is designed to destroy enemy capital ships and space stations, and its secondary function would, in theory, allow the ship to sterilize planets. At such high velocities, the projectiles could be used to target vulnerable fault lines in a planet’s crust, tearing it open like a wound to expose hundreds of kilometers of molten mantle to the atmosphere. Subsequent bombardments by one or more Battleships would only increase the effect. This is without even taking into account the massive destruction that could be wrought by the impacts alone. The resulting volcanism would render the planet uninhabitable, even to the Betelgeusians, choking the atmosphere with ash and destroying its biosphere. It is a last-resort weapon that has never been used, but the option to simply erase hive worlds from the star charts is available.
The extreme heat output of these weapons require the Battleship to use an unconventional method of dissipation. Situated behind the elevated bridge are a series of heat sinks that are fed by the ship’s weapons and systems. Once enough thermal energy has accumulated in one of these sinks, it is ejected from the craft like a spent shell, physically removing waste heat from the vessel.
Supplementing these weapons is a more conventional loadout:
- 24 torpedo tubes capable of launching 100-ton projectiles with a variety of payloads. These include nuclear warheads, MAST ship-killers, and long-range smart torpedoes.
- 24 missile bays with options for offensive or interceptor missiles.
- 20 railgun turrets.
- 8 defensive CIWS guns.
Beewolf Space Superiority Fighter
The FS-26 Beewolf is a space superiority fighter fielded by the UNN, commonly deployed from Jump Carriers as attack craft and escorts. The Beewolf is a single-engine, single-pilot craft with the ability to operate both in a vacuum and in an atmosphere, and is capable of reaching orbit under its own power. It has an aerodynamic hull designed for atmospheric flight, along with arrays of thrusters that help it maneuver with six degrees of freedom in space. These also allow it to take off in a VTOL configuration, and to hover in place.
The Beewolf has an angular profile designed to reduce its radar cross-section, and features a stealth coating that absorbs RF radiation, giving it an onyx-black appearance. Along with this, its advanced heat sinks allow it to reduce its thermal profile or help vent waste heat when necessary. With the use of an onboard VR suite, the pilot can connect their flight helmet to arrays of external cameras, giving them an unimpeded view through the hull.
The craft can be configured with different loadouts to perform a variety of combat roles. These include fighter screening and escort for larger vessels, engaging enemy interceptors, long-range patrol, and ground attack roles. These armaments include a 25mm rotary cannon mounted on the cheek of the craft that fires conventional shells at 3500rpm, a belt-fed electromagnetic railgun that extends from a dorsal hatch on a flexible gimbal arm, and internal missile and bomb bays.
Mass (fully loaded): 25 tons
Armament: 1x 25mm nose cannon, 1x30mm dorsal railgun, decoy flares, various missiles and bombs depending on mission loadout
The Clovis frigate is a common sight in UNN space, and often makes up a large part of a carrier’s escort fleet. At two hundred meters, the Clovis is small when compared to cruisers and battleships, but it packs a lot of firepower, able to field sixteen railguns and eighteen missile bays. The sleek, streamlined hull is designed to reduce the vessel’s radar cross-section and is painted with a black coating that absorbs RF radiation. The ship is defended by four CIWS guns, and all of its armaments can retract into the hull during silent running.
The ship gets its name from the Clovis point arrowheads that share a similar profile, a common Native American archeological artifact frequently found in North America.
UNN frigates are usually named after war heroes from their respective country or colony, such as the UNN Baskeyfield or the UNN Rubin.
Mass: 20,000 tons
Armament: 16x railguns, 18x missile bays, 4x CIWS guns
The CIWS frigate is a variant of the Clovis that mounts sixteen point defense weapons and loads interceptor missiles into its launch bays, serving as a screening ship that protects the rest of the CSG from incoming threats like torpedoes and hostile fighter craft.
Coursers are small vessels designed for maximum speed and efficiency, with the ideal ratio of mass and energy output to make long-distance superlight jumps. They’re most commonly used to transport VIPs, to carry important messages where no quantum uplink is available, and as transportation for special forces teams.
Coursers are made up of two modules that are connected via a skeletal gib that runs between them. At the bow of the vessel are the bridge, a limited cargo bay, and a crew module where crew and passengers can live during transit. At the stern are the reactor room, and the engine module. The hull is sleek and streamlined, often described as needle-like.
