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Author Topic: Second Star League Guide to Warships  (Read 6803 times)

Wrangler

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #30 on: 29 March 2021, 16:44:39 »
Nice!

Sort of surprise to see the SLS Shanghai there.
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AldanFerrox

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #31 on: 29 March 2021, 17:23:10 »
Very nice writeup, although it was almost and foregone conclusion that the Mjolnir would win, at least in my opionion. Keep up the good work. I am curious to see what comes next.

But really, WeKrs (Weltraum Kreigsflotte) is not a good name for the Lyran Navy (which is the official name after all), and its not even correct German. Kriegsraumflotte would be a much more elegant (and grammatically correct) name if you insist on a german name.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #32 on: 29 March 2021, 18:36:18 »
Very nice writeup, although it was almost and foregone conclusion that the Mjolnir would win, at least in my opionion. Keep up the good work. I am curious to see what comes next.

But really, WeKrs (Weltraum Kreigsflotte) is not a good name for the Lyran Navy (which is the official name after all), and its not even correct German. Kriegsraumflotte would be a much more elegant (and grammatically correct) name if you insist on a german name.

What, Google translate doesn't have all the answers! Thank you Aidan.

Yeah this was stacked heavily in the Ygg's favor although there were several near misses by the Painkiller's broadsides that if they connected might have gone internal in at least two locations. It does provide a comparable weight class vessel for early Gen I and Gen II designs however and shows the advantages that bracket firing provides compared to the Ygg's single and dual weapon bays and just how brutal a single critical can be on even the largest of battleships.

AldanFerrox

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #33 on: 29 March 2021, 18:38:03 »
What, Google translate doesn't have all the answers! Thank you Aidan

Google translate can work, but it often doesn't. Especially with compound words like this.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #34 on: 03 April 2021, 16:48:50 »
“Alright Class After-Action Report time, what have we learned?”

One of the cadets in the stadium seating raised their hand and a spotlight traced down to them. “Don’t engage a Mjolnir unless you have nukes.” A few of the cadets laughed although some caught the glaring attention of Star Admiral McKenna and quieted down.

She chimed in, still awaiting her portion of the presentation, “A new (Overlord) A-Three Commander in the making I suppose. Well Cadet I think you are both wildly under and overestimating the effectiveness of nuclear weapons against Warships, particularly tough ones like the Mjolrnir.”

Three diagrams appeared behind them on the screen, one of a 5 kiloton 'A-class, (Alamo, Annihilator, etc...)' bomb, the 50 kiloton 'S-class, (Santa Ana, Savage, etc...)' and 500 kiloton 'P-class, (Peacemaker, Poseidon, etc...)' warheads. “This is a Proton warhead, a five hundred kiloton thermonuclear device light enough to fit in a Killer Whale’s missile. It costs about 40 million c-bills making it about as expensive as a Dire Wolf. Whatever it hits short of the Astartes or one of the former Ghost Bear Leviathans will likely die in a fiery inferno. Unfortunately like all nukes in space it is a contact weapon and if you start lobbing nukes you are liable to get some in return. The battle will rapidly devolve into what we call rotag.”

The images faded away and Juhan returned to the fore, “Just like Russian Roulette you don’t want to play Rocket Tag. If our fictional Captain Tae-Young were to start lobbing Peacemaker nukes at the Yggdrasil the gloves are off and there wouldn’t be a Painkiller at the end of this encounter. He would have failed at his primary mission, protect his home system from enemy attack, and critically since Captain Mueller would be fully within its legal limits to counter-strike Lang Zhenzu.

That is a reason the FedCom's ARCLIGHT and FWL’s AZURE conditions are rarely authorized. Particularly since we all lived through a free fire battlefield during the Jihad. The DCA is even more unlikely to use them, as far as we know they only have A-class bombs due to doctrinal difference.

Only during times of elevated danger would you want to have nukes on-board and even then, only on a few platforms. A S-class warhead, the most common used type, does have the potential to do tremendous damage but most modern ships can take the hit. Unfortunately for us, this does give capital missile equipped dropships a tremendous advantage and this is why we don’t build giant warships anymore, we cannot reliably protect them the Jihad has proven that time and again the missile will get through.

You don’t even need a nuclear weapon to cause tremendous damage to a warship. In our scenario the Painkiller took a hit to its CIC with a regular Killer Whale. This single event cause them to rapidly lose control of a situation in which they were doing everything right. Were it not for that damage there was a valid chance of inflicting enough harm on the Yggdrasil to drive it off.

This is the preferred resolution of an engagement, both sides accomplished the mission and managed to preserve their strength. Do not forget that Warships are best used as deterrence against enemy action. Fighting till your dying breath is foolish if it does not further the goals of your Fleet. If it does then by whatever god you believe in do everything you can, ram them if you must.”


Juhan drank from the tea thermos, “Any other observations.”

Another cadet spoke up, “For such an elite crew both warships missed far more attacks then I expected.”

“An astute observation Cadet. We have to remember that there are many factors working against a warship's weapons at the same time. Both warships are moving targets and their weapons are incredibly heavy objects with a great deal of inertia.

The basic Armstrong LN-ten naval canno
n (NAC/10) weighs almost 2 kilotons with a large portion of that being the aiming apparatus. Lighter naval PPCs and lasers are a little handier but particularly large guns are even worse. This is reflected in their difficulty aiming with all capital grade weapons against smaller targets and is partially offset by bracketing for effect. The best hit ratio during the Jihad was little better than batting two hundred. Much like baseball, you have to accept a single sometimes rather than going for home runs every time.”

He drank more from his thermos, “This is why all big gun broadside Warships are dangerously unbalanced as massive guns such as a Zeus Forty and Armstrong Twos can rarely be used to best effect in practice as their ability to hit their targets at close range is compromised. Although these do make solid nose guns for swifter craft such as corvettes particularly in a chase scenario as evidenced by the Yggdrasil's final rush against Painkiller.”

