Solomani Confederation (Military)

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:43 pm

Confederation Marines: Patrol Cruiser Detachment

1. I picked out a ten Marine squad because it was a neat round number, probably the reason Games Workshop did as well.

2. I thought I'd divide it into three three Marine cells, but a little research found that the Marine Raiders got there first, and were inspired by the Chinese Communists.

3. A cell is two Marines led by a corporal; sort of similar what you see in Star Wars.

4. The fourth cell is the command cell, used administratively to attach supernumeraries and specialists, led by the squad sergeant; these could be redistributed to the other cells.

5. In theory, the minimum size of a squad would be six men, to carry out a mission, successfully.

6. Fire teams tend to be four men, to account for likely attrition.

7. I tend to think that Confederation Marine squads assigned to patrol cruisers are likely to have short, sharp encounters, so attrition is less of an issue since they have time to reorganize.

8. Due to reassignment, further training, leave or attrition, the squad may not be at full strength.

9. The large number of leaders would allow the Marines to efficiently command and control auxiliary forces, such as the crew of the patrol cruiser, in close quarter combat.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:43 pm

Confederation Marines: Patrol Cruiser Detachment

10. Doing some research into earlier editions, I came across the Independence class, a kilotonne colonial or heavy patrol cruiser.

11. The Marine contingent is described as being of two squads, which Mongoose First describes as sixteen.

12. This ratio is a little higher than I would have thought, in comparison to the actual crew; unless we're talking about Mobile Infantry.

13. Speaking of which, heavy implication that they're used in ground operations, which with all due respect to the Solomani Confederation Marine Corps, i tend to think unlikely.

14. It's more likely, outside of the rapid reaction force facet, the Confederation Ground Forces would rather jealously guard that prerogative, aided and abetted by a security apparatus that would like a clear delineation and separation of functions of these two military branches.

15. Though you could make provision for a Marine detachment of about two squads, but commanded by a lieutenant.

16. There might be one or two modular cutters, each with an All Terrain Vehicle module; shades of Aliens.

17. If you're going down this path, I'd rather Heinlein it and equip them straight out with battle dress.

18. I tend to think that on a per sector level, both the Confederation and Imperium have about the same number of Marines, perhaps a tad more on the Solomani side; difference being that the Imperium has equipped them to be an all arms expeditionary force, whereas the Confederation Marines would be more rapid reaction and be completely outfitted with battle dress to make up the difference.

19. During space combat, normally deployed loading torpedoes.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:49 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

10. Crew seems pretty standard, a commander, an astrogator, three pilots, one mechanic, one administrator, one jump drive engineer, one power plant engineer, one manoeuvre drive engineer, ad nine gunners.

11. The administrator could be the Political officer.

12. Command division would add in an Executive Officer, and a Midshipman.

13. Engineering would have an Ensign as Chief Engineer, and would have a pool of engineers to look after the engines, three qualified, and three assistants, who take turns being the mechanic.

14. Add in the Supply Officer, who's also manages Food, Beverages, Life Support and climate regulation.

15. Intelligence Officer, who moonlights as the Science Officer, and gets three sensor operators.

16. I think you could add in a Steward.

17. Weapons Officer, plus assistant, and nine gunners, who might need some more mates.

18. Four pilots.

19. Probably need some more gophers, I mean Midshipmen.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:15 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

20. Administratively, unless there's some form of regional division in the Confederation I'm not aware of, you'd have one Patrol Squadron per subsector.

21. This may be matched with a corresponding Fleet Squadron, though I suspect for the interior subsectors, probably in transit to forward deployments.

22. That would indicate there are more than twelve Patrol Squadrons per sector; the Solomani Confederation Sector Fleet is sort of squeezed in a relatively narrow sliver, which creates a rather heavy concentration of warships per subsector.

23. Still, ten patrol cruisers, and ten two hundred tonne, let's call them cutters, probably isn't enough to patrol a subsector.

