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Ship Era Classification.
Ironwatsas
Since PDS classic represented basically an 'arms race', starting with vanilla HW2's races up to about v7 (there were quite a bit of continuity errors it seems going from there to v11, since NGCS/v8/v9 were highly experimental in nature), it is nescessary to classify and catalog the relative evolution of technology from the Exodus Era (HW1) through the deep postwar environment (Post HW2, v11 equivalent in our reimagined 'verse).

Internally, the Hiigarans, Vaygr, and Taiidan use different levels of classification, which will be listed below. Other races' classification schemes vary and aren't yet important enough to list.



Hiigarans



Modern Hiigarans have five distinct 'generations' of ship development.

First Generation (1G): Exodus Era (HW1), the first modern space-faring vessels developed by the Kharakian people during the Mothership's journey to Hiigara. These ships were essentially copied from those of the Imperial Navy, or from fragmentary information on chassis recorded in the Khar-toba's databanks (this explains the similarity of many Kushan ships to derelicts seen in the Karos Graveyard). Compared to their Taiidani counterparts, these vessels are built for simplicity, ease of maintenance and production, and minimum number of crewmen required; all necessities considering the limited resources and production capabilities of the Mothership.

Second Genreation (2G): Beast War Era (HWC). For the most part, the various Kiith navies began to diverge (especially true of Kiith Somtaaw) and specialize, and acquire new technologies as the result of interstellar trade. The nature of the Beast as a strategic foe lead to heavy improvisation, and radical changes to ship design and doctrine. This is when redundant Point Defense systems, guided missiles, and increasing weapon ranges became a major factor; absolute necessities to deflect the swarms of cruise missiles and keep infected capital ships away.

Third Generation (3G): Interlude period (between HWC and HW2). The HGN spent most of this time fighting fairly low-intensity conflicts against scattered Beast remnants, Turanic Raiders, or the occasional Taiidani warlord. This is when the Hiigarans began to centralize research and ship development. Much of the technology brought in during the Beast War by Kiith Somtaaw was heavily researched and distributed, and weapons such as Pulse Ion Cannons and Bentusi-derived technologies began to appear. Combat was still fairly static in nature, and preferred long-ranged capital phalanx tactics: Large walls of capital ships and ion cannon frigates engaging in formation.
Quite a few experimental designs and configurations specific to individual Kiith were tested in this period, but many didn't quite last to the Vaygr War era, or were sold off to Hiigaran client states.

Fourth Generation (4G): Vaygr War era (HW2/PDS classic era). This is the era of heavily-refitted and overloaded chassis, rapid technological change, and the beginnings of integration of Progentech as it became available. Against the Vaygr's extremely aggressive, mobile, and adaptive doctrines, 3G tactics and technology, designed for fighting massed frontal assaults by the Beast, rapidly became obsolete. The Hiigarans had to adapt the chassis and equipment they had, and quickly churn out new and untested equipment to hold the line. Because of this, many chassis were overloaded with large, redundant amounts of hardware, which often compromised structural integrity and power systems.

Fifth Generation (5G): Post-Invasion era (PDS v11 equivelient). With the chaos of the Invasion era quieting down, the Hiigaran navy has enough breathing room to begin to fully integrate and research new technologies and equipment. Now having access to a wide range of Progenitor and scavenged Bentusi technologies, the Hiigarans would attempt to slim down their overloaded Emergency Refit designs and replace them with more purpose-built and efficient configurations. 3G and 4G (HW2) ships begin to be retired and replaced with completely new designs. The doctrinal emphasis is on maneuverability and battlespace dominance against a numerically superior foe.

Sixth Generation (6G - Hypothetical): Post Eye of Arran/Age of S'jet era. It must be noted that in this iteration of the PDS-verse, the Eye of Arran hasn't been discovered yet, nor have any 6th generation technologies come into being. In this era, most vanilla HW2 ships would have been retired, replaced with newer, far more capable designs. Full integration of Progenitor Technology would exist by this point. Energy weaponry would be dominant, with missiles and guns used mainly as secondary or special weapons, and 'Hyperspace Superiority' would be the big byword in terms of battlefield tactics. Of course, this is all hypothetical at this point.


Vaygr


The Vaygr have two or three eras of technological development, depending on how far back one looks to the roots of their technological base. Because of their less centralized nature, these eras are less clear-cut than those of the Hiigarans.

Pre-Crusade: (HW1 equivelient era). The Vaygr were, at this point, fighting against the oppressive Taiidan Empire (or amongst themselves). While this made most of the Vaygr Reaches too dangerous to colonize for the Taiidani, it also left the Vaygr too divided and drained to pose much of a threat, or coordinate themselves. Overall, they can best be compared to the Turanic Raiders at this point. Starship technologies would mainly focus on smaller, more numerous chassis, with dual civilian/military purposes, but generally inferior to the Taiidani navy one a one-to-one basis. Combat would generally be considered 'asymmetric' between the Vaygr and Taiidani, and individual Vaygr clans would have their own disparate orders of battle.

