Recent History

RogerBW

1 Recent History

About thirty years ago (2339) the big war ended. This wasn’t the first interstellar war but it was the largest yet. Power blocs below, but broadly it was Britain and the European Federation against Novaya Europa, with some side action involving Zhongua and the Rightly Guided Republics.
After the war, many ships were sold off. Warships had weapons and the more sensitive electronics dismounted; they’re used for survey work, system defence fleets, asteroid mining, and some of the smaller ones even as private yachts. Merchants were sold as-is.
The people who were officers in that war are now in positions of power. At least some of them regard the war as their glory days, and are inclined to fall back on the thinking that served them well then.
The technology developed during the war has changed things. X-ray lasers and antiparticle beams work mostly like the UV lasers and particle beams they replaced, but most crucially ships can now get from place to place in days rather than months; this is provoking a tactical revolution (not to mention an attempt to get by with fewer ships).
It’s long enough since the last fighting on Earth, and weapons are powerful enough, that pretty much everyone accepts it would be a bad idea. The war was basically about colonial possessions.
The current tech level was reached during the war. New ships have an overpowering advantage over older ones (they can accelerate harder in combat and get from place to place much faster too). But ships take a while to build, and there are plenty of new ideas that haven’t seen battle yet.
The Bundesraumflotte is the other hard hitter in the northern European alliance. There is a slight tendency to emphasise protection over firepower, but German warships aren’t all that different from British ones, and indeed many modules may be built by one country or the other and used by both. Naval training is separate but there are frequent exchanges.
Other countries in the alliance tend to operate smaller and shorter-range ships, and shore batteries over their colonies. The Finns came up with some near-suicidal but very effective uses for small craft and mines during the war, and everyone still looks at them a bit edgily.

2 Other Powers

European Federation - the northern half of Europe including Scandinavia; technically includes the UK but the British colonisation effort was separate from the rest of the European one. Strong ally.
Novaya Europa - southern Europe and east into Russia. Strong enemy.
Rightly Guided Republics - what’s still habitable out the Arab world, and much of northern Africa (I’ll update the European map at some point). Nominally Islamic in much the same way that the UK was nominally Christian in the late 20th century: it informs their thought and many people feel sympathetic to it, but when it comes up against something practical it usually loses. Weak ally.
UNAS (United North American States) - USA, Canada, Mexico, and gradually spreading into South America too. Relatively little space colonisation but a very high-tech navy. Medium ally.
African Union - the rest of Africa once you get away from the Mediterranean. Determined to catch up and overtake the great powers, and to be fair sometimes does a decent job of it, though their territory is very small. Medium enemy.
Zhonghua - (Slightly) Greater China. Solid space forces, but tends to go for diplomatic rather than military attacks (though sometimes blindingly unsubtle, just to keep people on their toes). Weak enemy.
Symposium of Asian States - Japan, India, and everyone else in the region that doesn’t want to be part of Greater China. Neutral to weak ally.