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Thoughts on ship Classes

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My comment was in direct response to the last paragraph of your previous post.

a cruiser and a destroyer with the same weapon load makes the cruiser obsolete, as most cruisers have become.  The smallest hull capable of that tactical role will like retain production and deployment.

hull size is a mean, not an end. armament is also a mean, not an end in itself. 

Why classify based on the mean rather than the tactical end?

battle cruiser as a class make sense. Missile battle cruiser class and beam battle cruiser class on the other hand do not make sense.

 

I think you are thinking more like an engineer than a commander. 

I think we aren’t that far apart but are laboring to make the difference larger than necessary.

you may have the last word.

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1 hour ago, fracas said:

My comment was in direct response to the last paragraph of your previous post.

a cruiser and a destroyer with the same weapon load makes the cruiser obsolete, as most cruisers have become.  The smallest hull capable of that tactical role will like retain production and deployment.

hull size is a mean, not an end. armament is also a mean, not an end in itself. 

Why classify based on the mean rather than the tactical end?

battle cruiser as a class make sense. Missile battle cruiser class and beam battle cruiser class on the other hand do not make sense.

How do you arrive at a tactical end but by the means you accomplish it?

One faction uses a Beams as the primary armament of their battlecruiser, while another uses Primary Weapons.  In addition, Battlecruisers are generally the step between a Battleship and a heavy cruiser.

And when we look at what the Directorate's Cruiser range offers us, besides the Tier 1 Battlecruiser, we see a lot of options.  Why?  Well, because they are always trying new things from the tech they stole.  The Abraxas/Executioner/Vangquiser lines are simple but tough, easy to run and can fill the core of the any fleet.  The Turmoil R&D Cruiser utilizes the formerly-Tarakian-exclusive Gravity weapons in a brutal straight-forward manner, oddly enough, this one fits the style of a Gunship more than a Cruiser.  The Tormentor R&D Cruiser focuses on a Directorate specialty of Cyberwarfare, which is not an effective core war ship, hence "R&D".  The Gunships are set up with a heavy forward gun to work with, while the Destroyers tend to be more exotic (and fragile) option across all factions, not a flexible core ship that a Cruiser should be and is.

To be fair, I find it odd to see Destroyers in the Tier 2 line, but that's just because I'm used to the old destroyers of WWII more than a ship that is a glass cannon the size of a light cruiser.

Side note: A lot of the differences in these lines is not necessarily what they are armed with, but how much and where.  That is part of how the armament of a ship is defined.

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destroyers in B5 was larger than cruiser, emphasizing the name  as a tactical destroyer of other ships, not just torpedo boats. I initially didn’t like it but came to appreciate the class emphasis was tactical. Torpedo boats have largely lost it’s tactical role.

 

in FsA destroyer function similar to submarines regardless of armaments. Not a great name match but better than submarine. Maybe stealth cruisers would be better.

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8 hours ago, fracas said:

Battle cruiser as a class make sense. Missile battle cruiser class and beam battle cruiser class on the other hand do not make sense.

They could make sense if the weapons were appreciably different.  They'd be more properly called variants of the Battlecruiser class, but in game and retail terms, they could easily be different physical models.  

 

8 hours ago, fracas said:

a cruiser and a destroyer with the same weapon load makes the cruiser obsolete, as most cruisers have become.

I agree here.   There should be at least enough difference between 'classes' so that there is an in-game reason to choose one over the other.  

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1 hour ago, Toxic_Rat said:

 

I agree here.   There should be at least enough difference between 'classes' so that there is an in-game reason to choose one over the other.  

I'm sure there will be. Of course some ships within the same race are going to have the similar weapons, but there might be a scale and price difference as well as other features. Eg there might be a  patrol ship with forward torpedoes and a destroyer with the same. The Destroyer might well have another mounted weapon; move slower; cost more etc.. whilst the patrol ship might be a lot faster, lighter armed and only have the torpedoes. 

 

So two ships with similar but not identical weapons with different roles to fill on the tabletop. In theory playtesting and balancing should help ensure each variation of ship retains at least a viable use. Of course the competitive end might well reduce the number of valid choices and that in turn might vary on local metas and competitive meta. 

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2 hours ago, fracas said:

destroyers in B5 was larger than cruiser, emphasizing the name  as a tactical destroyer of other ships, not just torpedo boats. I initially didn’t like it but came to appreciate the class emphasis was tactical. Torpedo boats have largely lost it’s tactical role.

 

in FsA destroyer function similar to submarines regardless of armaments. Not a great name match but better than submarine. Maybe stealth cruisers would be better.