Being too small to have an onboard hangar, personnel transfers on Coursers usually happen via docking umbilical.
The Doloto-class Torpedo Frigate is the UNN’s primary missile platform and is a mainstay in the Navy’s carrier escort fleets. Equipped with twenty-four missile bays, two defensive railguns, four CIWS turrets, and twelve launch tubes that can accommodate larger torpedos, the Doloto is a force to be reckoned with. The Doloto can carry up to 1200 tons of ordnance in its launch tubes and is able to accommodate projectiles with a length of thirty feet and a mass of up to 100 tons. These include nuclear warheads, MAST ship-killers, and long-range smart torpedoes. With a length of 200 meters, and a hull designed to deflect radar and absorb RF radiation, the Doloto can be very difficult to detect, especially at ranges where it can jump to a new position after firing a spread of torpedoes.
Originally a Russian design, the Doloto gets its name from the Russian word for chisel due to its shape.
UNN frigates are usually named after war heroes from their respective country or colony, such as the UNN Baskeyfield or the UNN Rubin.
Mass: 25,000 tons plus 1200 tons of ordnance
Armament: 24x missile bays, 12x torpedo tubes, 4x CIWS guns
Jump Carriers are the flagships of the UNN fleets and are arguably the most important vessel on the field. They spearhead planetary invasions with their large crew complement and their squadrons of spacecraft, they provide ground support using their ventral railgun batteries, and they pull fleets along with them into superlight. They’re also capable of resupplying their support fleets with fuel and life support on long deployments.
Jump Carriers are four hundred meters long, making them one of the largest classes of UNN vessel. Armed with arrays of railgun batteries, dozens of torpedo tubes, and thick armor plating, they make formidable adversaries and are very much capable of both defending themselves and participating in ship-to-ship combat. The raised bridge is mounted atop the vessel, providing good visibility to the bridge crew, while the observation deck mounted beneath the vessel allows for observation and direct fire when the carrier is in orbit of a planet.
The vessel is able to carry a contingent of 6,000 to 10,000 UNN Marines and can deploy them directly to a planet’s surface using a fleet of troop transports that are launched from its hangar bays. These are large flight decks situated on the port and starboard of the vessel which are open to space, the atmosphere contained by molecular force fields.
Along with its contingent of Marines, the vessel can carry between 60 and 90 craft of varying types, including Beewolf superiority fighters, Penguin gunships, and troop transports. They are equipped with 40 launch tubes which can be loaded with either Beewolf fighters or troop transports, allowing up to 40 craft to be launched immediately upon exiting superlight, while up to 8 craft can be launched at once from the hangar bays (4 per bay). This can somewhat complicate rearming and refueling.
Jump Carriers get their name from their ability to make long-distance superlight jumps due to their six onboard reactors, pulling nearby vessels along with them. While all UNN vessels large enough to accommodate a nuclear reactor can make superlight jumps, their respective mass and power output dictate the distance traveled. Jump Carriers bypass this limitation by capturing the fleet in its superlight wake, a spherical manifold that extends some distance around the ship, ensuring that the entire fleet travels the same distance with each jump.
Jump Carriers and other UNN ships use water to cool their reactors, which is heated to the point that it undergoes a process known as thermochemical cracking. The oxygen and hydrogen molecules are separated, then harvested to be used for life support in the case of oxygen, and chemical propellant in the case of hydrogen. As long as the carrier has access to water ice, which is a very common resource in solar systems, it can sustain itself and its support fleet for long periods of time during a deployment. Reactors can be ejected from the vessel in the case of damage or a meltdown in a process known as a core dump.
The vessels are able to make landfall if necessary and are capable of limited atmospheric flight.
Jump Carriers are named after famous last stands from their respective nations or colonies, having been commissioned at the beginning of the Betelgeusian war, such as the UNN Shiroyama or the UNN Thermopylae.
Mass: 100,000 tons
Armament: 20x railguns, 14 CIWS guns, 24 torpedo tubes, 40 launch tubes
The US-82 Leadbeater is the UNN’s favored dropship and the workhorse of the fleet, serving primarily in a troop transport and utility capacity. Being designated as a spaceplane, the US-82 is capable of achieving orbit under its own power in as little as fifteen minutes using its twin hydrogen engines, as well as operating in a vacuum through the use of its arrays of thrusters. The airframe has seen a long and storied service over its forty years of operation, and has been adapted into many different variants. These include the US-82C light cargo hauler, the US-82H medevac vehicle, the US-82M spec-ops dropship, and even civilian transport shuttles.
