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(16/6/17) - 33nd of Resolve, 4th Year of Emperor Alexander Drakkon, 86AR

During the fourth year of Emperor Alexander Drakkon's reign, the Empire was split in two. The Emperor announced the dissolution of the Council of Houses and all trappings of the Empire refounded under Aldwin Vermine following dissatisfaction with its progress on recent proposals and reformed the Empire into the Imperium of Draco. House Black subsequently announced that all planet's north and inclusive of the Alphecca - Alpheratz line would be placed under his rule. These events happened peacefully and abruptly.

The galaxy of Draco is once more divided between two states. The Imperium of Draco, and the Remnant Realm in the north.



Warship Classes

**Capital Ships

“The Invincible is being moved out of system, the Admiral wants you to divert the entire supply fleet to fuel transport duty.” - Common woe of many Draconian Logistics Chiefs

The Fall has not been kind to Capital Ships. Fewer than two dozen remain operational in Draco, and those are divided between a mere handful of Houses. Many more are known to exist, but most of those are extensively damaged wrecks floating deep in the Godsea. The Achernar system alone has more abandoned Capital Ships than the rest of galaxy has operational ones. The factor prohibiting their recovery is that the only ships capable of towing these wayward hulks are other Capital Ships.

That leads to the other limiting element to Capital Ship use: crippling fuel costs. It can take an entire month of nonstop attention from an average fleet's auxiliary units to deliver enough fuel for a single jump to another system. Because of this, most Capital Ships have been relegated to being oversized orbital platforms. The luckier ones are still confined to actions within a single system.

Capital ships are subdivided into only two subclasses, dreadnaughts and supercarriers. While both are, again, unstoppable in any form of naval combat, the heavy batteries of dreadnaughts are more suited for taking on heavier ships at longer ranges, and the multitude of ordinance options available to a supercarrier and their superior defensive staying power allows them to more easily engage larger numbers of lighter ships at closer ranges.

:: Dreadnaughts mount hundreds of weapon batteries and possess immense survivability, but are nonetheless generally content to volley from behind the friendly frontlines of heavy battleships, due to their enormous worth.

:: Supercarriers have, for the most part, been extensively modified to carry frigates in keeping with current military doctrine. An averge Supercarrier can comfortably host six wings of frigates, or 240 individual ships. Mobility is considered to be vitally important to carrier effectiveness, so Supercarriers are more likely than Dreadnaughts to be supplied with the fuel required to make intersystem jumps.

To date, only capital ships have ever destroyed or disabled capital ships.

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“How do you stop a Meiji fleet? You paint the moon black!“ - Centuries-old Alderamini naval joke

As rough as the millenia have been to Capital Ships, they have been just as kind to battleships. Once considered to be the poor man's Capital Ship, they have managed what was previously unthinkable: they have entirely replaced their larger cousins in galactic warfare. Command Battleships have become the most vital ships in the fleet, and Heavy Battleships also routinely carry the flags of high-ranking naval officers. The fearsome “Blackmoon” battleships serve to anchor most combat groups.

Battleships are divided into six subclasses, “Blackmoons”, heavy battleships, battlecruisers, command battleships, carriers, and assault battleships, the distinction between them generally being armament.

:: “Blackmoons” are one of the most recent developments in naval warfare. Thanks primarily to the loss of the solar furnace, all modern Draconian warships were considered to be vastly inferior to their surviving Golden Age counterparts, primarily of Meiji origin. During the Sivean Reformation, the Rexist forces realized they needed a new kind of ship to counter their enemy's superior Meiji fleet. The result was known by their crews as “Blackmoons”. These massive battleships sacrifice speed for immense increases in armor and armament. Although the Reformation was a failure, the “Blackmoon” design was a success that was quickly picked up by other navies. It's not uncommon for a Blackmoon to be 30% more massive than an 'equal' Meiji ship.

:: Heavy Battleships are very fast, heavily armored, and stuffed to the brim with weapons, giving them a powerful edge in their frontline role: engaging other battleships and cruisers at medium to close range and preventing maneuvering by punishing any ship that dares divert a mote of furnace power to moving rather than firing with heavy barrages of battery and torpedo fire. Most heavy battleships are now armed with charges as well.

:: Battlecruisers are armored engines with guns. Analogous to light battleships of the Golden Age, battlecruisers have the distiction of being even faster than heavy battleships. Protection has been sacrificed on many areas of the ship, and they can only launch a fraction of the charges that a heavy battleship could dispense, but their speed and manoeuverability allows them to run rings around sluggish Blackmoons while evading pesky carrier groups and out-flanking strike cruisers.

:: Command Battleships capitalize on their unique ability to carry an ansible and operate other systems simultaneously, though limited. Command battleships are the least well armed, the second best armored, and boast the best solar furnace of any battleship subclass. They can generally operate their ansible with one other battle system up concurrently, movement or weapons systems. They move at the center of their battlegroup, screened by dozens of lesser ships, linking them back to the fleet capital ship or other battleships. As such, they are generally designed with survivability as a priority, as well as operational time. These ships are the most important element of any fleet group, and are very well-guarded.

:: Carriers have outlived their snub-craft: now all carriers are fitted to deploy a wing of frigates, or 40 vessels. They remain average in all other respects with the exeption of offensive weapons, but some newer carrier designs are rumored to be able to keep pace with a heavy battleship.

:: Assault Battleships are relics from the Golden Age, and never purpose-produced by modern shipyards. Even so, their use in legitimate fleets has increased proportionally. Possessing impressive staying power and Golden Age technology, an Admiral would be insane to refuse the service of one of these ships. Many have been converted into more useful roles.

