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[Legendary] Chip-Threat Zap Bait Deck | Features Prince/ Elite Barbarians | 5000 Trophies with 11.0 |Has Beaten White Light and Colton | (Insert Clickbait Statement Here)
Everyone thinks I'm crazy for using the Prince. I agree that, unlike Elite Barbarians, he's not usually a great card. But this zap bait deck isn't just a bait deck. It isn't just a zap bait deck either. It is built full of synergies which can swiftly eliminate counters to your Prince (or Elite Barbarians)- Witch, Skarmy, Minion Horde, Barbarians, Knight, Guards, et cetera- they all just get steamrolled if you play the right cards at the right time. This deck is all about synergy, and not much feels better than pairing fire spirits with a quick zap to instakill four Barbarians and allow your heavy-hitting win condition to run right into the enemy's tower. This specific deck is currently 6-0 in grand challenges, and has defeated both White Light and Colton, slightly underleveled in both circumstances. That said, the deck requires very precise timing/plays.
In this deck guide I will explain the roles of each individual card, effective synergies, and some tricky plays you can make. I will also provide a number of step-by-step walkthrough videos to demonstrate how I play this, what I believe would be classified as a Threat-Chip Bait, deck.
The DeckPrince OR Elite Barbarians: My Prince scales to level 10 and got me to 4942, my Elite Barbarians are level 11 and broke 5k. Do note that underleveled EBs are quite effectively countered by other EBs. One advantage the Prince has is he is intrinsic zap bait. However The Log also breaks his charge, which is stupid. One advantage Elite Barbarians have is they can be split. Also they're overpowered. So yeah atm I'm using those guys. I know, fuck me.
( These are your offensive heavy hitters. Of course, they’re very capable defensively as well.**Attacking: **
Chip: Fire Spirits, Ice Spirit, and Princess are good sources of chip damage.
Standard Pushes: When you have an elixir advantage you can just do a standard push. I guess you can do one when you don’t have elixir advantage too, given certain conditions. Pretty basic stuff. If you don’t know how to standard push, git gud.
Counterpushes: Effective, but not at all necessary for an effective push. I very often deploy my attacker at the bridge, with some light support following behind (Or in front. See Ice Spirit)
Opposite Lane Pressure: http://imgur.com/a/halca (Shoutout to that maxed Minion Horde it’s da real mvp)
When an expensive troop, or some key defensive troop, is dropped in one lane by your opponent, you can make an effective opposite lane push. Whether you do this or defend and then counterpush depends on many factors, including:
- How much elixir you have: Make sure you have enough elixir to defend the opponent.
- What cards are in your rotation- do you have cards to attack? Prince/ EB are very great at applying opposite lane pressure and forcing a defense and splitting the enemy’s elixir, preventing powerful combinations-- though I do need to mention, Ice Golem has definitely nerfed opposite lane pushes by allowing one to indefinitely kite attackers into the same lane as their tank/troops. Princess is also great at demanding a reaction. She is not weak to Ice Golem, but watch out for The Log. The Log was a huge nerf to Princess’ ability to split enemy troops, but she can still be effective. Even if she does get The Logged, remember, this is a bait deck. So Princess at the least will bait a spell out, allowing you to easily defend. One other great way to apply pressure, especially opposite lane pressure, is the Goblin Barrel. It baits zap, and therefore synergizes incredibly well with Inferno Tower. Make sure you’re able to defend if they ignore the barrel though.
Tower Healths + Timer: For example, if there’s thirty seconds left in a match, you have the opponent’s left tower down to say 400 hp, and the opponent is pushing down your left lane, you usually won’t want to set up a push in the right lane, where your opponent has a nearly full health tower. Instead just defend and counterpush.
Against spawners, don’t be afraid to push the higher health tower.
Defending with Prince: Against melee attackers, play Prince far enough back to get a charge off. This allows him to kill a Mini Pekka, Lumberjack, et cetera unscathed). Against ranged attackers, play Prince on top of them. Against aerial troops, try using something else.
Defending with Elite Barbarians: In some situations, splitting Elite Barbarians can be very effective. For example, against a Miner push, you can defend the Miner with one EB and push the other lane with the other EB. That said, I rarely split EBs. Be sure to surround Bowlers, rather than placing both Elite Barbarians in range of the boulder.
Addendum 2/27: Elite Barbarian Strategy: When deploying EBs at the bridge, you .can. place them on the very outside edge. This will make them slightly harder to pull inward. A side effect is that they will stack one in front of the other.
Addendum 2/27: Against Mortar, splitting EBarbs is surprisingly effective. Split them such that the Mortar's first shot lands between them as they run away. Then you can apply opposite lane pressure and counter the Mortar with the lone EBarb.
Addendum 2/27: With graveyard all over, I'd recommend going with Elite Barbarians. Not to mention they're common, not Epic. Prince works too of course, after all I did reach nearly the same trophies (50 less) with a lower level Prince.
Princess is an effective opening play, hot, an effective counterpusher, hot, an effective chipper, hot, an effective pressure play, hot, effective bait, hot, the list goes on, hot. My Princess is only Level 2, and when she is zapped to death by maxed Level 13s, those players tend to get punished. When using Princess to support your push, make sure to stagger her both vertically and horizontally to more effectively protect her.
