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 Post subject: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:48 pm 
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Just like the question ask, hwo many different class of space warships, do you think there will be and why. Please give an reason and/or job for each class, and more important, explain why no other class of ship can do that job.Also when you give your reason, could you use science behind it, in order to add soild ground to your answer.


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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:59 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:18 pm 
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I have been to that site before and have read that section of the website. Ken did give good input, but the best comes from Adam D. Ruppe.

This is what he said on the we site.

Quote:
I don't think there would be a huge variation in the types of warships seen. You'd have the big battleship which would dominate everything it fights, and then maybe smaller ships that could cover more area at once and engage in light combat, but wouldn't stand up to the battleships. Red called these 'frigates' in his Humanist Inheritance fiction, probably because their role is similar to the ship of the same name from the age of sail, and it is a term I like, so I will use it here. However, note 'cruiser' may also be an applicable moniker for these ships, probably depending on its specific mission rather than its design goal.

I feel these would exist due to economic efficiency rather than speed or range difference like those seen in the real sailing frigates. Let me explain.


Many of the arguments against space fighters can actually be used when talking about other capital ship classes as well. Let's look at what the roles of various naval ship classes basically were, and see if they could have an analog in space.

You had corvettes, which were small, maneuverable ships used close to shore. This role doesn't really apply in space. You might argue low orbit around a planet could be seen as a shore, but the problem is combat ranges would be rather large. If you have a stationary asset in LEO that you want to attack, you could put your battleship arbitrarily far away and attack it at will. If you have a mobile asset in LEO you want to attack, you can still attack it from some distance away, probably around one light second, to avoid too much light speed lag targeting issues and diffraction of your laser beams over the distance.

For comparison, the moon is about one and a half light seconds away from Earth. So, the battleship could be sitting out two thirds the distance to the moon and easily engaging the LEO target with precision and power. Corvettes being there wouldn't be of any help on defense, and the battleship can do their job on offense just as well, and at longer range.

A corvette type ship might be useful to the Coast Guard for police and search and rescue work, but that is an entirely different realm than a warship.

How about cruisers / frigates? The historical usage of the term referred to a small but fast warship, capable of operating on their own, and often assigned to light targets or escort duty. I do see an analog to this role in space.

A frigate would be no match for a battleship, however they would be useful in force projection, due to presumably being cheaper to produce and operate, thus more numerous. I'll be back to this in a moment.

And of course, battleships would be the backbone of the war fleet, able to swat down anything that comes at them except other battleships. If it were economically feasible to build a huge fleet of battleships, I see no reason not to. Let's investigate some of their traditional disadvantages and see if they apply in space.

The big one is speed: the huge battleship can take just about anything dished out to it and dish out enough to destroy nearly any other class of ship, but its huge size makes it slow. This isn't so much of a concern in space. Allow me to elaborate.

There are two things in space that are relevant when talking about "speed": delta-v and acceleration.

Delta-v is determined by the specific impulse (fuel efficiency) of the ship's engines and the percentage of the ship's mass that is fuel. Tonnage of the ship doesn't really matter here: it is a ratio thing. If the specific impulse is the same and the fuel percentage to total mass the same, any size ship will eventually reach the same final speed. Thus, here, if fuel costs are ignored, small ships have no advantage over large ships. (And indeed, if you are going on a long trip, the large ship offers other advantages in how many supplies or for war, how many weapons it can carry at no cost to delta-v, again, if the ratio remains constant) So the question is how fast can they reach it, which brings me to acceleration.

Acceleration is determined by total engine thrust and the total mass of the ship. At first glance, it seems that the smaller ship would obviously have the advantage here, but there are other factors that need be observed.

One is the structural strength of the materials of which the ship is constructed. This becomes a big problem on insanely huge ships with larger accelerations, since the 'weight' the spaceframe must support goes up faster (it cubes) than the amount of weight it can handle (it squares). Mike talks about this on the main site when he debunks the silliness of giant insects. However, steel is strong enough that with realistic sizes and accelerations, this should not be an issue before one of the other ones are.

