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Author Topic: Second Star League Guide to Warships  (Read 3639 times)

AlphaMirage

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Second Star League Guide to Warships
« on: 20 February 2021, 09:43:06 »
Fleet Admiral's Guide to the Inner Sphere
Compiled by 2SLDF Fleet Admiral Juhan Dubravka (retired) and Star Admiral Ciri McKenna


Why Fight in Space?
Humanity has been fighting in space since the mid-20th Century fortunately for all of us without the ICBMs. Like many things this all changed during the Age of War following the Age of Exploration that saw humanity spread to the stars. The Terran Hegemony based its power on its vast War fleets and their ability to reach any colony with sufficient force to bring them inline with its goals. This trend reached a zenith during the Reunification War and since then almost all knowledge of Warship combat has been lost except among the Clans.

The most recent large scale engagements occurred during the Jihad as the 2SLDF and Clans fought against the FWLN and Blakist White Fleet. The Free Worlds League adapted to the threat environment of the Clans and transferred tech and personnel to the Word of Blake after Huntress and Irece. These commanders devised new strategies to counter a huge disparity in arms and defeat the Clans on their own terms. It is a tragedy that many such tacticians were lost during the conflict. These efforts could not have been won without the Clan's large Naval Toumans and experience, particularly among Clan Snow Raven.

Many of the newest tactics will inform the third and later generation of Warships that will hopefully serve to keep the peace. Nevertheless there is a need to prepare for emerging interstellar threats. These could take the form of the Trinity Alliance or Blakist remnants from the Deep Periphery or even from some lost empire. The SLDF disappeared and returned so a similar event, however implausible occupies the best minds of its successor.

So we fight in space to project power, police and enable trade, and deny the high ground to our enemies. How that happens changes dramatically depending on capabilities of the individual craft. The Jihad's aftermath has given the leadership of the Successor States many obligations to restore the damage done. At the same time we have a unique opportunity to unify efforts under the Second Star League.

Jump Points
The most important area of space to concern oneself with are the Zenith and Nadir Jump Points. These are the primary and only legal zones of entry to a star system and are occupied by any number of transiting spacecraft. While not a point per say space stations, dropships, and warship in that area are close by to respond to any raid.

Since the KF drive requires a certain extremely low gravitation threshold jump points are best though of as a large open sphere. This sphere intersects the planetary disk in areas occupied by large gas or ice giants. These Non-Standard Points can be a faster way to more quickly access these outer planets but requires more time and detailed charts to avoid asteroids clustering at the Lagrange Points and ensure you jump ahead of the orbital ellipse so that the planet is coming toward you.

Pirate points are another important consideration, every planet in a system has a small number of pirate points where gravitational effects are effectively reduced enough to allow a successful translation. These areas are time sensitive and require a truly detailed chart and additional time to plot. They do however bring a jump-ship to within a day or less of planet-fall which can easily be to fast for a planet to mount concerted defense against a raid. However, the short distance also brings Jump-ships, or more commonly Warships, within range of planetary defenses exponentially increasing danger to these expensive assets.

Day to day Fleet operations are traffic control and customs enforcement in these areas. This is best accomplished with small craft carrying law enforcement and a few small guns sufficient to deal with smugglers or armed merchantmen. More restricted systems often have an fast assault dropship, carrier, or bastion station to immediately intercept threats.

Almost all systems, even uninhabited ones, have a cheap beacon satellite on station for navigational purposes in system. Most of these have some basic observation equipment keeping a log of jumpship and dropship activity. These logs are regularly transmitted to a planetary database or patrolling military vessel and compiled by fleet headquarters or self-defense commanders for better intelligence.

Often interplanetary communications services maintain a data satellite storing messages to be later accessed by an appropriate user outside of the HPG network. These could be goldmines for intelligence operations but are more likely to be status transmissions, memos, or voice mails.

Other satellites exist but the two most basic deep space ones are of the beacon, observation, and data types. These are simple and inexpensive machines powered by solar panels with slow microwave or radio links to a ground or space station.

Little Birds
Satellites are a much neglected aspect of space combat. Intelligence gathering, accurate navigation, and early threat detection are critical to modern operations. These are things that satellites do in a compact almost disposable fashion. The vast array of satellites can be broken down to passive or active but the exact construction and capabilities are either classified or incredibly diverse.

Passive satellites watch and listen until they receive the necessary signal. An advance team using a Scout Jumpship can send out a number of these into hostile space traveling months long ballistic trajectories. These satellites will just listen and wait for the right signal to send their findings without the enemy realizing it.

Ones orbiting a planet can also be hacked or jammed by electronic warfare gear to deny the enemy an asset while giving you one they might be hesitant to shoot down. Recon and Interceptor craft are the biggest threats to these devices and preparation for an invasion or occupation can involve hunting them to blind and degrade recon and coordination between ground elements. Specialized SkiTTers (Sub-Kiloton Transport) or small craft can rapidly redeploy satellites however so orbital superiority needs to be continually secured.

The second are the active kind and while the weight and expense of installing weapons on a fragile and effectively immobile object is high it is still sometimes done but normally only in very crowded space. More commonly they are equipped with orbital mines or light weapons (rarely more powerful than a large laser) to destroy other satellites and threaten thinly armored dropships. These small devices actively home in on incoming vessels and damage them. Many are required to be effective however and the low thrust ensures they are only a major threat to other satellites or space stations.

Modern Aerospace Fighter Tactics
Conventional wisdom classifies Aeropace fighter into three different categories but there are really four based on thrusters and firepower. Accelerations over or around 4 Gs (7+ cruise) are used in recon and interceptor roles which differ principally in their armament. Recon, if armed, is equipped only for self defense while an interceptor has at least some heavier weapons for attack. Around 3Gs (6 cruise) are used for fighters as this is faster than most common dropships although the larger ships have bigger fuel tanks and can maintain a lead longer than a fighter has legs. Less than that are typically ground attack or boomers as they can be outmaneuvered by most drop-ships and some Warships particularly newer Gen III versions.

Standard carrier launch procedure is to send out the 'slugs' first on the mag rails. Boomers and Gunships typically have the slowest acceleration curve and need time to 'build up steam.' These are followed by their fighter escorts, then interceptors and assault shuttles, followed by Remassers and SAR craft.

Dogfights take a long time to set up and are not necessarily as fast and furious as in the holovids. Most fights rapidly devolve into what is known as the 'bait ball' or 'merge' where fighters, gunships, and fast attack dropships move in a roughly spherical area outside their objective.

The other common arrangement is known as the 'psycho cylinder,' and is the space between Warships. Inside this cylinder an aerospace fighter could be taken out by naval gunnery but are often fiendishly difficult targets for anything other than missiles to hit. At the same time these craft can attack or protect the ships slightly outside the engagement envelope as getting close to a warship or arsenal vessel is incredibly dangerous for all but the most armored.

Recon craft are used in planetary invasion or orbital control operations as a more capable satellite that can make low fast passes and scan for threats. In an actual fight they are too light and flimsy to survive and are better off hitting afterburners and hope the enemy can't or is unwilling to keep up. They do however have key advantages against conventional air-breathing fighters where their light armament is enough for a mission kill on even less capable craft.

Interceptors are high speed high firepower machines with light armor and poor endurance. These are principally meant to fight as harassers or pursuit craft. They lack the armor to take a hit and are better off using thrust to defend against enemy attack if threatened. This combined with under-wing ordnance can give them a quick and sometimes decisive punch. Interceptors almost always fly in two ship formations originating from the outside of a formation making quick passing shots at difficult angles.

Multi-role Fighters combine all aspects of aerospace combat they don't typically have overwhelming firepower but what weapons they carry are enough for aerospace combat where criticals are just as likely to mission kill a fighter as ripping through all the armor.  They are paired with similar fighters but a squadron contains a mix of weaponry designed to support each other at various ranges. Common armament are typically heavy on lasers or PPCs and they carry extra fuel for maneuvering.

Boomers are heavily armed and sent to combat dropships or warships. These are very heavy fighters (70+) mounting thick armor to protect from common anti-aerospace weapons. Often their wings are fully loaded with ordnance making them incredibly slow yet powerful combatants. A boomer strike can threshold or kill even the hardiest of assault ships and seriously damage light warships. These are almost always deployed in matched squadrons supported by a fighter squad equipped for escort.

Ground Attack is an extension of the Boomer role. These are more likely to be striking moon bases or space stations than contested ground where they are ill suited. Aerospace fighters can execute a suborbital hop to rapidly deploy and support elements from ground bases or launch from orbiting carriers. Most planetary assault forces don't bring conventional fighters in their vehicle complement so it is up to the ASFs to provide bombs or guns in support of a ground assault.

These craft are typically on the middle end of the mass scale (around 50-60 tons) as ground fire is not as devastating as something a Warship or Fast Attack Craft could manage so less armor is needed. Instead the ground itself is your biggest potential threat as any damage could upset the careful balance of the fighter and result in a control loss at low altitude and high speed.

AlphaMirage

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Primer on Warship Fleet Engagements
« Reply #1 on: 20 February 2021, 10:36:35 »
Modern Small Craft Tactics
Assault Shuttles are frequently aerodyne, and many are based on the S-7A Bus, but typically a 150 ton vessel with increased armor and thrust. Most of that armor is added to the nose and their weapons are dispersed and mainly for self-defense. Often there is a heavy nose gun, either a Heavy Gauss Rifle, UAC/20, Thunderbolt 20, or a Heavy PPC to breach armor for the on-board troops and cripple slow moving (or damaged) dropships that are its preferred targets. The real power however lies in the troop bay where often two or more platoons of unarmored Marines or two Squads of Armored Marines grapple onto the hull of an enemy spacecraft and force their way inside to take control.

Boarding actions are high risk high reward ventures. Spacecraft have narrow corridors and although most pressure doors are fairly flimsy the ones leading to sensitive areas are reinforced. Layouts are often confusing, and the nature of any spacesuit even armored makes them vulnerable to attack. Nevertheless, the late Khan Xander Drake, Colonel Devlin Stone, and others have found optimal ways to engage in these actions using modified battle armor.

Gunships are small craft, often spheroid in nature, that carry heavy ordnance and electronic warfare equipment. The larger platform and dedicated crew improve the electronic warfare assets of a small craft compared to a similar equipped aerospace fighter. These vessels thus serve as forward air control and advanced sensor platforms.

Having a dedicated gunner improves anti-missile systems such that they can negate many incoming non-capital grade missiles and with enough depth can even eliminate capital ones before they reach their target. This makes spheroids effective defensive platforms. Gunships often form the forward edge of a picket protecting warships and aerospace squadrons from such attacks. Unfortunately, most are lacking in thrust so they need to be protected from enemy Interceptors and are easy prey for capital missiles if lacking enough coverage.