Princess + Ice Spirit; Princess + Zap; Princess + Fire Spirits
Minion Horde (IS or Zap), Barbarians (Fire Spirits), Witch (Princess hits the skeletons), Skeleton Army, Tombstone (play Princess on the edge of the opposite lane so she doesn’t target the skeletons; or with good timing as the tombstone pops)
ADVANCED STRATEGY: Lane Baiting: If the opponent counters Princess with something more expensive, or counters shortly after placing an Elixir Collector or some other expensive card, you can push the opposite lane very effectively, as shown here: www.imgur.com/a/kcy0p
Addendum 2/27: When deploying Princess at the bridge, drop her on the outer tile if the opponent has a Musketeer. Even above 5k trophies, very often my opponent will try to drop Musketeer in the pocket where she can typically shoot Princess, and then push the other lane. However, a Princess on the outside edge will be out of Musketeers' range, and therefore the opponent plays 4 ineffective elixir and takes chip damage from the Princess.
NOTE: A Hog down the same lane as your freshly-placed Princess is a bad sign. Watch out for The Log that follows. Either wait for The Log to come rolling before placing your Skeleton Army, or use something else to counter.
Ice Spirit is underrated, and that’s saying something. Ice Spirit is a very cost-effective and technical card. In this deck serves as a combo-card, a chip card, and a very useful defensive tool.
Ice Spirit + Prince: This combo will kill an Ice Wizard in one charge. Ice Spirit + Zap; Ice Spirit + Princess Ice Spirit + Fire Spirits: If you really need to prevent chip damage, this combination trades evenly with both Miner and Princess.
Leading Spirit: Does your opponent keep stalling your push using Ice Spirit? Just send your own in front of your push to trade 1-for-1.
Princess Protection: Ice Spirit can be paired with your Princess to win Princess duels unscathed. If your Princess is within range of both of your arena towers, an Ice Spirit can protect her from a Miner. Fire Spirits can do this when Princess is only within range of one of your arena towers, though they are one more elixir. Ice Spirit (and Fire Spirits) can also predict Princess counters such as Minions, but watch out for The Log.
Anti-Tombstone: When played down the opposite lane to support your push, an Ice Spirit can either disable a tombstone or kill its death skeletons. If the opponent somehow reacts fast enough, he’ll still have to expend elixir- often more than just one.
VS Furnace: Correct use of Ice Spirit will deny two waves of Fire Spirits. Let one fire spirit hit the IS while it is deploying, and after that it will take the next wave out. That is one elixir for 1.6 elixir’s worth of Furnace spawns. Thanks to u/yyarn for pointing this trick out.
All the fancy techy shit you need:
Countering Elite Barbarians: http://imgur.com/a/b8WdD Note that this requires quick play for best results.
SMD Stephen (not really)
This is a fun card. I use it for lots of tricky plays.
As with all cards, mix up placement when you can. For example, against a pair of Elite Barbarians, the first time I would probably drop Skarmy right on top of them. Later, I’d place it either in the middle or to the outside edge, to thwart predictions. It can be a good idea to occasionally use other cards as your first defensive measurement- for example, fire spirits or Elite Barbarians/ Prince, to keep your opponent guessing.
Split: Splitting a Skeleton Army is incredibly cost-effective. Provides double-lane defense, negative-trade zaps, and opposite/ split pushes (for example, Prince + .5skarmy; IS + .5skarmy; zap, princess, and barrel at the ready). Split Skeleton Armies are very very effective against Knight, Minipekka, and Prince, as well as Elite Barbarians. Even just pairing it with an Ice Spirit can be threatening.
VS Miner: Skeleton Army is one of the best Miner counters. With proper placement it can split upward to kill Miner Support too. OFFENSE: I don’t use Skeleton Army on offense very often, but with proper judgment it can be devastating. Offensive Skeleton Armies can be useful in split pushes or as a shield against cards like Inferno Tower. A Skeleton Army at the bridge, with good timing, will render an Inferno Tower ineffective via splitting left and right, tanking the Inferno Tower. This can also be useful against other slow-hitting units.
ADVANCED STRATEGY: When you get an enemy tower down, you can get really nasty. As your attacker crosses the bridge, play Skeleton Army in the center of your opponent’s arena to chew up any spirits, tombstones, Elite Barbarians, Mini Pekkas, et cetera played to counter. I call this the “Prediction Skarmy”, and it’s always a nice trick to pull off. The Skeleton Army can be used in a similar fashion to chew through spawners.
PLACEMENT: Inferno Tower isn’t as easy to use as it might seem. Different situations call for different placements.
Standard Tanks: Place Inferno Tower in the center, pulling the maximum distance.
Royal Giant + Minions: This is a pretty common push. By sending predictive Minions across the middle of the river, it can greatly reduce the effectiveness of an Inferno Tower. To circumcise this issue, simply play Inferno Tower to the outside edge. It will lock right on to the RG and the Minions will be useless.
Lightning: Play Inferno Tower further up so it cannot be hit for value with the arena tower. Have some combination of spirits and Princess ready in case the opponent sends air troops across the river.
One Tower Down: If one of your towers is down, consider playing the IT toward the edge of your side so the enemy cannot drop swarm cards onto it.
ADVANCED STRATEGY: If zapped, you can answer with Ice Spirit, or Skeleton Army, or something else, or nothing and just lose the game. If your Inferno Tower has a decent amount of HP remaining, you can make use of that HP by placing a Princess at the bridge. Troops used to counter her will be killed. Make sure the opponent does not have Princess or The Log in his rotation.
Goblin Barrel Note: I haven’t used a defensive Goblin Barrel in ages.
Goblin Barrel can be used against some spawners or support units, though this is rarely its best application. I do often use it against Collectors rather than the tower itself (sometimes players miss their zap because of this). On occasion I have dropped Goblin Barrel right on top of Mini PEKKAs, Musketeers, or Tombstones to neutralize that defense, but again, this is very situational.
Placement: Sometimes you’ll want to mix up placement. If they have The Log in hand and I’m doing a push with barrel involved (or if I’m just sending a lone barrel), I tend to toss Goblin Barrel to the outside edge.
