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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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  #1  
Old November 4th, 2002, 04:25 PM
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PVernon PVernon is offline
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To all who have Traveller opinions. (Thats all of us right?) I have a question about close escorts in general.
Since the Gazelle's first flight date is 1086 according to the Gazelle article in JTAS #3, and that the article states that "Thousands of close escorts have been built in the past several centuries, ....", just what do they tend to look like? Do they all have drop tanks? (I was always of the unfounded opinion that drop tanks were a new thing with the Gazelles.) Are they always 3 or 4 hundred tons? Always have a particle barbett? The Gazelle only has lasers and particle accelerators do any other classes have missles?
What do people think? Since the Gazelle post dates T20 but the close escort as a common ship does not, just what do they look like?
As a side question the Fiery class is a modifyed Gazelle, are there any gunned escorts before the Fiery?
Peter V.
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Old November 4th, 2002, 05:02 PM
Ellros Ellros is offline
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I consider the Gazelle class just one of many types of Close Escort. I'm sure they have a variety of tonnage ranges similar to SDB's.
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Old November 4th, 2002, 06:09 PM
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Well, the specs for the type of ship might give some indication of what it would tend be like.

I would assume that close escorts have the primary mission of commerce protection, and a secondary (or wartime) mission of commerce raiding. Based on these criteria, the ship would have to be:

* fast enough to be able to engage pirates or other escorts (preferably at a distance from the convoy). Less than 4g's is probably too slow. Jump should probably also be on the order of 3+ to enable escorts to react to missions over interstellar distances.
* inexpensive enough to be used in fair numbers, and to be affordable for the small governments and corporations using them.
* armed well enough to be able to take on pirates, possibly while outnumbered.
* armored well enough to have some staying power in the fight.
* flexible enough for multi-mission roles.
* require only enough cargo space for expendables and replacement missiles.

Also based on the same criteria, the close escort does not necessarily need to be able to stand up against proper warships. Its helpful if they can, but probably not realistic given the cost constraints.

Now, how you address those points depends largely on how you view pirates. If IYTU pirates operate mostly from 200-400 ton converted merchants, then a close escort of 400 tons is probably about right. If your pirates have stolen frigates and destroyers, or can field anything on the order of 1000+ tons... your CE's need to be bigger as well.

There are economic concerns as well. Unless I'm mistaken, CE's will be as inexpensive as possible in order to field as many of them as possible for the given budget. Why? Because space is very big. More ships on patrol means fewer safe targets for pirates.

There's also the question of manpower. Smaller ships mean smaller crews.

As for armament... that also depends on your mission. If you want to smash the target to small glowing embers and aren't big enough to mount spinal guns, missiles are your best bet. If you want to be able to take targets (or prisoners) relatively intact, particle beams are a good choice. Lasers are just plain useful all around. A solid design will probably have a mix of weapons. YMMV.
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Old November 4th, 2002, 06:13 PM
N.I.C.E. Labs N.I.C.E. Labs is offline
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Indeed, just as there are countless airplane or car designs, so would there be for starships.

For example this is my version of the CE. Pretty much the same in performance and weaponry as the Gazelle class, but a bit different in it's configuration

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Old November 4th, 2002, 09:35 PM
StrikerFan StrikerFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by PVernon:
To all who have Traveller opinions. (Thats all of us right?) I have a question about close escorts in general.
Since the Gazelle's first flight date is 1086 according to the Gazelle article in JTAS #3, and that the article states that "Thousands of close escorts have been built in the past several centuries, ....", just what do they tend to look like? Do they all have drop tanks? (I was always of the unfounded opinion that drop tanks were a new thing with the Gazelles.) Are they always 3 or 4 hundred tons? Always have a particle barbett? The Gazelle only has lasers and particle accelerators do any other classes have missles?
What do people think? Since the Gazelle post dates T20 but the close escort as a common ship does not, just what do they look like?
As a side question the Fiery class is a modifyed Gazelle, are there any gunned escorts before the Fiery?
I'd say that most CE's are in the 300-500 ton range, for cost reasons as much as anything else. Weaponry varies from class to class, and even within a class, the Gazelle may well be unusual in it's choice of particle beams. Drop tanks are perhaps unusual, but the Gazelle was probably not the first to use them.

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Old November 5th, 2002, 03:33 AM
Liam Devlin Liam Devlin is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by PVernon:
To all who have Traveller opinions. (Thats all of us right?) I have a question about close escorts in general.
Since the Gazelle's first flight date is 1086 according to the Gazelle article in JTAS #3, and that the article states that "Thousands of close escorts have been built in the past several centuries, ....", just what do they tend to look like? Do they all have drop tanks? (I was always of the unfounded opinion that drop tanks were a new thing with the Gazelles.) Are they always 3 or 4 hundred tons? Always have a particle barbett? The Gazelle only has lasers and particle accelerators do any other classes have missles?
What do people think? Since the Gazelle post dates T20 but the close escort as a common ship does not, just what do they look like?
As a side question the Fiery class is a modifyed Gazelle, are there any gunned escorts before the Fiery?
Peter V.
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SHip's of the Black War/ MT, offered us a 600dtn CE, the Shambalator class CE.
200dtns bigger than the old Gazelle/Fiery (TL-14 designs). Two extra turrets, decent legs, a TNE write up can be found at:
http://www.downport.com/bard/bard/sara/sara5029.html

Now admittedly, this is a TNE write up. But the Challenge#60 had this with two N-PAW weapons barbettes. 600 had been built for the FFW, so it was in service at Rebellion time, and is TL-15.
Now Lewis Roberts has it with fuel for 3 J-2's. One could easily say 2x J-3's and be done with it.
He has it classifed as a DE (though she's 400dtns under standard for that classification (probably a typo).

heretically yours,
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Old November 5th, 2002, 03:36 AM
Liam Devlin Liam Devlin is offline
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Cool

PS, NICE LABS, great graphics!
5x 's!

as ever was,
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Old November 5th, 2002, 06:09 AM
J J is offline
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Peter,

The Gazelle became the standard version of the close escort in later versions of Traveller. There is another CE that appeared in Traders and Gunboats but disappeared in later versions. The Unicorn is basically a Gazelle with a different weapons load, it has 2 laser batteries and 2 Missile batteries. This has the advantage of freeing up some EP's to provide agility.

The Unicorn is just a Gazelle with different weapons, theres no reason why you couldn't swap the weapons for something else, fusion guns, 'casters or even build a TL15 CE with PA turrets. It is worth bearing in mind that the Gazelle actually breaks the HG design rules by fitting 4 turrets/barbettes on a 300t hull.

The Fiery CE is just a Gazelle with streamlining and a 400t hull instead of 300t+100t tanks. But does look a lot meaner and it doesn't break the rules.

I've always seen droptanks as a new thing, T20 sort of confirms this by adding a TL restriction on ships using drop tanks. This would mean older CE designs (TL 13) would be 400t (no tanks) and would probably have 2 laser and 2 missile turrets, PA barbettes aren't available until TL14.

J.
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  #9  
Old November 6th, 2002, 01:25 AM
N.I.C.E. Labs N.I.C.E. Labs is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liam Devlin:
PS, NICE LABS, great graphics!
5x 's!

as ever was,
Thanks for thinking so. One good thing about my group...they encourage me to use visuals which sometimes turn out halfway decent [img]smile.gif[/img]
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  #10  
Old November 6th, 2002, 05:42 AM
Liam Devlin Liam Devlin is offline
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You're welcome, sir. And deservedly so. Keep up the good work!
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