Capital Ship briefing
|Apollo - Commonwealth Cruiser|
In 6792 things were looking pretty grim for the Commonwealth armed forces. They had just been pushed out of the Medina Grand Dukedom, and just one year before TOG had taken control of the Mission Stars Grand Dukedom. In early 6793 the Commonwealth High Command put out the call for a new cruiser design that could stand up to any existing TOG design. Speed was of minor importance. coventry Armaments won the contract. As all ship designers know, triple engines are more efficient than single or double engines because of the space and tonnage saved. Unfortunately, the largest producer of small starship engines had been captured in the Medina Grand Dukedom. Lacking small engineers, the designers at Coventry took two larger battleship-class engines, and mounted them in the Apollo. When the Coventry designers could not turn up a suitable missile system for the cruiser, they decided not to mount a missile system.
The Apollo Class cruiser is one of the older designs in the Commonwealth inventory. Using spare battleship engines, the cruiser has respectable thrust and plenty of power for weapons and shields. The original design specifications called for a Type B spinal mount and a large missile system. For two months, Coventry investigated possible sources of the missile system, all to no avail. Finally, the chief designer decided to give up on the missile system in favour of upgrading the spinal mount to a Type C and enhancing the bay weaponry. The broadside weaponry consists of one 100-gun 30/15 laser battery, two 100-gun 22.5/15 laser batteries, and one 10-gun 22.5/20 laser battery per side. The destructive power of one of the broadsides is enormous. The Apollo also carries one 50-gun 22.5/15 laser battery forward and aft. The anti-fighter/anti-missile weaponry is excellent, able to defeat most attacks within 225 kilometres. The shielding is also very good, provided by six 2700 ton generators manufactured by Coventry Armaments. The Apollo carries 12 squadrons of fighters for additional firepower. The finest electronic suite was installed to make up for some of the improvisations.
After several of the Apollo Class had come off the assembly lines, they were grouped together and sent into the fracas around the planet Chase, the target for a TOG invasion fleet. The naval commander in charge of the defense of Chase formulated a brilliant, but risky plan. Using the heavily armed, but slower Apollo Class cruisers to lure off the TOG naval elements guarding the invasion fleet, he assigned the faster Commonwealth vessels to surprise the TOG forces from behind. IN their shiny new cruisers, the Commonwealth commanders prepared to do battle. Seeing the small groups of new cruisers, the TOG commander assumed that these would be highly maneuverable and lightly armed. He assigned most of his ships to disperse in an attempt to catch the cruisers. Just as the battle was beginning, the faster elements of the Commonwealth swept in and destroyed a sizable portion of the TOG transports and support ships. Unable to catch the swift Commonwealth raiders, the TOG commander took out his frustrations on the unlucky Commonwealth decoy force. Unfortunately for the TOG commander, his surprises for the day were not over. Instead of crushing lightly armed ships, he ran right into the first operational deployment of the Apollo Class cruiser. As the battle raged around him, the TOG commander, knowing that he had lost both this battle and the planet, destroyed his own ship, taking one of the new Apollo Class cruisers with him.
The Apollo Class cruiser can be found in most Commonwealth and Renegade fleets along the TOG-Commonwealth border. It is a favourite ship for newly promoted cruiser officers, as it is extremely durable and forgiving. The recent economic crunch has reduced orders for the Apollo Class in favour of newer and cheaper designs.
|Carthage - Commonwealth Cruiser|
In 6692 the Renegade admirals set about trying to make the most powerful cruiser in space. They wanted a unique design that could serve well in established battle squadrons, replacing the older vessels that were out of date when the Legions left TOG ten years earlier.
The original concept was to build a ship lacking the massive spinal mount carried by most cruisers and concentrating its firepower in huge bays of lasers. The idea was to give the Legions a cruiser with long-range weapons. The original Carthage Class vessels were launched just days before the start of the TOG offensive into Commonwealth space. The first generation of these ships proved to suffer from massive power distribution problems, often shorting out entire bays of weapons in the middle of battle. A refit and redesign beginning in 6724 corrected the problem by eliminating a number of laser bays. This left the remaining weapons spread throughout the bays pace, often giving enemy sensor readings that the ship had far more weapons than it does. Removing these lasers left much engine power untapped. The redesign channeled this energy to extra thrust. Thus began the Renegade tradition of faster ships.
Spinal mounts are effective, but usually only at close ranges. Except for the larger ones mounted on battleships, these weapons do the most damage within ranges of 750 kilometres or less. Tactical doctrine usually held smaller vessels out of this range during maneuvers against enemy squadrons, so the Renegade Legion decided to forgo such a large crowbar and equip this class of ship with long-range laser batteries. The Abrinski Spinal Mount is the smallest mounted on a Commonwealth/Renegade cruiser. The nucleus of firepower on this ship is the massive bays of 100 37.5/20 RO-Crush-OR lasers, the only large lasers manufactured by this firm. On smaller ships, they require difficult maintenance, but the roomy bays of a Carthage simplify service. The side bays also mount 50-gun Rathie Armouries 37.5/5 lasers. These weapons do not have nearly the same impact at longer ranges, but they help make up for th lack of a large spinal mount at close ranges. Forward fire control also maintains 50 Rathie 37.5/5 lasers and a small bay of 37.5/10 lasers, which are primarily used in an anti-fighter capacity. The shield generators are set for a higher flicker rate towards the bow and stern of the Carthage to protect the fighter landing and recovery bays and the small-craft bays at the aft of the vessel. The Carthage Class carries a total of 72 fighters, whose mix varies with the mission. The most common fighters are the Gaul Class, with smaller fighters used in a recon capacity. The Carthage also carries ten 1000 ton craft. These ships debark troops as part of landing operations or supply runs.
The Carthage has a higher thrust ratio than most cruisers. With a small spinal mount, this mobility often plays a vital role in combat. It also makes the Carthage a good patrol vessel for defending a system. As T-Doppler stations pick up ships approaching through T-space, a fast Carthage Class ship can move in for quicker interception. The extended range of its lasers allow it to inflict damage and skip away for another approach. The missile system is considered one of the Carthage's weaknesses. This older TD Hopkons 311 has limited range and damage potential. Its targeting system, despite three software upgrades within the last three years, is still considered the easiest for TOG capital ships to jam.
The Carthage is one of the most common cruisers in service with the Renegade Legions. The highest concentrations along the border with TOG are in Rift and Pembroke Counties, though the recent reassignment of three squadrons to Shannedam County dramatically increases the number there. The Carthage splits its duties between patrol and missions with battle squadrons.
|Colossus - TOG Battleship|
The Colossus Class battleship is considered one of TOG's deadliest space vessels. Its focus is clearly firepower, with an increadible amount of destructive potential in a single broadside. Though the ship is considered slow and awkward, it is very dangerous. Even at intermediate range (750 kilometres), a full volley fro a Collossus' broadside bombardment can strip three-fourths of the armour off a destroyer. At closer ranges, the damage is usually fatal.
All the Bishta Harneth laser bays on the Colossus Class battleship are impressive. The 100-gun 36.5/30 bays are the largest possible on a capital ship. Mounted in tandem with these are two bays of 37.5/10 lasers, also in arrays of 100. The fore and aft portions of the Colossus carry significantly less firepower, but given the ship's main spinal mount, only the aft is ever risk.
Tsparzis Shipyards purchased the Jankowski XXX Class experimental spinal mount for use with Colossus, then Primo Brothers engineers redesigned the mount to provide for a better damper control over the accelerator coils, and more important, 20 percent faster reload and recharge time. After examining these alterations, Jankowski Armaments is planning to redesign its existing product line to incorporate some of the engineering changes. The Hurtlyr 20 missile battery has proven to be both a strong and week point on the Colossus. When properly operated and targeted, the missiles are the deadliest in space. This system has failed sometimes in critical situations, however, because of operational errors and targeting problems in fire control.
Colossus Class battleships carry a total of 60 fighters, usually medium and light. The fighters are primarily for defensive operations because the ship has ample firepower to launch its own attacks. Of the Colossuses in service, most carry numerous Manubalisas and Spiculums. The brain of this ship is the massive Marxum 200 battle computer. With relay stations throughout the ship and a system that constantly diverts core backups to remote sections of the ship, the Marxum 200 is actually able to repair damage and still maintain the most current combat information. It is located directly aft of the Combat Information Centre. The flag bridge of the Colossus is impressive in that it can, in times of an emergency, operate as a lifeboat. If the bulkheads rupture near the flag bridge, it automatically seals itself off from the rest of the ship. With its own armoured protection and the fact that it is built for breakaway if the superstructure is destroyed, the flag bridge can often survive the near-destruction of the ship, with officers intact. This is one of the many reasons that many Grand Admirals select Colossus Class ships as their command vessels.
Though the Colossus is not nearly as widely distributed as the Shiva Class, it is becoming equally popular with the TOG High Command. At present, Shivas that are damaged and in need of repair are being replaced with Colossusses, so that larger numbers now appear in front-line areas of Rift and Shannedam Counties. The ship's performance in combat is admirable. At the Battle of New Dogger Bank in Gilpin County in 6795, a total of five Colossus Class battleships were lost, more than any other class in the engagement. Before these ships fell, however, they accounted for a tonnage ratio of destruction of nearly three to one.
|Conflictor - Commonwealth Battleship|
With the outbreak of hostilities between the Commonwealth and the Terran Overlord Government in the 6720s, the Commonwealth Navy required a massive increase in the construction of warships. Sussex Shipyards was among the first to submit a design for a new battlecruiser that would outweigh most others of its class. Royal Navy commanders vetoed the proposal, however, stating that the ship was too unwieldy to be effective in combat with TOG's more mobile force. After hasty revisions, Sussex resubmitted its design, which increased engine size but reduced some of the questionable weapon systems. The Type D spinal mount was also upgraded to a Type E, and the attached fighters were beefed up. Though hesitant to approve production of such a speedy revision, the CAF accepted the design in the face of rapid TOG advances in the Potsdam Grand Dukedom. The first keel for the Conflictor was laid down in late 6724. With its ample fighter bays, potent array of broadside weapons, and a mass diver to make any grand admiral proud, the Conflictor was often chosen as a fleet flagship. With the test of time, it has proved itself as a dependable ship of the line. Newer battleships have, so some degree, replaced this older design, but the Conflictor is still a common sight in nearly every warring county.