Another class of small craft are Search and Rescue and Remasser craft. These are typically spheroid and of similar construction operating in support of a Fighter Wing. Drifting aerospace fighters can be remassed and returned to their carrier after the battle. During a battle these craft will take up a position within the protective envelope of a larger combatant and move forward to fill re-mass tanks with liquid ammonia or methane. Once remassed the craft can reengage as long as they have ammo and armor improving endurance.

Combat spacesuits and Aerofighter pods (the whole cockpit assembly is ejected not just the pilot) have at least 48 hours of life support and a week of beacon time (to recover the body). If they remain attached to the fighter that can be extended to almost four days by using the APU to recharge the batteries. SAR craft and Remassers share the same larger remass bunkerage although SAR trade extra fuel for a larger passenger space.

Castles in the Sky
Space Stations when well-designed can force an opponent to plan accordingly and pose a major threat to small raids. Against a proper Warship they can endure slightly longer than nothing, but the lack of mobility and weak structure hampers them greatly. However, they force an enemy to slow and plan for aerospace defense which can reduce incoming threats and provide time to improve fortifications or call for reinforcements.

They come in two types, carrier or weapon platforms. Carriers like the Bastion or Drake often host an entire wings of Fighters and Fast Attack dropships. Weapons platforms, like the Dragon's Breath, Capitol, or Battlesat, carry long ranged weapons, often an abundance of capital or sub-capital missiles and light cannons or lasers to give them stand-off capability against their most common foes, aerospace fighters and fast attack dropships.

What is common on a space station though are sensor, EW, and communication arrays that can guide tele-operated missiles and direct ground-side fire or aerospace assets within a complex planet-moon system. The Word of Blake used Drake SDS systems to control drones and the Trinity Alliance has acquired some of that tech according to 2SLIA (Too Sly). These floating fortresses can be particularly troublesome as the Hellions could attest after taking Aphrodite Station, a M-9 Pavise SDS station, an effort that cost them most of their remaining Warships.

Unbreakable Moon Bases
A planetary defense force's space assets are rarely based at the bottom of the gravity well. Moons serve as islands in otherwise empty orbital space and often house first strike capability in defense of their planet. Fortified bunkers protect aerospace fighters and heavy weapon turrets capable of engaging warships and other spacecraft around capital worlds. Most modern shipyards are built around moons with corporate assets designed to defend the facility itself in addition to serving an industrial purpose.

Luna's defense were so thick and deep that Clan Ghost Bear expended most of their Touman and almost all of Zeta and Valkyrie Galaxies taking it during the Battle for Sol. Luna's Heavy Mass Driver was also responsible for the destruction of the last Leviathan. Ignoring these bases is done at your own peril as Aerospace fighters operating with Remassers can easily span large distances to reinforce their planet.

Modern Dropship Tactics
Fast Attack Craft are the classic assault dropships and almost all are relatively light aerodynes and laid out like large fighters. Designs such as the Avenger have not aged well over the centuries as more capable sub-capital weapons and the proliferation of large missiles pose major threats to them.

However, all are in the process of undergoing upgrades meant of capitalizing on their strengths. Upgraded versions are a deadly threat to modern aerospace fighters which are still the most capable ton for ton space combatants. Electronic warfare systems have seen the largest improvements to degrade drone, naval C3, or tele-operated missiles. They use high speed to close quickly on hostile fighters and engage with their powerful yet lightweight armaments like larger Interceptors.

Fast Assault Transports are relatively uncommon designs that serve as a larger more powerful version of the assault shuttle. Assault Shuttles are far to small and slow to close with a warship or bastion station and survive. Even if they could carry enough Marines to overpower the crew. FATs can however and back these Marines up with Battlemechs modified for microgravity combat.

The FWLN Hamilcar is one of the more modern designs and underwent several major alterations after weaknesses were highlighted when fighting against the Word of Blake. Classic designs like the SLDF and Clan Elephant and 2SLDF's Octopus Tug also fall under this classification although they too have undergone major changes to mitigate modern threats.

Arsenal Ships are the newest addition to the Aerospace combat paradigm because they are a solid middle ground between larger Warships and their much smaller cousins the Fast Attack Craft. Arsenal ships use sub-capital weapons and capital missiles providing almost light warship firepower into a larger dropship package and even the smaller ones are spheroid. These Arsenal ships provide long range standoff firepower against Aerospace fighters and to threaten hostile warships.

The Word of Blake designed these vessels to efficiently produce something that could threaten Clan Warships. They were successful enough that many of the early losses of Clan Warship losses were to masses of nuclear tipped missiles which the crews could not efficiently intercept with their vintage SLDF warships.

A lesser known version of the Arsenal ship is the Siegebreaker. Instead of using capital missiles these, often aerodyne designs, are equipped with cruise missiles or artillery only capable of firing while landed. These were typically Triumphs re-purposed to carry missiles instead of tanks and meant to support large combined arms operations against powerful defensive structures like Castles Brian. Many of these were deployed by all powers throughout the Jihad to dig out fanatical Blakist elements as Warships that would otherwise be used for bombardment were needed elsewhere.

Assault Carriers remain the largest classes of combat dropships in modern use. Vessels range wildly in size from the lightly armed Leopard CV to Titan which itself is a powerful assault craft. They often carry no more than a Wing of Trinary of Aerospace fighters and often lack their full complement when operating as part of a fleet (with the excess going to the larger warship carrier) to allow for additional berthing in the event of a loss or more efficient SAR and salvage operations.

These ships are very commonly found employed in area denial operations serving as range extenders and service depots for their fighter craft. Another common use for them is power projection operations, Clan Snow Raven in particular enjoys deploying their Titans in this fashion as they less costly in both resources and diplomatically to deploy a dropship than a warship, particularly in the post-Jihad era where many have been damaged or destroyed.

AlphaMirage

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Primer on Warship Fleet Engagements
« Reply #2 on: 20 February 2021, 12:09:02 »
Introduction to Warship Generations
Warships have seen a major evolution from the armed jump vessels of the Age of War. They continue to prove necessary to secure interstellar empires despite their often-astonishing expense. Over the years paradigm shifts have occurred within the Inner Sphere and each time naval architects have adapted just as the old ships of the line were replaced by dreadnoughts and then aircraft carriers and submarines. In fact, many of the same things occurred over the years for warships.

Generation I Warships include all warships built prior to the Reunification War and during the Star League era. These are still the most produced vessels in existence, a testament to stunning efficiency and wealth of the Inner Sphere during the Terran Hegemony and original Star League. The Clans and COMSTAR maintained many of these over the centuries making only minor alterations and few real improvements. Most were destroyed during the Jihad and War of Sundering with the few that remain kept principally as a stopgap by the Clans until they can rebuild their shattered naval industry, a task they are rapidly closing on.

These vessels were designed with dominant tactics of the SLDF at the time. Broadside weapons bays laid out for long range bracketing, large cargo bays to support massive troop formations, relatively thin armor, and a small number of anti-aerospace defense to handle anything that made it through the screen. They were designed to be operated as part of the large fleets of that era with abundant friendly fighters and fast attack ships.

Generation II Warships are typically much smaller than the Gen I ships and were never produced in large numbers with only the Fox frigate and its Eclipse clone having around 20 in their class. These were more focused designs and include the Clans' new Warships and all those produced in the Inner Sphere during the pre-Jihad era.

The designs have smaller cargo bays, larger engines, thicker armor (most of the time), more anti-aerospace weapons, and capital bays laid out for brawling at closer ranges as the techniques for bracketing were lost during the Succession Wars to the Inner Sphere.

These Warships were meant to be a threat to smaller formations (a Thera task force consists of only three ships and remains the largest deployed till the Jihad) with comparably little endurance as they would not be sent on years long expeditions supporting divisions of SLDF troops beyond the Hegemony instead they were meant to combat Clan Warships in close space.

With the reintroduction of sub-capital weapons and deployment of drone fighters, fast attack, assault carrier, and capital missile armed arsenal dropships took precedence over larger Warships. These were created to asymmetrically deal with the Clan's larger fleets by leveraging inherited weaknesses in both design and tactics from their Gen I warships while negating the superior weapons of a Clan Aerofighter.

Their existence has dramatically changed naval architecture and engineering as well as tactics. With dropships able to bracket fire, drone fighters armed with nuclear bombs, and heavy use of tele-operated missiles there was pressing need to adjust designs to combat increasingly dangerous small foes rather than larger ones. These small vessels combined with powerful SDS systems and sabotage were responsible for the almost complete destruction of the Clan Warship fleet during the Jihad.

Generation III Warships are presently under construction throughout the Inner Sphere. These designs find themselves having to improve mission capability while reducing cost. This means that many lack LF batteries and jump collars which is seen less of a detriment than it would have been to the ancient SLDF where interstellar power projection was key to the Terran Hegemony.

Aboard these ships capital and sub-capital weapons are mixed with greater anti-missile defenses, Hargel, reinforced internal structure, and advanced armor composites. These vessels are less than 850 kilotons with two to six jump collars and more powerful engines than their SLDF counterparts to improve strategic positioning while being able to pace attack vessels and place a greater emphasis on medium to long range combat at higher velocities.

The first Gen III Warship, the battlecruiser DCA Yamato launched in 3068, the Black Dragons worked with the Word of Blake to replace all standard anti-aerospace weapons with sub-capital weapons. It was heavily damaged during the Invasion of Sol in 3070 and had to be returned to Midway for repairs, which are still ongoing. The old Gen I battle-cruiser Tharkad LCS Invincible captured from the Word of Blake has been laid up over Alarion for about as long undergoing repairs and upgrades until its successors can be constructed.

Presently (in 3072) the Durendal (an improved Whirlwind) and Caspian (an improved Agamemnon) classes are just finishing construction in the Lyran Alliance and Free Worlds League respectively. The Trinity States and Council Clans have focused their efforts on more effective fast attack, assault carrier, and arsenal ships as well as tighter coordination between their fleets of heavy cruisers. Clan Snow Raven has concentrated its efforts to repair and reactivate its already large fleet while building up self-sufficiency within the Outworlds Alliance to support their Touman and civilian industrial aims.

Warship Engagement Profiles
There are four principal forms of engagement profile between large craft including combat dropships. They are High Speed Closing Engagement aka “Jousting,” Brawling, Bracketing Broadsides, or Stand-Off. Each has their own inherent advantages and disadvantages and a craft can overlap but rarely does as compromise designs are not able to leverage key points.

