Author Topic: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station  (Read 1684 times)

Liam's Ghost

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The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« on: 25 October 2023, 04:35:04 »
  Though Terra's supremacy over the Star League was seen as simply a fact of life at the League's height, when it all began this was far from an assured outcome. Certainly the Hegemony held a dominant position in the Inner Sphere economically, politically, and militarily, but that status as first among equals could not be guaranteed indefinitely. After all, the Hegemony was hemmed in and already heavily developed. There was a limit to how much the state could continue its growth. The other Great Houses, and even the Periphery, on the other hand, still held limitless potential in resources and territory, and the last twenty years spent fighting the Reunification War was a bloody, brutal example of how even a wild backwater might rapidly turn into the next interstellar power. What if, someday, the dirty foreigners from beyond the Hegemony began to see themselves as equals? What if the Star League itself were to slip out of Terra's control?
  So while the Hegemony continued to weave its elaborate web of both overt and covert efforts to restrict the growth of her fellow Star League members, they also began putting into place contingencies to protect themselves in the event that the Star League itself became a threat to the Hegemony. One of these was the Black Fleet and Bandon Station.
  The genesis of the Black Fleet was the Terran Hegemony Navy's Deep Fleet Reserve, a collection of some of the oldest relics still in the Hegemony's inventory. This fleet of several hundred ships of varying types, some of which dated back before the launch of THS Dreadnought, was theoretically as an emergency reserve, but could be more accurately described as a graveyard for ships that the Hegemony had not bothered to get rid of yet. A force able to secure the Hegemony against outside aggression, it was not.
   But then came the Star League Defense Force Navy, still functionally just the Terran Hegemony navy with a few foreign squadrons added for flavor. With the war over and this new and mysterious disease called peace breaking out everywhere, the SLDF fleet was now being called upon to trim the fat, justifiably so. At the conclusion of hostilities, the SLDF navy fielded an active fleet of five hundred capital ships. At naval bases and yards across the Hegemony were another eight hundred ships, either undergoing repair or refit, or simply waiting in ordinary for their turn to serve. Hundreds more waited in mothballs, some of which hadn't been active in over a century. Only after that in terms of priority came the relics kept in deep reserve. So unbelievably massive was the fleet the SLDF had inherited from the Hegemony that even twenty years of fighting, including several the most massive and destructive naval battles ever fought, had failed to make an appreciable dent in it.
  But now peace was upon the Inner Sphere, humanity was unified under a common government. There was no longer a need for a vast navy capable of fighting every other Great House simultaneously (with a healthy reserve for two or three other entirely hypothetical Great Houses). So cuts the SLDF would make. Brutal cuts that would send hundreds of capital ships and thousands of smaller craft to the breakers.
  But... what if they didn't? What if, with a wink and a nod, the SLDF transferred the greater portion of the ships to the Terran Hegemony for disposal and the Terran Hegemony just... didn't dispose of them?
  That was the start of what we would later call the Black Fleet. Starting in 2600, the SLDF would sell hundreds of ships from their reserve and mothball fleet, at below scrap value, back to the Terran Hegemony on the official understanding that Hegemony firms would handle the disposal. And many ships would actually be disposed of in this way. So many, in fact, that the glut of germanium, titanium, and other metals smelted from warship scrap would depress prices on international markets and contribute to the postwar boom in civilian jumpship manufacturing. But a portion of these ships, the best of the lot as well as some war prizes kept possibly for bragging rights, would be moved around from storage yard to storage yard before eventually ending up at Bandon Station, a mining station located on a planetoid whose location is still even today considered a state secret. As dozens, then hundreds of ships began to crowd the space around the planetoid, thousands of workers recruited from the Sol Belter populations would follow to begin the work of excavating and constructing what would become a vast naval storage yard. While they were at it, additional facilities were established to turn the megatons of raw ore being extracted during construction into refined metals, helping to defray the cost of construction to a degree as well as contributing to the illusion that ships were actually being scrapped at the facility. The first ships would be moved into Bandon Station by 2602, and within ten years, hundreds of ships ranging from dropships to capital WarShips would be mothballed and stored at the site. But work would continue as more ships kept arriving.
  But having a secret fleet of unlisted WarShips was one thing. It was entirely another to ensure that the massive effort that went into gathering, storing, and maintaining that fleet would remain a secret. The process for which a ship would move from the SLDT and into the Black Fleet was thus. First, the SLDF would contract with the Terran Hegemony government directly to arrange for the disposal of the unwanted vessel. The Hegemony would then purchase the vessel at fifty percent of its projected scrap value on the understanding that it would then resell the ship for final disposal. Responsibility for the vessel would then be passed on to the Department of Maritime Reclamation, a department of the Bureau of Trade established specifically for the task, who would conduct a detailed "safety assessment" of the ship, really an assessment of its suitability to be retained for the Black Fleet. The DMR would then solicit bids from Hegemony contractors to purchase the ship for scrapping. If the vessel was deemed suitable to join the Black Fleet, then the winning bid would inevitably be a holding company with offices in Sol's asteroid belt, which would then take possession of the ship and move it to Bandon Station under the guise of taking it in to be scrapped. Once at Bandon Station, the ship would be overhauled and restored to operable condition, possibly including basic modernization of its internal systems, before being mothballed in long term storage.
  It is difficult to do more than guess about how many people within the SLDF might have been aware of what the Hegemony was actually up to. Certainly Commanding General Nicolas Kinnol knew about and actively supported the creation of the Black Fleet. His successor Killian Squarn-Turk was likewise at least aware of the program, even if he took a stance of passive acceptance. By the time Ikolor Fredasa assumed command in 2707, however, it appears that knowledge of the Black Fleet had been successfully suppressed among the SLDF.
  This was most likely due to the efforts of Jonathan Cameron. As the ruler whose paranoia led to the creation of both the Bastion and the SDS networks, it would be perhaps unsurprising that he would also make efforts to tighten security around the Black Fleet. This would be done first by consolidating access to the Department of Maritime Reclamation, functionally burying it under layers upon layers of Terra's bureaucracy in order to ensure that only those who already knew what it was were likely to gain access to it. These and other orders issued by Cameron meant that even a newly seated Director General would not be informed of Bandon Station or the Black Fleet unless the prior Director General had left explicit instructions with DMR to do so. These rulings did not allow DMR to refuse to provide the Director General with information if ordered, but even that was contingent on the Director General knowing what to ask. Jonathan Cameron's final measure to secure Bandon Station was one last massive renovation which converted the entire complex into an unmanned facility controlled by a network of CASPAR class computer cores, thus eliminating the need for a human staff in its entirety. By the end of Jonathan Cameron's reign, the number of personnel directly involved with Bandon Station and the Black Fleet was believed to be less than three hundred, and it was believed that no more than twenty of those personnel had the requisite knowledge and skill to actually locate the facility on a map. This extreme compartmentalization would drastically slow, but not stop, the flow of ships into the Black Fleet, but in a few decades it would also serve to keep an already catastrophically bad situation from getting infinitely worse.
  Because of the nature of Simon Cameron's death, and his failure to leave explicit instructions for his heirs, Richard Cameron would never be informed of the Black Fleet's existence when he assumed power. This very likely was the only thing that also prevented Stephan Amaris from learning about the fleet and attempting to seize it when he launched his coup. Before Rim Worlds troops had even finished securing Terra, the personnel of the Department of Maritime Reclamation were already scattering to the four winds, after having first destroyed every records they had that might have even hinted at the existence of Bandon Station and the Black Fleet. After Terra had fallen to Amaris, the DMR staff would gradually make their way out of the Terran system through contacts in the belt and move on to establish themselves on Bandon Station. From there, DMR would provide what help they could to the ongoing resistance against Amaris, ever mindful that their primary mission was to ensure Amaris could not be allowed to find and seize the Black Fleet.
  The DMR would make contact with General Kerensky as he began his campaign to liberate the Hegemony and pledge the resources of Bandon Station to his efforts. Kerensky was by all accounts surprised and more than a little unsettled to learn of this massive secret stockpile of naval material, but he nonetheless gratefully accepted the aid. Millions of tons of munitions, fuel, and other materials would, over the course of the Terran Campaign, be drawn from the stockpiles at Bandon station to help support the SLDF, but the hundreds of mothballed ships contained within would be largely untouched. While this may seem surprising at first glance, it was really a matter of practicality. Adding a few hundred more capital WarShips to the SLDF's fleet would have definitely made a positive impact through shear weight of numbers, but the SLDF didn't actually have the trained manpower or the resources to do so. Kerensky's military was already very much stretched to the limit, in many respects kept running by the shear desire to end Amaris. As such, though a small number of capital ships and a proportionally larger number of transports and smaller craft would be reactivated to replace losses, the vast majority of the black fleet would remain untouched and in storage as the campaign ran its course.
  This left this vast cache of resources ideally placed for the Morgan Commission's ambitious plans to evacuate refugees to the Bastion. Though Kerensky had already allowed SLDF naval yards to "misplace" forty Potemkin class transports as well as the battleship Washington for the Commission's use, any additional ship that could be scrounged up would be more people that could be carried out of the impending line of fire, and the DMR, now more commonly referred to as Bandon Group, threw it full support behind this plan.
  A complicated calculus would now have to be solved. The Morgan Commission and the Bandon Group had a considerable, but still finite number of trained spacers, drawn almost entirely from Sol's Belter community. Just like Kerensky before them, they did not have the ability to simply activate everything they had available. There was also the secondary concern of leaving enough capable equipment to protect the Hegemony. At the time, it was assumed that Kerensky would still be there to provide for the Hegemony's defense, but it was impossible to guess just how bad the impending breakdown of the Star League would be. The SLDF would very likely take heavy losses in the coming war and would need what could be spared to replace those losses.
  The first convoy from Bandon Station, composed of the Washington, forty Potemkin class ships, over a thousand old Jumbo class dropships (the majority of these being almost completely unmanned for the trip), and a handful of smaller transports, would be in the process of final fitting out and loading when General Kerensky and the McKenna's Pride arrived in the system. At a meeting aboard the Washington, Kerensky would not waste time on pleasantries before delivering his bombshell. Based on the actions of the house lords and defections within his own forces, Kerensky had grown to believe that defending the Hegemony in the expected war to come was no longer possible, and proposed to the Morgan Commission that the only way to truly protect the Hegemony would be to completely withdraw the SLDF to the Bastion, and thus reduce the scope of the inevitable violence to come.
  It was a crushing request. The evacuation to the Bastion had never been intended as a last ditch effort to save the Hegemony. It had been a precaution, in the event that Kerensky and the others who remained behind could not prevent the Hegemony's fall. Now, the man they had pinned their last hope of saving the Hegemony on was saying that there would be no defense, and that he was considering abandoning billions of lives to conquest in the vain hope that the conquerors would be merciful.
  The response Kerensky received from his proposal could be rightly described as violently emotional, resulting in Kerensky's guards being forced to subdue an enraged Allister Morgan, the group's de-facto head. Once Morgan had been stunned into unconsciousness, proceedings calmed just enough for the rest of the commission to formally inform Kerensky that neither he nor the SLDF would be permitted to settle in the Bastion, and they would be branded as traitors and deserters and met with deadly force if they attempted to do so. Kerensky acknowledged this statement and wordlessly left the room. While a brief panicked debate ensued arguing whether they should attempt to seize the General, or even kill him before he could leave the system and hope for better luck with his successor, Kerensky was allowed to return to the McKenna's Pride and leave the system unmolested.
  Kerensky's visit would force the evacuation to rapidly accelerate. The Morgan Commission and the Bandon Group had hoped to take more time to train additional personnel, possibly even enough to give each convoy a fully manned WarShip escort. Instead, the the Washington Convoy would depart as soon as the last ship was loaded to capacity, with instructions to attempt to train additional personnel from the refugee population on the way. Plans to form additional massive convoys were also scrapped. Instead, small groups of usually no more than five or ten ships would be sent out as quickly as skeleton crews could be scrounged to man them. Despite fears that Kerensky might interfere with the evacuations, or even attempt to seize Bandon Station, the General allowed the process to continue unhindered as he began his preparations for his own Operation Exodus. Kerensky would make one last attempt at communication with the Morgan Group in April of 2784, advising them to reach out to Jerome Blake, the Star League Minister of Communications. This message was ignored.
  The departure of the SLDF in November did nothing to halt evacuation efforts. By this point seven million refugees had set out from Bandon Station, but tens of millions more still waited to make the journey. The effort of fitting out ships and training crews was rapidly accelerating, however. This was due primarily to a brief influx of trained former SLDF personnel, who were able to establish a concise and consistent set of training protocols to bring raw volunteers more quickly up to speed. The focus would also gradually change from capital ships to conventional jumpships. Each such ship could not carry nearly as many passengers or cargo, even fully loaded with dropships, but they required less specialized training and could conceivably make multiple trips, while the capital ships being sent to the Bastion were being kept there to reinforce its defenses. This also dovetailed into efforts by the Morgan Commission to create some sort of united front among the Hegemony's member worlds to protect it from the expected invasion. Actually having WarShips on hand which could go towards re-establishing a unified Terran Hegemony Navy would hopefully serve as a powerful incentive to bring worlds onside.
  Unfortunately, this diplomatic effort failed. The Hegemony had already begun its collapse back in 2783 as worlds petitioned or were coerced to join neighboring states, and the process was only accelerating as the houses began moving to more overt actions in 2785 and open warfare in 2786. Once worlds began to burn, the focused shifted back to simply getting as many people out of the line of fire as possible.
  The Morgan Commission and the Bandon Group, now functionally the same entity, would manage to keep the flow of refugees from Bandon Station going for four more years, and likely would have continued indefinitely, but outside forces had other plans. In 2790, a force of seven WarShips, all of Star League manufacture but refusing any attempts at communication, attacked the facility. Though the unmanned defenses would put up a valiant fight, managing to delay the attackers long enough to evacuate the facility, they were ultimately overwhelmed. The order was given to detonate nuclear scuttling charges placed throughout the facility as the unknown attackers began dispatching landing parties, however it is not known how effective these charges were in destroying the facility or the caches of equipment and ships that remained. In any event, Bandon Station was now lost.
  During their joint efforts from 2781 to 2790, the Morgan Commission and the Bandon Group managed to relocate over eighty eight million Terran Citizens to the safety of the Bastion. Though Bandon station and its remaining resources were now gone, they would continue this effort from within Sol's Asteroid belt throughout the First Succession War and well into the Second, continuing to send what ships they could find, each time bringing hundreds or sometimes a few thousand more desperate, traumatized refugees to what they could only hope would be a better life. While some may say that the number saved was a drop in a bucket compared to the numbers lost, those who still remember the nightmare of the fall of the Hegemony will always be grateful.
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!