One that is a much bigger problem is how much the human crew can handle. In the space / atmospheric fighter thread we had the week before last, Broomstick discussed the limits of the human body to great accelerations. Well trained people in g-suits can handle 9 g's for a short time, but much more than this is a bad thing to just about everyone - their aorta can't handle it. In fact 5 positive g's are enough to cause most people to pass out, as she explains. If the crew is passing out, the ship is in trouble. This problem can be lessened by the use of acceleration couches: someone laying down flat can handle it much better for longer, but even 5 g's laying down is going to be very uncomfortable, and the crew will have a hard time moving their arms. Extended trips would probably be best done at 1 g so the rocket's acceleration simulates Earth normal gravity, with peak acceleration being no more than 3-5 g's for humans in the afore mentioned couches if possible.

That is probably the most significant limit on acceleration, since it is an upper limit of humans. No matter what technology exists, this cannot be avoided.

The third limitation will be based on the technical problem of generating this much thrust for the mass. This, too, can provide an upper limit, since adding more engines on to a ship will eventually give diminishing returns. The reason for that is the available surface area on the back of the ship where the engine must go increases more slowly than the mass of the ship as it grows. But, for a reasonably sized ship, this should not be a tremendous problem, especially when nuclear propulsion techniques are used, many of which have already been designed and proven feasible in the real world. Fission nuke pulse propulsion can provide 400 mega-newtons of thrust according to the table on Nyrath's Atomic Rockets website (see the row for Project Orion).

Three gees is about 30 metres per second squared acceleration. F = ma, so let's see what mass is possible. 4e8 / 3e1 = 1e7 kg, or about 10000 metric tonnes. Incidentally, this is the number Sikon used for his demonstrations in the October thread about brick vs needle. I think it a reasonable number for a battleship, so rather than repeat the benefits of this, I refer you back to that thread and the posts of GrandMasterTerwynn and Sikon on the first page, who discussed it in more depth than I am capable of. I agree with most of the views Sikon expressed in that thread.

So, for these sizes, the speed argument against battleships is very much sidelined.

You also pointed this out later in your post that these advanced propulsion techniques do not necessarily scale down very well, which may also serve as a lower limit on ship size, which is probably more relevant than the upper limit it causes.

You might ask if pushing for a greater peak acceleration would be worth it, and it is not, in my opinion. The reason again goes to the human limitations. Even if your warship is pulling 10 gees, it most likely won't help against a missile, which can still outperform you.

An acceleration of even 1 g should be enough to throw off enemy targeting at ranges of about one light second. By the time the enemy sees what you are doing, you have already applied 10 m/s change to your velocity. Then, if he fires back with a laser, you have another second to apply more change. This would be enough to help prevent direct, concentrated hits. Having even five times more acceleration will offer little advantage over this in throwing off targeting or wide spread impact of lasers of particle beams, due to the ranges and the size of your warship, which is certain to measure longer than 50 metres. For missiles and coilgun projectiles, it matters even less, simply due to the time the enemy fire arrives, you have plenty of time - minutes - to have moved. 1g is plenty for that, attainable by a nuke pulse engine for sizes around 30,000 metric tonnes.

Long range acceleration would again be limited to around 1 g or less due to the humans, mentioned above. However, even at 1g constant acceleration (which would probably not be used due to fuel concerns anyway), an Earth to Mars trip could be measured in mere days. More offers little advantage there either.

Lastly, there may be a question of rotation. A more massive and longer ship would have a greater moment of angular inertia than a smaller ship, thus requiring more torque to change its rate of rotation. Again, I don't feel this will be a major concern. At the ranges involved, you again have some time to change direction. However, this does pose the problem in quick, random accelerations to throw off enemy targeting.

Going with the 10,000 metric ton ship, let's assume it has an average density equal to that of water: one tonne per cubic meter. For the shape, I am going to assume a cylinder, about 10 meters in diameter (about the same as the Saturn V), with all the mass gathered at points at the end. The reason of this is to demonstrate a possible upper number for difficulty of rotation (moment of inertia), not to actually propose this is what it would look like. Actually determining an optimal realistic shape for such a ship would take much more thought.

With this, we can determine the length of the cylinder to be 10000 / (π r2) = about 130 metres long. Now, we can estimate the moment of inertia, for which, we will assume there are two point masses of 5000 tons, each 65 meters away from the center. So moment of inertia for the turning axis (as opposed to rotating), is 2*5000 * 65^2 = about 4e10 kilogram meters squared.

Now, let's assume there are maneuvering jets on each end that would fire on opposite sides to rotate the ship. Let's further assume these have thrust about equal to that found on the space shuttle, simply because it is a realistic number that I can find: about 30 kilo-newtons. Let's determine torque, which is radius times force, so 3e4 * 65 * 2 (two thrusters) = about 4e6 newton meters. Outstanding, now we can determine angular acceleration possible.