An animation appeared behind him showing the Yggdrasil and Painkiller engaged in close range battle followed by one demonstrating the Line of Battle tactics of the Snow Ravens and Jade Falcons Warship Trinary during the Battle of Xian against the Steel Viper Astartes super-battleship. “Now of course we don't expect a Warship to operate alone, even one supporting unit changes the dynamics dramatically. From Arsenal ships and fighters to destroyers and corvettes each has their own capabilities that a cunning commander can exploit. For this I hand it over to Star Admiral McKenna.”

Ciri McKenna stepped forward her platinum blonde hair shining under the lights beneath her light blue beret. Concept art of the Gorgon Strike Carrier appeared behind her, “This is a Gorgon Strike Carrier, the FWLN's new base unit and most likely vessel you will be serving on. With another five hundred tons from the original to add Stingray missiles and light sub-capital lasers it is almost capable of acting like a lightweight Titan. We will use a Snow Raven Carrier Binary as its opponent, although my Snow Ravens will be using lighter fighters compared to the Lancer standard of the FWLN to make it fair.”

Wrangler

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #35 on: 03 April 2021, 17:11:28 »
Interesting.  So Gorgon Carrier DropShip is mainstay of the 2nd Star League verses a Warship?
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #36 on: 04 September 2021, 14:47:55 »
Interesting.  So Gorgon Carrier DropShip is mainstay of the 2nd Star League verses a Warship?

Not a Warship, the Carrier dropship.

Here is the raw text from the battle I ran today. The FWL did itself proud here. An IC post will follow shortly then we will continue with the demos

Helpful Stats
Free World's League Standard Task Force
18 Lancers divided into 3 Squads (2448 Armor) / 26 pts Alpha damage (Sustained 18)
Gorgon Carrier / 946 Armor / Highest Arc Damage 131

Snow Raven Carrier Task Force
10 Ogotai Prime | 1760 Armor / 26 pts Alpha damage (Sustained 16)
Carrier / 840 Armor / Highest Arc Damage 217

The Ogotai Prime is the standard Snow Raven fighter until they can rebuild their industrial base and training programs which were lost during their escape from the Homeworlds following the War of Sundering and Jihad. Presently it is built by the United Outworlder Corporation on Alpheratz and Ramora.

Quick Summary and useful points
Additional fighters are good, you don't want to have to rely on the fighter carrier to be an assault ship as well. In a formation environment something like a Gorgon is more useful as it has sub-capital weapons although the Carrier is capable of holding a solid picket against Strike Craft. However it is not fast enough to reasonable chase fast Aerofighters.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #37 on: 05 September 2021, 22:02:35 »
Dante, Outworld’s Alliance, 3087

An angular white Carrier class dropship passed over the green world below its ventral surface complete with the Snow Raven crest whose wings reached across its fuselage. A world afflicted by ‘The Double Cobra’ that had effectively killed off its low-tech population decades ago. Their livestock and its Terra equivalent ecosystem were thus off-limits to any new settlement or even expedition. Clan Snow Raven, deemed the most skilled in space interdiction, was responsible for enforcing the quarantine.

Beyond its moon, Beatrice, a bone white dropship loomed utilized the moon’s gravity to sneak up on the quarantine zone. Eighteen Lancer fighters deployed from its extended wings silently launching ahead of their carrier and toward the patrolling Carrier. Their rounded wings carrying deadly pulse lasers to complement laser guided missiles.

Commander Hendra detected the dropship as it cleared its orbital ring with its powerful thrusters aimed right for her vessel. The Ravens launched into action; lithe pilots hurriedly translated to the carrier’s launch bays. Their technicians ordered the ARTS system to fuel and arm their ten Ogotai interceptors. Robotic hoses filled the fighters with their ammonia fighter fuel and cylinder of long-range missiles were deposited into their nose mounted launchers. SPARC units activated to power up the fighter’s thermonuclear core that would soon accelerate ionic propellant at incredible velocities.

Four launch doors opened on the Carrier’s extended hanger as the helmsmen centered the launch cylinder on the diffusing enemy formation. Within two minutes all ten of the flying wing Ogotai, the Clan’s omnified Hellkite (Hellcat II), sped out divided themselves into a six and four ship squadron against almost twice their number.

Both carrier dropships accelerated toward one another, the Raven Carrier’s weapon bays, an envy of most Inner Sphere assault dropships, came alive awaiting a chance to destroy the interloper. With half the fighters and a Clan confidence the Ravens, all veterans of the Jihad, engaged this latest line of unknown opponents.

Long range weapons fired at one of the Lancer squadrons, their evasive maneuvers however ensured that little damage occurred at such ranges. The Gorgon fires its frontal weapons dominated by a large sub-capital missile launcher and light sub-capital lasers. One of the laser tears into the Carrier’s port side to little effect.

More effective were the Carrier’s medium range weapons, short range missiles and lasers shredded the Gorgon’s nose armor and critically damaged its thruster assembly. Inside the Gorgon space-suited crewmen watched in horror as their allies suffered severe laser burns from the Clanner’s ultimate weapon, the Extended Range Medium Laser. Medpacks auto-injected painkillers while the damaged sections were automatically reassigned to alternate consoles. Their Stingray missile was shredded as the Carrier’s Anti-Missile Systems activated, flechettes ripped into its casing causing the powerful missile to break up. Parts of it bounced harmlessly off the armored fuselage.

Outside Raven fighter pilots engaged in high g maneuvers to get their lasers on target scoring hits on the weaker spheroids. Angry red circles appeared on the Lancers as the 7cm lasers found their mark. Two Lancer squadrons fired everything at the Carrier assault ship that was tearing into their ride home. Pulses of incandescent red streaks like those of a flogged man tore into the port and aft armor of the ship but found no point of weakness. Raven gunners attempted to bring the enemy into arc.

