A/N: Loath as I am to put Author's Notes at the top of a page, there are MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW. Read up until the latest chapter of Sudden Terminus to avoid spoilers!
One of my favorite elements of ME3 was reading the war assets as they updated, and seeing how the war effort grow or shrunk. To that end, I am keeping a war assets list for Sudden Terminus to simulate what we all experienced back when ME3 came out. There will be one page for allied forces and one for the third side in the war (not the Reapers) which will come later. In the interest of the handful of newer readers over time, there will be multiple versions of this document as time goes on. It should update about four times total.
This is not meant to be as in-depth as prior chapters, but rather a gross overview of what allied forces have going for and against them.
Certain factions are not on this page because they have not committed to any side of the conflict.
Massive spoilers below! Read up until the latest chapter of Sudden Terminus to avoid spoilers!
The Daelaam Hierarchy
The Daelaam Hierarchy is a polity composed of the two known factions of protoss: the bombastic and passionate High Templar (Khalai) and the collected but reserved Dark Templar (Nerazim). Relative newcomers to the galactic political scene, the protoss were responsible for the Citadel force's victory in the Great War, and have since pushed for unity between all races in order to combat the Reaper threat.
Blessed with a combination of psionic might and extremely advanced technology, the Daelaam's fleets and armies might not be the largest among all races, but they are by far the most feared. They have thus far been the primary combatants in the War in Heaven, and it is their Praetors and Executors who organize the allied fleets in their defense.
The Golden Armada – 8000
The official navy entire of the Daelaam Hierarchy, presently headed by Executor Selendis of the Khalai. The Armada is composed of nine different fleets, three of which possess an Arkship as their flagship. The combination of void rays, carriers, scouts, phoenixes, and tempests when combined with allied dreadnoughts and battlecruisers have thus far presented stiff resistance to Reaper forces, despite a severe cost in allied casualties.
The Golden Armada is currently operating primarily around the batarian homeworld, Kar'Shan, the turian homeworld, Palaven, and with reserves operating in Earth, Eden Prime, and parts of the Koprulu Sector. Their ability to rapidly redeploy thanks to a psionic technique known as "mass recall" means that they leave no front undefended at any given time – a welcome relief given the Reapers' apparent disregard for logistics.
Armada observers also keep watch over much of the galaxy, keeping allied forces apprised of Reaper movements. The only dark spots in their vision are the Zerg Exclusion Zone and the hanar homeworld of Kahje.
Judicator Aldaris – 200
The de-facto leader of the protoss given Hierarch Artanis's sudden demise, the Judicator is doing his best to keep his fractured people together. Given recent shocking revelations about the Nerazim's matriarch, he is doing a better than usual job of maintaining the trust of the Dark Templar, even if Khalai hardliners are pushing him to evacuate the protoss people from the galaxy and leave the lesser races to their fate.
Despite wielding no small amount of psionic power as a judicator, Aldaris is better suited at home or at political council, where his patience, reason, and passion for the Khala can be used to get allies to stay the course. At present, he is the sole remaining stabilizing element within the Khalai, making his continued survival a priority for allied forces.
Executor Selendis – 150
A pupil of Tassadar's alongside Artanis, Selendis repeatedly proved herself in battle during the Protoss Civil War. Now, with the Hierarch gone, she is proving herself in the War in Heaven. Despite losing her nerve cords in a foiled assassination attempt orchestrated by the Nerazim Matriarch, Selendis remains an able combatant and commander, and neither her passion nor her rage has dulled. Despite bearing considerable ill towards several allied races, particularly the terrans, she continues to serve dutifully under Aldaris.
As the current commander of the protoss forces, Executor Selendis has proven herself a creative, if sometimes reckless leader. Nevertheless, her strategic acumen is proving vital to the billions of lives she is now responsible for.
Prelate Zeratul – 150
The shadowy current leader of the Nerazim by default, Zeratul leads substantially fewer forces than his Khalai counterpart, preferring to direct ground operations and leave the Nerazim's fleet movements to Selendis and Mohandar. Shaken by the Matriarch and the reveal of Duran, he spends his time between battles brooding on his own failures, as well as the future of his people.
In battle, he is cold but ferocious, and his warriors trust him without hesitation. Nevertheless, as a people of hunters and assassins, Zeratul cannot help but feel his people will only play a small role in the war to come against a foe that is both mindless and massive in size.