Deck Abuse: On the off-chance that the opponent doesn’t have Zap or The Log, you can just keep cycling barrels.
Cycling: Sometimes to finish out matches you’ll need to outcycle the opponent’s spell. Cheap units let you get a cheap cycle.
VS Electro Wizard: Electro Wizard counters Goblin Barrel, but he is one more elixir. You can send out Goblin Barrel for a 3-4 “trade”, then push the other lane.
SYNERGIES: IS +Zap; Princess + Zap; Fire Spirits + Zap
Go see specific guides on opposite lane pressure to learn about that. That’s leaving the deck guide area and going into the card guide area. Also I’m too lazy to type all that up.
You can use zap to win Princess duels, though often this is not the best option. However, if in the middle of a Princess duel the opponent The Logs your Princess, it is usually acceptable to zap as that is an even trade.
It is also sometimes acceptable to zap a tombstone’s death spawns. Negative trades aren’t always a terrible thing, as evidenced here: www.imgur.com/a/UGeGb. Do know your opponent’s deck before making riskier plays though.
Barrel Zap Combo: Fire Spirits and Skeleton Army can shut a Goblin Barrel down. If your opponent continually counters your Goblin Barrel with one of these troops, preemptive zap to punish them, killing their counter, damaging the tower, and stunning for your goblins. While this deck doesn’t have The Log as backup in case of a Goblin Barrel response, it does have both Fire Spirits and Skeleton Army (awkward…).
Addendum 2/27: Zap means that your Elite Barbarians kill Barbarians in one less hit. I wouldn't recommended doing this all the time, but it can prove very useful if you have the elixir to spend.
Tactical Oops: I like this one. I invented it. Link:
holy butt since when did that get 415 upvotes?
The tactical oops has been nerfed with the introduction of muting, and rightfully so. It can be very overpowered. Applying the tactical oops to zap, against a fellow zap bait deck you could zap their skeleton army, say oops and shoot the angry face off, and prepare your fire spirits for the incoming barrel.
Video GuidesIf you want to see how I play this deck, pull up the video guides and take a look at the explanations below. Warning, the videos are for teaching, not entertainment or quality. They look and sound pretty bad. So if you have volume on, I’d turn it off right now. Also the colors are pretty flashy so if you are susceptible to epileptic seizures I am sorry to say but you may be out of luck. Also one of the vids shows my finger. Please don’t look at it.
https://vid.me/zsx6 vs Giant ElectroBowler WITH THREE SPELLS
2:50: I test the waters with a Barrel.
2:40: The opponent used Arrows, so my Princess is safe. The opponent places Bowler, so I respond with an opposite lane push.
2:22: My push got a strike off and forced my opponent to split his elixir.
2:02: With The Log out of rotation and my Inferno Tower still standing, I deploy Princess at the bridge. She gets a shot off before dying to Arrows.
1:38: With a Tombstone in the left lane and a Giant dropped in the back, I drop Prince at the bridge for an opposite lane push.
1:16: I defend his Giant and Electro Wizard using Inferno Tower and Skeleton Army. The Goblin Barrel had forced The Log out of my opponent’s hand, so the Skeleton Army was very effective.
0:33: You get the idea.
0:25: I zap the Tombstone’s death skeletons, catching my opponent off-guard and connecting with the tower for a lot of damage. Meanwhile Inferno Tower and Skeleton Army cleaned up my opponent’s threatening push.
And that was how I got first in that tournament.
https://vid.me/lSEU vs Miner Zap Bait
2:45: I answer his goblin barrel with fire spirits, saving my zap.
2:24: With my opponent having used his spells, I use the Skeleton Army that countered his Miner in a counterpush. A fast zap gets me damage on his tower and I answer the barrel with fire spirits again.
1:50: I played Princess in the opposite lane to avoid taking chip damage on my weak tower. The opponent smartly saves his The Log.
1:35: My opponent overdefends, using seven elixir to my five.
0:57: I try catching my opponent off-guard, and convert it into a distraction. He wastes his Goblin Barrel as he somehow doesn’t have a counter in his hand.
0:45: Anticipating a Miner on my Princess, I place Skeleton Army mainly on her. However I do ensure that not all of it will be hit by The Log if he targets Princess with The Log. My opponent foolishly zaps, spending seven elixir for minimal tower damage and loss of his spells.
0:34: I counter with Fire Spirits and push with Prince + Goblin Barrel- remember, my opponent has no spells in his hand.
0:27: I was ready for the Skeleton Army and zap it.
0:03: Trick barrel.
OT 2:15: I prepare Ice Spirit because I know a The Log is on its way. I place Fire Spirits to damage the Miner and Skeleton Army to take out the remaining troops, including the Ice Golem.
OT 2:05: I hit a Goblin Barrel with Zap for the win. Then I quickly cut the video.
https://vid.me/QTAd vs some random shit deck.
2:38: My opponent’s first big mistake is placing that late Skeleton Army. Ice Spirit would have mitigated the damage without overcommitting.
2:00: Because my opponent accidentally split his Skeleton Army, my Prince gets a lot of damage off. Again, my opponent overcommits and plays Goblin Barrel for a negative trade and damage to his tower.
1:35: Note the Ice Spirit that protects the Princess.
0:60: I apply pressure on my strong tower’s lane. Also, I don’t know if you noticed that this should say 1:00. It doesn’t.
0:07: My opponent had a decent idea- tanking Inferno Tower with the Skeleton Army- but it was too late.
https://vid.me/w9dL vs LavaLightning
2:32: My opponent’s misplace results in his Ice Wizard being OHK’d.