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“Ugh, we don't have the solars for another run of heavy battleships, and we'll get more use out of a new cruiser class anyway.” – Davis Silberhaut, High Admiral of the Imperial Fleet

Some things never change, even after a galactic catastrophe. Cruisers continue to do everything, for everyone. Some navies consist of nothing but cruisers. In spite of their consistent nature, cruiser designs are also hotbeds of innovation. No Admiral is willing to risk an entire run of battleships or carriers by implementing an experimental feature, so these are tested first on new cruiser designs.

Cruisers are divided into six subcategories, destroyer, strike cruiser, light cruiser, heavy cruiser, escort carrier, and artillery cruiser configurations. The differentiation between them is generally less noticeable than in other classes, hence the title ‘configuration’. The most common subclass of cruiser is the heavy configuration.

:: Destroyers maximize damage output by mounting as many weapons as possible, even at the cost of armor or cooling arrays. Destroyers are thus capable of disproportionately large volumes of fire, for a short time at least. Destroyers generally complement and support larger battleship class warships, where their glaring vulnerability during cooling can be accounted for, but have been increasingly deployed as seperate screening units on the flanks of a larger task force.

:: Strike Cruisers are a relatively recent development. With the increasing deployment of “Blackmoon” heavy battleships, an innovative technician realized that it would be a simple matter to produce a cruiser class that could outrun the lumbering giants. At first, these were just another experimental configuration, but the design proved to be an unprecedented success. Strike cruisers combine the intense but brief firepower of the destroyer with incredible speed, but most of the external armor has been reduced significantly.

:: Light Cruisers, agile and relatively inexpensive, are among the most common ships in the New Empire. These ships are often deployed in tandem with larger vessels, as they excel at handling frigate attacks. Outside of their screening role, light cruisers are the choice patrol craft amongst the Imperial Police, a position they have occupied since its founding.

:: Heavy Cruisers balance staying power, firepower, and speed and are therefore the most versatile. They are usually used as secondary frontline formation craft, though they lack the staying power of heavy battleships and thus must occasionally retreat behind their heavy battleship brethren to vent heat and exercise damage control before leaping into the fray again.

:: Escort Carriers are often converted heavy cruisers, but an increasing number are being purpose-built. While their larger cousins usually store their frigates in internal bays, most escort carriers rely on external racks to transport their half-wing of 20 frigates. Escorts are usually deployed in groups, often sticking closest to their 'sister' ship that carries the other half of their frigate wing. These small carriers are the second-fastest cruiser design and usually mount minimal armor, relying on screens and countermeasures to avoid being crippled.

:: Artillery Cruisers are easily the most controversial cruiser design that has been legitimized as a proper fleet combatant. Charges as a primary armament have long been considered to be solely the domain of battleships, but the experimental Erebus-class cruisers were created to test if that was really the case. Stripped of all weapons except for charge launchers, barely armored, and not especially fast, many fleet purists were sick at the thought of such an unconventional design seeing any real success. They were to be disspointed; Admirality across Draco fell in love with the concept when tests revealed that the Erebus could give a standard cruiser task force enough bite to ward off a battleship.

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“As we launched our charges at the Brigand, we knew that it was going to be the end for both of our ships. I bet those poor suckers on that heavy cruiser were wishing they flew their ship from survival pods, too! The only tough part was waiting for recovery, since I didn't bring a book with me…” - Lt. Malcom Saloman, Frigate Commander

The kaolinite reactors that so limit other classes have given frigates new life. Unlike the solar furnaces of old, kaolinite reactors are scalable, and require much less human oversight. This space reduction isn't as important in larger ships, but in a frigate, every square meter counts. Modern carrier-based frigates are large engines, manoeuvering thrusters, and weapons placed in a chassis with only enough armor to function in the godsea. Most ship systems are automated, and the crew is housed in a small command bridge which doubles as a heavily armored survival pod, ejecting when the ship is crippled or destroyed.

Frigates are divided into four classes: interceptor, tactical, and stealth, and missile.

:: Interceptors are frigates designed to destroy other frigates. They have above-average speed and manoeuverability and powerful targeting sensors, and are usually armed with chemical charge weapons.

:: Tactical Frigates have a single purpose: cripple or destroy larger ships. To this end, these frigates mount charge launchers and sometimes even an extra layer of armor.

:: Stealth Frigates have achieved a new level of prominence, and are used my many navies to scout and shadow high-value tagrets, and occasionally launch charges in an attempt to destroy them. Many stealth frigates are also equipped with powerful EM and comm suites.

:: Missile Frigates are still in use with many small navies and port security associations, as well as regional deployments of the Imperial Police.

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Snub Craft

“How soon can we melt those things down?” - Duke Lawrence Covington, seeking to recover valueable alloys

Snub craft were rendered completely useless by the development of charges, although drop ships are still used in some navies.

:: Drop Ships are a common method of delivering spaceborne marines to a planet’s surface.

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Auxiliary Craft

“It's true. If it weren't for Commodore Isaacson's Combat Support Ships darting through the combat zone and keeping our fleet mobile, there's no way we could have overcome a superior force of battleships like we did.” - Rear Admiral Jonas Richlaeu, after wargames in the Achernar system

Navies can't function without a large auxiliary fleet to support them. Most fleets employ 20-50 of these, but some larger ones utilize more than 200.

:: Replenishment Ships

:: Ammunition Ships

:: Dock Landing Cruisers

:: Repair Ships

:: Auxiliary Docks

:: Training Ships

:: Hospital Ships

:: Tankers

:: Fast Combat Support Ships

:: Support Frigates

:: Medical Frigates

:: Drop Frigates

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draco_reborn/warfare_naval_warfare.txt · Last modified: 2015/10/26 10:16 by Ruarc