Re: The Great Powers
Posted: Fri May 23, 2008 8:32 pm
First-Tier Great Powers
One of the superpowers among the human polities, both great and minor, the Imperial Commonwealth can best be described as the reincarnation of the legendary British Empire. While not hid as hard as other nations throughout Europe, the failure of the European Union to counter the Islamic Jihad that rocked Europe during the mid 21st Century caused Britain and Ireland to sever its ties to the EU in favor of its old dominions. With many of its former constituents, including Canada, the recently formed Australasian Federation, and the Greater South African Republic, becoming increasing interconnected with the UK, it appeared logical that the Commonwealth nations would become even closer in order to maximize their wealth and clout. In addition, said alliance would not only provide political solidarity, but would also act as a bulwark against China or the increasingly authoritarian nations of Europe. Soon enough, the alliance initially formed to handle defense grew to include free trade, economic policies, and a slew of other elements. When the development of the subspace warp drive was finalized in 2233, Britain, Canada, Australasia, Greater South Africa, Singapore, and Ireland would unite as the Imperial Commonwealth, a federated superstate devoted to the restoration of the British Empire and her hegemony.
Propelled by a fusion of neo-Victorian and cosmopolitan attitudes, the Imperial Commonwealth built a mighty empire across the galaxy, encountering and incorporating alien polities, establishing prosperous trade routes, and expanding her ever growing sphere of influence. Although the Commonwealth's power would fluctuate throughout history, the Empire was patient and savvy enough to wait for the time in which it could become the dominant power of the galaxy. By playing polities against one another, outmaneuvering rivals in colonial expansion, and forming alliances, protectorates, and puppets in order to project power in regional and system affairs, the Imperial Commonwealth would emerge from major conflicts such as the Second-Pan Galactic War as the dominant player in pan-galactic affairs. For the next three and a half centuries, the Commonwealth would the premier force in pan-galactic politics, as the Empire grew to become fabulously wealthy and powerful. Those good times, however, are no longer the case, as the balance of power shifts once again. A resurgence in power by the Franco-American alliance, increasing aggressiveness in the Chinese Union, and a general catching up by many other polities has resulted in the Commonwealth losing its status of galactic hegemon. Still a force to be reckoned with, the Imperial Commonwealth now must fight much more aggressively to retain its influence, lest a more ambitious polity knock it off its perch.
The government of the Imperial Commonwealth proper, referred to by her citizens as the Pax Britannica, can be broken down into three distinct elements. The Nations of the Commonwealth, which include nations such as the Kingdom of Canada and the Taushan Khanate, are the full-fledged member-states of the Commonwealth that enjoy considerable autonomy. Below the member-states are those territories with devolved status. Ranging from Possessions of the Crown to more developed colonies, the devolved states enjoy limited self-government and their own parliaments, but are ultimately governed at the top by the imperial Commonwealth. Finally, there are the colonies and conquests of the Empire, which are ruled either centrally by the Imperial Colonization Service or by the charted companies who founded/conquered them. The entirety of the Commonwealth is governed by the Imperial Parliament and the Prime Minister and is ceremonially led by the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, the dominant polity of the Commonwealth, with the title of Emperor/Empress of the Commonwealth. Following the traditions set forth by King Edward XIV (Emperor Julius I), all monarchs take on a second name when taking the title of Emperor.
The Royal Armed Forces of the Imperial Commonwealth are somewhat paradoxical in terms of the variation its services espouse. The Royal Navy, the Senior Service of the Royal Armed Forces, is renowned for its ability to project power all across the Local Group and fight naval titans such as Orion to a standstill thanks to its strategically and tactically flexible fleet. In contrast, the Royal Imperial Army is a warhammer of an army that uses both pre-fabricated fortifications and the sheer firepower and strength of its super-heavy war engines to crush any possible threat it should encounter. And then there is the Royal Aerospace Force, which lays somewhere in between the Royal Navy's finesse and flexibility and the Royal Imperial Army's brute force approach. In addition, there also exists the more specialized and colorful military units from the various constituents of the Empire (similar to the United States of Orion's state and planetary guard units), which range from the Avalon Raiders to the ‘Dirty Devils,’ an elite starfighter squadron based out of Transvaal.
Grand Union of China
The history of China has been one that has been filled with periods of political unity and balkanized governance, and China's foray into space was no exception. Having come of age in the late 21st Century, the Peoples Republic of China had come to be a powerhouse in international politics, as many nearby nations came under the dominance of Red China. While internal unrest and corruption within the government was slowly growing (and was never seriously addressed), most inside and outside China agreed that the world had found its new superpower. The PRC's dreams, however, were brutally crushed when China began to greedily eye the oil and resource-rich zones of Central Asia, which had become satellites of the Russian Federation. Citing constant aerial intrusions into Chinese Mongolia by Russia, China would invade Siberia and the Russian-dominated Central Asian states in 2090 in order to force Moscow to cede control of Central Asia to it. Unfortunately for China, Russia, who had long been preparing for an eventual conflict with China over Central Asia, was able to destroy the much larger but highly primitive PLA before plunging straight into Mongolia and Manchuria.