The Conflictor is designed to serve with other capital ships defending Commonwealth systems. With their powerful punch, these are the ships most likely to lead the charge against TOG attackers, seeking the largest ships and duelling it out, toe to toe. Because it is weak in aft-mounted weapons, the Conflictor requires the presence of other capital ships to help defend its Achilles' heel. Against the big guns of TOG battleships, these defending craft often suffer devastating losses. In encounters with the Conflictor, a common TOG tactic is to mount a flank attack with destroyers or frigates to cripple the rear quarter, while heavier ships engage the Conflictor directly.
With its powerful 100-gun 37.5/25 lasers, backed by a pair of
100-gun 30/15 laser bays, this behemoth's broadside is especially fearsome at closer
ranges. Add to that the smaller bays of 50 30/30 lasers, and only heavy cruisers and other
battleships should attempt to close. The 100 front-mounted 30/20 lasers serve as a
moderately effective back-up to exploit any break-through by the Type E spinal mount.
Though not a threat in themselves, they become significant when combined with the spinal
mount. The 50 aft-mounted 30/20 lasers are, on the other hand, little more than
decoration. Like the tail of some giant bovine, they may swat at a passing fly (fighters
take note!) but are incapable of defending the large engines from attack. If the
Conflictor can be isolated from its attendant ships, a concerted attack on the rear
quarter offers an opponent the greatest chance of crippling the ship.
The Conflictor's missile system is plentiful, but lacks the
penetrating power of similar TOG ships. The ship must make successive attacks to achieve
the same level of penetration as a single salvo from the massive Type E missile system.
As befits a ship of this size, the Conflictor houses an impressive fighter complement. Able to transport two complete fighter groups, the Conflictor often deploys this line of defence first. If the groups are not engaged in their own mission, they usually guard the ship's rear section. Deployed in sufficient numbers, these fighter groups have demonstrated their ability to defend the Conflictor. As is standard in Commonwealth doctrine, these fighters shadow their mother ship closely, preferring to engage any attackers near the guns of the battleship.
Considered to be in its decline at the tender age of 100 years, the Conflictor Class battleship is slowly, but surely, being replaced by newer designs. The ship is not unworthy, but its history has not been particularly dramatic. Thus far, production has barely managed to keep pace with losses, resulting in a relatively stable number of Conflictors in active duty over the past 50 years. This number will decline in the coming years as newer class battleships replace losses. The Conflictor is still a favourite of battleship groups in Shannedam County, however. The 871st Battleship Group, for example, uses only Conflictors to lead its squadrons. The ship is also heavily deployed by the 214th Battleship Group and the 3472nd Battleship Group.
|Conqueror - TOG Cruiser|
The Conqueror class cruiser is something of a marvel in the modern TOG Navy. Along with the Tyrannus class, these two ships have begun to replace the older Syracuse class vessels. The Conqueror has several design characteristics that make it stand out from other cruisers, causing it to be the subject of debate among the TOG naval staff. Empire Technologies Incorporated secured the contract for the construction of the Conqueror Class and has done a remarkable job. The ship incorporates the latest in fire-control computers and tracking systems. The cruiser is unusual in that it carries no fighters or other small craft. The Conqueror began production in 6791. The initial 92 Conquerors were recalled for extensive modifications to the Combat Information Centre section in 6810. This modification included the installation of a new T-Dopplar array, as well as upgraded computers.
The design staff at Empire Technolgies implemented a number of changes from the standard cruiser design. The Conqueror has many subtle alterations, such as wider corridors and a more heavily shielded sensor system than many TOG ships. The main gun for the class is the Type B Upton spinal mount, a weapon with a proven track record and a reputation for its ease of maintenance. The strongest aspects of this cruiser are the front and broadside weapons. Besides the massive Upton mount, the Conqueror also supports 100 Diamond Star 30/30 lasers in its forward aspect. This bay provides a deadly sting, especially at close range. The two massive bays of 37.5/20 lasers are also impressive. The Diamond Star weaponry is very expensive, but it is known for its accuracy and quick interface with the Telltronix Battle Computer used in the Conqueror. These two bays of lasers on either side of the ship have long range and excellent firepower, protecting the sides of the vessel from attacks from most smaller vessels. The aft of the Conqueror is clearly the least protected quadrant, with only a 50-gun bay of 15/30 lasers. These weapons are effective only at close range, and ships with better mobility try to maneuver themselves behind a Conqueror for an easy kill. The ship also carries a heavily modified Hermanski Missile Launch System (Model XLV Alpha). Empire Technologies purchased the original hardware and software for the system, then modified it to link with the Telltronix Battle Computer.
The system was thoroughly tested during the initial thrust into Yoventrov County. At the Battle of Lyon in 6806, the TOG 903rd Battleship Group (Rebel Routers) engaged the 2055th Commonwealth Battleship Group. In a drawn-out confrontation, these two fleets staged one of the longest battles of the offensive. Three Conqueror Class ships (Dustin's Bane, Jea's Folly and the Cavalier) all saw extensive action. Jae's Folly and Dustin's Bane became separated from the initial conflict. They spotted a Commonwealth Repulse Class battleship, the Backfire, slowly flanking the scene of the fighting. Both TOG ships dove in on the Commonwealth battleship, unleashing a storm of missiles that destroyed almost all of its portside weapons. Seeing a weakened enemy, the two Conquerors fired their deadly accurate Upton crowbars. Within a matter of minutes, the Backfire was destroyed and the Commonwealth's task force crippled. The lack of fighters on the Conqueror is often seen as a limiting factor in its deployment. Two ships of this class,the Luwanda and the Salome, have been modified to allow for the placement of a squadron of the new Fulman Class fighters. This was done at the expense of massive alterations and the removal of the forward bay of 30/30 lasers. Ten more Conqueror Class cruisers are scheduled for such modifications in the next two years.
The heaviest concentration of Conqueror Class cruisers is in Pembroke County. After successful operations in the crushing of the Bannor Salient, these ships have been moved into more forward positions. Large numbers are also being used in Shannedam and Rift Counties. The deployment of the Conqueror is mostly that of fire support in conjunction with other ships of smaller size and power. It is very rare to find a Conqueror as a flagship of a squadron, but it is not uncommon to have one of these cruisers operating with a heavy carrier on a raiding mission into the Commonwealth.
|Illustris - TOG/CW Battleship|
During the height of the KessRith wars in the late 6500s, posting to an Illustris Class battleship was considered the peak of a Terran Republic naval military career. This massive ship, whose huge laser bays could strip enemy ships of their armour with a single broadside, was always in the forefront of any fighting. Though considered to be in its decline, the Illustris is only recently giving way to such newer battleship classes as the Shiva. For sheer firepower, however, the Illustris knows no match, but the rising cost of the war with the Commonwealth has made the use of such an enormous ship almost prohibitive.
The Illustris mounts two hundred 37.5/30 lasers, the largest made. It is these weapons bays that give the Illustris the long-range firepower that is its hallmark. Supplementing the 37.5/30s are half-bays (battlewagon slang for 50) of 22.5/30 and 15/30 lasers. An attack by this devastating broadside is more feared than anything else in the TOG arsenal. Unlike other ships commonly assigned to fleet duty, the Illustris packs a surprisingly potent fore and aft attack capability that allows it to fend off a concentrated attack even if the battleship becomes separated from its attendant vessels. The Type E spinal mount is the largest available, as befits a ship of this size. Many a tale recounts how this massive weapon has devastated enemy destroyers and frigates with a single shot. The Illustris carries two full groups of fighters to supplement its impressive firepower. Rotated on an annual basis, these fighters perform a wide range of duties when the ship is on patrol. Standard doctrine calls for the deployment of one group of mixed medium fighters, eight squadrons of mixed heavy fighters, and four squadrons of light fighters. Although the mix varies greatly, Spiculums, Arcuses, and Vertums are most common.
The best-known engagement involving the Illustris occurred during
the defection of the Renegade Legions in 6682, just after their epic battle with the
KessRith in the Frawtaw's Star region. When the TOG fleet suddenly arrived, the KessRith
withdrew and the Renegade forces were momentarily stunned. Ignoring its impeding doom, the
Liberty, a Renegade Illustris Class battleship, stood to when attacked by a fleet composed
mostly of frigates and destroyers and led by the heavy cruiser Octavius. As
Caesar's own leaped in for the kill, the Liberty dropped its shields and fired every
weapon it had. The twin broadsides savaged the converging frigates, forcing three to break
off the attack without firing a shot. The spinal mount destroyed the frigate Manius,
boring into the vitals of the ship as it made a head-on attack. Meanwhile, the remaining
TOG ships poured fire into the Liberty. The few breaches were not serious, and the
Renegade commander refused to flee.
In the next hours, the damaged Liberty and Octavius began a dangerous dance of position and counter-position. Constantly hampered by the remaining frigates and destroyers, the Liberty exacted a terrible toll on the smaller ships. Finally, the Captain of the Octavious made a critical mistake and allowed the Liberty close. At the reduced range, the Liberty hit the cruiser time after time with its heavy lasers. Although the Octavious gave almost as good as it got, in the end it was reduced to a floating hulk, gutted by the Liberty. At the moment of the Liberty's apparent victory, however, the Imperial destroyer Noble Incus struck the damaged Renegade ship from the flank. The single broadside proved fatal, starting a series of explosions that broke the spine of the battleship.
The Illustris is not an uncommon sight among battleship squadrons serving on the Commonwealth front. In every county of the Alaric Grand Dukedom, these battleships serve as the flagships for senior TOG admirals commanding multiple battle-ship groups in the Pembroke, Birchshire, and Shannedam counties.Because of the Illustris's age and the existence of a new breed of battleships, units that lose an Illustris in combat are more likely to receive another battleship class as a replacement. Only units with political clout and an excellent track record have been able to acquire Illustris Class ships in the past 20 years.
|Inflexible - Commonwealth Cruiser|
One of the more menacing cruisers used by the Royal Navy is the Inflexible Class. Since its introduction in 6720, it has accounted for more TOG kills than any other ship of its class. The Inflexible is often cited as a classic Commonwealth design approach. It is a fast cruiser, allocating power to the engines for more acceleration instead of to the laser bays. The Inflexible carries the most powerful spinal mount possible for any vessel smaller than a battleship. While somewhat limited in its launch capacity, this ship does carry 72 fighters, making it an excellent candidate for raids against TOG installations and VLCAs. The Inflexible's laser weapons are primarily long-ranged, making the ship suitable for a variety of missions.