(Dropship) Commander Hendra ordered her fighters to channel the enemy into the Carrier’s heavily armed rear arc. Both squadrons complied harrying enemy fighters although their inferior numbers show even against the inferior fighters of their enemy. Another heavy round of fire is exchanged between the two dropships. Another Stingray missile is shredded at close range spreading debris that burns up in the Carrier’s thruster wake.

However, the enemy fighter’s take advantage of the Carrier’s singular focus positioning themselves to take advantage of its already damaged portside. Their pulse lasers rake across the fuselage tearing deep into subsystems. Synthetic Hargel, imported from the Federated Suns, fills the gaps just barely maintaining integrity.

The Gorgon shutters with the impacts of the Carrier’s vast array of weapons. Autocannons, Gauss Shells, Lasers, and Missiles fill the empty space between them. Additional hits from hyper-accelerated Gauss rounds cause a containment breach requiring an immediate shutdown of its primary thruster pack. Streak SRMs damage the forward sensor array shattering it under the combined might of thirty-six armor piercing missiles.

Behind that engagement Snow Squadron and Amethyst Squadron exchanged ferocious fire. Long range missiles circle toward targets exploding in silent orange explosions on impact. Pilots bring their wing mounted lasers into alignment triggering powerful blasts of light that rake across their enemies’ wings.

With so much damage to the Portside Commander Hendra braced herself as the Carrier angled its thrusters to flip end over end. The Gorgon did the same utilizing its meager thrust to flip and hope to slow its outward velocity and keep its heavy weapons on target. Now that her rear guns were on target and the enemy was in pursuit the Ravens used their incredible firepower to erase half a Lancer squadron within a minute.

Enemy squadrons wasted no time to pursue and utilized their pulse lasers to best effect. Their weapons fire tore into the already savaged aft and port side armor almost completely penetrating its integrity to avenge their fallen comrades. Simultaneously Raven dogfighters were unable to score more hits against the interloping Lancers who concentrated their fires on a Point of Ogotais.

As both dropships burned against their fate the enemy stayed on target as a four ship Squadron of allied Ogotai couldn’t stand against nine Lancers even with the Carrier’s weapons. Although it erases a complete squad of Lancers their weapons found its weakened hide. From their port side the enemy squad punching through into critical systems.

With its integrity compromised the Carrier lost all power drifting while flipping end of end as severed parts of it began flew out in uncontrollable velocities. Although certain death awaited them the crew utilized chemical thrusters to stabilize their spin. Escape pods hurtled outward rather than be captured as Abtakha by likely terrorists.

With no home base to return to and strict orders to maintain quarantine and their honor the Raven fighters continued. Within minutes all that remained of the two formations were quickly cooling wrecks and nosy radio beacons for S&R craft already en route.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #38 on: 12 September 2021, 19:13:53 »
The Holotank went dark as the light shone on Admiral McKenna again who looked crestfallen while Dubravka was clearly pleased at his subordinates’ tactics. She tapped her nails and long talon like articulated rings popular in the Jade Falcon and Snow Raven Clans for both sexes on the lectern and gazed harshly at her junior officers behind their consoles.

Juhan drank more from his cup of tea. “Isn’t a fair fight the Clan way Admiral?”
Her stare was like lighting between them, yet her voice was kept slow and measured. The Snow Raven’s prided themselves on their naval prowess, but the home (Spheroid) team kept winning.
“For this example. I suppose it is.”
“Your Ravens accomplished their objective. That Gorgon didn’t make it to the surface.”

“Indeed, they did. My fictional Raven’s loss was regrettable, but the mission and our honor was satisfied.

As you can see having a more distributed force can exploit more avenues of attack on your enemies’ weak spots. Ten vs Eighteen was always going to be dicey unless those ten are particularly potent dogfighters capable of disabling an enemy unit with a single volley. Both the Lancer and Ogotai are not this as each is more of an interceptor than a true dogfighter.

If you will remember from earlier this distribution is why no one has a true battleship anymore. Concentrating your firepower into one platform limits your strategic options. Utilizing multiple units synergistically is your best option in modern combat.”


A formidable hulking machine painted Snow Raven colors, appeared from stage right. Its hunched insectile form, shoulder mounted rotary cannon, and wicked claws appeared alien to the Free Worlders who had never seen a Clan Elemental in person or armor.

Behind Admiral Dubrakva a smaller but no less formidable battle armor appeared in white and purple, Fleet Armored Infantry colors. Raised circles on its knees, elbows, and feet marked it as the magnetic clamp version used by Fleet Espatiers. Both units turned to the side revealing the spherical maneuvering units that would allow them to adjust trim and position without adjusting their point of inertia by reaching out with the claws that each suit carried.

He stepped forward as technicians appeared from off-stage to remove the carapace units from the Armored Infantry. Both operators inside were stocky men wearing a soft cap with display band in front of their face. Their incredible musculature accentuated by their tight cooling and sensor embedded suits. The Raven Elemental was slightly taller than the Leaguer but neither looked like someone to be trifled with.

“Now we move onto Marines and their use in space combat. Some of you are destined to join Fleet Armored Infantry Corps. I would like to honor your courage in this matter as you will be facing hostile threats throughout your career that naval crewmen like myself never will.

 Some of my best friends during the Jihad were Armored Infantrymen and their names will forever adorn the names of memorials to that conflict.

Let us take a moment of silence for Khans Xander Drake and Santin West as well as for all those lost during the Jihad without whose sacrifice we would not be here today.”



Within the Amphitheater all slightly bowed their heads in silence. The Jihad and retaking of Terra from the Word of Blake resulted in almost complete destruction of the Clans’ Warrior Caste. Millions, innocents and soldiers alike, were casualties in the worst conflict since the Second Succession War. The true total might never be known but if the Shadow Divisions had been allowed to execute their true capabilities every world would have become like Tharkad or Atreus.