Desperate, the Chinese government began mass conscription in order to retake its industrial heartland. The Chinese people, however, had become tired of the brutal crackdowns and callousness of their rulers and instead instigated a full-fledged civil war. Forced to sign a humiliating peace treaty with Russia in order to deal with the rebels, the government did its best to fight the rebellion, but the rising numbers of New Nationalists (backed by Taiwan), regional independence movements, and combat advisor's proved to be too much. With mass Loyalist defections crippling the PRC and little territory left under their control, the communist government would collapse on April 25, 2095. In the wake of Red China's destruction, a series of new nations would emerge, including the Serene and Venerable Kingdom of Tibet, the Taiwanese-created Second Republic of China, Canton, the Russian-backed Pacific Conglomerate (formed out of Russian Manchuria), and others, while the space assets and colonies of the PRC would be similarly divided up. For a time, the nations of China were content with the situation, but their increasing inability to remain meaningful in the Scramble for Sol began to take its toll. Repeatedly taken advantage of by other, stronger powers, the powerhouses of the Conglomerate and the Second Republic began to push for the creation of a united China, one that would be strong enough to challenge rivals while preserving their individual autonomy at the same time.
Through skillful political wrangling and economic incentives, the Pacific Conglomerate and Republic of China would unite the Chinese nations into a supranational confederation known as the Grand Union of China, or simply the Chinese Union, in 2173. After reestablishing and expanding their holdings throughout Sol through various colonial skirmishes, the Chinese Union would push out into the galaxy along with the other nations of Earth once a form of superluminal travel became possible. China now stands as a powerhouse among the human Great Powers and eagerly looks to expand her empire across the virgin stars and weak polities of the satellite galaxies.
A supranational confederation, the Grand Union of China is made up of dozens of polities of all size and type, ranging from the traditionalist Celestial Empire (a polity based on ancient China) to the free-spirited and diverse Pacific Conglomerate. In addition to maintaining their own defense forces and choosing their style of government, which must be in accord with the Articles of Confederation, the nations of the Chinese Union also send representatives to the Council of Nations, the unicameral legislature of the Union. Made up of councilpersons elected from each nation or groups of nations if they are particularly small, the Council handles all legislation that affects the Union as a whole, such as setting foreign and fiscal policy and ratifying treaties. The Council, and by extension the Union, is led by the President, who is elected among the entire Union populace. Due to the Chinese Union's relatively loose structure, the major constituent polities of the Union, such as the Second Republic, can maintain their own independent embassies, as well as having their own independent seats in organizations such as the Pan-Galactic Commonwealth. Such a set up is not that unusual; the United Scandinavian States, for example, maintains a similar situation.
The military of the Chinese Union, known collectively as the Armed Forces of the Grand Union, focuses heavily on its inherit advantage in numbers. Taking full advantage of the size of the Union's industry and population, the Union Armed Forces have expanded the strategic doctrine of deep operations across all of its services. The Union Starfleet, the largest spacey of any human polity, maintains a vast fleet of lighter vessels (heavy cruiser tonnage and below) that can, with the help of its swarms of midget fighters, overwhelm even the most determined opponent before the Starfleet's core force of superheavy warships crushes all resistance. The Union Army, similarly, uses its doctrine of deep operations to break though enemy lines in multiple areas and induce a catastrophic failure in their defenses via its waves of mechanized infantry, armor, and combat walker formations and the sheer massed firepower said formations can bring to bear. Although occasionally criticized by some as being nothing more than mindless swarm tactics, the Union Armed Forces reject said criticism, as when applied properly with combined-arms support and the right tactics, few can deny the surging power of the Chinese onslaught.
United States of Orion
The predecessor to the United States of Orion, the United States of America, found itself in a difficult position during the tumultuous era of the Great Realignment (2050-2240). Having lost its sole superpower status years ago, America still remained a powerful nation, but found itself in vicious competition with many growing and powerful nations such as China, which had come to challenge American power throughout the world. At the same time, the people of America began to clamor for the nation to return to its rightful place and to take advantage of the growing race to tame the solar system. Not willing to see its position in the world and solar system undermined, the United States began to take much more proactive steps in restoring American power. Looking toward Mexico as a potential ally and partner in expanding American influence, the US would provide Mexico with the support needed to conquer Central America in order to stabilize the region, while American advisors would aid rebels in dismembering its greatest rival during the Second Chinese Civil War. The eventual stabilization of geopolitics would lead to a revived endeavor to tame the solar system, as American colonies and installations popping up throughout Luna, the Lagrange Points, Mars, and Titan, to name a few, while the newly formed United States Space Command, under the joint supervision of the Aerospace Force and Navy, would defend and expand America's colonial efforts. With the development by Israel (another American ally) of the subspace warp drive and the subsequent acquiring of it by America, the US would then be able to expand across the whole galaxy in a new phase of Manifest Destiny.
Aggressively imperialist and capitalist, the rechristened United States of Orion (named after both the Orion arm and the Orion system, which would become its eventual capital) would push to expand its sphere of influence in an attempt to spread American ideals throughout the galaxy. New allies, such as the Telmec Kingdoms, a satellite and junior partner of American Empire, and the Unified Consortium of Allied Nations, would be encountered, while polities such as the 6th Imperium would lock themselves into a vicious Cold/Hot war with Orion. Although weakened considerably after the events of the Second Pan-Galactic War, an alliance with the French Empire and her minor allies and the subsequent colonial and commercial expansion into the satellite galaxies would restore much of Orion's lost power. Of course, with said resurgence comes a rise in interventions. Orion would spearhead the partially failed intervention of the Indian Civil War in order to counter the fascist faction (although Orion did manage to help establish the Loyalist state of Free India) and now finds itself in a cold war with India and her new allies of China and the 6th Imperium. In addition, there is also the issue of the increasingly hostile and ultramilitant autocracy that is the Ultarian Hegemony in Canis Major, which threatens Orion's interests and allies in the dwarf galaxy. The United States must now balance its growing commitments, as one disastrous false move could jeopardize the new position the US has fought for.