Warship design has certain symmetries built into its construction as yawing, rolling, and passing are all things that warships are capable of doing in their 3D environment and so architects design with these in mind. Jump collars are typically located on the dorsal and ventral planes as are launch bays to take advantage of the long design and vectored thrust. All Warship engines are capable of a limited amount of vectored thrust to twist and roll but the faster they are moving the longer this takes to accomplish.

Almost all engagements happen at reasonably 'slow' velocities and often on parallel courses except for jousting which happens are very high speed and 'point on'. A High-Speed Closing Engagement is defined as when a Warship is moving fast enough to close its full weapon range in a single minute. This extra velocity is imparted into ballistic and missile weapons making them hit harder although the warship will get only one chance coming in and another departing to connect.

A warship designed to Joust like the Great White Fleet's Suffren destroyer and Clan Fredasa corvette have enormous ballistic firepower in its fore and aft bays with less in the broadsides. This often takes the form of a NAC/40 which is the single most powerful cannon capable of being mounted on a Warship. In larger vessels the forward three bays will be mirrored on the aft although when leaving at high velocity the ballistic weapons are not as powerful, so it is just as often NPPCs.

These engagements are incredibly fast and leave little chance to intercept by the target. However, they also take a potentially long time to set up as the jousting vessel must accelerate continuously to build up that velocity. By adjusting your own acceleration, one could avoided and potentially expose the jouster to a hit on their broadsides from your own nose or aft weapons bays.

Brawling encounters occur when two warships close gradually with the intention to pass, turn, and expose all quarters to enemy fire over time. The engagement begins with the brawlers opening fire with their nose bays before coming in at a slight angle and decent velocity to give their nose, quarterdeck, and broadside to the enemy and rotate through hoping to wreck an enemy with medium range firepower before moving out of range and giving their broadsides maximum time on target.

This form of combat is best exemplified by the Mjolrnir Battlecruiser which effectively uses its acceleration, thick armor, powerful forward array, and withering medium range fire broadsides to devastate smaller warships. The FWLN's Agamemnon has the right weapons mix but not enough armor to perform it as adequately as the Black Lion it attempted to emulate, the new Caspian Cruiser is meant to fix that deficiency.

Bracketing broadsides are as mentioned broadsides encounters at very long ranges. This is accomplished by using computers to adjust the firing angle of each weapon to threaten a larger area. The size of the bracket is calculated, and the Warship Captain loses some of the direct effect for a greater change of hitting with something. At closer ranges the bracket doesn't need to be as wide, so more firepower reaches the target.

Long range broadsides are often used by slower and particularly large craft. Quad weapon turrets are common with the McKenna's Heavy NPPCs being the gold standard as they remain capable of dealing enormous damage at long range. Lighter weapons like MNPPCs and NAC/10s are adequate for handling combat dropships or swarms of Aerospace fighters. NAC/20 and 25s are devastating at closer ranges for all combatants but are more common on brawlers.

Stand-off Warships engage their enemies with capital missiles or similar long-range weapons. This class also includes carriers. Most warships carry a squadron or two for defensive or projection purposes but large Carriers typically operate at the multiple Wing or Cluster level. The FCF's Avalon or SLDF's Quixote are the standard bearers for the class with their heavy missile ordnance. The FWLN's Thera super-carrier and its escorting Eagle frigates with their N-Gauss Rifles and Aerospace Wings are also included.

These Warships can be devastating for smaller warships or swarms of lesser craft as each missile's high velocity kinetic warhead has a chance to inflict critical damage and Naval Gauss rifles, while not as efficient as NPPCs, are powerful enough to threaten many lighter ships. The real warship killer threat in this class however belongs to Santa Ana and Alamo nuclear weapons which can disable or destroy even the largest of battleships.

Many destroyers also adopt this profile as their lighter weapons and weaker armor means that distance is their best protection. Destroyers typically mount their longest-range direct fire weapons in the forward bays with capital missiles or single or dual mounted shorter ranged ones in the broadsides where they can still be brought to bear to fire fore and aft to threaten anything that gets past. Gen III Destroyers like the LCA's Durendal class are incorporating sub-capital cannons to supplement this 'goalkeeper' role.

Stand-Off Warships are vulnerable to McKenna type battleships with heavy quad mounted weapons as they often lack sufficient armor or mobility to endure that amount of firepower or escape it. Although improvements are being made, they are also threatened by fast attack craft that can close the distance and engage the lighter vessels. With cheaper arsenal ships also capable of carrying missiles and more 'mobile' (as they can use jump command chains while Warships cannot) they might find their role changed by the 3100s.

Cannonshop

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Re: Guide to Modern Aerospace Combat
« Reply #3 on: 21 February 2021, 05:28:46 »
You missed House Davion's signature Naval tactic there;

Ramming-this extremely expensive method of getting a one-for-one is key to House Davion's naval success, and is the only tactic they routinely use to win naval engagements.
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AlphaMirage

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Primer on Warship Fleet Engagements
« Reply #4 on: 21 February 2021, 13:37:20 »
You missed House Davion's signature Naval tactic there;

Ramming-this extremely expensive method of getting a one-for-one is key to House Davion's naval success, and is the only tactic they routinely use to win naval engagements.

That will be put in specific weapons. The profiles were just how engagements happen. Plus if you are the Davions you had more Warships than any other group except the Clans for as long as they existed in canon.

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Re: Guide to Modern Aerospace Combat
« Reply #5 on: 21 February 2021, 15:39:28 »
Apparently the Wolves took note on ramming.


Does the article have to include non-canon equipment?

AlphaMirage

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Primer on Warship Fleet Engagements
« Reply #6 on: 21 February 2021, 15:47:16 »
Apparently the Wolves took note on ramming.


Does the article have to include non-canon equipment?

I will edit the non-canon equipment out but I think speculation is still valid. Actual stats and the like will remain in the appropriate forum.

ActionButler

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #7 on: 22 February 2021, 16:43:36 »
**MOD NOTICE**

We have deleted a post at the request of author of the deleted post.
Experimental Technical Readout: The School
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=56420.0

Intermittent_Coherence

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #8 on: 22 February 2021, 19:48:28 »
So... Gen I = Pre Reunification War
Gen II = Post Star League

Where do Star League era designs such as McKenna and Texas fall?

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #9 on: 22 February 2021, 20:04:04 »
So... Gen I = Pre Reunification War
Gen II = Post Star League

Where do Star League era designs such as McKenna and Texas fall?

Had to adjust that all Star League ships are gen I, any built before the Jihad are Gen II

Wrangler

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #10 on: 22 February 2021, 21:20:55 »
Gen I = Pre Reunification War
Gen II = Star League
Gen III = Clans New Redesigns/Refits
Gen IV = Inner Sphere / Clans 3050+
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Tyler Jorgensson

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #11 on: 22 February 2021, 23:22:19 »
Following

MCharke

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #12 on: 22 February 2021, 23:39:17 »
This has been an interesting read. I never thought about warships by generation but it makes sense.
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Re: Guide to Modern Aerospace Combat
« Reply #13 on: 23 February 2021, 03:49:49 »
Apparently the Wolves took note on ramming.


Does the article have to include non-canon equipment?

Quite effectively
Below are links to my fan fiction pages.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/alternate-timeline-with-thanks-(full)/

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/alternate-timeline-with-thanks-full-part-2/

As always please enjoy and if you have any questions about my AU (or want to chat about ideas I could incorporate into it) feel free to PM me.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #14 on: 24 February 2021, 23:15:30 »
Construction of Warships
The goal of a warship is to bring powerful weapons to bear across the stars projecting power just like the great ocean going fleets of Terran Empires reaching all the way back to antiquity. Everything from architecture to operation revolves around this singular task. Warships are unique in that they utilize a compact KF core that takes up much less of their mass than the more economical standard version used by jumpships.

While some jumpships carry weapons their primary design consideration is moving dropships efficiently. This ability is shared with their larger cousins though at a much higher expense with Warships costing many times more to build, maintain, and operate.  The SLDF derived their loose classification system based on how many dropships a vessel held but modern designs are more based on equivalent masses and thruster power.

There are four key systems in a warship that allow them to accomplish this mission. The aforementioned compact KF core and its attached solar sail, large interplanetary thrusters to move the great mass of warship through space, a thermonuclear power plant capable of powering a metropolis, and its weapon systems capable of transforming that power into offensive force.

Almost 45% of the vessel's total mass is taken up by the compact core which is the first component constructed in the cage. This system and its supports help form the spine of the ship just as they do for jumpships. Similar to jumpships giant solar sails recharge their drive although it can fast charge using the reactors or recharge station is available.

A lithium fusion 'jump battery' can allow incredible strategic mobility by giving the warship (or some jumpships) two jumps instead of one. These were popular at the end of the first generation of Warships and most Clan refits or Gen II Inner Sphere vessels have one to maximize limited vessels. They are incredibly expensive however and a Warship can only recharge one system at a time via one method. In wartime recharge stations would keep a battery and main drive topped off for quick response. This strategy was used to great effect by the Duke of New Syrtis during OPERATION:THUNDERSTRUCK during the Jihad to deal with incursions by Blakist and CCAF warships into his domain.

With larger numbers of fast attack craft and pocket warships strategic mobility has improved in the dropship corps. Increasing numbers of jumpships and recharging stations for them will continue to give these smaller vessels the option to command circuit to distant battlefields faster than any warship could possibly respond. Gen III Warships are thus less likely to bother with the additional expense and mass of a battery when a squadron of assault dropships could adequately accomplish many tasks with less risk to an expensive strategic asset.

The reactor and thrusters are then installed completing the functional Triad of a Warship. Naval Architects spend thousands of hours figuring out how powerful the engines need to be to complete the designated mission as each 0.5g of thrust consumes almost 6% of a vessel's total mass. An idiom accredited to Illium Shipyards CEO Shankur Phan boiling it down is, “When capacity is key the slower it should be, but combat is fast so don't be last.”

Naval Gunnery
The lack of innovation in large weapons are concerning to strategists but it is agreed that recovered Lostech will continue to rule for the foreseeable future. There is still room to improve targeting packages, EWAR, and sensor suites to use them more effectively. Tactics rather than tech will continue to dictate success.

There are many questions regarding the layout of weapons in a warship. We will quickly answer common ones heard by every incoming naval academy cadet.

Why not use all four Warship sides for guns? Warships have at least four long sides that could be used to mount weapons but only two are dedicated to guns. That is because the dorsal and ventral surfaces of a Warship are used for radiators, grav decks, drop collars, and hanger bays. Also guns are heavy and most warships would have to reduce their broadsides arrays ensuring that even fewer weapons were on target at a given time.