1:48: The zap paid off. Timing is important.
1:31: I pressure the opposite lane against the Hound.
1:15: I distract Mega Minion with Skeleton Army. Be careful with placement relative to Inferno Tower- you don’t want them both getting zapped.
1:14: Unfortunately the Minions are lured away at the worst time possible, leading to a great zap for my opponent, and a tower down.
0:15: IT is safe from Minions, but not Lightning.
OT 2:41: I take a risky by placing IT in the center. Fortunately the spirits are well-timed.
OT 2:40: p r e d i c t i o n s k a r m y
Since you asked about the phone. It dropped literally two feet and completely shattered. Because it landed on gravel and then I stepped on it. So sorry about the super shitty quality of this replay, but again, it’s for the deck guide, not entertainment.
2:40: I notice a chance to push the opposite lane. My opponent really shanks the Ice Spirit.
1:50: Ice Spirit is cost-effective chip damage, but often better used in other ways.
1:19: Mega Minion is tanked using Skeleton Army. Princess is placed in the opposite lane so a Miner would take damage from the opposite tower.
0:55: Fire Spirits to cycle and chip, as I know Ice Spirit is not in my opponent’s hand.
0:44: Goblin Barrel trick- zap is not in my opponent’s hand.
0:30: Skeleton Army tanks again, for three enemies this time.
2:50: My starting hand doesn’t let me push, so I test for zap. He doesn’t bite.
2:25: SPARKY??!! I push the other lane, leading to one of my favorite synergies. The zap is a bit late however so Prince’s charge is broken.
2:05: With zap baited, my opponent’s push is absurdly easy to take care of.
2:02: fuck. 1:30: I pressure the opposite lane, lightly, as I don’t need to expend much elixir to take the tower. Just baiting, really.
1:20: I zap everything to use Fire Spirits, then Ice Spirit saves my Prince. I took a decent amount of chip damage.
0:44: A risky play by my opponent. He could have been better off zapping my barrel or tanking my Prince.
https://vid.me/lWuU vs EBarbs Hog Zap Bait Conglomeration
2:36: With my opponent’s spell baited, I push Prince + Fire Spirits.
2:17: I opt to save my zap, and use Skeleton Army to defend.
1:53: Darn. On the bright side Prince connects- baiting The Log.
1:25: I attempt a tactical oops. See guide above.
1:10: With Elite Barbarians deployed I know I have an elixir advantage. I push the opposite lane.
0:23: Careful with Fire Spirits placement. You don’t want Ice Spirit splashing onto them, like here.
0:00: p r e d i c t i o n s k a r m y kills an ice spirit and my opponent is without counters.
https://vid.me/nFo6 vs Miner EBarbs
2:43: I start with a minor Miner misplay- what you want to do here is freeze the Miner to cycle and prevent a bit of chip damage, then drop Fire Spirits on the Spear Goblins. As you can see, this error caused me to miss out on a small amount of chip damage.
1:57: Skeleton Army is great against this push.
1:45: I attack with The Log and Zap out of my opponent’s rotation. 1:14: Fire Spirits are effective chip damage.
0:59: Goblin Barrel baits the spell. Fire Spirits clean up.
0:30: I defend Miner with Elite Barbarians so they can move on to kill the Archers and form a split push. The chaos lets me play a successful trick barrel.
0:13: God damn you. I told you not to look at that.
0:10: Passive Skeleton Army split. Keep in mind that Zap and The Log are negative trades against this.
OT 0:50: Every point of damage counts.
OT 0:45: The opponent attempts a desperation push. Knowing that The Log is in his hand, I play Elite Barbarians instead of Skeleton Army.
https://vid.me/XYee vs Miner-Something
2:44: Chip damage, then baiting zap.
2:25: MAXED CANNON
2:08: This is why you don’t play Princess stupidly. I should have placed mine further back so she wouldn’t target the cannon.
1:45: I get a lot of damage through by zapping the Minion Horde, though Fire Spirits would have worked even better.
1:33: I really don’t know why I didn’t zap right away. Just a dumb misplay, don’t do it.
1:10: A chip push causes my opponent to panic and waste elixir.
0:23: Note: Hover zap in case of Skeleton Army.
https://vid.me/zQq4 vs Overleveled Commons
2:45: When countering Fire Spirits with Ice Spirit, be sure your Ice Spirit has time to deploy and attack.
2:33: With zap out of rotation, Skeleton Army is safe.
2:20: Fire Spirits pushed an Elite Barbarian slightly to the right. I think.
2:01: Be careful with placement.
1:36: Looks pretty scary…
1:25: Toss the Goblin Barrel out, so the opponent has no way to support his push.
0:20: Skeleton Army and Inferno Tower shut RG down.
TL;DRI beat White Light
^(he gave me angry face)
MGR's Aurora Chronicles Chapter 17 - Ribbons and Ribbons
Captain John Raleigh commanded both the blandly named GCS Marduk Mk4 001, and the equally blandly named Interstellar Survey 2 task group. A type 3 major, he’d seen the earlier days of Global Empire exploration aboard one of the shiny new Mikinik Mk 3’s. All new captains in the GE Survey Corps start aboard a Gravitational Survey Vessel, to allow more senior personnel to transfer off the high stress ships. Now that he qualified as senior personnel himself, he was transferred to the recently refitted and overhauled Marduk Mk4 001, or the D1 for short. Geological surveys were considered a low risk, and quite boring job, as the the Gravitational Survey Vessels got to encounter all the new and old aliens. Interstellar Survey 2 is in charge of surveying NN 4073 and working back to Gilese 694. Tina is interested in pushing the borders of known space in search of new colony spots, and Captain Raleigh would rather not complain, no matter how much he disliked the job. https://imgur.com/hLI4cpp is a chart of known space at the time.