Angular acceleration = It, where I is moment of inertia and t is torque. So, we have 4e6 / 4e10 = 1e-4 radians per second squared. This is about a meager 10th of a degree per square second. Remember this is acceleration - change in rotation rate. Once spinning, it would tend to continue spinning. This is also a lower limit: most likely, the thrusters would be more numerous than I assumed, and probably more powerful as well, and the mass probably would be more evenly distributed. But anyway, let's see if it might be good enough.

As I said when discussing linear acceleration, you would want some quick randomness to help prevent a concentrated laser beam from focusing on you, and you would want the ability to change your path within a scale of minutes to prevent long range coilgun shells from impacting. There isn't much you can do about missiles except point defense: a ship cannot hope to outmaneuver them due to limitations of the crew, if nothing else.

Some unpredictable linear acceleration should be enough to do these tasks, unless the enemy can get lined up with you, in which case, you will want to change direction to prevent him from using your own acceleration against you, and blasting you head on. So the concern is can you rotate fast enough to prevent the enemy from lining up with you. So, let's assume the enemy can change direction infinitely fast, and can thrust at 3 g's. The range will still be one light-second.

We can calculate how much of an angle he can cut into the circle per second if he attempted to circle around you. His thrust must provide the centripetal acceleration, so we can use that as our starting point. Centripetal acceleration is equal to radius times angular velocity squared, thus, sqrt(30 / 3e8) = 3e-4 radians per second.

So, its angular velocity is three times that of the acceleration of the battleship. Thus, it would take the battleship three seconds to match that rotation rate. It would also want to spin faster to make up for lost time, thus lining up on your terms again. I feel this is negligible because of two factors: if the enemy actually was orbiting like this, its position at any time would be predicable, thus vulnerable, and the battleship can probably see this coming: the enemy's tangential velocity must also be correct to do such a burn - he can not randomly change the orientation of his orbit due to his limitations on linear acceleration. This means you can see what he is doing and prepare for it with a small amount of time of him setting the terms. In this small time, he would not even move a degree on you: still easily within your armor and firing arc. (Also, weapons turrets on the battleship would surely be able to rotate at a much, much faster rate, so outrunning them is impossible anyway).

Thus, I feel neither linear acceleration nor angular acceleration are significant limiting factors as size increases within this order of magnitude.

Long story short: unlike marine navies, speed is not a significant factor in space warship design, unless you are getting into obscene sizes.

And, since I find it interesting, I want to finish talking about possible ship classes, so back to the comparison list.

Submarines depend on stealth, and since there is no stealth in space (barring pure magic like the Romulan cloaking device), there are no submarines in space.

Destroyers operated to protect larger ships against submarines and small, fast ships, like torpedo boats. Since speed is not a significant factor and stealth impossible, there are no fast ships nor subs, meaning the destroyer has nothing to do, thus would not exist. (Though, you might chose to call what I call frigates destroyers if you prefer the name, but IMO the role is different enough that is isn't really accurate. But the US Navy somewhat does this, so it is up to you as the author.)

A cruiser is simply a ship that can operate on its own. Frigates, destroyers, and battleships can all also be called cruisers depending on their mission.

A battlecruiser is a ship meant to be able to outrun anything it can't outgun - it had the speed of a lighter cruiser with the guns of a battleship. In real navies, this was usually achieved by taking armor off a battleship. However, since speed is not limited by mass in the given order of magnitude, a battleship and battlecruiser would have the same speed: the battleship would be a clearly superior vessel. Thus, no battlecruisers. (Now, if you have FTL, then that might create a battlecruiser class, but I am trying to avoid talking about magic in this discussion, since as the author, it is entirely up to you what the magic can and cannot do)

A destroyer escort is a small, relatively slow ship used to escort merchant ships and protect them against submarines and aircraft. But, in the real world, aircraft can threaten a ship due to its superior speed and submarines due to stealth. So neither of them are there, making the destroyer escort worthless. Frigates or battleships would have to be doing the escorting, since they are the only things that can stand up to what they will be fighting: other frigates or battleships.

Now, a little more on what I mean by frigate. It is basically a smaller battleship, built simply because I am presuming they will be cheaper to produce and maintain, thus allowing more of them to exist. With more of them, they can be in more places doing more things. Cost is the only real benefit I can think of: if for some reason you could crank out and operate / maintain battleships for the same cost, I see no reason why you would not.

