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Topics - ngtm1r

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Earth Defence / I Warned You, Snail
« on: August 14, 2009, 03:09:28 AM »
If you've seen my posts in HLP ED threads, you can guess what's coming next.

What is this mod about? What is its premise? How is it framed? Is there a story? What's the story background?

Can it do anything other than post renders and screenshots? (:p)

Tmp2 / Cylon Electronic Warfare
« on: March 28, 2006, 08:31:27 PM »
I'm here to essentially be heretical. You were warned.

Cylon EW capablities are crap.

During the miniseries the Cylons were either unable or unwilling to jam Colonial signals, despite the obvious benefits to their surprise attack. In fact they demonstrated a distinct lack of electronic warfare savvy; they totally missed the trick Apollo pulled with Galactica's EMP coils (one which Colonial opponents had always seen through in wargames!), they were jammed at the critical moment by Helo and the gear aboard a Raptor, and so assumed it destroyed when it was not. They failed to detect the Raptor as it reentered or took off from a planet they were bombarding.

And it keeps getting worse. Despite innumerable times where jamming Colonial DRADIS or comms would have been advantageous in the series, they have not. We have no indication that any Cylon ship even has the capability to jam enemy signals! The sole instance of Cylon EW so far has been in Hand of God, where they "jammed" the missiles launched at a base. It appears likely these were not even in fact truly jammed. The huge course deviation makes it much more likely they were dependant on guidance commands passed from the launching Viper's DRADIS, and the base simply detected the guidance commands and broadcast different ones, using their much more powerful transmitters to "drown out" the commands being passed from the launching Vipers. To make matters worse, it is necessary to consider that these missiles were launched from the Mark IIs, and as such the missiles could well themselves be escapees from the starboard flight pod museum. And even in that episode, the Colonials demonstrated they held the upper hand in EW with the fact that their Raptors were able to observe while themselves remaining totally unseen by the Cylons!

Thus, I submit that the Cylons having impressive electronic warfare capablities is a myth.

Tmp2 / Ideas, Ideas...
« on: March 23, 2006, 08:49:17 AM »
After reading over all the posts and opinions of folks about the Colonial and Cylon fleets...I went and cooked up complete shiplists and descriptions. If the devs feel like lifting this (pretty please?), go right ahead.

Colonial Fleet
Capital ships of the Colonial Fleet have been designed to be roughly analogous to a WWII class and/or type, save where no such role existed, or would not have fit with observed Colonial tendancies

Jump-Capable Viper/Long-Range Bomber

Viper Mark V
The Mark V was an experiment of sorts, the first and only Viper model to mount an FTL drive. The drive is bulky, and while it possesses comparable range to current Colonial models, its fuel efficiency is dismal. This made it necessary to expand the fuel storage of the Mark V in addition to accommodating the drive, giving the Mark V a distinctive, heavyset appearance compared to the slim, sleek looks of other Viper models. Attempts to use the standard 3-engine configuration with the radically altered frame proved unworkable, necessitating the addition of a fourth standard drive. (This move was, and is, regarded as nearly heretical by many Viper pilots.)

The famed agility of the Colonial Viper is not one of the Mark V’s traits, but its four engines give it speed greater then almost any other known craft. If it does not make use of the FTL drive, it is also possessed of impressive endurance thanks to its expanded fuel stores. The Mark V’s computers are highly integrated with the ship and it was designed partly as a scout, so it has extensive datalinks to pass information back to friendly forces. To defeat possible Cylon infiltration of the fighter’s systems, the computers were designed to be incredibly idiosyncratic, and use a unique encrypted programming language. This came back to haunt the Colonial military when it proved impossible to integrate newer FTL drive designs, such as that used by the Raptor, with the Mark V’s other systems.  (This programming language was known to approximately twenty people, all now dead, and it is presumed that EMP from the Cylon nuclear attack on Fleet Headquarters at Picon wiped the only electronic records of it.)

The Mark V has internal storage to both sides of the cockpit for up to six missiles (twelve total), and three underside hardpoints to which additional, heavier weapons can be shackled. The centerline hardpoint was designed specifically to accommodate one of the “Basestar Buster” Class-B 150-megaton nuclear warheads, while the underwing hardpoints could take a 75-megaton Class-C or 50-megaton Class-D nuke, or a four-tube missile pod. Wherever possible long-distance strike missions were assigned to Mark Vs rather then Raptors, because the Mark V could defend itself. Short-range strikes were undertaken by Raptors with more conventional Viper escort.

