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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Aotrs Commander26 Jun 2018 10:22 a.m. PST

Aotrs Shipyards is a webstore on Shapeways.com, a 3D print house which had production and shipping facilities located in the USA and the Netherlands.

This month, we proudly present the third elenthnar power the Phystyulons! This is the first release of three of the first batch of Phystyulon vessels.


Overview

The Phystyulons (Phist-you-lons[1]) (literal translation, "the brother/sisterhood[2] of Physt") are an elenthar major power. While only the sixth biggest in terms of overall size, population and economic power, the Phystyulons have had and still have a significant influence on the elenthnar political sphere. The Phystyulons combine aspects of a nation, paramilitary power and religion all in one. The Phystyulons were founded by the quasi-mystical figure of Physt. They first grew to prominence in the onset of the late industrial/early digital era, but their earlier history fragmented and steeped in legend holds that the Phystyulons date back almost to pre-history[3].

The history of Urrot and Haron has been threaded by conflicts with the Phystyulons since they abruptly rose from a non-state actor to conquer several nations. The First Phystyulon War started in the ashes of the last (forth) Global War, in the late industrial age[4]. Physt lead the Phystyulons in a series of surprise attacks on weaker and less developed nations on Urrot's southernmost continent among the planet's few desert regions.

A discussion of the Phystyulons cannot be truly undertaken without first addressing Physt himself. Physt is the central figure to the Phystyulon mythology and culture both. A charismatic and cunning mastermind, Physt is a messianic figure, claiming to seek enlightenment and the cessation of violence through the acquisition of personal influence, talent and capability, though his methods in practise usually involve ruthless military action. Physt has vanished or seemingly been killed time and time again, only to re-appear, sometimes in a differing guise, years or decades later. Often but not always taking control of the Phystyulons (by one means of another), his reappearances tend to coincide with power struggles and herald a new round of major conflict between the Phystyulons and other elenthnar powers.

It is, even to the current time, unclear exactly what Physt is. His claims to immortality and longevity were derided for during that first war, but as the years and centuries have rolled by, it has become clear that whatever he is an immortal, a fallen angel, a demon, an alien, a series of clones or surgically altered stand-ins or something else entirely that Physt is something more than elenthnar.

Physt and his relationship to the machine intelligence KALAX is equally murky. KALAX first appeared during the Second Phystyulon War. Now believed to be the first true artificial sapience, KALAX was at first a command and control AI co-ordinator, providing assistance and oversight to generals in the conflict. It has often been implied that KALAX's initial personality matrix was taken from Physt himself, but if so, any records from the period were destroyed in the wars that followed.

KALAX, like Physt, has faded into and out of history. Apparently destroyed on several occasions, KALAX always seems to return. During the digital age, KALAX on three occasions turned against the Phystyulons and organic life in general, sparking another round of conflict and it has never been entirely clear even to the Phystyulons whether these attempts were part of Physt's grand plans or not, nor even whether Physt himself was in the shadows, guiding it.

Since the dawn of the FTL age, however, KALAX has shown no tendencies for a repeat performance. Speculation abounds as to why was it "corrected," did Physt's plans change, or did the rising acceptance of digital and technological life have an effect or did it just mellow with age?

The Phystyulons are typically bilingual, speaking both Zoxyriat and Zoiloiat. The latter is an early offshoot from the family of Zot'Kor and, while once more widespread now only spoken in Phystyulon lands. While in modern times, the Zoiloiat and Zoxyriat languages now share many common words due to some lingual drift (and the ever-effective Xyriat Hegemony's cultural dominance); the former is recognisably by the different use of grammar and compound words.

The Phystyulons use the base-twelve numerical system. Partly this is due to their foundations in Urrot's southern continent, but also because the number three has special significance.

Three-sided pyramids in particular have been a distinctive feature of Phystyulon architecture and engineering, from their ancient history right to the current time of the shape of the lazer pylons on the modern fleet.

The modern Phystyulon nation holds no territory on Urrot the Phystyulons were pushed off the planet at the end of the Forth Phystyulon War but has a substantial presence on Haron and Kalaor. Their out-system holdings are considerable, though not as extensive the largest elenthnar powers.

The Phystyulons governance has been subject to much variance over the centuries. At times, it is directly lead by Physt or sometimes KALAX; at others, a cabal of generals or quasi-religious priests hold control (sometimes not equanimously). At still others, another influential leader will take complete control.

The Phystyulon's technology level only a step behind the Xyriat Hegemony. The Phystyulons have a long history of experimental technology and adapting it from other sources including aliens. They have, for most of their history, been at the cutting edge of elenthnar tech. Unlike the Xyriat Hegemony, their progression is more gradual than the punctuated equilibrium of the Hegemony, and as of 2344, they are at approximate parity.

Phystyulon sublight drives, shields, tractor beams, leech beams and spacial disruption systems are on a par with the average elenthnar navy, and they sport average manoeuvrability (though their larger capital ships possess good agility for vessels of their size). Their armour technology is of an advanced composite which has a low weight to protection ratio.