Despite some initial technical snafus, the Inflexible has stood the test of time. The heart and soul of this ship is in its massive main gun. The spinal mount launch mechanism is manufactured by Pudlow-Techno in Finor County. This system underwent an extensive software upgrade in 6830 that has shown a remarkable improvement in the accuracy of the gun. The laser bays on the Inflexible are as dangerous as its main battery. Curtis Innovative Technologies supplies the 37.5/10s mounted in the broadside bays. These 200 lasers give the Inflexible a long and deadly reach, allowing it to inflict damage 1500 kilometres away. The only difficulty is that a static energy charge tends to build in the cooling coils during prolonged engagements, shorting out the targeting controls. The front and back of the ship carry Curtis Innovative Technologies Model IV 22.5/10 lasers. Though these weapons have shorter range, they still pack a deadly punch. The Inflexible Class also has two smaller 22.5/10 bays manufactured by Leonardo Industries of Wayne. These smaller weapons are ineffective except at close range. The shield generators on the Inflexible Class are set for a much higher flicker rate at the front of the ship than in any other place. This extra protection allows the ship to break from traditional combat formations and move directly at an enemy instead of relying on broadside defenses. The Inflexible carries 72 fighters in a wide mix of types, varying with the mission. The twelve launch bays give the cruiser rapid-deployment capability that has come into use many times in the long career of this ship.
Loading/landing bays have been provided for 5 1000-ton vessels, which are berthed to the aft, below the main sublight engine thrust ports. Oftentimes, assault boats are stored there for ground-support operations. On specialized raids, modified Pegasus Class corvettes have been stored there, allowing the cruiser to enter a system and deploy five other FTL ships for secondary raids. This can confuse T-Doppler stations and other sensor arrays along the TOG/Commonwealth border. As with other parts of the Inflexible, the Acban Missile Delivery System has also had its share of problems in the past, though most have been resolved at this point. The main difficulty came in a T-Damper used to suppress low-yield tachyons after the re-entry into N-space. The dampers altered the targeting of the missiles by several dozen metres, at random. Since the discovery of the problem, the Royal Navy has issued field orders with instructions how to correct the problem aboard ship. The Renegade Legion has shown a keen interest in the Inflexible Class, purchasing them at a substantial rate. Somewhat bolder in their use of this cruiser than the Royal Navy, the Renegades have used them on several penetrating raids into TOG space, usually on supply runs to worlds that have fallen to TOG but have loyal partisans.
The Inflexible Class is one of the most widely used cruisers within the Royal Navy and the Renegade Legion. As part of a lend-lease program, a dozen of these ships have worked their way into KessRith hands as well.
Inflexibles fill many different roles. They are excellent ground-support vessels, and work well in battle squadrons, and have unique capabilities that allow them to work in a raiding capacity. In more remote locations, Inflexible Class cruisers serve as flagships for squadrons.
|Invictus - TOG Cruiser|
The Invictus is a standard TOG heavy cruiser design, seen in almost every corner of TOG space. Its combination of speed, firepower and protection provides a balance that accounts for the design's long life and is a benchmark for newer cruiser designs. The ship is also widely deployed that the sight of a patrolling Invictus, more than any other ship, has come to symbolize the might of the Imperial Navy.
The Invictus is an old design, dating to the initial TOG offensives against the Commonwealth in the 6720s. Since then, the cruisers have spread to fleets throughout TOG space. More than 500 naval shipyards across the empire still manufacture the Invictus, making it one of the most widely subcontracted warships in TOG history. In fact, the original manufactuerer, Haskell-McLaughlin Defence Industries, no longer makes the Invictus, instead licensing the design to others.
Because the Invictus has become so commonplace, the design has come to be regarded as the "normal" cruiser. Its weapons are considered standard, with the possible exception of the missile system, which critics consider light for a cruiser. The laser bays and spinal mounts do significant damage, enabling the Invictus to make its contribution on the battle lines. On the other hand, mobility is only average, limiting missions to set-piece battles, planetary invasions, routine patrols, and other operations not requiring special agility.
One key reason the Invictus has lasted so long is its reliability. The cruiser is one of the easiest to service and maintain in the TOG Navy, both in and out of combat. Components are easy to repair and replace. With one exception, all systems were based on standard, proven models of equipment already in service. The designer's intent was to build a rugged, simple ship. The cruiser's longevity is a testament to its success. Though none of these systems could be considered state-of-the-art, even when originally installed, the fact that the Invictus has one of the highest readiness rates in TOG history has endeared this ship to naval planners and sailors alike. These maintenance characteristics make the Invictus a favourite posting in frontier regions and distant combat zones, where sophisticated repair facilities are scarce.
The spinal mount used on the Invictus is a good example of this philosophy. The unit is based on a captured KessRith design. The TOG Navy usually disdains alien technology, but the rugged simplicity of the design, as well as its low operating cost, so impressed TOG designers that they decided to try a version on the Invictus. The weapon has lived up to its reputation and is one of the most cost-effective spinal mounts in the TOG inventory.
Defensive systems are equally rugged. Based on the old Scutum Class frontier cruisers of the previous century, the shields, armour and other defenses are as reliable as in any recent history. The vessel's shields are considered among the finest in the fleet, outperforming even those of newer vessels. Strangely, the shields do not perform as well when installed on other ships. Invictus crews point out that it is the total package that counts, not a part of it.
The one area that uses state-of-the-art components is the command and control system. The Invictus uses the Excubitor 3000 series computers to run the operations centre, the flag bridge, and the main bridge. From these positions, the system has total control over the ship. This advanced system was one of the finest of its time and can still hold its own today. Some say that the Excubitor, built by Ferguson Computer Systems, is the heart of the Invictus.
The only problem with the Invictus is its age. Approaching its 111th year of service, the ships are beginning to wear out. Some components that were once standard are now considered obsolete. As a result, the Invictus has been withdrawn from front-line combat service and is serving out its remaining tenure on less demanding assignments. An ongoing staff study was begun ten years ago to find a replacement for the Invictus. Several designs emerged, but none has found favour with the Naval High Command.
The Invictus is commonly deployed in support of a battleship group or on routine patrol duty. Other missions for the Invictus include system-defense and carrier escort. Most Invictus cruisers are assigned to reserve fleets.
|Iron Duke - Commonwealth Battleship|
With TOG's Blitzkrieg-like attacks into Bannor County beginning in 6791, the Renegade commanders decided to commission a new battleship class to help fend off the TOG advances. Many of their capital ships were also showing the effects of age.
The new battleship would emphasize speed, a feature lacking in most TOG vessels of this class. It would also support massive long-range firepower at the expense of short range bays. More important, the ship would carry more than 72 fighters, the TOG standard.
Thus was born the Iron Duke Class, a pocket battleship, putting a priority on speed instead of weapons. The first keel was laid down in 6792, and the new ship immediately went into active duty. The first ship of the class, the Bidwell, proved to be a smashing success. During TOG's drive through the Bannor County worlds of Shetti, Thunder, Hove, and Feywarren, the Bidwell destroyed two older TOG battleships of the Ultor Class (now obsolete and decommissioned). The Bidwell had the advantage of speed over the slower TOG battleships of the same weight class and enough firepower to cripple them with repeated passes at long range. The Royal Navy has also taken a strong liking to the ship, with several Iron Dukes now in its own ranks. The KessRith call the ship "Fek-Tar", which loosely translates as "solid kick/punch." Having contributed the design for the massive Hista E spinal mount, the KessRith have more than 1,000 Iron Dukes in their fleets.
The firepower of the Iron Duke Class is impressive, to say the least. The most powerful main gun in the entire Renegade Legion fleet, the KessRith-designed Hista 400, is the core. The weapon has its own fire-control system that can act independently of the Combat Information Centre in case of emergencies, though targeting the weapon when in this mode is somewhat limited.
In addition to its massive spinal mount, the Iron Duke supports two 100 Rathie Armouries 37.5/25 lasers. After three direct hits, many destroyers have little armour left, even at long ranges. The Iron Duke's fore and aft are protected by the smaller Hodge Industrial Laser Concepts 37.5/5s arrayed in bays of 100. The weakest area of ship's defence are the laser bays dedicated to close-range anti-fighter roles, just beyond the range of the turrets. For this purpose, the class has only two bays of 50 Hodge 30/5 lasers, which are weak and of limited utility. The Iron Duke's speed separates it from other battleships that patrol and raid on the TOG/Commonwealth border. Diverting power from the Regaulta engines for thrust allows the ship to move quickly in and out of battle. Also, because its weapons are geared to long-range combat, the Iron Duke can maintain a distance from standard frigates and cruisers.
The battle of New Dogger Bank took place on November 6, 6801, at a small, uninhabited star system dubbed DGR-19003 in Gilpin County. It was a massive battle by modern standards, with over 14 battle squadrons directly or indirectly involved on either side. While both sides left the field with bloodied noses, the Iron Duke Class proved itself. With ten Iron Dukes leading the Renegade 1214th and 3099th Battleship Groups, all but three survived the five-day battle and remained operational. They accounted for the destruction of nearly six times their mass, some of the most impressive figures form the battle. New Dogger Bank showed that massive ship confrontations would not alter the course of the war. It also indicated that a battleship is best suited for defensive operations and that deep-penetration raids are not its forte. After this battle, both sides reevaluated their ships' dispositions, consigning more Iron Dukes to a system-defense role.
|Kardeesh B'Arkahhr (Bone Crusher) - Kessrith Cruiser|
A KessRith cruiser of impressive power and weaponry, the Kardeesh B'Arkahhr was integrated into the Commonwealth Navy in 6808. The Bone Crusher is produced in only a handful of KessRith shipyards within the Commonwealth, and combat losses often exceed production. Despite this, the Kardeesh is becoming an increasingly important part of front-line battleship squadrons. It is not as nimble as many Commonwealth cruisers, and so this prized ship is rarely deployed alone. With so few available, it is rare fro two of these ships to operate in the same squadron.
