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Author Topic: Eidolon class Destroyer: Her original brain does accounting now.  (Read 639 times)

Liam's Ghost

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  The Amaris Coup had not just shaken the entirety of known space to its core, it had also shaken humanity's faith in the unmanned weapons that had once been used so extensively to protect the Terran Hegemony and humanity's homeworld. For most of humanity, this was really just a philosophical shift. After all, none of the other Great Houses had made any particularly impressive strides in drone technology, and the vast armadas of Caspars and the swarms upon swarms of smaller drones the Hegemony had fielded were casualties of the Amaris War. At the worst, the House Lords which remained would simply redirect their scientists to other pursuits.
  In the Bastion, however, the catastrophic failure of the Terran Hegemony's many SDS networks to prevent the Hegemony's fall, and then the horrifying loss of life those same networks inflicted during the Hegemony's short lived liberation weighed heavily. At the time, defense of the Bastion rested entirely in the hands of its own SDS system, with less than a hundred manned military dropships in service, and most of those barely more than small patrol ships. Certainly, technical specialists and the senior leadership of the SDS command could insist that the Bastion's SDS system couldn't be suborned in the same way that the Hegemony's had, and in a cold logical analysis, this was accurate. For one thing, the Bastion wasn't about to allow foreign troops to come in and take up duty at all of their most critical defense installations on the orders of a spoiled manchild. For another, there was no single master command center which could assume direct control of the entire network. The Bastion had over a hundred different command centers, each directing their own portion of the network, and each of them under the control of human personnel. If someone stormed the SDS Command Center on Martin's Landing and ordered the SDS network to turn against the Bastion, they would be much more likely to get a hundred different variations of the phrase "get stuffed" than they were to get compliance.
  But, honestly, try to explain that to tens of millions of traumatized refugees that had lived from the Amaris Coup, or the civilians or politicians whose own fears were stoked by the tales brought back from the Hegemony. No, the drones would have to go. It was only a different flavor of panic and paranoia, the fear that Kerensky may invade any day now, that prevented the SDS system from being dismantled immediately. However, as the years passed, the Bastion's absolutely massive naval building program began to pay dividends, and Kerensky steadfastly refused to actually show up and invade it was becoming clear to many in both the Navy and the Senate that the time had come to divest themselves of the SDS, or at least the fleet of capital drones and their assault ship support, in favor of their new fully manned navy. There was just one hitch, Fleet Problem Three.
  The absolutely disastrous outcome of the final exercise of Fleet Problem Three, which saw the simulated loss of forty eight out of the fifty four capital ships assigned to the Defense Force and the simulated deaths of twenty to thirty million civilians from orbital bombardment was due primarily to doctrine, or more specifically, how that doctrine had influenced the ships built as part of the fleet. The heavy ships of the Bastion's manned fleet, the Agincourt class, were built in expectation of a single massed set piece engagement. They were very well protected and ridiculously heavily armed for their size, but they were slow. As long as the enemy simply consented to send their own battle line directly at the Bastion fleet, this wasn't a problem. But if the enemy decided to do something radical, such as breaking off a task force of faster ships to do an end run around the Bastion line, then the Agincourts simply didn't have the acceleration capacity to do much about it, and the ships that did, the Hunts and Dickins normally assigned to picket and screening duty, would be forced to engage a potentially powerful enemy without the heavy guns of the Agincourt backing them up. So... once the finger pointing, name calling and recriminations over the outcome of Fleet Problem Three got done, the Admiralty was finally able to accept that "hope the enemy goes along with your naval doctrine" was not in and of itself a sound doctrine, and began looking for solutions.
  And it turns out the navy already had a solution. In fact, they'd had it since before the manned navy had even existed. It was the very Caspar Drones the navy was looking to retire. The M5-1 Drones which made up the capital ship component of the SDS network were large and powerful, and they were fast, or at least fast enough. In fact, even the biggest opponents to maintaining a drone fleet had acknowledged that if a force of M5s had been involved in the final exercise of Fleet Problem Three, the outcome would have likely been significantly different. Of course, the politicians and the public would not accept retaining the drone fleet much longer, but perhaps two birds could be killed with the same stone.
