Posts on Hyperion Cruiser

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Posts on Hyperion Cruiser

Postby BeronTheGrey » Fri Sep 03, 2004 7:54 pm

What posts does anyone think the crew of a Hyperion Cruiser would fill? The EA Sourcebook lists the crew as being 4 officers, 10 pilots, 12 sensor operators, and 38 crewmen, but what do they actually *do*? What duties would a PC onboard a Hyperion be likely to have? For that matter, what sort of level should the crew be? What level for example should the captain be at a minimum?

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Re: Posts on Hyperion Cruiser

Postby Dag'Nabbit » Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:36 pm

BeronTheGrey wrote:What posts does anyone think the crew of a Hyperion Cruiser would fill? The EA Sourcebook lists the crew as being 4 officers, 10 pilots, 12 sensor operators, and 38 crewmen, but what do they actually *do*? What duties would a PC onboard a Hyperion be likely to have? For that matter, what sort of level should the crew be? What level for example should the captain be at a minimum?

Simon D. Taylor
Here's my take on this one:

4 Officers: Captain, Executive Officer (XO)-figure Commander or Lt. Commander, Tactical Officer-Lieutenant, Engineering Officer (It's a spacecraft so you're gonna want to have an officer in charge of the maintanence)

10 Pilots: I have always figured on running a space vessel with 3-8 Hour watches; as such this will require 3 pilots for the ship's helm-figure Lieutenants of varying grade for all three; 6 pilots for the Starfuries in the Hyperion-all Lieutenants of varying grades; the last pilot is for general use as a shuttle pilot, though this may be a duty that rotates among the ship's helmsmen-yet another Lieutenant. It will not rotate through the fighter pilots as they must maintain unit cohesion in order to effectively operate as a squadron.

12 Sensor Operators: This is one I'm not sure about and I'll give you both methods I've come up with.
Method A: Sensor Operators are required to be at their peak efficiency throughout their shift. ANYONE who's ever tried to stay alert for 8 hours knows it really doesn't happen. So cut the Sensor Watch's shift in half and you run 6-4 Hour shifts with two sensor operators each watch. Figure at least one of these will be a Warrant Officer, at least one senior Non-Com (Non-Commissioned Officer/i.e. senior enlisted) per watch with sensor technicians as the other operator on duty. So 1 Warrent Officer, 5 Senior Non-Coms, 6 Sensor Techs. (EDIT-One thing with this is after the primary 4 hour shift has been completed on the bridge the sensor operators would then shift to an auxiliary sensor control station for the next four hours. This provides a much less stressful demand on them and ensure that they don't 'Get Over' on the rest of the crew.)
Method B: In this case I have taken a slightly different route where each sensor operator is actually tied to a specific sector of space to watch. In this case I have gone with 3-8 Hour watches with 4 personnel per watch; 1 Warrant Officer/Senior Non-Com per watch with 3 Sensor Techs in the other slots in the watch. 1 Warrant Officer, 2 Senior Non-Coms, and 9 Sensor Techs.
NOTE: I have pretty much accepted Method A as sensor scheme of choice. First, I don't think the Hyperion has the space in one place to have four sensor operators on the bridge at the same time. Second, the kind of separation of 'space' in Method B actually makes it harder for the Captain to evaluate a threat as he now has to look at it through four seperate sets of eyes.

38 Crewmen: Well, if we continue to follow the previous example of three watches it looks something like this; 1 Senior Non-Com/Warrant Officer per watch (specialty will be technical), 1 Senior Non-Com/Warrant Officer per watch (Medical/Environmental technician), 1 Senior Non-Com/Warrant Officer per watch (Propulsion technician), 1 Senior Non-Com/Warrant Officer per watch (Powerplant technician), 1 Senior Non-Com/Warrant Officer per watch (Weapons technician); each one of these individuals will be assigned one junior technician as an assistant. That means 10 technical personnel per watch for a total of 30 personnel. But what about the other 8 you say? Well, 6 will be assigned as maintanence personnel to the Starfury squadron (one per fighter), and the other two will be assigned to the shuttles the Hyperion carries (they will also act as flight crew for the shuttles). So that makes 15 Senior Non-Coms/Warrant Officers supported by 15 Junior Technicians for the Hyperion's demands, plus another 8 technicians for the small craft (a Captain would prefer to have all of these be senior technicians but he'll be luck to get half of that).