While several core concepts have not changed, the government of the United States of Orion has undergone several significant changes since its pre-Great Realignment days. A federal republic, Orion consists of several thousand states, which, in addition to having full representation and their own state militias, have a not inconsiderable amount of autonomy (this, of course, was born out of the long travel times originally prevalent), as well a large number of colonies, territories, and protectorates with varying levels of representation. Perhaps the most striking element of the Orion government is the jarring fusion of both socialist and conservative/libertarian concepts and ideals. A definite socialist twang can be seen in many areas of the government, as areas formally under the purview of the state, such as education and health care, have been fully absorbed by the federal government, while an extensive welfare system ensures that no one goes hungry or homeless. At the same time however, much of the federal bureaucracy has been farmed out to private contractors, with the cabinet-level agencies acting as governmental overseers and policy formulators, while the ability to purchase relatively heavy weapons is quite simple in the colonial territories and frontier zones despite firearm regulations.
The United States Armed Forces is a well-polished, professional force that holds the belief that every soldier, starship, tank, droid, et cetera is an invaluable asset that cannot be wasted. The United States Star Navy, recognized as the finest and one of the largest navies in the galaxy, follows said philosophy extensively, as all of her warships, ranging from the small and fast Nathanial McIntyre-class destroyer to the 75 kilometer giant that is the Olympus-class dreadnought, are designed around the concept of UFR: Utility, Firepower, and Redundancy. Said warships are designed to bring as much firepower to bear to as many battles as possible, engaging and destroying all warships of equal and lesser tonnage while surviving hours or even days of combat with equal combatants. The Army of the United States of Orion is no different, as its small size (Orion is first and foremost a naval power) means that the Army must regularly face enemies with major advantages in numbers. The AUSO naturally deals with such imbalances by lavishly equipping its soldiers with the best weapons available, as well using force multiplication and the strength and power of its armor and artillery to defeat the numerically superior hordes it faces. When combined with the firepower and long reach of the Aerospace Forces and the rapid-response battlegroups of the Marine Corps, the Armed Forces are more than capable of preserving and projecting Orion influence anywhere deemed necessary.
Third French Empire
The Third French Empire, or simply the French Empire, was in many ways the catalyst that led to the triumph of competition over cooperation and the eventual return of imperialism. The Fifth French Republic fared poorly during the first half of the 21st century, as internal corruption, brutal riots, and a fundamentalist Islamic jihad that rocked Europe all contributed to a general hatred of the government. Wanting nothing more than to restore the prosperity and well being of France, the French people would look to the charismatic and popular Jean-Baptiste Napoleon Bonaparte, the main candidate for the French Presidency and scion of the House of Bonaparte. Elected in a massive landslide, President Bonaparte, nicked named the “Prince-President,” would work to reform the nation, but was frustrated by the repeated attempts of the ruling coalition, who profited from said corruption, in Parliament to thwart his plans. Viewing the Republic as a lost cause, Bonaparte, with the aid of his supporters and the broad support of his people, would dissolve the French Parliament and declare himself Emperor Napoleon IV of the Third French Empire on May 18, 2050. With full control, Emperor Napoleon IV began his grand campaign of reformation. The reformation of the bureaucracy and French Parliament, creation of a strong French military, cracking down on corruption and the Islamic jihadists, and, eventually, the reclaiming of the Maghreb and North Africa (supposedly to combat radical Islam and provide humanitarian aid) would be just some of the goals achieved by the Emperor.
In space the situation was no different, as the Empire pushed for an aggressive campaign of colonization and exploration that was independent of the European Union, which had been reduced to a mere shadow of its former self. The development of the warp drive would lead to an explosion in French colonization and acquisition, as France would gain both Earth-based territories (Belgium, Luxembourg, the Rhineland, etc.) and new interstellar territories through diplomacy and war (which tended to go hand in hand). Building a massive empire, France did well for much of the time and ruled over countless species and nations through some form or another. The Empire would reach its pre-resurgence height toward the end of the Infinite War, but would suffer a severe setback after its defeat in the Second Pan-Galactic War. Resenting domination of the Home Galaxy by the Imperial Commonwealth and her allies, France would form an alliance with the United States of Orion, which would later become the basis for the wartime alliance of the United Nations during the Third Pan-Galactic War. Prospering from the Centre Impérial-Washington Prime Axis, The French Empire would experience a resurgence, as it reclaimed and expanded its sphere of influence in both the Home Galaxy and the satellite galaxies with stunning speed. With multiple paths for enrichment and expansion available to the Empire, France will undoubtedly continue to rise in power and could very well come to be the dominant power of the day.