After the moment Ciri stood next to the giant Marine, a stoic pale man that seemed alien to the Leaguers compared to the already odd-looking McKenna. A woman who looked more like a stylized character with her slightly larger eyes, long slender fingers, and fine bone structure. Her people, the Trueborn of the Clans, drew attention wherever they went for their uncanny looks and unusual practices.

“This is the CAMU (Clan Armored Marine Unit). Based on the Salamander anti-personnel suit. It comes equipped with heavy battle claws to brace itself during maneuvers in addition to the standard maneuver-thruster unit and additional life support. Utilizing Hargel it can take multiple slugs from a David Rifle without losing integrity. Its Bearhunter Autocannon is a formidable close quarters weapon, very reliable even in vacuum conditions. However, this unit lacks sufficient ground-based capability for the modern battlefield instead being optimized for space operations.”

She walked over to the other suit, “This is a Hecate, closer in capability to the original space Elementals. Although it lacks Hargel the advanced armor composite provides greater protection than the CAMU. The lack of an additional claw and necessity to utilize magnetic clamps to attach itself to a fuselage or mech limits its abilities somewhat while opening others. It can attach itself to any mech, not just omnis, for mobility purposes. Very useful when deploying from drop pods in support of an Orbital Assault.

Equipped with the standard issue Magshot rifle to provide superior long-range fire and can be replaced by a heavy machine gun for close quarters battles within five minutes. It retains jump jets which allow it to make long leaps on low gravit
y or airless worlds. Although you only have one claw it is sufficient for stability when using the weapon in microgravity and a fearsome close quarters weapon on its own.”

Juhan triggered the slideshow once more showing off the capabilities of other state Marines.
DCMS Raiden in Jet Black and Gold | Claw, Tsunami Gauss
FedSuns Voidseekers in Red and Gold | Claw, Grand Mauler Gauss
Gray Death Standards in Blue and Silver | Claw, Small Pulse Laser
Asterion Astra of Trinity Alliance in TAF Jade and Burgundy | Claw, Man-Portable Plasma Rifle

Juhan answered questions regarding armored infantry from each realm in turn. “Before we go on to a combined task force combat. We will discuss logistics and integrating orbital and ground power.”

Groans emanated from the students. Their protests went unphased by the aging Admiral who adjusted his glasses.  “I know its not nearly as exciting as a major warship fight, but it is just as important.”

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #39 on: 22 October 2021, 16:29:25 »
Juhan Dubraka stood before a daunting display of the resupply tables for the 2SLS Fort Verdun during the Jihad. “I hope everyone enjoyed their lunch because I have a lot to say about the logistics of the contemporary black fleet and you will have questions.

While aboard a ship of war you have four main supply concerns.”


Several rows illuminated as he spoke. “Chief among them are ammunition and fuel as without either of these you are in big trouble as a warship. Followed closely behind are spares parts for the ship or its onboard vehicles, and finally crew sustainment.

We will start with that since it is the easiest to understand.”


A pallet consisting of foil packed food in paperboard boxes, metal gas cylinders, and an empty polymer water bladder was rolled onto the stage. “This, when full, weighs approximately one metric ton and will provide one day of normal rations to two-hundred individuals on board a Second SLDF Warship. This palletized configuration is something that you would see aboard a shuttle or perhaps a Merchant auxiliary pressed into service or relief efforts. Large ships have more specialized containers for the components that take up less volume for each item.

Each crewman receives three kilos of rations and one kilo of miscellaneous goods and toiletries. Two kilos are dedicated to these gas bottles and the atmosphere contained within. Most of this gas is oxygen with about forty percent nitrogen. Finally, four kilos of water are added which combined with the Oh’two/N’two replace mass lost in the recyclers.

When complete this pallet costs about as much as the hydrogen dense fuels we feed the fusion power plant. Most of the expense is obviously in the food and miscellaneous goods.”


Juhan shrugged as he tossed the envelope back into the box. “It’s not bad for military food, but I might be biased as I have eaten this stuff longer than my mother’s cooking.

They like everything we are going to talk about are ordered by the logistics office in containers which are then stockpiled at naval bases where they can be broken down and shipped out as needed.”


He tapped the pallet signaling the operator to take it away. “Speaking of the logistics office, it is the most important component of any contemporary space fleet. For every ten crew there is at least one person at that vessel’s base ensuring you get paid, trained, stay healthy, and are properly and promptly supplied with whatever you and the ship require even across the Inner Sphere.”

An animated line graph appeared showing a precipitous drop in free cargo space between the First and Third generations of Warships. “Since the latest generations of Warships have less mass available for cargo and more firepower, they are more reliant on a complex web of suppliers than the old SLDF. This web needs to be protected and will gradually be expanded as finances and needs require.”

Behind him a picture of the Illium Shipyards, pride of the Free World’s League, appeared. “Presently every Successor State has at least three major naval bases. These are typically centered on their primary shipyards but not always. Our Fleet, for example, is based around Loyalty, Tamarind, Oriente, and Marik. Oriente and Marik lack shipyards, but house jump capable repair and resupply stations and tugs to move them if needed.

Were it not for these stations my ship the SLS Fort Verdun would have been destroyed before it could be fitted out around Alarion before gallantly serving throughout the Jihad. In fact, every fleet would have had to scuttle at least one of their anchoring combatants after the war which would have been a major blow.

These are supplemented by small patrol bases located near border territories containing stockpiles and state arsenals supplied mostly by merchant spacers. These always have a recharge station and cargo station at both Z/N points. This saves Fleet assets from having to spend time and fuel burning toward the surface during an emergency and allows twice the throughput.

The largest of these in the League is on and above Cole Harbor utilizing much of the leftover infrastructure from the original SLDF’s buildup for the occupation of the Magistracy of Canopus. Something Magestrix Naomi Centrella often reminds her followers of during speeches.”