The United Earth Directorate
Despite having recently been defeated, desperate times call for the UED's forces to deploy in defense of alien worlds … admittedly while Earth is occupied by protoss, turian, and geth forces. What they might lack in loyalty to the people they are fighting for, they make up in technical prowess and technology that no other terran group has access to.
The UED possesses the largest terran fleet and medical technology second to none. While the average trooper might see his or her alien allies as untrustworthy at best and guilty of attempted genocide at worst, they are aware of the stakes they are up against, and few of them remember the recently-disgraced Admiral Alexei Stukov with much fondness.
The UED Expeditionary Armada - 2500
The UED fleets that left Earth almost two years ago are still mostly intact, their losses largely replaced by fresh Dominion personnel and repurposed colonial shipyards. While morale might be at an all-time low, the naval officers remain vigilant in attending to their duties, and there have been no reports of active desertions or mutiny as of yet.
The UED's primary vessel is the battlecruiser. Smaller than the common Dominion Minotaur and Hammerhead cruisers, UED battlecruisers are distinguished by their ability to hold yamato blasts for extended periods of time, as well as their greatly reduced crew complement, courtesy of advanced maintenance systems, superior alloys, and the management of the quantum artificial intelligence, EDI.
Other fleet elements include the Valkyrie frigate, designed to take on large numbers of smaller vessels at once, and their newly-created Medivac shuttles, used to support frontline troops. Other colonial-derived vessels can now be found in the fleet as well, including Crusaders, Wraiths, and other variations of the battlecruiser. While none of their vessels can stand toe to toe with a Reaper dreadnought, a combined mass of UED battlecruisers remains one of the most effective counters to small numbers of these fleet killers.
Enhanced Defense Intelligence – 1500
The Enhanced Defense Intelligence – or, EDI – is a quantum computer linked to all existing UED fleet systems for the purpose of easing logistics and reducing the required crew complement for most existing terran vessels. Despite possessing hard-coded loyalty to humanity in its circuits, EDI is capable of limited rebellion when it feels its masters are pursuing a self-destructive course of action, as witnessed by its eventual abandonment of Admiral Stukov.
EDI remains a critical element of keeping the UED military element together. The majority of the fleet's officers now rely on EDI to keep up on maintenance assignments, mass relay calculations, and the movement of fuel and food. EDI is also responsible for managing evacuation and fire suppression efforts back on Earth. It is no exaggeration to say that should the AI become compromised, billions of lives would be at risk, and the effectiveness of the UED's remaining forces would be sharply reduced.
Fleet Admiral Steven Hackett – 100
Fleet Admiral Steven Hackett is currently the acting leader of both the Directorate and their fleets. This is not a role he particularly relishes – he prefers to leave politics to those who willingly chose it as a career – but he realized that until Earth stopped burning and the galaxy stabilized, he would have to do whatever was asked of him.
Admiral Hackett has a daunting task ahead of him. He must both confront the greatest threat his people have ever faced while simultaneously fighting alongside the people who burned his home to cinders. While his pragmatism lets him justify his actions to himself, he knows that for other patriots, it is not quite so simple. It is this empathy that has helped him keep other senior officers in line.
It is not clear if, should an opportunity to leave the protoss but still save Earth and destroy the Reapers were presented to him, he would take it. For the moment, the Admiral knows the score, and will support the protoss and their allies in their struggle.
The expansionist and meritocratic Hierarchy has long justified its military buildup by the possible reappearance of the Reapers. Now, what looked like a cynical ploy to ignore the Treaty of Farixen instead seems like incredible foresight, as every single ship in existence is being mobilized to defend the galaxy.
The turians, a martial people, enforce mandatory military service to every citizen. As a result, every turian is a veteran of some description, and every city is a military installation on some level. This gives the turians an unprecedented ability to resist on every societal level any kind of invasion, something the Reapers are now painfully experiencing firsthand.
The turian civilians (if they can be called as such) are armed and fighting. Their heavy infantry are standing shoulder to shoulder with protoss zealots and holding their own. And their fleets gather in numbers larger than any other race – even the protoss.
