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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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  #1  
Old January 15th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Default Cruisers in Traveller

Reading a history of naval warfare in the 19th Century today (Rolf Hobson, "Imperialism at Sea", Boston & Leiden, 2002) I started wondering about the role of cruisers as a class in the Traveller universe. To my mind a clearer distinction could have been made between them and battleships/battleriders in canon designs. Why not have cruisers as they were intended in the 19th Century ideas of the 'French school'. The key point being that cruisers are differentiated from battlewagons by their range and speed: unlike battleships whose range and speed were limited, cruisers were capable of both showing the flag in distant ports in peacetime, and roving far and wide in commerce raiding in wartime.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 12:23 PM
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So... cruisers would have more space alotted to jump drives and fuel, and less to outright killing power. Makes sense.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Unfortunately most of the Traveller ship design rules don't support such a premise of smaller is faster and goes farther. That's why battlewagons can go as fast and as far (or farther) than a cruiser.

Personally I also prefer the lumbering limited battlewagon and quick independant cruiser model, there's just little in the rules to support such a concept in Traveller, in the OTU at least
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Old January 15th, 2008, 12:55 PM
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I have Cruisers in the sense defined by jec10 in MTU. I let Battlewagons and Battleriders have much heavier armor.

Using the priority of high armor for BBs and high strategic (jump) range for CA/BC vessels allows me to do this in much the same way as the turn of the 19/20th century British and German fleets. Examining those for ideas lead me to these design priorities. This tends to let cruisers have one higher jump number than battleships, along with one higher g of manu.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jec10 View Post
Reading a history of naval warfare in the 19th Century today (Rolf Hobson, "Imperialism at Sea", Boston & Leiden, 2002) I started wondering about the role of cruisers as a class in the Traveller universe. To my mind a clearer distinction could have been made between them and battleships/battleriders in canon designs. Why not have cruisers as they were intended in the 19th Century ideas of the 'French school'. The key point being that cruisers are differentiated from battlewagons by their range and speed: unlike battleships whose range and speed were limited, cruisers were capable of both showing the flag in distant ports in peacetime, and roving far and wide in commerce raiding in wartime.
The Third Imperium's definition of a cruiser goes back to Supplement 9. It's not a ship that is designed for cruising. It's a ship that is smaller than a battleship but still big enough to carry a spinal mount. I think that the smallest that has been mentioned is 30,000 T and the largest is 75,000 T, but I believe the official range is from 20,000 T to 100,000 T.

Note that some cruisers are, indeed, used for cruising (i.e. commerce raiding).



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Old January 15th, 2008, 01:32 PM
Theophilus Theophilus is offline
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Add in the fact that a battleline is only a deterent while it remains in existance. Battleships are a valuable asset not frivilously wasted.

During WWI only three capital ship actions were fought, and only one, Jutland, was a major action involving both battlelines.

Cruiser's. however, fought in actions all around the globe.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 02:06 PM
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My take on cruiser-class ships matches Jec10's post and it is the design priorities that makes the difference, as Pendragonman said.

Cruisers have lighter armor that the BBs but longer jump range or at least additional fuel stores for multiple jumps, and greater speed and more important greater agility.

The slower but heavier (in terms of armor and armament) BBs add more character to the fleet engagements by raising the importance of other fleet arms such as carriers, fighters, and escorts. The slower speeds also gives the BBs some vulnerability, breaking the paradigm of "bigger is always better."
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Old January 15th, 2008, 07:52 PM
Ishmael Ishmael is offline
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cruisers imtu have less armor and are faster because of it
battlecruisers or pocket battleships have battleship type guns, but less armor

but I am not OTU
...I use mass when figuring performance
...even for jump drives
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Old January 15th, 2008, 07:59 PM
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The modern (C20/21) usage is for a cruiser just to be a big warship. Originally the term was applied to 4th-rate warships bigger than frigates but not of the 3 'battle' rates. 'Cruisers' were designed to undertake long cruises...

I favour the idea that battle ships remain concentrated to fight battles while cruisers cruise about dealing with stuff. Anything short of a major warship can be handled by a cruiser easily enough and they're significantly cheaper than capital ships so you can afford more of them to cover ground.

The standard cruisers are therefore workhorses, though there are some speicalist types like strike cruisers etc in existence.

For the average opponent it makes little difference if you're annihilated by a spinal battlehship weapon or a 'mere' cruiser version. And if the balloon goes up, you can afford to have a few cruisers off station but the fleet has to be available to repel the enemy battle line.

Battleship command is important and presdigious, but cruisers are more interesting........
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Old January 15th, 2008, 08:31 PM
R_Chance R_Chance is offline
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Outside of the smaller OT designs I never used other published designs. I broke my warships into three basic classifications based on the weapons they carried. Capitol ships had spinal mounts (along with bay / turret weapons for secondary / tertiary use) and usually massed 30,000 Dt and up. I never had huge capitol ships (i.e. 1 million tons) because in general I found it more effective to have more capital ships / spinal mounts with maximun armor and screens rather than fewer larger ships. I also never went for everything having to do 6 Gs and jump 6. Tended to be a waste of credits. I also like my battlewagons to lumber a bit Cruisers were characterized by bay weaponry (with turrets for point defense) and massed anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 tons. Faster than capitol ships but about the same jump capabilities. Cruisers also had the mass to cary troops and deal with colonial issues without commiting line of battle ships. In any event my battleships tended to be space superiority ships. I brought in the transports and assault cruisers for planetary seiges / landings. Escorts (destroyers, frigates, etc.) generally massed under 2,000 tons and relied on turret weaponry. They were the fastest, but had about the same jump capabilities. This worked for me. Gave me the flavor I wanted and kept the distinctions between ship types clear.

Last edited by R_Chance; January 15th, 2008 at 08:34 PM.. Reason: clarity and added comments
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