Well, that's the way I'm gonna play it so what do you think.
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Postby Dag'Nabbit » Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:42 pm

I also forgot to include what happens during an "All Hands" alert. In this case the senior crew will take over (as long as it will not interfere with operations). Otherwise everyone else is tasked with either monitoring weapons stations or as part of a damage control team.
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Postby BeronTheGrey » Mon Sep 06, 2004 8:53 pm

Thanks, that was what I was looking for. Any idea what sort of level they would all be? Also, would the Non-Coms be more likely to be Officer class or Worker class (with the appropriate specialisation from the revised Worker rules)? Similarly, would the technical personnel be more likely to be Worker class?

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Impressive!

Postby Traveller-61 » Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:48 pm

Mr Dag'Nabbit sir: my compliments :D

Your post on the Hyperion crew is a great piece of work, especially to someone like me who has no or very little idea how to put some life into the crew numbers.

I'll be "liberating" it as a basis for my Warlock when the players finally get command of one in the next series.

Many thanks!

DW
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Postby Dag'Nabbit » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:47 pm

Thanks, that was what I was looking for. Any idea what sort of level they would all be? Also, would the Non-Coms be more likely to be Officer class or Worker class (with the appropriate specialisation from the revised Worker rules)? Similarly, would the technical personnel be more likely to be Worker class?

Simon D. Taylor
Unfortunately I don't have my books with me and won't for some time. As for levels...I've been meaning to put together a Rank:Level chart for all the EarthForce types, but just haven't had a chance yet. Here's my WAG (Wild-Ass-Guess) for right now: Captains, in my mind, should be at least 8th-10th level. Lieutenants should be from 1st-3rd level and grade should be commensurate with time in service or performance. (Any schmuck can be a senior LT with enough time in grade) The other grades in between should be sorted out somewhat regularly, but remember that rank is gained one of three ways in the military. 1-Time in grade(though this is only up to a certain point: Commander for Officers and Staff Sergeant for Enlisted); 2-Performance Excellence; and 3-Political Connections (This one can be tricky. If they like you and you know how to rub elbows it will vastly speed up your promotions. If they hate you and you don't bother to rub elbows you may never see command rank, no matter how long you try).

As for the Non-Coms, well, I've been thinking up an alternative to that. I mean to develop a new class, the Enlisted Technician. Combine a Soldier and a Worker and trade some of the parts out. Keep the basic military skills set, take away the high HP's, use the worker's skill points, take away the soldier's base attack, and tinker from there for the feats. It'll take some work, but I don't think there is an equivalent in the purely Officer/Soldier classes. A Worker could work for the short term, but it wouldn't reflect the basic training that all military personnel receive.
Mr Dag'Nabbit sir: my compliments

Your post on the Hyperion crew is a great piece of work, especially to someone like me who has no or very little idea how to put some life into the crew numbers.

I'll be "liberating" it as a basis for my Warlock when the players finally get command of one in the next series.

Many thanks!

DW
And your welcome. In about a month or so I hope to have some minor web-training (self taught of course) completed and a web page up for the campaign I'll be running then. OK, so it might take more than a month, but it should hold the crew rosters for a Nova Dreadnought at that point as well.

So you know, I am going to run with an idea someone else posted. I plan on familiarizing myself and my group with the game by playing through the Dilgar War. They will be Starfury pilots tested out the new models on a Hyperion before they are reassigned to a Nova in order to facilitate the training of its pilots. Then the war will begin. :twisted: This will let us handle any combat issues we find, without me having to really develop a serious plotline on my own.

Once their done there I'll fast forward a few decades to 2257 or so and we'll actually run the campaign I've been tinkering with. With new characters of course. Who knows, their old ones may make a cameo once in a while, if they live through the fire that is.
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Postby klingsor » Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:49 pm

The captain on a smaller ship might not hold the rank of a captain, he might just be a Lieutenant commander or commander – he is still THE captain, he just isn’t A captain.

You will need enough ‘deck’ officers to have one in command of each watch though 8 hour watches seem dangerously long, perhaps 4 on , 8 off?

Are all fighter pilots commissioned officers as they are in the USAF or USN (I believe) or are they more along the British model? I suspect the latter as Mr. Garibaldi was not commissioned but was a pilot. In any case this gives you an extra warm body or two to stand watches.

The best model to use is probably modern submarines.
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Postby frobisher » Fri Sep 17, 2004 5:03 pm

klingsor wrote:Are all fighter pilots commissioned officers as they are in the USAF or USN (I believe) or are they more along the British model? I suspect the latter as Mr. Garibaldi was not commissioned but was a pilot. In any case this gives you an extra warm body or two to stand watches.
Garibaldi was a Warrant Officer though so not actually enlisted as such anymore. All the other pilots were commisioned officers that we were given ranks for.

