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Old October 10th, 2007, 03:53 AM
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Default Neo Anglian Commonwealth Timeline

Note: The Commonwealth is an extensive “reimagining” of my Traveller campaign settings from the 1980s and early 1990s. The current campaign is set in 292 NE (new era), which is 292 Standard Years from the founding of the Commonwealth.

2015 The “War on Terror” effectively ends, as Western political leaders lack the political willpower to confront nations who fund terrorism. For the remainder of the century, terrorism is a fact of life for most of the world. The United States begins an extended period of isolationism, which has devastating consequences for the world economy. By 2025, most of the world is in a severe economic depression, which lasts for rest of the century. Ironically, the US economy is the least affected, since most critical resources are available within the Northern Hemisphere. Europe is particularly hard hit, as it struggles to maintain its social welfare in the face of an aging population and low productivity among its workforce. By 2021, the Wall Street Journal, noting the widespread existence of extensive protectionist tariff regimes, declares “globalism dead”.

2019 The UN relocates its headquarters to Brussels.

2030 The GDP of most nations has declined significantly. Even in the relatively well-off United States, per capita GDP has declined to 1990 levels. Fifteen years of constant wars have devastated much of the Third World.

2033 American scientist F. John Grissom invents the first practical Nuclear Thermal Rocket drive. The so-called “Grissom Drive” opens the solar system for colonization. Within a decade, there are colonies on the Moon, Mars and in the Asteroid Belt. Despite its political isolation, the United States takes the lead in space colonization, followed by Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. The other powers are only able to support token space exploration. An attempt by the United Nations General Assembly to claim ownership of all solar bodies for “All Mankind” is ignored by the spacefaring powers.

2050 Most third world nations (including China and India) have abandoned all pretense of being democratic states. The European Union becomes ever more bureaucratic and corrupt and exacerbates European economic troubles. Europe continues to accept large numbers of immigrants from the third world, particularly Muslims. By 2050, unassimilated Muslims comprise 40% of the European population. Demographers predict that a majority of Europeans will be Muslim by 2080.

2061 The Crash. A spontaneous “rebellion” by most computers (which are effectively self-aware by this time) nearly destroys the economies of the industrialized world. Particularly hard hit are the American, Japanese and European economies.

2068 The Caliphate of the Umma is declared in Saudi Arabia. Within 5 years, most Muslim nations, including Indonesia join, creating an aggressive and expansionistic Islamic empire of over a billion people.

2074 The Sino-Indian Trade Alliance is formed.

2079 The South American Union is declared, comprised of all South American nations and most Central American nations. Despite lofty aspirations, internecine squabbling and intriguing cripples the SAU for its entire history.

2086 Dr. Hans Manschenn, of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, invents the Manschenn Jump Drive. This allows ships to travel one parsec per week. Nearby stars are slowly colonized.

2092 The European Civil War begins as European Muslim leaders demand that the European Union join the Caliphate and enact Sharia law. The Caliphate and SITA support the rebels. US President Hampton (a member of the left-leaning Progressive Party) orders US military forces to maintain strict neutrality. Japan and Australia support the European Union with money and arms, arousing the ire of the Caliphate.

2097 Rebel forces control most cities in Western Europe. Despite US neutrality, Islamist terrorists attack the US numerous times. President Hampton blames the attacks on American policies that “alienate” the Caliphate and cautions Americans not to give in to “Islamophobia”. The US abruptly suspends all support of Israel. It will later be revealed that this was in exchange for the ending of terrorist attacks—a promise that the Caliphate does not keep.

2098 After the disastrous Battle of Marseilles, President of the European Union, Jean-Jacques LeBouf, surrenders to rebel forces. The Treaty of Paris establishes Sharia as European law. President LeBouf petitions for European admission to the Caliphate. The UK and Finland reject the treaty, secede from the EU and expel their remaining Muslim populations. Millions of European civilians flee to the UK and the US. Many EU naval and air force units flee to the UK as well. Numerous terrorist attacks occur in the UK and Finland. The UK and Finland launch deadly reprisals against Caliphate targets.