With only so much internal volume these exterior facing components need to go somewhere and putting them in the line of fire is certain to see them damaged. The fore and aft quarter decks provide overhead and underneath coverage of these areas as their weapons are more flexibly mounted than those in the broadsides and nose/aft arcs.

Why not use turrets to traverse guns onto targets across the centerline? This is the most common question I hear at Olympia, many cadets come in with romantic notions of ancient ships of the line. They lack a fundamental understanding of space efficiency much like the four broadside question. The casemated guns of a Warship are integrated into the superstructure and fuselage protecting their inner mechanisms from harm by enemy action or malevolent physics.

Barrels, targeting pods, and mirrors stick out, on turrets hidden by dome shields and protrusions, with an almost 135* firing envelope. The bulk of a weapon lies safely behind armor with the least expensive components exposed to enemy fire. A warship's RCS system can be used to adjust aim beyond that envelope. During a roll there is only a short period of time before the opposite side comes into firing position.

Without gravity to hold it in place a turret and its feed mechanisms would have to be engineered to endure high gs in unusual vectors that will constant threaten to pull it out. A dorsal and ventral hard mounted turret was attempted in the early days of Warships but it could not be independently actuated so early aerospace fighters just boosted past it faster than it could skew and struck a large blind spot. Fighters could also freely strafe beneath the turret guns safe from return fire.

Present arrays of independently actuated, controlled, symmetric, and isolated gunnery compartments comprising the majority of external cells has proven quite successful.

Standard weapons include the armament of fighters and fast attack craft with Warships mounting some for close protection. Fast moving fighters are difficult for heavy weapons to track particularly if they are using evasive maneuvers to ruin firing solutions. They are ton for ton more efficient than larger weapons systems but lack sufficient power and range against the heavy armor of Warships. Not that you would want to or even could endure getting close enough to use them.

With fire control circuits and gunnery deck space limited these are frequently heavier versions in dual mounts packing the combined firepower of a heavy or even assault mech. Large lasers and PPCs are common alongside Gauss rifles, and all types of class 10 auto-cannons. Pulse weapons are typically used to protect the aft as rear attacks while closer ranged are more difficult to intercept due to angles of attack. Heavy auto-cannons are used to deliver crushing blows to heavy bombers and fast attack craft daring to come close.

Sub-capital weapons formed the basis for modern designs seeing use all the way back to the Age of War's armed Jumpships and earlier. A prototype Light SCC was added to the Soviet Union's Mir III space station and primitive SCL/1s were used by the Reagen Star Wars program all the way back into the 21st century. Fortunately both were not used in an actual conflict until much later.

Middleweight missiles of this type are commonly used to provide heavy strike power to fast attack craft as their effective range meshes well with longer ranged standard weapons. Lighter ones such as the Piranha and SCL/1 are used principally as anti-aerospace weapons. Sub-capital cannons are as popular as their NAC equivalents providing good firepower even against Warships.

Before we move onto the largest weapons we will discuss the advanced use case for them. These advanced techniques are what gives the capital class weapons their unique efficiency and flexibility.

Anti-Aerospace Targeting Mode – While viable offensive weapons for light warships sub-capital and capital lasers were initially designed for defensive purposes. Since the only moving component of a laser is the mirror they can rapidly track fast moving small targets as nothing moves faster than light. When placed in this mode tracking a small target (<500 tons) is easier (reduce to hit by 2) at a slight penalty to targeting larger craft (increase to hit by 1) as the tracking burn pattern is less effective against heavy armor compared to the normal focused pulses.

Bracketing Fire – Developed early on by the SLDF bracketing fire was inspired by Terran artillery tactics and shotgun hunting. These old school tactics are as simple as they are engaging. In a bay with two or more guns you can fire ordnance in such as way that the area of effect is overlapping.

This overlapping fire partially negates range disparity and evasive action on the part of your opponent. Bracketing fire was the engagement profile of SLDF battleships but that classic interpreation now sees more use on destroyers whose lighter NACs and MNPPCs are sufficient to kill off all but the toughest assault dropship or pocket warships at a standoff distance. Brawlers like the Aegis and Black Lion used middleweight NACs in tight brackets at medium range to great effect.

Called Shots – Called Shots are more commonly used by fast attack craft or corvettes during a pursuit to damage the engines of a warship by digging out aft armor or hoping for criticals with sub-capital missiles. There are plenty of other targets though and fortunately this technique is difficult to execute. Warships are big yes but they also move fast, shoot well, and are heavily armored. The risk is worth it sometimes as degrading a warship to put it at a disadvantage could be the intended goal of an attacker in order to lead their force to greater victory.

The following show the remarkable flexibility of missile systems, while heavier weapons are rightly feared for their raw power missiles can be tricky and sometimes carry nuclear warheads. Normal warheads are kinetic kill devices and the missile is a two stage rocket system. The first stage detaches halfway through to reveal a sleek maneuverable terminal package.

Within a minute or two of launch the rocket can be ordered to adjust its heading. This is normally done to allow missiles launched from the broadsides to support the nose or aft arcs. These adjustments need to be done early on however while the missile has not engaged its full thrust potential yet.

Teleoperated Missiles – These missiles are effectively drones that are controlled by a gunner aboard a warship. As long as the vessel can maintain radio contact an operator can guide the missile to its target. They are commonly launched just before the engagement zone of an enemy with the craft instead veering off to arrive at an unusual angle of attack. Sub-Capital missiles due to their small size lack the same sophisticated guidance units needed for such a use.

Bearings only launch – Missiles are often programmed to find and seek out a target before leaving their tube. However, a missile can instead be launched bearings only. The warhead will wait until it reaches a single predetermined point before engaging its terminal guidance package. Once the package locks on the missiles streak toward the target.

Pre-programmed Waypoints – Further taking advantage of guided missile technology an operator can give a missile a path to follow rather than the straightest line to its target. There are a number of reasons why this mode can be activated but it is often to dodge screen launchers and hostile AMS gunships.

Capital weapons are massive, heavy, and powerful pieces of equipment capable of directing energy at incredible ranges. The PPC, the beloved heavy weapon, was first deployed as a capital weapon. Naval lasers were the original heavy weapon of pre-Reunification warships and saw widespread deployment throughout the proto-Successor States along with missiles and autocannons.

Naval lasers come in three distinct sizes, the smallest 35cm laser is a good anti-aerospace weapon but lacks a lethal punch even for medium aerofighters. Their intermediate and heavy version are good lightweight weapon systems and most warship carry a few to provide flexible secondary batteries to engage dropships and aerospace fighters.

Autocannons are powerful and efficient weapons systems but suffer from strange mismatches and ammunition reliance. NAC/40s are the most powerful capital scale weapons to date but are short ranged and often used in a way similar to the Clan's Fredasa raiders, high speed slashing runs with big guns. The NAC/20 and NAC/25 are what makes the Aegis cruiser such a truly harrowing foe to face. NAC/30s and 35s are brawling guns used by ships like the Black Lion to rip into their enemies as quickly as possible. NAC/10s see use in lighter destroyers providing them with killing power that few drosphips can withstand while reducing over-penetration.

Naval PPCS and N-Gauss Rifles find themselves tightly contesting primacy in capital combat just as their smaller versions do on land. Heavy N-PPCs are capable of fully bracketing at extreme ranges in quad mounts which is something the N-Gauss rifles cannot do as well. They can however provide solid medium to long range fire support. This fire support is what designs like the Eagle and Thera carrier groups use to great effect.

Capital missiles are larger versions of the sub-capitals, if they were cruise missiles the capitals are ICBMs and that is before they have a nuke on-board. Nuclear armed missiles were responsible for the loss of many warships during the Amaris Crisis and Jihad. Like the smaller Piranha the Barracuda is designed as an anti-aerospace fighter missile although it does so better (-2 instead of 1) and at a slightly longer distance.

Attached to this entry is a cursory document that will provide numbers to the weapons talked about today. Our next entry is on Warship roles and specific tactics they can employ in combat. {EDIT- Updated attached file to include my normalized (10x Heat and Damage for a fair comparison between energy and not)}

marauder648

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #15 on: 25 February 2021, 07:23:16 »
This is bloody superb, you know that right?
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #16 on: 06 March 2021, 00:54:52 »
This is bloody superb, you know that right?

I appreciate it marauder, more to come

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Modern Warship Roles
Over the centuries many types of warships have been constructed but they all ultimately fall into a rough category. Each of these vessels is used differently but all have their place in a well built fleet. Most Warships operate in at least a two ship formation as a lone warship is easy prey for Fast Attack Craft and Pocket Warships no matter how larger they are.

Assault Frigate – These destroyer sized ships share that designs light weapons but have drop collars and large cargo holds to support other combatant craft. In modern times they carry FACs and Pocket Warships, before and during the Jihad it was troop transports. They are the only warships that still practice using their weapons as ortillery, a risky maneuver unless you have secured orbital dominance.

Carrier – Carriers use large numbers of aerospace fighters to deny an area to the enemy and strike beyond effective engagement ranges. Their gun decks are focused on extreme range fire support and anit-aerospace weapons softening hostile warships before their fighters engage and protecting themselves. The consumption of so many Aerospace fighters and crew ensures they never operate far from safe territory.

Cruiser – Cruisers are versatile craft sent out whenever the Fleet is expecting serious trouble of some kind. The largest cruisers, known as battle-cruisers, are fearsome solo combatants and many serve as the spine for most modern Fleets from Terra to Strana Mechty. Cruisers also typically have more jump collars and the ensuring expense rivals their Fleet Carrier (and its Air Wing) in cost. A Cruiser however brings enough concentrated firepower to over match most challenges by itself.
 
Corvette – Corvettes are lightly armed and armored warships optimized for long distance patrols. Most have no docking collars relying on a squadron of small craft for resupply limiting their options during deployment. They have high safe accelerations of more than 2G (5/8) with crews trained to utilize it and plentiful fuel reserves. Fragile but speedy they function as tougher fast attack craft.

Destroyer – Destroyers are optimized to destroy small craft and missiles and so are often assigned as escorts for larger craft although they can stand against more powerful foes in numbers. Their weapons can engage larger warships at greater risk and standard protocol is to at least pair up to withstand incoming weapon fire from a heavier warship. Most lack drop collars of their own as a cost saving measure and this inexpensive nature ensures they are plentiful in fleet operations with Warships like the Lola III and Essex being among the most produced ever.

Building a Fleet
With the return of Warships to the Inner Sphere in the late 30th Century there have been massive changes in a quite short period of time. The last time Warship tactics changed this much was the Age of War. Most Clans had to relearn the realities of large conflict after using their Warships as armed transports for so long. Some adapted better than others.

