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PDS2/3G Campaign "Onslaught"
Ironwatsas
This is a rough draft of a purposed campaign for the 3G Era of PDS: The early war prior to the events of the HW2 Ascension campaign, during the fall of the Taiidan Republic and the Vaygr Blitzkrieg to the Hiigaran border. It would rather be a non-persistent series of set-piece battles with indirect continuity between most of them (The player will command various forces).

It is the year 115 AHL. The centennial of the conclusion of the Beast War is just wrapping up, but new threats lie on the horizon. In the galactic far east, a previously obscure Vaygr Warlord has suddenly acquired a legendary device: The third of the Great Hyperspace Cores. Makaan, drunk with power and blinded by ambition, and secretly being lead astray by esoteric mysticism, has killed his own father, the great warlord Tural, and forged the Vaygr Clans into a mighty armada. With the cooperation of the Imperialist Taiidan, and being advised by a shadowy mystic, he is preparing for his invasion.

The Taiidan Republic is blindly ignorant to events in the east. Deliberate secrecy on Makaan's part, and a magnificently executed disinformation campaign by the Imperialist's own intelligence service have directed the Republic's attentions elsewhere. It's forces know nothing of what is to come; the eastern border fortresses are mighty but undermanned. The Navy is underfunded and demobilized. The political leaders of the republic are distracted by their own failing bureaucracy and economic woes. The Taiidani people are unaware, and unused to war or strife since the days of the mad emperor and beast wars. A recipe for disaster is brewing.

The other races of the galaxy are equally unaware. The Bentusi are severely weakened by the events of the Beast War, and their relevance is slowly being eroded by their inability (and unwillingness) to act as the great galactic paragons. The Galactic council's power slowly weakens, as Frrern saber-rattling with the Yomi, the increasingly escalating containment of the Migou, and Imperialist Warlords raiding Itaar and Cush Federation frontier worlds create innumerable brushfire conflicts across the galaxy. All of these isolated conflicts pale in comparison to what is to come. Perhaps the largest war since the fall of the Progenitor Empire is about to break out.

This is how that war begins. The imbalance between ambition and stagnation begins to whirl into a tempest. Before the Ascention of the S'jet, there was to be the great Onslaught of the Makaan.

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There will be several scenarios that will be available, listed in chronological order. The primary combatants will be the Hiigarans, Vaygr, and Republican Taiidan. Unlike in the ascension campaign, large numbers of civilians are present in the region, due to the speed of the Vaygr onslaught and communications breakdown. Bentusi are also present, as they have not yet been completely expatriated from the galaxy completely.


SCN01: First Strike

Vaygr Armada (Player) vs Taiidan Republic

The war begins. Using his hyperspace core, Makaan has rapidly deposited a number of taskforces in remote areas across Taiidani space. The will then proceed using short-jump hyper-drives to attack key Republican staging areas in a combined offensive. The objective is to simultaneously destroy key Republican communication nodes and naval installations to disrupt the Republic's ability to mobilize or even know what's going on.

The player's forces will launch a Pearl-harbor style surprise attack on a Republican naval base, with a large number of ships parked and inactive. They will command a squadron of Destroyers and Frigates, with bomber support, which will destroy the base and the parked ships before they can be scrambled and get underway. A limited number of active enemy forces (mostly training units) will oppose the player, but slowly other, bigger ships will start to wake up. The player will not be able to replace their bigger ships, and will need to use speed while conserving their forces.


SCN02: Counter Strike

Taiidan Republic (Player) vs Vaygr Armada

Chaos reigns after the initial Vaygr attack. The Republican forces are confused and increasingly isolated. Entire planets are being razed from orbit and base after base has fallen. The few organized Republican forces are now gathering, and scrambling to lock down key resources and protect vital communications installations, while denying their use to the Vaygr.

The player will command a badly outnumbered Republican force, who's goals are recover a series of supply caches and a relocate a critical communications array, while simultaneously counterattacking a Vaygr Force who's goals are to destroy these facilities. The Vaygr do not expect serious resistance from the Republican forces, but slowly begin throwing reinforcements into the battle. The Republican fleet has limited capacity to reinforce, so preservation of forces is vital. This job done, they must face down and defeat a Vaygr reaction force and escape the region.


SCN03: Accellerator Skirmish

Soban Force (Player) vs Vaygr Armada vs WATSACO Auto-defenses.

Military first-contact between the Hiigarans and Vaygr. The HGN has rapidly mobilized reinforcements to support the beleaguered Republic. One of the first units in is task force Witch Hunter of the Sobani Fleet, and an attached Hiigaran Marine Expeditionary Unit. Their first mission is to secure a large shipment of Anti-Matter and Monopoles (both strategic resources) left behind at the WATSACO Planetary-scale particle accelerator facility near Taraak-IX, as well as denying the enemy use of the facility. To prevent accidentally detonating the antimatter only small craft may be deployed.