The French Empire, at a glance, appears to be a simple semi-constitutional monarchy, but in reality His Imperial Majesty’s Government is much more complex. Acting as Head of State and representative of French democracy, the Emperor (Empress) of the French maintains powers such as the ability to veto legislation, appoint the Prime Minister, the Head of Government, and other government officials (pending approval by the Senate), setting foreign policy and dissolving the French Parliament (subject to referendum), to name a few. The Emperor’s power, however, is kept in check by the French Parliament and its myriad elements, which ranges in diversity from radical republican socialists to more traditionalist-minded nobles from the wealthy core provinces. In addition, there is also the matter of the French nobility. Formed from soldiers, civil servants, merchants and industrialists, to name a few, the French nobility can have a powerful influence on Imperial policies, as is the case with the Empire's ducs grand-fiefs, princes souverain, and barons, who rule over the dominions and vassals of the Empire.
In terms of territorial administration, the territory of the Empire proper (i.e., Metropolitan France and not her colonies, protectorates, and vassals) is divided into a section of space known as a département, which are grouped together into a province, the basic territorial unit of the Empire (higher levels, of course, exist). Essentially a miniature version of the Imperial government, the provinces and the semi-sovereign member-worlds they contain establish their own provincial-level government, maintain the provincial militia and defense fleet, send representatives to the Senate and Legislative Corps, and oversee other duties. Provinces are governed by the Gouverneur, who is appointed by the Parliament and is responsible to the Imperial government. In addition to acting as supreme commander of Imperial military forces assigned to the province, the Governor approves new colonies established in his zone of authority, manages exploratory fleets and contact with low-level civilizations, and vetoes any provincial legislation that contradicts Imperial laws. Naturally, the nature of the provinces means that those bordering areas of constant conflict or in colonial territories act as an avenue for ambitious Governors and Grand Governors to grow in prestige and influence if they play their cards right, especially if the Empire profits from their ambition.
The military of the French Empire is a major tool in the expansion of the Empire and her influence, and it has benefited immensely from the Resurgence and the subsequent filling of French coffers. The French Imperial Starfleet has once again become a mighty force in terms of numbers and power thanks to the ambitions of the revered Emperor Albert XXXIV. Favoring the power and simplicity of the wall of battle and the use of starfighters and carriers for tactical support and long-range strike duties, the FIS can use warships such as the Bretagne-class fast battleship, the Napoleon I-class superdreadnought, and the Gloire-class fleet carrier to devastating effect. The Grande Armee, one of the greatest legacies of the Old Empire, continues to be the large and venerable force that both expands and defends the Empire. With its assets ranging from the Gribeauval self-propelled continental siege gun capable of cracking fortress worlds to the Cuirassier-pattern battlesuits that combine rapid mobility and heavy firepower, the Grande Armee's forces are capable of handling virtually every type of combat situation and environment that can be found in the Empire and Local Group. Should that not be enough, then France can always call upon its more elite units, such as the French Foreign Legion and Imperial Guard. In the case of the latter, the Guard can field not only its lavishly equipped and war hardened armies, but also its own specialty navy and assassin-commandos. Often held as a strategic reserve, the mere sight of an Imperial Guard division or fleet can crush enemy morale before even a single shot has been fired.
Re: Human Polities
Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:14 am
Expect the last part of the Great Powers to be delayed, as I'm now going to focus primarily on finishing some minor edits for the Military Assets of the USO and then focus on Gotterdammerung.
Second-Tier Great Powers
Federation of Prosperous Indian Republics
(Note: The following describes pre-ultramilitant India and not the Indian Empire or Free India as depicted in Gotterdammerung)
The Federation of Prosperous Indian Republics, like many other Terran powers, has its roots in the Great Realignment. While the major nations of Europe focused their efforts in fighting the fundamentalist Islamic Jihad that threatened them and America preoccupied with China and the destabilization of Central America, India, like many other nations throughout Asia, came to dominate their local regions. With Russia extending its domination over Central Asia and China expanding its sphere of influence across South-East Asia, India also began to similarly flex its muscles in order to ward off potential Chinese or Pakistani interference. Nations such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and, after the Indian intervention of 2078, Burma, would become satellites of New Delhi, while Pakistan, having lost its American patronage and lapsed into civil war, would be annexed by India (although Baluchistan would be ceded to Iran as a sign of friendship). With the world cooling down and the nations of Earth looking to space for resources, India too would jump into the colonial fray not only for the riches of Sol, but also as a way to deal with its excess population, which had grown even more after its conquests. Combining itself and its satellites as the Federation of Prosperous Indian Republics, India joined its rivals in taming Sol, as Indian colonies began to spring up both in orbit and on other worlds.
The development of the subspace warp drive would allow for further exploitation and expansion throughout the galaxy. With no need or real desire to control its population, the Indian Federation would become viciously expansionist during the early years of the Second Age of Imperialism, as the need to expand for lebensraum would drive its early wars of conquest. Having come to rule over dozens, and then hundreds, of civilizations and subject species, the Indian Federation would prosper immensely from its imperial ambitions and realpolitik stance that allowed the nation to exploit new opportunities. India, however, was slowly rotting from the inside out, even as it scored major victories against its rivals and expanded its sphere of influence and holdings into the satellite galaxies. The gap between the moderate, socialist-minded coalition that governed India and the increasingly militant and reactionary dissidents plaguing the nation continued to grow wider and wider. A series of defeats in various colonial wars and a economic depression would eventually spark the Indian Civil War and the eventual defeat of the Loyalist Republicans. Forming the garrison state that is Free India, the legitimate Indian government prepares for the eventual retaking of the homeland with the assistance of Orion and the Imperial Commonwealth, while the newly-formed Indian Empire seeks to cement its legitimacy by allying with other polities. Only time will tell if Free India will be able to wrestle control of her homeland from the militant usurpers.