Liam's Ghost

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #1 on: 25 October 2023, 04:35:46 »
If you're wondering where the designs are in this post on the design forum. They'll come later. Right now it's time to sleep
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!

FastConcentrate8

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #2 on: 25 October 2023, 18:05:19 »
You don't need sleep, we need answers.

Daryk

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #3 on: 25 October 2023, 18:33:18 »
SLEEP!  You really NEED that! :)

Liam's Ghost

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #4 on: 25 October 2023, 23:19:04 »
The Black Fleet in the Bastion

  One hundred and seventy five capital ships, four hundred and six jumpships, and over twenty five hundred dropships would be taken from Bandon Station to make the journey to the Bastion, and this total does not include the battleship Washington, the forty Potemkin class transports, or the few dozen smaller jumpships and miscellaneous transports acquired elsewhere. On the balance the capital ships were chosen for their ability to transport as much cargo as possible, as well as their ability to get underway with as small of a skeleton crew as possible. The mothballing process each ship had gone through before going into storage actually made this second requirement easy to fulfill, as the extensive overhaul each Black Fleet ship went through included upgrades to the computer and other control systems to more modern specifications with a greater degree of automation. The age of the ship in question, as well as its known reliability and maintenance requirements, were also factors in the decision process, which resulted in entire classes of ships being rejected outright despite their suitability in other categories. The Lola I, Essex I, and Carson classes were rejected outright, for example, because of their age and reliability issues, while the Naga would make up the single most numerous class of capital ship among the convoys sent to the Bastion. On the other hand, every Monsoon, Dart, and Quixote class ship available would be selected, despite their own great age and larger crew demands, simply because their carrying capacity was so high. And then there were the oddballs, including relics such as the THS Bellerophon and former war prizes such as the Du Shi Wang class THS Zhuge Liang or the Winchester class THS Intractable, whose selection had to make sense to someone at the time, but seems to defy modern scholars ability to puzzle out.
 In total, the tally of capital ships sent to the Bastion would include twelve battleships (ten Monsoon class, one Dreadnought class, and one Du Shi Wang class), twenty five cruisers (twenty four Dart class and a single Winchester class vessel), sixty one frigates (fifty four Riga class, six Quixote class, and one Wagon Wheel class), and seventy seven destroyers (seventy five of which were Naga class, plus two League class). This amounted to nearly a third of the total capital fleet strength stored at Bandon station, leaving behind a bit more than four hundred capital ships, of which three quarters were entirely made up of destroyers and corvettes. For smaller craft the numbers were more pronounced. The first convoy composed of Washington and her fleet of Potemkins would by itself take Bandon Station's entire complement of Jumbo class cargo dropships, totaling over a thousand hulls. Over fifteen hundred of the sixteen hundred Czar class ships originally in storage would also make the trip. This would leave around three hundred dropships still stored at the facility at the time of its destruction, the majority being small transports and military craft such as the Manatee. For conventional jumpships, there were simply none left. All three hundred Liberty and one hundred and six Leviathan class jumpships kept in the black fleet were successfully reactivated and sent on their way before the station's destruction.
  Once these ships had made it to the Bastion, the obvious question was "what next". And, at least for the capital ships, the answer was equally obvious. Nobody in a position of power believed that Kerensky would simply stay away. After all, he had already voided his most important oath, what was one more promise broken? So the Black Fleet ships would be pressed back into service as combat vessels as quickly as the Bastion could assemble and train full crews to man them. At the same time, fleet wide refits were also ordered, though this was a trickier prospect. The Bastion's naval industry was hard at work also building new ships as quickly as possible, meaning yard space, resources, manpower, and money were all in short supply. While some particularly imaginative souls inside the Admiralty were hoping for the kind of extensive and systematic reconstruction already underway on the battleship Washington, it quickly became apparent that the best that could be hoped for was to throw the odd ship into drydocks as they became available, quickly throw on a layer of improved armor and some updated control and computer systems, and then push the ship out to make room for the next one. This would result in trickle, and then a steady stream of upgraded vessels coming into service as additional dry docks were brought on line, but the shear scale of the undertaking meant that the last upgrades under the program would not be completed until 2790, by which point a number of the Black Fleet ships were already being retired.
  Upgraded or not, the Black Fleet filled a temporary and critical gap in the Bastion's defenses at a time when its population desperately needed a sense of security. They would be the only heavy combatants (with the exception of the Washington once she completed her refit) in the manned fleet until the introduction of the Agincourt class in 2787, and even after that would make up the majority of the navy's combat power for the next thirty years. After the disastrous outcome of Fleet Problem Three, there was even some talk of an extensive refit program which might see the Rigas, Nagas, and possibly others updated in a manner similar to the Washington to increase their useful service life, though this discussion would go largely nowhere until 2799, when two Riga class frigates, the Talinin and Vilnius, would undergo reconstruction as a test case. The two frigates would re-enter service in 2800, and would prove particularly valuable as command ships for deep patrol operations, thanks to their superior cargo capacity. Any plans to continue the upgrade program were abandoned, however, as it was believed that focusing on the new Impetuous class was the more desirable option.
  Despite that, the Black Fleet, particularly the frigates of the Riga class, would continue to soldier on in navy service, outlasting the Agincourt class cruisers originally intended to replace them, seeing the introduction of the now iconic, and even remaining in service long enough (albeit in second line and training roles) to see the launching of the second generation of Impetuous class ships and the family of other designs that would be based on them. It would not be until 2905 when the last Black Fleet ships, the frigates Memel and Sevastopol, were finally retired from service. Today, an example from each class in the Black Fleet survives as a museum ship, including those classes where only one example actually made the trip to the Bastion. In addition, eight Monsoon class and ten Dart class, though stricken from the navy register, have also been retained as disarmed cargo hulks, while twenty Riga class frigates (including the modified frigates Talinin and Vilnius) and forty Naga class destroyers remain in mothballs. The remaining eighty seven ships of the Black Fleet were gradually scrapped between 2890 and 2910.


The majority of Black Fleet capital ships received only a minor upgrade in armor, possibly a reduction in crew, and a corresponding change in cargo capacity. As such the following abbreviated stat blocks reflect only those changes. Complete record sheets for naval units in the Bastion, including the relevant ships of the Black Fleet can be downloaded here. And of course, you can also reconstruct the full stats of these upgrades if you have the relevant books on hand.

Code: [Select]
Naga Destroyer (2785 - Bastion)
Armor
    Nose: 101
    Fore Sides: 106/106
    Aft Sides: 106/106
    Aft: 101
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (2)         1 Door   
    Bay 2:  Fighter (12)            1 Door   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (141988.0 tons)   1 Door   
Crew:  32 officers, 121 enlisted/non-rated, 34 gunners, 34 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 730 tons of ferro-carbide armor.


League Destroyer (2785 - Bastion)
Armor
    Nose: 66
    Fore Sides: 80/80
    Aft Sides: 80/80
    Aft: 66

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Fighter (12)            3 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (6)         1 Door   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (131147.5 tons)   1 Door   
Life Boats: 12
Crew:  31 officers, 124 enlisted/non-rated, 32 gunners, 54 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 527.5 tons of ferro-carbide armor.


Wagon Wheel Frigate THS Insolence (2785)
Armor
    Nose: 85
    Fore Sides: 87/87
    Aft Sides: 87/87
    Aft: 85
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Fighter (12)            4 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (4)         2 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (94018.0 tons)    1 Door   
Crew:  36 officers, 139 enlisted/non-rated, 36 gunners, 44 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 610 tons of ferro-carbide armor.


Dart Light Cruiser (2785 - Bastion)
Armor
    Nose: 205
    Fore Sides: 175/175
    Aft Sides: 175/175
    Aft: 128
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (6)         2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (139130.0 tons)   1 Door   
Crew:  45 officers, 136 enlisted/non-rated, 36 gunners, 30 bay personnel, 120 marines
Notes: Mounts 1,224 tons of ferro-carbide armor.


Winchester Cruiser THS Intractable (2787)
Armor
    Nose: 161
    Fore Sides: 156/156
    Aft Sides: 156/156
    Aft: 151
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Fighter (12)            3 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (6)         2 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (155112.0 tons)   1 Door   
Crew:  38 officers, 155 enlisted/non-rated, 31 gunners, 54 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 1,110 tons of ferro-carbide armor.


Riga Frigate (2786 - Bastion)
Armor
    Nose: 145
    Fore Sides: 148/148
    Aft Sides: 148/148
    Aft: 145
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Fighter (12)            2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (4)         2 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (123886.0 tons)   1 Door   
Crew:  40 officers, 155 enlisted/non-rated, 38 gunners, 44 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 1,050 tons of ferro-carbide armor.


Quixote Frigate (2788 - Bastion)
Armor
    Nose: 181
    Fore Sides: 163/163
    Aft Sides: 163/163
    Aft: 151
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Fighter (12)            4 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (6)         4 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (176895.0 tons)   1 Door   
Crew:  47 officers, 154 enlisted/non-rated, 76 gunners, 54 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 1,170 tons of ferro-carbide armor.


Du Shi Wang Battleship Zhuge Liang (2787)
Armor
    Nose: 491
    Fore Sides: 382/382
    Aft Sides: 382/382
    Aft: 231
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Fighter (18)            6 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (70000.0 tons)    4 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (73526.0 tons)    4 Doors   
Crew:  42 officers, 183 enlisted/non-rated, 26 gunners, 36 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 2,700 tons of ferro-carbide armor.


Monsoon Battleship (2787 - Bastion)
Armor
    Nose: 385
    Fore Sides: 325/325
    Aft Sides: 325/325
    Aft: 255
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Fighter (18)            2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (8)         2 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (297319.5 tons)   1 Door   
Crew:  59 officers, 248 enlisted/non-rated, 43 gunners, 76 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 2,357.5 tons of ferro-carbide armor.

Still to come: Jumpships and dropships of the black fleet, the somewhat oddball battleship Bellerophon, the Talinin and Vilnius upgrades and ships that aren't actually Black Fleet ships.
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!