The Mark V, with its unique ability to both jump and fight, remained in Colonial service despite the introduction of newer and on paper more capable Viper models. At the time of the attack on the Twelve Colonies, roughly 120 Mark Vs were in service, stationed primarily at Sagitaron and Gemenon. As designed, they proved immune to Cylon infiltration of their computer systems. Nonetheless, their fates were grim. The last reports from Gemenon said that the Mark Vs there were down to 45% strength, had expended all available KEW ammunition, and were planning suicide attacks with nuclear weapons shackled to their centerline hardpoint. The Sagitaron Mark Vs were never heard from; it is believed they were caught still on the ground and annihilated in the initial nuclear assault.

Smaller Fighter-Carrying Ship

Fighter Support Ship
Considered a “combatant auxiliary” despite the apparent contradiction in terms, the FSS was a relatively small ship, roughly the size of a Galactica-class’ flight pod. Because of this auxiliary (and arguably oxymoronic) designation the class was not dignified with actual names, instead being identified solely by hull number (i.e. FSS-41). Line officers, more generous, identified them as escort carriers and referred to them as such. Amusingly, this identification, according to a Cylon defector, greatly confused the Cylons when they examined captured message logs and reports and encountered numerous references to “escort carriers” and “CVEs.” For several months the Cylons believed there was an entire class of Colonial warship still unaccounted for.

As its name suggests, the Fighter Support Ship was intended to transport and support a single Viper squadron for relatively short periods, two or three weeks at a normal ops tempo, or one week of “surge” tempo operations (although the pilots will burn out well before then in a “surge” ops situation). Some things had to be compromised to keep the size down; the recovery deck was smaller then most battlestars, making landings more difficult. The recovery deck also served as a launch deck rather then the FSS making use of the launch tubes seen on true Battlestars. The hanger deck was considerably more cramped, and plane-handling a much more intricate exercise as a result. If caught flat-footed with most of its fighters in the hanger deck, the launching speed of an FSS would be abysmal.

Conversely, in spite of the name suggesting it was purely meant to transport and rearm/refuel fighters, the Fighter Support Ship could do far more then merely carry Vipers around. Though not nearly as well armored as a true Battlestar, the FSS had decent armament, with enough AAA weapons to hold out against a decent-sized Raider group and a pair of smaller capital-scale rail cannons in a chin turret. (These weapons were scaled-down versions of those in the main battery of the Fighter Support Ship’s contemporaries, the Mercury-class Battlestars.) It was also somewhat faster and considerably more agile then a true Battlestar, it could make lateral maneuvers without changing orientation that would put even a fighter to shame. If able to get close, very close, the Fighter Support Ship would have been a difficult opponent for a Basestar, able to sidestep defensive missile salvos by rapid lateral maneuvering and pick the bigger ship apart with rail cannon fire.

None of these ships are believed to survive. One, the FSS-121, is known to have survived up until sometime after Galactica’s arrival at Ragnar Station. It attempted to link up with  the Fleet, but during reloading operations Galactica logged a wireless transmission from the -121 indicating that it had been ambushed by a Basestar further insystem, its FTL drive was inoperable, and the -121 did not expect to survive the engagement. It did not arrive at the Station before Galactica and the Fleet departed, seeming to confirm its own expectations.

Light Escort (roughly analogous to a cross between US DE classes and 1920s British DDs)

Lineholder Cutters

More properly, these are named Courageous-class destroyers, though their destroyer designation had long since been downgraded, first to frigate, then to cutter, by the time of Cylon genocide. Their popular name of “Lineholder” came about as a result of their service in the Cylon War. These were the first ships in, and the last out. It was the Courageous-class that lead Colonial defenses against the Cylons before the arrival of the much more capable Battlestars.

Lightly armed and fragile, but equipped with a six-tube heavy missile launcher as standard, the Courageous-class lived up to its name, charging into the teeth of Raider defenses and heavy fire from Basestars themselves to deliver their missiles to the target. They died in droves during those dark early days. A full Courageous squadron of four ships assaulting a Basestar expected to have no survivors, and often did not. Countless squadrons did so anyways, and their sacrifices were not in vain. They held the line against the Cylons spaceside until such a time as more powerful craft could be completed and deployed to defend the Colonies.