2099 Caliphate armies invade Israel and suffer serious casualties. Israeli forces halt the Caliphate attacks for two weeks, but the vastly superior numbers of the Caliphate forces wear the Israeli Defense Forces down. Lacking American logistical support, the beleaguered Israelis use tactical nuclear weapons against Caliphate forces. The Caliphate responds with a strategic nuclear attack that overwhelms Israeli missile defenses. Over two million Israelis die. The Israeli counterstrike destroys Riyad, Mecca, Cairo, Teheran, and dozens of Caliphate cities. Severe damage is done to Caliphate oil fields in Iran, Iraq, Russia and Indonesia. Caliphate casualties exceed 20 million. Despite this, Caliphate forces overrun the exhausted Isreali forces and begin the extermination of the surviving Israeli population. The Caliphate then begins what will become known as the “Rape of Europe” and European cities are systematically looted. Sickened by the carnage, populations in the US, Canada and Japan vote leftwing governments out of office.

2100 Conservative Party candidate Ross Aikens becomes US president and the Conservative Party sweeps into power. Aikens quickly proposes a military and economic alliance between the surviving democracies. The Oceanic Alliance, with the US, the UK, Australia, Japan, Finland, and Canada as charter signatories, is signed.

2101 The Sino-Indian Trade Alliance (SITA) and the Caliphate form a trade alliance and declare a general boycott of the Oceanic Alliance. The worldwide recession worsens.

2108 Due to its inability to reverse economic stagnation, the Conservative Party loses the Congress and the presidential election. The Progressive Party, led by President Alfred Thayer comes to power. Thayer vows to negotiate with the Caliphate and SITA.

(Continued)
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Old October 10th, 2007, 03:54 AM
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2110 The New York Accords are signed, ending the trade war. As a concession, the US agrees to reduce its nuclear arsenal and dismantle much of its ballistic missile defense systems. SITA and the Caliphate agree to implement similar steps.

2112 The world economy begins to recover and the Progressive party gets the credit in the US. Liberal political parties control the UK, Japan and Australia.

2116 The US completes the arms reductions required by the New York Accords. There are numerous reports that the Caliphate and SITA are not disarming. However, Oceanic governments ignore these reports and make reprisals against the authors of the reports.

2118 The US/Australian asteroid colony of Ceres is recognized as a full member of the Oceanic Confederation.

2119 In surprise attack, the Caliphate invades and conquers Finland. Caliphate casualties are very high, but the Finns are overwhelmed by sheer numbers. The Caliphate warns other nations against interfering and discloses that its nuclear arsenal has been enlarged, not reduced, as required by the New York Accords. Finland falls before the indecisive Oceanic governments decide to act. Enraged voters in the Oceanic nations soon vote their governments out of office.

2120 The nations of the Oceanic Alliance unanimously vote to abrogate the New York Accords, despite calls by Progressives to “open a dialogue” with the Caliphate and SITA. The Oceanic Alliance desperately begins rearming.

2121 The Third World War begins with a massive nuclear strike by the Caliphate and SITA against the Oceanic Alliance and the South American Confederation. The Oceanic Alliance and the South American Confederation retaliate, but suffer far worst damage. Oceanic interstellar colonies in the Alpha Cetauri and Barnard’s Star systems are also attacked by nuclear weapons. In the Sol system, however, Alliance space forces decisively defeat the Caliphate and SITA fleets. When faced with a second nuclear strike by SITA and the Caliphate, the Oceanic Alliance sues for peace. Caliphate and SITA troops move to occupy the continental US, the UK, Australia and Japan. Admiral Thomas Lee, commander of the remaining US space forces refuses to surrender and declares the establishment of the Free Oceania government on Ceres. Ceres immediately legalizes the act by seceding from the Oceanic Alliance. Admiral Lee places all of his forces under command of the Cerean Republic. Surviving Japanese, British and Australian space forces rally to Ceres. 67 civilian ships, including the Colony Transports S.S. Conestoga and S.S. Botany Bay flee to Ceres. SITA and Caliphate space forces make repeated attacks, but are repulsed with heavy losses. Oceanic colonies on the Moon and Mars are evacuated to the Belt. SITA/Caliphate colonies and space facilities are obliterated. In particular, the American “Beanstalk” is destroyed by a massive orbital nuclear strike. The Oceanic rebels control the solar system and the colonies in the Promethus system (Alpha Centauri), Barnard’s Star and Tau Ceti. The rebel fleet systematically hunts down remaining Caliphate and SITA ships—and several loyalist Oceanic Alliance ships. A stalemate ensues, as neither side has the capacity to harm the other.