The Turian Navy – 6000
What was already the largest military force in the galaxy has only grown in both size and technological prowess since the opening of the Koprulu Sector. Every ship in the fleet, sans some of the dreadnoughts, have been mounted with Thanix weaponry – the same kind of weapons that Reapers use. While their targeting systems are not quite as advanced as Reaper forces, they must nevertheless felt some surprise as they found their own medicine being fed back to them, tenfold.
The turian navy has already suffered casualties against the Reapers, but they are fighting in their own space with the assistance of the DUAS, geth, and protoss, greatly lessening their own losses. Nevertheless, Palaven is besieged on all sides, and existing communication, repair, and emergency infrastructure is already being severely taxed. Regardless of how well they might be fighting, an extended struggle will drastically reduce the fleet's ability to fight effectively.
Turian Citizen Corps – 500
Gray-mandibled turians are dusting off their rifles and marching to war. Licensed engineers are turning their bent towards creative means of repairing rail lines. Radio enthusiasts bounce messages off of Palaven's moon to update waiting naval officers on the other side of the planet about local Reaper movements. The turian civilians are universally motivated, highly trained, and combat capable in a way that no other race can claim.
Morale remains high, for the moment, but Palaven and her colonies still have power and emergency food to work with. Time will tell whether they will be able to withstand the pressure as the demands upon them and their families grows larger.
General Desolas Arterius – 100
The foremost military authority within the Hierarchy, it is said that Arterius is a hair's breadth from becoming Primarch himself – a hypothetical scenario that only grows more and more likely by the minute. A veteran of the Great War, General Desolas saw firsthand the destruction both the protoss and zerg brought to his naval and ground forces, and has developed a healthy respect for both.
At present, General Desolas is trying to manage the developing political situation with the protoss, the defense of his homeworld, and the occupation of the UED's homeworld. While this has led to a few near sleepless nights, nothing has yet compared to the stress of the assault on Thessia. The faith his subordinates place in him is well-placed. If General Desolas is feeling the strain of the War in Heaven, he has yet to show any sign of it. The only thing that draws a heavy silence is the mention of his brother.
The Terran Dominion
Once the foremost terran military powerhouse in the Koprulu Sector, the Terran Dominion experience a change of fortunes with the invasion of the United Earth Directorate and subsequent execution of Emperor Arcturus Mengsk. What might have been a backbreaking blow to morale and leadup to rebellion, however, was extinguished by favorable UED policies geared towards winning the populace over at the expense of alien residents, as well as the reveal of Arcturus Mengsk's actions over Tarsonis.
Now, the Terran Dominion stands battered but far from beaten; its commanders are resolute in their stand against the Reapers, and the populace is both energized and motivated by the reappearance of Heir Apparent Valerian Mengsk and his fresh alliance with the now dethroned United Earth Directorate. While certain disparate elements still push for the release of former Admiral Alexei Stukov, and others are far from thrilled that Arcturus Mengsk's son stands to gain a throne his father sacrificed billions for.
Dominion Security Forces – 1500
Their numbers largely decimated or assimilated by the United Earth Directorate, the Terran Dominion found itself with relatively few assets to call its own by the time the UED Invasion had finished. Many of their existing fleets and ground forces were converted to "pink" regiments and task forces, serving under a UED banner that also demonstrated their colonial roots. By the time Alexei Stukov was arrested, General Warfield counted that only about 45% of the Dominion's pre-invasion assets were either still active and had a Dominion paint job. Reintegrating repurposed terran vessels would also be a more difficult undertaking than some might have thought – many Minotaurs and Hammerheads now relied upon EDI to function.
Nevertheless, the Dominion still retained the bulk of its siege tank crews, Goliaths, Thors, and other land vehicles that served little purpose in dispersing restless citizens and/or required specialized knowledge to pilot. As a result, most of the Dominion Security Forces are now tied up at home, keeping everything secure, or helping set up the new shipyards at Eden Prime. While many Dominion citizens are indeed fighting the good fight across the galaxy, most now do so under the UED's eagle and bolts.
General Horace Warfield – 100
That reliable old warhorse, General Warfield, has served in every military action the Terran Dominion and Sons of Korhal ever engaged in. He worked reluctantly with the UED during their occupation, and now gladly serves Valerian Mengsk as the acting field commander for Dominion forces.