Command of a Kardeesh normally rests on the massive front shoulders of a KessRith Clan Chief. Given the aggressive tendency of these huge beings, it is small wonder that these cruisers average one month in the repair docks for every two months on active duty. When in service, however, a Bone Crusher delivers an impressive amount of firepower, based on the powerful 30/25 laser. This weapon is deadly at all but the most extreme ranges, but the KessRith commanders prefer the brutality of a close-in slugfest. The supplemental weapon systems of the class are only slightly less impressive. As is the KessRith standard, the cruiser packs a potent punch from all angles, though the range of the rear-firing 7.5/25 laser bay is negligible. The missile system is normally found only on battleships. When coupled with the group of heavy fighters and the Class C spinal mount,the weaponry lets the Bone Crusher live up to its name.
The Kardeesh is power-rated at 98,000, near the top of the cruiser classification. Despite this impressive array of engines,the ship is somewhat sluggish to control. The shielding system of the cruiser is unlike any other mounted by the Commonwealth. The front flicker generators are massive, providing the armoured nose with an added measure of protection. This additional protection is achieved at the expense of the rear quarter, but the KessRith seem to like the arrangement. When working with other ships of the squadron, the Bone Crusher will maneuver to bring the Class C spinal mount into play as quickly as possible. Though the range is not as great as that of the two broadsides, this direct confrontation is more the style of the KessRith. A single strike from this weapon at close range will open a gaping hole in any TOG cruiser currently in service. KessRith commanders follow up such attacks with fire from the broadside laser bays. The weakest attack area of the cruiser is, like other KessRith designs, the back. It is somewhat surprising that the 7.5/25 lasers are installed at all. Effective only at close range, the weapons are rarely used. Supplementing the lasers and spinal mount is the large missile delivery system mounted on any Renegade or Commonwealth ship. The massive system can deliver three salvos of killer HELL missiles at a rage of more than 1000 kilometres. Normally, the KessRith commanders launch these salvos as soon as possible. Rather than attack other cruisers or battleships with these missile barrages, however, the KessRith seem to prefer to use them to strip away smaller capital ships. A single barrage can gut a frigate, even with the anti-missile systems firing as fast as possible.
Fighters carried by Bone Crushers are always heavies. The KessRith willingly sacrifice speed to provide an extra measure of firepower or protection. Fluttering Petals are common, as are Avengers. LIkewise, the twelve small craft housed in the ship bays are all heavily armed and armoured. They perform all of the functions normally required by the ship's boats on other cruisers, but these craft are specially designed to carry squads of KessRith marines.
The Bone Crusher has never been available in quantity due to the small number of production facilities. At present rates, ten new Crushers become available every year. Should the KessRith choose to release details of the design and its construction, however, this number would increase dramatically. Six of the Renegade battleship squadrons currently serving in Shannedam County use the Kardeesh, but this is an unusually high percentage. Most counties within the Commonwealth have from one to five of these ships assigned to a permanent battleship squadron and another one or two for use as reinforcements. Many of these ships will be in for repairs, however, due to the blunt fighting style of their KessRith commanders.
|Kondracke - Commonwealth Cruiser|
The Kondracke Class heavy cruisers have only recently come into service, but they are already causing a stir in TOG naval planning circles. The cruiser's unusual configuration and expected deployment give Commonwealth and Renegade forces a new way to attack TOG systems when they least expect it.
The Kondracke Class evolved out of a design study conducted by the Commonwealth Naval Planning Bureau, the Commonwealth Navy's chief think tank. In 6810 the bureau proposed a radical cruiser that could serve as a ship of the line and as a raider mothership. The proposal sparked immediate controversy. Critics opposed the ship's expense and purpose, calling the Kondracke a gold-plated monstrosity. Proponents countered with endless staff studies that supported their claims of the ship's versatility and combat effectiveness. Until the cruiser has seen significant combat, these debates are expected to continue.
The Kondracke is laid out as a typical heavy cruiser. Engines, command and control systems, armament, and defensive systems are all configured along conventional lines. Standard components are used throughout to increase the reliability of the vessel and to speed construction. The Kondracke is manufactured at facilities in the Island Stars, Havershom, and Masada Grand Dukedoms, with the primary contractor being Bristol Naval Construction of the Havershom Grand Dukedom.
The weapons suite on the Kondracke is average for a cruiser its size. The spinal mount is the lighter of the two normally mounted on cruisers, but the missile system and the bay weapons can both inflict substantial damage. Opting for reliability over innovation, the designers installed only proven, easily repaired weapon systems in the Kondracke.
What makes the Kondracke unique is its small-ship bay. With a mass of 210,000 tons, this huge bay can be reconfigured to carry everything from 1000 ton shuttles to 3000 ton FTL escorts. The most commonly carried are the Solstice Class and the Pegasus Class. This gives the cruiser the ability to attack a system, while using the corvettes to raid other targets in the same or nearby systems. It could also hide in an uninhabited system or deep space and serve as a tender for the raiding patrol class vessels. Another option available to Kondracke commanders is to use Solstice corvettes to lift all or part of the fighter complement into the target system separately. The fighters could then enter the fray at a time and direction of their choosing. If the corvettes can enter the system undetected, the unexpected reinforcements could turn the tide of a battle. Even if detected, the fighters can distract the enemy.
To control all this activity, the Kondracke uses a modified Ericson-Laval 380 computer system. This unit is normally found on the flag bridges of Commonwealth batttleships and is used to communicate with, and control, the elements of a battleship squadron. In this case, the designers have adapted the unit especially for use with escorts, corvettes, gunboats, and fighters. In training exercises thus far, the system has performed well, though its utility in combat has yet to be tested. Another key to the success of the Kondracke's mission is information. A ship like the Kondracke must know the area around it in detail to guard against surprises, either natural or man-made. To this end, the cruiser carries a Koppel Eagle-Eye sensor suite. These are generally found on scout ships and intelligence-gathering vessels. One of the finest sensor systems, the Eagle-Eye can detect and track any fighter-sized object in a solar system, providing the Kondracke with a degree of security that warships to not usually enjoy. Given the cruiser's generally solitary deployment, the added expense of the sensor system was deemed necessary.
The Kondracke is just entering service, so its final deployment plan has yet to be worked out. Currently,the ships are assigned to Theatre Reserve Fleets to be used for independent operations.
|Mars - TOG Battleships|
Mars vessels are officially battleships, but battlecruiser might be a more appropriate classification. Indeed, the TOG Naval Procurement Board originally called for a vessel that cost less than a battleship, but could outfight a conventional cruiser, in short, a battlecruiser. The Procurement Board wanted a battlecruiser fast enough to catch Renegade cruiser, even those with higher-than-normal thrust. In addition, it wanted a battlecruiser that could destroy the cruisers it caught, without assistance and with only minimal damage to itself. Added to that, the new vessel was to cost significantly less than a battleship.
The first Mars Class battlecruiser came off the assembly lines in 6752. The ship was beautiful, mounting enough weaponry to devastate even the largest conventional cruiser for less than half the cost of most battleships. What's more, the ship proved able to deliver more thrust than its designers had even foreseen. Imperial Yards had built the closest thing to a perfect ship.
The Mars Class battlecruiser is a perfect blend of speed, armour, firepower and cost effectiveness. It is also one of the few classes of ships built for a specific mission and then used mostly for that mission. The original mission of the Mars is to hunt down and destroy cruiser task forces. Although able to stand in the line of battle, that is not where the Mars shows its strong points.
The Mars Class battlecruiser mounts weaponry somewhat weaker than a normal battleship, but still much stronger than on a conventional cruiser. The Meson-Allison Type D spinal mount is reliable and can disable most opponents. The main bay weaponry consists of two 50-gun 22.5/10 laser bays per side and the heavy punch of two 100-gun 30/10 laser batteries on each broadside. Anti-Fighter/anti-missile defenses are also excellent, mainly because of coordination by the sophisticated FMTAWS (Fighter/Missile Threat Awareness Warning System). The Mars' missile arrangement is somewhat smaller than on a regular battleship, but it is more than adequate against Renegade cruisers. The Mars Class battlecruiser also carries a fighter contingent of 24 squadrons, or 144 fighters, double the amount on any cruiser. The thrust available on the Mars is also impressive, being roughly equal to that of a normal frigate. Another unique advantage of the Mars Class is the triple redundance of systems. All major units have at least two back-up systems, widely separated to enhance the ship's survivability and to permit it to function longer after sustaining damage.
Mars class battlecruisers are predominantly deployed along the TOG/Commonwealth border as fast raiders used to interdict the flows of supplies to besieged planets. They are also used as hunter-killer groups against Commonwealth cruiser groups.
In 6784, the TOG Naval Procurement Board ordered Mars Class battlecrusiers to be built in lieu of regular battleships in backwater systems attempting to maintain their naval-support quotas. As a result of that order, many third- and fourth-rate systems can boast a Mars Class battlecruiser squadron, much to the dismay of raiding Renegade squadrons. This class may be aging, but it is still holding its own.
|Nalandam - Commonwealth Cruiser|
The Nalandam Class cruiser is one of the more successful recent Royal Navy designs. Built as a strike cruiser, the design attempts to project increased offensive firepower forward, giving the vessel more attack capability in this arc than some battleship designs. With this advantage come some dangerous weaknesses. The class has very little aft firepower, and its fighter complement is small. Not designed for independent operations, the Nalandam Class is used as an offensive adjunct to fleet operations.
The Nalandam Class uses its forward bays to the fullest. Known as
a "mix-it-up" cruiser, it is designed for close assault. Because of this,the
Nalandam has a limited fighter complement but increased marine strength for boarding
Usually used in strike cruiser groups of four to eight vessels each, the Nalandams normally form the vanguard of any fleet formation, with as much all-around defensive and fighter protection from other vessels a possible. These strike cruiser groups then perform tactical maneuvers to penetrate an enemy formation, taking advantage of any weakness or tactical blunder by the opposing admiral. Nalandams are most efficient when they have a specific mission, such as attack of a particular capital ship or flag vessel. Fleet admirals must remember the limitations of the Nalandam Class and provide them with sufficient support from other types of vessels. As a specialty cruiser, the Nalandam is a success for the Royal Navy.