We have seen Sgt Zack Allen flying a starfury (Thirdspace) however he isn't in Earth Force, but is a civillian (works for B5 Security), and was head of security at that point.
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Postby ronbogard » Fri Sep 17, 2004 8:35 pm

I asked my brother who just retired from the navy how long does the officer of the deck watch last and he said the following.
Depends on how many quailfed OODs the command has. Generally it is 8 hours on a ship. But I have seen them pull a 12-hour watch cause they didn't have enough officers and on other ships they pulled a 6-hour watch. That way they didn't get farmed out to other departments. Some shore commands will give the OOD watch to one officer for the entire weekend. They can go home but the Junior Officer Of the Deck will sleep on the quarterdeck with the phone by his bed.

On some ships they are now using senior enlisted (E-7 to E-9s) to man Engineer of the watch and Damage control Officer of the watch.
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Postby lastbesthope » Sun Sep 19, 2004 12:36 am

frobisher wrote:
klingsor wrote:Are all fighter pilots commissioned officers as they are in the USAF or USN (I believe) or are they more along the British model? I suspect the latter as Mr. Garibaldi was not commissioned but was a pilot. In any case this gives you an extra warm body or two to stand watches.
Garibaldi was a Warrant Officer though so not actually enlisted as such anymore. All the other pilots were commisioned officers that we were given ranks for.

We have seen Sgt Zack Allen flying a starfury (Thirdspace) however he isn't in Earth Force, but is a civillian (works for B5 Security), and was head of security at that point.
Zack and Garibaldi were both qualified 'Fury pilots but it was a secondary job for them. i think if your main job was as a 'Fury pilot then you'd be an officer like Keffer.

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Postby frobisher » Sun Sep 19, 2004 4:23 am

lastbesthope wrote:Zack and Garibaldi were both qualified 'Fury pilots but it was a secondary job for them. i think if your main job was as a 'Fury pilot then you'd be an officer like Keffer.
It doesn't quite work that way. A part time 'Fury pilot would have just as much training investment in them as a full time one otherwise you just wouldn't let them loose in a piece of mission citical equipment like that.

It was also noted that Ivanova had to get some flight time in during "Midnight on the Firing Line" to keep her flight status and pay.
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Postby lastbesthope » Sun Sep 19, 2004 8:45 pm

frobisher wrote:
lastbesthope wrote:Zack and Garibaldi were both qualified 'Fury pilots but it was a secondary job for them. i think if your main job was as a 'Fury pilot then you'd be an officer like Keffer.
It doesn't quite work that way. A part time 'Fury pilot would have just as much training investment in them as a full time one otherwise you just wouldn't let them loose in a piece of mission citical equipment like that.

It was also noted that Ivanova had to get some flight time in during "Midnight on the Firing Line" to keep her flight status and pay.
An RN Captain or any Seaman Officer (Approximately equivalent to red shirt types in ST:TNG or mustard shirts in ST:TOS)) can train as a diver and get diving pay as long as he/she keeps his hours up. It isn't their primary job and they usually need to slot themselves into the training schedule to satisfy their hours.

Similarly to the 'Fury example. RN Aircraft Engineering Officers can get flight qualified as Maintenance Test Pilots. (Flt Lt. "You think you've fixed the loose main rotor, you try it!") It isn't their main job but they still get the same investment in training as a full time pilot, but it's not their main job. But it is considered useful enough to do as it helps give the 'real' pilots some slack if the engineers can do some of the test flights after an oil change.

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Postby frobisher » Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:28 pm

lastbesthope wrote:Similarly to the 'Fury example. RN Aircraft Engineering Officers can get flight qualified as Maintenance Test Pilots. (Flt Lt. "You think you've fixed the loose main rotor, you try it!") It isn't their main job but they still get the same investment in training as a full time pilot, but it's not their main job. But it is considered useful enough to do as it helps give the 'real' pilots some slack if the engineers can do some of the test flights after an oil change.
However, they wouldn't be allowed to fly combat missions so there isn't actually the same level of training investment going on there.

Garibaldi and Zack were clearly flying combat missions...
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Postby Dag'Nabbit » Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:22 am

Re. Flying ranks: Their seem to be only two types of pilots in the B5 world. Warrant Officers and Commissioned Officers. Both are trained to be fighter pilots and spend a great deal of time sharpening their skills. Most technicians are good enough pilots so they can tell when something isn't working right, but that does NOT make them qualified combat pilots. BTW, earning enough hours to earn your flight pay is about the same. Just because someone does this in no way makes them a combat capable pilot, just means they know how to fly the darn thing out and then park it. Anything else is entirely up to the individual.