24. They certainly wouldn't be able to carry out a constant survey, though this may be done by a different branch, much as the express boats would be run by a different branch.

25. On the other hand, the survey branch would demilitarize a patrol cruiser, and reequip them with the appropriate equipment.

26. They could also be used as Admiralty yachts, permitting flag officers to entertain guests, and carry out their diplomatic duties.

27. You could probably use a variant that's a dedicated troop transporter for about a company sized unit and it's equipment, though likely crowded.

28. There's very little point in having less than a default four parsec range, though really older technology levels twelve and thirteen might; you could add an external three hundred thirty three tonne module.

29. Speaking of modules, you probably could make it (the patrol cruiser) a modular hull, permitting mission specific modules.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:52 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

30. I'm not sure if a patrol cruiser needs armour; checking with the Imperial warships of one to five kay tonnes, they aren't consistent either.

31. If ship and crew survivability are a priority, at technological level fourteen, one twentieth of volume would get you at four point eight percent factor six superbonded armour.

32. Technological level ten onwards would be crystaliron, which would be factor four, though you could lower it to two for one fortieth of volume.

33. Emergency wartime construction might dispense with armour.

34. Since I'll assume the patrol cruiser is supposed to be on par with Imperium Navy destroyer escorts, whose primary mission is to dissuade commerce raiding, and mission kill any that attempt to do so.

35. These wouldn't need a Marine contingent, but might have reservists manning the guns.

36. Could drop the two default manoeuvre drives, replace it with a single one rated at three gees, fast enough to weave in and out of merchantmen convoys.

37. Since range likely restricted two parsecs, could also exchange default jump drive for two smaller budget ones.

38. That saves about twenty percent fuel bunkerage, and you could stuff that into a planetoid hull.

39. Which gives them an automatic factor two armour.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:00 am

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

40. One reason was loading up the crew with Midshipmen was the thought it would be used as the primary ship for training.

41. There's not enough space for that, and not enough (normal) cruisers.

42. I rather doubt that the Confederation Navy wants a bunch of trainees running around their fast dreadnoughts, nor fleet frigates, beyond the usual number of apprentices.

43. I actually have a multipurpose ship class in mind, but it likely way off canon, and neither here nor there.

44. Anyway, you could configure older patrol cruisers as training ships, because it wouldn't matter if the cadets busted them up, except in terms of their grades.

45. At some point, everyone gets rotated to serve aboard a patrol cruiser.

46. Commanders pursuing a captaincy, when placed in charge of one, understand that they will be judged as to their future career path, whether that of battle rider, dreadnought, carrier, strike cruiser, minor combatant, and command.

47. As mentioned before, patrol cruisers are considered disposable, but their crews are not.

48. Non combatant branch commanders probably would be placed in charge of specialized vessels pertaining to their specialties, like ambulance ships for medical.

49. Crews would be overstrength.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:47 am

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

50. At the very least, you have to start off this type of ships with the Samurai class heavy Patrol Cruiser.

51. Based on a standard design that has been used for centuries, the class is built throughout the Confederation and is used by planetary navies and client states as well as in Confederation Navy PatRons (Patrol Squadrons). The Cruiser is designed for long range patrols and has reasonable armor, a powerful beam laser battery and some sandcaster defenses. With four gee acceleration the ship is capable of overhauling most civilian vessels. Two fifty tonne cutters and ten Marines provide the ability to board vessels for searches, should that be necessary. The class has an engineering shop and sickbay allowing the ship to stay on-station for long periods of time.

52. Technology level twelve budgetted increased size hundred five tonne jump drive has a three thousand parsec tonne performance, capped at three parsec range.

53. Probably should aim for five gee acceleration, or at least, as close as possible.

54. Technological level twelve budgetted increased size, advanced energy efficient manoeuvre drive, capped at five gees, two thirty five tonne modules rated at twenty six hundred twenty five thrust tonnes each, totalling fifty two hundred fifty thrust tonnes.

55. Power source would be two thirty five tonne standard fusion reactors, not too sure if default value, since haven't calculated energy budget, but at one thousand fifty power points, probably enough.