Different universes have different conventions.  Destroyers in the Honorverse are the second lightest warship available, and the lightest warship that most navies use.  They are used for pickets, escort, and convoy raiding.  Top speed was the same for everyone in that universe, but they could get their much quicker.  In comparison to a Light Cruiser (the next type up), they are under-armed and under-armored, but relatively cheap and easy to build.

Starfleet Command isn't much different, with some Corvettes and Police Boats operating at the low end of the ship weight, and Destroyers being the top rung of the equivalent of "Tier 3", and Frigates in between.

Then we have Star Wars' Star Destroyers, most of whom were bigger then dreadnoughts of the period.  So, yeah, the term can vary.  I just was mentioning that it was odd, as it would make them easier to distinguish.

The name destroyer came about because these (relatively) tiny ships were capable of destroying much larger ships with their battery of torpedoes.  Submarines are not much different, and even smaller.  It wasn't until the invention of torpedo blisters that destroyers were reduced to picket duty and picking off submarines.  Submarines of WWII were even smaller than the destroyers (which is why they were called "boats", that terminology stuck even with modern ballistic subs being close to light cruiser size).

Directorate Cruisers and Destroyers, while both using Beam turrets and broadside torpedoes, both have different AD across their range bands as well, with Directorate's acting like a sniping submarine.  The Terran Destroyer is a totally different concept and acts more like an artillery ship if you swap out its sniping primary weapon with nukes.  The Ba'Kash is more of a skirmisher due to its scatter weapons, while Works Raptor snipes from the broadside rather than the fore like the Directorate and Terran ships do.

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On 2/23/2018 at 11:36 AM, Charistoph said:

 

The name destroyer came about because these (relatively) tiny ships were capable of destroying much larger ships with their battery of torpedoes.  Submarines are not much different, and even smaller.  It wasn't until the invention of torpedo blisters that destroyers were reduced to picket duty and picking off submarines.  Submarines of WWII were even smaller than the destroyers (which is why they were called "boats", that terminology stuck even with modern ballistic subs being close to light cruiser size).

 

This is completely false (I mean no offense, but your facts are not factual).  Destroyers get their name from being "torpedo boat destroyers"; torpedoes were the greatest threat to battleships at the time.  A flotilla of torpedo boats could roll right up to a BB and break its back with a volley of torps and the BB was so tall that it couldn't depress its guns to properly fire upon this diminutive class of craft so a ship that was faster than torpedo boats was required to fend them off and/or hunt them down.  Then submarines became a prevalent tool and destroyers were tasked to ward these off as well.  Destroyers were used to perform their own torpedo attacks against larger vessels, but this was never their primary tactical role and was often suicide for them, as it was best to attack ships from the side, where all of their guns were facing your position.  Destroyers most often performed these attacks at night (Jutland has several accounts of destroyer torpedo attacks occurring at night).

One of my biggest problems with FSA was their total misuse of naval nomenclature and a deep misunderstanding of ships' tactical roles.  Combine this with the fact that all the fleets were fairly homogenized and you wind up with a relatively boring overall feel to the forces.  I'd love to see ships of the same size from all the races named something completely different with entirely different tactical roles.  Leave the human nomenclature to the human ships and give the aliens something different.  Make ships of the same size operate completely alien from human counterparts (in size).  I understand the need for some homogenization (cruisers are designed to be the basic ship of the line for all races and permit players to use them as a backbone of their fleet - they operate a bit differently from one another but they're all basically designed to stand in the line and shoot at the enemy).  BUT, I'd like some more variation and changes in nomenclature to indicate variance in alien thinking.  Really, why does everyone need a dreadnought?  (Another silly nomenclature issue, by the way - these were just battleships with a unified primary armament and high speed, the first of which was HMS Dreadnought, hence the term dreadnought battleship). Wouldn't it be more interesting to have more of another class of ship that does something crazy?  lay to the fluff instead of playing to the "class".

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3 minutes ago, Bad Idea Comics said:

This is completely false (I mean no offense, but your facts are not factual).  Destroyers get their name from being "torpedo boat destroyers"; torpedoes were the greatest threat to battleships at the time.  A flotilla of torpedo boats could roll right up to a BB and break its back with a volley of torps and the BB was so tall that it couldn't depress its guns to properly fire upon this diminutive class of craft so a ship that was faster than torpedo boats was required to fend them off and/or hunt them down.  Then submarines became a prevalent tool and destroyers were tasked to ward these off as well.  Destroyers were used to perform their own torpedo attacks against larger vessels, but this was never their primary tactical role and was often suicide for them, as it was best to attack ships from the side, where all of their guns were facing your position.  Destroyers most often performed these attacks at night (Jutland has several accounts of destroyer torpedo attacks occurring at night).