2122 Cerean President Angelica Thorpe concludes that Ceres cannot survive without assistance from Earth. After consulting with Admiral Lee, President Thorpe authorizes the evacuation of the population of Ceres to Promethus. Over the next year, Cerean factories upgrade a dozen ships to Jump capability. 11,000 Ceres citizens are evacuated to Promethus, along with almost all useful equipment and Ceres is destroyed.

2123 The deep space scoutship Atlantis returns to Promethus, having completed a 4 year, 60 parsec survey. The survey has identified 4 “garden worlds”, in a cluster of 4 solar systems, about 50 parsecs away from Promethus. The scouts named the most habitable world “Haven”.

2127 A SITA/Caliphate task force jumps into the Alpha Centauri system. It is defeated, but at a high cost in ships. Admiral Lee and President Thorpe realize that Promethus cannot hold out indefinitely. Promethus has a very limited manufacturing capacity and cannot replace the losses from the battle. Lee and Thorpe develop Operation Exodus—the complete evacuation of the colony to Haven.

2130 Promethus is abandoned and its 15,000 inhabitants flee in the ships of the Exodus Fleet. The Promethus colony is destroyed by a huge cobalt bomb (approximately 120 megatons), which renders the main continent uninhabitable.

2032 The Exodus Fleet reaches its destination after a two year journey. 58 ships are left in the Fleet, with about 16,000 colonists. Navigation records from the journey are destroyed. They colonize Haven and declare the Neo Anglian Commonwealth. The Neo Anglian Commonwealth is a Western-style representative constitutional democracy, with separation of church and state and strong legal protections for privacy and expression. Upon the conclusion of the constitutional convention, Thorpe calls for new elections and announces she will not run for office. Admiral Lee has no political ambitions and remains as Grand Admiral of the Commonwealth Navy. Later, Parliament names former president Thorpe First Empress of the Commonwealth, a purely honorary title. The Commonwealth establishes a new calendar, with 2032 being year 0 NE (New Era).

29 Small colonies are established on Matilda, Lincoln and Kamakura. Total Commonwealth population is about 70,000.

49 Waldegren is settled by settlers from Churchill. The Waldegren Empire is declared.

59 First contact is made with the alien inhabitants of Bellona. The G’kee—“geeks” is the human slang term—are four-armed bipeds with a technological level roughly equivalent to Ancient Rome. The Bellona Trading Company is chartered to conduct trade in the Bellona system. Scores of additional alien races are discovered over the following decades. In addition, one race, the Quagaar, are found on over a dozen planets. Like the other races, their techological development is preindustrial. This makes their presence on so many systems quite a mystery. Numerous Commonwealth trading companies are chartered to conduct trade with these races. Eventually, most merge with the Rim Worlds Trading Company (the “Company”).

68 Commonwealth population is about 700,000 on ten worlds. More than half are on Haven. The Commonwealth proper consists of Haven, Churchill, Matilda and Kamakura. Colonies are considered “dominions” until they reach 100,000 inhabitants, at which point they can petition to become Commonwealth members (this threshold will be raised a number of times over the next century).

128 The Commonwealth population is about 30 million. Commonwealth colonies are on most worlds of the Rimward Main, the farthest being Ophion, 25 parsecs from Haven. 20 million people live in “the Core”—Haven, Churchill, Matilda and Kamakura. The Company establishes Trade Protectorates on many primitive worlds, leading to indirect Company rule of many nominally sovereign alien worlds.

139 The Colonial Office is established to ensure fair treatment of native alien races after a media expose reveals exploitation of the Urgar population of Atlantia. The bestselling novel and motion picture "Bury My Soul at Khorst-Granath" outrages many in the Core. Dozens of private relief charities spring up, all with the purpose of protecting the native races.