  This led to four M5-1 drones being pulled out of ordinary and into drydock for an extensive refit. On the surface, the idea didn't seem that hard. Simply pull the autonomous control systems out and install permanent quarters and a full set of manned control systems. But immediately as the initial surveys and drawings were being completed, the actual scope of the problem became clear. Much of an M5-1's machinery and systems were never designed to be operated by a full time crew in the first place, and these had to be modified simply to accept proper human controls. Passages and access points only intended to be accessed by other automated systems or small numbers of technicians for maintenance and repair had to be redesigned and reconstructed to accommodate a full time crew living, working, and regularly traveling through them. Even the life support system, designed to support only a small caretaker crew for short periods while underway, had to be redesigned and expanded to accommodate a full time crew of close to two hundred and fifty. And even with all this work, the crew spaces installed in the hull would prove to be unbelievably cramped and uncomfortable.
  And all of this was before feature creep set in. Removing the drone control system would free up a considerable amount of tonnage, which engineers couldn't help but want to cram full of new systems, but the layout of the space freed up limited options. The freed space towards the heart of the ship didn't really have the volume necessary to make for good cargo space, and what's more what ship in the Bastion's fleet would need that much cargo tonnage. In the end, the decision was made to primarily fill that space with a fifth engine, shifting the design's acceleration capability from "very good" to "dangerous to everybody involved." This change forced engineers to remove the aft quad laser mount, but rather than simply discard this firepower, this mount was relocated to the nose, and then joined by three triple naval cannon mounts for good measure, once the engineers realized they still had some tonnage to use up.
  All of this work and the changes made would stretch the conversion of the first two M5-1s, now identified as the Eidolon class out to a full year, delaying what was intended to be a short refit so long that the first of the brand new Impetuous class Cruisers were being laid down before the first Eidolons emerged from the refit yard. While the second pair would complete their own conversions in a matter of months, now that the yard finally had a clear picture of how to proceed, those initial delays had already doomed the program. The Impetuous class was already on a track to solve the same problem the Eidolon had been created for. The Impetuous class was just as agile as the Eidolon, but it was also better protected, better armed, and all around more capable. Certainly the Impetuous had achieved all these goals by being a hundred and fifty thousand tons heavier and substantially more expensive, but they were also entirely new ships, not refits of older hulls (something the Navy wanted to move away from with the decommissioning of most of the remaining Black Fleet vessels), nor subject to the stigma of being associated to the M5s.
  As such, additional Eidolon conversions were cancelled, which inadvertently also delayed the final retirement of the M5-1 fleet, as the navy wished to have enough Impetuous class ships to take their place. Though the Eidolon had lost out to the Impetuous, the four ships would remain in service for several years, earning the nickname of "Hardship" class for their cramped crew spaces and complete lack of amenities. This name would only be reinforced by THS Eidolon's use as an "acclimation ship" intended to teach crews how to effectively operate under long periods of high acceleration. In this age before modern medical and genetic advances greatly improved a human's ability to tolerate extended periods of very high gravity, the many serious injuries and even deaths that arose from such training, particularly in the cramped and unhealthy environment of an Eidolon class destroyer, would lead to the suspension of such training from 2823 to 2950.
  The four Eidolon class destroyers would be taken out of active service in 2825, spending a five year stretch in ordinary before being mothballed in 2830. THS Eidolon was re-designated as a museum ship in 2850, but the other three ships remain in mothballs. Following the scrapping of the last of the M5-1 drones in 2899, these four ships represent the last M5 types in existence in the Bastion, and to the best of our knowledge may represent the last M5s anywhere in the known universe. 