In the 31st Century there is a chance to build back better with harsh lessons learned during the Jihad and Wars of Sundering. Building a Warship Fleet starts with three (technically four) goals that are familiar to any military planner.
What are you going to be fighting? and how?
How many resources do you have?
How many do you want to use?

We will briefly touch upon the answers for each of these questions for the modern factions.

The Clan States
The Clans of the new Grand Council on Kerensky's Vision (Sea Fox, Wolf, Jade Falcon, and Stone Lion) are in a strong position to capitalize on gains made during the Jihad. With shared control of Terra, most of their old Occupation Zone planets, and strong backing of the Second Star League they have a chance to fundamentally change Clan identity and perhaps unite the 11 remaining Clans.

However, Clans Thunderbird, Star Adder, and Blood Spirits are rebuilding in the Homeworlds.
Snow Raven expeditions reconnect and expand into the Outworlds Wastes.
Goliath Scorpions have seized a Deep Periphery Empire and eye more.
The Spirit Cat Collective grows in the Irece Prefecture with their Azami allies as a SLDF protectorate.
All the while the Smoke Jaguars have been reborn in the Trinity Alliance and occupy a Canopian/League border world. From 20 there are still 11 that vie for supremacy undaunted and in fact encouraged by continued conflict.

This conflict over Clan identity will be their future battlefield and will be conducted according to their own ways. Most Clans have refused to acknowledge a new Council so it will take time and more than a few skirmishes for one to rise above. Future conflicts will require concentrated firepower as populations are not large nor spread out enough to support a number of smaller craft.

Rumors has it that Quatre Belle, the Dark Nebula, and Syrstart are being rebuilt with the potential to resurrect the now extinct Texas or McKenna class battleships. Clan industrial might is restricted by small populations, lack of scaling, and widespread devastation from a disastrous war. The Homeworlds are now temporarily unable to construct or repair vessels greater than 350 kilotons due to damage to their cageworks.

The Goliath Scorpions made smart choices prior to leaving the homeworlds and assuming control over the Umayyad Caliphate and its vassals. Trading in their Potemkins netted them a fully equipped jumpyard from the Diamond Sharks and a few small Warships. Their neighboring Hansa Fleet stands little chance against even the smallest modern destroyer.

Without Katherine Fox (Steiner-Davion) in charge the Lyran Commonwealth has returned to a cool hostility regarding the new Clan Council. Archon Reinhardt Steiner has to run interference preventing a full LCAF assault on “occupied” worlds that the grandchildren of dispossessed lords want returned. From Arcturus he sits under a Sword of Damocles with the new Council a mere 15 light years away.

With a specialization in starship construction, their Loremaster's advance planning, and cooperation from the Outworlds Alliance the Snow Ravens are likely to win a naval arms race with a large lead on the others. The old SLDF shipyards around Quatre Belle are humming once more due to their diligent efforts.

All Clans are still burdened with a large number of vessels critically damaged during the Jihad. While they lack materials and technical professionals they started at a higher level than the Inner Sphere before them. Thus they only have to renovate, repair, and modernize their SLDF legacy hulls another time to match any Successor Fleet, for now.

Like many smaller states the Clans are more interested in expanding and solidifying their dominion after the disastrous loss of the Rasalhague Dominion. Presently new Warship construction is a low priority and repairing and modernizing existing hulls is somewhere in the middle. Capturing the experience of combat proven Clan Warriors is the highest priority and will possible pay the most dividends for all involved.

mikecj

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #17 on: 06 March 2021, 12:35:28 »
Thanks, I enjoyed the dissertation.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #18 on: 06 March 2021, 21:55:33 »
Draconis Combine
The Draconis Combine Admiralty (DCA) was reconstituted in a time of great peril during the earliest days of the Clan Invasion. Coordinator Theodore Kurita swore that an event like Turtle Bay would never happen again in his realm. Despite his sponsorship it grew in fits over the years as Samurai demanded the lion's share of the Combine's limited resources. COMSTAR losing Terra and its Titan Yards to the Word of Blake crippled the well regarded Tatsumaki class while also forcing major outlays to Stellar Trek and Midway to replace lost capacity. When the Federated Commonwealth split the DCA became the 3rd largest active warship fleet in the Inner Sphere although it was and remains a fragmented one.

Despite its fragmented organization the classes within were well thought out and have a degree of synergy, although not as tightly as the FWLN. Most ships made prior to 3067 were lost during the Black Dragon Civil War and the Coordinator's reorganization (and purges, five of which that SLIC knows about). Those that survived are in the process of repair and modernization to keep the cageworks active and worker's skills sharp.

Advanced Warships like the Yamato (900 kton) and Ryu (600 kton) were meant to form the backbone of the Clan Counter Fleet facing the Ghost Bears. However, high Clan Warship causalities during the Jihad leave these expensive vessels without their primary mission thus are likely to remain lonely. Both lead ships are destined to become Flagships for the Spinward and Anti-Spinward fleets when they finish repairs and upgrades around Midway but will likely remain a rarity.

Realistically the Combine has little need for such ships and more pressing issues to spend its Yen on after almost a decade of bloody civil war. The future DCA will thus likely be filled with Gen III versions of the Kyushu, Tatsumaki, Inazuma, and Kirishima, an unfinished hull of which was shared with First Prince Peter Davion and completed around New Syrtis. Commissioned the SLS Covenant it is operated by a joint crew in Star League service where it serves the SLDF in the Grand Tikonov Republic.

Due to the vulnerable state that the universe is in the Draconis Combine must look forward to what might be in the next twenty or so years. The most obvious foe they are likely to encounter are their own rebellious internal elements this fact is why the DCA's Armored Marine Corps are now among the best trained in the Inner Sphere capable of rapidly deploying to stomp out rebels.

Coming in from the New Rasalhague Republic any foe would have to pass through the Spirit Cat Collective. Their Azami Caliphate allies occupy a long yet slender portion of the Grand Tikonov Republic and Isle of Skye border. With these two vassals holding the Anti-Spinward line and no threat from the Core the DCA has refocused itself on everything Spinward of Terra.

First Prince Peter Davion holds no ambitions or enmity toward New Samarkand. Peter has empowered Tancred Sandoval, Duke of Robinson, to normalize relations a tall order for the Draconis March Lord. Despite a history of harsh rhetoric concerning Dracs from every Davion prior to him except Victor.

With Draconis Rift based pirates eliminated (or co-opted) during the Hellions' first operations in the Inner Sphere the Snow Ravens and their Outworlds Alliance “hosts” have become their primary concern (and an ambitious one, no one defeats the Snow Ravens in our home element – CM).

While we cannot know precisely how Grand Admiral Daijiro Kurita plans to counter the Ravens there are options. Large numbers of destroyers could eliminate the fighters that the Ravens and OAM favor before they can attack the warship. The more concentrated Raven fleet leaves openings that assault frigates could use to raid worlds defended by OAM auxiliaries. With some planning these raids could damage the infrastructure the Ravens depend on. It would have to be a very offensive campaign which fits Franklin's ambitious reforms for his Warriors.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #19 on: 07 March 2021, 10:17:18 »
Federated Suns
When the first Fox corvette slipped out of Galax Cageworks in 3058 the second renaissance of Warships was just getting underway.  With joint production in the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth over the years it and its CE equivalent Eclipse are the most produced class still active in the Inner Sphere.

The Federated Commonwealth at that time was unique in that they were mostly self-sufficient. Other states were heavily reliant on COMSTAR (DCA) or the Word of Blake (FWLN, CCN) to set up and manage their warship programs. Instead of trusting either organization, with totally valid reasons, the vast Federated Commonwealth empire was capable of and willing to muster their own engineers and technicians to complete every portion of the small ship in house.

Since late 3049 Hanse and Melissa were building up design bureaus, cageworks, and prototyping facilities in the process expanding and improving their own jumpship yards. Hanse Davion did not live to see his ambitious project to completion but the Federated Commonwealth Fleet would not be what it was without his initial investment.

His children carried on that legacy with Katherine Steiner-Davion (Fox) doing a lot of heavy political and economic lifting for the Avalon program while she and First Prince Victor were on good terms. Their split in 3057 rent the vast empire in two leaving the Federated Suns under Victor in a poor strategic position.

His death in 3060 left the inexperienced Yvonne as regent while Arthur was completing his term of service. Arthur's subsequent death in 3063 resulted in the Reagent's War with Archon Katherine heading a invasion of New Avalon to liberate her sister and assume the mantle of Regent.

Without orbital fire support from the fleet she helped build the invasion would have failed. Katherine likely wouldn't have escaped the ambush of her personal command without the LAS Yggdrasil or FSS Alexander Davion. Although it was a stain on her name the invasion included the first use of tactical orbital artillery strikes in centuries.

The present First Prince is quite different than his siblings however; Peter assumed command of a Federated Suns under siege and searching for identity. He embodied many of the honorable aspects of his father, leading the fight to free Crofton from the Hellions, and chased the Word of Blake all the way to Terra where he was wounded in the final Battle of Vladivostok.

Unfortunately he lacks the same ruthless cunning of his father and sister. (Peter may look the part but re-watch Katherine's reveal of Vlad and their secret family during the Whitting Conference and compare it to Hanse and Melissa's wedding on Terra and tell me you disagree – JD) This trait has metastasized into a strengthening Trinity Alliance.

Angela Hasek, Duchess of New Syrtis, a fierce Anti-Capellan, and no friend of Steiner-Davions, has been strident in her condemnation of Peter the Peacenik's attempts to keep the peace with the Snake of Sian (Sun-Tzu Liao) and Shogun 'Sepukku' (Franklin Sakamoto). Her brother George Hasek II almost succeeded in killing the man which would have crippled the Capellan Confederation permanently during the Jihad's Operation:THUNDERSTRUCK. The Duke narrowly lost the First Princedom to Peter before his own untimely end in a dropship 'accident' on Talon.

With three major Cageworks around Galax, Kathil, and New Syrtis and an abundance of resources due to investments in the Outback it is in a prime position to rebuild after the Jihad. Due to the weakness of the Capellan Confederation and Taurian Concordat little damage was done to these critical production centers. Thus Warship production restarted without much fanfare beyond the First Prince and Shogun personally commissioning the FSF Covenant.

Unlike most states though the Federated Suns does have the greatest chance of engaging in a near-peer battle with the Trinity Alliance, and its vast frontier requires an effective patrol craft. The Trinity Alliance favors fast raids by their FengHuang (Phoenix) heavy cruisers and squadrons of fast attack craft. While not a superb or numerous ship it has evolved into a more capable combatant over time and those delivered now are completely different ships than the original from 3058.

