Ship Classes

The Universal Game of Starship Combat

Re: Ship Classes

Postby cricket » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:11 pm

What is a DD? I have no idea. :)

But in any given setting, I would set the smallest viable combat vessel at hull size 3 and go up from there... If in your setting those are called "destroyers" then I guess DDs are hull size 3.
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Re: Ship Classes

Postby BeowulfJB » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:59 am

Former US Navy Gunners-mate here & veteran of the "Cold War" between USA & USSR.
US Navy classification uses abreviations for ships. BB=battleship, CA=heavy cruiser, CL=light cruiser, DD=Destroyer, DE= destroyer escort, and there are others.
BTW, I am definitely a follower of Mahan. 8-)
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Re: Ship Classes

Postby JasonRain » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:56 am

THe term Escort Carrier came in WW2 when the Allies built small

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Re: Ship Classes

Postby kalnaren » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:33 pm

Maybe a bit late, but I'll add it anyway ;)

These are essentially the designations I'm using in my upcoming Starmada universe setting. They are not set-in-stone and revolve more around the role of the ship rather than its physical size.

By order in the fleet list:
Gunboat - A lightly armed police ship intended for nothing more than local system patrol.

Corvette - Fast, inexpensive and lightly armed patrol ship. Designed for pirate interdiction (pirates play heavily in my setting) and convoy escort. Should operate in packs. Usually employed by militias or corporations.

Frigate - Generally the smallest Navy ships. Used for convoy escort, patrol, and system interdiction. Hyperspace coils are too small to use for effective scouting.

Destroyer - Smallest ship used in fleet actions. Destroyers in my universe are usually specialized to fill specific roles, such as escort, skirmishing, or scouting. Also generally the smallest ship capable of operating independently.

Light Cruiser - Most common Navy warship. Offers the best compromise between cost-to-operate, weapons, defenses, and speed. Various models exist to fill different roles.

Cruiser - Standard Navy warship. A Navy patrol group is usually made up of a cruiser with several light cruisers and various amounts of smaller escort ships. In battle a cruiser is suppose to dish out and absorb damage, and specifically keep the attention of the enemy cruisers off the light cruisers (while they chew apart the hostile forces). Cruiser are generally the largest Navy ships used outside of wartime.

Battlecruiser/Heavy Cruiser - Essentially an upgunned cruiser, usually with more protection and armament. Somewhat more rare because of the cost in both material and logistics. Not designed to fill a particular role, more to counter the increasing number of cruisers. Not generally deployed outside of wartime.

Grand Cruiser/Stardreadnaught - Experimental starships designed to bring overwhelming, decisive firepower to a battle. About 50% larger than a cruiser. At the current point in my timeline none have been deployed in active duty, though several prototypes exist. Warships of this size have not been built due mostly to the cost and logistical requirements.

Other Designations:

Raider - Small, fast starship used mostly by pirates. Heavily armed for their size. Usually very weak hulls as their maintenance and build quality is highly suspect.

Warcruiser - General designation given to any ship with firepower comparable to a Navy fleet warship.

Escort - General designation given to any ship designed primarily for convoy protection.

System Monitor - Usually a small ship (can be purpose built but often a conversion) that is slow but very heavily armed. Designed to defend static locations like space stations. Doesn't often have a hyperdrive to cut down on used mass. In battle a system monitor is considered "successful" if it manages to get its weapons fire off before being blown to bits.

That's basically where most of my designations fit. They're based more around role rather than size, so it's possible to have a "destroyer" that's equivalent to light cruiser tonnage, for example.

(if anyone is wondering about size, my cruisers sit at 16-18 hull, 7-8 armour, and a speed between 3-5)
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Re: Ship Classes

Postby BeowulfJB » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:08 am

Facinating.
My CR=600 point Four-Turret-DNs now have 46 Hull & 46 Armor. They have a speed=6 and most weapons shoot out to 18 which is the max range that we let ships can have among the people I game with... 8-)
I have DDs that have 13 hull & 13 armor, speed=7 and a CR=150
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Re: Ship Classes

Postby kalnaren » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:36 am

That's a decent size. From what I've been reading around here it looks like my ships are "small", relatively speaking, but I think that works well into my timeline as it takes place somewhat "earlier" than most space operas. I think that gives my universe lots of room for ships to grow as I add more technology and ship types, without having to worry too much about hull creep.
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Re: Ship Classes

Postby kalnaren » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:04 pm

Another interesting class designation I found while looking through some BFG literature. The Dauntless-class light cruiser was referred to as a "scout cruiser". Larger than a frigate or destroyer and capable to taking on anything smaller or equal sized, and outrunning anything larger. Functionally similar to a CL I guess, but I thought it was a cool designation.
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Re: Ship Classes

Postby Duskland » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:59 am

I've always liked the Babylon 5 universe and its proliferation of ship classifications. The best example is the Earth Alliance Omega destroyer, which out masses the Earth Alliance Nova Dreadnought (something you don't see too often). Some of the other races have similar flips in the traditional (by this I mean WW1-WWII) order. Given that such flips have happened in the past it makes for a neat little insiders joke.

Most of the ships I design vary in size by their assigned roles and I don't worry about size (hull or SU) vs. name. It also varies by tech level obviously. My Narn Battleships have the same hull as my BFG light cruisers, for instance. In my group we usually simply designate each ship as being of a certain points value (After the Tyranid Kraken 60hull/40Armor 200point regenerating ship incident anyway)
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Re: Ship Classes

Postby kalnaren » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:07 pm

FreeSpace & FreeSpace 2 (the best space combat sims ever made, IMO) used a similar inverted class designation.

Destroyers were the largest ships*, being around 2Km in length. They were called "destroyers" because they carried so much firepower they simply destroyed anything in their path. The only threats to them were other destroyers (and bombers).

Corvettes were the next largest. Smaller and faster than destroyers, but almost as though and very heavily armed. Within FreeSpace canon they were designed to combat the powerful Shivan cruisers, and were basically meant to be able to kill anything that wasn't a destroyer.

Cruisers were actually the smallest capital ships in FS canon and although most were around the same size they varied widely in speed, armour, and firepower. The most powerful Shivan cruisers could threaten a destroyer, whereas the weakest Terran cruiser could be killed by a single well piloted fighter, despite the fact that both were around the same physical size.**

*There were 3 ships larger than destroyers -a Shivan superdestroyer, which was nearly invulnerable and very heavily armed, a terran Juggernaught 5 times larger than the superdestroyer and designed specifically to counter them, and a Shivan juggernaught which is the most powerful ship in FS canon.

**The strength, small size, and lack of variation is quite possibly artificial, imposed by the technical limitations of computers of the time (1998/1999), but explained nicely in FS canon.

I've worked on converting FS designs to Starmada, but it's very difficult considering destroyers are significantly more powerful than most cruisers. Cruisers end up getting a significant "buff" while destroyers are likewise "nerfed". It's also hard to convert with Starmada's broken fighters since FreeSpace is very heavy on fighter combat. (As an aside, also had the same problem trying to convert Star Wars ships to Starmada.. hard making a CR90 and an ISD in the same game -true to scale- where the ISD can't one-shot almost anything...especially when it carries 60 starfighters)
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