A bird’s eye view of the scattered facilities of Cole Harbor Groundside Station appeared behind him. “As you can see it is quite extensive. We will focus here, on the magazines.”

A new image appeared of containerized racks of missiles and shells stacked neatly in their own individual cells. “Ammunition is obviously one of the biggest needs of any Warship. While a Naval PPC might be one of the best weapon designs ever created. Cannons and missiles have their own advantages the best of which is that they don’t fry the power and thermal distribution systems with constant use.

While on deployment a warship will likely need to carry extra ammunition in its stores to supply any ground side elements it might be called upon to support. Most dropships are lacking in cargo capacity for extended campaigns. This is often by design for much the same reason our modern warships are, less cargo equals more firepower. Admittingly for a shorter time hence they run out of ammo and parts during campaign unless they can salvage some.

Since they must support their own fighter wing and shuttle squadron this is particularly true of any kind of carrier. Having captained a Thera supercarrier during wartime I assure you that I spent many nights agonizing over ways to get my fighters and escorts what they needed. Since that remains the most common class of combatant ship in every fleet you will likely do the same and can use that to your advantage if you’re smart, which I assume you are unless the recruiters lost their touch.

Like I mentioned before the fleet logistics command buys ammo by the container-full and you store it by the container-full. This is often transported from its manufacturer aboard specially chartered dropships, in containers. Each one of these cellular magazines and supports for the heavier ammo carried by the ‘hundred weight’ is portioned in such a way that it may be moved by a ship’s internal elevator to its internal magazines. There it is unloaded before returning what remains to the cargo bay.

Keeping them in these containers increase the safety of groundside ordnance crews that must pack it into and out of transports. This is ammunition after all, it is designed to explode or accelerate quite energetically and be a hazard, to the other guy.”


Several frames later was the naked hull of the Thera carrier SLS Fort Verdun prior to being refitted. “This is what a warship looks like naked, in case you were curious.” The class smiled and a few laughed at seeing the heroic ship in such a state.

Following it was the fully outfitted version in the livery of the 2SLDF with multiple battle stars painted along its length. “This is how ships are supposed to look and operate. To keep it that way you need a constant supply of spare parts to replace things that wear out over time. This includes everything from spare structural members and pipes to reactor shielding and thruster cones.

The Fort Verdun consumed nearly one hundred tons of spare parts every month costing about as much as a new Stinger or Wasp Battlemech. Since it is undergoing a once in a decade stay in the Illium Yards to repair damage dating back to the beginning of said decade it’s using quite a bit more.

I’ll admit I roughed her up a bit, but when I saw how much damage needed to be repaired. Well, let me say I am glad I’m retired, because otherwise the Admiralty on Marik would be calling me every day complaining about it.”


One of the assistants wheeled in a cart with another heavy metal can on top of it marked with flammable and cryogenic hazard placards. “Now we get into something very interesting.

Fuel.

Inside this dewer flask is ten kilos of liquified natural gas kept at cryogenic temperatures by liquid nitrogen. It is marked flammable however in this state it is anything but. In fact, it is quite harmless unless you put your finger in it. Unlike ammonia or many of the other hydrogen rich liquids we use to fuel thermonuclear power plants and aerospace fighter engines. I certainly wouldn’t bring hydrogen here; it would vaporize incredibly fast and if it found a spark would badly burn everyone in this room.

Now imagine that in your Aerospace fighter and be glad there is no free oxygen in space. Thus, we don’t use liquid hydrogen as bunker fuel. Instead, Ammonia and LNG are used which go through reformer steps that rip their hydrogens off before feeding them to fusion reactor.

Their waste products then return to ship’s atmospheric mass, so we don’t need to carry additional living gases. Ammonia when processed adds extra nitrogen while LNG and its cousins generate either carbon dioxide which is scrubbed out normally or a fine black dust that is filtered out and off boarded.

Since we already store nitrogen and ammonia in liquid form they might as well cool something, so they provide primary refrigeration needs. Weapon heat sinks are instead tied into the onboard water storage to a certain extent spreading out the heat across the entire ship with the rest being principally radiation.

Now since we have gotten past that part, we will go into fuel consumption. For a given mass of fuel and reactor size there is a certain amount of delta v it can generate. Larger engines are more power to mass efficient but at lower mases they are more fuel efficient as each particle goes further.

A ton of fuel provides a Warship with slightly less than a one minute one gee tactical burn while forty is the more reasonable daily consumption. For comparison a Union can burn for fifteen minutes at one gee and its regular daily consumption is approximately three.

Dropships are slightly more complicated as their reactor designs are more variable than those of Warships which vary mostly in the number of power plants installed.

Jumpships and Space Stations with their weak thrusters hardly use any fuel at all. They can expect to burn a ton of fuel per month unless they are recharging their jump core with the ship’s power plant instead of a solar sail.

Now that I mention solar sails and reactor recharge it is true that a Warship can power itself and recharge its jump core via the solar sail or use its reactor. It must do both if it wants to recharge its Lithium-Fusion battery and main KF drive at the same time.

Warship KF cores are in fact capable of a remarkably large number of recharge cycles in the short term. Their power systems are used to power surges and the like. If you are willing to accept the elevated maintenance costs afterwards a Warship can fast recharge its jump core almost four times every month and if it uses a solar sail can move three hundred light years at a heinously elevated fuel cost.

That concludes today’s lecture. We will return with the tactical integration of orbital and surface assets on a campaign.”

mikecj

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #40 on: 23 October 2021, 20:48:50 »
Very nice, this continues to be fascinating.
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #41 on: 26 October 2021, 21:58:14 »
Seizing the High Ground!
Supporting Surface Objectives from Orbit. Compiled from the lectures of (retired) 2SLDF Admiral Juhan Dubravka


The 31st century will be remembered as one with a great deal of disruption. After centuries of technological backwardness once more humanity finds itself in technological competition between various factions. Among them are the Trinity Alliance and New Rasalhague Republic who inherited the secret archives of the Word of Blake and COMSTAR. Secondly there is the Clan Council, competitors to the claim of the old SLDF and with their own scientific progresses made in isolation. Finally, there is the rest of the Inner Sphere whose vast populations and well-resourced research institutes have made strong progress in a short period of time.