While investigating asteroid #9258, Captain Raleigh hears the two senior science technicians talking to each other.
“Did you hear that they finally got everything off Wolf 359?”
“Yeah, that place was creepy as all get out. Glad I didn’t end up there.”
“You’re happy to be out here on the back end of space? It takes so much energy to make a micro-wormhole back home that I swear the lights in my quarters dim.”
“Well, no, not exactly. I’d rather be on Wolf 46. I hear that Nina is still working full throttle to get installations catalogued and recovered. She just called in 2 more construction brigades to try to get everything going, and they still won’t be done for years.”
“Yeah, beats measuring the micro-gravity disruptions of these TNM’s.”
Captain Raleigh let their conversation fade back into static as he checked his display for the 108th time in the past 2 hours of work. While he was examining the system to see if any unusual asteroid or comet orbits could be found, a klaxon started blaring. While there are a variety of warning tones, this one was reserved for an unknown object detection. One of the senior science technicians reports in and proclaims, “The unknown object has a thermal signature of 402,176. It’s why we were able to detect it from so far away with our minimal passive sensors.”
Surprised and intrigued by this news, Captain Raleigh responded, “Isn’t the thermal signature of a Nevada Class Battleship 10,000? This would put the object at over 40 Nevada’s in terms of engine output.”
“Yes sir. In fact, as we observe the object’s velocity, it appears to be moving at 12,189 km/s. Unless they use special thermal dissipation technology like the Crow class, that would put them at over 1.6 million tons.”
“That’s not exactly good news. Something that masses around the displacement of the entire First Fleet is not something I want to face. Signal D2 to join us in making full thrust for the jump point, and order engineering to divert all extra power to the capacitors for the wormhole generator. We have to let... somebody… know what’s going on here.”
It was at this point that Communications broke in to the situation and announced that she was receiving a transmission from the unknown object via a newly generated micro-wormhole.
“Put them on screen please.”
“Greetings and Salutations, this is Captain John Raleigh of the Global Empire Geological Survey Vessel Marduk Mark 4 001. We are on a peaceful mission of exploration and hope that we can quickly achieve communications!”
“A Captain of the Global Empire? Then I suppose I shall introduce myself in kind. I am Admiral Karl Laghari of the Return to Earth Force. We are returning to the Milky Way to correct this deviation from natural history in which we lost our home. Serve notice on your superiors. Humanity has returned.”
“I’m certain that the Global Empire is interested in opening a dialogue with our long-lost cousins. Please remain where you are, and I shall relay a message as soon as it becomes available.” After that, Captain Raleigh signaled for the channel to be cut. As soon as that was done, he ordered engineering to redline the reactors and pressed the Murphy’s Button located on the side of his chair.
Fuji, 70 Ophiuchi, May 24, 2110: 04:30 Galactic Standard Time:The Global Empire standard alarm tone consists of a 4-beat 1 KHz tone played a minimum of 2 times, or until acknowledged. The Murphy’s Button alarm tone consists of a 15 KHz sine wave played continuously at maximum supported amplitude until acknowledged. Needless to say, Tina’s bedroom was filled with the extremely unpleasant sound, and then quickly accompanied by an anguished wail. “I hope this is important.”
“Yes Governor. I’m calling you to report as Senior Officer of the Interstellar Survey 2 Task Group that Humans have been found in NN 4073. They insist that they will be returning to Earth immediately. Initial thermal sensor reports indicate a speed of approximately 12,000 km/s and a mass of 1.6 million tons”
“You have got to be kidding me. I’m going to relay this to my sisters and Father. You should expect a wormhole from Nina shortly. In the meantime, make best speed for the jump point to NN 4048 and get back to Corydon immediately.”
After ending the call, Tina went to work on contacting the rest of the Imperial Family, who would also be asleep at this time of day. After sending the summons and a report, she figured it was about time to start her day anyways.
Imperial Palace, Earth, Sol, May 30, 2110: 08:00 Galactic Standard Time“How was the trip from Fuji?” said Lena.
“Exciting in all the wrong ways. We were going through the jump points so fast I thought that the ship was going to shake itself to pieces before we even made it to Earth.” said Tina.
“I bet you can’t say it was worse than Nina’s trip has been going. Nothing she’s said can get those people to divert, and it was hard enough to negotiate the safe passage of the survey ships out of the system.”
It was at this point that my own entry into the conference room interrupted the conversation between Tina and Lena. A few seconds later, the image of Nina appeared in one of the empty chairs, signalling the start of the emergency conference.
“Hello sisters, Dad, nice to see you again. I have to begin this conference on a bad note. Despite my own best efforts, it has become clear over the past 5 days that the humans will not be turned aside from their goal through conversation. The most concessions I’ve gotten out of them is that the Global Empire can keep everything we have except the Sol system. They plan to take position of the system immediately upon arrival, and we only have until then to evacuate.”
“That’s impossible. There aren’t enough colony ships in the whole of the Global Empire to move the population of Mars, let alone Earth, in that time frame. My colonization plan is just getting rolling with the people moving phase, and we don’t have anything near enough shipyard capacity to remedy that.” After a few taps on her tablet, Tina displayed a set of statistics on the main monitor. “If you see here, our current colony fleet can move 1.2 million Majors per trip. The closest colony is Procyon-A II. Even so, it’s a 30 day trip to make a one way trip to Procyon. Even if humans take all the byways and distracting jump points, I can’t seriously expect them to take over a year. We’d be able to move 7 million Majors in that time frame, which is a significant shortfall. We cannot afford to acquiesce to their demands. The cost in life and property would be tremendous.”