The Federation of Prosperous Indian Republics has a relatively basic structure. Led by the President and Prime Minister and the Parliament, the Indian Federation is a classic federal republic consisting of a multitude of semi-sovereign republics, as well as a number of colonies with varying levels of representation based on their development and location. As its name suggests, the republics of the Indian Federation are required by the Indian constitution to maintain a republican form of government, although the self-governing dependent territories of the Federation, such as the home worlds of conquered alien species, may have any type of government, including totalitarian ones, if it is integral to an established non-human culture. Deeply socialist, the government of the Indian Federation is known for its tendencies to support like-minded colonial polities in terms of economic and military power. In particular is the special relationship shared between India and the Republic of Soviet Socialist Worlds, which also maintains strong ties with the United Turkish Republic. Backed by the economic, industrial, and military power of India, colonial polities such as the RSSW act as enforcers of the Federation's will in regional and interstellar-level affairs, as well as occasionally waging proxy wars should it come to that.
The Indian military has traditionally been very British, and, as such, tends to share many of the characteristics of the Royal Armed Forces of the Imperial Commonwealth. At the same time, however, the Indian Federation has come to branch out into its own unique military paradigms. The Indian Navy, as an example, has pioneered the use of spinal mount weaponry on many of their warships, particularly in its wall of battle. Often utilizing ultra-heavy relativistic mass drivers, wave motion cannons, or conversion cannons (i.e., a weaponized conversion furnace), the spinal guns provide the Indian Navy with a considerable punch, especially in planetary bombardment duties and engaging slow, massive starships. Similarly, the Indian Army, taking a page from French and Turkish experiences, have come to invest heavily in artillery of all shapes and sizes. Continental siege guns lobbing antimatter laden shells or self-propelled anti-starship torpedo launchers are the hallmark of the Indian Army, which typically supports their excellent armor and war droid formations.
Imperial States of Russia
Like the Grand Union of China, the Imperial States of Russia also owes its existence to the Russo-Sino War of 2090. After years of uncertainly, the Russian Federation had slowly come to regain its lost power. Central Asia, though war and intrigue, became Russian again, while a referendum would see Belarus joining the Russian Federation. At the same time, rivalries with the rising power of China, which sought to extend its hegemony into Central Asia and had annexed the buffer-state of Mongolia, would cause relations between the two to sour considerably. Realizing that the political well-being of Russia rested on the taming of China's ambitions, Russia began an extensive military build up in Siberia and in Central Asia, waiting for the eventual conflict. When China forged a supposed Russian incursion into Chinese Mongolia in order to provoke war, Moscow was ready and declared war on August 15, 2090. Allowing the PLA to advance with minimal resistance, Russia, with its immensely technologically superior army, bid their time until its trap was set. Sure enough, the overconfident PLA fell for the trap and was brutally mauled in the tundra of Siberia, allowing Russian forces to strike from their strongholds. With Mongolia and Manchuria under full Russian control and facing rebellion in various provinces, the Chinese government was forced to sign a humiliating peace treaty with Russia, signing away control over conquered territory in order to focus on the increasing number of rebels.
Having delivered a decisive blow against its main regional rival, Russia's prestige skyrocketed, as did the prestige of the victor of the war, Field Marshal Konstantin Romanov, a scion of the House of Romanov. Born in New York City before returning to Russia and joining the Army, Konstantin, an ardent nationalist and symbol of Russian power, would be clamored by both the people and the United Russian Imperialist and Monarchist League, a political party backed by the exiled Romanov's and various Monarchist factions, to retake the long vacant throne. The Monarchists, having been planning for nearly two centuries, finally saw their plans come to fruition, as Konstantin would enter the unstable field of Russian politics and be made Imperator and Tsar of the rechristened Imperial States of Russia in April 8th, 2100. Having secured his political base, Tsar Konstantin I would begin the grand campaign of restoring the glory of the Old Empire and expanding her presence in space. It would mange to regain control over both the Caucasus (although Azerbaijan would go the Kingdom of Iran and Non-Iran) and, eventually, the Ukraine, while Russian colonies would spout throughout Sol and the known galaxy. Fed by the massive industry of the Imperial States, the great exploration and expeditionary fleets of Russia would expand her presence throughout the galaxy and, eventually, the satellite galaxies, where promises of vast riches fuels Russian ambitions and desires.
The Imperial States of Russia is, in layman's terms, a semi-authoritarian constitutional monarchy. Executive power is vested in the Tsar of the Imperial States of Russia, who is assisted in running the nation via the Council of Ministers, which consists of all Ministers of Russia and is led by the Premier of the Imperial States. Said Council acts as a buffer between the Tsar and his executive powers and the institution of the Federal Assembly, which consists of the Imperial Federation Council and the State Duma. The Federal Assembly, which represents everyone ranging from the common citizen to aristocratic nobles to industrial tycoons, jealously guards its exclusive powers, such as the ability to appoint ministers and declare war, and is not afraid to force a Tsar off of the throne should he be considered unfit to rule or overtly hostile to the Assembly (although the opposite also holds true to an extent). In order to cement its regional hegemony and provide for a strategic buffer in hostile sectors, the Imperial States maintains control over many worlds and interstellar-level polities via its protectorate system. Said system allows for Russia to not only expand her sphere of influence and power projection capabilities, but can also, in the case of the frontier zones, provide a secure and heavily fortified buffer against hostile parties.