The Nalandam cruiser is an offensive firing platform. Its Type C spinal mount, coupled with two 25-gun 37.5/5 forward firing bays, give the vessel respectable punch. Larger 100-gun 37.5/15 broadside bays offer an increase in firepower as the range closes or multiple targets present themselves. With four additional 50-gun 30/20 broadside bays, the vessel can more than hold its own in pitched battle. Increased shield strength on all fore parts of the ship also help it complete its offensive mission.
The major weakness of the Nalandam Class is the lack of rear weapons and protection. Only a single 10-gun 37.5/5 bay can fire aft, and shield strength is weakest here. Most admirals take this into account by providing the ships of the Nalandam Class with enough support and defensive firepower to aid them in combat. Unfortunately, not even good planning can control every situation, and the vessels sometimes take fire from the rear, sustaining heavy damage in the process.
The Nalandam Class can carry only a single fighter squadron, leaving it dependent on other vessels in the fleet for protection from massed fighter attacks. The vessels carries standard cruiser-weight armour, as well as turret weapons and a Type A missile system. Cargo capacity is an adequate 5000 tons. The Nalandam can also carry up to 100 passengers, but not in comfort. The passenger accommodations often carry lower-ranking reinforcement personnel to far-flung fleet stations.
The marine complement of the Nalandam Class is considered adequate for small planetary landing and boarding parties. Three of the six small craft carried by the Nalandam Class are 300-ton Rapier assault craft for use by the marines. The other three are ship's gigs and cutters of standard designs. Overall, the Nalandam Class is efficient in its specific mission of fleet-supported strike and assault.
As a newer cruiser type,the Nalandam Class is still entering service. Currently, 4,800 vessels of this type are scattered among Commonwealth fleets, and 320 serve with Renegade Legion forces. Because of its unique mission profile,the Nalandam Class has taken heavy losses in combat. Since the Nalandam entered the fleet in 6818, 256 ships of this class have been lost in battle or damaged so severely as to be stricken from the active list.
|Overlord - TOG Heavy Carrier|
The Overlord Class carrier, laid down in 6820, is one of the most controversial designs ever to come off TOG drawing boards. It also happens to be the largest ship ever constructed, massing at 19,993,503 tons, almost five times that of a Shiva Class battleship. The cost of the Overlord is also immense, almost three times that of the Shiva. Indeed, the price tag of 74,932,537,085 talents does not even include the cost of the fighters carried on board.
The Overlord Class is a massive ship that takes 10 years from the start of construction to achieve operational status. The Overlord Class Mannius is the largest ship ever produced, carrying seven fighter wings. The fighter bays take up more than half the available space and almost a quarter of the tonnage. The fighter launch-tube arrangement deserves special mention. Realizing the difficulty of coordinating and keeping such large numbers of fighters in coherent formations, the designers determined that each squadron should be launched as a complete entity. Placing six launch tubes side by side in a single bay enabled a whole squadron to launch at the same time. To avoid having to build more than 2000 launch tubes, the designers decided to "stack" six squadrons, or a total of 36 fighters, in the same launch bay. Using these techniques, the Mannius can launch three wings of fighters in five minutes. Extra landing facilities were also installed to enable the carrier to maintain a quicker turn-around time. Up to two wings can land and processed in five minutes. Using two large recovery "scoops," one above and one below the ship, the fighters land and are secured by a large mechanical arm. The arm then moves them to their correct turbo lifts, which returns the fighter to its proper bay for rearming. Overlord Class carriers are fully armed combat ships. One 50-gun 37.25/25 laser bay is mounted in the fore and aft of the ship, along with a broadside consisting of three 50-gun 37.5/30 laser bays per side. Anti-fighter/anti-missile batteries run along all sides of the ship. These batteries are so densely packed that few fighters or missiles can get through. The missile systems' armour and shielding are also massive. Maneuverability is surprisingly good for a ship of this size, equalling most battleships.
Many argue that the Mannius is to vulnerable a ship for its high
price. Though it is true that the Mannius is not more resistant to damage than a normal
battleship-size carrier, its many more fighters can protect it from such damage while
scoring more hits. Additionally, the Overlord Class requires fewer escort ships than other
carrier task groups, offsetting its higher cost.
Opponents of the Overlord class cite the advantages that several smaller carriers would have over a larger one. They say that the Overlord can only be in one place at a time, while two or more smaller carriers could over multiple threats. Proponents retort that the Overlord Class was not built to "cover threats," but to eliminate them. This, they say, the Overlord Class could do easily. While the controversy rages on, funds have been withheld from the construction of further Overlord models.
As of 6830, the Mannius is the only operational Overlord Class battleship carrier. One additional unit is currently under construction, but is several years away from completion. The Imperial Senate is withholding funds from the project until it can be further evaluated, preferably with a test of the Mannius in combat. The Mannius is currently stationed in the Terra system, engaged in fleet maneuvers, as it has been since its commission. Despite many calls for the Mannius to be sent into combat, the TOG High Command seems reluctant to do so. Meanwhile, this untried vessel is the most discussed and photographed ship in the history of the Terran Overlord Government.
|Proelium - Commonwealth Heavy Carrier|
The Proelium is one of the largest battleship carriers currently in Commonwealth service. The Proelium Class is critical to the success of planetary invasions, and ambitious commanders consider it a prestige command. Fast and reasonably well-armed, these battleship carriers accomplish their assigned missions with deadly skill. On the negative side, the Proelium is expensive to build and maintain, keeping the procurement rate low compared to other heavy carriers.
The Proelium is a classic heavy carrier design. Able to launch its entire compliment of 1800 fighters in 30 minutes, the Proelium is a respected opponent. Its five fighter wings can sweep a system clean of opponents, including battleships. What the Proelium cannot do is adequately defend itself against capital ships. Though it can handle limited fighter and small-ship attacks, against cruisers and battleships the carrier is vulnerable if its fighter wings are occupied elsewhere. The key difference between the Proelium and earlier large carriers is its mobility. The Proelium is fitted with Belenski StarFire 360 engines, which can reroute additional power to themselves, giving a capital ship the thrust of a standard frigate. A capital ship with increased thrust also has a larger maneuver sphere, making it more difficult to track or defend against. This increased agility and large fighter complement makes the class an exceptional weapons platform. The Belenski engines are also the source of numerous maintenance headaches. This has contributed to a substandard readiness rate. The fighter-launch facilities are the ship's offensive arm. They are based on standard designs that are reliable. The fighter bays can handle any design up to 300 tons, allowing the Proelium to carry any fighter currently in service. The fighter bays have mobile walls, enabling ground crews to set up the bays into the configuration most suited to the currently assigned fighter complement. Both fighter and ground crews report favourably on the Proelium's roomy launch and recovery bays, in contrast to their gripes about smaller ships. The Proelium's weapons suite is a bit light for a heavy carrier. This is due to the engine thrust modification, which diverts a third of the power normally allocated to weapons. The weapons do a respectable job of defending the ship, however. The carrier does require escort vessels if it is to survive in a combat zone while its fighters are engaged.
One of the Proelium's most interesting features is the large
missile system, usually installed only on battleships. The monstrous Type E missiles are
capable of inflicting grievous harm on even the largest vessels, and the Proelium can
launch three salvos of these beasts. Designers installed the missiles at the last-minute
to give the carrier some additional teeth. Defensive systems are standard for a
vessel of this class. One potential problem area is the shield generators. The
Harding-Burleson model is state-of-the-art but requires constant attention. If not
regularly maintained, it is prone to malfunction. The Proelium's command and control
system is one of the most advanced in the Commonwealth Navy. Based on the popular Argus
6000 system installed on the Shiva class battleships, the Argus is capable of handling all
communications, from voice to image, for the carrier, its fighter wings and escort
vessels. The system ensures a quick response to changes in orders and gives the commander
a flexibility in combat that most would envy.
The Proelium's large marine contingent also deserves note. Three times larger than the standard force assigned to most battleships, marines assigned to the Proelium are mainly used in an anti-boarding role. The number of marines was increased because of the cavernous fighter bays and flight decks. With 1500 marines attached to the Proelium, the ship is well-protected against all enemy boarders. The complement also serves as a fleet reserve if needed for special missions.
The Proelium is typically deployed as part of a carrier battle group or in support of battleship squadrons. The ship is used almost exclusively for system-wide invasions. When not involved in campaigns, Proeliums are commonly found in key systems, their fighter wings supplementing local system-defence forces.
|Repulse - Commonwealth Battleship|
One of the last battleship classes still in service since before the outbreak of war between the Commonwealth and TOG in 6720, the Repulse Class cannot compete with many of more advanced battleship designs that have since appeared. Because the Royal Navy needs every ship it can muster, however, many Repulse Class ships are still on active duty along the front.
No battleship group ever receives more than one. Considered an expendable ship, it must often lead the line to take most of the initial fire. These tactics have not made the Repulse Class a particularly sought-after billet.
The Repulse Class was designed as an integral part of Commonwealth battleship groups in the late 67th century. At that time, they were considered front-line ships, able to withstand the greatest punishment. In the 150 years since that time, battleships of more than 56 times the size of the Repulse Class have been designed. The class has never been reclassified as a second-line battleship, because Commonwealth battleship groups are usually too desperate for replacements. Thus do Repulse class vessels still face off with ships one-tenth their age.
In its prime, the Repulse Class mounted considerable firepower. The Type D spinal mount was more than adequate, though today's weapons supersede it. Designed for long-range fire, the four 100-gun 37.5/5 bays mounted on the broadsides provided plenty of accurate fire. Two additional 50-gun 37.5/30 bays complement the main broadside battery. These side bays still function effectively in today's battles, one of the main reasons that the Repulse is still viable. Fore and aft fire, although limited, is provided by one 50-gun 37.5/30 bay and one 25-gun 22.5/15 bay at either end of the ship. These mountings allow for additional long-range fire and some close-in coverage but are inadequate by today's standards. Repulse Class ships are equipped with a standard battleship turret system, as well as a state-of-the-art Type E missile system. Another positive note is the unusually large fighter complement. Nesting in the expansive hangar are two full groups, 144 fighters. These craft give the Repulse versatility in offensive and defensive strategies and can go the to the aid of other ships in the fleet if necessary.