You do realize you stated that it was false, and then more or less confirmed what I said.  While I didn't call them "torpedo boat destroyers", I did reference that their name came from their devastating torpedo attack.  The full title of "torpedo boat destroyer" was relegated to the main noun.  The advent of the torpedo blister vastly reduced this effectiveness, but they were still light ships that could move quickly, making them excellent pickets.  When submarines became a threat, they were tasked and equipped to deal with them.  They were already picket ships, and that's where you want your anti-sub vessels to be.  They never were a big gun ship at all, and that was the main point.

8 minutes ago, Bad Idea Comics said:

One of my biggest problems with FSA was their total misuse of naval nomenclature and a deep misunderstanding of ships' tactical roles.  Combine this with the fact that all the fleets were fairly homogenized and you wind up with a relatively boring overall feel to the forces.  I'd love to see ships of the same size from all the races named something completely different with entirely different tactical roles.  Leave the human nomenclature to the human ships and give the aliens something different.  Make ships of the same size operate completely alien from human counterparts (in size).  I understand the need for some homogenization (cruisers are designed to be the basic ship of the line for all races and permit players to use them as a backbone of their fleet - they operate a bit differently from one another but they're all basically designed to stand in the line and shoot at the enemy).  BUT, I'd like some more variation and changes in nomenclature to indicate variance in alien thinking.  Really, why does everyone need a dreadnought?  (Another silly nomenclature issue, by the way - these were just battleships with a unified primary armament and high speed, the first of which was HMS Dreadnought, hence the term dreadnought battleship). Wouldn't it be more interesting to have more of another class of ship that does something crazy?  lay to the fluff instead of playing to the "class".

Naval nomenclature will change to fit the period and the preferences of the community.  This was one of my points over all.  In Babylon 5, the Terran destroyers were cruisers/battleships with a light fighter complement, but in FSA, it is a Cruiser hull with a different weapons setup, while in WW2, it was a picket ship.  Then you get the very confusing designation in Star Wars of, "Star Destroyer", while "cruisers" can range from the size of a corvette (the ship that Qui-gon and Obi-Wan use is called a Republic Cruiser) to something closer the Venator Star Destroyer, aka "Jedi Cruiser".

I can't disagree that having consistency across platforms would be nice.  Cruisers should be beefy and offer a strong balance of firepower and durability.  Destroyers should be glass cannons for their Tier.  Gunship is another title I hate, as that should be relegated to Planetfall or SpecOps, and be retitled to something akin to bombardment cruiser or bombardment destroyer.   Using "dreadnought" to mean "heavy battleship", I really don't have too much of a problem with, since that actually has seen consistent use across universes, and much like the "torpedo boat destroyer" dropping its descriptor, when all battleships are heavy, we can just drop the adjective.

As an interesting side note, in the Honorverse, the latest "destroyers" of the protaganist's navy are thought to be light cruisers by the largest, but vastly out-moded, navy in the area (the Solarian League Navy).  These destroyers still fulfill the same role as destroyers, and can keep up, or even out-run, the destroyers of the other navy, but they fire battlecruiser-weight missiles.  The SLN long ago determined the standards and generally went by the mass of the ship, but the protagonist's navy gained tech to drop those designations on their hind end and generate new ones.

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19 minutes ago, Charistoph said:

You do realize you stated that it was false, and then more or less confirmed what I said.  While I didn't call them "torpedo boat destroyers", I did reference that their name came from their devastating torpedo attack.  The full title of "torpedo boat destroyer" was relegated to the main noun.  The advent of the torpedo blister vastly reduced this effectiveness, but they were still light ships that could move quickly, making them excellent pickets.  When submarines became a threat, they were tasked and equipped to deal with them.  They were already picket ships, and that's where you want your anti-sub vessels to be.  They never were a big gun ship at all, and that was the main point.

 

Ah, I thought you were stating that it was their primary purpose.  It's funny how old the concept of the destroyer is and what a great mind Jackie Fisher had.  He created the destroyer, battlecruiser and dreadnought and he and Jellico were at the forefront of the aircraft carrier concept to boot.  It was an amazing time in naval warfare.

I'd really love to see at least one fleet with battleships as fast as their cruisers and battlecruisers faster than cruisers.  This would emulate the Royal Navy in WW1 and would be great fun to play.  I've tried building ships (using upgrades) in FSA many moons ago, but haven't revisited it in ages (I've been stuck on X-Wing for some time now).

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