56. Ideal engineering outlay would be the two power plants directly behind the two manoeuvre drives, though in a real warship, they're probably staggered.

57. You could position the hundred and five tonne jump drive between them.

58. Two hundred forty five tonnes represents nearly a quarter of the ship's volume; I'm not sure if the preference would be to elongate the motors and surround the engineering compartment with fuel tanks, or compress them, so that the engineering space takes up two or three decks.

59. Engineering layout gets standardized, and the current Confederation class Patrol Cruisers are more or less configured the same.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 06, 2020 8:49 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

60. So you have twenty tonnes of bridge, two hundred forty five tonnes of engineering, four hundred tonnes of jump drive fuel allocation, and forty eight tonnes of armour.

61. That's seven hundred five tonnes, balance two hundred ninety five.

62. Possibly two thirty five tonne shuttles; the point of the streamlining is to permit the patrol cruiser to land dirtside, since even at one kay tonnes, it can't exert much presence in orbit.

63. Seventy five percent of the ship could be modular, which includes fuel and weapon systems, but excludes engineering, bridge, or structural options.

64. On the other hand, podular hulls can include engineering, bridge(s), armour, and one assumes, structural options.

65. You could subdivide the above in any number of breakaway hulls, for an allocation of twenty tonnes, but would require their own bridges and engineering.

66. You could also add in a detachable bridge.

67. It's a little expensive, but the patrol cruiser becomes more of a case of assembling Legoes, which means repairing it has got to be easy, and you could establish stockpiles that would allow new ones to be put together in weeks, in assembly yards, rather than necessitating allocation of rather in demand ship yards.

68. Could this be done to any other type or class of Confederation warship? Yes, but I suspect there are fundamental structural weaknesses, as well as the need to integrate the spinal mount in their fast dreadnoughts, and probably not enough cruisers to make it worthwhile.

69. Not too sure if subcommand bridges bring any tangible benefits to patrol cruisers.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:16 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

70. Basic Engineering contingent would be chief engineer, and a pool of three engineers.

71. The jump drive only needs active intervention during the time it's spooling up by a non specialist engineer, and during the time it spools down after the transition, supervised by the chief engineer, to detect any anomalies, and if necessary, adjust settings, and carry out repairs after it's deactivated.

72. One engineer can be on watch to monitor the two sets of manoeuvre drive and power plants modules.

73. Since this is the Confederation Navy, the chief engineer would need to be engineering two, he'd have an assistant with engineering one, and the engineers would need to have a skill level of one, and in turn, have four apprentices with zero.

74. One of the apprentices gets to act as the ship's mechanic, on a rotating basis.

75. In practice, naval personnel all get pilot zero during basic training, as well as gunner and mechanic, so anyone can be the janitor.

76. The chief pilot would have a skill rating of two, supervising three pilots with a skill rating of one, though going by the rules, flying the ship really isn't an issue.

77. Pilots, specifically those assigned to patrol cruisers, would specialize in spacecraft.

78. It's, of course, my take on the Confederation Navy, but heavy fighters are two hundred tonnes, and medium ones a hundred, so specializing in that not an issue, either, for the Topgunners.

79. The elite cream of the crop, specialize in helming capital ships.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:08 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

80. Coming back to the podular concept, you could subdivide the thousand tonnes into five equal two hundred tonnes pods.

81. Two hundred tonnes is just a placeholder, not necessarily the end goal.

82. Pods don't need a bridge, nor actually a power plant, since they can hook up to the ship's central power and control grid.

83. However, if you do plan to use their hardpoints, which can't be transferred, you might want some form of local control and power supply.

84. For patrol cruisers used for rifting, you could attach a dedicated jump drive subcommand unit next to the jump drive, just to be sure.

