This short story is part of Galactic Chronicles, an ongoing space opera based on our multiplayer campaign in Paradox’s space grand strategy game, Stellaris. Events and characters, while embellished heavily in some cases, are based on actual events and characters encountered during gameplay. These entries do not have to be experienced in a specific order, but the “Earth Standardized Solar Date” header will indicate where in the galactic timeline a particular entry falls.
This story concerns the United Global Alliance, a human government based on Earth. Learn more about them here.
[EARTH STANDARDIZED SOLAR DATE 2245.08.25]
The Yapathi Mandate has some of the strictest, tightest borders we’ve experienced since making contact with the xeno population of our galaxy at large. Our very meeting with them triggered border friction unlike anything this Alliance has encountered since. They have an extensive network of defensive stations and have positioned what is, to the best of our knowledge, the bulk of their fleet near the subjugated Elaaminid homeworld, the liberation of which is our initial objective.
We know that the Yapathi, crude and aggressive as they’ve demonstrated their mindset to be, value mobility and have placed their money where their mouths are. All observation and intelligence indicates an abundance of wormhole stations all across their space and lined out across the span of their borders. This means any effective strategy will have to take into account that the Mandate can project force with great speed and coordination. This will preclude a precision approach such as a War Plan F or a Schlieffen-style assault. To quote our own Admiral Riveros, the Yapathi can be expected to “act unpredictably, and with considerable speed in any endeavor”.
The Yapathi Fleet is a simple but effective amalgamation designed the project offensive force without frills. There seems to be little nuance to their organizational doctrines. It’s simply a lot of ships of various sizes hurled at enemies en masse. Missile ports are the name of the game on a Yapathi vessel, with the ability to fire a large volume of ordinance prioritized above all else. Yapathi crews are fanatical in battle, and do not cease operations for self-preservation. A Yapathi ship in its death throes will focus on firing its payload until it disintegrates or its crew is dead to a xeno. The Yapathi are also willing to devastate the surface of a planet to conquer it. Their recent conquest of the Elaaminid, in neutral space just beyond our borders, was achieved after a threat to do just that. Allowing the Yapathi to penetrate into our territory would have disastrous results for our colonized worlds.
While the Yapathi investment in wormhole structure and offensive technology to a greater deal than the UGA, and this gap is unlikely to be closed in the short term, our more diverse investments suggest we will be overwhelmingly victorious in any, prolonged conflict. Our defensive technology is years ahead of the Mandate, our fleet possesses six Atlantis-class cruisers (a vessel of a size and potency for which the Yapathi have no answer), and though their corvette and destroyer craft are more heavily armed than our own, we have a distinct numbers advantage in both categories. Finer ships, better all-around tech, and a larger fleet warrant an optimistic outlook on the conflict..
The Yapathi are likely to take the initiative away from us, and there is nothing we can do about it. Their wormhole infrastructure and faster, more offensively-focused ships (it’s worth noting that a degree of this quickness is achieved by cutting armor plating and thus, cutting mass) means that we’re going to react to everything they do with no chance of exception. That said, this is not a desperate, reactive episode. This is simply a recognition that the disparity in hardware will force us to play cat and mouse.
My contacts in the Athirova Concord Embassy have expressed to me that their outrage over the Yapathi’s oppression of a free species runs deeper than our own disquiet. They’ve been agitating behind the scenes nearly as much as we have and would, I’m assured, join a war to liberate the Elaaminid people without thinking twice. Their fleet is just as agile in the field as the Yapathi – probably more so – but projects only a fraction of our strength. The Yapathi will almost certainly attack the less-defended Athirova in their own space, attempting to splinter our alliance before we can unite and crush them.
In a one on one conflict, it’s possible that the Yapathi would prevail over the Athirova fleet, though we have our doubts about their ability to occupy the Concord’s capital world. The agility of Athirovan ships and their dauntlessness in combat may doom the Yapathi if engaged, however. Their highly mobile corvettes have the ability to tie down and harass the Mandate’s opening assault without taking catastrophic losses. All they need to buy us is a week, maybe two, and the Interstellar Fleet in all its might will crash into the invaders. If that is the battle to be fought, we’ll prevail decisively. If the main Athirova fleet joins the fray, it’ll be a slaughter.
This one engagement will be enough to cripple the Yapathi fleet, which will bring our plan to the End Phase.
With no ability to project military power in extraplanetary space, there will be nothing the Yapathi Mandate will be able to do to blunt an incursion. The correct course of action will not dictate the availability of success, simply the timeline for achieving it.
If our first goal is to liberate the subjugated xenos and reduce border pressure, it makes sense to defang those systems. Shooting down their first line of defensive platforms and skirting through what they intended to be a wall against aggression will achieve that aim. I recommend leaving mining infrastructure in these two systems intact to ease the economic burden on the new UGA member states the congress intends to create post-conflict. We should, however, thoroughly demolish any Yapathi military constructions we can locate.
After this, I would recommend we simply muster the fleet in the Yapathi home system and destroy every offworld vessel and station we find. A blockade should be set up in geosynchronous orbit around their major cities and launch facilities, at which point the war becomes merely a game of waiting for an offer of surrender. They will likely concentrate all forces from other systems to break the blockade and may attempt to engage in covert smuggling, but they’ll be utterly incapable of projecting meaningful force.
Once victory is achieved and the stolen system liberated, the Yapathi will experience a 15% reduction in both economic strength and manufacturing capacity. We will, temporarily, gain a portion of that capacity through the introduction of the Elaaminid as a member state and collaboration with the democratic separatists on Findirban.
It is expected that local nobility on that world will agitate against and reject membership in the UGA. If this day comes, I advise the president that they only be allowed to leave by decision of local governing bodies as independent systems. Attempts to reunify with the Mandate, whether initiated by the new governorates or the Mandate themselves, should be opposed with military force.Buffer states against further Yapathi aggression may be in our best interests. The Mandate regaining the territory we wrested from them is not.
This conflict will end with the Yapathi Mandate removed as a serious challenge to our power and the Elaaminid homeworld removed from their oppressive overlordship. They may one day manage to become a headache again, but they’ll never be a truly existential threat.
If the coming conflict fails to stem their aggression, further military action and destruction of Mandate sovereignty over the Yapathi stars is recommended. It’s a dangerous galaxy, as we’ve come to discover. Dangers on the scale of the Yapathi Mandate must be mitigated and, ultimately, dealt with.
-Rear Admiral William Decker