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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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Old November 6th, 2015, 04:12 PM
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Default Unit sizes and org of Imperial Fleet and Squ units.

I was very very much into High Guard/TCS in the mid-80s, only to get so caught up in Grad school in 91/92 period and due to the lack of a community of people in my peer group in Grad School interested in RPGs or Traveller lost interest. I might have for a period of weeks in the late 90s very briefly returned to HighGuard/TCS things once or twice but again others things and job concerns pushed playing aside. But I caught the bug again, especially after the release of T5 and digital access I caught up with things over the past few months. And again I am returning to my interesting in TCS ops.

This personal point is an intro to the discussion of Naval ops. I have seen lots of discussion about unit sizes and when I look at the key official materials such as Rebellion Sourcebook, Fighting Ships of the Shattered Imperium and the Mongoose Sector Fleet (as its currently called vs its earlier published version). And I must admit the MegaTraveller items often leave me more confused with the unit sizes simply making no sense what so ever. And there is real contradictions between the info in the Fighting Ships of the Shattered Imperium and the descriptions of the unit activity and sizes of forces implied in the Rebellion Sourcebook and TNS newsflashes dealing with things.

The Squadron sizes presented in the Fighting Ships of the Shattered Imperium simply under rate the need of the escort force in such sized units even if they operate within a larger fleet. Given the reality of J-space coordinating that all squ units hit the target at the same moments suggest having separate EscortRons for a Fleet engagement is rather risky that your battle units enter in but w/o escorts. And the escort numbers in the charts of the different Squadrons in Fighting Ship of the Shattered Imperium just made no sense at all (esp the size and number of Auxiliaries as well).

In a unit size discussion that I saw in another CoI posting is the trigger of these comments. There the discussion suggested a view that the norm being an 8 [-10] ship squadrons. Again I think people get this number because of inconsistancies in the MegaTraveller mentioned above. I hold that this number [of 8-10] points to the main type of ship that organizes the Squadron and is not counting the Fleet Escort (Destroyers, Frigates), Scouts and Auxiliaries necessary for the effective screening of a unit.

But I would suggest that full force (pre-Rebellion) Active/NonReserve Imperial Fleet squadron battle orders would, in my opinion look somewhat like this:

Yes BatRon composed of the Battle Rider form will have 8 battle riders and the tender/tenders (2-3 depending on size of tenders being used) necessary to transport (Rider units have their Aux units as non-Jump support ships that are). Also BattleRider units will have J-capable escorts with them often for the role of protecting the tenders rather than the Monitors/Riders... who often fight without Escorts supporting them.

Whereas the J-capable Battleship BatRon will most likely have 2 Heavy Dreadnoughts and 2-4 Battleships, with the appropriate number of Fleet

Escorts (2-3 per Battleship/Dreadnought and 4 to escort/protect the Auxiliaries), 2-3 Scouts and the Auxiliaries (apox 3 tankers and 4 support
ships). So at the low end a BatRon would run between 25 ships to 38 ships max.

The CruRon should typically have 8 Cruisers in it (2 Heavy, 2 BattleCru, 4 LtCru) and Escort (Destroyers, Frigates, etc typically 20-16 to support the Cruisers and 4 to support the Auxiliaries), 2-3 Scouts and Auxiliaries (aprox 4 tankers and 3 support ships).

But Strike/Raider CruRons, typically with J-5 or higher unit ranges, will be much smaller units often not having any Auxiliaries operating with them (rather they will go meet up with TankRons that might be position in certain locations to support a mission). Such units will often have 4

-6 Cruisers (often 1-2 strike/frontier Cruisers and 3-4 Lt Cruisers). Their escort force will be much smaller than normal CruRons in that they would have to have the same Jump distance the Cruisers have and the same is true with the Scouts but such units because of some of their missions are advance recon into the enemy rear they will often have much more scouts units attached to them than the typical CruRon. So here there would be typically 4-5 Escorts and 4-6 Scouts--so the overall totals would be 12 ships to 17 ships.

AssultRons are another kettle of fish. Although they will typically consist of 1-2 Heavy Carriers and 2 Lt Carriers along with 4 Lt Cruisers and 20 Escorts, with 3-4 Scouts. They will also have the invasion force and the necessary units (troop transports, assault ships, orbital bombardment ships, tankers and Ordnance and Support Ships) to support such a task. So these units will be rather large between 45+/- to 100+ ships.

CarrierRon [often supporting a BattleFleet of 2 BatRon, 2 CruRons and 1 TankRon] should consist of consist of 1-2 Heavy Carriers and 2 Lt Carriers along with 4 Lt Cruisers and 16 Escorts, and 4-5 Auxiliaries and Tankers, along with about 2-3 Scouts. So this unit will range from 29-32 ships.

As for EscortRon or PatrolRon units... these ought to be at the low end from 18-30 units. The EscortRon will be attached to AssultFleets or added on to a BattleFleet as Escort Reserve and will guard the rear of the battle formation and the support units. PatrolRon units more typically assigned to Sub-Sector commander theater of operations and often rarely operate as a unified units. Often they are assigned to a flotilla (6-8 ships) assigned to either a single world or patrol together a defined high traffic route. Such Patrol Flotillas often provide picket/sentry duty functions for a Fleet op but not directly under the command of the fleet commander.

I would like to hear back from people and there thoughts on this. I also have expand this musing on ranks of unit commanders--as again Sector Fleet suggestions are not as good as they seem. And the official Rank structure of the Imperial Navy jumps from a Commodore (who is never higher than a Flotilla commander or Squ Cdr of smaller sized combat units and Aux and Tankers units) and Fleet Admirals. In the TAS news accounts during the 5thFW spoke of RearAdms and ViceAdms which the official High Guard does not use. But that discussion for another posting.
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