The Phystyulons have had a long association with lasers and, later, lazers. They were the first to develop functioning energy weapons, as far back as the First Phystyulon War. Lazers thus comprise their primary armament and not unlike the Strayvians these are both advanced and have a very high output-to-mass ratio, but are otherwise conventional. Doctrine has a series of very large spinal-mount lazer cannons. The distinctive lazer pylons, whose three-sided pyramid-tipped emission arrays have been synonymous with the Phystyulons for centuries, rise from the upper and lower surfaces to provided all-around fire. Traditionally, all these weapons are configured for discharge in the red visible light spectrum, though different factions or service branches will sometimes change the colour (and their paint schemes) so something else to distinguish them.

Point-defence is provided by dozens of smaller lazer emplacements. The Phystyulons have no systems akin to interdiction defence, instead relying on the superior performance of these lazers.

Torpedo technology is somewhat primitive by comparison, and only a handful of vessels carry them. Unlike the Wodef, the Phystyulons have not focussed on heavier energy weapons, relying on weight of power from their main lazer cannons.

Missile technology is on a par with the other elenthnar powers. The Phystyulons do not make heavy use of missiles outside of point-defence warheads or the ubiquitous rocket-armed light vessels found at almost every armed force through Phystyulon history. What missile vessels they do have tend to be larger ships which carry racks of vertical-launch warheads.

Railguns form the final element of the Phystyulon arsenal. Unlike the Xyriats, Phystyulons have never developed heavier forms of railguns. Instead, their weapons they have an excellent good damage-to-weight ratio and actually slightly better performance in effective speed and accuracy than those of the Xyriat Hegemony though this comes at the expense of high power requirements (often capping the rate of fire) and a larger volume.

[1]Note: Throughout all following names, "yu" is a single syllable (i.e. never a "y"-sound followed by a "u") "yu" is the Romanisation of the modification to the Zoiloiat preposition equivalent of "of" following a proper noun.

[2]The term in Zoiloiat is a gender-neutral plural.

[3]It should be noted in passing, that as a quasi-religious order of fanatics, the Phystyulons take a rather violently dim view of comparison of their name with co-incidentally phonetically similar human slang.

[4]A point at which technology comparative to that of the late 1940s/early 1950s on Earth.

Phystyukor Class Heavy Cruiser

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The Phystyukor which translates to (ironically) "Fist of Physt" is the archetypal Phystyulon cruiser. It has average mobility for a cruiser, but the compactness of Phystyulon drive an FTL technology means that it has almost twice the shielding of the average vessel of its size.

Primary weapons are provided in the case of heavy, spinal-mount fixed beam emplacements two Class 75 lazer cannons and four Class 45 providing a powerful mid-to-long range punch. With an effective target envelope range of 1.67 lightseconds, the Class 75 cannons significantly out-range the galactic standard competitors,

From the upper and lower armour belt, all-round weapons fire is provided by the distinctive lazer pylons with the three-sided pyramid-tipped emission arrays have been synonymous with the Phystyulons for centuries. The Phystyukor's pylons are twelve Class 45 arrays.

As typical for Phystyulon vessels, point-defence is provided by numerous small independent turrets scattered throughout the hull and armour plate and some of which channel through the main pylon emitters. Most are less than five metres in size, but are armed with lazer beam cannons with powerful long-range capability. The Phystyukor has approximately forty of these weapons. However, not all the turrets have independent targeting as the systems are designed to fire for effect as a group. As a result, they are extremely capable of dealing with missile salvo or fighter group, but can be more easily overwhelmed by repeated salvo attacks in a short period of time. However, this system shines especially in the secondary anti-ship role, allowing each array of turrets to co-ordinate attacks to literally slice and melt chunks of an enemy vessel right off.

Like all Phystyulon vessels, the Phystyukor does not use GV drive, but instead a version of Dro'Sanla teleport drive. As a result, the hull shape is free of the constraints of the GV coils. Instead, the Dro'Sanla drives run from a pair of Nazograk (lit: "lightning of heaven/enlightenment") Cores located on the upper hull. Thermal exhaust is still and issue, though not as much as for Wodef or Xyriat vessels. The Phystyulon approach is similar to the Wodef's using a large passive emitter, rather than a thermal exhaust. The Phystyulons take it one step further, with all but the upper super-structures and larger weapon emplacements coated with a thick armour belt, which also serves as the emission system. The glossy, almost featureless surface is broken only by the pylons and the almost invisible at range lazer turrets. The surface incandesces when viewed through the infrared spectrum, making the vessels seem hellishly lit.

Hrastyukar Class Escort Cruiser

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The Hrastyukar ("Revenge of Hrast") Escort Cruiser provided additional point-defence to the Phystyulon fleet, most typically one working with a pair of Phystyukors.

Unlike many such escort cruisers, the Hrastyukar has not long-range point-defence, instead relying on the already impressive range of the standard Phystyulon lazer turrets. It boasts nearly a hundred and twenty such emplacements.

