It has been nearly a decade since Igiss graced us with his posts of old on the overarching development of the mod. For the past three years we've been enamoured with spreadsheets and technicalities from the simple changes of base IFFs to system redesigns, that we seem to have forgotten exactly what it means to write for a roleplay environment. In this post we aim to correct that failing, by providing an inclusive overview of Discovery 4.91, Pyres of Remembrance.
Why Pyres of Remembrance? Discovery 4.91 represents the absolute height of the Gallic advance. Bretonia will be set ablaze, and its flames signify the burning resolve of Gallia to take vengeance upon the Sirian houses for their treason. A remembrance of their sins, cleansed in fire.
New London Offensive: 825 AS
With Leeds now firmly under control of the Crown and Liberty's forces pushed back to Cortez and Magellan, Gallia's struggle with overextension has forced them to make a difficult decision. Seven years of war and a burgeoning front line far from home have left their military leaders with only two options: entrench themselves in Edinburgh and Leeds and cease their offensives, leaving the Sirian betrayers with time to lick their wounds, or a final concerted push into New London to bring the Bretonians to their knees once and for all. Opting for the latter approach, Gallia has discovered a new flank from which to assault the Bretonian capital. The single largest fleet of warships in human history has made a double pronged push into New London, ravaging the system from the Newcastle Gate to Southampton in what has been dubbed the New London blitz, encircling the capital world itself. The remnants of Bretonia's battered fleet have formed a battle line around their homeworld spearheaded by the Suffolk, Essex, and the prototype carrier Warwick. With retreat not an option, the Bretonians are determined to make Gallia bleed for every inch.
The crux of Gallia's blitz is the New London gate in the Leeds system. After Gallic forces in New London captured the Newcastle gate, Royal Navy demolition teams set about methodically destroying key control mechanisms that had been identified as necessary for establishing a stable wormhole. These components were subsequently replaced by EFL-designed substitutes, allowing the gate to establish a jury-rigged connection with its counterpart in Leeds. Not only does Gallia now possess a direct route from their occupied holdings to the heart of Bretonia, but it has also effectively removed the Ark Royal's battlegroup from participating in the battle for New London with the isolation of Newcastle.
It is there that Bretonian forces stand alone against the formidable Embrun cohort. Operating under an unorthodox Gallic Royal Intelligence command structure, it has already destroyed Birmingham Station in the chaos of the initial offensive in New London. Having finally outlived their usefulness to the war effort, the Mollies too have fallen victim to Gallia's ambitions. As the Embrun moored at Belfast Production Facility under the pretense of repair and resupply, Gallic Marines seized control of the station's command module, shutting down life support and wiping out the base's population with the aim of weakening the Molly movement in anticipation of the planned occupation.
In these desperate times, the Bretonian government has authorized a task force spearheaded by the Battleship Stirling to annex Omega-49 and Planet Gran Canaria into the Kingdom. Though it is unlikely the local Zoner militia will be able to stop them, Bretonia's enemies in the region are certain to intervene. The Coalition has already denounced a military presence in the Omega region, deploying forces to both Omega-3 and Omega-49 in anticipation of a Bretonian diaspora in the wake of Gallia’s advance.
A Council plot to eliminate the Royal Navy's Issoudun Drydock from the war has ended in catastrophe. How intelligence could have underestimated the installation’s defences is a question that remains unanswered, and will remain so for the forseeable future as the Council is forced to contend with the disaster they’ve brought upon themselves. In the aftermath of the attack, the Royal Navy was able to vector a point of origin from the attack force’s trajectories leading to a previously uncharted jump hole to the Roussillon system. With much of the Southern Council Fleet committed to operations in Provence, Roussillon has been caught off guard as the Battleship Montmorency spearheads the invasion of the Council’s Sirian refuge.
Western California has become a warzone of a kind unseen since the conflict with Rheinland. Having returned to Magellan, the Carcassone has since arrived in California to lead an assault on Los Angeles with the objective of keeping Liberty reinforcements preoccupied far from the New London front. Gallia continues its blockade of Bretonia in the Independent Worlds, with the Liberty Navy matching them shot for shot, raid for raid and offensive for offensive.
Nonetheless, Gallia faces significant challenges on multiple fronts if they are to emerge victorious. On the home front, the Second Gallic War still rages on, with the Council ready to take full advantage of the Royal Navy's weakened home fleet. The Southern Council Fleet has emerged from the Mer Meditteranee in Provence and is moving towards an inevitable confrontation with the Battleship Arles, resulting in an exodus of civilians from the system. In Picardy, Council forces have successfully captured Haute-Seine Shipyard and Saint-Quentin Space Colony, and preparations are already underway for a frontal assault against Planet Amiens in the near future.
Elsewhere, the Crayter Republic is moving to liberate Tau-31 from Gallic authority and sever the Royal Navy's primary logistics artery, already fragile from the loss of Indochine Outpost to a Maquis attack, once and for all. In the wake of the Helios’ destruction in Tau-29, the Outcast Dreadnought Basilica has arrived in the Coronado system to carry out Operation Cathedral, Malta's vengeance against the Crayter Republic for disrupting the cardamine trade. As the Republic attempts to track down the elusive dreadnought and its accompanying fleet before it can reach a major population center, all sightings of the Basilica appear to place it on a direct course towards the restricted zone around the moon Jericho.