148 The Commonwealth population is about 60 million. The entire Rimward Main is colonized, although most colonies are small. About 30 million people live in the Core. The Commonwealth has explored and colonized all of the Anglia and Shenandoah subsectors, along with significant parts of the Aeneas, Hadrian and Illyria subsectors.

159 The Jump-3 drive is invented.

168 Commonwealth population is about 130 million.

174 The Commonwealth Survey Service “rediscovers” Earth. The planet has seen multiple nuclear wars and its population is less than 500 million. Its tech level is about 7, with some few TL10 factories still in existence. The Northern Hemisphere’s atmosphere is highly radioactive and the atmosphere contains numerous biological warfare agents. The planet is more or less completely controlled by the Caliphate. There are a few colonies in the solar system and scattered colonies on still-radioactive Promethus and other nearby stars. The Commonwealth Survey Service interdicts Terra and all systems within 6 parsecs, after sociologists determine that the Caliphate is highly xenophobic, intolerant and warlike.

199 After a number of contacts between Commonwealth and Caliphate ships, the Commonwealth contacts the Caliphate government on Terra and asks to establish an embassy. The Caliph refuses and demands that the Commonwealth surrender and convert to Islam. When the Commonwealth declines, the Caliph declares a jihad and Caliphate ships begin an extended piracy campaign against the Commonwealth.

204 The Jump-4 drive is invented.

212 The Commonwealth and Caliphate negotiate the Treaty of New Saladain, which theoretically puts an end to Terran piracy. In exchange for peace, the Commonwealth pays an annual tribute (that is less than the cost of maintaining significant military forces in the subsector) and agrees to allow Caliphate traders and missionaries into Commonwealth space. Caliphate missionaries have little success converting Commonwealth citizens to Islam, with the notable exception of Isran and Oran. Over the next 80+ years, there will be numerous piracy campaigns by assorted Caliphate planets. The Commonwealth response is usually to attack the pirate planets, then negotiate a treaty.

(To Be Continued)

Last edited by tbeard1999; October 27th, 2007 at 06:18 AM..
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Old October 10th, 2007, 03:57 AM
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My goal in creating the Commonwealth is to essentially recreate Pax Britannica in space. I wanted the Brits, Aussies, Japanese and Americans to be the primary cultural influence. I thought it would be fun to explore how modern Western democracy might work in an interstellar setting. The Japanese are there to provide some contrast to the more conventional American-British-Australian cultures. While the Japanese are one of the few non-Western nations to implement Western consensual democracy, their version is uniquely Japanese.

To plausibly re-create the Anglosphere in space, I felt I had to get rid of Earth as we know it. I initially decided to destroy Earth with a meteor and have the refugees settle nearby stars. But I wanted to leave open the possibility of visiting Earth, so that wouldn’t work. Also, I couldn’t really figure out how Britain, the US, Australia and Japan would somehow survive the crisis better than anyone else. So slowly, I evolved the idea of a terrible nuclear war that destroys the West, and leaves the Earth in the hands of some savage ideology. A few survivors flee and recreate a Western civilization far away. The Bad Guys turn on each other and nearly destroy themselves, which buys the Western refugees the time they need to create a viable civilization.

As an aside, the great computer revolt allows me to insert a cultural bias against computers. This allows me to plausibly maintain a classic Traveller setting.

Personally, I can imagine nothing more horrific than a world divided between resurgent Chinese communists and radical Islamist theocrats. So, my nightmare became what destroys the West. In addition, assuming that the Islamists ultimately won and portraying Earth as an analogue to the Ottoman Empire would allow me to include tropes similar to those found in the colonial fiction of Conrad, Kipling, Fraser, Haggard, etc. And the Commonwealth treats Caliphate pirates much like the West treated the Barbary Pirates in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

My players will endure recreations of some famous real (and fictional) colonial events: Isandlwana. Rorke’s Drift. Heart of Darkness (though some players will think I’m reprising Apocalypse Now). The Sepoy Rebellion. The siege of Khartoum. The Opium Wars. Little Big Horn. The British retreat through the Khyber Pass. The Man Who Would Be King. Blackhawk Down. The Sand Pebbles. Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa. Belgians in the Congo. King Soloman’s Mines. The Lost World. Maybe even Jack the Ripper.