Initially, the Hiigaran units find nobody, enemy or allied, present. They soon discover that the facility's owners left a large number of mines and gun platforms guarding the facility, before pulling out. The Hiigarans must clear these automatic defenses to allow combat engineers and recovery tugs to sabotage the facility and gather the antimatter containers. This will require the boarding of several control facilities.

Eventually, a Vaygr carrier will arrive, with the intent to recover the antimatter for their own use, and begin launching fighter sorties of their own. The Automatic defenses don't differentiate between Hiigaran and Vaygr, and will fire on both sides. The Hiigarans must either delay the attacking force or destroy the carrier long enough to complete their own objectives. This will be largely a strikecraft vs strikecraft battle.


SCN04: Battle at Triistara

Joint Hiigaran/Republican/Galactic Council Force (Player) vs Vaygr Armada

The situation across the Republic is rapidly collapsing. All Republic Naval forces are converging to the capitol of Triistara to bolster it's defenses. A galactic council intervention force consisting of several Bentusi and P3 ships has arrived to protect civilians and prevent the use of mass destruction weapons on the surface. The Hiigarans have also sent in a combined force from Kiith's Soban, Manaan, and Nabaal into the region to hopefully stop the Vaygr Offensive once and for all. A huge defensive perimeter has been established around Triistara and it's myriad orbital facilities; it's low orbit is heavily built up with industrial and commercial infrastructure.

The Vaygr however are also converging, as their intent is to invade the Republican capitol wholesale, and destroy the Hiigaran and Taiidan fleets in a single decisive blow. Makaan is rumored to be personally leading the offensive. The Hiigaran Reaction force hopes to isolate and destroy him, hopefully ending the invasion in a swift blow. Immediately however, things begin to fall apart. Vaygr forces were substantially more numerous than previously thought, and the defense forces are rapidly being overwhelmed. The Player's forces will take up position near one of the main hyperspace gate nexii in Triistara orbit, and oversee the evacuation of civilians and (secretly) republican government personnel. The player will initially control primarily Sobani forces (from the previous mission), while the Manaan, Nabaal, and Bentusi/P3 forces will be NPC controlled and guard the flanks. This will be a large scale strategic defensive operation.

Vaygr attacks will begin in earnest and increasingly escalate, with several strikes penetrating the front line and heading towards the space stations and hyperspace gates. Civilian convoys will regularly launch and head to the hyperspace gates, and protecting them will be the primary objective. Eventually, it becomes obvious that the defense cannot hold, and Triistara is eventually doomed. Vaygr forces begin to encircle and trap the Hiigarans. Soon Makaan himself arrives with overwhelming forces and the Hiigaran/Council/Republican forces are pushed into a tighter and tighter perimeter. The Player will eventually be given command of all surviving forces.

Even more Vaygr Forces will begin to arrive, and the situation will appear dire. Then however, reinforcements from Kiith Somtaaw arrive, including the Kuun Lan, which uses it's siege cannon to begin blowing away Vaygr battleships and temporarily forcing Makaan to withdraw. This provides just enough time for the surviving forces to make a fighting retreat to the hyperspace gates. Before another, far larger force arrives which would certainly destroy the allied fleet.


SCN05: Fall of the Bentusi

Vaygr Armada (Player) vs Bentusi/P3

The Vaygr invasion of the Republic is proceeding well. Makaan now turns his attentions to acquiring the Bentusi hyperspace core. His fleet heads to the reputed location of the Great Harbor Ship of Bentus, with intent to isolate and destroy it, and recover it's core. With that, he will be able to easily invade the Hiigaran Federation, and more or less control any territory he wishes.

The Player's forces initially consist of several special carriers, equipped with hyperspace inhibitors, which are to be deployed to prevent Bentus from escaping. This must be done under stealth, to prevent their detection and destruction by the Bentusi guard force. Once this is accomplished, the main force arrives and deploys in a frontal assault to isolate and destroy the exchanges one by one, and eventually defeat Bentus itself. When the player arrives at Bentus however, it is revealed to in-fact be an illusion, cast by a P3 megaship, surrounded by explosive crystals. The P3 self destructs and causes severe damage to any ships in the vicinity.

An ambush by several Bentusi and P3 ships follows, heading for Makaan and trying to destroy his flagship. The player's surviving forces must rally to Makaan's position and fend off the attack.


SCN06: Persephone's Run

Hiigaran Auxiuilaries vs Turanic Raiders vs Vaygr Armada

The situation in the republic has turned into a rout. The disaster at Triistara scattered the Hiigaran and Taiidani forces across the region, and Vaygr forces are rapidly overrunning the central territories of the republic. Communication is breaking down, and panicked civilian and military forces are making a mad dash for Hiigaran space. The Hiigaran Navy is trying to conduct an organized withdraw, but forces in the Aurelia Sector are running low on resources to fuel their hyperdrives. A mining team has been sent to a nearby system to harvest enough reactant material to fuel the fleet's hyperdrives and allow them to make a getaway. However, the mining team has failed a scheduled communication, so a response force is sent.