In its primary role as a troop transport, the Leadbeater leverages a blend of high maneuverability and considerable armor to ferry troops and VIPs into contested airspace. These hot drops often involve the rapid insertion or exfiltration of Marines and auxiliaries, requiring the vessel to contend with enemy small arms fire, anti-air, and hazardous terrain.
While it lacks some of the more specialized geometry of its counterparts like the Beewolf, the dropship nonetheless employs an EM-absorbent coating that reduces the likelihood of a successful lock, which is supplemented by a defensive flare system. The armor is reinforced around the cockpit and troop bay to ensure maximum protection for the occupants, and the resilient airframe has earned a reputation as being especially hardy, able to land successfully even after sustaining considerable damage. The ceramic tiles that coat its belly serve both to protect it from the heat of reentry, and as a thermal shield to dissipate the energy of plasma weapons, making it especially resistant to Betelgeusian small arms.
Not being equipped with any offensive weaponry, the Leadbeater will rely on escort craft as the situation requires, often being paired with Beewolf fighters or Penguin gunships to provide close air support around the drop zone.
The reinforced landing gear with its thick tires and protective coverings make the Leadbeater well-suited to difficult terrain, inspired by the bush planes of old. Coupled with a VTOL system that makes use of the vessel’s thrusters, it can set down anywhere that can support its footprint, including forest clearings and rooftops.
The US-82 has the capacity to carry two Marine fireteams of six (a squad of twelve), a pack of six Borealan Shock Troopers, or a pair of Krell Linebreakers. While Valbaran Commandos commonly make use of their own specialized vehicles, the troop bay can seat twelve.
Equipped with a Sentinel upgrade package, the Leadbeater can deploy a rotary electromagnetic cannon that fires the same caliber of slug as anti-material railguns, serving as a door gun and providing support fire for troops as they dismount. This weapon is usually operated remotely by the co-pilot.
Warden Patrol Ship
Wombat Landing Craft
The CS-47 Wombat is the UNN’s primary means of transporting heavy payloads, including cargo, armored vehicles, and even prefabricated structures. Fully loaded, the Wombat can carry up to a hundred tons on top of its own considerable weight, all while retaining its vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.
The UNN Beachhead program called for a heavy lift vehicle that would be orbit-capable under its own power, with a target payload of one hundred tons, deployable via a new class of planetary assault carrier. The Wombat was the winner of the contract, meeting and exceeding some of the requirements.
With a height of over eight meters and a length just shy of twenty, the CS-47 is the largest aircraft fielded by the UNN. Despite its mass, its four hydrogen engines generate enough thrust for the craft to take off and land vertically even under higher than Earth-standard gravitational conditions. These engines are five meters tall in their own right, and come equipped with atmospheric intakes that can help to both cool the motors and generate extra thrust where the environmental conditions allow for it. The engines can swivel 180-degrees to provide maximum maneuverability.
The Wombat drops into the atmosphere of a planet belly-first, employing a combination of its powerful engines and aerobraking via its bulky chassis to shed velocity before a landing. Its is equipped with six impact-absorbing skids that allow it to land on even soft ground such as mud, sand, snow, and regolith.
Often described as a flying brick, the Wombat gets its name from its blocky, angular shape, somewhat resembling the animal of its namesake when viewed from above. The name also carries connotations of sturdiness and reliability, which the craft certainly embodies. Its sheer size affords it a certain level of protection, and the extensive heat tiles that line the underside of its chassis double as very effective plasma-resistant armor. While the lander is armed only with defensive countermeasures such as flares, and Naval doctrine does not permit it to be deployed to unsecured landing zones, it remains resistant to small arms fire and even enemy anti-air.
The primary role of the CS-47 is delivering heavy armor to the surface of a planet during a ground assault. Its large payload capacity allows it to transport all UNN vehicles excluding the Yagda, with a seventy-ton Kodiak MBT being the largest. The spacious bay runs all the way through the ship, with the cockpit area being raised above it. This bay is equipped with rails that mate with their counterparts in the garage of an assault carrier, allowing vehicles and payloads to slide inside and lock into place seamlessly. Large cargo pallets and even flat-packed prefab buildings can be delivered in the same manner, notably Cupcake CIWS turrets and modular FOB components. The walls of the bay are lined with seats for vehicle crews, with optional configurations that allow for the transport of 96 Marines, or 16 combat-ready fireteams.