The speed of the Courageous-class, and paradoxically their light construction, have been what kept them in service. Because they were so lightly built, it was easier to modify them and keep them up to date then it was to build a new class of ship to fulfill their role. Following the mid-Cylon War deployment of the Theseus-class destroyers, they were downgraded in designation to frigates and assigned escort duties. Continual upgrading and refit kept them an active and integral part of the Colonial Fleet in the post-war period. As time went by they were further downgraded to cutters, and had their missile launchers stripped out in favor of sophisticated sensor arrays. At the time of the Cylon genocide, roughly five hundred were in service, performing picket, light escort, and recon duties. None are known to have survived.

Heavy Escort (analogous to Fletcher/Gearing DD classes)

Electra-class Destroyers
Replacing the Cylon War-era Theseus destroyers, the Electras were designed and deployed roughly twenty years before the Cylon’s genocidal attack. Reasonably quick and agile, they were equipped with a dual-purpose main battery (similar to that found on the Galactica-class, but smaller in scale; the newer weapons had somewhat better ballistic qualities regardless), a pair of six-tube heavy missile launchers, and a variety of light anti-aerospace weapons. Reasonably quick and nimble, they were designed for a traditional destroyer role: good escorts, decent offensive craft when deployed in small groups. They fulfilled these expectations admirably in exercises.

Full war, however, was unkind to them, due to the compromised Command Navigation Protocol. Of the 350-odd ships of the class, one still survives, the Electra herself. Badly damaged by a hit from a Cylon nuke in the opening minutes of the war, this perversely knocked her main computers out and brought uncompromised backup systems online, enabling her to fight off the small force of Raiders that was attacking her. The Electra managed to limp into Ragnar Station alongside the civilian ships of the Fleet, despite being attacked by progressively larger forces of Raiders three more times on the way there. She was in no shape for combat then, and remains that way, having been gradually patched up and converted to a transport.

Advanced Heavy Escort (analogous to HIJMS Shimakaze)

Ajax-class Destroyers
The Ajax was the pride and joy of the Colonial Fleet, the newest and the best. Equipped with a devastating thirty-tube battery of antiship missile launchers in addition to the traditional amount of destroyer main battery and light AAW armament, nearly as fast and agile as a Mark II Viper, the Ajaxes were among the hardest-hitting ships the Colonial Fleet could muster, their missile launchers nearly rivalling the power of a Battlestar’s main battery in terms of damage output. There were not many of them yet in service, only six. Unfortunately, their highly integrated computer systems, and the compromised CNP, doomed them all to never be able to show their true merits.

Light Cruiser (roughly analogous to US Atlanta-class CLs or British Dido-class antiaircraft cruisers)

Athens-class Antiaerospace Cruiser

If the biomechanical Cylon Raiders do dream, perhaps it is electric sheep they see. If they have nightmares, however, then surely those feature a fully operable Athens. Equipped with an unprecedented number of the destroyer-scaled dual-purpose guns and a plethora of lighter anti-aerospace armament, the Athens was meant as a dedicated escort for Battlestars. They were produced on a one-to-one basis for Battlestars, each meant to be a close escort ship; in combat the Athens would have placed itself between incoming enemy fighters or missiles and the Battlestar. Their formidable flak batteries are actually the equal of those to be found aboard a Galactica-class ship, and they have twice as many, though significantly smaller, main battery turrets. They are somewhat quicker and more agile then a Battlestar, the better to be able to protect it, but considerably less well-armored.

During the Cylon attack the Athens-class ships were all destroyed as they attempted to defend their charges. At least one, the Sparta, managed to get itself fully operable late in the Battle of Virgon, but it alone was unable to turn the tide. Survivors from the Battlestar Triton who reached Galactica at Ragnar Station report the Sparta accounted for upwards of a hundred Raiders before a pair of Cylon nuclear warheads slipped through its defenses. Mortally wounded, the Sparta chose to take one last enemy with it, coming about and ramming a pursuing Basestar before its reactors went critical.

Heavy Cruiser (Roughly analogous to US Baltimore CAs )

Elysium-class Cruiser

The Elsyiums are the class that never was. They had only just entered service with the Colonial Fleet at the time of the Cylon attack, and only two ever saw active duty. Despite this, they were not truly “new” ships, having been built upon the hulls of the older, Cylon War-era Titan-class cruisers. Like their forebears they were dedicated antiship platforms, not as powerful as a true Battlestar with only about half the weaponry, but much cheaper to build and armored almost as well as a Galactica-class ship.