The military of the Imperial States Armed Forces has been traditionally dominated between the Imperial States Star Forces and the White Army. The Star Forces, whose ships range from medium-weight destroyers capable of running down blockade runners to gun and armor-drenched superdreadnoughts that can devastate a star system with contemptuous ease, is a local powerhouse that can duel with German or Orion battlewagons and still have a reasonable chance of coming out on top. The White Army is the largest military service in terms of sheer numbers, and uses the power of Russian heavy industry to saturate its opponents with plentiful, well coordinated waves of artillery, armor, and aircraft before its elite, all volunteer Guard and Shock armies crush all remaining resistance. In addition, there is also the Star Forces Shock Trooper Corps, under the control of the Star Forces, that specializes in rapid insertion and beachhead operations, and the Imperial States Aerospace Service, which provides aerospace and interstellar support via its fleet of airships, starfighters, and other warcraft. All of this is commanded by a highly meritocratic officer corps, whose gifted members have been selected after a grueling test of intellect, spirit, and strategic and tactical skill. When the two are paired, the end result is a military force capable of facing anything on the battlefield with the utmost confidence.
Transgalactic Republic of German Systems
The Transgalactic Republic of German Systems, known more commonly as the German Republic, would come about as a result of the slow disintegration of many post-WWII institutions and the violent fundamentalist Jihad that gripped Europe during the Great Realignment. With the failure of the European Union to contain the fast-spreading Jihad and the reactionary 'Crusader Army'' waging war against them, Germany, like many other nations in Europe, would deal with the crisis in their own way. The German government would take a hardline approach to the Jihadists and other factions involved, crushing both warring sides with its military and the strengthened powers of the Chancellor. It would similarly aid other friendly nations, such as Austria, once Germany had been fully secured. Unlike many of the other nations of Europe, such as France and Spain, which took on authoritarian tendencies in order to crush the religious warfare in their nations, Germany and Austria retained their democratic institutions, albeit with a much more militant stance. Realizing that they could no longer rely on the EU for defense and economic support, Germany and Austria severed all ties to the rapidly dying institution and joined together as the United Republic of Germany. Years of hard work by the German nation would pay off, as Germany would emerge from the chaos as one of the strongest nations in Europe and would be fully ready to throw itself into the colonial race after its recovery by the end of the 21st century.
Through diplomacy and war, the United Republic of Germany would expand its holding not only across Earth and Sol, but, after the development of the warp drive, the galaxy. The Czech Republic (renamed Bohemia after its incorporation) and Poland after its partition with the Imperial States of Russia would become part of Greater Germany by the 23rd Century, while new colonial territories, created by not only Germany, but also corporations, private civilian ventures with an agenda, and other nations, would be added to her growing empire. By the end of the Alliance-Agross War in the early 27th Century and the beginning of the Second Renaissance, the United Republic of Germany would come to rule over many hundreds of star systems, including the heavily populated German realms of Sol and the homeworlds and empires of several 'primitive' (read: those who could not resist German conquest) alien races. With the old system of governance becoming increasingly difficult with the rapidly expanding German nation, Germany would reformat itself as the Transgalactic Republic of German Systems in 3056. Centered on the sprawling megalopolis of New Berlin on the new capital world of Germania, the German Star Republic, as it is commonly referred to, would expand its territory across the Milky Way and, later, the satellite galaxies, resulting in Germany dominating its local region of the galaxy. However, such imperial expansion would attract the attention of other rivals, who would begin to challenge the encroaching hegemony of the German nation. Sensing the shift in the balance of power, the German Star Republic now seeks to expand its hegemony over the galaxy, creating the Pax Germanica in the process.
The Transgalactic Republic of German Systems, with its traditionally strong history of federalism, continues to operate as a federal republic in order to better govern its spread out and myriad possessions. Consisting of several thousand Länders and many more Schutzgebiets (protectorates; note: the German political lexicon defines colonies as protectorates), the German Star Republic is governed by both the Chancellor and the Bundestag, or Federal Diet. The German government, much like the old Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire, tends to lean toward militarism in terms of its foreign policies, while the Diet may lean toward authoritarian principles at times. Despite that, the TRGS still remains a democratic nation, even if other political principles color its decisions. It is also worth noting that the German constitution makes no reference to the type of government that the Landers must follow other than it being a democratic one that does not conflict with the constitution. This loophole, naturally, has been exploited by several groups who wish to create their own ideal society while at the same time benefiting from being part of the German Star Republic. The most notable of these private enterprise-spawned landers is the Kingdom of New Prussia, a militant constitutional monarchy established by the German Monarchist Society and home to both the flagship campus of the Heer's officer academy and the titanic shipyards of Blohm & Voss.