Loading is carried out via a pressurized dock at the rear of the craft, which is designed to mate with the corresponding airlocks in the garage of a carrier. Up to twenty-five Wombats can dock side by side and top to bottom, allowing the simultaneous transfer of the same number of vehicles. Able to land with their payload and return in as little as fifteen minutes, a squadron of CS-47s can deliver a full armored battalion of 150 vehicles in around ninety minutes. When not in use, the Wombats remain docked at the stern gate of the assault carrier, enclosed within a protective door that shields them from debris and enemy fire.
While the craft has gained a reputation for being reliable and nigh impervious to damage, the complicated engines require a great deal of maintenance per flight hour when compared to other aircraft in the fleet, and its fuel consumption is considerable. Nevertheless, the CS-47 Wombat has become the Navy’s primary bridge between land and space.
Pythia-class Survey Vessel
Kodiak Main Battle Tank
The Kodiak main battle tank is the tip of the UNN’s armored spear, serving as a carrier-deployable heavy weapons platform that can be adapted to a variety of battlefield conditions. At nine meters long and upwards of seventy tons when fully loaded, it’s the heaviest ground vehicle currently fielded by the Navy save for the Yagda superheavy repulsor.
Originally designed with a slanted hull to deflect enemy shells, the Kodiak was upgraded with composite ceramic armor to help it deal with Betelgeusian plasma weapons more effectively after the outbreak of the war. Made from a material similar to that commonly used to harden spacecraft for reentry, the plates can absorb a great deal of heat, dissipating the energy over a larger surface area to prevent it from melting through. They also retain thick armor that can stop even an anti-materiel railgun slug from penetrating.
The Kodiak fields several other defensive systems, such as smoke launchers, reactive armor systems, and a blister that can be used as a close-in weapon to intercept missiles and mortar shells.
(Pictured: a Kodiak with bustle rack and desert camouflage as seen during the battles of the Dune Sea and East Gate, Rask Rebellion, 2626)
The main gun of the Kodiak is a large railgun that magnetically accelerates sabots to extremely high speeds. The payloads include tungsten penetrators for defeating enemy armor, canister rounds loaded with ball bearings for use again infantry, high explosives, and plasma charges designed to vaporize soft targets and create overpressure waves inside structures. The weapon is equipped with an auto-loader system that eliminates the need for a fourth crewman.
The gun features a flattened shroud that protects the two parallel rails, along with a round muzzle device designed to contain the dangerous arc flashes that can result when a projectile traveling at high speed ionizes the air.
(Pictured: a Kodiak with autumn camouflage and netting on the barrel as seen during Operation Ant Hill, Kerguela Campaign, 2627. This variant is equipped for de-mining, with a line charge launcher and a mine plow)
Auxiliary weapons include a remote blister that can be operated by the vehicle’s commander, which commonly comes equipped with a 120mm mortar for suppression and squad support, and a full-auto AMR designed to engage low-flying aircraft and light vehicles.
The cheeks of the turret feature two hardpoints where external weapons can be attached, allowing for flexible loadouts that can be quickly changed depending on the mission requirements.
These include a 20mm gun pod, missile and rocket launchers, and several utility options such as line charges for clearing enemy fortifications and supplemental sensor arrays.
The vehicle features a hydrogen turbine engine housed in the front section of the hull, which serves to provide supplemental protection for the crew. The driver sits just behind it, primarily relying on a suite of external cameras and sensors to navigate, but having a periscope as a physical backup. The gunner and commander ride in the turret section, where the commander’s cupola allows an unimpeded view of the vehicle’s surroundings. At the rear is a troop compartment just large enough to carry a fireteam of six Marines, accessible via a ramp.
While Marines are not commonly deployed from the Kodiak, it serves as a useful tool for providing cover and for transporting the wounded. It also gives the crew room to sleep and eat during longer deployments, and can be used to store cargo if necessary.
The Kodiak can be pressurized for operation in hostile environments, and can be completely sealed against biological, chemical, and nuclear attacks.
Puma Armored Personnel Carrier
The Puma IFV is the UNN’s latest troop carrier, able to transport two Marine fireteams across rough terrain and through heavy enemy fire, all while providing formidable support to dismounted troops.