The 10,000 ton proposal might actually be the frigate, with the battleship being larger than that, or it might be the battleship with the frigate being smaller than that. The relationship would remain the same, however.


I think that this is the biggest thing to figureing out how many ships there will be. You can see even in this game that there is not a lot of different classes of warships.


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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:53 pm 
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In AV:T, there's a further constraint.

Drive output.

In the (incredibly complex) AV:T ship design spreadsheet, you can input mass (in hull spaces), total drive output, and drive efficiency and get the thrust available. Or put in any three variables and find the fourth.

Combine this with other constraints (desired cruise endurance, defenses, weapon loadout) and there's a lot of solutions to the assorted problem.

We use (in general) four categories of hyperdrive capable warships.

1) Corvettes - these usually only have one hyperdrive, are built because they're cheap, and you need to cover convoys. In a battle line, their primary defense is that there's always something more important worth shooting at.
2) Frigates - these are usually multi-role multi-hyperdrive ships. If you need a rapid response force, or something to cruise and show the flag, frigates are going to be the main mission participants.
3) Light cruisers - these are halfway between frigates and heavy cruisers; they usually have frigate armament and heavier defenses, but trade off a bit of thrust.
4) Heavy cruisers - these fulfill the "battleship" role in your taxonomy above.

Within these categories are groupings on patrol or line. Patrol oriented ships have less armor, and more cruise endurance. Line are the reverse. There really aren't line corvettes, and so far, nobody's ever deployed a patrol cruiser that's actually a cruiser and not an oversized frigate.

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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:48 pm 
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In general, every component on a ship is going to be subject to scaling laws which will favor size ranges. Depending on tech assumptions, that size might be 'as large as possible', but other numbers are possible; in offense-dominated environments, the ideal size is generally 'the smallest ship that can comfortably hold required system X'. However, different classes of ship mostly arise where they have different purposes -- for example, if one class of ship needs a component that weighs 10,000 tons, and another doesn't, ships of the first class will be >10,000 tons, ships of the second class might be much smaller.


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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:58 am 
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Andrew Nelson wrote:
I have been to that site before and have read that section of the website. Ken did give good input, but the best comes from Adam D. Ruppe.

This is what he said on the we site...

Yes, I know. It's my website. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:42 am 
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Will this that bring up a question that I got after going to your website, Winchell Chung.

Quote:
The author can still use the drive, but must consider the logical ramifications of the wide-spread civilian availability of the equivalent of thermonuclear weapons. Consider: the more energy the drive contains , the worse the damage if an accident occurs. How would you like to have the captain of the Exxon Valdez skippering a tramp freighter with an antimatter drive? That brilliant mushroom cloud you see marks the former location of Clinton-Sherman spaceport. The more devastation a propulsion system can wreck, the shorter the leash the captains will be on.

So one of the logical ramification is that if drives are too powerful, there won't be any colorful tramp freighters or similar vessels. As a matter of fact, civilian spacecraft will probably by law be required to have a remote control self-destruct device that the orbital patrol can use to eliminate any ship that looks like it is behaving erratically or suspiciously.

Most of the nasty effects of Jon's Law are due to the propulsion system's exhaust. The presence of an exhaust is because rockets use Newton's Third Law (the one about action with equal and opposite reaction). Canny SF authors postulate some kind of hand-waving reactionless drive in an attempt to avoid Jon's Law. Reactionless means no exhaust is required. You feed electricity in, and the ship is magically accelerated. The "gravitic impellers" from David Weber's HONOR HARRINGTON series is an example of a reactionless drive.

Unfortunately such canny SF authors then run smack dab into Burnside's Advice. Burnside's Advice is that Friends Don't Let Friends Use Reactionless Drives In Their Universes. The trick is making a reactionless drive that doesn't give you the ability to shatter planets with the Naval equivalent of a rowboat (which would throw a big monkey wrench into the author's carefully crafted arrangement of combat spacecraft). Reactionless drives, with no fuel/propellant constraints, will give you Dirt Cheap Planet Crackers. If you have a reactionless drive, and stellar economics where most of the common tropes exist (privately owned tramp freighters), you also have gravitic drive missiles. And avoiding Planet Crackers Done Real Cheap is almost impossible to justify on logical grounds, the SF author is faced with quite a daunting task.