Due to the depleted state of Hiigaran forces in the area, several civilian ships have been impressed into service. Among these is the armed merchant liner Persephone and it's escorts. Hastily refitted with advanced sensors and ECM systems, the small taskforce heads through the slipgate to follow the mining fleet. This is strictly a stealth mission, so the Persephone and it's fleet must remain under ECM cover or in dust clouds to prevent the Vaygr from detecting them. Eventually they find the mining group, which was hiding in a dust pocket to prevent detection from Vaygr recon forces. Using the Persephone's ECM systems, the mining team resumes their work to recover the vital materials. The objective is to stockpile a certain large amount of RUs and then evacuate the system before the Vaygr arrive in force.

Complicating matters, a fleet of Turanic Raiders arrives and begins launching sorties to try and capture the mining ship. The Persephone can build defensive fighters if necessary and repair it's escort ships, but this will slow down the mineral collection. The Turanic carrier and it's escort are too powerful to take on directly. Eventually, a large Vaygr fleet arrives, in response to the Turanic activity, forcing the Persephone taskforce to rapidly complete it's mining operation and make a mad dash for the hyperspace gate. A small blockade force will await them, which they will have to defeat before the Vaygr destroy the Turanic Raiders, and turn their attention to them.


SCN07: Aurelian Defender

Hiigaran Navy vs Vaygr Armada

A small Hiigaran fleet, escorting a number of civilian vessels, is present in the Aurelia system. Aurelia itself is a relatively underdeveloped backwater; a frontier world which is primarily retained as a nature preserve, with limited service facilities in system for the few travelers that venture out this far. The Hiigaran fleet is built around a critically damaged shipyard, and a single Defiance-I class command cruiser which had just been previously field-constructed by said shipyard (the soon to be legendary Aurelian Defender). This is where it's namesake comes from.

Among the civilian vessels is a ship chartered by the Republic's central bank, carrying large amounts of gold, gems, and riches from both the vaults on Triistara and national treasures from the Republican central museum, being evacuated to Hiigara. This information was classified at the highest level, but the collapse of the Republican Central Government has lead to the ship's identity and manifest falling into the hands of a particularly vain and dangerous War Matron known as Lady Keloiece. Her fleet is now descending on Aurelia specifically to capture the treasure ship, and slaughter anyone else present.

Many of the civilians have already evacuated, using the resources brought by the Persephone during the previous mission, but the Hiigaran forces are still evacuating their shipyard. The Vaygr Forces arrive and deploy several hyperspace inhibitors, and quickly destroy the shipyard. The remaining Hiigaran and Civilian ships are forced to withdraw. With the soon to be Aurelian Defender as their only capitol ship (and a few frigates and fighters) the flotilla is forced to fight a guerrilla campaign to destroy the hyperspace inhibitors and allow the civilians to escape. The final inhibitor however is located aboard Lady Keloiece's battleship, who's escorts would easily defeat the Hiigarans. In a bold plan, the treasure is used as bait to lure the Vaygr into an ambush. The Aurelian Defender and it's fighter escort must then destroy the inhibitor module, which they succeed at, allowing the rest of the civilians to escape. The Defender itself is then disabled, boarded, and abandoned, only to be found later and converted to it's super-monitor configuration.


SCN08: Showdown at Starpoint

Hiigaran Navy (Player) vs Vaygr Armada

The Republic is lost. The Hiigaran expeditionary force is in shambles. Hiigaran forces have deployed and reactivated a series of Imperial-era hyperspace inhibitors along their eastern border to establish a defensive line which (they hope) Makaan will be unable to cross, and thus bide themselves time to mobilize for a counter offensive. As the inhibitors are activated, a single crossing point remains for refugees and surviving forces: the border post at Starpoint Station. A former Imperial Taiidan Waystation, Starpoint has been converted into a customs checkpoint, and is now the main entry point for refugees and naval forces entering the Hiigaran Federation. The Vaygr are already on the way in force to attempt to break through it, but the HGN has a bold plan to stop them.

The player's forces, consisting of a collection of Hiigaran ships from the Triistara Campaign and a few Republican Destroyers are to defend Starpoint and draw as many Vaygr ships in as possible, to allow time for a broad Pincer movement by Kiith's Somtaaw and S'jet to attack them from the rear. The player is given a small but powerful starting force, and must set minefields and use gun platforms to secure key areas, and generally hold out until the Somtaaw/Sjeti reinforcements arrive. Once they do, the objective is to destroy the Vaygr's shipyard and heavy capital ships before they can withdraw.

With success in the Starpoint defensive operation, the Vaygr advance is halted until the beginning of the events of the HW2 campaign. The Armada takes some time to consolidate it's forces in the Far East and secure it's holdings, while Makaan fruitlessly chases Bentus across the Galaxy. Eventually he will use the far jumper to invade Hiigara proper, but this defensive operation buys the HGN enough time to construct the Pride of Hiigara at Tanis, giving them their own far-jumper equipped expeditionary force with which to fight back.

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The phases of the war following this operation take place concurrently with the events of the HW2 campaign or in it's aftermath. This includes the old PDS scenarios, et-al (implementation of 4G technologies/war emergency refit classes).
 
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