Something that has certainly undergone a massive paradigm shift is military doctrine. With limited resources and a heavy emphasis on surface combat the Inner Sphere, Clan Homeworlds, and other realms formed a ground facing military doctrine. However, only the most foolish neglect the orbital component serving as an important force multiplier. After all surface forces from one planet need to be loaded onto a dropship and transported either via jumpship or warship to their target.

There are three types of mission support orbital and space borne assets provide their surface forces. Technical, Logistical, and Kinetic.

The oldest but still relevant support is of the technical type. During the 20th and 21st centuries Terra’s national governments deployed satellites to observe and monitor their adversaries while increasing their situational awareness. In the 31st century we still do the same more effectively.

Satellites launched on small rockets, equivalent to capital missiles, once more form useful communication constellations, maps have improved with persistent geospatial intelligence gathering. Improved prediction of atmospheric and natural phenomena have enabled greater economic prosperity and personal security.

Extended operations typically start with a spacecraft deploying cheap satellites in low orbits shortly after ensuring aerospace superiority. These low-cost satellites provide improved navigation and communication to ground units beneath them. With additional sensors they can detect units, structures, and traps hidden under difficult terrain. Reconnaissance small craft and dropships equipped with advanced imagers will do the same as they are more resistant to attack. Attacks against satellites typically take the form of an aerospace fighter or conventional fighter using advanced missiles to shoot down the functionally immobile and defenseless satellites.

Assault Frigates such as the DCA’s Kyushu and FCF’s Zodiac class and their Heavy Armored Transport dropship analogs like the FWLN’s Ajax and TAF’s Yue Fei contain extensive communication suites capable of coordinating complex planetary assaults. Additionally some warships maintain their own HPG broadcast equipment providing unparalleled capability to their supported forces. Those that didn't notably the Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine maintained their black box code stations within warships or modified dropships to do the same. With their mobility these vessels can position themselves to keep ground commanders updated on a chaotic battlespace. This is more important in the 3080s since the Jihad has forced a massive leap in capability for electronic warfare and large-scale deception operations.

These vessels, unlike satellites, can provide additional benefits beyond the fact that they are interplanetary or in the case of jump and warships interstellar transports. This logistical support in the form of bulk cargo, parts depots, medical and berthing facilities, fuel bunkerage, and every other essential store or services can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

During the 2SDLF’s invasion of the Homeworlds this was the crucial support COMSTAR’s Great White Fleet was meant to provide to TASK FORCE SERPENT. These stores were not used as the Great Refusal wrapped up that campaign before Total War was required. Instead, these provisions were left behind on Huntress to support the garrison and help rebuild the planet’s infrastructure while SERPENT returned with vast amount of clan isorla.

It was not until Clan Ghost Bear faced off against a Star League Expeditionary Force in the de facto Trial of Annihilation against the Nova Cats that lessons learned proved instrumental to victory. Unused to high tempo operations even so close to their home territory the Ghost Bears were forced to withdraw after running low on supplies. Later reports reveal that Khan Jorgensson may have exaggerated the stores being intercepted and sent to his Galaxy Commanders thus diminishing their clout by putting them in a difficult position.

Nevertheless, the Free World’s League’s major Fleet contributions were felt with the two Ajaxes sent along with their Thera Task Forces proving crucial to sustaining the 2SLDF’s forces throughout that hard fought campaign. We will go into greater depth concerning that dropship class later.

Simultaneously the Inner Sphere saw the first example of the third type of orbit to surface support. The Mjolnir battlecruiser LAS Yggdrasil will be remembered for many firsts in Inner Sphere warships. Chief among them will be that on its initial deployment it was the first Inner Sphere built warship to use its capital weapons in anger against a groundside target in centuries.

Its target was the rebel stronghold within the town of Bannock on New Avalon. This stronghold and the town around it was wiped off the face of the planet on the direct orders of Archon Katherine Steiner(-Davion). Detailed pictures of the utter devastation and revelation that rebel General Bishop Sortek kidnapped and tortured Princess-Regent Yvonne Steiner-Davion leading to the Davion Guard’s speedy surrender. The Archon-Princess defended those orders to her last day in power.

The Jihad revealed a major weakness of some warships designed for planetary assault. This was particularly true for the Clan’s Nightlord and DCA’s Kyushu classes. These designs carried a fundamental flaw against the Word of Blake and COMSTAR’s rebuilt SDS systems, they needed to get close to deploy the Battlemechs they were designed to deliver to the ground. No Nightlord survived the Jihad each one lost during one of these deployments. Many Kyushu were lost during the Black Dragon Civil War for the same reason. Surface based SDS systems targeted their thrusters trapping them in a planet’s gravity well even if they could not penetrate armor. Stuck in a deteriorating orbit the ships and all their stores needed to be abandoned by their crews.

Contrary to this paradigm were the Zodiac and Ajax/Yue Fei instead using small craft to deliver cargo to the surface or served as orbiting storage depots for low endurance combat transports such as the Union. Only four of the thirteen Zodiacs were lost during the conflict all due to lucky hits by Alamo armed Aerospace Fighters that penetrated their fighter screen. No Ajax or Yue Fei units were lost to damage although some were disabled and later boarded by espatiers. They were just to valuable to destroy during those chaotic times.

Features of the Ajax/Yue Fei Heavy Armored Transport
Since 3060 Brigadier Aerospace of MacKenzie has built the Ajax and its Capellan equivalent Yue Fei Heavy Armored Transports. Built on the Behemoth fuselage with heavy Ferro-Aluminum armor, a sturdier frame, and more powerful thrusters. This vessel maintains its originators five quad small craft hangers alongside a dozen Battlemech repair bays supported by 50-kilotons of cargo and 1.6-kilotons of fuel bunkerage.