Liam's Ghost

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #5 on: 26 October 2023, 04:44:59 »
  While the WarShips of the Black Fleet were immediately handed over to the Bastion's growing navy, what to do with the smaller transports was a more difficult question to answer. At first it was hoped that the many conventional jumpships that had been sent to the Bastion could then be sent back to the Hegemony to accelerate the flow of refugees. And the first attempts bore fruit, with roughly two hundred jumpships successfully making the round trip to the Hegemony and then back to the Bastion, and a few dozen even managing two such trips. But none of the Black Fleet ships would make a third trip, as the last ships to make it to the Bastion would bring news of the destruction of Bandon Station. With no known secure base to operate from, or any way to contact the Morgan Commission to reorganize, the Senate and the navy were forced to halt further expeditions until contact was re-established. And when the Morgan Commission was able to send word in 2791, the news was grim. The Commission confirmed the loss of the station, and with it the ability to organize any more large scale movements of ships and refugees. They would send what ships they could, but at the moment any further expeditions from the Bastion would be too hazardous to undertake.
  So for the time being, the four hundred jumpships and twenty five hundred dropships pulled from the Black Fleet cache were effectively surplus to requirements. At first, some in the halls of power thought this could actually be a boon. The Bastion was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a large interstellar power, but it was a highly developed and constantly expanding one, drawing material resources from hundreds of different outposts and mining sites across five star systems, and always seeking more to sustain its near post-scarcity economy. This meant the civilian market was (normally) always hungry for more ships to funnel those raw materials back to Martin's Landing and the other six inhabited worlds of the Bastion. At the moment, however, that hunger was not being filled, with the Bastion's entire naval industry currently geared towards creating a navy. Surely, this vast stockpile of surplus ships could be used to maintain growth in the civilian economy?
  Well, no, actually. The problem was that the Bastion wasn't just building an entire large navy from scratch, it also needed people to man that navy, which meant begging, borrowing, and conscripting as many trained spacers as they could manage without causing the civilian economy to collapse. Certainly the Bastion's many trading and transport houses would love to have more ships at rock bottom prices, but their own manpower had been cut to the bone by the Navy appropriating personnel. They didn't have the people to actually use more ships, and they certainly weren't going to take on the costs of storing and maintaining ships that currently weren't earning their keep.
  While the manpower crisis would begin to ease in a few years, this would be accompanied by an easing in naval procurement as the Bastion's Navy found its footing and began cutting out the bloat, leaving considerable shipbuilding capacity available for other uses. This meant that while firms were once again looking to expand their fleets, the shipbuilders, the navy, and a significant portion of the senate were suddenly very much against the idea of "handing out used relics" to civilian firms. So in the end, nothing was really done with this portion of the Black Fleet, aside from an order handed down from the Director General's office in 2815 designating them a "National Reserve Asset",  which required the entire fleet be mothballed and placed into long term storage. It is in that state that they remain to this day, practically forgotten by all except the caretakers of the vast mothball yards where they now reside.

Note: while most of the ships for this section get an abridged stat block like the prior capital warships, the Czar (2783) gets a full set of stats. This is because it's based on a non-primitive version of the Czar, for which there is no canon record sheet or TRO entry to work from, and thus no cannon source to reference to get the remaining stats. Obviously the abridged statblock of the following Czar (2785) is based of the 2783 version.

Code: [Select]
Liberty Jumpship (2783 - Bastion)
Armor
    Nose: 11
    Fore Sides: 11/11
    Aft Sides: 11/11
    Aft: 11
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (2)         2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (516.5 tons)      1 Door   
Crew:  3 officers, 14 enlisted/non-rated, 10 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 110 tons of standard aerospace armor.


Leviathan Jumpship (2783 - Bastion)
Armor
    Nose: 16
    Fore Sides: 15/15
    Aft Sides: 15/15
    Aft: 15
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (4)         2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (1315.0 tons)     2 Doors   
Crew:  5 officers, 22 enlisted/non-rated, 20 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 227.5 tons of standard aerospace armor.


Jumbo (2783 - Bastion)
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (2)         2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (1828.0 tons)     1 Door   
Crew:  2 officers, 4 enlisted/non-rated, 10 bay personnel, 1680 passengers
Weapons: None


Jumbo (2785 - Bastion)
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (2)         2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (4200.0 tons)     2 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (4200.0 tons)     2 Doors   
    Bay 4:  Cargo (1828.0 tons)     1 Door   
Crew:  2 officers, 4 enlisted/non-rated, 10 bay personnel
Weapons: None


Czar Dropship (2783 - Bastion)
Type: Military Spheriod
Mass: 6,400 tons
Use: Combat Transport
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Introduced: 2783
Mass: 6,400
Battle Value: 1,084
Tech Rating/Availability: D/X-E-D-D
Cost: 210,520,800 C-bills
Dimensions
    Length: 82m
    Width: 82m
    Height: 99m
Fuel: 150 tons (4,500)
Safe Thrust: 3
Maximum Thrust: 5
Heat Sinks: 112
Structural Integrity: 7
Armor
    Nose: 127
    Sides: 107/107
    Aft: 87
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Cargo (348.0 tons)      1 Door   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (219.0 tons)      1 Door   
Ammunition:
None
Escape Pods: 4
Life Boats: 10
Crew:  2 officers, 4 enlisted/non-rated, 800 passengers
Notes: Mounts 25 tons of standard aerospace armor.
Weapons:     Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat) Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV     ERV   Class       
None


Czar Dropship (2785 - Bastion)
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Cargo (567.0 tons)      1 Door   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (2000.0 tons)     1 Door   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (2000.0 tons)     1 Door   
Crew:  2 officers, 4 enlisted/non-rated
   
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!

mikecj

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #6 on: 26 October 2023, 17:04:26 »
TAG'D
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #7 on: 26 October 2023, 19:28:42 »
  Out of all the ships pulled from Bandon Station and sent to the Bastion, the oddest duck is probably THS Bellerophon. And that's saying a lot considering this fleet also included two former Taurian WarShips. The third member of the Dreadnought class and commissioned in 2302, the Bellerophon was not just an old ship, but with the destruction of Dreadnought at the start of the Amaris coup and the South Carolina all the way back during the Age of War, she was (and still is) the oldest true WarShip still in existence. This might make her a priceless treasure from a historian's standpoint, but from the purely practical and immediately relevant standpoint of moving refugees from the Hegemony to the Bastion, the Bellerophon leaves something to be desired.
  As already stated, the Bellerophon was old. Older than other classes that had been excluded from the evacuation plan precisely because of their age. Even though she had undergone the same overhauls and system updates as other ships in the Black Fleet prior to being mothballed, her propulsion systems, KF drive, and even structural members had still been subject to four and a half centuries of fatigue and wear, and any breakdowns in major components on such a long journey as the trip to the Bastion would be painfully difficult or even impossible to repair, because in many cases proper replacement components simply did not exist. If she attempted the trip, there was a small but definitely present chance that she would not even make it to her destination.
  On the plus side, though the Bellerophon couldn't carry quite the load of a Monsoon or even a Dart due to her lack of docking collars, she could still carry an impressive amount of passengers and cargo. In preparation for the trip, the secondary hold, once long ago intended to serve as transport bays for dropshuttles, was retrofitted and subdivided into passenger quarters for ten thousand passengers. With only a skeleton crew of one hundred placed aboard, additional passengers and a small security detachment would occupy the currently unused crew spaces. The main hold would be left untouched, and packed to the rafters with supplies and materials sufficient for a three year long voyage. This was a particularly large margin of safety, and it was estimated that the Bellerophon could (and other ships did) carry twice the passenger capacity and still retain enough storage space to comfortably feed them for the expected length of the expedition. However, this safety margin was considered necessary. If the grand old lady broke down in the middle of unclaimed space in a way that couldn't be repaired, it could be a very long time before her crew and passengers could be rescued. It might have seemed like a bit of cold calculus given the vast numbers of refugees waiting to escape the Hegemony, but it was deemed better to maximize the survival of ten thousand than to risk the complete loss of twenty thousand.
  Despite the concerns of all involved, the Bellerophon made the trip in grand style, arriving without any major incidents with the rest of her convoy at the start of 2785. This, however, would be her last interstellar voyage. Though she would be formally inducted into the Bastion's combat fleet upon her arrival, she would also have her jump certification voided over concerns of the state of her ancient jump drive. Inspections carried out the Bellerophon's upgrade in 2786 confirmed these concerns. Though the jump core was still intact and theoretically operable, the stresses of the long trip from the Inner Sphere had left it very much on its last legs and unsafe to operate. Though the Bellerophon's other age related concerns could be mitigated with relatively little effort, only completely removing and replacing or reforging the jump core could make her safe to jump again, and this was a level of expense the Admiralty was unwilling to commit to.
  Upon completion of her upgrade package, Bellerophon was assigned to the Battle Fleet as flagship of the Second Division. Given the absence of any enemy to fight, however, her primary service took the form of training and fleet exercises. In the various fleet problems she would predominantly find herself in the Aggressor Force, often operating directly alongside THS Washington and THS Zhuge Liang, and the aggressive style of tactics that she adopted in such distinguished company led to the revival of the Bellerophon's ancestral nickname, Billy Ruffian.   But she could not outrun her age forever. Wear and tear would make the Bellerophon increasingly expensive to operate and difficult to maintain, and while this would initially see her re-assigned as an engineering training ship in 2795 (her cranky machinery considered an excellent teaching tool), the decision would be made to retire her only a couple years later. In respect of her status as the oldest WarShip in existence and most likely the last example of the Dreadnought class, the decision was made to preserve her as a museum ship, becoming the first member and centerpiece of what would eventually grow into the Bastion's substantial museum fleet.

Code: [Select]
Dreadnought Battleship THS Bellerophon (2782)
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (12)        2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (12)        2 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (132316.5 tons)   4 Doors   
    Bay 4:  Cargo (2245.0 tons)     2 Doors   
Crew:  50 officers, 187 enlisted/non-rated, 56 gunners, 120 bay personnel, 10000 passengers
Weapons: Bellerophon was experimentally refitted prior to the reunification war with an energy based anti-
fighter/anti-missile battery, and retained this armament through the rest of its life. Replace all standard scale
weapons with the following.
                         Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                   Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (414 Heat)
6 Large Laser                48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
FRS/FLS (174 Heat)
6 Large Laser                48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
RBS/LBS (414 Heat)
6 Large Laser                48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
ARS/ALS (174 Heat)
6 Large Laser                48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
Aft (414 Heat)
6 Large Laser                48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense
2 Small Laser                 2    1(6)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   Point Defense


Dreadnought Battleship THS Bellerophon (2786)
Armor
    Nose: 164
    Fore Sides: 164/164
    Aft Sides: 154/154
    Aft: 154
Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (12)        2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (12)        2 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (132316.5 tons)   4 Doors   
    Bay 4:  Cargo (52245.0 tons)    1 Door   
Crew:  50 officers, 187 enlisted/non-rated, 56 gunners, 120 bay personnel
Notes: Mounts 1,147.5 tons of ferro-carbide armor.
   
« Last Edit: 26 October 2023, 19:37:18 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!

Daryk

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #8 on: 26 October 2023, 19:33:31 »
Woo!  And she EARNED that Billy Ruffian moniker too! :D

Red Pins

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #9 on: 26 October 2023, 22:40:50 »
...You know, you could expand this significantly.  It practically screams out for a fan book..
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #10 on: 26 October 2023, 23:52:56 »
...You know, you could expand this significantly.  It practically screams out for a fan book..

Look man, I already had to resist the urge to delve into the early history of the Bellerophon and turn it into another THS Washington style epic.  :tongue:
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!

Liam's Ghost

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #11 on: 27 October 2023, 02:15:40 »
  I wasn't originally going to do this section, because the defenses of Bandon Station weren't really related to the Bastion's navy. But I did. So here it is.