Does this mean that any thing in spaces would be an WMD, at the end of the day? Also because, people normally use the most powerful energy sources as an weapon as well as an power source, why do I see in no game or story, any of the factions using FTL drive with FTL weapons? It would be like having nuclear powered ships, but no nuclear weapons. Is this just an way so that there are large battle ships moving around, or is there something I missed?

Also Ken in you Attack Vector Setting Book on page 11 under the "The Loss" section it seems that the Novaya Rossiya, call there ships the University of ____ . Does this mean that ship like the Sv Shokoladki are also called the University of Sv Shokoladki?

But lets move back to the different class of ships. I see very little reaseon for there to be no more then 4 class of any type of ship in space, even counting those without hyper drives. Now it may be the model they were build on, but I'm still haviung a hard time, seeing why everone else didn't end up with one class of ship liike the Novaya Rossiya, or them ending up with more then one class of ship.


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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:41 am 
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Andrew Nelson wrote:

Does this mean that any thing in spaces would be an WMD, at the end of the day?


Pretty much, and the Arean Attack that formed the FN is an acknowledgement of the WMD-ish nature of anything at orbital speeds.

Quote:
Also because, people normally use the most powerful energy sources as an weapon as well as an power source, why do I see in no game or story, any of the factions using FTL drive with FTL weapons?


Depends on the setting. Later Honorverse novels have FTL-telemetry guided missiles. The Starfire novels had weapons that moved through warp points to clear mine fields and batter down fortresses.

AV:T doesn't, because I don't let the magic FTL drive work without a human being on board. It tends to make for very poor game play when this is allowed.

Quote:
It would be like having nuclear powered ships, but no nuclear weapons. Is this just an way so that there are large battle ships moving around, or is there something I missed?


It depends on the parameters of the weapons and the FTL drive. AV:T's FTL drives put you in close to the star, and nothing in AV:T is going to be weaponizable and targetable from there to planetary orbit distances, in large part because that isn't the kind of game we want.

Quote:
Also Ken in you Attack Vector Setting Book on page 11 under the "The Loss" section it seems that the Novaya Rossiya, call there ships the University of ____ . Does this mean that ship like the Sv Shokoladki are also called the University of Sv Shokoladki?


Nope. The Russian Navy (and Army) has a long standing tradition of having 'fundraisers" where civil organizations will try to raise money for a specific unit. Think of it as naming rights for a sports stadium carried to military units.

Quote:
But lets move back to the different class of ships. I see very little reaseon for there to be no more then 4 class of any type of ship in space, even counting those without hyper drives. Now it may be the model they were build on, but I'm still haviung a hard time, seeing why everone else didn't end up with one class of ship liike the Novaya Rossiya, or them ending up with more then one class of ship.


Because while there are four roles of ships in general (and role 3 above is a bit of a hybrid along a continuum), there are different points along those continuums that result in different ship types. NR only had one class of frigate, because it's all they can afford, and the Shok is a terrible choice as a patrol unit.

Everything has tradeoffs; different points in those tradeoffs result in different ships. One of the tradeoffs is money.

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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:36 am 
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Quote:

Quote:
Quote:
Also because, people normally use the most powerful energy sources as an weapon as well as an power source, why do I see in no game or story, any of the factions using FTL drive with FTL weapons?


Depends on the setting. Later Honorverse novels have FTL-telemetry guided missiles. The Starfire novels had weapons that moved through warp points to clear mine fields and batter down fortresses.

AV:T doesn't, because I don't let the magic FTL drive work without a human being on board. It tends to make for very poor game play when this is allowed.



Yes it would be based on the type of FTL system. If your FTL system is a number of jump points, then all you can do is send through guided missiles. But if it is a system that allows for you to travel in some type of space, then you would just attach the drives to the back of the missile or fighter drone.

If we had the able to jump without a human, then we would break Burnside's Zeroth Law of space combat.

Quote:
Most people instinctively know Burnside's Zeroth Law of space combat: Science fiction fans relate more to human beings than to silicon chips. That is, while it might make more logical sense to have an interplanetary battle waged between groups of computer controlled spacecraft, it would be infinitely more boring than a battle between groups of human crewed spacecraft.


Next question do other fleets other then the Russian Navy "fundraisers" there ships as well?