Almost two hundred crew, one hundred passengers, and a reinforced platoon of Marines are housed within providing mostly technical support. Numerous anti-fighter weapons protect them from attack while light sub-capital cannons and lasers along with a dozen White Shark missile launchers are mounted aft to provide orbital fire support.

Features of the Zodiac Assault Frigate
Built in secret by Challenge Systems for the Federated Commonwealth the Zodiac represents the most produced class of Assault Frigates in the Inner Sphere and almost rivals any other warship with thirteen created. According to research it was the second type commissioned by First Prince Hanse Davion prior to the publicly known Avalon. Since they were built so far away from any major front and are relatively simple it is likely they were designed to support forces operating in the Federation’s Outback worlds.

This simple mission and focused design would serve them well throughout the Jihad. Each vessel supported campaigns in every theater of operation providing fighter suppression, orbit to surface fires, and logistical support in contested space.

With a crew of three hundred accommodations for that many more passengers and a company of embarked marines these ships provide safe berthing and medical facilities for a large ground contingent. These facilities supported advanced communication equipment and enough weapons to be a threat to enemy assault dropships and provide meaningful orbit to surface fire support.
Supplementing them are twelve shuttles in three quad hangers, two squadrons of aerospace fighters, 3.2-kilotons of fuel bunkerage, and 40-kilotons of cargo capacity combine to make the Zodiac the modern gold standard for an assault frigate.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #42 on: 16 November 2021, 16:44:19 »
Solving the Last Kilometer Problem – Deploying and Sustaining Troops on Planetary Ops

Once all the dust and scrap has been settled and done in space it is finally time to engage in some planetary operations. Your biggest hazards as a spacecraft crewman are flying in atmosphere and orbiting a planet but your bunk is right next to a thermonuclear power plant and toxic gases, so you are obviously comfortable with risk. Aerospace fighters can sally forth from hidden bases potentially causing a great deal of destruction until they break off engagement, mines and armed satellites can also be a threat to an unwary dropship typically in that final descent phase. Conventional fighters can engage dropships when low enough, and the ground itself is your largest hazard.

Before we go into landing and liftoff however, we will start in space, the comfortable black beyond the reach of most of your major enemies. Despite my previous chastisement of the Kyushu and Nightlord Orbit to Surface drops are a sound tactic. Just not with warships into a contested area. Dropships can deploy Battlemechs and along with shuttles armored infantry.

To prepare for orbital reentry (from the High Altitude or Space Map) mechs or battle armor will be encased in an ablative drop cocoon to protect them from both the extreme heat of reentry and some enemy fire. Those without jump jets will have an external jet pack attached to them in a chest harness along with a drag chute. From higher orbits the transit to the surface can take a very long time and the units inside are unable to effectively maneuver. Despite the hazards high-altitude insertion is safer for the dropship and combatants unless the enemy has Aerospace fighters on the prowl or is equipped with (sub-)capital missile.

A faster but more dangerous maneuver that limits exposure and provides a limited amount of maneuverability and greatest surprise is the low altitude or ‘Hover’ drop. This technique utilizes a drag chute and jump jets to slow descent and was perfected by the Nova Cats to protect against Cloud Cobra fighters during their frequent skirmishes on Brim. This low Altitude (10 on the Low Altitude Map or about 18km) insertion is more hazardous because there is less time for the mech to slow itself down and takes less than 5 minutes. Dropping this low also allows a formation to stay closer together allowing more force to be brought to bear faster.

Regardless of whether it is inserting high or low a dropship can only deploy a mech or armored infantry squad per door each minute. This is fine if each lance has an independent but close objective but can lead to a more scattered force across potentially dozens of square kilometers. Either deployment is particularly rough on the equipment and failing to perfectly stick the landing will cause damage. Aiming for water for battlemechs (or UMU equipped armored infantry) is thus recommended to dampen the blow whenever possible.

Much less intense for the operators but more dangerous for the dropship is a standard landing. Aerodyne vessels are more capable of maneuvering in atmosphere due to their lifting and control surfaces. They are also easier on the landing surface which should be approximately 90 meters wide by 450-600 long. Spheroids must make do with raw thrust obliterating anything soft or wet in their thrust cone to land vertically. These dropships must also move in parabolic patterns while in atmosphere as sustained hover at low altitude is incredibly hazardous and arguably a war crime. Aerospace fighters can either land vertically or horizontally but often prefer horizontal landings rather than risk VTOL flight with their open cycle drives.

Once on the ground combatants quickly disembark from the bay doors and immediately begin operations. While their charges are fully engaged the dropship should keep all doors closed, crew on standby and maintain engines at full power with all crew on standby manned (Condition – Red) to immediately move on command, recover its assault force, or for its own protection from hostiles.

An intermediate condition (Condition – Orange) should be maintained within hostile territory which keeps critical systems warm to allow a 20-minute liftoff time for most combat transports. Like above all doors should remain closed unless embarking or disembarking units, cargo stowed, and weapons powered up during this time.

Only when the dropship is in a secure and protected location should everything be allowed to go into a lower power mode (Condition – Green). Here the doors should be closed whenever possible for security, but cargo can be more freely (un)loaded and crew can rest.

These protocol utilizes slightly more fuel and increases crew fatigue but the benefits to the safety of the dropship and its crew as well as their duty to the onboard assault force are worth it.

There are two types of invasion forces, either everything is a combat transport, or it’s not. If everything is a combat transport you have a powerful tactical advantage as you can either reinforce or dilute as needed and have plenty of firepower available to attack the enemy. Unfortunately, these types of formations can rarely maintain their strength for long, equipment will break, maintenance lapse, and supplies dwindle over time particularly when engaged in heavy combat.