An expert in attrition warfare, General Warfield took a more methodical approach to battle than the late General Edmund Duke, making him an able opponent for Reaper forces. While he prefers to lead rear guard actions to keep a better grip on existing logistics and take time to analyze existing combat data, Warfield has a reputation for leading on the field when the situation demands it. His commitment to the wellbeing of his troops and his disdain for sacrificing lives needlessly makes him quite popular with the rank and file – when he says reinforcements are inbound, Dominion infantry know it might take a while, but they will get reinforcements.
Valerian Mengsk – 200
The son of late Emperor Arcturus Mengsk, Valerian has a reputation for bookishness and a preference for political and scientific solutions over military ones. With Donnel Udina's capture at the Citadel, he is presently the Dominion's acting representative with alien nations – something which, thanks to his close DUAS ties and lack of atrocities under his belt, he is fitted for doing.
Valerian Mengsk is, without really trying, currently the glue binding the Terran Dominion together as an existing polity at this point. With a war raging and the UED leadership suddenly overthrown by alien intervention, he remains the last standing figurehead of political legitimacy with the majority of the Koprulu Sector's terran population, something which weighs heavily upon him. Nevertheless, he has always understood the responsibilities that came along with power and engages his new role with a subtle vigor that assuages doubts that he is any less of a political operator than his father was.
Democratic Union of Allied Species
A collection of otherwise disadvantaged political polities that have banded together, the DUAS is technically one of the geographically largest, if not militarily powerful or numerous existing governments within known space. Comprised of the Quarian Fleet, Asari Republics, and Umojan Protectorate, the three share close ties borne of necessity. Umoja now has an active relay that leads directly to asari space and vice-versa – even if anyone on any side of this arrangement had cold feet, the incoming invasion renders it moot. The DUAS will rise or fall together.
The Quarian Fleet - 800
Now beginning to settle on abandoned Tarsonis, quarians are at long last tethered to a single planet, even if their biology demands they keep the suits and the Reaper War demands that they keep flying. Unfortunately, due to newly existing domestic realities, their contributions to the war effort are presently more limited than they might otherwise be. Their liveships are converted dreadnoughts, but are comparatively fragile to other species' heavy hitters. As a result, they remain at home while their cruisers, frigates, and transport vessels run interference and escort duty, or assist in supplying or evacuating beleaguered allied forces.
While the quarians are unquestionably devoted to the protoss, especially the Nerazim, many at home now fear that they will be abandoned when the war turns sour, and either forced to abandon their home … or brace for what will likely be a siege that renders them extinct. Many are incensed at the prospect of abandoning a home so recently given, while others are convinced that such a thing was too good to last, anyway. Regardless, while the war is far away for the moment, fleet leadership remains terrified at the prospect of the Koprulu Sector being invaded, and martial law remains declared for the time being.
The Asari Navy – 2500
Freshly mobilized by the forward-thinking and blunt High Matriarch Aethyta, the asari navy has enjoyed historically high enlistment ever since the Great War. Coupled with close ties to the Umojan Protectorate and their advanced technology, the asari have quickly reasserted themselves as a naval powerhouse, even if they are still struggling to replace the ships and economic clout lost during the zerg invasion.
While they might lack the thanix guns and numbers of the turians, the asari navy enjoys a history of practicing extremely complex fleet maneuvering as well as the most advanced barrier systems in known space, meaning that they possess both staying power and considerable mobility. Reaper forces have found themselves unable to pin down and properly engage asari vessels, something that even the protoss (whose warp drives catastrophically malfunction in the presence of the Reapers) cannot claim.
Destiny Resurgent – 300
What might once have been called an unnecessary callback to an already unnecessary ship now appears to be a prescient move by the Asari Republics. Despite possessing greater mass than its predecessor, the Destiny Resurgent features a vastly-reduced crew complement and considerably fewer personal amenities than the Destiny Ascension did, making for a far more Spartan atmosphere. Nevertheless, the vessel features the latest in asari barrier technology and Umojan-Asari eezo cores, making for a vessel that Donnel Udina noted, "Moves like an ultralisk covered in butter."
Featuring six 60.5 kiloton dreadnought cannons, the Resurgent has quickly become a priority target for existing Reaper forces, something that both delights and worries Asari Naval Command. She has presently been pulled off of the frontline because of this, as the ship is currently too valuable to lose. Nevertheless, in her short time in active combat, she counts two dead Reaper dreadnoughts under her belt, and her crew itches to make it a round five.