The Repulse Class serves in every front-line area of the Commonwealth. With more than 5000 still on the active list, it will be several decades before battle damage and attrition take their full toll. Repulse Class ships have been involved in many notable actions against TOG forces. One of the more famous occurred in 6791, when the 95th Battleship group, containing the Repulse Class ships Retaliation, Retribution, Resor, Rondalia, Ragire, and Runholme, was intercepted while attempting to cover evacuations of the planet Nandy in Gilpin County of the Alaric Grand Dukedom. While TOG battleship groups attacked to cover the landing of their 2562nd Strike Legion, the 95th placed itself between the enemy fleet and the fleeing Commonwealth transports. Admiral Wallingford, aboard the Retaliation, was in overall command of the evacuation. After commanding all escorting vessels away from the 95th, he charged his six battleships at the enemy. Outnumbered nearly ten to one, the Commonwealth vessels took massive punishment but took down two TOG battleships and three cruisers before being overwhelmed and destroyed. The last battleship to fall silent and drifting was the Retaliation, which finally exploded near a TOG Shilagash class cruiser, taking that vessel with her.
|Seneca - TOG Cruiser|
The Seneca is one of the newest ships in the TOG Navy. Designed from plans approved in late 6817, the Seneca experienced a complicated series of growing pains before finally reaching the first-line units in the spring of 6826. Built to replace the Saracuse, the Seneca avoids some of the basic design flaws that limited its predecessor. With both standard speed and armour, the Seneca usually serves in battleship squadrons. The addition of a forward bay, which supplements the Type C spinal mount, and the single aft bay provide the Seneca with additional protection and the ability to strike out on its own if necessary. The ship itself is not large, but it has a high power requirement. This increase in power and decrease in size has given Commonwealth captains some difficulty. Although the weapon systems are not as massive as those of older designs, the diversity of the weapons is seen as an acceptable tradeoff for the heavier hitting power of a single array of lasers within a bay. Captains praise the improved missile delivery system on the Seneca as its single greatest improvement.
The Seneca does most of its fighting at medium range. The weapons array is built round the Type C spinal mount. The compactness of the Seneca has caused unforeseen difficulties when it fires its spinal weapon. The spinal mount strains the entire structure of the ship. This prompted designers to install a second set of braces along the main shaft of the weapon. This bulky support network has given servicing technicians nightmares, as normally accessible openings are now obstructed by 100 tons of steel. A spinal mount is expected to take up much room on a capital ship,but on the Seneca it makes up almost one-third of the mass. Supporting any damage casued by the spinal mount is a bay of 100-gun 7.5/30 lasers. These "stubbies" provide an excellent attack,but the short range limits their usefulness. The broadsides of the Seneca were designed for twin bays of complementing lasers. The 50-gun 37.5/15 laser bays have a range of 1500 kilometres. At a range of 1150 kilometres, the 100-gun 30/20 laser bays triple the attack strength. The aft section mounts a single bay of 25-gun 37.5/30 lasers. Though their range is exceptional, the aft lasers are not deployed in sufficient numbers to provide the Seneca with a credible deterrent. The bays do allow the captain to snipe at careless Renegade targets attempting to register a cheap shot on the cruiser's aft.
The missile system is considered first-rate. Even though heavier systems are available, they invariably suffer from severe maintenance problems in any class lighter than a battleship. The original design called for a heavier Type E missile system. Though designers had confidence in their system, they reluctantly agreed to downgrade it to provide better access to maintenance points. The fighter bays of the Seneca take advantage of every available technological advancement. With sophisticated and flexible maintenance equipment, the Seneca can house the most modern fighters available. On a normal patrol, the Seneca carries twelve squadrons of mixed Spatha and Gladius fighters. Because of TOG fighters' heavy reliance on missiles, the Seneca carries enough reloads for four sorties. During normal combat operations, these fighters move ahead of the cruiser, serving as a screening force for enemy fighters. These fighters often engage a separate target, leaving the cruiser to engage larger ships. The twelve small craft are used for standard messenger duties, as well as fighter support and search-and-rescue operations.
As a new design, only 40 of these new cruisers have been delivered to their duty assignments. Of those delivered, 32 have been posted to the Commonwealth front. Thus far, no Senecas have been lost in combat. As the months have passed, squadrons have come to regard these ships as luck charms.
|Shilagash - TOG Cruiser|
The Shilagash Class cruiser is typical of many in the TOG Imperial Navy, emphasizing multiple guns over maneuverability. Fighters and marine assault craft are also carried to broaden the vessel's operational adaptability.
Shilagash cruisers are normally attached to battleship squadrons or carrier groups. They also serve as destroyer leaders in major actions involving fleets of smaller vessels. On occasion, ships of the Shilagash Class perform extended operations, leaving the fleet for a specific mission. This does not occur as often as with other classes of ships because the Shilagash is not as versatile as many other designs. During battleship actions, the main duty of the shilagash is to protect ships such as carriers and transports from attack by the enemy's lighter vessels. They also spearhead attacks on similar ships in the enemy fleet. Despite its reputation for a limited mission profile, the Shilagash Class can carry out these types of escort and attack operations well.
The Shilagash Class was designed as a weapons platform for combined fleet operations. As such, the class carries a heavy laser battery armament relative to her power rating. The Shilagash was also one of the first ships in the TOG empire to use extensive modular design for simplicity of construction and ease of repair. The Shilagash has a Type B spinal mount as well as two forward 50-gun laser bays. This allows the ship maximum long-range attack capability ahead of the vessel, backed up by the short-range spinal mount. Broadside weaponry consists of two 50-gun 30/30 bays and two 25-gun 30/30 bays, allowing effective mid-range offensive capability. A single 50-gun 30/30 bay faces aft to deter pursuit. The Shilagash Class also mounts a Type B missile system and standard cruiser turret systems all along the hull. Improved Omicron Dynamax shield generators protect the fully armoured sheathing of the hull. This shield system has been strengthened in the fore and aft areas as a safety margin against raking shots. A single sway-backed dorsal hanger deck houses the nine fighters squadrons and twelve small craft. The Shilagash Class can carry up to 100 passengers in relative comfort, but these accommodations are usually used by transferring junior personnel or TOG citizens requiring military transport. Rarely do higher officers of the Imperial Navy or TOG government officials travel on vessels of this type.
The Shilagash Class cruiser is one of the more numerous classes in the TOG Imperial Navy. These vessels serve in most battleship groups as well as in many reserve fleets. Commissioned in 6742, the Shilagash Class continued in production until 6820. The Shilagash Class also has the dubious distinction of having the most ships accidentally blow up, either in combat or merely through some unexplained weakness or problem. Since the inception of the class, more than 200 vessels have been vaporized in such explosions. This problem is one of the reasons that the Shilagash Class has gone out of production.
|Shiva - TOG Battleship|
The Shiva is a good example of the excellent designs recently produced by the TOG Naval Planning Board offices. As one of the larger battleship classes in the Imperial Fleet, the Shiva combines all standard weapon systems with state-of-the-art construction. The Shiva Class was designed to perform as a mainstay of TOG battleship groups for years to come. It is usually the centre of any battle fleet and often serves as fleet flagship. Construction of this class began in 6800, when it was touted as the battleship of the century. So far, it has lived up to that name. Shiva class vessels rarely travel alone, usually shepherding hundreds of escort vessels and support ships. Assigned to areas of heavy fighting, the Shiva always participates in the main fray of any fleet action. Shiva class battleship groups are normally found in advancing assault fleets and only rarely in defensive operations. Shiva Class vessels are assigned to battleship groups three to five at a time unless being used as fleet flagships. These battleship groups are usually escorted by two or four carrier squadrons and four to eight frigate and destroyer squadrons. Shiva Class ships have also served in various high-velocity system raids because of their massive firepower. When only one pass at a target is possible, the Shiva Class battleship can almost guarantee the target's destruction as well as its own survival.
The Shiva Class was designed as a powerful offensive weapons platform, a function it achieves with deadly accuracy. Its various weapon systems are some of the most powerful in the Imperial Navy. The Type E spinal mount throws the largest crowbar in any ship yet constructed and is the weapon of choice for mass destruction. Additional forward-firing weapons include a 25-gun 37.5/25 bay for long range action and a 50-gun 22.5/5 bay for mid-range combat. The main broadside firepower comes from four 100-gun 37.5/20 bays and four 25-gun 37.5/25 bays. This combination allows for intense fire at any range. Aft-firing weapons consist of another 25-gun 37.5/258 bay and a 50-gun 22.5/5 bay.
One of the few drawbacks in the Shiva design is the relative weakness of fore or aft firepower. Although this battleship can project enormous destruction from its broadside bays, it needs the protection of its escorting ships to avoid having its "T" crossed from either end. Because of this problem, the Shiva Class normally operates in strict line-of-battle formations and rarely leaves that position once battle is engaged. The vertical launching tubes of the Type E missile battery are emplaced along both sides of the spinal mount, and the Shiva's extensive battleship turret system serves for close-range devensive fire. The class also carries 72 fighters of 300 tons or less for combined offensive/defensive operations. Berthed in the ship's hangar are twelve small craft of various types, each of 1000 tons or less. These range from the ship's cutters and shuttles to search-and-rescue boats and marine assault craft. The Shiva Class can carry up to 10,000 tons of cargo as well as 200 passengers. These passengers are usually top-level TOG officials and their staffs or high-level military personnel. The Shiva is well-known for its luxurious passenger accommodations, making it in demand by senior officers needing transport. The marine contingent of 500 men is trained in all forms of honour-guard work, as well as performing special duties for notable guests, even when these individuals have their own security teams on board.
The first Shiva class battleship entered service in 6809. Because it is a relatively new class, not all battleship groups have been able to obtain this vessel yet. Intensive construction has continued unabated at dozens of shipyards around the Orion and Mochov Districts and will likely do so for decades to come. Currently, only 6000 Shiva class vessels are on active duty in the Imperial Fleet, with at least that many more under construction. Though TOG keeps its record of ship losses top-secret, it is believed that fewer than 100 Shivas have been destroyed by enemy action or accident in the last 20 years.
|Syracuse - TOG Cruiser|
The Syracuse Class cruiser was one of the first designed after the formation of the Terran Republic in 6754. When the class was new,the spinal mount was more powerful than others available, and the ship carried a large number of lasers compared to other designs. The arrangement of this ship, at massive cost overruns, allowed for one group of fighters and a marginal missile system, the Hermanski I. The main weakness that has shown up over time is the ship's overall lack of mobility. The three TOPS-Techno sub-light engines are below the rating usually associated with a cruiser, and the Syracuse shows it. In clashes against comparable Royal Navy ships, such as the Inflexible or Lion Class, the Syracuse is no match.