The Fox (or Eclipse), Avalon, and Zodiac (Robinson) warships remain in production along with a number of attack dropships. These create a solid fleet although one lacking a heavy ship capable of dealing with Clan Snow Raven's large warships. The medium weight formation requires pairing up against their most likely foe to ensure victory at reasonable cost.

FedSuns naval architects have laid down plans based on the old Defender battle-cruiser from the Age of War to combat the Feng Huang and Snow Raven capital vessels. Through a working relationship with the DCA and CWK they have access to limited plans for similar but modernized vessels such as the Yamato and old Tharkad CWK Seth Marsden. Such a vessel is unlikely to come into service prior to 3085 unless conditions change. Until then nuclear armed missiles will remain the Avalon's go to weapons when fighting heavier warships and more of the Feng Huang's focus will remain on protection from these than attacking Avalons.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #20 on: 07 March 2021, 21:47:13 »
Free Worlds League
As Operation:REVIVAL raged between the Clans and the Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine the Free Worlds League, then a neglected side player in the Inner Sphere politics, quietly turned into an industrial juggernaut. For a realm so riven with discord and regionalism there was something that always united them, the almighty C-bill. Billions of which flowed into the treasury greatly enriching and expanding its military-industrial complex. With this wealth and relative safety from the Clans the FWL a major player in the Aerospace technology field leaped ahead to even beyond COMSTAR in volume if not capability.

Post-Tukayyid the Word of Blake, then just fanatical COMSTAR dissidents, were allowed to settle on Gibson. Little did Thomas Halas know that they would ultimately almost bring about the complete destruction of the League. The former COMSTAR technicians brought long lost Star League tech to the state exchanging knowledge for security. When the Word of Blake reclaimed Terra during ODYSSEUS the League reaped massive benefits from tech exchanges with it and the Capellan Confederation.

Like the FCF's Fox the FWLN's rebirth started with a humble corvette, the Zechetinu, developed as a convoy raider and proof of concept in early 3051 before the first entered service in 3057. This was an impressive achievement and unfortunately began the subversion of the fleet by the Word of Blake. New designs came rapidly, the Impavido destroyer, Agamemnon cruiser, and included the modernization of old SLDF era warships like the Aegis FWLN Olympic and Black Lion FWLN Xanthos around Titan. Ultimately these advances culminated in the Thera super-carrier, and its Eagle escorts, a formation that could only exist due to the vast inflows of money from the rest of the Inner Sphere and technical aid by the Word of Blake.

This new fleet was seasoned during the Battle of Irece where they stalled a Ghost Bear offensive against the exiled Nova Cats after a raid on their capital, Alshain, by the DCMS. SLDF Rotation through the St Ives War and simulated battles against the Word of Blake's Great White Fleet made the FWLN the best trained and equipped fleet in the Inner Sphere. Indeed the Star League Defense Fleet would not be what is without them.

Unfortunately for the Free Worlds League the Word of Blake had subverted many warship crews and a number of parliamentarians. Their agents acted quickly once the Jihad began immediately deploying against the Federated Commonwealth and the Archon-Princess' Clan allies. SLDF Commanding General Photon Brett-Marik was almost killed on Wolcott and only with his return with the Nova Cats did they begin to fight back effectively. Caught between the Commanding General, the Clans, and Commonwealth Fleet most of the warships of the FWLN were destroyed during the Jihad, an unfortunate blow to the pride of the Free World's League.

What remained however was enough to rebuild and despite the damage to the League's infrastructure during the Word of Blake's 'burn and turn' campaign on the way back to Terra its shipyards remain operational. Captain-General Corrine Marik however finds herself in a difficult position, post-Jihad distrust in the Free World's League remains high so a massive rearmament campaign is politically infeasible and competing priorities for parliamentary funds and attention are numerous.

However there are plentiful reasons to rearm. The FWLM and FLWN are merely a fifth of what they were pre-Jihad. Compared to that the Trinity Alliance grows steadily having harvested a number of Word of Blake loyalists with offers of sanctuary. These loyalists retained some of the advanced technical knowledge that made the organization so effective. Thus the Feng Huang and future dropship raiders will grow more capable as the Alliance's industry matures and expands.

These industrial worlds however are positioned closer to the Free Worlds League due to a perception of lesser threat compared to the Federated Suns. Unfortunately for Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao, Corrine Marik harbors a deep and understandable enmity to the Word of Blake he granted succor to. As SLDF members she and Archon Reinhardt Steiner have reduced tension with one another allowing her to focus on the growing threat.

The Free Worlds League like the Federated Suns maintains a large border with the Trinity Alliance. Their Rimward neighbors, the Magistracy of Canopus, are not as hostile to the realm as the Taurian Concordat is to the Federated Suns but unlike the Taurians the Jihad only cost them their capital city rather than their industry.

Magestrix Naomi Centralla-Liao is seen as a moderating influence on her husband but the Magistracy still blame the FWL for grievances dating back to the Reunification War. While this remains mostly rhetoric recent behavior is worrying some of the Strategios High Command. Growth in the Fronc Reachs and Concordat Colonies increases the Alliance's prosperity and just as the Word of Blake once aided the League that gave them sanctuary their survivors are doing the same elsewhere.

Anti-Spinward threats like the Marian Hegemony, a now rogue once client state to the Federated Commonwealth, are still capable of conducting raids on the frontier and opposing the depleted FLWM. This small state will be a persistent threat until the FWLM/N can grow large enough to conduct offensive actions once more. As long as they do not strike at crucial worlds this threat is likely to be left to private contractors (under Alys Rousset's new Mercenary Guild) and regional Lords to manage.

With their shipyards mostly intact and a versatile array of Warships there a several key factors preventing the regrowth of its fleet. First among these are perception, fighting on the wrong side of the Jihad ruined their reputation and trade contracts with other states (except the Capellan Confederation until later). It will be a long time before FWL manufacturers can export their products throughout the rebuilding Inner Sphere once more. Increasingly visible deployments with the SLDF and widely broadcast Truth and Reconciliation committees have helped re-mediate this image.

Despite headwinds the future remains bright for the FWLN. Corrine Marik's efforts to push or bypass parliamentary opponents have been successful enough that the Caspian, an upgraded Agamemnon, will begin construction around Atreus next year (3073). It will be joined by the Pagan, a Gen III version of the Impavido, and new Zechetinu Block IIIs over the next few years. All new FWLN vessels will be adjusted based on hard earned combat experience from both sides of conflict.

Thera carrier groups, that filled the Inner Sphere with fear of darkening skies will remain on the back burner for the foreseeable future, at least until the 3090s. SLS Fort Verdun, the only survivor of its class, can barely fill its hangers with League operated fighters. Its flight academies will take time to replenish the number of pilots for super-carriers to be viable once more. However, the efficacy of these formations is well earned as the Jihad has proven that defeating a Thera is a costly ordeal.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #21 on: 08 March 2021, 21:30:37 »
Lyran Commonwealth

Archon Reinhardt Steiner is a return to the mean for the Lyran Commonwealth now once more split from the Federated Suns. The young Archon hails from the same illustrious family line as Caesar Steiner, Seen as a source of stability after a tumultuous period of growth and unrest under Katherine Steiner-Davion. He is blessed with an excellent cadre of advisers and the greatly matured Heather Fyhne, Duchess of Arcturus, as fiance. Upon the temporary capital on Arcturus he commands a well seasoned and equipped army and fleet backed by the most productive economy in human space.

Unfortunately heavy is the head that wears the crown. As part of the Asta Accords and New Vision Compact the Clans were granted permanent rights to their remaining occupation zones on Lyran worlds after aiding in the protection of the realm from the Word of Blake. Even now they rebuild their strength for the next step in their destined final Trial to determine or establish the ilClan. While the former General of the Armies has earned their respect and forces are mighty the New Vision Council will rapidly know of any misstep from their own nearby capital.

With the Lyran economy off war footing the Commonwealth is once more floating normally thus the Kriegsraumflotte is once more suffering from a lack of funds. Katherine Steiner-Davion was the champion of the expensive formation under unification but the Lyran half of her empire was always lacking in shipbuilding capacity due to the sensible choices of her predecessors to keep such assets far away from the Clans.

LCS Seth Marsden (Tharkad), Yggdrasil (Mjolrnir), and Valhalla (Mjolrnir) are laid up above Alarion for at least the rest of the decade, at current funding levels, undergoing repairs. All were lucky to survive the Jihad and its fateful Battle of Sol. Were it not for their rugged construction and the Snow Ravens they would have been lost combating the Terran Defense Fleet.

Unfortunately this leaves the Kriegsraumflotte with only a half dozen Foxes in active service and reliant on Clan Warships should a threat emerge during this gap time if the ships even return to service. Thorny complications with the Durendal destroyers threaten to shelf the entire program a second time at the cost of billions in kroner. A deal could be explored with Captain-General Marik to share development and production costs for the Pagan program as the League's treasury is dangerously low. Such a program could see Tamarind and Technicron Naval Engineering rise in significance even more assuming Duke (and retired SLDF Commanding General) Photon Brett(-Marik) agrees.

With Alarion occupied conducting repairs and Gibbs servicing the Lyran jumpship fleet there is no extra shipbuilding capacity available in the Commonwealth. There is however lots of idle capital that can be invested elsewhere and there are many places to invest. Jade Falcon Merchants are regular visitors to Arcturus so there are rumors that there might be a purchase deal in the making.

Another option (in addition to the FWL one) would be to buy Warships from the Draconis Combine which is in desperate need of cash to finance rebuilding efforts after their disastrous civil war. The most visible actions on Reinhardt's part to this end are Adam and Rachel Steiner's frequent diplomatic visits to Franklin Sakamoto. Additionally there is an existing option to purchase new Warships from the Federated Suns.

Without an urgent need for Warships however the Estates General has pushed back against the Commonwealth Naval Command's funding demands. Representatives see greater profits by investing in additional clan-tech manufacturing. The CNC's most likely path for growth is thus increased production of clan tech fast attack craft and pocket warships. With the largest jump fleet in the Inner Sphere these vessels suit the defensive mindset of the old guard once more asserting themselves.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #22 on: 08 March 2021, 23:14:21 »
Star League Protectorates and Small States
The Second Star League has two protectorates in the Inner Sphere relying on member states for protection and aid. The Tikonov Grand Republic contingent consists of FWLM and AFFS peacekeepers with DCMS and GSC {Gepanzerte Streitkrafte des Commonwealth, “Commonwealth Armored Forces”) contributions to the defense and stability of the Spirit Cat Collective.

