A Romantic Idea for Iron Stars

Space combat in an age of steam & steel
Blackronin
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The Journal of Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles - Part 14

Postby Blackronin » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:08 pm

From the diary of the Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles, Captain of the Light Cruiser "Cidade de Lisboa" and Commander of the Venus Expedition:

February 09, 1912.

We mounted the electric cannon in the bow of “Cidade de Lisboa” and we tried it against a large empty container we ejected into the aether earlier. The electric cannon fired a beautiful ray of blue light that crossed the space in a curved trajectory. We had to fire it seven times to hit the container. The ray is erractic, but devastating at close range. The container exploded in a most enjoyable way. We returned very confident with the prospects of the weapon. If we have time enough to build all we need to build the Martians are in for a big surprise. Mr. Sakamura made also another experiment while in orbit. The manned self propelled missile created by the Karroom. A suicide torpedo. I’m against the use of such a barbaric weapon, but the Karroom are adamant. If it can stop the Martian invasion, they will use it. The torpedo moved in a smooth way around our ship. Everybody in the crew felt the same dread. A terrible weapon to be used against any kind of aether vessel. I patted “Cidade de Lisboa” in a reassuring way that I didn’t felt.

We landed at the construction site. Ainduren and Karroom working together. The hulk of 10 aether combat ships are lined side by side. The engineers saluted us as we left our ship. I smiled and a joyous shout erupted from the group. They patted each other. I smiled. Four month ago they were fighting to death and now they were embracing celebrating a joined victory. I must feel grateful to the Martian for being the murdering bastards that they are...
Last edited by Blackronin on Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."

Blackronin
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The Journal of Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles - Part 15

Postby Blackronin » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:29 pm

From the diary of the Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles, Captain of the Light Cruiser "Cidade de Lisboa" and Commander of the Venus Expedition:

April 17, 1912.

The first Venusian Aether ship was launched today. Everybody is in a party mood.Everybody is drinking and dancing and probably making more Ainduren sons and daughters. I’m writing this down now because Sa’atia pregnancy needs her to rest. She is sleeping while I’m writing and I look at her for a moment. We danced together in the launching party, Ainduren dances and Earth dances and we had a good time forgetting all about the trying times we have ahead.

The Reconciliation, Varah’bah in Karroom tongue, climbed steadily through the cloudy skies of Venus. It’s a Gashai class cruiser and I’m proud of it. Almost completely proud. Mr. Sakamura made me a tour in her yesterday. He looked like a proud father. When we reached the Suicide Torpedo chambers I asked him where were the retrieval doors.”Retrieval”, he exclaimed, “the Karroom don’t pretend to retrieve them.” And we both walked away silently.

Next week, the first Ainduren ship will be launched and all the others, ten in total, will be sky ready in two weeks. We will have one month to train the crews and then hope that we have a fighting chance. Mr. Sakamura says that the Martians will not attack again with asteroids. That this time they will come in ships. He seems to think that it better for us this way. I don’t understand why.

Sa’atia speaks softly in her sleep. She told me we will have a daughter. Will I ever going to see my daughter, I wonder. Suddenly, while I’m having this thought, Sa’atia opens her eyes looking at me. “You better”, she says fiercely. Then she smiles and I put down my pen, leave my desk and embrace my wife from another world.
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."

Blackronin
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Gashai-class Cruiser (First Karroom Ship)

Postby Blackronin » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:38 pm

Gashai Class Cruiser
Gashai means Deep Fang in Karroom language and it is the name of a big hunter of the deep that Karroom fear and worship.
The Gashai class cruiser is a joined venture with technology from three different cultures. Earth technology, Karroom and Ainduren. Although it is Earth technology that ensures the frame of the vessel, it is built with Karroom combat philosophy. The weapon systems are a mix from the three cultures. Earth well tested cannons and torpedoes, the very experimental Electric Cannon from the Ainduren and the very effective Suicide Torpedoes from the Karroom. The Martian attack prove the Gashai class effectiveness, but how will it behave against other more common aether ships?


Karroom cruiser.jpg


Gashai-class cruiser (55 pts)
Hull: 15
HVP: 2
TR: 4, AV: 2
Primary: 4/d8(x2)
Secondary: --
Light: 8/d4(x1)
Torpedoes: 6/d12(x3)
Equipment:
Suicide Torpedoes (3)
Electric Cannon
[Hull] [Armour] [Thrust] [Primary] [Secondary] [Light Guns]
[1-12] [13] [14-15] [16-17] [--] [18-20]

New Weapons

Suicide Torpedoes (Saraesh Barsh)

Saraesh Barsh means “lances of will” and it is a Karroom weapon. A big torpedo guided by a suicide Karroom pilot that will drive the enormous warhead against an enemy hull normally doing a terrible amount of damage.

The Suicide Torpedo will hit an enemy ship in a 5+ in a D6. If it fails the first attempt and it isn’t destroyed by enemy fire it can attempt one more time. If it hits roll a D6. If the number exceeds the Armour Value of the target, the Torpedo will make that exact number of hits. It will travel at 12” each turn and can make one 360º turn each movement phase. It will move as per the fast attack craft movement. They must try to ram the nearest enemy ship. They can be targeted as fast attack crafts.
It costs 10 SU and the modifier to point value is (Thrust+8)x2 to OR.