  Despite, or because of, the extreme secrecy around the Black Fleet demanded by Jonathan Cameron, Bandon Station did not receive a full SDS network. M-3s, M-5s, and the other elements that made up such networks were in high demand across the Hegemony, and diverting large numbers of materials and finished drones away from filling that demand towards a base that didn't officially exist would have raised too many questions.
  What Bandon Station did have, especially after its updates, was a large number of automated repair bays, the protocols for installing SDS cores, and a vast amount of mothballed military hardware. These capabilities would be broken in on the mass conversion of over a hundred Baron class destroyers to M-4 Block III (designated in Bastion service as the M-4-3) drones for use in the Bastion and other top secret outposts. While the majority would be sent elsewhere, two modified variants (designated Block IIIA) would remain at Bandon Station as testbeds and guard vessels. Following the Amaris Coup, this defense force was expanded with the conversion of fourteen more drones, two Essex I and twelve vigilant class, organized into two flotillas of one destroyer and six corvettes. Roughly two hundred F-39 Diamondback fighters would also be converted to unmanned drones, providing twelve squadrons worth of fighter cover for each of the new flotillas, with the remainder kept at the station itself. Gun and missile batteries spread across the planetoid containing Bandon Station completed the defenses. While the DMR and the station's own controlling intelligences deemed these defenses inadequate against a determined attacker, there was no way to obtain the Nirasaki computer cores that would be necessary to expand the defense forces further, and even converting the ships they had had required cannibalizing some of the Station's own automated systems, shutting down the autonomous function of entire sectors of the massive complex.
  The DMR's fears about the Station's safety would be proven fully justified, but surprisingly this would not take place until after the Amaris Coup had ended, and even years after Kerensky himself had departed on his own Exodus. The identity of the attackers remains unknown to this day, but in 2790 a force of seven WarShips, composed of a Black Lion, a Luxor, a pair each of Sovetski Soyuz and Lola IIIs, and led by a McKenna class battleship, entered the system and began an approach to Bandon Station. Rather than make any attempt at communication, the fleet instead opened with several volleys of nuclear tipped missiles, while simultaneously a powerful NIKE Jammer activated aboard the presumed flagship. Unable to register, track, or directly engage the attackers, the station's drone fleet would be briefly immobilized by the AI equivalent of indecision, resulting in the loss of a corvette and an M-4 from the enemy's first missile salvo before they began scattering away from the station. This maneuver prevented additional casualties among the drone force and, either through the attacker's inexperience or a desire to simply clear the drones off board, the attackers were baited into pursuing.
  Now having at least a small luxury of time, efforts aboard the station turned to evacuation and sending out warnings. The most recent refugee convoy was almost loaded, but there still remained many thousands of civilians aboard the station waiting to load, and however this battle turned out, it was now clear that Bandon Station was no longer safe for those who were still on their way. The command center would send off several HPG messages reporting the situation to the Morgan Commissions agents, while within the station, the last of the refugees were being rushed aboard their waiting transports.
  Meanwhile, unable to actually detect or directly target anything within the bubble of the NIKE jammer, the drone fleet would instead lob dozens, then hundreds of capital missiles on bearing only launches aimed at the approximate center of the jamming. Unlike the enemy's own missile strikes, which were trying and failing to hit a violently maneuvering and dispersed set of targets, the drone fleet's missiles descended on a concentrated and orderly force, albeit one protected by a substantial number of point defense escorts. Though a fair number of missiles would miss and many others would be intercepted over the next few hours of sustained bombardment, quite a number of hits would be scored, leading to a Soyuz and a Lola being crippled and falling out of line. A pause would follow as the drones reloaded their missile magazines with whatever spares they had in storages and the attackers reoriented their formations to account for their own losses and better protect themselves from a follow up attack. Their maneuvers also shifted their expected path of travel back towards Bandon Station. Though overcoming their current velocity and actually moving in that direction would take several hours at least, it would still put the station itself in danger. So, as their opponents continued their own long deceleration burn, the drone fleet burned hard to assemble for a fast pass directly through the center of the jamming. This did not start well, with the remaining M-4 in the fleet suffering an abrupt engineering casualty which caused it to fall behind the rest of the pack and forced it to break off. The rest of the drones executed the maneuver with machine like precision, descending on the unknown enemy just as they had reached their lowest point of deceleration. The electronic noise of the NIKE jammer screaming in their machine brains, the drones focused as much of their fire as possible on its source, the McKenna class battleship at the center of the formation, though every other gun that could brought to bear on any target also spoke. Behind the capital drones came their fighters, on their own single minded screaming pass, inflicting still more damage. The enemy McKenna staggered out of formation, badly hurt and its jamming system now completely offline, but still operational. The second Soyuz class cruiser, running close escort to the McKenna, was left drifting out of control, having lost main power and rapidly venting atmosphere. The enemy's fighters were still buttoned up in their bays for extended transit, so there was no fighter cover and little in the way of other air defense to repel the swarms of fighter scale drones as they ran past with all guns blazing, inflicting damage throughout the enemy fleet.
  The price, however, was heavy. The enemy had known the attack was coming, and they'd likewise opened up with every gun available as the drones shot through their formation. Poor fire discipline offered some grim assistance to the drones, multiple ships concentrated their fire on the two Essex class destroyers leading the charge, absolutely eviscerating them but sparing several of the following corvettes from any fire at all. Many of the drone fighters, though not meeting any active resistance, still fell prey to the massive layered electronic countermeasures surrounding the fleet, either going feral or simply shutting down. Only seven Vigilant drones and roughly two thirds of the fleet's fighters would emerge from the pass in fighting trim. Meeting up with the limping M-4, they would continue in the direction of the station, preparing for the next, and what would very likely be the last, engagement.
  The enemy, however, seemed to be in shock, and bled off the rest of their velocity to conduct search and rescue operations before holding position for several more hours, either trying to patch some of the damage they had sustained or trying to decide just what to do now. If they had attempted to restore their NIKE jammer, those attempts had failed, as the fleet now advanced without its coverage, the battered McKenna at the rear of the formation while the remaining ships assembled in an arrowhead formation ahead of it. 
  The time the drones had won from the enemy had been well spent however. Even as the enemy fleet began moving again, the last of the refugees and non-essential personnel that had been on Bandon Station were now on dropships outbound to the jumpship fleet waiting nearby. The station's own complement of drone fighters would accompany these ships to provide escort against a surprise strike.
  With the evacuation complete, the drone forces would withdraw back towards Bandon Station with the intention of bringing the final confrontation within the bubble of the station's own guns. Seemingly anticipating this strategy, the attackers responded with a barrage of nuclear tipped missiles. Though they had proven unable to hit the agile drone capital ships, they had no problem landing hits against the station itself. Fifty peacemaker class warheads were launched at the station, twenty of them making it through the station's own point defenses to strike the planetoid's surface, seemingly targeted to clear out or suppress gun and missile batteries to create an opening in the station's defenses. Though the warheads that struck home lacked accuracy, they made up for it in shear destructive power, silencing several weapons emplacements and largely crippling the station's ability to fight back. The enemy fighters would not be caught napping this time, and waves of fighter squadrons would next descend on the drone fleet, swarming the defenders' badly outnumbered aerospace forces as the two lines of capital ships met. The engagement was brutally one-sided, with two corvettes almost immediately broken in half by the withering fire from the Black Lion and the Luxor. The M-4, still struggling to maneuver, would combine its fire with another pair of Vigilants against the enemy Lola III, inflicting heavy damage and forcing it to break off, but this small victory would be rendered moot as the McKenna entered the fray, raining hellfire down on the Lola's tormenters. The M-4's propulsion system failed, leaving it drifting towards an inevitable collision with the station, while one of her accompanying Vigilants practically disintegrated under the combined fire of the McKenna and the Luxor. As the Black Lion obliterated another ship, The remaining drones, their artificial intelligences having assessed the situation as hopeless, now resorted to the only weapons remaining to them. The three corvettes charged the enemy at maximum thrust, each aiming to take one of their opponents with them. Two fell quickly to the guns of the Luxor and the Black Lion respectively, but the third, against all odds, managed to strike the McKenna amidships, just below its iconic shark fin radiator. The tiny corvette seemed to crumple against the massive battleship, even as the battleship's hull collapsed inward under the impact. The tangled wreckage of both ships, either dead or dying, would slowly spin out of control, drifting into the empty void. Though the actual veracity of this next part is considered suspect, ships of the evacuation fleet would later report detecting one final signal from the unmanned drone, a simple text phrase.
  "Go tell Kerensky, traveler passing by, that here, according to our duty, we lie."
  But even that last sacrifice would not change the outcome of the battle. The remaining enemies would begin pounding Bandon Station relentlessly, suppressing the last of the weapons batteries to open a hole for their landing parties. As these boots touched the soil of the planetoid, however, Bandon Station and the last of the human personnel aboard denied them their prize. Nuclear scuttling charges ripped through the facility, destroying everything from the stations facilities to its control computers to the hundreds of ships that still remained stored within. The lives and ships this unknown enemy had sacrificed in this attack would be for nothing.
  The refugee fleet would jump out of system shortly after, roughly two hours ahead of the angry cruiser burning hard to stop them. As such, determining the actual casualties on either side is difficult. There were still believed to be thirty people aboard Bandon Station at the time of its destruction, and it has to be assumed that none of them would have survived. The station's unmanned forces likewise lost sixteen capital ships and nearly one hundred and fifty fighters, with the only surviving units making up the escort of the refugee convoy. And of course there was the loss of the station itself. Enemy casualties are harder to pin down. It is considered a certainty that the McKenna class ship would have been a total loss, while all but two of the remaining ships suffered sufficient damage to force them to retire from the field. It is difficult, and perhaps inappropriate, to attempt to label either side as a winner or loser. The defenders has pulled of an impressive defense given the disparity in firepower between the two sides, but they had failed to hold Bandon Station in the end. Likewise, the enemy held the field after the battle, but the losses they had suffered in terms of functionally irreplaceable ships had gained them nothing at all. Most important of all, a vital lifeline that had allowed tens of millions of innocent civilians a chance to escape the catastrophic devastation encompassing the Inner Sphere had been closed.
  In subsequent years, expeditions to the system where the remains of Bandon Station lie have found nothing but a dead and abandoned husk. While it has been speculated that some portions of the vast facility might still remain undamaged beneath the rubble, actually excavating the ruins would be an undertaking out of the reach of what remains of the Morgan Commission in the Inner Sphere. Instead, the station has been left undisturbed, a memorial to that terrible day.

EDIT: no, I didn't forget to actually post the stats. You're imagining things

Code: [Select]

Diamondback Q-39

Mass: 40 tons
Frame: Unknown
Power Plant: 160 Fusion
Armor: Standard
Armament:
     5 Medium Laser
     1 LRM 10
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 2750
Tech Rating/Availability: D/E-F-F-F
Cost: 1,890,800 C-bills

Type: Diamondback
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Tonnage: 40
Battle Value: 938

Equipment                                          Mass
Engine                        160 Fusion              6
Safe Thrust: 6
Max Thrust: 9
Structural Integrity:         6                       
Heat Sinks:                   14                      4
Fuel:                         240                   3.0
Cockpit                                               3
Armor Factor                  160                    10

                           Armor   
                           Value   
     Nose                    48   
     Wings                 40/40   
     Aft                     32   


Weapons
and Ammo                                 Location   Tonnage  Heat   SRV  MRV  LRV  ERV
LRM 10                                     NOS       5.0      4      6    6    6    0 
2 Medium Laser                             RWG       2.0      3      5    0    0    0 
Smart Robotic Control System(Improved)     FSLG      3.0      -      -    -    -    - 
LRM 10 Ammo (12)                           FSLG      1.0      -      -    -    -    - 
2 Medium Laser                             LWG       2.0      3      5    0    0    0 
Medium Laser                               AFT       1.0      3      5    0    0    0 


Vigilant Capital Drone
Mass: 140,000 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Introduced: 2750
Mass: 140,000
Battle Value: 13,368
Tech Rating/Availability: F/E-X-X-X
Cost: 5,446,182,000 C-bills

Fuel: 1,000 tons (5,000)
Safe Thrust: 3
Maximum Thrust: 5
Sail Integrity: 3
KF Drive Integrity: 5
Heat Sinks: 800
Structural Integrity: 33

Armor
    Nose: 24
    Fore Sides: 24/24
    Aft Sides: 20/20
    Aft: 16

Cargo
    Bay 1:  ARTS Fighter (10)       3 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (6934.0 tons)     1 Door   

Ammunition:
    1,000 rounds of NAC/10 ammunition (200 tons),
    270 rounds of White Shark ammunition (10,800 tons)

Dropship Capacity: 0
Grav Decks: 0
Escape Pods: 0
Life Boats: 0
Crew:  14 officers, 59 enlisted/non-rated, 10 gunners

Notes: Equipped with
    1 SDS (Caspar) Drone Control System (Improved)
92 tons of ferro-carbide armor.

Weapons:                                      Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                                Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (15 Heat)
1 Capital Missile Launcher (White Shark)  15   3(30)   3(30)   3(30)    3(30)   Capital Missile
    White Shark Ammo (90 shots)
FRS/FLS (30 Heat)
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/10)               30   10(100) 10(100) 10(100)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/10 Ammo (200 shots)
RBS/LBS (46 Heat)
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/10)               30   10(100) 10(100) 10(100)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/10 Ammo (200 shots)
2 Large Laser                             16   2(16)   2(16)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
ARS/ALS (31 Heat)
1 Capital Missile Launcher (White Shark)  15   3(30)   3(30)   3(30)    3(30)   Capital Missile
    White Shark Ammo (90 shots)
2 Large Laser                             16   2(16)   2(16)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
Aft (46 Heat)
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/10)               30   10(100) 10(100) 10(100)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/10 Ammo (200 shots)
2 Large Laser                             16   2(16)   2(16)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       


Essex I Capital Drone
Mass: 560,000 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Introduced: 2750
Mass: 560,000
Battle Value: 41,927
Tech Rating/Availability: F/F-X-X-X
Cost: 14,210,404,000 C-bills

Fuel: 3,000 tons (7,500)
Safe Thrust: 3
Maximum Thrust: 5
Sail Integrity: 4
KF Drive Integrity: 13
Heat Sinks: 1,000
Structural Integrity: 30

Armor
    Nose: 49
    Fore Sides: 48/48
    Aft Sides: 48/48
    Aft: 45

Cargo
    Bay 1:  ARTS Small Craft (12)   2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (56416.0 tons)    2 Doors   

Ammunition:
    240 rounds of NAC/10 ammunition (48 tons)

Dropship Capacity: 0
Grav Decks: 0
Escape Pods: 0
Life Boats: 0
Crew:  33 officers, 124 enlisted/non-rated, 38 gunners, 60 bay personnel

Notes: Equipped with
    1 SDS (Caspar) Drone Control System (Improved)
    1 Autonomous Tactical Analysis Computer (ATAC) (12 drones)
    1 SDS Self-Destruct System
335 tons of ferro-carbide armor.