85. You could have three different types of pods.

86. The central one containing the jump drive and primary bridge.

87. Two flanking ones with the principal manoeuvre drives, their attached power plant, and some fuel.

88. Two more flanking ones, being the principal jump drive fuel storage.

89. Without needing to mention the need to have some room for the hard point attached weapon systems on each pod.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:44 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

90. It would be pretty easy for the Confederation to just get a bunch of two kay tonne pods and assemble a very large fleet escort or smallish light cruiser.

91. Again, not in the spirit of the setting.

92. But, you can easily go in the other direction.

93. What could be done, at the sacrifice of twenty tonnes, is to turn the two manoeuvre drive modules into two two hundred tonne breakaway hulls.

94. Not quite as elegant as the saucer separation section, if the guano hits the ventilator, the crew could evacuate, in one or both, and escape.

95. More mundanely, the breakaway hulls could fill the role of the onboard cutters.

96. Admittingly, two hundred tonnes may be overkill, and I should have configured it for ninety nine tonne hulls.

97. Furthermore, you could leave the two fuel pods unarmoured, and just add two turrets, though I doubt about ten tonnes of armour allocation would have made that much of a difference.

98. The manoeuvre drive breakaways could have a single subcommand centre bridge specialized for manoeuvring at six tonnes, either of which would normally be manned when joined with the primary pod.

99. Probably have to give the primary pod some token manoeuvring drive, though it probably should have a full bridge to control the entire thousand tonne hull.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:18 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

100. One reason I prefer using the Harrier embedded variant, compared to the default torpedo barbette in High Guard, is to mainly to two reasons.

101. It's very unclear as to how the barbette actually functions, in terms of magazine capacity or rate of fire.

102. The most favourable interpretation is you can launch all three torpedoes at the same time, and that with an additional magazine, they can be reloaded fast enough to launch another spread the following round.

103. Likewise with the firmpoint variant, except it's down to two torpedoes.

104. It's very clear that fixable mounting them, you can at the very least embed two torpedo launchers, and connect them with a magazine, using one tonne of displacement, compared to five tonnes for the barbettes.

105. I added an additional tonne for handling area, whether manually or automatic; automatic probably costs extra.

106. Contrast this with missile barbettes, who have five launchers, and an internal magazine of twenty five missiles.

107. This wasn't an issue when torpedoes actually took up two and a half tonnes, and you could assume the barbette was basically dual torpedo launchers.

108. A fixed mount costs a hundred kay starbux, while a barbette is worth three mega starbux.

109. Adding the two cradles was quoted as requiring one repair unit, which is the equivalent of a quarter mega starbux.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:25 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

110. In most cases, splitting up a hardpoint into three firmpoints doesn't make sense.

111. Exceptionally, if you want to mount weapon systems that can't share space, and/or where range isn't an issue.

112. This is where the grappling gun comes in, whereby it's nature range is going to be short.

113. Also, no indications that you can place multiple examples in the same turret.

114. Possibly, if you upscale this to a bay weapon you could use a mass driver to propel a huge a harpoon and impale the unlucky ship; in the wrong place, right through engineering.

115. If you did split up a hardpoint, most likely it would be on the fuel pods.

116. Next option would be sandcasters, more to cover blindspots, since you can stuff multiple copies into one turret.

117. Another option from Harrier, would be as an assault pod: it still an entire tonne, not a fraction thereof; doesn't state a hardpoint is an actual requirement.

118. Upto four quarter tonne weighing vehicle grade weapon systems; again, range is unlikely to be a consideration.

119. To be clear, hardpoints are usually better options, in terms of range weapin combinations.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:59 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

120. You could squeeze in a small bay in the Patrol Cruiser.

121. In terms of torpedoes, this would give a rate of fire of three, plus a ready magazine of thirty six torpedoes.

122. This doesn't appear to be much different from a hardpointed barbette, assuming rate of fire of three.

123. However, the barbette and a thirty six torpedo magazine weighs in at seventeen tonnes, compared to a fifty tonnes of a small bay.

124. The barbette and the small bay both cost three megastarbux, require the same amount of two power points, but the barbette is available two technological levels lower.