Re. Shifts/Watches: 8 hour watches is about the longest length you want to put crews through. It allows them enough time to take care of things like exercise, 2 meals (one will be taken on shift), laundry, personal time, training courses, meetings, and all the other things that happen off shift. You can do all these things with a 12 hour shift, but then you have to add in at least one more meal during the shift and possibly the military's required exercise time. By the time these are subtracted from the 12 hour shift as well as the time it takes a person to get back into gear and you have turned a 12 hour shift into a 9 hour shift.

If you run 6 hour shifts the question becomes how many shifts do you have? If you only have 3 watches then everyone is now on a rotating shift every 18 hours. Doesn't seem like a big deal until you have to do it. It tends to make people a little funny. It keeps things from really stabilizing for the crew and anything that dulls the crew effects their combat profincies. If you have the capability to run four shift per day then this can be ideal, but the question then is would any navy with that kind of surplus in personnel be able to keep it during a shooting war once casualties began mounting while they were attempting to increase the fleet size. (Mind you, this is a problem no matter your personnel capabilities)
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Postby BeronTheGrey » Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:18 am

OK, so I'm indulging in thread necromancy here (well, it's only been dead for a few weeks) . . .

Anyway, a thought suddenly strikes me about the post listing above: who is in control of the Hyperion's guns? (On a related note, what skills or feats do you need to command a capital ship's weapons?) Or are we assuming that the Tactical Officer controls them?

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Postby Mongoose Si » Fri Oct 08, 2004 10:39 am

BeronTheGrey wrote:OK, so I'm indulging in thread necromancy here (well, it's only been dead for a few weeks) . . .

Anyway, a thought suddenly strikes me about the post listing above: who is in control of the Hyperion's guns? (On a related note, what skills or feats do you need to command a capital ship's weapons?) Or are we assuming that the Tactical Officer controls them?

Simon D. Taylor
Hmm, not sure why I missed this thread before since I'm writing a campaign based on a Hyperion cruiser! There is some useful stuff here :)

Anyway, regarding the guns, the way I understand it there is a fire control deck (as shown on the Hyperion schematics in the EA book). This would have several computer stations for controling the weapon systems (I have done my own schematics which you can see on my website).

Also, if you recall the epsiode "A Late Delivery From Avalon". This is about the Gunnery Sergant who fired the first shots at the Minbari starting the Earth-Minbari war. The fact that he is a gunnery sergant implies that he is in charge of a group of gunners!

Also, in the book "The Shadow Within", there is quite a lot of info about the people in fire control on the Agamemnon under Sheridens command. It is an Omega destroyer but the principles are the same - the weapon control systems are separated from the bridge etc. and there are a team of people who operate them.

Hope this helps?
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Postby lastbesthope » Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:49 pm

Ghost Dancer wrote:Also, in the book "The Shadow Within", there is quite a lot of info about the people in fire control on the Agamemnon under Sheridens command. It is an Omega destroyer but the principles are the same - the weapon control systems are separated from the bridge etc. and there are a team of people who operate them.
"The Shadow Within" has to my knowledge never been confirmed as canon. The only one of the first 9 B5 novels to be 'canonized' was #9 "To Dream In The City Of Sorrows". Doesn't mean you can't use the info in it mind you, but just to let you all know.

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Postby Michka » Sat Oct 09, 2004 12:46 am

I was under the impression that all the books were canon. At least that's what JMS said at a convention back when they first came out. Of course "The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name" hadn't come out yet. That book would be enough for me to invalidate the Canon status. (I really, really hated that book. I almost stopped reading the B5 books after that one.)
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Postby redlaco » Sat Oct 09, 2004 1:19 am

Michka wrote:"The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name" (I really, really hated that book. I almost stopped reading the B5 books after that one.)
I don't know about this one but from what you say, I don't miss much...
I guess I won't be looking for it on eBay, then.
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Postby lastbesthope » Sat Oct 09, 2004 9:51 pm

Michka wrote:I was under the impression that all the books were canon. At least that's what JMS said at a convention back when they first came out. Of course "The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name" hadn't come out yet. That book would be enough for me to invalidate the Canon status. (I really, really hated that book. I almost stopped reading the B5 books after that one.)
To my knowledge, of the first 9 'numbered' books. Only #9 has officially been declared canon. The Technomage Trilogy, Psi Corps trilogy and the Wheel of Fire trilogy are all considered canon, as presumably are the novelisations of the TV movies (river of Souls never got a novelisation).

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