Weapons:                         Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                   Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (60 Heat)
2 Naval Autocannon (NAC/10)  60   20(200) 20(200) 20(200)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/10 Ammo (40 shots)
FRS/FLS (300 Heat)
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/10)  90   30(300) 30(300) 30(300)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/10 Ammo (60 shots)
3 Naval Laser 45             210  14(135) 14(135) 14(135) 14(135)  Capital Laser
RBS/LBS (238 Heat)
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/10)  30   10(100) 10(100) 10(100)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/10 Ammo (20 shots)
4 Naval Laser 35             208  14(140) 14(140) 14(140)   0(0)   Capital Laser
ARS/ALS (238 Heat)
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/10)  30   10(100) 10(100) 10(100)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/10 Ammo (20 shots)
4 Naval Laser 35             208  14(140) 14(140) 14(140)   0(0)   Capital Laser
Aft (280 Heat)
4 Naval Laser 45             280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser


M-4 Block IIIA Capital Drone
Mass: 480,000 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Experimental)
Introduced: 2700
Mass: 480,000
Battle Value: 55,008
Tech Rating/Availability: F/E-X-X-X
Cost: 10,510,689,000 C-bills

Fuel: 6,500 tons (16,250)
Safe Thrust: 3
Maximum Thrust: 5
Sail Integrity: 4
KF Drive Integrity: 11
Heat Sinks: 1100 (2200)
Structural Integrity: 30

Armor
    Nose: 54
    Fore Sides: 42/42
    Aft Sides: 42/42
    Aft: 26

Cargo
    Bay 1:  ARTS Fighter (12)       2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Cargo (33249.5 tons)    1 Door   

Ammunition:
    260 rounds of White Shark ammunition (10,400 tons),
    320 rounds of NAC/20 ammunition (128 tons)

Dropship Capacity: 0
Grav Decks: 0
Escape Pods: 50
Life Boats: 0
Crew:  40 officers, 150 enlisted/non-rated, 43 gunners, 30 passengers

Notes: Equipped with
    1 SDS (Caspar) Drone Control System (Improved)
    1 SDS Self-Destruct System
287.5 tons of ferro-carbide armor.

Weapons:                                      Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                                Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (630 Heat)
9 Naval Laser 45                          630  41(405) 41(405) 41(405) 41(405)  Capital Laser
FRS/FLS (150 Heat)
2 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)               120  40(400) 40(400) 40(400)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (80 shots)
2 Capital Missile Launcher (White Shark)  30   6(60)   6(60)   6(60)    6(60)   Capital Missile
    White Shark Ammo (120 shots)
RBS/LBS (700 Heat)
10 Naval Laser 45                         700  45(450) 45(450) 45(450) 45(450)  Capital Laser
ARS/ALS (120 Heat)
2 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)               120  40(400) 40(400) 40(400)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (80 shots)
Aft (30 Heat)
2 Capital Missile Launcher (White Shark)  30   6(60)   6(60)   6(60)    6(60)   Capital Missile
    White Shark Ammo (20 shots)
« Last Edit: 27 October 2023, 04:10:30 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!

Red Pins

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  • *
  • Posts: 3990
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #12 on: 27 October 2023, 16:57:43 »
Look man, I already had to resist the urge to delve into the early history of the Bellerophon and turn it into another THS Washington style epic.  :tongue:

...Well, I suppose I could do the cover and layout...?
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Work-in-progress; The Blake Threat File
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
TRO: 3176 Hegemony Refits - the 30-day wonder

Daryk

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #13 on: 27 October 2023, 17:23:07 »
The Billy Ruffian deserves at LEAST the Washington's treatment, but PLEASE insert a carriage return between the paragraphs... :)

Liam's Ghost

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  • Posts: 7904
  • Miss Chitty finds your honor rules quaint.
Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #14 on: 27 October 2023, 23:30:10 »
...Well, I suppose I could do the cover and layout...?

I would be hesitant to make any requests until I actually finished the writing. After all, I have a bad habit of not finishing large projects.

The Billy Ruffian deserves at LEAST the Washington's treatment, but PLEASE insert a carriage return between the paragraphs... :)

Yeah, breaking up the paragraphs more clearly is a good idea. No promises about the Bellerophon, though. :P
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!

worktroll

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    • There are Monsters in my Sky!
Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #15 on: 28 October 2023, 01:31:11 »
Dare I ask, does this portend more "And I feel fine ..."?
* 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: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #16 on: 28 October 2023, 02:04:22 »
Dare I ask, does this portend more "And I feel fine ..."?

If, and I stress IF, it were to get that far, it would be more like a third attempt at the same basic idea, hopefully built on a stronger foundation, and less on a foundation of "Wouldn't it be funny if Hanse Davion was alive and had to come back to punch Cthulhu?
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!

worktroll

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    • There are Monsters in my Sky!
Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #17 on: 28 October 2023, 02:13:43 »
Not that there was anything wrong with that ...
* 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"

Daryk

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  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #18 on: 28 October 2023, 07:46:47 »
Nothing wrong at all... and for the record, that idea IS funny! :D

Liam's Ghost

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #19 on: 29 October 2023, 02:51:07 »
  An uncomfortable bit of information often left out of much of the pop history media surrounding the evacuation to the Bastion was that General Kerensky was an ally and supporter of the effort, offering tremendous material support as well as encouraging certain trusted naval personnel retiring from the SLDF to seek out the Morgan Commission and assist their own efforts. Many of the flag officers which would go on to populate the rapidly expanded Admiralty of the Bastion, including the legendary firebrand Jessica Dwyer, first joined the evacuation effort directly from distinguished careers in the SLDF with glowing recommendations from General Kerensky himself. Even after the fateful meeting on the Washington in 2783, Kerensky maintained at least passive support for the effort, even as communications between himself and the Morgan Commission ceased entirely. Whether his support was out of guilt, given the many billions of lives he would ultimately abandon, or whether he initially acted with the best of intentions is still a subject of fierce debate. But even his most ardent vilifiers will, if pressed, acknowledge that his aid in the evacuation effort was not only real, it was invaluable.

  The greatest portion of material aid provided at the order of General Kerensky took the form of forty massive Potemkin class troop cruisers. Once the guns of the Amaris War had fallen silent, the SLDF quickly realized that it could not hope to retain the entirety of its massive and battered fleet, given the crippled economy of what remained of the Terran Hegemony and the loss of tax revenue from the rest of the rapidly fracturing Star League. Deep cuts would have to be made, eliminating hundreds of capital ships still technically on the rolls from the fleet, with the majority of them condemned to the breakers. Among those condemned in this way was the entire Potemkin class, still numbering more than ninety ships despite the best efforts of the SDS systems that had once defended many of the Hegemony's worlds. By all accounts, this decision was a difficult one for Kerensky and the SLDF to make. These massive transports would have proven invaluable to the reconstruction of Hegemony worlds due to their tremendous carrying capacity. But they were also very large and very expensive to operate, and to the Hegemony's neighbors, still very much uncertain what Kerensky might do next, they were first and foremost offensive weapons, ships with the firepower of a battleship intended to deliver an entire division's worth of troops against a world that had earned the SLDF's ire.

  Valuable as they were, the Navy wasn't certain they could afford to keep them, and Kerensky saw removing them from service as an olive branch to the House Lords. And so, the order to scrap the Potemkin fleet was issued. Of course, such an order was easier issued than it was carried out. The Hegemony's devastated naval infrastructure faced a massive backlog of wreckage to dispose of, and the Potemkin fleet was hardly at the head of the line. So while a few of their number would actually be successfully dismantled, the rest of the fleet would still be waiting its own turn when the Morgan Commission presented its plan to conduct a mass evacuation of Terran Civilians to the Bastion in 2782. As already stated, Kerensky wholeheartedly approved the plan and pointed the Commission to the vast collection of ships waiting to be broken up at the Titan Yards, with instructions to identify which of those ships would be most suitable. When the Commission returned survey results identifying forty Potemkins and the Texas class battleship Washington as ideal for the task at hand, they expected Kerensky might authorize one or two vessels for their use. Instead, the General drafted orders for the Department of Maritime Reclamation to take possession of all forty one ships and relocate them, along with a contingent of smaller transports and jumpships, to Bandon Station under the guise of moving them to a new scrapyard for final disposal, making them the last ships to "officially" join the Black Fleet (even if they are not commonly included in that roster). Kerensky's only condition for this massive gift was that the Potemkins be fully demilitarized, removing the majority of their weapons and their fire control systems. Naval missile launchers, with the missiles relying only on their own internal guidance systems, would still be permitted for self defense purposes, but the rest needed to go.

  Once at Bandon Station, the work to prepare these ships for the long voyage ahead began. While the automated systems of Bandon Station's drydocks worked to removed weapons and fire control systems and plate over the resulting gaps in the hull, workmen and labor drones would feverishly work to assemble life support systems and partitioned quarters for fifty thousand passengers. Other work parties would work to automate each ship's shuttle bays to reduce the requirement for ground crews, while potential crew trained tirelessly on how to operate the giant vessels. This herculean effort would see this entire fleet fitted out and in the process of loading passengers when Kerensky arrived for his final fateful meeting with the Morgan Commission in November of 2783. Fearing that Kerensky might strike back over the Commission's rejection, the fleet would be sent out within a week of the meeting, months ahead of schedule, still very much short on trained personnel, and transporting a total of five million refugees, nearly a million and a half more than had been originally planned for. Life aboard these overcrowded, undermanned ships during the journey to the Bastion was its own brand of misery, featuring near constant exhaustion among the crews and agonizing boredom among their thousands of passengers. In addition, many, if not most of the passengers and crew alike carried deep, and largely untreated psychological scars from the Amaris War. Mechanical failures, accidents, unrest, crime, and suicide would plague the fleet throughout its journey, resulting in over eight thousand deaths from all causes before finally reaching the Bastion. This first voyage would serve as an agonizing, but possibly necessary learning experience, and even as the millions of refugees were landing on Martin's Landing, the jumpships and smaller transports were already preparing for the trip back to the Inner Sphere, carrying back the lessons learned for the next waves of refugee convoys.

  The decision to not send the larger ships back with them was a bitter, but possibly necessary one. Poor maintenance by their overworked crews during the journey to the Bastion had left each ship in desperate need of an overhaul before they could safely make the journey back to the Inner Sphere, and at the time the Bastion possessed only one drydock, the yardship Maury Island, able to service such large ships. And that was presently occupied by the battleship Washington. But there were other concerns beyond mere safety. The convoy had brought with them word of Kerensky's final meeting with the Morgan Commission. With Kerensky already abandoning the Hegemony and expressing his desire to settle in the Bastion, it was not considered a stretch to assume he might simply try to invade. And nobody in the Bastion had any faith that their SDS network would be able to stop such an invasion. Forty disarmed troop cruisers likewise wouldn't change the balance of power, but their now semi-experienced crews could form the nucleus of a manned navy. 

  The forty Potemkins would therefore remain largely inactive, even as more refugee ships arrived from the Inner Sphere. The completion of the Washington's rebuild and the construction of additional drydocks able to accommodate large ships did nothing to change that. Instead these facilities would be occupied with upgrading the largest of the newly arrived capital ships in order to bolster the Bastion's defenses. When the Bastion's fleet of Potemkins took an active role, it was as cargo hulks and crew stations to support these efforts, but no plans were made to overhaul the ships and send them back to the Inner Sphere.

  This decision is easy to criticize with the benefit of hindsight. Obviously, Kerensky either out of respect or because he simply did not know the Bastion's location, never attacked the Bastion. If the Bastion had focused on overhauling and sending the Potemkin fleet back instead of rapidly building its manned navy, it is likely that many millions of additional civilians might have been spared the destruction that would consume the Hegemony. Many of the leaders of the day, including former Director General Elias Siemans, have since expressed regret in their decisions not to send the Potemkin fleet back, but it must be acknowledged that the Bastion had little knowledge, beyond out of date information brought with each convoy, of what was actually going on in the Inner Sphere. And they knew nothing at all about what Kerensky's true intentions might have been or where he had gone. Right or wrong, they made the choices they made, protect the Bastion at all cost, based on the little information they had.