The strength of the ship is its support features, which increase its value when working with other ships as part of a squadron. Its broadside laser bays have great range, and its older Model 88 Jankowski spinal mount can still inflict crippling damage.
On its own, the Syracuse is considered something of an easy target for a destroyer squadron. The superior mobility of the Commonwealth and Renegade forces has all but driven the Syracuse from raiding missions unless it is attached to larger task forces. The bulk of the ship's firepower is from the Model 88 Jankowski spinal mount, one of the first big ship-mounted mass drivers that Jankowski Industries constructed. The accelerator coils have proven to be short-lived with heavy use and require replacement of their cowlings every two years. This procedure requires five weeks of work at a qualified starbase facility, limiting the basing of the ship to systems with an extensive fleet facility. The massive bays of 100 Luanda Class VXI 37.5/30 lasers are the most impressive feature of the Syracuse. The devastation that these huge bays can deliver makes them a threat to any ship within 1500 kilometres of a Syracuse. IN contrast, the forward and aft portions of the ship are inadequately protected, especially the aft. With only two 50-gun bays of 22.5/10 Luanda Model XXIs, these sections of the ship are considered the best avenues of approach for enemy fighter attacks. The older Magnuson shield generators are very reliable and are one of the few areas of the Syracuse that have not undergone refitting in its long history. The shield flicker rate on this vessel is concentrated on the front and aft portions, adding protection where there is limited firepower. The Syracuse has a total of twelve launch and six recovery bays for its 72 fighters, allowing it to deploy two entire squadrons at a time. The fighter bay is directly under the centre engine, which has caused difficulties. If the centre engine is severely damaged in combat, the entire recovery section of the vessel might be cut off, stranding fighters in space.
The missiles that the Syracuse carries are limited in scope and damage potential, but they are reliable. The Hermanski Missile Works was founded on the manufacture of the Hermanski I missile deployment system for the then-new Syracuse Class cruiser. Over the years, it phased out production of these systems except in its facilities on New Rouge. This small, older facility manufactures enough of this older version of its popular line of missiles to meet the needs of the entire Imperial Navy.
The flag bridge on the ship was moved from the bow during the last refit of the battle computer system, relocated far aft. This is due to the fact that the new computer system took up much more space, a rare commodity aboard a Syracuse.
Most officers consider the Combat Information Centre on this ship to be its most satisfactory component. This centre is heavily shielded deep within the structure of the ship. Emergency evacuation tubes to the small-ship landing bays are located at the rear of the CIC. Several dozen ships of this class have undergone extensive modifications as part of a test program, including more powerful engines and added firepower ot the fore and aft of the ship. Examples of these new modifications are the Sharona's Glee and Turavara's Wrath.
The most widely known Syracuse is the Kyna's Ire. In the defence of the Vicks system in Gilpin County, it took on three faster Kruger destroyers that were attempting to knock out the system's VLCA and resupply several Renegade resistance cells operating on the southern continent. Though the supply effort succeeded, all three Krugers were forced to withdraw before they could engage the VLCA.
|Tyrannus - TOG Cruiser|
The Tyrannus Class cruiser has been a standard element of TOG task forces for more than 40 years. Its emphasis on firepower over speed is characteristic of most TOG ships. It is produced on 18 worlds and has earned a reputation for being a deadly opponent. The ship mounts two Tsprazis Class V 50,000 engines for sublight propulsion. These systems are some of the most reliable in use by the TOG Navy, and the Naval Procurement Board recently ordered that many of its older ships be refitted with the Tsprazis.
The Tyrannus is an imposing sight. Designed by Tsprazis Industries of New Philadelphia, the ship has a large targeting profile and is easier to detect at longer ranges than other cruisers. The configuration, however, has proven effective in reducing the disruption of tachyons during T-space entry and exit. this means that the Tyrannus is marginally more difficult to detect with a T-Doppler than most other cruisers. A Jankowski Model XXI spinal mount is the heart of the ship's firepower. During the first production run of these vessels in the Tsprazis orbital shipyards of Doral's World, the test firing of the main gun proved to bleed power from the forward turrets for several seconds after the weapon's discharge. Redesign of the system delayed production for nearly a year, but the result is a clean-firing spinal mount with a record for accuracy. The most important part of the bay weaponry is the 37.5/20 Bishta Harneth (Death Grip) laser system. Two 100-gun bays of these deadly weapons are poised on the port and starboard sides of the ship. These systems were manufactured on the planet Bishta VII, a conquered KessRith world. Light-diffraction dampers have been installed on all barrels to improve the beam focus. The Hermanski Missile Batteries installed on the Tyrannus are a constant source of problems, not so much with the missiles as with their targeting system's interface with the on-board battle computer. During trial runs, each of the ship's systems was tested individually and performed well. In battle, with all weapons engaging, the missile targeting computer becomes slow and almost non-responsive. This was not discovered until the loss of the Roberts three years into production of the class. Since that time, all but 10 percent of the Tyrannus ships have had this interface replaced. A Tyrannus Class ship has twelve fighter launch bays, all located in the forward part of the ship. Recovery bays are located behind, with the hangar bays and repairing docks between the two sections. A typical fighter contingent on a Tyrannus varies with each assignment, but these cruisers usually carry a mix of Lancea and Vertum fighters. The Tyrannus has anti-gravity drives installed throughout the ship, rare for a vessel this size. This cruiser is one of the few large ships in any navy that has the ability to land.
The Tyrannus Class cruiser carries only 25 marines aboard most
ships. Though this is a definite weakness on paper, in reality it speaks highly of the
ship's Nokows Intruder and Security Control System (NISCS). This system employs sensors
and concealed weapon systems throughout the ship and is monitored from a station just off
the main bridge. From this position, weapons can be trained on half of the ship's interior
at any given time, making it quite costly to attempt to board the Tyrannus.
The NISCS was instrumental in thwarting a hijacking when elements of a Renegade cell attempted to seize the Orion's Bow. All but two of the ship's security officers died in the first few moments of the attack. The two remaining officers used the NISCS to wound or kill 80 Renegades. Because of this system's effectiveness, armed boarding parties have only been able to take four Tyrannus cruisers.
Tyrannus Class cruisers serve in most front-line battleship squadrons in the Imperial Navy. In the past three years, Grand Admiral Andrew D MacLeod has created a number of specialized cruiser squadrons. Instead of assigning a battleship as the core to a squadron, he has created several successful squadrons with three Tyrannus Class cruisers as the focal firepower. These battle squadrons have become known as Tyrannus Maximum groups.
|Ultor - TOG Battleship|
The Ultor Class was the most powerful in the Galaxy when it debuted in 6602. The huge shipyard orbiting Zacinthus slowly forged these leviathans until the late 67th century, when other classes replaced them. Many ships continued in service for decades, even centuries. The Ultor Class was obviously designed with one thing in mind. In the words of the marines stationed on board, this ship was "born to kill." Commissioned in 6657, the Kraken was the most famous ship of the Ultor Class.
It did not take long for the Kraken legend to take hold. Just four months into service, Admiral Nels Skogen's Kraken squadron was confronted by a KessRith battleship squadron over the disputed world of Haroska. The fierce battle quickly boiled down to a duel between the Kraken and the KessRith battleship Drashok. Skogen and the Kraken immediately showed their mettle by pining the Drashok between the Kraken and the planet's atmosphere. With the Kraken right above it, the enemy seemed doomed to vanish in a re-entry burn. Both ships' hulls were searing from the heat build-up, and the Drashok moved first by pulling back hard on its engines. Skogen was ready for such a move, somehow anticipating the abrupt maneuver just in time to slow up himself. As the Drashok pulled up, it fell right in line with the Kraken's Anvil VI spinal mount. After that, the Drashok was no more. Yet all was not over. The Kraken's three massive Galahad-Yor engines screamed against the pull of the planet. The hull of the ship was glowing red, and it looked like the Kraken's first victory might also be its last. She had to hold tight at maximum burn for three orbits before she could finally pull away. Afterwards, admirals and maintenance men across the Empire could only shake their heads and smile. This was one ship.
As with any ship of the Ultor Class, the Kraken was not meant to be fast or mobile. The logic went that with an Anvil VI spinal mount and four broadside bays of 100-gun 37.5/25 lasers, it did not have to be. Twin 25-gun bays of 37.5/5 lasers backed up the broadside weaponry, as well as the aft section, while 10-gun 37.5/5 bays rounded out the arsenal up front. Add to this a HELL-D missile system and two flights of heavy fighters, and it is plain why the Kraken demanded respect from friend and foe alike.
Over the years, it was not the struggle of battle that plagued the Kraken so much as it was the deceit and treachery of human nature. Two years after his victory over the Drashok, Admiral Skogen dutifully exposed widespread corruption throughout the governmental bureaucracy. His efforts were rewarded with betrayal. Officers loyal to the victims of the Admiral's honesty passed mission plans for the Kraken over to KessRith agents. An ambush was set up. In the supposedly safe Shok Latail star system, six KessRith battleship squadrons quickly overwhelmed the Kraken. Admiral Skogen was killed, and the pride of the Republic's fleet was all but destroyed. For more than 20 years it remained an empty, floating wreck. However, with the defection of the Renegade Legion, TOG suddenly found itself in desperate need of ships to fight the KessRith. After extensive repairs, the Kraken was recommissioned in 6682 and saw extensive action. With the appearance of more modern battleships, the Kraken was mothballed in 6709.
In 6829 the Kraken reappeared as part of a "punishment squadron" for officers and crew implicated in an anti-government cabal. Rear Admiral Luther Catalus, a hero accused of treason, led the Kraken and its squadron on an impossible mission deep behind the lines of Shannedam County.
|Venatrix - Commonwealth Battleship|
The Venatrix battleship was first commissioned in 6825 as a replacement for the Commonwealth's aging Repulse Class. Scapa Flow Ltd. had done some intensive studies on deep-space combat and decided that spinal mounts were a waste of space, energy, and money. They claimed that Commonwealth ships had not even fired their spinal mounts in 79 percent of the battles studies. When ships had fired their spinal mounts, only 22 percent scored hits.