And since someone will probably be offended at my choice of radical Islam as the nightmare regime that wipes out the West, I guess I should include a disclaimer:

This is a work of fiction and does not reflect my opinion of the likelihood of such a thing coming to pass, blah, blah, blah. I am actually quite confident that the West will prevail against Islamist savages and that Chinese Communism is highly unlikely to regain its former power, blah, blah, blah. To anyone who persists in being offended, I have a question—would you have been so offended if I’d postulated that a radical, right-wing Christian theocracy conquers the world?

Anyhow, the decision to create Pax Britannica in space forced me to include aliens (something missing from my original campaign). After all, you gotta have natives if you’re gonna have colonialism. And I couldn’t come up with any plausible way to have human natives Out There.

To match the setting, the aliens are all quite primitive compared to the Commonwealth…at least so far. A campaign mystery is the fact that several primitive races can be found in dozens of systems, yet none seem to have cultural myths explaining how they got there.

Of course, the Commonwealth is not exactly like Pax Britannica. For one thing, the Commonwealth has true liberals, in the 21st century sense of the word. The treatment of natives is not particularly popular with the Commonwealth citizens, especially those on the Core worlds. Many different groups oppose colonial policies. Some are comprised largely of quacks, but many are comprised of well intentioned, intelligent people. I hope to involve my players in some of these issues. Despite the fact that I am a conservative, I am confident that I can present the lefties fairly.

Another difference is that there’s far less agreement among the Commonwealth citizens as to the desirability of maintaining a colonial empire, compared with Victorian England. The result is that the colonial system is a much more ramshackle affair, as hostile Parliaments and friendly Parliaments alternate starving it of funds and lavishing funds on it.

The Commonwealth populations tend to be quite supportive of the military and don't tend to evidence the Victorian schizophrenia (see Kipling's "Tommy" for example). That said, the military tends to be more popular on the frontier. And the Commonwealth is strongly dedicated to free trade and economic expansion. Thus, Parliament rightly sees military spending as a drag on the economy. As a result, the Commonwealth military is relatively small, considering the size of the Commonwealth and its dominions. In particular, the Commonwealth Army has a large number of native regiments, typically with human officers and native troops.

Finally, there is a large, 20th century style civil bureaucracy that can provide some amusement for the players. Think Yes, Minister in space and you’ll get the picture.

A comment about population. The original Core worlds are garden planets--think climates like Southern California, planet-wide. Plenty of room and year round farming. In addition, the refugees of the Exodus fleet were very much aware that the survival of their people would depend on their ability to grow their population. Fortunately, advanced reproductive technology was available, and a disproportionate percentage of the population was in the 20-40 year age group. The result is that Commonwealth families tended to be large -- 5 children on average. This explains the Commonwealth's apparently rapid population growth. However, even in the timeframe of the campaign, over half the Commonwealth population lives in the Core. In most areas, human populations are quite small.

Last edited by tbeard1999; October 10th, 2007 at 04:47 AM..
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Old October 10th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Wow, I like it. Sounds kind of like what I have been trying to do for years. Great backstory
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Old October 10th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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The only part that doesn't make sense to me is that when Ceres achieves space superiority, why did it not kill the Caliphate? At that point it would be trivial. Even if they don't have enough nukes, they have an infinite supply of comets and small asteroids. Sure, you can crack the crust with a near-C comet, but just "dropping" the comet on the Caliphate will do more than enough damage. Just keep dropping them until they shut up. Then evacuate whatever survivors you want.

That is not to say you need to change the story. You just need to explain why Ceres did not do this when it could have.

Same with the Commonwealth. If it possess such a technological advantage, it should pursue the war against the Caliphate, not make a peace treaty.

Your Caliphate has already shown it is ruthlessly and only focused on bringing all mankind under its banner. They are incapable of reform. Therefore, the Commonwealth will have to fight a single-winner war sometime. It would be far better for them to do this when they have the massive advantage than wait for the Caliphate to gain strength.