The Grand Tikonov Republic suffered mightily with much of their territory serving as the Jihad's main battleground. Their narrow strip of territory adjacent to Terra was ruined in a way not seen since the original Successor Wars. Fortunately for its Prime Minister the industrial worlds were heavily reinforced during their time as Capellan Confederation fortress worlds. A hasty and piecemeal occupation of their territory by the WOBM and Shadow Divisions was short lived. With FCF's 3rd Fleet protecting the space lanes between the Federated Commonwealth no large invasion forces could be massed to besiege these forts except late in the war when their numbers were lessened by the Coalition's counter-offensive.

Since they are a protectorate the Republican Guard and SKO (Russian “Space Defense Force”) can barely reach out of their gravity wells. Due to the immense damage caused to their populations and industrial concerns these are very low priorities. Both are token defensive forces limited to their fortifications but with large reserve capacity. Blockade running Trojans are the extent of their armed spacecraft but they are very good and will serve as an excellent seed for future growth. What they do have is excellent intelligence capabilities with many Republic citizens serving in SLIC.

On the other side is the Spirit Cat Collective formed from the remnants of the Nova Cats and Cloud Cobras. While it is early in their history already there are many evident changes with Spirit Cat Warriors acting more like ancient Warrior Monks than their Clan counterparts. They are fully capable of rearming but with the New Rasalhague Republic as little threat have no desire to do so. Instead they like the Goliath Scorpions have taken a different path in their journey than their Council counterparts.

The small Dharma Hyperspace yards around Schyuler are the only jumpship yards in their territory and through expansion by the Cloud Cobras can make Comitatus carriers but remain incapable of repairing larger warships. With a strong Aerospace tradition the Spirit Cat's naval touman will center on Aerospace fighters with a mix of poorly maintained Cobra warships and assault carriers.


The New Rasalhague Republic is the newest addition to the Inner Sphere although its rebirth was not an easy one. Elected Prince Ragnar Magnusson's takeover of the former Ghost Bear Dominion still has Trials of Grievance pending from Ghost Bears absorbed into the Stone Lions. Thus far the Council has little appetite for a large scale offensive against the rogue state instead solidifying their alliance and rebuilding industry.

Such a Clan threat likely gives Ragnar nightmares, the former Bondsman was treated well but he like his father always looked for ways to capitalize on outside forces to help his realm. Sensibly the NRR refuses to give SLIC details on their military power so we can only speculate at what they are developing on Skandia. Based on interviews with Ghost Bear spacers that world was used to mothball old SLDF assault dropships and Pentagons, which with some modification make solid pocket warships.

WOBS Eriynes was seen last within the realm during the Razing of Alshain, then Ghost Bear capital killing most clan civilians. This has fueled speculation that the NRR could also have offered sanctuary to WOB war criminals escaping Odessa's hidden Ruins of Gabriel shipyard. If these are true and should the Eriynes be hidden within its territory the NRR could rapidly develop small warships using the old yardship as a prime assembler. Of course based on conservative estimates the NRR is likely never to grow beyond a small dropship and fighter fleet optimized to combat the Clan's SLDF warships and ensure their sovereignty.

Much like the NRR the deep periphery state of the Hanseatic League faces threat to it sovereignty from Clan Warships this time in the form of the Scorpion Empire. The Goliath Scorpions mostly managed to escape the Wars of Sundering and in the process recently absorbed two small micro-states to serve as a new base of operations. Thus Bremen's ruling council and its many Guilds have increased their trade links to the Lyran Commonwealth hoping for options. Their agents on Galatea and Solaris VII have offered lucrative mercenary contracts for Aerospace and Naval trained Commands no questions asked which has seen many probably dirty commands escape justice.

With little shipbuilding industry they are at the mercy of the export market from the Lyran Commonwealth and perhaps Dark Caste contacts that hid away Clan vessels during the Sundering. Their convoy protection force however has a pair of Titans and a number of Leopard CVs with native industry being capable of manufacturing limited numbers of Aerospace fighters. These fighters and their assault carriers will form the rapid response force that might respond to a Scorpion incursion likely with nuclear bombs and anti-shipping missiles.

A rising power on the Rim the Marian Hegemony has seen its station rise over the Jihad. Once a client state to the Federated Commonwealth the Hegemony has gone rogue and utilized all the aid given to it to improve their own industrial base. They achieved their objective occupying former Circinus Federation worlds and contested territory along the Trinity Alliance's border territory. Since the Circinus Federation was once a Blakist client state the Hegemony like others probably offered protection to the Black Warriors and their Blakist allies.

Like other small states the Hegemony refuses to share military information with SLIC so we are once more speculating. While FedCom aid was typically old mechs and armor there were a number of aerospace fighters, small dropships, and battle armor. Given that the MHAF is little more than pirate force they prefer to take slaves from their enemies. Always looking to expand there is a high likelihood that they will insist on crippling hostile ships (even a warship if they can) and send in marines on raider craft to seize them and their crews intact. Since the FLWN has yet to contest the MHAF's raiders on their own turf and they prefer to run we cannot know how they will act.

The Outworlds Alliance is a small 'independent' state on the coreward borders of the FedSuns and Draconis Combine. During most of their history they had a proud aerospace tradition although they don't make many instead trade for them with their larger neighbors. Now with the Snow Ravens as allies (or overlords – JD) they can trade inside their territory with the Clan.

Their traditional opponents have been pirates and raids from the Draconis Combine so they have developed a flexible fighter force but lack assault carriers to project them effectively and have to transport them as cargo. This is changing rapidly as the Snow Ravens have provided their auxiliary forces with Clan upgraded versions of the Leopard CV which can carry marines to conduct inspection and boarding operations.

These carriers will give the OAM the ability to more effectively patrol their territory and with the Snow Ravens nearby they have warship support available if needed. Such a scenario is hard to imagine however as neither the DCA or FSF are capable of launching an offensive that could survive even the partial power of a damaged Snow Raven Naval Touman based around Quatre Belle.

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #23 on: 09 March 2021, 11:03:50 »
**MOD NOTICE**

We have deleted another post at the request of author of the deleted post.
Experimental Technical Readout: The School
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=56420.0

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #24 on: 09 March 2021, 22:29:33 »
Trinity Alliance
It is said that in every crisis there is opportunity, one cannot find a more crisis prone nor opportunistic realm in the Inner Sphere than the Capellan Confederation. Sandwiched between powerful neighbors and lacking strategic depth it has cunningly managed to survive and even thrive when its enemies’ vigilance falters. This siege mentality ended with Sun-Tzu Liao's Xin Sheng movement in the late 3050s that saw dramatic growth while the Federated Commonwealth devoted its efforts to the Clans.

Sun-Tzu Liao will no doubt go down in history as the Confederation's most influential Chancellor rising from the ashes following its bleakest moments. From the ruins of the Fourth Succession War the Confederation have gained allies and power unlike any time prior. How this happened is a mystery and when the truth is uncovered will make a fascinating read.

The Confederation and other Trinity States grew rich and acquired advanced technology by providing mineral resources to fuel Free World's League industry. Post Jihad we have confirmed that every Trinity Alliance state held large interests in the Blakist affiliated industrial design firm, Vicore Industries. Careful investigation through databanks on Terra by 2SLIA show signs of Blakist influence at all levels within leading some to think that the Confederation and Periphery states were core targets for subversion from the beginning.  Of course, this could be Maskirovka as each state's internal politics and resource allocation are so byzantine and secretive that they are not well understood from the outside. With the complete loss of Taurus, damage to the state archives on Liao, and destruction of the Canopian treasury in Crimson City all records are likely lost even if outside access could be achieved.

What is understood however is that the Trinity Alliance is a force to be reckoned with and growing stronger. Both the Federated Suns and Free World’s League find themselves in weak strategic positions post-Jihad with limited resources and substantial damage to their industrial and economic ability. Much of the Confederation's industrial and population centers remain intact with the only large offensive, George Hasek II’s THUNDERSTRUCK aimed more at “cutting the head off the snake” by killing the Chancellor then destroying his realm or occupying its worlds.

The Taurian Concordat and Magistracy of Canopus' fleets (Quixote TCS Vengeance, Vigilant Mk 39 TCS New Vandenburg, Impavido TCS Iron Bull, and Samarkand II MCS Diana Centrella) and CCS Zhenjiang, one of the three Impavidos operated by the Confederation, were not confirmed destroyed by coalition forces so they are either in hiding or were destroyed in secret. Following the Jihad, the Trinity Alliance filled in their military gaps well enough that the Coalition forces already busy elsewhere could not enter uncontested. This was done with reserves of Canopian troops as both the Concordat and Confederation forces were depleted by war's end and required time to rebuild.

Freedom of movement between member states and growing trade ties ensure that the Alliance is an elastic target. To do lasting damage an attacker will require a major multi-point deep offensive to ensure success. Reinforcements will be moved and sabotage or counter-strikes will be launched from its long border territories or its well-developed irregular forces. This method of war extends to their Fleet as the Trinity Alliance's goals are disruption and delay of enemy action rather than supporting offensive actions. Their procurement is unusual in that LF batteries are a necessity despite their extraordinary expense to the otherwise financially insolvent realm.

With only one known active Warship class, the Feng Huang multi-role heavy cruiser, with probably a half dozen produced since the first arrived on the scene in 3058, the Trinity Alliance Fleet is one that is easy to simulate. There were suspicions that this number was incorrect and that the threat was misunderstood post Battle for Sol. However, post battle analysis by Snow Raven and Diamond Shark technicians determined the Caspar II drone warships WOBS KT and Harbinger, misidentified as Feng Huangs by Clan forces, were in fact modified Dreadnoughts dating back to the Terra Hegemony. These were perhaps even the originals later modified for production into the Thera and Feng Huang.

Originally Feng Huangs were firepower anemic vessels constructed in the same vein as the Sovetskii Soyuz cruisers of the SLDF with thick armor, large cargo holds, and an undeserved fearful reputation. These originals were designed as raiders using their vast cargo holds to support a regiment or so conducting a limited raid and to maximize limited cagework space. While terrifying for an armed freighter it stands little chance one on one with its likely foe the nuclear missile armed Avalon cruiser as it lack missile defense. This oversight is corrected somewhat in the upgraded version though it was perhaps designed with the same SLDF general doctrine of large supporting arms although the squadrons of protective gunships have yet to appear.

CCS Ilsa Huang, the first second generation Feng Huang, was spotted in 3067 at the dawn of the Jihad utilizing technologies stolen from the Thera (technically both used Blakist tech). Additional capital weapons, 120 aerospace fighters, and two squadrons of small craft make it a formidable battle carrier and use up a large portion of the nearly 100 kiloton cargo hold. These formations are massive drains on limited fighter assets but strategic mobility makes them a superior basing platform than a group of assault carriers. When combined with an assault dropship squadron this would seriously threaten most escorting warships ability to protect their jumpships from incoming contacts.

