The Pentagon War was the full-scale war between the five systems of Human and Alpha-Centaurian populated space that took place over the course of several years during the twenty-third century (2201-2300 C.E.). Along the way, all manner of interplanetary spacecraft were constructed by each star system, using very limited ranges of weapons in unlimited varieties of spacecraft designs. "The Pentagon War" game is structured, therefore, to let you, the players, build the types of spacecraft you want to play.
The five populated systems of known space are connected by "Hyper holes" — artificial rifts in hyperspace that connect two points in real-space through a parallel space where time has no meaning — which allow journeys of several light-years in zero real time. These were just great for interstellar commerce, but during wartime they were just hindrances, especially since there was no known way to "plug them up." Since the arrangement of hyper hole lines connected the star systems in a rather crude pentagon, populated space was nicknamed "The Pentagon" by the Human and Alpha-Centaurian cultures that inhabited it.
The systems are, in descending order of relative aggression: Sirius (mostly Alpha-Centaurian inhabited), Barnard (mostly Human inhabited), Sol, Alpha-Centauri, and Human-Centauri (an artificial star system about half Human and half Centaurian). Human-Centauri was involuntarily dragged into the war, while Sirius practically started it. It should be noted that there are no alliances between star systems; every system is the enemy of every other system, even Human-Centauri.
The hyper holes were created by Hyper Bombs, devices invented over a century before the War. Hyper Bombs are still used, although sparringly since they are tremendously expensive (they must be loaded with 50 kilograms of antimatter, enough to destroy an entire planet). To protect themselves from small renegade raids through the holes, each system had a "Gate Guard" battle station posted at each hyper hole, which was fully capable of holding its own against two or three smaller spacecraft.
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