High Matriarch Aethyta – 300
Aethyta does not act like the matriarchs the galaxy is familiar with. Aside from her willingness and enthusiasm to participate in extranet "Ask Me Anything" questionnaires, Aethyta is also well-known for telling Councilor Sparatus to "go sniff a cloaca" and "do the galaxy a favor and overdose on Red Sand."
This has won her considerable favor with the increasingly belligerent and bitter asari population, and thanks to her reputation as a maverick, has only really harmed her reputation among turians. Her bluntness is a smokescreen for her inner ambitions – that of an asari people independent of mass relays or other peoples' militaries, the latter of which is coming to slow fruition. Now, as the Reapers slowly advance on Illium and the asari's other colonies, Aethyta's investments in their navy are beginning to pay off.
"The bastards won't have it easy this time around."
The Umojan Navy – 1750
The smallest terran navy until relatively recently, the Umojan fleets are still not to be underestimated. Where other terran polities focused on vessels with easily-replaceable parts and crews, the Umojans invest heavily into every ship and soldier. Umojan marines are the envy of all other terran infantry, featuring top-of-the-line asari barriers, massive CMC suits with reduced mass courtesy of an eezo core, and combat training that accounts for every possible environment or situation.
The same policy applies to Umojan ships as well. Umojan battlecruisers are sleek and fast, but also feature eezo barriers that no other terran polity (aside from the ITSA, which got them from the Protectorate) possesses. However, this comes at the cost of a comparatively smaller military. Given that the Umojan military's primary purpose was to simply deter the threat of invasion from first the Confederacy and then the UED by dint of costliness, this proved an acceptable strategy up to this point. Now, with the Reapers breathing down their necks, it remains to be seen whether the tactic of quality over quantity will prove worthwhile.
Umojan Shadowguards - 250
A clandestine order of psionic assassins, observers, and combat operatives, Umojan Shadowguards are the only known order of ghosts that does not rely on either Terrazine enhancement or extensive brainwashing. Each Shadowguard is a sizable investment by the Protectorate, intended to deter wars by either judicious use of telepathy or the occasional poisoned blade. They are among the few intelligence communities that salarians respect, although it is not clear to what degree.
With the Reaper advance, they are working with protoss forces to begin screening evacuees for potentially compromised minds. While the Reaper psionic processes are not yet fully understood, prolonged contact causes terminal mental illness which only the psionically attuned can detect. Given that those afflicted have a tendency to begin working for the Reapers in a rather violent capacity, the demand for telepaths has shot up to an even higher degree.
As a result, Shadowguards are now working to rehabilitate the newly freed ghosts of the Terran Dominion to supply this fresh demand. Relatively few Shadowguards are on combat duty – it would be a waste of their talents, especially given how irreplaceable they are.
Independent Terran Systems Alliance
The smallest terran nation, the ITSA was founded based on the truth of Tarsonis. Since then, it has attracted refugees from all number of races, mostly elcor and asari. Spanning over six worlds, the ITSA remains the only non-Koprulu based terran polity, making their worlds of significant logistical importance for other terran vessels seeking repairs in Citadel space.
As a result, ITSA worlds are now hubs of military activity as Dominion, Protectorate, and UED engineers set about creating orbiting shipyards and fortress platforms. Local defense forces are also beginning the mother of all recruitment drives, placing an emphasis on attracting as many elcor as possible to repel the inevitable attempted Reaper occupation.
ITSA Security Forces – 200
A motley collection of aging Confederacy vessels, donated Umojan vessels, and the remnants of the elcor navy, the ITSA is known for its unique combination of harboring some of the most veteran sailors and soldiers in existence utilizing some of the most obsolete technology in the galaxy. The recent attack by the UED on Eden Prime has only depleted their numbers further.
While the ITSA forces are dedicated and experienced, they are too few in number to make any appreciable difference in the ongoing conflict, and are presently stuck running guard duty in ITSA space.