There were several reasons for the poor performance of these weapons. One was the poor arc of fire that made it difficult for the spinal mount to lock onto a target. Another reason commanders tended not to fire their main gun was the tremendous amount of power needed to use the spinal mount. This left most captains having to decide between firing either their spinal mount or their broadside. To fire both at the same time required the captain to shunt power either from the engines, shields, or both, a risk that few were willing to take. The other problem with spinal mounts was their limited range. In order to get close enough to hit an opponent, Commonwealth ships often took considerable damage, sometimes enough to put them at a disadvantage.
Scapa Flow Ltd started construction of the first Venatrix in late 6821. According to the original contract, the design had no spinal mount armament, allowing for several major improvements elsewhere. The shielding on the Venatrix is the heaviest found on any Commonwealth ship, as is the armour. The biggest improvement was in the bay weaponry. Consisting of one 100-gun 37.5/25 laser bay, one 100-gun 37.5/20 bay and two 100-gun 37.5/15 laser bays on each the port and starboard, the Venatrix Class broadside may well be the largest anywhere in the galaxy. The fore and aft of the ship are also well-armed, with two 100-gun 37.5/10 laser bays apiece. The anti-ship/anti-missile weaponry is also excellent. The Type E missile system is nothing short of terrifying, able to destroy all but the largest battleships with one salvo. The Venatrix is also equipped to carry up to 24 squadrons of the Commonwealth's heaviest fighters. The command equipment is the most modern available and can control the ship in any emergency. The ECM system is the most sophisticated available to the Commonwealth and is one of the main defensive systems aboard the ship. The Venatrix also has good acceleration for its size, allowing it to keep up with most other Commonwealth battleships and cruisers. Though a new design, the Venatrix Class has already seen its fair share of combat.
In late 6828, a Venatrix Class ship and its battleship squadron was escorting a convoy through the besieged Pumbal system in Pembroke County, when they were attacked by a TOG battleship squadron, including one of TOG's dreaded new Shiva Class battleships. A fierce melee ensued as the two battleships slugged it out within 75 kilometres of one another. By the time the rest of the Commonwealth forces had driven the other TOG ships away, the Shiva was crippled and could not outrun her pursuers. Less than two hours later, the TOG ship was destroyed. Despite its own heavy damage, the Venatrix had accomplished what no Commonwealth ship had ever been able to do. It had stood up to, and defeated, a Shiva Class and lived to fight again. Up to that point, no other Commonwealth battleship had survived a confrontation with a Shiva, even with the help of other friendly ships.
Because it is a relatively new ship, deployment of the Venatrix is still limited, with the largest allocations currently in Shannedam County. Most Venatrix Class ships are assigned to be the centre of a battleship squadron, though the Commonwealth has lately been experimenting with a new deployment. Instead of splitting the battleships into multiple groups, they have been combining three Venatrixes into what they call "Hunt/Kill Groups." This tactic has worked fairly well in the past few months, but has stripped some front-line units of battleship groups. These new groups are generally used when a normal TOG battleship squadron is spotted. The Hunt/Kill group is sent in to take out the TOG battleship at the centre of the squadron. The Commonwealth commanders are to ignore other enemy ships except the lead battleship.
|Vitak (Lion) - Commonwealth Cruiser|
"Fear not my child, all but the Vitak. For it is the king, and it rules supreme, not with compromise, but with power and a mighty roar." So stakes Maka in the Naram children's tale of Maka and the King.
The same warning holds true for the Naram-designed Vitak
(Lion) Class cruiser used by the Royal Navy and some Renegade Legion squadrons.
As cruisers go, this ship is designed to operate as part of a battleship squadron.
in conjunction with other ships, it can match the firepower of ships of ships its size or
larger. It has the strongest missile-delivery system in existence, making it dangerous to
TOG battleships and lethal to any other ship in space. That is not to say the Lion
has no weaknesses. The largest gap in the design is the lack of fighter bays, which limits
is deployment dramatically. The ship was originally designed by the Naram firm of
Harquarth. After years of research and interviewing hundreds of humanoid and KessRith
officers, Harquarth proposed a radical design for a Commonwealth cruiser. The ship would
have maximum spinal-mount weaponry and missiles, sacrificing space for fighters.
By 6706 the Royal Navy was testing 300 Lion Class cruisers. Surprisingly, it was the 100 operated by the Renegade Legions that proved the ship's value. During the eighth battle for Verol in 6792 in Hibbing County, the 4044th Battleship Squadron (Dorothea's Reapers) used two Lion Class cruisers, the Great White Shark and the Tigress. At the peak of the battle, the Tigress broke ranks from the Renegade battle column and closed on a TOG battleship making a slow combat turn. The two ships became separated from the rest of the battle, fighting a private war. The first volley from the Tigress' spinal mount struck the already battle-weary TOG vessel and crippled its mass driver. As the battlewagon tried to pull away fro repairs, the Tigress pursued, falling prey to more than 200 fighters protecting the TOG ship. Just as all seemed lost, the Great White Shark broke free from the main battle and attacked the TOG ship with three consecutive missile salvos. In a matter of moments, the TOG ship was reduced to a charred hulk, adrift in space. Seeing their charge reduced to slag in a matter of seconds, the TOG fighters broke off their attack on the Tigress.
The key to this ship's success is its emphasis on sheer firepower over all other concerns. This vessel's Martinson Type C spinal mount has proven to be a deadly weapon at short ranges. Even from distances of 7,500 kilometres, destroyers and other smaller ships usually avoid slow closings with a Lion. If they are not fast, this ship can cripple them before they can fire their weapons. Missiles are also important to the Lion's success. The complex By'Tor-La (Night Flame) missile system is a tribute to the Naram who designed it. The fire-control system supports its own independent backup centre in case of damage to the Combat Information Centre. The missiles can then be launched manually by gunnery officers, even when the ship is otherwise crippled. Carlas Innovations Inc. (CII) designed the 200 large laser bays along the sides of the ship. CII also provided the 30/30 lasers on the fore and aft of the ship. Though these have a shorter range, they are still dangerous.
In combat situations, if the sublight engines are overheated due to damage, they can cause a static discharge problem in the area near the FTL drive. This static has killed dozens of engineering personnel over the years, and it often throws the TOOWEL 200 off-line. This can leave the Lion trapped in enemy territory. All Lions have small-ship bays for holding three ships up to 1200 tons. These gunboats and corvettes can provide support to troop landings, a duty that the Lion often draws.
The shield generator systems on the Lion are of older design, and their flicker controls must be recalibrated frequently. Because this operation requires the computer facilities of a starport, Lion cruisers are frequently overdue for repairs.
The Lion Class presently numbers 18,122 on active duty within the Royal Navy, with several thousand more serving with the Renegade Legion. Almost all these ships serve in a patrol/system-defense capacity or with standard battleship squadrons. Only a handfull of Lions ever serve on deep raids into TOG space.
|Vulcan - TOG Cruiser|
After a long and difficult development, the Vulcan Class cruiser made its operational debut in the TOG Navy in 6812. Originally envisioned in early 6799, the Vulcan was to be a new breed of ship, a Space Denial Ship,the ultimate weapon against the Commonwealth and Renegade navies. It was to combine heavy weaponry, shields and armour with good speed and staying power. The designers at Trans-Dimensional Engineering tried to meet the specifications, but the result was a cruiser design that cost as much as some battleships and had the combat power of only an average cruiser. The Procurement Board gave up on the Space Denial Ship, but TDE did not. In 6810, the Procurement Board again put out the call for a cruiser that could serve in a battle line or independently as part of a smaller squadron. TDE offered the latest version of the design that had been rejected ten years before. This time, the design was accepted, with some modifications. Within two years, the ship progressed from a prototype to full production.
Ten years after this initial failer, the Space Denial Ship design reappeared as the Vulcan, whose armament is much more in line with its size. The Type C spinal mount was retained, but the laser and missile systems were downgraded. The Vulcan carries a 50-gun 30/5 laser bay facing forward, two 100-gun 30/15 laser bays facing to the broadsides, four 50-gun 22.5/15 laser bays also to the broadsides, and one 50-gun 15/30 laser bay facing to the rear. A Type D missile system was installed. The savings in weight and power from these changes allowed the mounting of a better shield system and also gave the ship higher thrust. The anti-ship/anti-fighter weaponry remained average for a cruiser. The designers also included a fighter bay that could hold up to twelve squadrons, which enhanced the striking power of the Vulcan. The crew quarters were also roomy, making the Vulcan Class one of the more desired assignments. In terms of cost, the Vulcan Class compares very well with other TOG cruisers, such as the Syracuse Class. Not only does the Vulcan Class cost and weigh less than the Syracuse Class, but it is a better ship all the way around. Getting more "bang for the talent" has meant large orders for the cruiser.
In early 6818, TOG made a major effort to capture the planet of Lexton, and many major naval engagements took place. In early July, the Commonwealth sent in a cruiser squadron to resupply the planet and to harass TOG naval forces. A TOG cruiser squadron containing three Syracuse cruisers and three frigates was sent out to intercept the Commonwealth squadron. The Renegade squadron consisted of two Carthage Class cruisers and three frigates. After the battle, one Syracuse cruiser and one frigate limped away badly damaged, with all the rest of the TOG ships either destroyed or captured. Two weeks later, another Commonwealth resupply squadron arrived. This effort consisted of one Repulse Class battleship, two Carthage Class cruisers, and three frigates. Again TOG sent out forces to intercept the Renegades. This time, the forces consisted of two Vulcan Class cruisers and three frigates. After two hours of combat, the Commonwealth forces limped away minus their Repulse Class battleship, one Carthage cruiser, and two frigates. TOG losses consisted of one badly damaged Vulcan Class cruiser, one badly damaged frigate, and one destroyed frigate. The Vulcan simply outperformed the Syracuse.
The Vulcan has been in service for more than 18 years and is common in many areas and roles. Most of the vessels are reserved for front-line combat because of their durability and firepower. The Vulcan is also a favorite for independent command because the ship is so self-sufficient.