Electric Cannon

The Electric Cannon is an Ainduren invention. Upgraded to fit a aether ship, it was Mr. Sakamura who made the changes that made it a very effective weapon. The Ainduren wanted to call it Sakamura Cannon, but Engineer Sakamura wasn’t very thrilled with the idea.

Due to its very heavy components it must be fixed as a Keel Bombard. It only fires in the front arc of the ship. A D12 is used to hit the target and target’s Armour Rating will be ineffectual. It will make 1 hit and a roll of 1D6 will subtract from the target Thrust in its next activation phase. Also a target successful hit by the Electric Cannon will move only in a straight line in its next activation phase.
It costs 12 SU and the modifier to point value is (Thrust+20)x3/4 to OR.

Note: These two weapons were designed by me. Not official or officially. I played only once with it and it felt good but by no means indicates ballance or a lot of play testing.
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."

Blackronin
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The Journal of Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles - Part 16

Postby Blackronin » Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:57 pm

From the diary of the Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles, Captain of the Light Cruiser "Cidade de Lisboa" and Commander of the Venus Expedition:

April 26, 1912.

The Ainduren launched their first Aether ship today. A beautiful frigate. Like all things Ainduren, is sleek and looks fragile. But looks are deceiving. I spent all day in her teaching the crew of women that manned her. Will her main gun work against the Martians? That is my biggest fear. Followed closely of being troubled by the inexperience of the crews.

Sa’atia is angry. Being pregnant makes her stay away from things. I agree with this and with the High Council. She’s in that women’s mood that tells me to say yes to everything she says although I’ll do the opposite in more than half the issues.

There is a tension in the air everywhere. Everybody knows that they are coming. The Ainduren touch my arms when they pass me by. At first I didn’t understand. Now I do. They do this to all the Earthlings. A way to say thank you. To bless us. To assure themselves. In the fleet, these days, nobody speaks of going home anymore. As if they understand that we are doing what we must. Mr. Pessoa offered me a poem. I transcribe it here.

Storm

What lies in the abyss beneath the aether above?
We, aliens to aliens, the possibility of becoming.
What restlessness from the depths lifts us up?
The very wish of being able to become.

This, and the mystery of this night is the splendor.
But suddenly, where the aether wind roars,
A lightning bolt, beacon of the above, for a moment
Shines and the dark space thunders.


Disclaimer: I translated a poem from Fernando Pessoa Message book. He is one of the greatest Portuguese poets. I modified it a little to make it integral to the IS universe. I don't pretend to have written it or to offend in any way Fernando Pessoa as a poet.
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."

Blackronin
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Alasai-Class Frigate - First Ainduren Ship

Postby Blackronin » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:03 pm

Alasai Class Frigate
Alasai means Lover from Faraway in the Ainduren language and it is a tribute to Earthlings and maybe to Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles.
The Alasai class Frigate is a joined venture with technology from three different cultures. Earth technology, Karroom and Ainduren. Although it is Earth technology that ensures the frame of the vessel, it is built with Ainduren combat philosophy. Earth well tested cannons and torpedoes, and the Electric Cannon from the Ainduren. The sole role of this frigate is to stop cold the enemies so that the other ships can pound them to death.

Alasai-class Frigate (19 pts)
Hull: 6
HVP: 2
TR: 6, AV: 1
Primary: --
Secondary: 4/d8(x2)
Light: 6/d4(x1)
Torpedoes: --
Equipment:
Electric Cannon
[Hull] [Armour] [Thrust] [Primary] [Secondary] [Light Guns]
[1-8] [9] [10-13] [--] [14-16] [17-20]

ainduren frigate.jpg
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."

Blackronin
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The Journal of Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles - Part 17

Postby Blackronin » Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:06 pm

From the diary of the Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles, Captain of the Light Cruiser "Cidade de Lisboa" and Commander of the Venus Expedition:


May 07, 1912.

In quick succession, all the Venusian Aether ships were launched. Today, amidst the shining night, the last one climbed to the sky. Venus has now a fleet. We have intensified the training, mixing our crews with the Ainduren and the Karroom. A new bond has been created between us and Venus. Our sailors praise the desire to learn from the new crews and the beauty of the ships. Very soon we will need all that comradeship. Very soon now.

Our second line of defence is also in place. For the past week, the Brazilian Destroyer "Petrópolis" has been dropping mines in the corridor that Mr. Sakamura thinks that will be the path chosen by the Martians if they ever use aether ships for the invasion. It has been a meticulous job, following the coordinates that Mr. Sakamura gave us, so that the mines will do a maximized damage.

Tension is building up and a very quiet rage. Ainduren women speak about Martians with such a cold hate that I’m always taken aback until I remember that Martians killed almost all her men. We have so many volunteers to the ground defence that I had to refuse some. That warms my heart some. The Martians will come. But we will receive them accordingly...
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."