At this point, everyone turned to look at me, so I decided to push forward. “From reviewing communication logs, I agree with Nina that humanity cannot be deflected from their goal by peaceful means. They won’t accept Gilese 785 as a substitute, nor their original home. I also agree that we can’t let them simply take our home. Now that we have the facts laid out, it’s time to start talking solutions. Lena, can the 1st Fleet defeat the known enemy fleet?”
“Nope.” After noticing everyone staring at her, she decided that it would be best to elaborate. “As a quick comparison, the 1st Fleet currently consists of 6 Nevada Class Battleships, 6 Ranger Class Carriers, 5 Oregon City Class Cruisers, 3 Baltimore Class Cruisers, and 16 Gridley Class Destroyers. The combined tonnage of all ships is approximately 900,000 tons. The tonnage of the enemy mothership alone is 1.6 million tons. As you can see on the display (https://snag.gy/h23IjK.jpg), there are 10 additional dreadnoughts, which weigh 170,000 tons each. The 1st Fleet is so tremendously outmassed that we simply do not have the gun advantage. Based off the displayed speed of enemy ships, we also do not have the technology advantage, unless their engines are more advanced than their guns. With almost a 4:1 advantage in mass, we simply cannot defeat them unless they turn out to be total idiots. And assuming people are idiots is just a terrible idea all around, so I wouldn’t recommend that.”
As despair starts to settle in on the table, Tina asks, “What about the new Defender Class PDC on Earth? If we build a number of those, perhaps we can intimidate them into backing off, or we’ll destroy the Earth if they don’t.”
“Building PDC’s is only viable as a last ditch strategy. The best plan my staff and I have come up with is to hit their fleet as it transits a jump point. The chance of their mothership having its own jump drive is so small that it can basically be ignored. What this means is that their jump shock time will be quite large, and we can fight them unopposed. However, those Dreadnoughts are likely to be heavily armored enough to shrug off quite a beating. We will probably only be able to take out 3 before jump shock wears off. I recently finished Mod 1 designs for all our combatants, but we simply don’t have the resources to get all the ships done before it’s necessary to put them in combat.” said Lena.
At this point, the conversation centered around making the best of the jump defence plan. What resulted was far from perfect, but the best that we could come up with. “So, let’s get this laid out clearly for all involved, then we can get to work on our hands in this plan. Tina, your job is to retask all of our cargo fleets to start pulling resources from all our planets. Fuji and Procyon will help with fabricating the ship components we need to get these Mod 1 refits done. Lena, you’ll work on getting the SR-2 Raven design into service so we can keep surveillance on the enemy fleet. Hopefully, the sensors will be detailed enough to give us some insight into what armaments they’re carrying, and if we can expect any other surprises. I also expect those Baltimore’s to be refitted within 12 months. Nina, I want you to try to tie the humans up in negotiations as best we can, and work on your speech about how we’ll destroy the Earth if they try to take it from us. Bluffing is our best bet if the 1st Fleet can’t fight them off on its own.”
“That reminds me. I don’t know how the humans will react to our occupation of the People’s Republic of Corydon. What do we have on Corydon for Ground Forces?” said Tina.
After some minor investigation of my own, I displayed the unit organization on the main monitor. “There’s a good quantity of garrison troops, but they’re lacking the support and headquarters units we would need for a planetary fight. Lena, can you ready the ground transports for once those units finish training? We need to ensure that the planet remains secure.” said me.
“Yup, that should be easy enough. Moving ground forces is a piece of cake, even with a hostile fleet bearing down on us.”
“Well, I think we’ve got a plan. Tina, your room is ready in case you want to stay here for the duration of this crisis. With Nina on her way back, the family will finally be together for the first time in a year.”
“Yes, that’d be nice.”
“Alright then, everyone has your assignments. Let’s carry them out to the best of our abilities, and show that we are the true owners of this planet!”
With that, the conference broke up as we all went to work. A few months later, the GSS Crow was refitted to the new SR-2 Raven design:
SR-2 Raven class Stealth Scout 1 950 tons 59 Crew 1007.3 BP TCS 2.73 TH 79.84 EM 0 12794 km/s JR 1-50 Armour 1-13 Shields 0-0 Sensors 160/160/0/0 Damage Control Rating 1 PPV 0 Maint Life 2.69 Years MSP 323 AFR 30% IFR 0.4% 1YR 64 5YR 958 Max Repair 561.6 MSP Intended Deployment Time: 21 months Spare Berths 0 Stealth MJD Mk1 Max Ship Size 2250 tons Distance 50k km Squadron Size 1 Stealth Main Drive Mk2C (1) Power 499.2 Fuel Use 42.39% Signature 79.872 Exp 13% Fuel Capacity 200 000 Litres Range 43.5 billion km (39 days at full power) Passive Thermal Supersize Mk7 (1) Sensitivity 160 Detect Sig Strength 1000: 160m km Passive EM Supersize Mk7 (1) Sensitivity 160 Detect Sig Strength 1000: 160m km Cloaking Device: Class cross-section reduced to 7% of normalWith an improved cloaking device, fuel capacity, and a built in jump drive, the SR-2 Raven is now capable of carefully following the human fleet at a range close enough to make out some details on enemy ships. While the Crow was refitting, the last 3 of the old Baltimore classes started refitting directly to the new and improved Oregon City Mod 1 class cruisers. With 50% more main guns, a new Gauss PD turret capable of dispatching up to almost twice as many missiles as the old railguns, and improved Electronic Warfare capabilities, it’s quite the formidable opponent.