Quote:
Quote:
But lets move back to the different class of ships. I see very little reaseon for there to be no more then 4 class of any type of ship in space, even counting those without hyper drives. Now it may be the model they were build on, but I'm still haviung a hard time, seeing why everone else didn't end up with one class of ship liike the Novaya Rossiya, or them ending up with more then one class of ship.


Because while there are four roles of ships in general (and role 3 above is a bit of a hybrid along a continuum), there are different points along those continuums that result in different ship types. NR only had one class of frigate, because it's all they can afford, and the Shok is a terrible choice as a patrol unit.

Everything has tradeoffs; different points in those tradeoffs result in different ships. One of the tradeoffs is money.



Ken could you explain the what those four different roles are.

Here what I came up with as roles.

1. First class warships: The largest combat ships in your fleet, made for defending planets and taking them. This means that they need to be powerful enough to fight there way through planetary defenses or be powerful enough to stand toe to toe with an attack fleet. I think that the Honorverse novels call them "ships of the wall". There like the WMDs of your space fleet.

2.commerce protection and commerce raiding, or they them selfs are Freighters and transport ships. These ships are there to attack then enemys supply lines. I also came to the ideal that sense anything in space is an WMD system. Then you have the as Winchell's website said;

Quote:
The author can still use the drive, but must consider the logical ramifications of the wide-spread civilian availability of the equivalent of thermonuclear weapons. Consider: the more energy the drive contains , the worse the damage if an accident occurs. How would you like to have the captain of the Exxon Valdez skippering a tramp freighter with an antimatter drive? That brilliant mushroom cloud you see marks the former location of Clinton-Sherman spaceport. The more devastation a propulsion system can wreck, the shorter the leash the captains will be on.

So one of the logical ramification is that if drives are too powerful, there won't be any colorful tramp freighters or similar vessels. As a matter of fact, civilian spacecraft will probably by law be required to have a remote control self-destruct device that the orbital patrol can use to eliminate any ship that looks like it is behaving erratically or suspiciously.


This would mean, having people with remote self-destruct control of your ships or them being warships themselves ( as you would never let your enemy have remote self-destruct control of your ships). Also with them being warships themselves, They would not need commerce protection, could do there own commerce raiding, in which they could steal enemy goods, and if needed, could be used as cheap replacements for First class warships. On top of that, during times of peace, they could pay back the taxes payers with trading for them.

3. Partol, Courier, and Local defense class. This is more based on What type of FTL system there is, if you have FTL sensors and/or comm. that is. There is no point of an courier ship if you have FTL comm. and there is no point for partol ships if you have FTL sensors. You also don't need Local defense ships, unless the cost of building is so high that you have few locations, then you have First line or other ships to defended with.


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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Add to list of types motherships and parasites. Due to the way the drives work, you can get much better performance from gunboats and corvettes than larger ships, especially in the earlier periods. This means you need ships to act as tenders. Some of these evolved into multi-role cruisers, with the Daixhing as a fine example, since some or all of the gunboat docks can be used to carry cargo or personnel pods.

Note that as technology improves, what was a suitable patrol frigate or battleship will change, and those older hulls may be kept in service another decade or two for use in lower priority areas.

Corrections: The FN predated the Arean attack, but got much stronger after that, gaining new members and more power internally. The Russians, in our setting, used public subscriptions to name their ships. University of Kiev is an example, and the Shok is named after a candy manufacturer. The shipbook gives examples in the form of the Shok class names.

So, we have ships intended for main line combat. This does not mean ships of the wall, and it is perfectly valid to have a heavy cruiser which expects to be supported by a couple of corvettes to handle things that might otherwise distract the heavy from its primary objectives. This might include missile defense, dealing with enemy ships trying to get a flank shot on the weaker armor or such. We might have ships from the current and previous generation of battle units. We might have some patrol vessels or an attempt at a hybrid patrol/combat type in the action. We might have ships built around missile attacks as specialty units, ships built around the largest lasers available, and ships built around a more balanced laser armament. Are these worthy of being called different types? I'd say so. I might be willing to say there are only a few categories of ships, with multiple types within those categories, and multiple classes in each type.

As the guy keeping the master list of ship classes, I have put a little thought into 10W ships, and I can flat out say that the concept that you can get by with just maximum size warships and a reasonable sized patrol ship is not going to work. The more you try to place yourself as the chief of naval operations for one of our nations, the stronger that becomes. I have hundreds of classes of ships in my notes, with who operates and builds them, when and with what technology and whatever else is currently known about them. Obviously most are not detailed enough that it is worth trying to build them in the spreadsheet of doom, but as we get less scared of new iterations that force the ships to be put through the wringer again, and I get moving/computer changes under control, I'll get back to designing ships we won't see for years to come.