125. A double embedded torpedo cradle set costs three hundred fifty kay starbux, and takes up a tonne, with an optional tonne for internal reloading space.

126. It's possible that mounted and bay fixated weapon systems have a limited arc of fire, compared to a barbette, that can rotate in any direction.

127. Having bays and barbettes may be seen as too aggressive an armament, for a ship that would represent both the diplomatic side of the Confederation, as well as the implied big stick as more openly demonstrated by their fast dreadnoughts; essentially, if you fire on one, it will return with more of it's friends, and if that's deemed insufficient, a Fleet Division or full Fleet Squadron.

128. If the most successful tactic in using torpedoes is in closing the range, and torpedoes are expensive, it's unlikely there's going to be an extended salvoing will occur, as the Patrol Cruiser will want to hit and run.

129. Having torpedoes gives the ship a heavy ortillery capability, which if an extensive bombardment is required, might be better carried out by a more specialized vessel.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:59 pm

Confederation Navy: Patrol Cruisers

130. For some serious fire power, you could have pop up quad mount turrets with fusion guns.

131. The pop up function makes it a surprise, and an unwelcome one.

132. Also, four fusion guns tends to look like a threat.

133. Would this addition from high technology be warranted? The Imperium Navy has both tractor beams and meson bays.

134. The other controversial aspect would be that fifty power points would be pumped through a one tonne turret, which if a meltdown would be expected in any part of a ship' system, this would be it.

135. Quad turrets are described as rare: which would be true, since only the Confederation Navy is a large scale user of them.

136. Plasma pulse guns, especially a set of four, look interesting if they could be used as point defence.

137. If not, trade twenty tonne system for for four beam lasers, that can have a secondary use as anti ship weapon.

138. Four particle beamers with their long range, would be more for firing across the bow.

139. And of course, four missile launchers, which might not be able to spit out five per round like the barbette, but only four and can use the extra four tonnes to store forty eight missiles, compared to twenty five.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:20 pm

Confederation Navy: Collectors and Jump Drives

1. Collectors are technological level fourteen.

2. Make viable five parsec ranged heavily armed and armoured warships.

3. However, if the Confederation had access to this technology, they may actually keep it secret.

4. Since in theory, each use rapidly depreciates collector components, they might be installed in warships that don't need to move too often.

5. Hence, the technology is a deeply guarded secret by Solomani Security, and installed only on their stealth cruisers, that they've been infiltrating Imperial and Occupied space with.

6. Or, perhaps, in more limited numbers, tenders that they use to transport stealthed warships into the Occupation Zone.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:26 pm

Confederation Navy: Bridging

1. One interesting thing I just recently noticed is that spaceship bridges tend to double in size for each weight category.

2. If you look at three and six as more rounding issues, at the other end of the scale, sixty tonnes is more of a fifty percent increase, and within this edition, can completely control any sized spacecraft.

3. While I'm pretty sure this wasn't the (meta) rationale for the cruiser gap, it could be that any spaceship that requires a sixty tonne bridge, is considered by the Solomani to be capital classed.

4. This looks like unnecessarily handicapping themselves.

5. There is, of course, one step further, the command bridge that weighs in at eighty tonnes, and is rather more expensive.

6. The two advantages it does have is a bonus to naval tactics, always welcome, and the control of large number of subsidiary spaceships, probably a necessity when accounting for member state navies.

7. Probably has an inherently better overview of the batttlespace, probably where tactics comes in.

8. So far it's been established that a cockpit can control a fifty tonne spaceship, and a double cockpit upto ninety nine tonnes.

9. It's not been established if they can be used as sub command centres.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:08 pm

Confederation Navy: Bridging

10. The issue with bridge costs that is that it's half a megabux per hundred tonnes, or part thereof, regardless.

11. Which is why you try to hold on to a fifteen kay starbux double cockpit as far as possible.

12. Everything beyond a base cost, has got to be the cost of wiring up the rest of the hull.

13. So unless the rest of the wiring got fried, the cost to replace a bridge should primarily be only the cost of replacing that command centre, not the wiring pervading the rest of the hull.