After a month of studying the human fleet, two new designs are created. The first is the Gridley Mod 1 design. A relatively straightforward upgrade, the Mod 1 design refits the 3 15cm main guns with 3 20cm lasers taken from the Oregon City design. To make room for the new and bigger guns, the Gauss Turrets are updated with a new model of cannon that allows for fewer cannons to output the same rate of fire.
The second design is the Tillman Class Dreadnought. Originally, the dreadnought class caused a great deal of consternation among the Ship Design Bureau, as the Dreadnought classification was never used by the United States Navy for any of their ships, seeing as how it used to be a nickname for a generation of battleships. Finally, they decide to name the inaugural class after the Senator Tillman of Maximum Battleship fame, with subsequent classes being named after UK battleship designs. Armed with a main battery of 12 30cm guns, it was created to be an effective counter to the Lykourgos class Dreadnoughts fielded by Humanity. With an armor penetration of up to 8 layers compared to the 6 layers of a Nevada, it will be more effective against an armored opponent. It also carries an entirely new and unique weapon of the Nuclear Pumped Laser Missile. More details can be found in an article by Lena, but it allows missiles to bypass enemy Point Defence, allowing for an increased hit rate on heavily defended targets.
Imperial Palace, Earth, Sol, January 15, 2111, 8:04 Galactic Standard Time:“How can you possibly not be able to make fighters any faster? I’ve been seeing fighter factories popping up left and right, and they’re tiny ships! The F-2 only weighs 227 tons, and shipyards can pump out a 50,000 ton ship in only a year.” said Lena.
“That’s because this planet never had significant fighter infrastructure before this. Up until now, you’ve only requested small amounts of fighters at a time to help fill up your carriers. Dumping an order for 360 fighters on me all at once is not going to get them produced in time.” said Tina.
“How fast can you get them done then?”
“Assuming I build up to 275 factories at a consistent rate, the fighters should be done in about 5 more years. I know that’s not what you want, but that’s all I’ve got. Fuji and Procyon are tied up making more ship components and don’t have any fighter factories of their own.”
“Fine, fine. How many fighters will you have ready by May?”
And thus, with a headdesk and a moan, Lena ended the call. While the human fleet had disappeared into EG 372, she knew they’d be coming back soon. With only a couple estimated months remaining until they found Sol, time was tight.
Sol, April 20, 2111The 1st Fleet sortied forth from Earth. In the 11 months since the discovery of humanity, Lena managed to arrange the refits of the 3 Baltimores, and 2 Gridley’s, but repeated material and fabrication shortages prohibited any further refits. Unfortunately, only 37 fighters could be produced, and ordnance supplies were minimal. With Humanity in Barnard’s Star itself, the GSS Crow was running a desperate distraction mission to buy the day necessary for the 1st Fleet to reach position. It was completed, and the 1st Fleet assumed position 200,000 km away from the jump point, with all 37 fighters launched and ready to go.
GSS South Carolina, Sol-Barnard’s Star Jump Point, April 27, 2111: 14:56:“Please open a channel to the fleet. The Crow says we have only 2 minutes left, so it’s about time I said something.”
“Yes, Admiral. Channel is now open. You are clear to address the fleet.”
“We approach this battle outnumbered in firepower, but not in brainpower. Some of us have been serving in the Navy since the days of the First Battle of Ross 154, and we wear the medal commemorating the loss of our friends on that fateful day. Today, we fight an even more historical battle. This sacrifice will have the power to seal our hold on Earth forever, or to end the Golden Age of the MGRace. May we fight with all of our courage, smarts, and might. All hands to battlestations. We engage the enemy in 120 seconds.”
After clicking off the intercom, Lena studies her display of intelligence on the enemy ship classes one last time. The mothership is some type of carrier, the dreadnoughts are heavily armed with railguns, the cruisers appear to be lightly armed with lasers, and the destroyers carry the gauss Point Defence for the enemy fleet. Smiling at the prospect of combat, Lena orders the 1st Fleet to open fire on Lykourgos 1 as soon as it comes through the jump point. Only GSS Michigan will open fire with missiles so far, but that will be enough for now. She plans to save the new Silak Mk4E for after the opening laser barrage wears off.
Right on time, at 14:58:16, the Human fleet jumps into Sol. Their shields were off, presumably to save fuel over their long journey, but Lena knew that would not last. After entering the fire command into the tactical network, she was confronted by a most disconcerting fact. The Human dreadnoughts were protected by ECM 60, and most GE ships only had ECCM of 30, which meant that beam weapons were 30% less accurate than they normally would be. The 3 Oregon City Mod 1 cruisers had ECCM 40 and were less affected, but it was still a 20% penalty.
In the first 30 seconds of battle, the space around Lykourgos 1 seemed to radiate with the power of the Sun itself. While shields were beginning to come up, they were nowhere near capable of repelling the sheer amount of firepower fielded by the 1st Fleet. Missiles came soaring in from GSS Michigan to strike exposed hull. The finishing blow was struck by the new Mk4E’s launched by all 37 F-2 Tuna class fighters. With their punch spent for the next 20 minutes, Lena was left only with the limited ordnance supplies on GSS Michigan and GSS South Carolina. While she was pondering whether or not to open fire with the missile batteries on the South Carolina, the Lieutenant manning Tactical broke in.
“Admiral, we’ve been able to conclusively determine the recharge rate and shield strength of that mothership. It’s recharging at 20 points per second, which means that it has a maximum strength of approximately 6000 points.”
“That’s insanely high. What about those dreadnoughts?”
“Those are regenerating at 1 point per second, for a total strength of 300.”