Battlecruiser (No true analogue)

Hades-class Heavy Cruiser
The Hades has been described as “a battlestar without Vipers”, a not wholly inaccurate description, although they mounted only about 3/4ths the weaponry of a true Battlestar. However, they were considerably more thickly armored, able to absorb tremendous amounts of punishment. A Hades could just laugh off hits from any nuclear weapon smaller then 25 Mt yield. Considering standard Cylon nuclear warheads for ship-to-ship use are only 55 Kt, the Hades was well-nigh invulnerable to enemy fire. It was also roughly as fast and agile as a cruiser.
The Hades, however, was expensive, and its armor difficult to repair; the sheer size of the plating made it a challenge for Colonial fabrication technology. Only fifteen were in active service at the time of the Cylon attack; two more were in mothballs. None are believed to survive.

And the Battlestars cover both BB and CV roles.

Cylon Armada (for lack of a better name)
Cylon ships have been designed to resemble modern craft of varying degrees of power. They share a trait, however: they have a glass jaw. Compared to Colonial ships, where "armor" was still in the builder's vocabulary, Cylon craft can't take hits.

Rough analogue: Russian Mod Kashin DD

Alpha-class Escort
The Alphas are the only Cylons the Colonial Fleet saw in the years between the Armistice and the Cylon genocide. They were, apparently, destroyer-sized “tattletale” ships. Their primary purpose appeared to be to follow Colonial Battlestar groups around. Roughly fifty were actively engaged in doing this at any one time; most of the intial thirty lost Battlestars fell to a combination of the compromised CNP and nuclear missile strikes from their trailing Alphas. However, they are rather lightly armed otherwise, barely capable of defending themselves successfully against a determined Viper flight and hopelessly outmatched by a Colonial destroyer.

Rough analogue: US Leahy/Belknap CG classes

Beta-class Escort
A cruiser-sized antiaerospace platform, with just enough antiship weapons to defend it from a determined destroyer or give a Colonial cruiser a moment’s pause, the Betas appear to have evolved from the Mars-class cruisers of the Cylon War. Though it mounts a good number of KEWs for point defense, the main armament of the Beta appears to be antifighter missiles in fore and aft launchers. Just how effective the Beta is is a matter for speculation, as to date no Colonial craft without the compromised CNP have engaged one.

Rough analogue: US Ticonderoga CG

Gamma-class Escort
Details on the Gamma-class are sketchy, for the obvious reason that few Colonial ships who encountered them survived. They apparently represent an all-purpose cruiser-sized ship, with heavy missile armament that is suitable for both antifighter and anticapital work. They are thin-skinned, however; despite having half its main battery inoperable the Battlestar Triton blasted a pair of them to pieces in under three minutes, though the beating it received in return was fatal to the malfunctioning Battlestar.

Rough analogue: Russian Okean AGI

Delta-class auxilary
The Delta appears to be the Cylon electronic warfare ship. It is nearly unarmed, but bristles with a variety of ECM and ECCM gear. EW is a Cylon forte, and always has been, yet there are strange contradictions in the design of the Delta. The ship appears based on the Colonial “Mole” EW ship, phased out of service shortly after the introduction of the Raptor. Its jamming/counter-jamming gear is superb, but its sensor capablities seem to be weak. Why the Cylons would base their main EW craft on a Colonial ship of presumably inferior capablity, and shortchange its sensor gear, is a mystery.

Rough analogue: Various small carrier classes, including the British Invincible, Russian Moskva, and some variant configurations of US LHDs

Pluto-class Light Carrier
The Pluto-class is a familiar foe to Colonial forces, apparently nearly unchanged since its appearance during the Cylon War. It can deploy somewhat more Raiders now, 36 instead of the original 24, but retains its KEW-only armament and still has no anticapital weapons to speak of. It is theorized that this is to ease supply by ensuring the carrier and its fighters use the same ammunition.

Rough analogue: Many and varied PTM classes, but primarily the Russian Osa series. Could also be considered the Cylon's dedicated bomber.

“Snapper” Epsilon-class Fast Attack Craft
Apparently based upon the Cylon War Juno-class FACs, the “Snappers,” as they are known to Colonial pilots, are designed to do one thing: live long enough to launch their missiles against a Colonial ship. They are prone to exploding in spectacular fashion when struck by even light Colonial weapons, not much larger then a Heavy Raider, armed with a twin-turreted KEW forward, a single mount KEW aft, and six single-shot heavy missile tubes. When faced with any real opposition they are invariably slaughtered in great numbers...but are also invariably deployed in great numbers.

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