Commanded by the Chancellor and the OKB, the German Bundeswehr, which includes the Heer, Kriegsraummarine, and Luftwaffe, continues to espouse many of its grand traditions that have made it the powerful force that it is today. The Kriegsraummarine has produced a fleet of well-constructed, heavily armored and redundant warships that can soak up and unleash an absurd amount of damage. While it pays for such resilience and firepower through reduced acceleration, few warships are capable of surviving catastrophic damage and continue to fight unimpeded like those of the KRM. And then, of course, there is the Heer and Luftwaffe, which continue their ancient traditions of excellence and cooperation. In the case of the Heer, its armor, which ranges from the Leopard light hovertank to the Barbarossa-class Land Dreadnought, is exceeded in quality only by the Dominate of Brazil. When combined with its combined-arms panzergrenadier and spacemobile formations and the extensive tactical and strategic aerospace support by the Luftwaffe, the Bundeswehr is capable of inflicting crushing defeats in a land engagement with the utmost speed. In addition to the traditional services, these also exists the Waffen-SG, the de facto fourth branch that has evolved from an all-volunteer auxiliary force to a self-contained, elite expeditionary force.
Greater Empire of Japan
The fracturing of the late Peoples Republic of China would prove to be the best thing that has ever happened for Japan. With China's hold over Asia gone, Japan, fueled by a much more aggressive, interventionist foreign policy, brought on by a return to a more militant stance to counter Chinese power, looked around the Far East and saw easy pickings. North Korea, having been conquered decades ago, would be seized by Japan during the Second Chinese Civil War, while South Korea, via diplomatic and economic pressure, would be made a client state before being fully annexed into the newly-named Greater Empire of Japan decades later. Similar aggressive moves would be made against the nations of Indonesia and Malaysia, whose weak standing and degrading political structure allowed for Japan to conquer Indonesia and reduce Malaysia (under a personal union with the Emperor of Japan) to a satellite under the pretext of stabilizing the region. However, the Japanese domination of the Far East would not go unnoticed, as many powers, including the British Commonwealth of Nations and United States, which still maintained a military presence in Japan, would begin to reign in the ambitious Empire. In addition, many of the nations of Southeast Asia, under the leadership of the rising powerhouse of Thailand, would confederate to challenge Japanese domination of the region. Not willing to fight any unnecessary conflicts or alienate allies such as the U.S., the Japanese Empire did like so many other nations and focused its imperial ambitions toward space.
From its facilities in the Lagrange Points and on the Moon, Japan truly became a Greater Empire, as colonies, industrial plants, and garrisons would spring up all throughout the Solar System, their defense and expansion guaranteed by the Imperial Japanese Space Navy. With a reliable form of superluminal travel developed, the Japanese Empire would continue its expansion, albeit writ large. Through both the power of the sword and the purse, the Empire of the Rising Sun expanded its tendrils throughout the galaxy, brining many different and truly alien civilizations and empires under the Emperor's reign and increasing its prestige and power. Despite its power, however, the Empire would not be able to avoid the destructive civil war (in fact a proxy war between the two factions of the Infinite War) waged after the extinction of the Imperial House in the 5600's. While the pro-Concordat House of Kuramoto ultimately prevailed and began rebuilding the once great nation, Japan was still weak. Under the wise rule of the House of Kuramoto, however, the Empire slowly began to reverse its fortunes. Staying neutral in the Second Pan-Galactic War, the Japanese Empire would reap huge profits by selling war material and making loans to both sides, as well as setting out to form a colonial empire in the satellite galaxies. With the balance of power once again shifting in the Milky Way, Japan now hopes to exploit the uncertainty and emerge stronger than ever, assuming, of course, it plays its cards right.
The Greater Empire of Japan is a staggeringly complex construction. Ruled by the Emperor/Empress of Japan and the Prime Minister, the Empire is a network of prefectures, autonomous dependent worlds, colonial regions, zaibatsu-administered realms, and possessions of the Chrysanthemum Throne. Luckily for the Japanese Empire, a series of institutions are in place to harmonize and properly administer the Empire. The most notable is the Japanese Diet, consisting of the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors. In contrast to the House of Representatives, which is popularly elected, the House of Peers consists of nobles (elected or otherwise), appointees by the Emperor, and elected peers of the highest tax payers in the Empire, and acts as a powerful counterweight against the power of the House of Representatives. Beyond the Diet, there is also the Japanese bureaucracy, a massive and daunting construct that interconnects the Greater Empire and its millions of inhabited worlds. In addition, there is also the matter of the zaibatsu, the Japanese megacorporations that have a strong influence on Japanese foreign and domestic policy. While they are one of critical components in the expansion and maintaining of the Empire, as well as occasionally engaging in sanctioned warfare in the name of the Emperor, that has not stopped others, such as the nobility, from keeping a very close eye on the activities of the zaibatsu, lest they become too ambitious.
The Imperial Japanese Armed Forces are the ultimate evolution of the old Self Defense Forces, which grew in major leaps and bounds under the re-militarization policies of the Hawks and the eventual expansion into space. The Imperial Japanese Space Navy, the lead service in the Armed Forces, is traditionally renowned for its excellent designs, although a few oddities tend to emerge from the megayards at times (see: HIJMS Fuso, HIJMS Macross). The IJSN typically focuses on delivering maximum firepower at maximum speed (albeit at the cost of durability) via long-range missile/gun duels, although there have been exceptions. While not as glamorized as the Space Navy, the Imperial Japanese Army and its subordinate services, the Army Air Service and Maritime Service, are still a highly devoted and respectable force charged with the defense and seizure of worlds and artificial structures. The IJA prefers a more straightforward, direct approach to combat, and makes heavy use of what were once known as weapons of mass destruction to cripple enemy formations before the massed firepower of the armies of the IJA, alongside its organic aerospace support, demolish any remaining resistance. It is also worth noting the extensive research and development efforts of the Japanese Empire in terms of military advances. Among the various weapons of war to come out of Japanese research labs include its ever-growing series of biomechanical war driods (BMWD) of all types and its intense research in psionic technologies, namely its line of psionic casters.