The Battle of Sol revealed previously only speculated on Blakist CASPAR II tech integrated into warships such as the ARTS (Advanced Robotic Transport System) bays and more capable C3ISTAR suites like DTACS (Direct Tactical Analysis Control System) drone control link. The next flight of vessels are likely to use more mass and volume intensive equipment. It remains to be seen whether this will be added to the original long range raider/command ship (Franco Martell, Elias Jung, and Sundermann Rhys), the upgraded battle carrier versions (Kossandra Centrella, Ilsa Hyung, and Aleisha Kris), or if it will be added to new hulls (Sun-Tzu?, it will probably happen – JD)

Combing incremental improvements with a willingness to experiment with alternate tactics has caused no shortage of consturnation among the FSF and FWLN Admiralty. The Trinity Naval Command knows the vulnerabilities of their own ship well and have an advanced understanding of their enemy's psyche. Thus their peers must plan to take on many different group permutations as a battle carrier with assault dropships is combated differently than a raider with troop transports.

During conflict large jumpship formations will have to move with heavy escorts on the off chance they are targeted in theater or “behind the lines”. At the same time pirate point jumps without escorts will obliterate troop transports unless covered by another warship going “down the well,” an uncomfortable place for warships, to ensure force protection.

These Fleets need to adapt to fighter swarms, heavy capital weapons, slashing attacks by FAC or FAB droppers, or station enough defensive assets to protect against ground or aerospace raids on crucial worlds. All of these could occur at the same time in multiple places and the secrecy and competance of the Trinity Alliance's intelligence assets makes it difficult to predict where these might happen. Thus, a Feng Huang and its attached squadron has become the default opponent in all Star League member state Naval Academy simulators.

Presently the only thing that could reasonably take on all such permutations is the Thera SLS Fort Verdun with its many fighters and powerful capital weapons capable of destroying a drone swarm and dropship squadron from afar. With its striking arm extended against the escorts though it would be heavily damaged and could even be destroyed should the enemy close with their own weapons. Even the Tharkad, Mjolrnir, and Yamato warships would be hard pressed to close with and destroy the ship. Due to their inferior speed and sensors they will always be at a disadvantage.

While the Feng Huang is the sword the Trinity States have many shields at their disposal. Due to close previous and perhaps ongoing cooperation with the Word of Blake SDS systems are being constructed around strategic worlds (Detroit, Victoria, New Vandenburg, Sterope, etc...). The goal of these assets is to slow or blunt an incoming attack providing more time for reinforcements to stream in from elsewhere.

Combined with a large fleet of capable raiding craft the Alliance can control battle tempo and disrupt strategic logistics and crucial command and control nodes. Forcing the opponent to think about defense ahead of time allows spies time to spot a massing force, the Trinity Alliance is wise to false maneuvers (such as those launched to start the Fourth Succession War) and that trick is unlikely to work again for many years. Once spotted defensive commanders can then strategically re-position assets ahead of time ensuring an even more rapid response.

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #25 on: 25 March 2021, 08:35:59 »
Simulated battle incoming tomorrow along with a tutorial for a battleship brawl (for both Gen I and II ships)

Mjolnir-I WKS Yggdrasil ('Big Ygg')

vs

Monsoon-VIII PPS/SLS Painkiller (the Pentagon Painmaker)

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #26 on: 27 March 2021, 19:55:47 »
Author Note - The Battle has been resolved, will write out a dramatized brief later, but the log is here and the winner has been determined. Log attached

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #27 on: 27 March 2021, 20:39:21 »
Painkiller appears to have lost, but the fight seem to have alot misses if i'm not miss reading it right.
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AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #28 on: 28 March 2021, 19:43:26 »
Painkiller appears to have lost, but the fight seem to have alot misses if i'm not miss reading it right.

Tragically yes the Painkiller lost but it did give a good accounting for itself, it did 909 points of damage (about 40% more) compared to the 658 of the Yggdrasil. Unfortunately the Yggdrasil (2884) has more than double the armor of the Painkiller (1223)

AlphaMirage

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Re: Second Star League Guide to Warships
« Reply #29 on: 29 March 2021, 11:55:38 »
Lang Zhenzu, Pentagon Protectorate, 3090

LCS Yggdrasil drifts about the jump point, its gigantic solar sail capturing the powerful rays of the Blue-White supergiant, Lang Zhenzu. PPS Painkiller, the storied Monsoon battleship, appears nearby in a flash of electromagnetic radiation having used its LF fusion batteries and superior navigational database of its home system to catch Captain Ludwig Mueller by surprise. In a rush Captain Mueller orders the sail detached, “Kampf Stationen!” Red lights come on and Klaxons blare as the crew readies themselves for combat.

On the other side Captain Zhou Tae-Young orders the massive battleship forward at max thrust to intercept the presumably ‘hostile’ battlecruiser hovering in his home system. Its ancient thrusters had been renovated during the latest overhaul, but they still only provide a meager 1.5Gs of thrust which the newer Mjolnir can do without even passing cruise efficiency.

The enemy’s guns are individually powerful but laid out inefficiently while his own are more focused while remaining flexible following the trend set by such greats as the Aegis and Black Lion II, The broadsides bristle with heavy Naval Autocannons powerful enough to deliver punishing blows capable of knocking out lighter warships with ease. His crew seasoned by the Wars of Sundering grew up living eating and breathing on SLS Shanghai, a former SLDF Yardship, down the well of this very star.

WeKrs (Weltraum Kreigsflotte) have no such advantage but they do have a formidably armored and reinforced hull that no warship had ever penetrated without using nuclear weapons throughout the Jihad. Even the incomplete Svaltalfheim had more armor than the veteran Painkiller during its emergency activation to combat the marauding Marik Thera Supercarrier FLWN Thessaly.

Both ships moved to intercept one another, the Painkiller firing open patters from its Rand-3 MNPPCs maximizing the chance to hit the Yggdrasil but still failing. A pair of White Shark missiles fired from its AR-10 launchers impacts the Painkiller damaging an attitude thruster while it was attempting to rotate forcing NAVcontrol to compensate.

As they close more fire erupts from both ships, the Yggdrasil scoring several major hits with its Gauss rifles, paired NAC/35s from the Ygg crush armor in the aft right portion of the Painkiller. The Painkiller scores hits but they are mostly superficial against the hide of a Mjolnir.

Rotating into broadsides the Painkiller erratically adjusts its course to throw off the Yggdrasil’s heavy guns. Salvos of shells and missiles cross space between them. The evasive maneuvers help Painkiller evade the firepower streaking around it, but its own firing solutions are fouled with only scattered damage on each vessel despite their proximity.

As the ships turn toward one another the thrusters flare to life spinning the vulnerable engines away from the enemy’s firepower. The opposite side nose and forward quarter bays flash shells and particle beams crash into the battleships. Yggdrasil takes a hit to its forward sensor array as particle beams surge transmitter/receiver dishes. Painkiller gets struck once more from the powerful bow mounted gauss rifles of the Yggdrasil a crushing blow that once more damages its ability to turn and vector. Captain Tae-Young maintains control of his craft rerouting thruster power to accomplish the necessary maneuvering to preserve his ship. Damage control crews respond to the affected area to contain multiple electrical faults threatening to damage the gunnery bay.

As the enemy drifts away, the Painkiller fires its port broadside at the Yggdrasil which attempts to return fire with missiles as most of its own guns are out of battery. The Painkiller’s guns strike true splashing ordnance and hyper-accelerated particles along the Lamella Ferro-Carbide plates. Both ships attempt to rotate their primary thrusters back online to reengage.

Killer Whale missiles fired from the Painkiller crash into one of the Yggdrasil’s bow Naval Gauss Rifles, the electrical surge is contained with plasma and coolant for the magnets vented to space rather than into the gunnery bay. Still far away and out of effective range for his guns Captain Mueller slams his fist as the Painkiller’s MNPPCs knock out the B gun of his nose turret HNPPCs while he is unable to respond.

The fight pauses for a few minutes while the Painkiller and Yggdrasil maneuver against one another setting up another line of attack. Captain Mueller deploys his damage control to the nose gunnery bays to ensure the A guns are undamaged. Captain Tae-Young fires his forward quarter bays at long range scoring scouring shots against the Yggdrasil’s armor. As the Painkiller returns the Yggdrasil conducts an end-over flipping the ship over several minutes to adjust his vector and readies his port weapons bays.

Both the Yggdrasil and Painkiller accelerate toward one another, the Painkiller’s broadside guns narrowly miss the Yggdrasil once more as the battleship must use evasive actions to protect itself from the short range threat. The elite Newt crew rotates themselves into a favorable position scoring heavy strikes against the Yggdrasil in the next salvo. Each impact of the NAC/35s reverberate through the battlecruiser’s sturdy frame shaking the teeth of its Commonwealth crew. Captain Mueller’s gunnery crews are foiled by the evasive battleship as their own heavy guns fail to impact the enemy vessel.

The advantage is short lived however as a kinetic warhead of the Yggdrasil’s Killer Whale missile punches through the damaged armor and into Captain Tae-Young’s CIC. Its heavy tungsten and depleted uranium core severing wiring and crushing the principal computing node. Black Hargel secretions seal the breaches of the already evacuated compartment. Critical systems need to be rerouted through their distributed processing centers introducing more lag to the transmissions between gunnery decks, their weaponry, and fire control within the CIC affecting accuracy in an already tense battle.

With the CIC critically damaged and already at a disadvantage in endurance the Painkiller fights desperately against the Yggdrasil. Captain Mueller and crew disengage to adjust their approach before vectoring in on the wounded battleship. The Yggdrasil endures withering ordnance while closing with their own big cannons like an overweight Corvette. Unable to outmaneuver the battlecruiser Captain Tae-Young attempts to capture it in a daring short range death spiral. The Newt’s only hope is that his heavy broadside guns can punch through the thick armor of the Yggdrasil before his own is ripped apart by the Ygg’s devastating short range ordnance. He almost succeeds but the Ygg’s nose mounted NAC/40s tear massive holes in the Painkiller’s frontal armor exposing and smashing the ancient skeleton while disabling its thrusters.

Already fighting with reduced thrust capacity now made non-existent Captain Tae-Young strikes his colors and accepts a boarding party of armored marines from the victorious Wekrs. The Yggdrasil does not make it out unscathed from its encounter with the Painkiller. With its thick frontal armor severely compromised and ship beset with electrical fires and sensor ghosts Captain Mueller deems it impossible to continue on with such damage. He accepts the Painkiller’s surrender before sending out a salvage party to retrieve the jump sail so he can get out of this system before additional Newt warships arrive more willing to use nuclear weapons.

 

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