Code: [Select]
Eidolon Destroyer
Mass: 680,000 tons
Use: Capital Drone
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Introduced: 2800
Mass: 680,000
Battle Value: 227,217
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-E-F
Cost: 7,090,254,000 C-bills

Dimensions
    Length: 628 meters

Fuel: 3,000 tons (7,500)
Safe Thrust: 5
Maximum Thrust: 8
Sail Integrity: 5
KF Drive Integrity: 15
Heat Sinks: 1250 (2500)
Structural Integrity: 50

Armor
    Nose: 99
    Fore Sides: 95/95
    Aft Sides: 95/95
    Aft: 95

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Cargo (6999.0 tons)     1 Door   

Ammunition:
    900 rounds of NAC/20 ammunition (360 tons),
    240 rounds of Barracuda ammunition (7,200 tons)

Dropship Capacity: 0
Grav Decks: 0
Escape Pods: 0
Life Boats: 0
Crew:  43 officers, 138 enlisted/non-rated, 77 gunners

Notes: Mounts 680 tons of ferro-carbide armor.

Weapons:                                    Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                              Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (1,120 Heat)
4 Naval Laser 45                        280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser
4 Naval Laser 45                        280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser
2 Capital Missile Launcher (Barracuda)  20   4(40)   4(40)   4(40)    4(40)   Capital Missile
    Barracuda Ammo (40 shots)
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)             180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (60 shots)
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)             180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (60 shots)
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)             180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (60 shots)
FRS/FLS (480 Heat)
4 Naval Laser 45                        280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)             180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (90 shots)
2 Capital Missile Launcher (Barracuda)  20   4(40)   4(40)   4(40)    4(40)   Capital Missile
    Barracuda Ammo (40 shots)
RBS/LBS (640 Heat)
4 Naval Laser 45                        280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)             180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (90 shots)
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)             180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (90 shots)
ARS/ALS (480 Heat)
4 Naval Laser 45                        280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)             180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (90 shots)
2 Capital Missile Launcher (Barracuda)  20   4(40)   4(40)   4(40)    4(40)   Capital Missile
    Barracuda Ammo (40 shots)
Aft (20 Heat)
2 Capital Missile Launcher (Barracuda)  20   4(40)   4(40)   4(40)    4(40)   Capital Missile
    Barracuda Ammo (40 shots)
   
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Daryk

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Re: Eidolon class Destroyer: Her original brain does accounting now.
« Reply #1 on: 23 October 2023, 17:13:52 »
Clearly, someone has been following American submarine design since the '50s... ::)

worktroll

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Re: Eidolon class Destroyer: Her original brain does accounting now.
« Reply #2 on: 24 October 2023, 00:02:52 »
I really loved the fluff on this one, Liam's Ghost.

Enough that it sent me back to load & start reading "And I Feel Fine ..." again. Which is simply a great work of fiction.

And then I see ...

Quote
Commodore Lena Riess loved her ship. An eighty year veteran of the fleet, she'd been there to see most of it come into being, starting her service on the gun deck of a cranky old Eidolon class destroyer before moving on to a recommissioned Potemkin, followed by a short stretch on a brand new Royal Sovereign...

Which came first, the idea for the class, or the name? Either way, it felt like a wonderful easter egg!
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Eidolon class Destroyer: Her original brain does accounting now.
« Reply #3 on: 24 October 2023, 02:12:58 »
Which came first, the idea for the class, or the name? Either way, it felt like a wonderful easter egg!

The idea for the class came first, though this was before I decided that the Bastion would be using their own variant of the M-5 rather than the standard model, so it was originally going to look a bit different.

EDIT: Also I suppose the timeline is also different. In the original And I Feel Fine version of the Bastion, the Eidolons were fully adopted and served for a much longer amount of time.
« Last Edit: 24 October 2023, 04:31:43 by Liam's Ghost »
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!