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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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Old December 16th, 2016, 01:58 PM
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Default Alternatives to 'standard' ship type nomenclature?

Ships tend to be classified in terms that invoke ideas of their intended purpose and size. But maybe in YTU, you've done things differently.

For example, instead of calling a ship type a destroyer you call it a lancer.

Anyone done this or can point to examples?
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 05:50 PM
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In most space navies, they use naval terminology to describe ships and things. However, there are a handful of fictional universes in which it is assumed the space forces will be handled by an outgrowth of the AIR FORCE, rather than the Navy. Basically you end up with different names for things. I'm sorry I can't think of any examples for you off hand, but I do remember terms like "spacecraft" (as opposed to "aircraft") and "space force" (as opposed to "navy" or "space navy") being used, as well as Air Force rank structures.

Maybe Wing Commander?
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 08:01 PM
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I regularly name designs I come up with other things than the standard names. One source I draw on this are what various types of ships were called from earlier history or by foreign nations.

Examples:

Barque
Xebic (a corsair-like ship)
Chasse-Maree or Pursuit ship
Brig or Brigantine
Houario (a type of merchant ship)
Kanonjolle (a gunboat like ship)
Hoy (a type of merchant ship)
Oorlong (a type of yacht-like ship)
Periagua (similar to a small frigate or brig)
Skut or Skuta (another merchant type)
Wadden (a type of close escort for merchant ships)
Schooner
Pink (a merchant ship)
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 08:43 PM
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With small crews, the Air Force nomenclature would work, though you have the complete break with tradition RAF, or the hold over USAF variants.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agorski View Post
Ships tend to be classified in terms that invoke ideas of their intended purpose and size. But maybe in YTU, you've done things differently.

For example, instead of calling a ship type a destroyer you call it a lancer.

Anyone done this or can point to examples?
Historically, IIRC the starship-as-naval-vessel trope first made its appearance in Voyage of the Space Beagle and was really widely popularised by Star Trek. It's been pretty much a standard in sci-fi since then.

The example of air-force like naming that comes to mind would be Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica where squadrons of fighters are a thing. However, the larger vessels still tend to be run like a navy in these settings.

I can't say that I recall reading anything that made a point of doing it differently, although, Heinlein's Space Cadet did it without being too overtly naval in its outlook. I imagine that somebody has made a point of doing this somewhere along the line but I can't say I've ever read anything that did.

Last edited by nobby-w; December 24th, 2016 at 03:29 AM..
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Old December 24th, 2016, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agorski View Post
Ships tend to be classified in terms that invoke ideas of their intended purpose and size. But maybe in YTU, you've done things differently.

For example, instead of calling a ship type a destroyer you call it a lancer.

Anyone done this or can point to examples?
Go look at Transhuman Space by SJG
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Old December 25th, 2016, 03:39 AM
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OTV - orbital transfer vehicle
AKV - autonomous kill vehicle
STV - system transfer vehicle
LV - launch vehicle

Replace the V with an S if you prefer ship to vehicle
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Old December 25th, 2016, 03:50 AM
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Let's look at what the Naval terms were, in say, 1700...

Ship of the Line (2-4 gun decks, 60-120 guns, 3-4 masts)
Frigate (1-2 gun decks, 30-60 guns, 3 masts)
Corvette (1 gun deck, 2-3 masts)
Cutter (1 gun deck ≤18 guns, 2-3 masts)
Sloop-of-War (1 gun deck ≤18 guns, 1 mast)

Galleons were an early 3-4 masted SotL...


So, if we use 1 gun per 100 Td...
that puts a SOTL at 6000-12000 Td
Frigates in the 3000-6000 Td range
Corvettes in the 1800-3000 Td range
Cutters and Sloops of War below that.

Cutters are probably 5+G's, sloops of war 3-4 G?

I think I like that...
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Old December 25th, 2016, 05:41 AM
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Smith's Triplanetary had a chapter that describes a traditional naval battle in space, presciently kamikaze tactics, unless that was added afterwards.
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Old December 26th, 2016, 11:21 AM
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One of the main reasons, though, for using naval conventions is that they invoke understanding in the listener. You say "Battleship" and people don't give you a funny look, they know you mean a powerful, nigh-indestructible ship capable of blasting anything else into bits. You say "Ship of the Line" or "Sloop" or "Brig" and most have no clue. "Battlestar" is close enough to "Battleship" that most people will pick up on it, but what the heck is a "Striker", "Dromedary", or "Kite"?

But the common terms only take us so far because definitions change, and often for no reason other than political reasons. A Frigate used to be a fairly powerful and fast ship, comparable to a WW2 Cruiser in power and mission, but modern Frigates are mostly a joke as the smallest warship still intended to cross an ocean under its own power. Likewise, various arms treaties in the early 20th century caused ships that qualified as Light Battleships to be labeled Heavy Cruisers. Indeed, a fairly recent American convention is to build Destroyers and Cruisers on the exact same hull, physically differing only in superstructure; this was done to save money on construction costs, but also to appeal to a budget-conscious taxpayer who didn't want to pay for a bunch of Cruisers but were willing to accept a bunch of Destroyers.

So even if you use the common terms of Battleship, Cruiser, Destroyer, and so forth, you STILL have to define exactly what that is.
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