I understand your setting needs a bad guy. But your Caliphate is just way too dangerous to leave alive. If the Commonwealth lets it live long enough, it will eventually get strong enough to finally attack. So either the Commonwealth should be exterminating the Caliphate without hesitation now, or the Caliphate needs to be softened by this time.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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Why doesn't Ceres wipe out the Caliphate? Probably politics, but most likely the idea is that while they have spacial superiority, they do not own mass drivers of sufficient size to through asteroids at earth. Further, the Caliphate still has a full load of nukes, which depending on the make up of the asteroid are just as good at blasting apart incoming rocks, or deflecting them. There is also the little problem of the amount of industry on Ceres vs the amount of industry left on earth.

As to why the commonwealth doesn't whack them out, remember that the commonwealth home systems are at least 50 parsecs from earth ( i.e at the very end of an extremely long supply chain). Even with a large tech advantage, it is very difficult to conduct a war at the the end of a long supply column. Remember, an M-1 Abrams tank is significantly of higher tech than a T-52, but the M-1 needs resupply every 4-6 hours in combat. The T-52 doesn't.

If you look at your history of the caliphates that controlled north Africa/middle east in the 18th and 19th centuries, you will see that while they wielded significant power as a whole, they rarely acted as one as each satrap jockied for his own position of greater influence and power (it is this habit, by the way, that allowed the downfall of the Ottomans in WWI). Usually, the piracy by the Barbary pirates was done by each local satrap, as they tried to increase their individual wealth (for whatever reason). So, instead of fighting the caliphate as a whole, individual sub domains were fought and peace treaties were local affairs. I think this is the idea that governs the caliphate/commonwealth politics.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by daryen View Post
The only part that doesn't make sense to me is that when Ceres achieves space superiority, why did it not kill the Caliphate? At that point it would be trivial. Even if they don't have enough nukes, they have an infinite supply of comets and small asteroids. Sure, you can crack the crust with a near-C comet, but just "dropping" the comet on the Caliphate will do more than enough damage. Just keep dropping them until they shut up. Then evacuate whatever survivors you want.

That is not to say you need to change the story. You just need to explain why Ceres did not do this when it could have.

Same with the Commonwealth. If it possess such a technological advantage, it should pursue the war against the Caliphate, not make a peace treaty.

Your Caliphate has already shown it is ruthlessly and only focused on bringing all mankind under its banner. They are incapable of reform. Therefore, the Commonwealth will have to fight a single-winner war sometime. It would be far better for them to do this when they have the massive advantage than wait for the Caliphate to gain strength.

I understand your setting needs a bad guy. But your Caliphate is just way too dangerous to leave alive. If the Commonwealth lets it live long enough, it will eventually get strong enough to finally attack. So either the Commonwealth should be exterminating the Caliphate without hesitation now, or the Caliphate needs to be softened by this time.
I did consider this and you're right, I should probably explain why Ceres didn't obliterate the Earth. My take is that the Oceanic refugees were not willing to commit genocide on a massive scale. Any such attack would have killed many of their surviving family members (to say nothing of retribution by the Caliphate). And candidly, President Thorpe and Admiral Lee were making this all up as they went along. They were far more concerned with ensuring the survival of their people than obliterating Earth. It's also likely that some negotiations were going on at that time as well.

And I would note that human history is filled with vile, dangerous regimes that were allowed to survive.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 07:37 PM
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Why doesn't Ceres wipe out the Caliphate? Probably politics, but most likely the idea is that while they have spacial superiority, they do not own mass drivers of sufficient size to through asteroids at earth. Further, the Caliphate still has a full load of nukes, which depending on the make up of the asteroid are just as good at blasting apart incoming rocks, or deflecting them. There is also the little problem of the amount of industry on Ceres vs the amount of industry left on earth.

As to why the commonwealth doesn't whack them out, remember that the commonwealth home systems are at least 50 parsecs from earth ( i.e at the very end of an extremely long supply chain). Even with a large tech advantage, it is very difficult to conduct a war at the the end of a long supply column. Remember, an M-1 Abrams tank is significantly of higher tech than a T-52, but the M-1 needs resupply every 4-6 hours in combat. The T-52 doesn't.