  As invasion fears gradually died down, the pace of naval production began to slow, and proper facilities gradually replaced them, the Potemkin fleet would be gradually relocated to the mothball fleet, ironically finally receiving their needed overhauls prior to being deactivated. And there they remain. Despite many calls to reactivate them to haul civilian cargoes, and even offers to buy them outright by civilian firms, the Bastion's government has shown no serious interest in doing much of anything with them, and even less interest in handing them off to civilians to do something with them. This, honestly, may be purely politically motivated. Shipbuilding and Trading companies are said to dread the day that they would have to compete against a fleet of Potemkins, and have lobbied heavily to keep the ships right where they are, or even scrap them. While the Government, citing them as a critical national resource, have been content to keep them out of civilian hands, they have also used the same justification to retain them against some possible future need. What that need may be is anybody's guess, but for now, the ships remain.
 
Code: [Select]
Potemkin Troop Cruiser (Demilitarized)
Mass: 1,510,000 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Introduced: 2782
Mass: 1,510,000
Battle Value: 28,079
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-E-F
Cost: 30,723,346,000 C-bills

Fuel: 10,000 tons (25,000)
Safe Thrust: 2
Maximum Thrust: 3
Sail Integrity: 7
KF Drive Integrity: 30
Heat Sinks: 3325 (6650)
Structural Integrity: 80

Armor
    Nose: 179
    Fore Sides: 201/201
    Aft Sides: 201/201
    Aft: 156

Cargo
    Bay 1:  ARTS Small Craft (5)    1 Door   
    Bay 2:  ARTS Small Craft (5)    1 Door   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (222566.0 tons)   1 Door   

Ammunition:
    80 rounds of Barracuda ammunition (2,400 tons)

Dropship Capacity: 25
Grav Decks: 1 (95 m)
Escape Pods: 50
Life Boats: 50
Crew:  60 officers, 287 enlisted/non-rated, 8 gunners, 50 bay personnel, 50000 passengers

Notes: Mounts 1,364 tons of ferro-carbide armor.

Weapons:                                    Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                              Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
FRS/FLS (20 Heat)
2 Capital Missile Launcher (Barracuda)  20   4(40)   4(40)   4(40)    4(40)   Capital Missile
    Barracuda Ammo (20 shots)
Aft (40 Heat)
4 Capital Missile Launcher (Barracuda)  40   8(80)   8(80)   8(80)    8(80)   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: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #20 on: 29 October 2023, 06:16:54 »
The overhauls didn't restore any of the NPPCs? ???

Liam's Ghost

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #21 on: 30 October 2023, 00:23:59 »
Necessary context: The Carrack is of course the Carrack. I included stats for the (armored variant) Carrack because we don't have official stats for the Inner Sphere version of the Carrack yet, and putting better armor on it was purely my idea. I figure I can get at least a few years of mileage out of it before the powers that be get around to making a canon one.
  The Royalty class is my attempt at converting a class of ship first described in Battletechnology issue 20. I did my best to port the original version, but... the original version seemed to treat the rules of the time as more helpful suggestions, so there was a fair bit of winging it involved.


  The Carrack and Royalty classes were a bit of an odd duck among the the fleets of the inner sphere. Tracing their lineages back to the failed Lyran Sylvester, they were something of a return to an older style of jumpship design, when the ship itself would serve as the primary cargo carrier, rather than the dropships it transported. To achieve this capability, however, they did not rely on the primitive obsolete jump drives of old, and they certainly couldn't utilize a standard jumpship drive. Instead, each of these transports was built around a compact jump core. This made them difficult to classify. While built to what was essentially WarShip standards, which under the rules and regulations of some of the great houses meant they were WarShips, regardless of their purpose, they were not classified as combat vessels within the force structure of their parent organizations (the SLDF for the Carrack and the Rim Worlds Republic Military for the Royalty), and were not listed among their respective fleets of capital ships. Though the designation of "Armed Transport" did not fly with everyone, particularly as both examples still used capital scale weapons among their defensive batteries, the excuse seemed good enough for the people that mattered for both classes to see extensive use.

  Of the two, the Hegemony built Carrack was by far the more common, but also arguably less capable at its stated role. In basic design a slightly enlarged version of the Sylvester class, the Carrack's design seemed to focus most heavily on the "armed" in "Armed transport", mounting nine naval cannons in eight mounts spread evenly around the hull. Sixteen naval lasers in eight twin mounts, matching the positions of the naval cannons, provided additional firepower against larger targets, while a tertiary battery of forty eight anti-fighter lasers in sextuple mounts completed the weapon array. This level of armament easily outstripped the typical corvette in SLDF service, and even approached that of some small destroyers, and was laid out in such a way that seemed to suggest that the SLDF expected large numbers of attackers to swarm the ship from every direction simultaneously.

  Unfortunately, the ship's protection was nowhere near as impressive. An enemy powerful enough to warrant the heavy guns of a Carrack would be very likely to quickly overwhelm its armor protection and smash through its lightly built hull, crippling or destroying the ship even if the Carrack did the same to its attacker. This may have still been workable, so long as potential opponents didn't know what they were dealing with and were properly overawed by the Carrack's guns, or alternately were so determined to take the ship intact that they avoided actually shooting at it. By the mid 28th century, this flaw in the design had at least been acknowledged, and Carracks assigned to operate independently in the periphery would receive refits to improve their armor protection. But even this upgrade provided at best marginal practical improvement to the ship's protection scheme, and mostly seemed to be for morale purposes.

  Perhaps worst of all, the Carrack just... wasn't very good as a transport. Certainly for the tonnage a Carrack could carry more cargo than an equivalent standard jumpship and its attendant dropships, the cost of building and operating a Carrack for general cargoes was simply not economical. And for high value cargoes that warranted the protection of a capital class hull and weapons, the navy had numerous options in the form of actual combat WarShips which were not only better able to survive an attack, but could actually carry more cargo more efficiently. The Carrack's sole niche in Star League service actually seemed to be its classification. As an armed transport rather than an "official" capital ship, it could move about more freely through most of the Star League without raising the same concerns or diplomatic headaches that came with redeploying a naval flotilla. While opponents would say that this loophole abuse could be used to pre-position WarShips anywhere for a potential massed attack, it also aided in situations such as humanitarian or disaster relief, allowing the SLDF to move large amounts of material to an area in need without the need to assemble a fleet of conventional jumpships or dealing with the hassle of moving fleet units. It was for these reasons, despite the Carrack's relative inefficiency as a transport, that the SLDF would assemble such a large fleet of them.
 
  The Royalty class seems at first glance to be the Rim Worlds Republic's answer to the Carrack, but in practice they operated somewhat differently. While the Carrack was predominantly a general service transport, the Royalty class instead served specifically as VIP transports and, for want of a better term, treasure ships specifically tasked to carry high value cargoes. Many of the riches plundered from the Terran Hegemony during the coup and then sold off to pay Amaris' backers would be carried aboard Royalty class ships, and a number of Amaris' senior political and military officials had their own private transports, customized and luxuriously appointed to their particular tastes. Despite claims that the Amaris family originally commissioned construction of the Royalty class to circumvent restrictions on their capital WarShip fleet, the Royalties are arguably much more deserving of the classification of armed transport than the Star League's own Carrack class. Though it carries a large cargo hold (larger than a stock Carrack), in practice the Royalty class was intended to normally operate in the same manner as a conventional jumpship, parking at a jump point and relying on its dropships and station facilities at the point to handle cargo transfer. The ship possesses only limited thrust capacity (relative to typical capital ships) and a truly defensive armament composed of almost entirely of mixed anti-fighter weapons, with a pair of barracuda missile tubes making up the sum total of the capital scale weapons array. Though this weapons array was limited, it was composed of some of the most advanced weapons the Rim Worlds could get its hands on, both improving the effectiveness of the ship's defensive battery and reflecting the status of the passengers and cargo it was expected to carry. Unlike the bulkier hull form of the Carrack the Royalty had a long, thin profile more reminiscent of standard jumpships, particularly the old Liberty class of ships long out of production in the Inner Sphere, but still at least somewhat common in the Periphery. The resemblance to the Liberty was in fact so striking that by installing a few hull panels to conceal the weapon mounts and running slightly underloaded to match the older ship's acceleration profile, a Royalty could pass for a (modified) Liberty under casual inspection. At several points during the Amaris coup, Rim Worlds forces would attempt to use this similarity to get ships past blockading SLDF naval force disguised as civilian vessels, but more often than not this would actually result in a captured transport rather than a successful run.

  Kerensky would hand over a dozen Carracks (having first helpfully removed their capital weapons) and four captured Royalty class ships to the Morgan Commission as part of his contribution to the evacuation effort. While initially there were concerns that these ships could not carry enough passengers relative to their crew to be useful, experimentation and training quickly revealed that the relatively simple controls and machinery of these "not capital ships" could be operated well enough to make the trip by as few as ten men, while their cargo spaces should comfortably be able to handle ten thousand passengers when suitably modified. This turned out to be actually more efficient than most of the options already available in the Black Fleet, and it was only the abrupt breakdown in relations between the Morgan Commission and Kerensky that prevented the Commission from requesting as many additional Carracks as Kerensky was willing to spare. Instead, this small fleet would accompany the first refugee convoy to the Inner Sphere.

  Of course, operating a vessel under ideal conditions with only ten crew was one thing. Doing it for the length of an entire voyage, with ten thousands traumatized refugees packed in to sardine can conditions, and no outside support aside from other only slightly less cramped refugee ships, was another thing entirely. Conditions aboard the smaller transports, particularly the slender Royalty class ships, was particularly bad, with disease, unrest, and violence rampant. Mechanical breakdowns were likewise a regular occurrence, as the tiny pool of trained personnel aboard each ship struggled and failed to keep up with the necessary maintenance. This would occasionally cause weeks of delays to the entire fleet, as ships had to stop for necessary repairs. One bright spot in this arduous journey was that the Morgan Commission had anticipated some of these problems. The fleet was very well supplied with food, water, and medicine, sufficient for a voyage twice as long in expectation of delays. The second was that the crews were learning as they went. Shortages in manpower were made up by training from the vast refugee population, and the extreme crowding on ships like the Royaltys could at least be mitigated by rotating the population among the fleet, allowing the civilians to spend at least part of the trip in more comfortable conditions.

  By far the brightest spot of this journey, however, was that it would end. At least for the convoy's five million passengers and the giant Potemkins that made up the centerpiece of the vast migration. For the Carracks, Royaltys, and conventional jumpships, their future held an abbreviated refit to repair the damage poor maintenance had caused, followed by embarking new (larger) crews to make the trip back to the Inner Sphere. The Bastion's leadership didn't know what they might encounter when they made it back. Whether Bandon Station would still be there, or still be free, or whether everything might have been seized by one of the House Lords, Kerensky, or just burned down to radioactive ash. But while the Bastion was now focusing primarily on its own defense, it was still decided that some effort to continue the evacuations must be made.

  So this fleet of twelve carracks, four Royalties, and few dozen conventional jumpships departed for the Inner Sphere. The timing was such that they were already three months into interstellar space when the second convoy from Bandon Station made it to the Bastion, and they completely missed the third and fourth convoys on the way. They wouldn't find out that Bandon Station was still intact and the evacuations were continuing until they actually arrived at the Station, some ten months after departing the Bastion. There they would learn that Kerensky was gone, the Hegemony was collapsing, and millions more refugees were waiting for their own chance to escape. And so, this collection of ships would take on another full load of refugees and begin the trip again.

  In total the Bastion's small collection of Carrack and Royalty class ships would manage three round trips between the Bastion and Bandon Station, in addition to their initial trip as part of the first convoy. During that time they, and the dropships they carried, transported just a bit more than half a million refugees. Despite being often described as "hell ships" by those who had traveled aboard them for their cramped conditions, they still managed to do their part in ensuring that something of the Hegemony would survive the maelstrom Kerensky's desertion and the Succession Wars, but today they are largely forgotten next to the massive Potemkins they sailed alongside as part of the first convoy or the many ships of the Black Fleet which came later. Both the Carracks and the Royaltys would be taken out of service once news of the destruction of Bandon Station reached the Bastion and the main evacuation efforts stopped. The Carracks would be kept in reserve for several decades, and one would ultimately be preserved as a museum ship, but the Royaltys, due to their connection to the hated Amaris, would be scrapped immediately once their usefulness was at an end.