First Era (1E): (Pre-HW2 and HW2 era). This is the era when Makaan formally created his Armada to invade the Galactic Core, and began working to standardize the Vaygr Clan navies. Most of the familiar chassis seen today are 1E designs with varying levels of modernization. Technologically, the Vaygr received a number of technologies from the Frrern Aggregate (Plasma Lances and Laser Plasma Weapons) to fight the Taiidan Imperialists during the interbellum period, which were fully integrated into the Armada by the time of the invasion. Later collaboration with the Taiidan lead to the development of the doctrines and tactics used during the Invasion Era. Specifically large-scale, highly mobile, combined arms assaults with overwhelming numbers, and a heavy focus on 'Armored Cavalry' (Corvette and Frigate) forces to control large areas of space and exploit breakthroughs.

Second Era (2E): (Post-Makaan), having lost their leadership and much of their vanguard, and with the Hiigarans rapidly widening the technological gap, the Vaygr are now clamoring for any new technologies they can get. Tactics are becoming increasingly defensive and focusing away from large scale, high-casualty operations to smaller scale tactical battles and territorial control. The Vaygr are taking full advantage of control of the Planets and Infrastructure of the former Taiidani Republic, and beginning to function more as a proper nation-state than a nomadic military force on the offense. Limited reverse-engineering of Hiigaran and Progenitor technologies, and close co-operation with the Imperialist Taiidan is also taking place. The general focus is from 'massive numbers, high expendibility' towards a more moderate 'local superiority, divide and conquer' sort of strategy; retaining the numerical advantage but becoming more conservative with regards to casualties, and smarter with use of technology as a force multiplier.

Second-and-a-Half Era (2.5E): (Independent Vaygr Federation Divergence). The Mar'yan and Ravinder Vaygr are in a far different boat than the Armada with regards to technology and resources. Overall they have far fewer numbers and resources, and thus a lower tolerance for casualties. They have the same technological base as the Armada, but have begun to diverge. IVF are in co-operation with remnants of the Taiidan Republic (E.G. local planetary governments and military forces), and are generally becoming more pragmatic with regards to diplomacy with other races. Hiigaran-IVF cooperation is also beginning (although, in universe, this is acknowledged by neither party, and remains highly classified). Both the IVF and AdM (and pretty much everyone else) are attempting to gather Progenitor Technology at this point to break Hiigara's monopoly, but the amount of firepower possessed by the remaining autonomous guardians relative to the Vaygr's is a serious mitigating factor (all of the easy-to-get sources of Progentech would have been long exploited, and Keepers are no pushovers even with PDS' level of firepower).

Third Era (3E): (Post-war, mostly hypothetical at this point) It is unclear if the Vaygr will maintain a hold of their territories in the long term, but if they do, they will probably be unable to match the Hiigarans' advantages in Progentech and hyperspace-based force projection, forcing them to adopt either a "Large scale Asymetric" warfare strategy, a "Bastion" strategy, by creating core areas which would be difficult to attack while ceding less important regions, or some combination of the two. Of course, there's no telling what will happen, or how their technology will be able to develop, or for how long the Vaygr will maintain sufficient unity to seriously challenge Hiigara, so there isn't much written after this.


Taiidan Empire


The Imperial Navy doesn't particularly use an 'Era' Classification, but rather a sliding rating of combat power and suitability in the modern environment. This changes over time as technological paradigms shift. As of the Hiigaran 5th era equivalent, the Imperial Navy is still in a state of flux.

Third Rate: The Taiidan Navy has a large amount of obsolete hardware in it's inventory that it has been unable to effectively replace or get rid of, with many chassis dating back to the Homeworld War and subsequent conflicts. These hulls often have varying levels of modernization and wear and tear, and many have been passed off to warlord factions or Taiidani client states, or sold to poorer Vaygr clans. These vessels generally have limited tactical and strategic mobility and poor (if any) active point defenses. Some efforts to modernize these old hulls have been made, such as the additions of missile launchers or additional weapons. Generally, these ships are used in suicidal rush tactics to overwhelm targets through sheer numbers, as a distraction, or to bolster larger, more modern ships by presenting a larger number of expendable targets. Conversions to unmanned drones are becoming increasingly popular as well.

Second Rate: While the Imperial Navy has often had the short end of the political and financial stick compared to its counterpart in the Republic, it has made some indigenous developments in naval weaponry since the Partition of the Empire. Moreover, after the Vaygr Invasion, many Republican hulls and projects fell into the Empire's hands, including those which were discontinued by the Republic and resumed by the resurgent Empire. What the Imperial Navy considers 'Second Rate' are roughly equivalent to early-war Hiigaran designs, updated with appropriate point defenses and with firepower and survivability to stand in the main-line of battle.

First Rate: The bleeding edge of Taiidani engineering. First-rate ships are generally the newest, most advanced, and most powerful warships the Empire has to offer. The results of Vaygr-Taiidani collaboration, canceled Republican modernization projects, or implementation of Progentech. First rate Taiidani ships are every bit as capable (if not superior) as their Hiigaran contemporaries, but available in smaller numbers. The Empire's industrial and financial capacity, while focused, is only a fraction of that of the Hiigaran Federation and it's allies'. The Taiidani treat their best ships as a scalpel, while it's swarms of second and third rate ships are a war-hammer who's strength lies in numbers.