The Alberta-Poole supergate corridor has finally been activated, allowing much needed reinforcements to circumvent the treacherous Independent Worlds between Bretonia and Liberty where in New London, a fleet is assembling for a showdown with Gallia. Composed of the battlegroups Macduff, Suffolk, Essex, Warwick, Ottawa and Gettysburg, the Liberty Navy battlegroups Whitefield and Fairmont are expected to join the fight in the near future. One way or another, the war will end here - with one side making their last stand in the skies of New London.
On the far side of Sirius, the Second Sigma Conflict continues to escalate. Kruger's Bochum Refinery in Sigma-15 has been destroyed in a Kempeitai operation using a captured Rheinland gunboat rigged with explosives, resulting in the second major casualty of the conflict since the initial attack on Ibusuki. GMG forces elsewhere in the Sigmas report increasing skirmishes with rogue Kruger security wings and mobile gas mining operations, leading to suspicions that the corporation has reestablished a base in the region. In Kusari, the Matsumoto has been recalled to Hokkaido as sector-wide tensions and wars escalate to new heights, leaving Planet Tomioka's defence against the Blood Dragons in the hands of token Naval Forces and Samura private security.
Amidst this backdrop of war, changes of a peaceful nature are also reshaping the political landscape of Sirius. In Frankfurt, the Rheinland Government has invited EFL Oil & Machinery to build a new trade lane and jump gate to the Sigma-15 system. Deteriorating relations between Rheinland and Ageira over the legislation of Ageira Whiteboxes ultimately pushed the house to reach out to the Gallic corporation. Should EFL's technology prove satisfactory, it is possible that Rheinland may consider them for future infrastructure projects and break Ageira's centuries-long monopoly on faster-than-light infrastructure.
Following the final withdrawal of Rheinland forces from Dresden and the redeployment of warships elsewhere in Rheinland territory, an ambitious construction project is underway on Wildau Station in New Berlin that will coordinate all branches of Rheinland law-enforcement agencies. On the fringes of Gallic space, the jump gate to Maine has been reactivated once more, now linking to the distant Zurich system. EFL has established an observatory to investigate the system's yellow giant and its relation to FTL travel, as such stars have proven anomalous in their absence of jump hole connections. While most of the system remains largely unexplored for now, this status quo will not last as the GMS commits more resources to surveying Zurich’s enigmatic asteroid belts and dust clouds in search of mineral riches.
We've given Gallia's layout a major overhaul. All systems converge on Ile-de-France much like the design of the original houses. All Gallic systems have also had some or all of their trade lanes lengthened to make piracy possible. Orleanais and Picardy are redesigned and Lorraine and Lyonnais have been merged as one system.
Zurich is a 3D system like Kansas and will feature uphill/downhill trade lanes. We learned from the Virginia gate in Texas to design 3D systems using an imaginary plane to place objects rather than randomly placing objects above a system’s existing plane, so finding players in Zurich should be as predictable as in a normal system.
The main reason for the EFL-Ageira gate link to New London is so we don't spend several updates fumbling around trying to rebuild the link after 4.91. Instead, traders will be able to fly from New London to New Tokyo through the Taus right away once the war is over. The other obvious reason is that it helps to wrap up the war quickly by giving Gallia a way to invade in force. This war has been ongoing for years and people are sick of it at this point, but we're nonetheless going to do our best to end it with a worthy finale that will have major, lasting consequences and not a reset to the pre-war status quo.
Because Scarborough has become much harder to reach, Bowex players can buy the Bretonia transport line from Sprague. Also as Southampton Shipyard has been destroyed, the Bretonia Carrier is available from the Carrier Warwick and the Royal Liner can be bought on Planet Cambridge.
We have also implemented most of the first half of the Mining Update, which are the field changes. You can view the fields here.
Hiroshima was removed, because it didn't have a strong narrative going for it like Hokkaido or Kyushu, and it was really a repository of bases that could just as easily be in other Kusari systems. New Hampshire is also going to be removed in Part 2 and its bases recycled for the new Puerto Rico, but as there were so many changes everywhere else that it was postponed to avoid burnout.
4.91 Part 2 will be a smaller update to advance the war. Hopefully we'll also have the new Puerto Rico and Omicron Chi finished by then, the latter having something that will give the Gammu AI a goal to work towards.
You can view the latest map of the mod here: here.
Added Sleipnir Rheinland VHF.
Added Border Worlds Train.
Added new Border Worlds Transport model.
Added Artisan Unioner Gunboat.
Added new Coalition fighter models.
Added Gallic Brigand and Unione Corse gunboat turrets.
Added SHF engines
Full patch notes can be found here: Patch Notes - Discovery 4.91 Part 1 Release
- Aerelm - Sleipnir model, BW Transport & Train models
- Aristaan - Balance solutions, bugfixes
- Durandal - Model implementation, Story, Game design, Balance solutions, infocards, Malta
- Foxglove - Infocards
- Felsvar - Unioner Gunboat
- Its Raisu - FL Companion
- Kaze - Infocards, Story
- Kazinsal - Infocards, QA, Coding
- Small Might - Events
- Solcommand - Wildau Station model
- Stefan- Splash screen
- TheSauron - Infocards
- Thunderer - Balance solutions
- Thyr'zul - Infocards, Story
- Unseelie- Infocards, Story
- Victor Steiner - Infocards
- Vulkhar Mueller - Infocards
- Xalrok- Story, Game design, System development, Coalition ships, Intro
- Xoria - Economy
- Xing - Original Revolution mesh, Coalition shipline concept