If you look at your history of the caliphates that controlled north Africa/middle east in the 18th and 19th centuries, you will see that while they wielded significant power as a whole, they rarely acted as one as each satrap jockied for his own position of greater influence and power (it is this habit, by the way, that allowed the downfall of the Ottomans in WWI). Usually, the piracy by the Barbary pirates was done by each local satrap, as they tried to increase their individual wealth (for whatever reason). So, instead of fighting the caliphate as a whole, individual sub domains were fought and peace treaties were local affairs. I think this is the idea that governs the caliphate/commonwealth politics.
Yes, you have it pretty much right. By the time the Commonwealth re-contacts Earth, the Commonwealth is more technologically advanced and more powerful entity (though with a significantly smaller population). And the Caliphate is an intentional analogue to the Ottoman Empire.

As you note, an extended war at the end of a 50 parsec supply line would be very expensive. (Something I did not say, but you correctly inferred is that the Commonwealth expanded along a major jump 1 "main" that extends in the opposite direction from Earth. There are relatively few Commonwealth planets that lie Earthward.)

And the Commonwealth is a free trade, economic powerhouse. It is not interested in expensive wars. In fact, it is willing to make business decisions like paying off pirates rather than spending the money to destroy them. In addition, the Commonwealth is a modern, Western democracy. In such nations, there are always politically powerful groups that will support appeasement and negotiations over war.

Besides, we gotta have the Terrans around to be pirates and jihadis for the adventurers to interact with!

Last edited by tbeard1999; October 10th, 2007 at 09:24 PM..
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Old October 10th, 2007, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by daryen View Post
The only part that doesn't make sense to me is that when Ceres achieves space superiority, why did it not kill the Caliphate? At that point it would be trivial. Even if they don't have enough nukes, they have an infinite supply of comets and small asteroids. Sure, you can crack the crust with a near-C comet, but just "dropping" the comet on the Caliphate will do more than enough damage. Just keep dropping them until they shut up. Then evacuate whatever survivors you want.

That is not to say you need to change the story. You just need to explain why Ceres did not do this when it could have.
See my other post. I'd also note that we should probably handwave things like asteroid bombardment of planets. With reactionless drives, such tactics would be commonplace and governments would not allow individuals to own starships that could carry this out.

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Same with the Commonwealth. If it possess such a technological advantage, it should pursue the war against the Caliphate, not make a peace treaty.
Well, the Commonwealth is a rich, free, advanced Western democracy that's far more interested in Free Trade than War. In general, such nations are very reluctant to start expensive wars. EDIT-- Of course, such qualities make them very likely to engage in numerous Little Wars. A situation tailor-made for Traveller...

And while the Caliphate *is* a brutal, intolerant theocracy, it is unable to effectively threaten the Commonwealth core planets. And in a democracy with an expanding economy, there's just not much political pressure to start an expensive interstellar war with a bunch of suicidal religious fanatics.

So the Commonwealth is, as a political entity, unable to recognize the fact that one day, the Caliphate will constitute an existential threat to the Commonwealth.

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Your Caliphate has already shown it is ruthlessly and only focused on bringing all mankind under its banner. They are incapable of reform. Therefore, the Commonwealth will have to fight a single-winner war sometime. It would be far better for them to do this when they have the massive advantage than wait for the Caliphate to gain strength.
Actually, the Caliphate is a pretty typical Islamist paradise. Corruption is rampant and the Commonwealth can achieve many of its goals by simply paying off the corrupt rulers. The rulers pay lip service to the notion of jihad, but the reality is they are more scared of their own people than of the infidels. So, the Commonwealth can pay off local strongmen and generally keep things in line.

That is, until a mighty religious leader arises to lead the faithful on a Jihad against the infidels...

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I understand your setting needs a bad guy. But your Caliphate is just way too dangerous to leave alive. If the Commonwealth lets it live long enough, it will eventually get strong enough to finally attack. So either the Commonwealth should be exterminating the Caliphate without hesitation now, or the Caliphate needs to be softened by this time.
Again, the Commonwealth is unable (or perhaps unwilling) to recognize the fact that the Caliphate will (one day) be an existential threat. After all, the Exodus happened almost 300 years ago...

Last edited by tbeard1999; October 10th, 2007 at 09:29 PM..
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Old October 10th, 2007, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pendragonman View Post
Wow, I like it. Sounds kind of like what I have been trying to do for years. Great backstory
Thanks for the kind words!
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