Blackronin
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The Journal of Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles - Part 18

Postby Blackronin » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:01 pm

From the diary of the Lt-Captain Afonso Miranda Teles, Captain of the Light Cruiser "Cidade de Lisboa" and Commander of the Venus Expedition:

May 10, 1912.

The Ainduren made us a strange offer and a stir permeated the entire fleet. It’s a hard gift to receive and a hard gift to refuse. I summoned my crew and gave them a speech. I was concerned with the crews of the other ships and right I was for it. Some hours later Commander O'Dunagan asked permission to enter my ship. I invited him to my quarters and served him an Oporto wine, waiting for him to address the problem. He drank slowly and after his glass was empty, I poured again while he complimented my wine. “I don’t know if I should call you Captain or Admiral”, he said. Good start, I thought. “Well, for you I’m a Captain, but for the Ainduren Forces, I’m their Admiral. And the reason beyond it is that they don’t have another one.” He drank a little more. “Not true. Not true. You are a good Admiral, Captain.” I nodded in appreciation. “What bothers me”, he continued, “it is this thing of offering me Venusian citizenship. I’m an American. It suffices me to be an American. But if I decline won’t it be rude? But why do they want me to be their citizen, when I only want to be an American. If I was a nation I wouldn’t want a citizen of another nation who likes his nation. And what about you, Captain?” And after he vented his concern he looked at me in a nervous expectation. I wet my lips in the wine and started with the reasoning that I had made for me and for my crew. “They want you also as their citizen exactly because you are an outstanding American citizen. They don’t want you to betray or leave the United States of America as a citizen. If you were capable of betraying your nation for a petty reason, I guess that they wouldn’t want you as a citizen. Being wanted by another nation or world is a reason of pride to you nation, not shame. Means that you are such a good citizen that another nation want that kind of citizen in their numbers. Very soon I’ll be an Ainduren. I won’t stop being Portuguese for that reason. Portugal won’t lose a citizen. Portugal gains a richer citizen and by that it becomes richer. And I’m putting my life in risk for Venus and I do like these people. I even am going to marry one of them.” He nodded. “I see. And do you think that our brass back home will be of that opinion?” I laughed. “I don’t know. But the truth is the truth no matter what.” He put down the glass in my table. “I must leave. Things to do. Thank you for clarifying my thoughts, Admiral.” I nodded. “I’m still Captain.” “Not if I’m also a Venusian, Admiral.” I watched him leave. Venus would get several hundreds of citizens in a few days. What would Earth think about this in the near future?
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."

Blackronin
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Some thoughts about Martians

Postby Blackronin » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:42 pm

Martians will try to invade Venus.
I will have to make Martians, Martian Walkers and Martian Ships.
Martians learned with the mistakes they made. Bacteria killed the first invasion task force.
Now they will come back with a different plan.
So, before the next chapter, I'm researching H. G. Wells Martians. I want an Industrial Revolution tech look, but also alien. I made some drawings. Martians first. Walkers will be next. And then ships.

Martian Soldier with Heat Weapon
Martian 1.jpg



Officer
Martian 2.jpg



Armored Infantry
Martian 3.jpg
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."

Blackronin
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Some Thoughts About Martian Walkers

Postby Blackronin » Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:32 pm

I wanted the Martian walkers of the second coming to be very near H. G. Wells vision but different enough to portrait tech advance and correction of past errors. Like WWI tanks versus modern tanks. I started to draw my own vision (very induced by other artists - we can't escape that) of the original walkers from War of the Worlds and then after that, I made several sketches and I finnaly end up with this.

Completely sealed. Heat ray much more accurate. More limbs for better ground movement and better tentacles.

What do you think?

Walker from the Original Invasion
MartianWalker 1.jpg



Walker from the Second Invasion
MartianWalker 2.jpg
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."

Blackronin
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Some Thoughts About Martian Ships

Postby Blackronin » Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:47 pm

Martians don't have ships in War of the Worlds. They fired meteors against Earth. But with the tech they had, they didn't sent ships because it was cheaper, I guess. They could have ships.
I try to draw several types of ships that would be different from typical ships and in the context of Iron Stars. Martians wouldn't have ships resembling Earth for Earth ships from IS are like space dreadnoughts and Mars doesn't have seas to have ships. Or so I assume. But the other "classic" ships are very un-IS, so I started to imagine the kind of ships that very squid like creatures would invent. And then I got into this. Different propulsion, different weapons array and different philosophy.

Two ship types. An Ark carrying all the Martians paraphernalia. Food, Walkers, Martians, etc and a Destroyer to protect the Arcs.

The shimmer of very long tentacles drives the Martian ships through the aether. They move fast but are hard to turn.

Heat ray tech fuels the weapons. A large heat cannon that fires only through a very narrow front arc with devastating effects and a lot of small heat ray tentacles that fire in the four arcs.


Martian Ark
Martian Arc.jpg



Martian Destroyer
Martian DD.jpg
"Four-three by seventeen, Mr. Gordon. At my mark fire at the incoming little pest and then steam her up for another passage. This promises to be a long day..."


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