At nine meters long, the Puma is just a meter shy of the venerable Kodiak main battle tank, but its large size allows it to carry heavy ablative armor plating and a hydrogen turbine engine that gives its eight wheels considerable traction even in mud, sand, and regolith. The vehicle is able to be completely sealed to operate in low pressure environments and to protect the crew from biological and radiological threats, which also allows the Puma to ford rivers and other shallow bodies of water.
The Puma can carry one squad of twelve Marines in its troop bay (two fireteams of six), a pack of six Borealan auxiliaries, or a pair of Krell Linebreakers. Passengers dismount via a ramp at the rear of the vehicle which is protected by supplemental armor. The Puma is manned by a crew of three, which includes a driver, a navigator, and the operator of the remote turret.
The Puma’s remote turret is armed with a 30mm railgun similar to the one mounted on the Timberwolf, which is able to provide fire support for dismounted Marines, helping to suppress enemy forces and take down lightly armored vehicles. Supplementing this is a 40mm grenade launcher which can be used to flush enemies from cover or in an indirect fire role. Ammunition includes high explosive, airburst, and plasma rounds.
The most notable feature of the Puma is the deployable cover. Mounted on the prow of the vehicle is a ballistic shield that serves both as supplemental armor in its stowed position, and as a barrier to protect dismounted infantry in its deployed position. Coupled with the remote turret, a Puma can dig in and hold positions against superior enemy numbers, participating in crucial beachhead and blocking maneuvers. These tactics are especially effective against Betelgeusians, who tend to favor infantry wave attacks.
Timberwolf Scout Vehicle
The Timberwolf is the UNN’s advanced scout vehicle, ranging far ahead of armored formations to pathfind and identify threats. At a length of seven meters and a weight of twenty-five tons, it is light and maneuverable, with a top speed of 120km/h (75mph) on favorable terrain.
The vehicle has six wheels featuring all-wheel drive, with airless honeycomb tires to eliminate the possibility of flats. These make it suitable for various types of challenging terrain, from muddy swamps and sand to the fine dust of moons and planetoids.
The armor plating on the hull is angled to deflect projectiles and features ceramic materials commonly used to shield spacecraft during reentry, which can dissipate the heat of plasma weapons. Like all UNN vehicles, the Timberwolf can be completely pressurized for operation in dangerous atmospheric conditions and to combat radiological and chemical threats.
On the hood of the vehicle is an armored panel that protects the driver’s canopy and the engine access hatch, which can be raised for maintenance purposes. Under normal circumstances, the crew relies on the array of cameras spaced out around the hull of the vehicle for situational awareness, but the hood panel can be ejected using explosive bolts in the event that the sensor suite is damaged. Above the commander and gunner seats are three-position hatches that can be partially opened to exposed cupola-style windows, or fully opened to allow egress.
Armament and defensive systems include a thirty-millimeter railgun blister that can be operated remotely by the vehicle’s gunner, smoke launchers, reactive armor panels, and a bullbar to protect the vehicle in the event of collisions – unintentional or otherwise.
The engine runs on hydrogen stored in fuel cells, which must be kept at a low temperature to remain in a liquid state. The waste product produced by the engine is potable water, which is stored in tanks accessible from the troop compartment, meaning that the crew always has access to drinkable water in environments where outside sources or the possibility of resupply are not present.
The cab features three seats for the crew which are adjustable for use by various Coalition species, and consoles for operation of the vehicle’s various systems. At the front is the driver, on the left is the gunner, and the commander/navigator sits on the right.
Timberwolf crews are often deployed on long missions with few opportunities for resupply, and are thus expected to spend a lot of time operating from their vehicle. The troop bay situated behind the cab has extensive storage options for long-term habitation, including equipment lockers, stowage areas with netting, optional external bustle racks, and folding cots. The bay can also be used for troop transport and emergency medivac if the situation calls for it.
The Timberwolf’s sensor suite is expanded by the use of six surveillance drones that can be fired from dedicated launchers mounted on the rear hull. These drones feature folding contra-rotating blades, and are charged from the vehicle’s power plant. These increase the effective range of the vehicle significantly and can be used to survey areas of interest or mark targets for the rest of the battalion, commonly coordinating with artillery companies to call in long-range strikes.