  And yet, there is still a Royalty class transport among the Bastion's museum fleet. This ship, labeled the RWS Pride of Finmark, was not one of the vessels handed over by Kerensky, nor was she some relic stored away in the Black Fleet. She is instead the last surviving ship of the Madsden pirate fleet. This band roved the mid to deep periphery at the end of the 28th century, chasing rumors of lost Star League bases or treasure troves, and much to their misfortune, their search succeeded in 2799 when their fleet managed to stumble into the Bastion. This ramshackle force included a Pinto and a Mako class corvette, an Essex II class destroyer, a very out of place and poorly disguised Liberty class jumpship, and two Royalty class transports, and made the hilariously unwise decision to open fire when confronted by the Seventh Picket Flotilla. Though this engagement might have been dangerously close to a fair fight under normal circumstances, the pirate ships were in such poor condition that the Seventh Flotilla had already very thoroughly taught them the error of their ways before other picket flotillas, much less reinforcements from the Battle Fleet, could arrive to join in. Though the wrecks of the pirate ships would be towed insystem for examination, only the jumpship, which had the good sense to surrender immediately, and the ship later identified as the Pride of Finmark were deemed recoverable. Once engineers had pried every scrap of information from the survivors and the computer systems, the entire lot was ordered scrapped. A reprieve for the Pride of Finmark would come from an unexpected source, members of the Bastion's refugee community, which wished to preserve the former Rim Worlds vessel as a museum commemorating the horrors the Amaris family had inflicted on the Hegemony during their occupation. This request was granted, and the Pride of Finmark was quickly restored to its most likely original condition and colors, and then filled with artifacts and exhibits detailing that dark period donated from refugee families. Additional artifacts and information would be added following the expedition to eliminate the remainder of the Madsden Pirates, and the following relocation of fifteen hundred of their former slaves to the Bastion. The opulence of the luxury accommodations that might have once housed a Rim Worlds official sit side by side next to the unfiltered records and artifacts from the horrible atrocities committed by the Rim Worlds against both Terran and their own citizenry. Many visitors find the contents of the museum ship to be deeply disturbing, even traumatizing, and there have been many efforts to either completely shut down the museum ship or sanitize its exhibits to make them more palatable. The Senate, however, remains unshaken in their resolve in ensuring the Pride of Finmark remains untouched and open to all.

Code: [Select]

Carrack Transport (armored)
Mass: 300,000 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Introduced: 2750
Mass: 300,000
Battle Value: 32,317
Tech Rating/Availability: E/E-X-E-F
Cost: 6,417,878,000 C-bills

Fuel: 2,000 tons (5,000)
Safe Thrust: 3
Maximum Thrust: 5
Sail Integrity: 4
KF Drive Integrity: 8
Heat Sinks: 747
Structural Integrity: 15

Armor
    Nose: 12
    Fore Sides: 11/11
    Aft Sides: 9/9
    Aft: 12

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (2)         2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (2)         2 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (67166.5 tons)    7 Doors   

Ammunition:
    1,000 rounds of NAC/10 ammunition (200 tons),
    500 rounds of NAC/20 ammunition (200 tons)

Dropship Capacity: 2
Grav Decks: 1 (98 m)
Escape Pods: 4
Life Boats: 4
Crew:  25 officers, 80 enlisted/non-rated, 33 gunners, 20 bay personnel

Notes: Mounts 87 tons of improved ferro-aluminum armor.

Weapons:                         Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                   Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (212 Heat)
6 Large Laser                48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
2 Naval Laser 35             104  7(70)   7(70)   7(70)     0(0)   Capital Laser
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)  60   20(200) 20(200) 20(200)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (166 shots)
FRS/FLS (182 Heat)
6 Large Laser                48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
2 Naval Laser 35             104  7(70)   7(70)   7(70)     0(0)   Capital Laser
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/10)  30   10(100) 10(100) 10(100)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/10 Ammo (200 shots)
RBS/LBS (212 Heat)
6 Large Laser                48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
2 Naval Laser 35             104  7(70)   7(70)   7(70)     0(0)   Capital Laser
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)  60   20(200) 20(200) 20(200)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (167 shots)
ARS/ALS (182 Heat)
6 Large Laser                48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
2 Naval Laser 35             104  7(70)   7(70)   7(70)     0(0)   Capital Laser
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/10)  30   10(100) 10(100) 10(100)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/10 Ammo (200 shots)
Aft (212 Heat)
6 Large Laser                48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
2 Naval Laser 35             104  7(70)   7(70)   7(70)     0(0)   Capital Laser
2 Naval Autocannon (NAC/10)  60   20(200) 20(200) 20(200)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/10 Ammo (200 shots)


Carrack Transport (armored - demilitarized)
Mass: 300,000 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Introduced: 2783
Mass: 300,000
Battle Value: 4,288
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-E-F
Cost: 6,447,218,000 C-bills

Fuel: 2,000 tons (5,000)
Safe Thrust: 3
Maximum Thrust: 5
Sail Integrity: 4
KF Drive Integrity: 8
Heat Sinks: 747
Structural Integrity: 15

Armor
    Nose: 12
    Fore Sides: 11/11
    Aft Sides: 9/9
    Aft: 12

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (2)         2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (2)         2 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (48267.0 tons)    7 Doors   

Ammunition:
None

Dropship Capacity: 2
Grav Decks: 1 (98 m)
Escape Pods: 4
Life Boats: 4
Crew:  25 officers, 80 enlisted/non-rated, 33 gunners, 20 bay personnel, 10000 passengers

Notes: Mounts 87 tons of improved ferro-aluminum armor.

Weapons:           Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)     Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (48 Heat)
6 Large Laser  48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
FRS/FLS (48 Heat)
6 Large Laser  48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
RBS/LBS (48 Heat)
6 Large Laser  48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
ARS/ALS (48 Heat)
6 Large Laser  48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
Aft (48 Heat)
6 Large Laser  48   5(48)   5(48)    0(0)     0(0)   Laser       
Code: [Select]

Royalty Transport
Mass: 210,000 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Introduced: 2695
Mass: 210,000
Battle Value: 4,745
Tech Rating/Availability: E/E-X-E-F
Cost: 7,509,212,000 C-bills

Fuel: 500 tons (2,500)
Safe Thrust: 1
Maximum Thrust: 2
Sail Integrity: 4
KF Drive Integrity: 6
Heat Sinks: 269
Structural Integrity: 24

Armor
    Nose: 17
    Fore Sides: 16/16
    Aft Sides: 16/16
    Aft: 11

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (4)         1 Door   
    Bay 2:  Fighter (12)            3 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (87084.0 tons)    4 Doors   

Ammunition:
    96 rounds of Gauss Rifle [IS] ammunition (12 tons),
    180 rounds of SRM 6 Artemis-capable ammunition (12 tons),
    20 rounds of Barracuda ammunition (600 tons)

Dropship Capacity: 4
Grav Decks: 1 (120 m)
Escape Pods: 10
Life Boats: 20
Crew:  16 officers, 71 enlisted/non-rated, 8 gunners, 44 bay personnel, 40 passengers, 20 marines

Notes: Mounts 100 tons of improved ferro-aluminum armor.

Weapons:                                    Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                              Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (46 Heat)
2 Capital Missile Launcher (Barracuda)  20   4(40)   4(40)   4(40)    4(40)   Capital Missile
    Barracuda Ammo (20 shots)
1 Large Pulse Laser                     26   3(33)    1(9)    0(0)     0(0)   Pulse Laser
    4 Medium Pulse Laser
FRS/FLS (15 Heat)
1 Gauss Rifle                            1   2(15)   2(15)   2(15)     0(0)   AC         
    Gauss Rifle Ammo [IS] (24 shots)
1 Large Pulse Laser                     10    1(9)    1(9)    0(0)     0(0)   Pulse Laser
1 SRM 6+Artemis IV                       4    1(8)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   SRM         
    SRM 6 Artemis-capable Ammo (30 shots)
RBS/LBS (30 Heat)
1 Large Pulse Laser                     26   3(33)    1(9)    0(0)     0(0)   Pulse Laser
    4 Medium Pulse Laser
1 SRM 6+Artemis IV                       4    1(8)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   SRM         
    SRM 6 Artemis-capable Ammo (30 shots)
ARS/ALS (15 Heat)
1 Gauss Rifle                            1   2(15)   2(15)   2(15)     0(0)   AC         
    Gauss Rifle Ammo [IS] (24 shots)
1 Large Pulse Laser                     10    1(9)    1(9)    0(0)     0(0)   Pulse Laser
1 SRM 6+Artemis IV                       4    1(8)    0(0)    0(0)     0(0)   SRM         
    SRM 6 Artemis-capable Ammo (30 shots)
Aft (26 Heat)
1 Large Pulse Laser                     26   3(33)    1(9)    0(0)     0(0)   Pulse Laser
    4 Medium Pulse Laser
« Last Edit: 30 October 2023, 03:49:58 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!

Liam's Ghost

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #22 on: 30 October 2023, 00:28:31 »
The overhauls didn't restore any of the NPPCs? ???

Nope, just made sure everything was in order then put them into storage.
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

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 37271
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #23 on: 30 October 2023, 03:40:31 »
Rog, thanks!

Liam's Ghost

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  • Miss Chitty finds your honor rules quaint.
Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #24 on: 31 October 2023, 17:26:07 »
  The end of the twenty eighth century had seen the Bastion's Naval Command go from a tiny patrol and law enforcement force operating as an adjunct to the unmanned but human directed SDS, to trying to construct an entire modern battlefleet all at once, to gradually stumbling, through missteps, difficulties, and outright embarrassments into becoming a true professional navy. And as the century closed, the question on the minds of the Admiralty was "what next?"

  By this point fear of Kerensky and the SLDF attacking the Bastion had long run its course, but the early boom in naval construction it had inspired left the Bastion with a fleet of over four hundred capital WarShips, and this didn't even include the hundred-odd capital drones of the still very much operational SDS network. This wasn't all new construction, of course. Eighty of the active WarShips, making up two thirds of the main battle fleet, were still ships originally drawn from the Black Fleet stockpile, and the majority of these were Riga class frigates laid down anywhere from two to three centuries ago. They were by all accounts good ships, well loved and respected by their crews, but they were old. Even the best ships could not simply ignore the ravages of time, and their machinery, computers, and weapon systems had never been mass produced in the Bastion, meaning maintenance and repair grew increasingly more expensive the longer these ships remained in service.

  There were two obvious solutions to this problem. THe first was to simply build new ships, which the Admiralty was indeed hard at work doing. The Agincourt class of heavy cruisers had originally been intended to completely replace the obsolete Black Fleet ships in the battle fleet. But the poor performance during the end of Fleet Problem Three, which to be fair had more to do with how the class was utilized rather than the Agincourt's flaws, had soured the Admiralty on that program. But the first of their successors, the soon to be iconic Impetuous class, had already cleared the design stage and were soon due to be laid down. But an entire new fleet of the largest capital ships ever built within the Bastion's borders would be expensive, and despite grandiose promises of how quickly these new ships would come flying off the production lines, it would still take time to have enough of them to replace the Agincourts, the drone fleet, and the Black Fleet vessels still in service.

  The other option would be to conduct extensive refits on the existing Black Fleet ships to extend their own service life, similar to what had been done with the battleship Washington, and was currently being planned (experimentally) to convert M-5 drones into manned destroyers. Proponents insisted this could not be a simple overhaul. Instead each ship would have to be taken in hand and practically disassembled, then put back together again with modernized machinery, electronics, and weapons. In extreme cases, it was expected that a particularly badly worn jump core might have to be physically removed from the ship and reforged. This was by no means a cheap or simple process. But potentially, even in the most extreme cases it was reasoned that it would still be a bit cheaper than building an entire new WarShip from the keel up.

  And there was another reason to consider proceeding with the reconstruction program. Since 2796, the Bastion had been conducting Deep Patrols into the surrounding space, searching for signs of potential threats, performing surveys on known settlements, and cataloguing any new discoveries. For safety, it was reasoned that such expeditions needed to be assembled around a capital WarShip able to operate away from resupply for a year or more, and at the moment, the navy had precisely one capital ship that could do that, the battleship Washington. None of the navy's new ships, nor any of ships on the drawing board, could carry the cargo needed, while none of the legacy ships in the Black Fleet were deemed reliable enough to risk on such an expedition, at least not without the sort of extensive reconstruction and modernization already being discussed.

  Politics being what it is, however, the debate and dithering continued to delay any decision at all until mid 2799, when a fleet of ramshackle capital ships and support vessels later identified as the Madsden pirates managed to stumble into the Bastion. The actual threat they posed was basically inconsequential, being rapidly taken apart by a picket flotilla before the rest of the fleet had had time to even respond. Still, the event sent shockwaves rippling through the public, the government, and particularly the media. Here was proof that there actually were threats out there, and that the Bastion's efforts to identify them were clearly insufficient. How many more groups like the Madsden pirates might be out there? What might they be capable of?

  So while the debate over whether or not to fund a refit of the entire Black Fleet raged on, the Senate was suddenly very eager to vote through funding for a pilot program to refit two ships to temporarily supplement the Washington on the Deep Patrol, and, as an afterthought, evaluate what a large scale refit of the Riga class frigates currently in service might look like. The two ships chosen for this refit, the Tallinn and Vilnius, would enter the yards in October of 2799, emerging again ten months later.