I have tried to convince Ken that the next Nexus Journal should have the first warship, the FN Continent class Corvette, and the FN battleship which was under construction when the Loss got in the way.

We have slightly more classes in the Saladin War than fit in two more shipbooks. There are more in the period before that, but after the Loss, as various Orphans from nations on Earth which were not represented in the colonies are used until they break. Obviously pre-Loss gets complex, and we have worked on what comes after the Saladin War.

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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:46 pm 
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Quote:
Add to list of types motherships and parasites. Due to the way the drives work, you can get much better performance from gunboats and corvettes than larger ships, especially in the earlier periods. This means you need ships to act as tenders. Some of these evolved into multi-role cruisers, with the Daixhing as a fine example, since some or all of the gunboat docks can be used to carry cargo or personnel pods.


:idea: There is a point there. I belive that the number and types of warships, will be based on what your type of FTL is. You just made the case for that with the "mothership and parasite" do to how the drives work in this game.

Quote:
Note that as technology improves, what was a suitable patrol frigate or battleship will change, and those older hulls may be kept in service another decade or two for use in lower priority areas.


:idea: This is turn if the what you get out of keeping them only is less then the cost of replacing them. This would be more ture in other space were there is an large cost in building space ships. I know that the cost of each ship is on the back of the ships book, but don't know how much there is for the Deul Cost or the Econ Cost. :?: Are those cost in billions, or what?

Quote:
Corrections: The FN predated the Arean attack, but got much stronger after that, gaining new members and more power internally. The Russians, in our setting, used public subscriptions to name their ships. University of Kiev is an example, and the Shok is named after a candy manufacturer. The shipbook gives examples in the form of the Shok class names.


candy manufacturer....... :?: ...... :?: ....... :) ....... :D ........ :lol: .. :lol: . :lol:

Quote:
So, we have ships intended for main line combat. This does not mean ships of the wall, and it is perfectly valid to have a heavy cruiser which expects to be supported by a couple of corvettes to handle things that might otherwise distract the heavy from its primary objectives. This might include missile defense, dealing with enemy ships trying to get a flank shot on the weaker armor or such. We might have ships from the current and previous generation of battle units. We might have some patrol vessels or an attempt at a hybrid patrol/combat type in the action. We might have ships built around missile attacks as specialty units, ships built around the largest lasers available, and ships built around a more balanced laser armament. Are these worthy of being called different types? I'd say so. I might be willing to say there are only a few categories of ships, with multiple types within those categories, and multiple classes in each type.


So the "ships of the wall" in the Honorverse novels are not the main line combat warships? Then what is point of the so called "ships of the wall" thing, because I'm losed.

The different types, for different class only means that people have a different view of what a ship of the same class should be. But this is more of an factions thing then anything else. Japan did not make the same type of cruiser as we did. As long as you have different factions, you will always have different types of ships of the same class.

Quote:
I can flat out say that the concept that you can get by with just maximum size warships and a reasonable sized patrol ship is not going to work.


This is were I think that we are going to cross swords. The Novaya Rossiya only has even less then what you are talking about, and seems to be doing good for itself. The Federated Nations also only have to(i.e. before the Loss) and they seem to be doing well to.


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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:45 pm 
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Andrew Nelson wrote:
:idea: There is a point there. I belive that the number and types of warships, will be based on what your type of FTL is. You just made the case for that with the "mothership and parasite" do to how the drives work in this game.


No, there are concerns over and above the FTL type. That is a sufficient reason for some, for instance there is a case to be made for ships with just Epsilon Drive for the Epsilon Corridor. A poor case, it concedes the rest of known space, but it can be done. Other reasons include failure to be able to procure enough ships of the preferred type to keep the desired total on station, desire for specialized types which are not useful enough to be the standard type, such as the FN's Versailles class Defense Frigate, not yet published, or even a belief that some missions deserve the best you can field, but others deserve merely something which can get there and do something.

Andrew Nelson wrote:
:idea: This is turn if the what you get out of keeping them only is less then the cost of replacing them. This would be more ture in other space were there is an large cost in building space ships. I know that the cost of each ship is on the back of the ships book, but don't know how much there is for the Deul Cost or the Econ Cost. :?: Are those cost in billions, or what?