Yagda Superheavy Repulsor
The Yagda superheavy repulsor is the largest ground vehicle currently fielded by the UNN, and is often considered to bridge the gap between a tank and a frigate. In many cases, it also serves in the roles of mobile command HQ and heavy artillery platform, able to deliver devastating salvos with its enormous main gun. Being of Martian origin, a planet heavily colonized by India during the expansion period, the Yagda gets its name from Hindu mythology, referring to the chariot of the Gods.
At the bottom level is the drivetrain, where the repulsors are located. These repulsors are made using inverted AG fields, usually employed to create artificial gravity on spacecraft and stations. This inversion creates a neutral gravitational environment directly beneath the vehicle, allowing its over 500-ton mass to float off the ground weightlessly and coast along without friction. The Yagda is able to raise itself as high as three meters as a means of traversing obstacles, but no higher, as the field must always remain in contact with the ground. This field is sometimes referred to by crew members as a gravity cushion.
Maneuvering is handled by a series of hydrogen-fuel thrusters not unlike those that one might expect to find on a spacecraft. Since the neutral gravitational environment creates comparable conditions to a vacuum, the Yagda is able to move freely along its X and Y axis, with some limited movement in the Z axis afforded by the aforementioned gravitational field. Unlike a spacecraft operating in a vacuum, however, the Yagda must contend with atmospheric friction. This limits its speed and maneuverability when combined with its considerable weight. Often described by its drivers as skating on ice, the Yagda must apply equal and opposite thrust to brake or change direction, and will eventually come to a stop if continuous thrust is not applied due to drag.
The main level houses the staging area, which connects to the ramp at the rear of the vehicle, leading into the garage and storage areas. The garage is spacious enough to accommodate most UNN ground vehicles for field repairs. The craft is equipped with a fully-furnished medical bay for treating injured personnel, barracks and living quarters for the crew, and an elevator for rapid transit between levels. Broadside weapon stations on the left and right flanks house sponsons equipped with anti-material railguns used to defend the Yagda from infantry and engage lightly-armored targets.
At the nose of the craft is the shield generator. Based on Jarilan technology, the shield works by creating a directional electromagnetic field around the craft, then pumping superheated gas into it, creating trapped pockets of plasma. While this shield can only be sustained for a few seconds at a time, it serves as a very effective means of active protection, able to detonate explosives and soften kinetic penetrators before they impact the hull, which nevertheless feature thick armor plating. This helps to mitigate some of the dangers associated with being such a large and visible target.
This protection system is supplemented by a series of CIWS guns that can track and intercept incoming projectiles.
The second level is mostly taken up by the craft’s diverse array of weaponry and other related machinery, servicing the main turret, CIWS guns, and other armaments. This is also where the water tank and the reactor cell are located. Being fueled by nuclear fission, the Yagda requires water for its coolant system and regulator vanes to assist with venting waste heat. There is also a brig on this level to house prisoners.
The top level houses the bridge, where the command and control systems are located. The bridge is a spacious area very reminiscent of a spacecraft’s bridge, with large windows that give the elevated platform a clear view of the surrounding battlefield. When serving as the HQ for a UNN armored battalion or even several working in concert, the bridge becomes the central information hub for the whole formation, allowing high ranked personnel to give orders and direct operations from a secure location. This section of the Yagda makes up the hump shape behind the turret. The CIWS systems and communications antenna are also mounted here, and can be retracted for transit.
Mounted towards the prow is the turret that houses the main gun. The main gun is a 740mm coilgun capable of firing discarding sabots equipped with kinetic penetrators, explosives, or even nuclear payloads. The primary function of this weapon is engaging the heavy fortifications often erected by Betelgeusians, and other hard targets, usually in the capacity of a siege weapon. This gun represents the largest destructive capacity of any non-orbital platforms in use by the UNN.
The Yagda is deployed to the battlefield via skycrane, being far too large for the rail and trolley system used on assault carriers. These skycranes cradle the yagda in a skeletal frame, making use of the craft’s underbelly and maneuvering thrusters to help ease its descent.
Weight: 530 tons (varies by loadout)
- 1x 740mm coilgun, autoloader capacity 5 rounds. Payloads include kinetic penetrator, explosive, and nuclear.
- 2x retractable CIWS guns.
- 1x CIWS/MR-SAM turret.
- 9 sponsons equipped with anti-material railguns (4 on each side, 1 rear.
- Space for extra sponsons or ball turrets in the nose.