14. Sub command centres can be specialized to a specific ship system or function, or weapon type.

15. It could be that command bridges in capital ships are heavily supplemented by specialized sub command centres.

16. Small bridge size being forty tonnes, exactly half that of a command bridge.

17. A command bridge could be specialized as well, which at forty tonnes and a quarter million starbux default per hundred tonnes integrated hull, would give the naval tactical bonus, and permit the fleet commander to direct the spaceships under his command as efficiently as a full command bridge, but without the capability to run the host spaceship.

18. Next up could be internal security and life support, which control, egress, ingress, climate control, gravity and keeps track as to where everyone is aboard ship; one without the other doesn't make much sense.

19. This can scale down to six tonnes, being the next tier beneath ten tonnes, which I presume is the default size to conduct jump operations.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Fri Nov 27, 2020 11:07 pm

Confederation Navy: Armaments and Spinal Tapping

1. This is of course, my take on the procurement policy of the Confederation Navy regarding spinal mounts.

2. The Confederation Navy is only interested usually in meson variants, mostly due to their dual suitability as both a warship's primary means of offence, and planetary defence, due to the fact that there are not many industrial bases capable of manufacturing the latest and largest of spinal mounts, and they basically beat the crap out of the Vilani with them.

3. Simply put, the smallest cheapest model, and the most powerful one that can be fitted to their dreadnoughts, at each technological level.

4. High Guard discourages using the primitive and advanced weapon options for spinal mounts, so you're stuck with the default ones.

5. In this case, that means the smallest cheapest option would be a seven and a half kay tonne at technological level twelve.

6. The advantage to this would be that almost all planetary militaries should be able to maintain this weapon system.

7. Combined with modern fire control, dangerous to all but battleships.

8. Sort of the equivalent of that pre Great War six incher.

9. At the other end of the scale, would be those that would arm the Victory, the Zeus and the Prometheus classes, at their respective twelve, thirteen and fourteen technological levels.

10. These are no longer in production.

11. The Six Inchers are manufactured by commercial concerns, while it's big brother(s) are only constructed at Confederation Navy depots, so proliferation is controlled.

12. The meson Six Inchers are also usually used by Confederation Navy cruisers, so if they were a hundred kay tonnes, seems a little underarmed.

13. Particle Accelerator and Railgun spinal mounts might be manufactured for local planetary militaries, and on occasion, the Confederation Navy might acquire a limited run.

14. Confederation Navy is quite willing to repurpose existing out of production models, as as well as any that they salvage from captured or salvaged warships.
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Re: Solomani Confederation (Military)

Postby Condottiere » Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:05 pm

Confederation Navy: Armaments and Spinal Tapping

15. For the Confederation Navy, Railguns had already been obsolescent before technological level thirteen in combat.

16. The one great utility they had was for planetary sieges, specifically bombardment.

17. The limited number of line of battle ships that they had, meant they would almost always install a meson spinal mount to maximize bang for buck; it also helps that they have a second use for planetary bombardment, though rather closer than the Naval Staff would prefer.

18. Stationary targets are the natural targets for railguns, especially as they can launch beyond the horizon, that is, outside normal combat ranges.

19. Like the meson spinal mounts, there are two basic variants, the smallest cheapest, and the most powerful possible.

20. The Medieval equivalents would be a light catapult and a trebuchet.

21. It's quite possible that the Confederation Navy keeps them dissembled, and when faced with a prolonged planetary siege situation, grabs a local planetoid, drills a hole through the centre, and reassembles them.

22. Why two variants: depends on the situation, and how hard it's to crack the planetary mantle. Obviously, the smaller one is faster to set up, but in terms of bang for buck, ammunition costs the same, though for one sixth of the effect for the smaller one.

23. Why have the smaller one: much more effective than even a large bay mass driver variant, only being seven times larger, five times more expensive, while ammunition costs the same.

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