To rectify this long duration operations will bring along a cargo transport and associated cargo bays, shuttles, and additional personnel. The most common type for company level deployments are the Unity (Union Cargo) or Trojan, battalions should bring a Mule/Jumbo, and multi-regimental forces a Mammoth to maintain momentum.

This cargo transport and its associated Prime Base should be as far away from the enemy as possible for protection and concealment. Combat transports needing new supplies, rest, or fresh personnel can fly here to receive them. If this is not feasible for tactical reasons most freighters carry small craft that should be loaded up and dispatched as needed. Only when the base’s position is discovered or fearing attack should it be relocated. This is true of both Prime and Forward bases.

If a dropship wants to remain in theater it will form a Forward Base and should maintain condition Orange, rotating crew if necessary. Pickets of infantry and remote sensors should be deployed to give the vessel the 20-minute warning required for a safe liftoff. If possible, these should be adjacent to a highway speeding up the assault forces’ wheeled support vehicles and long enough for an aerodyne horizonal landing.

However, if that isn’t the case it should be centered on a small craft capable of providing cargo space for the ammo, armor, and barracks while maintaining strategic mobility beyond some trucks. These should also maintain condition Orange, but their ready time is half that of their larger brothers. Such small cargo volumes however encourage high turnover.

mikecj

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #43 on: 18 November 2021, 19:39:50 »
This was a solid addition.  Thanks!
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #44 on: 21 November 2021, 11:17:46 »
Teaser for the Next Battle

Planetary Defense Command, Jaipur, Capellan March, Federated Suns, 3086
Commander Ranveer Singh spat out his tea as the Outer Sensor Array lit up before the nearest of them went dark. "I want eyes on that KF burst. Its a heavy warship with six dropships based on signal strength. We must know what it is, Now!" He looked over to his communication officer, a cleared COMSTAR expat who still kept some of the decorum despite the hate they received. "Send an HPG to New Syrtis immediately. Get an Avalon here right away."

Captain Maxime Le'Aea watched the missile strike one of the FedSuns surveillance satellites confirming the newly manufactured missile guidance packages were good. The Word of Blake may have betrayed the Concordat but they did not destroy all they built for its defense. They would no longer be on the defensive now they could attack and bring the Suns down a peg or two. He watched the NCSS attached to the TAS Vendetta closely sending out small volleys of the Quixote's missiles or pairs of strike craft to further hinder the defenders ability to determine his flotilla's composition. They had to move fast before Duchess Angela Hasek could bring reinforcements to this strategic world.

At New Syrtis' Zenith charging station Captain Francesca Laurent of the Avalon Guided Missile Cruiser FSS Morgan Hasek-Davion received an urgent coded message from the Duchess herself. "Hostiles en route to Jaipur, cleared for immediate double jump as soon as magazines are refilled."

Fleet Compositions
Trinity Fleet   
Quixote Gen III Redesign TAF Vendetta
12 Lightning 16L
12 Transgressor 13A
12 Ares X Gunships
2 Kuan Ti Fast Attack Craft
2 Tigress TIG-25 Gunships
2 Zainan (Jumbo) Pocket Guided Missile Cruisers
8 Tigress TIG-25 Gunships
2 Hei Yi (Black Eagle) Assault Carrier
12 Shiva Prime

FedSuns Fleet
Avalon GMC Flight II FSS Morgan Hasek-Davion
12 Lucifer R15
12 Rapier 101s
6 Solar Gunships
2 Merlin Flight III Fast Attack Craft
2 Aquarius-M1 Gunships
2 Arondight (SCC) Pocket Destroyers
4 Aquarius-M1 Gunships
2 Leopard CV Flight IV Assault Carrier
12 Cutlass-01Ds

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #45 on: 28 November 2021, 14:22:46 »
I'm not going to give an IC story regarding this battle since it got very Davion (all ahead full! Damn the torpedoes!) after the Merlins and Arondights couldn't punch through the incredibly amount of armor on the Zainan (~950 nose armor). Also we didn't deploy the fighters until late and I forgot the Kuan Ti's record sheets so they were not a very big factor.

Observations
Don't take Gen III Missile Cruiser task forces against one another. Their ability to intercept other missiles with Piranhas and Barracudas makes for a very boring game that becomes a tug of war against who brought more ammo. This definitely justifies my custom destroyers carrying some interceptor missiles to negate their PWS opponents and protect the task force.

Escorting drop and small craft gunships equipped with AMS are gold. My Gen III designs will definitely carry small craft bays and utilize converted ASF carriers explicitly for this purpose. The Avalon's escorts managed to shoot down eight Killer Whales and 6 Krakens reasonably quickly although it was murder on the ammo supply (Clantech upgrade, I think so).

Well designed small craft are surprisingly difficult to kill compared to even decent Aerospace fighters.

Most of the Warship damage was done by the Vendetta's HNGauss and the Avalon's MNGauss bays, not their missiles which were regularly intercepted. Thus the warship captains switched to shooting each other's dropships rather than each other mid-battle.

Nukes are surprisingly unreliable, bring lots if you intend to use them and only do so in mass.

Once an capital ship's weapons start hitting dropships they start popping fast even if they have incredible standard armor. Naval Lasers and Heavy Sub-Capital Cannons are brutal on dropships; smaller Cannons and Sub-Cap Lasers on missiles and fighters. I figured they would be but seeing in action confirmed it.

Always have an alternate target to draw the big boy's aggro, keep your distance until your opportunity arises, and use screen launchers to protect yourself.

Screen Launchers are surprisingly effective, definitely a technology that will see future use and refinement. I haven't even tried to use mines with them yet.

Teleoperated Missiles are sneaky but maybe not the best thing on a Warship. Great for Pocket Warships however.

Deploying fighters for close combat is not the worst idea as it protects them from the full fury of a capital ship and its escorts, particularly their missiles and sub-caps, until you are within shooting range of each other.