The Hrastyukar also has considerable anti-ship punch, with two Class 60 and two Class 45 spinal lazer cannons and lazer pylons with another six Class 45 lazers to cover all angles. While it only has average manoeuvrability, it has slightly more armour and only 10% less shields than the Phystyukor.

Kablak Class Destroyer

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The Kablak Destroyer (whose name translates to a curved melee sword equivalent to a sabre) is one of the major workhorses of the Phystyulon fleet. With good manoeuvrability and defences for a vessel of its size, the Kablak possesses a massive offensive punch that exceeds vessels of twice its size. The vessel is centred around two huge Class 75 lazer beam cannons, which allow it to out-range almost all other comparable vessels. A trio of class 45 lazer pylons round out its other weapons. Forty point-defence lazer systems provide further defence and a nasty sting at close range.

Vistrixon Class Strike Corvette

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The Vistrixon comes from a very long line of missile-armed light combat vehicles running right back to the missile cycles of the First Phystyulon War. The upper-hull mounted missile pods even homage the classic design structure of those ground vehicles, the modern equivalents which serve at all levels of the Phystyulon's ground and space forces. The Vistrixon is the largest current vessel to have such a paradigm, though in the past and future larger vessels have filled such a role; one of the earliest Lokutar prototypes was such a vessel, though the more conventional design was the final result.

With minimal shields and virtually no appreciable armour, the Vistrixon relies on speed and agility as its main defence, rivalling many order-of-magnitudes bombers in proportional manoeuvrability.

The Vistrixon's primary weapons are the missile pods, typically filled low-tech semi-guided rockets for a maximum salvo spread. Deployed in groups of three, usually with a Pylonaz Cutter for additional defence, they make a charge towards a vulnerable point in the enemy line.

While the range of the rockets means they can fight from medium ranges, the Vistrixions are most dangerous closer in, where their lighter weapon can cause severe damage. They have two light lazer cannon spinal mounts. The armour belt only mounts eight lighter point-defence laser turret for coverage of the lower hull, but these are still capable of dealing an alarming amount of highly accurate damage. The Vistrixon mounts a single pylon. However, rather than be used for a capital-scale laser cannon, this pylon is configured for maximum short-range intensity bursts. While many of the larger vessels can supplementary PD lazer systems which use the pylon emitters right alongside the main lazers, the Vistrixon is one of the few to have a pylon dedicated to that purpose alone, giving it further punch to anti-ship or anti-fighter operations.

Zokukarn Class Superdreadnought

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The imposing bulk of an approaching Zokutarn is cause for a good deal of dread an opposing force. At an 1115-metre length and little short of a kilometre wide, the Zokutarn's sheer size is intimidating. This is compounded by the Zokutarn's considerable manoeuvrability it can manoeuvre as ably as a typical cruiser.

The reason for this unusual focus is as with all the Phystyulon capital ships a comprise to maintain the combat effectiveness of the huge number of spinal-mount weapons in can bring to bear.

No less than six Class 75 lazer beam cannons and six Class 60 lazer cannons provide an enormous amount of firepower. But even they pale in comparison to the twin spinal-mount Class 300 beam cannons it carries. With an optimal target envelop range of 3.3 light seconds, these devastating weapons and roundly feared. A power core smaller than the Zokutarn's massive bulk simply could not even power one weapon, let alone two.

The Zokutarn's secondary weapons are no small shake, either. The forward salvo is supplemented by a pair of triple-fire torpedo tubes for closer range. Twenty Class 60 and eighteen Class 45 pylon lazers provided all-around fire and a hundred and twenty point-defence lazers complete the armament.

The Zokutarn packs considerable shields and armour to top its massive offensive loadout. The Zokutarns are the flagships of the fleet and their reputation is almost legend.

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Photos of Replicator 2 prototypes as per usual!

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July and August will see the next two waves of the Phystyulon fleet. From then, we hope to have the forth elenthnar power, the Xygrit Matriarchy, underway.

The one piece of bad news is that the Derby Worlds is now definitely cancelled this year. I contacted the organisers directly and they said unfortunately, they just weren't able to secure a venue for this year (last year's venue being… Very unpopular), though they do intend to have another try next year. (We've not done ever so well with wargames show this year, with Hammerhead having to be postponed!) I was hoping to get the Xygrits out for then, but as Recon also has shrunk and we don't have the space to do two games there either Other Partizan being now pretty much the last show of the year for my end of our group, I do at least have a bit more luxary of time to work on them now. (Though I still am determined to try and get them out for this year!)
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Accelerate & Attack: Aeons of War is also out now (a generic build-your-own ships system suitable for any set of models) is also now available of Wargames Vault here:

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There is also a free Web Enhancement Pack; this contains the markers and the QR sheet the latter of which is an indicator of the level of the game if you want to have a quick nosey.

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And, of course, I'm always happy to answer questions about it (though your best bet is to contact me through the Wargame Vault or Shapeways PM, since that PM system here isn't open to everyone and these days, putting your email address on a forum is a no-no!)

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.