  Though only a few visual cues, such as the number and size of the propulsion nozzles, reveal their modified nature to an outside observer, the two frigates came out of the yards as practically new ships, with a new main computer, control deck, power system, and propulsion units based on those originally designed for the Agincourt class. In addition to these basic quality of life upgrades, the ships would also receive the now standard lithium fusion battery and hyperpulse generator, the later particularly valuable in their use in long range operations. Armor protection was essentially unchanged compared to the basic upgrades the ships had first received shortly after arriving in the Bastion, though the execution was much more professionally done than the more slapdash rushed nature of the original refit. The original eclectic armament of the Riga class would be completely discarded in favor of the familiar mix of naval lasers and Imperator/Whirlwind naval cannons. While there had been some talk of mounting the Naval PPCs now being produced for the Impetuous class, this was rejected as production of the new guns had been fully allocated to the new cruisers. Even without these weapons, the bite of the upgraded Riga is nothing to sneeze at. In overall throw weight, the new armament meets or exceeds the originally mounted weapon systems, and the new guns combined with the improved fire control system gave the Tallinn and Vilnius much greater flexibility in battle, as well as vastly improved anti-air capacity due to the preponderance of dual purpose capital laser mounts.

  These changes did have downsides, however. The revision to the weapon system, particularly the installation of so many naval lasers, necessitated a larger crew. And the additional weapons and other systems also took a bit of a bite out of the ship's capacity to transport cargo. These quibbles would prove to be minor, however. In service, the cargo holds of the Tallinn and Vilnius proved more than adequate to supply a flotilla of smaller Hunt class destroyers for the duration of a deep patrol.

  Tallinn and Vilnius rejoining the fleet had an immediate affect. With three ships now available for the task, deep patrols could now be maintained continuously, vastly improving the Bastion's ability to at least go out and have a look around its stellar neighborhood. Unfortunately, any hopes that this would lead to more ships undergoing the conversion process quickly died under the rapid onset of indifference. The Madsden pirates that had been the final push to refit Tallinn and Vilnius soon proved to be an anomaly, and the last of them had been able to barely muster a whimper when a task force headed up by the Washington had descended upon their baseworld. More and more, it was becoming increasingly obvious that there wasn't really anything out there to worry about. Plans to convert additional Rigas for long range patrol were soon quietly shelved, and plans to build all new ships for the same task would not even get off the ground for another full century. Any thoughts of refitting the rest of the Black Fleet likewise died out, as thoughts in the Admiralty turned from looking for new threats to trimming the fat. Black Fleet vessels would be rapidly retired to the mothballs until by 2825 only the Tallinn and Vilnius, as well as the unmodified frigates Memel and Sevastopol (retained as training ships) were still active.

  Tallinn and Vilnius (and occasionally Washington) would still keep up their Deep Patrols, however. With no immediate threats to monitor, many of these patrols took on a decidedly scientific rather than a military bent, with exploration, astronomical research or covert study of the various societies that had risen up in the deep periphery taking the central focus. Others focused on information gathering from the fringes of the Inner Sphere, either conducting signals intelligence in the outermost edges of a star system, or more "proactive" efforts targeting isolated ships operated by the periphery bandit kingdoms or other identified undesirables, supplementing the sliver of intelligence still flowing out from Sol with broader sources of information. These deep patrols would be alternated with regular overhauls and exercises with the rest of the fleet. These activities would continue through the start of the 30th century, when a general modernization of the fleet saw the Tallinn and Vilnius briefly reassigned to the reserve in favor of the brand new Adventurous class of long range frigates, before joining the Memel and Sevastopol in mothballs in 2905, and thus closing the book on the Black Fleet.
 

Code: [Select]
Riga Frigate (2800 - Bastion)
Mass: 750,000 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Introduced: 2800
Mass: 750,000
Battle Value: 113,116
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-F-F
Cost: 16,822,210,480 C-bills

Fuel: 10,560 tons (26,400)
Safe Thrust: 3
Maximum Thrust: 5
Sail Integrity: 5
KF Drive Integrity: 16
Heat Sinks: 2100 (4200)
Structural Integrity: 70

Armor
    Nose: 145
    Fore Sides: 148/148
    Aft Sides: 148/148
    Aft: 145

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Fighter (12)            2 Doors   
    Bay 2:  Small Craft (4)         2 Doors   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (105951.0 tons)   1 Door   

Ammunition:
    840 rounds of NAC/20 ammunition (336 tons)

Dropship Capacity: 2
Grav Decks: 2 (140 m, 65 m)
Escape Pods: 31
Life Boats: 20
Crew:  44 officers, 161 enlisted/non-rated, 59 gunners, 44 bay personnel, 40 marines

Notes: Equipped with
    lithium-fusion battery system
    1 Mobile Hyperpulse Generators (Mobile HPG)
1,050 tons of ferro-carbide armor.

Weapons:                         Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                   Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (600 Heat)
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)  180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (120 shots)
6 Naval Laser 45             420  27(270) 27(270) 27(270) 27(270)  Capital Laser
FRS/FLS (460 Heat)
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)  180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (120 shots)
4 Naval Laser 45             280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser
RBS/LBS (600 Heat)
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)  180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (120 shots)
6 Naval Laser 45             420  27(270) 27(270) 27(270) 27(270)  Capital Laser
ARS/ALS (460 Heat)
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)  180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (120 shots)
4 Naval Laser 45             280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser
Aft (280 Heat)
4 Naval Laser 45             280  18(180) 18(180) 18(180) 18(180)  Capital Laser
   
« Last Edit: 31 October 2023, 17:29:00 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!

Liam's Ghost

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Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #25 on: 31 October 2023, 17:27:58 »
This concludes the Black Fleet portion of the Bastion Navy. Unless I get it into my head to do brief fluff-only writeups on oddball ships like the Zhuge Liang, Insolence, Intractable, and whatever the two League class destroyers might be called.
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: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #26 on: 31 October 2023, 18:12:42 »
Vilnius and Tallinn were inspired choices!  Too bad Klaipeda didn't make the list... ;)

Liam's Ghost

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  • Miss Chitty finds your honor rules quaint.
Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #27 on: 31 October 2023, 18:38:10 »
Too bad Klaipeda didn't make the list... ;)

It did, but someone in the old Terran Hegemony's labyrinthine bureaucracy decided the old German name sounded better to their ear and had it christened Memel instead.

Were the residents of the city happy about that? No. But at that point there would be so many forms to fill out...

I mean, I want to say that was a joke, but this is the same Terran Hegemony that once absolutely had to build nearly three hundred new frigates because of an accounting error.
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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  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #28 on: 31 October 2023, 18:48:01 »
Heh... talk about "Terran-world problems!" ;D

Liam's Ghost

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  • Posts: 7904
  • Miss Chitty finds your honor rules quaint.
Re: The Black Fleet and Bandon Station
« Reply #29 on: 31 October 2023, 23:12:07 »
Bonus content! A destroyer that never was!

  While the Riga class got most of the attention when discussion began around refitting the remaining active ships in the Black Fleet, there was another class still active with the battle fleet. Actually, there were two, but nobody was entertaining thoughts of refitting the unique, troublesome, and excruciatingly foreign built THS Insolence. No, the other class under consideration was the Nagas, of which roughly forty remained in service as of 2800. Their longevity in service, as well as their candidacy for upgrades was based on one simple factor, they were the newest ships in the Black Fleet, with the oldest being "only" around one hundred and thirty years old. This made them fairly reliable, and closer to the technical standards the Bastion worked on, which made them cheaper to maintain.
  They were also, however, not the least bit quick. In fact their poor acceleration capability even compared to their contemporaries was one of the primary reasons the class had such a short service life with the SLDF, and in Bastion service their acceleration profile (along with their size) saw them regularly standing in for the Agincourt class in naval exercises. And after Fleet Problem Three, this limitation alone was enough of a mark against them that, even with their relative youth and reliability they remained in the battle fleet only because there weren't enough Rigas to take their place.
  Any possible refit would therefore have to remove this limitation. At the admiralty's solicitation, several sketch designs would be prepared, most of them roughly what one would expect, swapping over to more readily available weapons and increasing engine power to grant the acceleration of a Hunt or perhaps even a Dickin class. Some engineers seemed to fail to understand the assignment at all, instead sketching out upgrade packages that didn't improve the design's lackluster acceleration one bit.
  But then there was the sketch design labeled F-5. Looking over the first three quarters of the hull, it's about what one would expect. The original naval cannons had been swapped for whirlwind/imperator guns, retaining the triple mount forward, but swapping the original twin mounts on the broadside for singles to save weight. The forward single missile launchers have been swapped for twin Barracuda tubes, again to standardize with the modern fleet, and the mixture of small capital lasers and naval PPCs providing secondary armament have been replaced by four sextuple mounts of dual purpose lasers, potentially making the ship much more effective in the anti-fighter and screening role.
  But then you get to the aft to find that the original twin transit drives have been replaced by six modernized drives, providing three times the thrust of the original drive system. Given that some in the Admiralty were still wondering if the powerful drives planned for the Impetuous and the Eidolon were perhaps too much, this level of acceleration capability was seen as not only absurd, but almost certainly hazardous to any crew expected to operate such a ship in combat conditions. Then there was the question of whether or not the Naga's hull, which had been designed for a much more sedate acceleration curve, could actually sustain such high acceleration, or hard maneuvering, without developing structural or system problems.
  Pure curiosity alone seemed to lead the F-5 design to the simulation stage of the design process, after all the other sketches had already been rejected. These simulations quickly revealed structural weak points in the Naga's existing hull design which were likely to fail during hard maneuvering, risking defects ranging from buckling hull plates and outer supports, to stress fractures developing over time in the jump drive, to one or more of the transit drives breaking free from their mounting points in an ill considered attempt to join the bridge crew by plowing through the hull.
  But, and this was the important thing, these problems could be fixed. And they could be done without a radical redesign of the hull. A second pass at the simulation stage, with a closer eye on making sure the ship didn't break itself apart, would turn out a viable, stable design. The Bastion could, in fact, build this. But would they?
  No. No they wouldn't. The idea of turning the F-5 sketch into a viable design wasn't much more than a flight of fancy, and while it was going on the Navy had already started, then completed, the Eidolon project, and come to the conclusion that they didn't really need a fast rebuilt destroyer when they could instead build more brand new fast cruisers. The sketches and simulation models would be archived and largely forgotten by anybody but the most determined of naval historians until the mid 31st century when, with authorization from the Navy, they would be used to model the ship in the popular multiplayer game Galaxy of WarShips (available to players for a small fee). While the ship's model is faithfully reproduced from its original simulated design, its performance is more strictly governed by the need to maintain a balanced game experience, and historians are generally united on the opinion that the actual vessel would not have generated extra money simply by taking part in an engagement, nor would it be able to spontaneously produce replacement aerofighters as its complement was depleted.

Code: [Select]
Naga Destroyer (2800 - Bastion(NB))
Mass: 540,000 tons
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Introduced: 2800
Mass: 540,000
Battle Value: 82,548
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-X-E-F
Cost: 6,242,848,000 C-bills

Fuel: 2,000 tons (5,000)
Safe Thrust: 6
Maximum Thrust: 9
Sail Integrity: 4
KF Drive Integrity: 12
Heat Sinks: 883 (1766)
Structural Integrity: 68

Armor
    Nose: 101
    Fore Sides: 106/106
    Aft Sides: 106/106
    Aft: 101

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Small Craft (2)         1 Door   
    Bay 2:  Fighter (12)            1 Door   
    Bay 3:  Cargo (14539.0 tons)    1 Door   

Ammunition:
    140 rounds of NAC/20 ammunition (2 tons),
    70 rounds of Barracuda ammunition (360 tons)

Dropship Capacity: 0
Grav Decks: 1 (50 m)
Escape Pods: 10
Life Boats: 22
Crew:  32 officers, 121 enlisted/non-rated, 36 gunners, 34 bay personnel

Notes: Mounts 730 tons of ferro-carbide armor.

Weapons:                                    Capital Attack Values (Standard)
Arc (Heat)                              Heat  SRV     MRV     LRV      ERV    Class       
Nose (180 Heat)
3 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)             180  60(600) 60(600) 60(600)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (60 shots)
FRS/FLS (80 Heat)
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)             60   20(200) 20(200) 20(200)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (20 shots)
2 Capital Missile Launcher (Barracuda)  20   4(40)   4(40)   4(40)    4(40)   Capital Missile
    Barracuda Ammo (30 shots)
RBS/LBS (480 Heat)
1 Naval Autocannon (NAC/20)             60   20(200) 20(200) 20(200)   0(0)   Capital AC 
    NAC/20 Ammo (20 shots)
6 Naval Laser 45                        420  27(270) 27(270) 27(270) 27(270)  Capital Laser
ARS/ALS (420 Heat)
6 Naval Laser 45                        420  27(270) 27(270) 27(270) 27(270)  Capital Laser
Aft (10 Heat)
1 Capital Missile Launcher (Barracuda)  10   2(20)   2(20)   2(20)    2(20)   Capital Missile
    Barracuda Ammo (10 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!