Some nations, such as Germany or Turkey, emerged from the religious warfare of the mid 20th century without having suffered much damage. Others, such as France, the epicenter of the European Jihad, would turn violently resistant to the religious fighters and would become highly authoritarian. Spain was one of the later. Struck hard by the Jihad, the Spanish government in power did its best to stem the religious warfare, but the detonation of a virus bomb in Valencia would signal the end of that government and the eventual rise of the Spanish Imperium. With the confidence in the old government and EU dead, the young King Juan Carlos II would dissolve the General Courts for the duration of the crises and would force though a electoral referendum that would grant him, and by extension the Throne, substantial power. Within a few years, Spain would crush all resistance under the King's rule and would form an increasing bond with the nearby nation of Portugal, which had been aided by Spain during the European Jihad. With the European Union now dead and the now recovered nations of Europe looking to the resources of the solar system, Spain and Portugal, combining their colonial energies, would make a push to establish a presence in space. Beyond that, however, the Spanish King had a much more ambitious plan, one that would result in Spain regaining her position as a major world power.
Taking advantage of the situation in South America during the Brazilian Wars of Expansion in the 22nd century, Spain would begin to court many of the remaining independent nations with promises of Spanish aid and defense. The nations of Grand Columbia, fearing their eventual capitulation to the Brazilian hegemon, would join Spain, Portugal, and Spanish Morocco to form the Spanish Nations League, the precursor to the modern Spanish Imperium, while Argentina and Chile would later befriend Spain as major allies, an alliance which continues to this day. In space, Spain would continue with its interstellar expansion, as new colonies and alien civilizations would fall under Spanish rule, By the time of the 25th century, the Spanish Nations League was replaced by the Spanish Imperium, a powerful, semi-authoritarian star empire centered around the metropole of the Kingdom of Spanish Worlds. While somewhat weak when compared to other powers originally, the conquest of several vast and very well developed (if woefully undermilitarized) alien empires and colonial skirmishes with other rivals would result in the Imperium becoming a strong mid-tier power. With its territories scattered throughout the Milky Way and a firm foothold established in the satellite galaxies, Spain and her empire now has the potential to repeat the great campaigns of conquest that it carried out early in its history, which it eagerly hopes to carry out in the New Realms.
The Spanish Imperium can be broadly divided up into three key components: the Kingdom of Spanish Worlds proper, the quasi-sovereign Kingdoms of the Imperium, and the dynastic holdings of the Spanish Monarchy. The Kingdom of Spanish Worlds, the largest and dominant constituent and metropole of the Imperium, forms the heart of the Imperium and is the main controlling force throughout Spanish space. In contrast to the Imperium proper, Spain is a relatively centralized state, with the planetary, system and provincial governments, for example, being essentially carbon copies of the central government (although possessions of the Throne do enjoy limited self-autonomy). The Kingdoms of the Imperium, which typically evolve from the various colonial Viceroyalties, maintain considerable amounts of autonomy in most areas save for foreign policy and pan-Imperium issues, which are controlled by Spain. Governed as suzerainties, the Kingdoms are ceremonially headed by one of the Spanish infantes and are allowed to maintain their own militaries, which can be handed over to Spain should it be necessary. In addition, there are also the dynastic holdings of Spain, which, though marriage and conquest, have evolved into states with a quasi-protectorate status. The Spanish Imperium is governed by the General Courts and the King of Spain, who, like the British monarch of the Imperial Commonwealth, also holds the title of 'Emperor of all the Spains'.
The Spanish Imperium has traditionally been divided as to which branch of its armed forces truly represents the might of Spain: the great Spanish Armada and its ancient and rich history, or the mighty Spanish Army and the power of its weapons of war. The Spanish Armada, often referred to simply as the 'Grand Armada', has generally maintained a relatively balanced fleet in terms of strategic doctrine, but recent events and a change in mentality within the Armada has resulted in the carrier force becoming a major striking component of the Armada. Hulking supercarriers, with their massive CSW of starfighters of all types, gunboats, and light warships, form the heavy hitting core of many battlegroups, while fast dreadnoughts, battlecruisers, and many other lesser ships annihilate any warships or starfighters that venture too close. The Spanish Army, while smaller than those of other polities, is nonetheless highly respected and feared for its ability to fight disproportionately larger enemies and break their formations. To this end, the Spanish Army fields a potent mix of superheavy armor, artillery, and heavy infantry, which, under the protection of mobile battlescreen generators and self-propelled anti-starship artillery pieces and networked together via datalinks, can crush vast enemy hordes or hold the line against the most determined enemy. Beyond the Royal Spanish Armed Forces, there are also the militaries of the Kingdoms, which often have several unique designs within them, and the dynastic holdings of the Throne, which have supplied many elite and particularly colorful units to the Imperium should it be necessary.