The Hegemony has been rife with change since the Great War. After being denied a Council seat, the batarians set up shop with fellow slaving enthusiasts, the Kel-Morian Combine, an unlikely alliance that also led them on a collision course with the UED. After playing a key role in winning the Battle of Korhal, the batarians experienced a rapid revolution at the behest of the Hegemon, Anto the Vindictive, who seeks to finally do away with the caste system. Unfortunately, this revolution came at a poor time.
With much of their Navy scattered, AWOL, or destroyed in the initial Reaper attack, the batarians had to rally behind protoss forces and preserve what military might and dignity they could. While their populace is still experiencing severe unrest due to recent changes to the regime, they have nevertheless rallied behind Anto's call for unity in the face of annihilation, and for the moment fight alongside geth and protoss forces without complaint.
Batarian Navy – 500
The batarian navy has always had a reputation for spartan living quarters and being cranky for maintenance. What they lack in common amenities, however, they make up for in espirit de corps, and their unflappability has served them well in both Thessia and Korhal. Despite frequently being strapped for such basic supplies as toiletries, the Hegemonic Navy takes pride in accomplishing the same feats with sticks, stones, and harsh language that other races require an armada for.
The majority of the Batarian Navy is currently undergoing repairs deep in the Koprulu Sector, having been recalled out by the Daelaam. When they return, it will most likely dedicate its efforts to evacuating key civilian elements of its populace into KMC space for the duration of the fighting.
Hegemon Anto the Vindictive – 100
The infamous current Hegemon of the batarian people, Anto has succeeded where prior Hegemons had not, and made significant in-roads with other species; specifically the protoss and the terrans of the Kel-Morian Combine. He has also, unusually, paid more homage to the merchant and soldier castes than he has the priests and nobles, making him the subject of an unusual number of assassination attempts. With the recent protoss intervention and now ongoing crisis, it seems unlikely these attempts will continue.
Anto has a history of ruthlessness and utilitarianism that makes him a reliable ally and an unpredictable enemy. He inspires the utmost confidence in his generals, even as other species' representatives regard him with worry or resentment for the harsh punishments he inflicts on his political enemies. Nevertheless, Anto's refusal to abandon Kar'Shan and emphasis on evacuating the most vulnerable elements of the planet's population first speak to either an unspeakably pragmatic political operator, or a dictator with a hidden heart of gold. Even the protoss have trouble deciding.
The Geth Consensus
A collective of virtual intelligences, the geth proved themselves a secretive and isolationist race until very recently. Previously feared for their hostile border policy in the Perseus Veil, as well as their slaughter of the quarian people, the geth have in recent times taken a much more active presence on the galactic stage, mostly at the behest of their protoss allies.
Allied forces remain conflicted by the presence of geth troops in orbit and on the ground – on the one hand, there is no one better to hold the line against an unending tide of Reaper troops, but on the other, they make for an unnervingly silent and uncanny ally. Most geth communicate only with their own kind in binary, which means that, without protoss oversight, allied forces can usually only guess what move the synthetics will make next.
The Geth Armada – 4500
Geth do not require simulated gravity, oxygen, or even physical bodies to man their ships. As a result, the design of their vessels instead places an emphasis on electronic warfare and maximizing the number of mass drivers one can physically place on a vessel. Their armada features nearly as many dreadnoughts as the turians' and matches them in terms of heavy cruisers.
The geth armada has proven critical in providing orbital support and ground relief by shelling the ground with ground troops from atmo. Reaper attempts to disrupt the communications of non-protoss allied forces have also been disrupted by the geth's very capable ECM. Ironically, the least talkative race among allied forces is also the one making sure their friends still have voices to talk to one another.
Khala Uplink – 500
In a process still not fully understood even by themselves, the geth are slowly establishing a link with the Khalai racial gestalt. This has allowed them to upload their processes to Khalai war machines as well as finally understand some amount of organic thought and rationale for the first time since their inception. While the Consensus is still trying to come to grips with this understanding and upload as many programs as possible to waiting Khalai colossi and reavers, what understanding they do have has proven an outstanding boon to geth combat performance across all sectors.
However, some worry this could also potentially expose the geth to previously unseen threats. Alexei Stukov's psionic terror attack actually affected the Consensus, causing some geth to experience pain as organics do. Debate rages within the Consensus on whether to sever their newfound spiritual tie with the protoss in order to protect themselves, but the need for enhanced combat performance has currently outstripped any fears some programs might have.