This is one of the places I don't want to go, since I'm still working on finding the best possible balance between costs needed to allow Ken's desired mix of ships, and what that does to fleet sizes before the Loss. Suffice it to say that torch production is a limiting factor, and even if it would notionally cost less to replace, sometimes it is cheaper to keep the older hulls operational because you can't ramp up production of torches fast enough, and sometimes because the legislature will appropriate money to keep a ship operating, but balk at a notionally cheaper replacement because of the up front costs.

Andrew Nelson wrote:
Quote:
So, we have ships intended for main line combat. This does not mean ships of the wall,


So the "ships of the wall" in the Honorverse novels are not the main line combat warships? Then what is point of the so called "ships of the wall" thing, because I'm losed.


No, this means our battle line ships aren't ships of the wall, not that Weber's aren't. Now in point of fact, his shouldn't be, but that's more obvious with combat experience... The wall of battle is never a good plan in that setting. Converging columns is almost always the way to go in a fleet action.

Andrew Nelson wrote:
The different types, for different class only means that people have a different view of what a ship of the same class should be. But this is more of an factions thing then anything else. Japan did not make the same type of cruiser as we did. As long as you have different factions, you will always have different types of ships of the same class.


No. I can find you whole heaps of cases IRL when there were multiple classes of notionally the same type at once, and even in production at once. It turns out that there are advantages to optimizing. Compare USN destroyers in the Med and Pacific in WWII, of notionally the same class. You'll find there are differences in armament of some significance. The mess of CVE types was based on convenience, and the USN actually used them almost interchangeably, and wasn't too worried if the CVL classes were mixed into nominally CVE mission also.

Andrew Nelson wrote:
Quote:
I can flat out say that the concept that you can get by with just maximum size warships and a reasonable sized patrol ship is not going to work.


This is were I think that we are going to cross swords. The Novaya Rossiya only has even less then what you are talking about, and seems to be doing good for itself. The Federated Nations also only have to(i.e. before the Loss) and they seem to be doing well to.


NR has that case only because they have no choice, it is not what they'd prefer. They'd like to have some patrol vessels akin to the Haifeng, for instance. This would allow them to actually show the flag, and make a point to Olympia that they are a good, loyal ally, and worthy of more support.

The FN, before the Loss, had dozens of classes. I see you've not found NJ1, for instance.

Shipbook 1, the core set, is based on a representative sample, it is not the complete case. Since the FN's ships were operated by the Olympians at the point of Shipbook 1, there wasn't any need to present them with a full set of ships, and deny that same number of ships from someone else.

I do have some knowledge of the state of our fleets, I said something about notes showing ships not yet published, after all. The AMII powers are the only ones where you have pretty much the current picture. For everyone else, including the Altiplanine fleet, you do not have it all. Once we publish shipbook 2, you will still not have the complete view. Shipbook 3 will give you almost everything in service during the war, excepting only some rare oddballs which won't have a big effect, such as minor gunboat types.

I suggest again you try actually tasking missions as if you were a CNO. Worry about how many ships it takes to keep the desired amount doing what your superiors tell you must be done, and what must be kept in order to deal with the unexpected. You'll rapidly realize that the superfighter fallacy is real and worth worrying over.

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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:13 pm 
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Mark Graves wrote:
No, this means our battle line ships aren't ships of the wall, not that Weber's aren't. Now in point of fact, his shouldn't be, but that's more obvious with combat experience... The wall of battle is never a good plan in that setting. Converging columns is almost always the way to go in a fleet action.


OK, I'm getting way off topic here, but what do you mean my "converging columns"?

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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Essentially multiple squadrons which are working together, generally hemming the target into an increasingly narrow corridor where he retains the option to keep his invulnerable arcs towards your ships. Normally this will mean generally converging tracks and converging columns is one of the terms of art from ground combat which will appear in my correspondence out of force of habit. In the wall of battle, both sides are giving the other the option to deny a decisive battle, at least before missile attacks get powerful enough that the arc of attack won't prevent your destruction.

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 Post subject: Re: Different classes of ships.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:18 am 
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Hi Mark been a long time :D

I'm just wondering, what are the chances that the 10W powers will try to go toward a more specialized design now that the FN ships are slowly getting out of commission?

I would imagine that Olympia will strive to build at least 1 replacement for the Wasp as a long range cruiser but what about another DeGilera - GB mix for the fleet of tomorrow?

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