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The Fleet Ship designs, strategies, and tactics.

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Old November 25th, 2016, 11:43 AM
Garnfellow Garnfellow is online now
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Default Diving into the Wreck: FSotSI

The MegaTraveller supplement Fighting Ships of the Shattered Imperium is notable for being one of the few GDW books to be decanonized. The description of the Navy is frequently incompatible with CT sources, and the designs are reportedly badly broken. As I am neither a ship builder nor a wargamer (due simply to lack of time rather than interest), I found the book vastly less interesting than CT's Fighting Ships book -- rather than text blurbs accompanying each ship class, we get a prosaic serial number and then a dump of game stats. We don't even get names for the various ship classes.

But I've sometimes wondered -- is there anything that can be salvaged from this book? MJD was able to pull some useful fleet information into his Mongoose Traveller: Sector Fleet book.

I decided to take a look at the battleships from FSotSI. Assuming the designs are beyond hope, what if we pulled back to the most basic details -- is there something useful or insightful there? Perhaps these could then eventually form the basis of T5 builds?

BL-13Light Battleship2004313
BL-14Light Battleship2004314
BL-15Light Battleship2004315
BM-15Missile Battleship5004115
BH-14Heavy Battleship7004114
BH-15Heavy Battleship7004115
BT-14Battle Tender7005114
BR-14PBattle Rider30-514
BR-14MBattle Rider30-414
BT-15Battle Tender5005115
BR-15PBattle Rider30-615
BR-15MBattle Rider30-615
BS-15Strike Battleship2006115

So, a few good things. I like that FSotSI tries to show the evolution of different ship classes over time and tech levels. And I like the battleship sub-classes of "Light," "Heavy," "Strike," and so on. I like having battle riders and battle tenders.

So what happens when we compare these ships to the battleships in CT Supplement 9? That book details three, familiar battleship classes, all designated TL 15 dreadnoughts: the Plankwell (200 kTon), Kokirrak (200 kTon), and Tigress (500 kTon).

And right off the bat we start to see some problems. The Supplement 9 battleship designs are themselves sometimes considered broken. The Kokirrak is listed a Jump-4, but Don's errata has it as Jump-3, which supported by the fuel storage of 80 kTon. Similarly the Tigress design is often called problematic. So when we're comparing FS and FSotSI basic parameters it's not clear what values should be used from FS.

In any cases, there are no clear matches between the two sources: FSotSI is describing completely different ships.

And the terminology used for ship designations is not compatible: FSotSI's greater specificity reserves the term dreadnought for the largest battleships, while FS seems to use it for any battleship. At 200 kTon, both the Plankwell and Kokirrak would be "light battleships" in the FSotSI schema, though the 500 kTon Tigress might still be a dreadnought, though the examples are all 700 kTon.

FS notes that "Although some older battleships of greater displacement remain in service, the Tigress class dreadnaught [sic] is the largest line-of-battle vessel currently in service with the Imperial Navy in the Spinward Marches" (38). This implies that some BI-13, BI-14, BH-13, or BH-14s could be kicking around the Marches.

But still, though I started this exercise thinking something from FSotSI could be salvaged, I'm not so sure now. FS, which is pretty solidly canonical despite potential design issues, really doesn't seem to match up well with FSoSI at all.

Thoughts, ideas?
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