Leagacy Munitions: There are some ships and designs so ancient, obsolete, or uneconomical that the Taiidan have discarded them completely. Often these are early Homeworld-war or Pre-war designs which have been scrapped entirely or sold off to Client States, Pirates, or poorer Vaygr Clans. Because of the old Empire's immensely huge war machine and the extent of it's production, it is likely that Taiidani-make hardware will be seen in the hands of Pirates, Mercenaries, and Insurgent forces for many decades to come, regardless of it's obsolescence. Many demilitarized designs were purchased as surplus by corporations and civilians abroad. Examples include the Type-41 Light Corvette (Raachok) and Type-806 Engineering Frigate (Heeshk).
 
mrWHO
Very solid writing. I love how Higgarans are always prepared for what came in last war, rather than trying to forsee the coming war.

If not the developed inmmunity I think that second Beast infection would be as devastating as previous one (imagine squadron of infected LirHraa cruisers Smile ).


For hypotetical Taiidan 6G equivalent:
I'd assume that with HGN pushing Vaygr away, Taiis would propably try to take advantage of weakened Vaygr clans and territories (especially former Taiidan Republic space) while limiting their own exposure to HGN offensive. I wouldn't be suprised if gradually rest of the galaxy would look at Taiidan as counterbalance to Higaran dominance. Kinda post-war galactic cold war.

By that time I think that most imperials sins would be forgotten or only knowns as historic entries in books. Taiidans have a long history of conflict with Higgies ever since ancient exile-war where Higgies were the evil ones abusing ancient technology. Leaving them with Progentech would make history repeat itself.

I wouldn't be suprised if Imperial propaganda and diplomacy would follow that path and eveyone concerned with HGN dominance would officialy and unofficialy band to Imperial block out of pragmatism and necesity.

I think it's highly propable scenario if Vaygr would be able to significantly exchaust HGN war capabilities at the cost of their own high casualties. That way Empire can drop in and finish out / annex Vaygr remnants and then push HGN from a few sectors bluffing that they are cappable to strike deeper then they really can in hope of forcing HGN to sue for peace.

Leading to galaxy cold-war era.
 
Ironwatsas
As far as the Beast is concerned, officially it has been completely eradicated, but considering the sheer scale of the infection, there's always the chance something slipped through the cracks (the Caal-Shto was never properly accounted for). Most of the Galactic Races however consider an infection a known, anticipated, and planned for contingency; to the point where even civilian distress calls and escape pod have to be verified with probes in case of infection.

Most of the positive-action defenses against the infection consist of either active CIWS to shoot down infected missiles at long range, or some combination of Electro-Reactive Armor and defensive Nanorobots to prevent the virus from penetrating the hull. Any infection that gets inside the ship would be slowed down by modern compartmentalization of the ship, hazmat lockdowns, and the old trick of venting exhaust plasma into infected areas. Still, counter-infection procedures aren't a simple magic bullet, and there's always the chance the Beast could either mutate and adapt, or worse, encounter some race who's never fought them before (like the Vaygr, for instance).



As for the Taiidan, you basically hit the nail on the head as far as their Propaganda goes. There would certainly be a lot of Anti-hiigaran sentiment, both in the Taiidan Empire and abroad, considering the abuses of the ancient Hiigaran empire, and the more recent apocalypses of the economic collapse surrounding the fall of the original Taiidan Empire, Beast War, and the current situation where Hiigara now has a monopoly on what is perceived as a physical god worshiped by the majority of the galaxy.

I've characterized the modern Taiidan Empire as being run by a quasi-Fascist military-industrial complex between their Megacorporations, Military Leadership, and Intelligence Service. The latter being the ones who are really pulling the political strings. The Imperial Intelligence Agency are good at what they do. They're dangerously genre-savvy, understand how and where to implement propaganda, and have a network stretching across the Galaxy.

They're probably playing a dominant role in Vaygr politics as well, with the fall of Makaan and all, trying to keep the war going in order to weaken Hiigara and clear the Armada out of former Republican Taiidan worlds (that they want), while at the same time putting on the mask of a 'kinder, gentler' empire, who's interest is in nation-building, stability, and security, to court some of the various pro-Republican Rebel groups and planetary governments that were overrun and bypassed by the Vaygr under their umbrella. Their end goal is to recover as much former Republican territory as possible without getting into a stand-up fight with the Hiigarans.

It's working.

That's basically a good impetus for a Taiidan-Hiigaran 'cold war', as neither party has the stomach or resources for a full-on open war against each other, so both parties kind of settle into an uneasy ceasefire, while simultaneously trying to undermine each other. The Taiidan want both territory and Progentech of their own to counter Hiigara's advantages, and are willing to take on Keepers or Hiigaran special forces head-on, but do so in a manner where there is plausible deniability on either side, to prevent the conflict from escalating.
 
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