“Good. My sisters and I both think that if we destroy the dreadnoughts, we can create enough of a psychological impact for the second part of our strategy to work. Open fire with all ASM batteries on the South Carolina. Signal the Michigan and the rest of the fleet to move targets to Lykourgos 2. We have to cut their numbers dramatically.” Thumbing a switch, Lena opens a channel to the other ship captains, “This is Admiral Lena. Close at best speed on Lykourgos 2. Let’s have them feel the burn a little bit.”
After just 15 seconds of laser and missile fire, Lykourgos 2 explodes. Excited at her fleet’s progress, but chilled at knowing just how little time remains, Lena orders the fleet to target Lykourgos 3. 15 seconds later, the mighty dreadnought continues to remain in one piece, but sensors across the human fleet begin to turn on. Lena orders the fleet to begin retreating to avoid taking too much damage from the enormous 45cm railguns mounted on the dreadnoughts. Just 5 seconds later, a far more pressing threat presents itself.
“Admiral, the enemy Ark Royal class mothership is opening hangar bay doors. It’s issuing fighters at a tremendous rate. So far, we’re detecting over twice as many as the full complement of a Ranger Class Carrier.”
“Dang, I didn’t think they’d be able to scramble crews that fast. Keep an eye on how many end up spawning and report to me when they’re done.” Thinking quickly, Lena decides that the best option is to keep the most pressure on the enemy as possible. Activating the all too familiar channel once more, she says, “Cruiser Captains, you are ordered to continue targeting Lykourgos 3. He’s got to be near death, so that should be all the firepower we need. Battleship Captains, I need you to focus laser and missile fire on Lykourgos 4. Knock those shields down and start tearing into the hull. Destroyer Commanders, target those fighters. It’s crunch time.”
Just before she can direct her attention back to the tactical map, Tactical reports in. “There appear to be 706 enemy fighters launched and hovering near the Ark Royal.”
“706?! That’s more than the whole 1st Fleet can carry. They just don’t seem to want to make this easy on us do they?” After quickly ordering the battleships to switch back to Lykourgos 3 and the cruisers to assist the destroyers with eliminating the enemy fighters, Lena studies the situation. The human crews have to be almost finished with jump shock, and then the real fight will begin. Lykourgos 3 is nearly in pieces, and will be finished off soon, but the fighters are the real concern. Scanners can’t find any sign of visible launchers, emitters, or any weaponry for that matter. However, they appear to have some form of redundant engines and components, as a single hit from a 15cm laser at 200,000 kms appears insufficient to destroy one in a single shot.
After just ten more seconds, Lykourgos 3 self destructs and Lena orders the battleships to target Lykourgos 4. 50 fighters in total have been destroyed, but GSS Michigan has run out of missiles. With a slowing rate of both fighter destruction and damage inflicted on the enemy dreadnoughts, Lena knows that the balance of the fight is sliding against her unless she can do something fast.
Lykourgos 4 explodes in a blast as the engines blow up, tearing the ship apart. With 100 enemy fighters also destroyed, Lena’s hopes begin to rise, but it was not to last. Even with their casualties, 600 fighters are a dire prospect for any fleet, and they begin to move towards the First Fleet. Merely 5 seconds after the beginning of fighter movement, Lena’s focus is broken by another message from Tactical:
“GSS Michigan has been completely vaporized!”
“What! Was it a sympathetic detonation from the engines?”“No Admiral, we detected a mass launch of railgun projectiles from the enemy fleet, and
then the Michigan was destroyed by the resulting swarm impact. Sensor readings show the Lykourgos class launched the majority of the projectiles.”
“Helm, get the ship away from those dreadnoughts at once. Communications, signal the rest of the fleet to retreat alongside us. Our lasers are effective at longer ranges than their railguns, so we can survive if we can move away.”
And thus, the battle moved on to a new phase, with the First Fleet retreating towards Earth, and dragging the human fleet behind it. However, it would only last for about a minute. At that point in time, with 3 GE Battleships destroyed and 300 enemy fighters destroyed, the enemy fighters pull even with the fleet and begin to reach past. Lena realizes the fighters are aiming for her carriers, presumably to stop her own fighters from re-arming, and sends her destroyers after them. However, the destroyers are simply not powerful enough to stop the enemy fighters, and 5 GE carriers explode, taking all the fighters in the fleet with them. GSS Ranger manages to escape by hiding in the First Fleet, and the third phase of the battle begins.
With 235 enemy fighters functional, they merge into contact with the First Fleet, and begin employing their meson based weaponry against GE destroyers, which were designed to hunt fighters like them. For the next two minutes, it is a chaotic fight in which the First Fleet takes heavy losses, but manages to destroy all operational fighters. It is at this point that Lena enacts the key moment of the plan to save Earth from the humans.
“Communications, open a channel to the flagship of the human fleet.” said Lena.
“Enemy fleet commander, this is Admiral Lena Relativity of the Global Empire Navy. Break off your hostile actions against us immediately, or we will turn the Earth into a wasteland unfit for habitation by either of us.”
Appearing onscreen, the enemy commander replied, “You would ruin the home of us all simply so we cannot have what is rightfully ours?”
“Yes. Those are my orders, and I have every intention of complying with them.” replied Lena.
Finally forcing a halt to the relentless enemy advance, negotiations were opened with the human fleet for a second time. Nina, taking over the Global Empire end from Earth, managed to use a carefully practiced facade of willingness to destroy the Earth to create and enforce a cease fire. Even with the First Fleet nearly destroyed in action, the First Battle of Sol was won by the Global Empire. However, all was not well. Nina and Imperial Intelligence both reported that they believe the humans merely retreated because they had no apparent AMM capabilities and didn’t think they could intercept the missiles in time. They were also certain that the humans would be returning to Sol sometime soon in the future, as you “don’t give up your prize target so easily” according to Nina.