Confed battleship design

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gh0d (Administrator)
There's one minor little problem with that comparison: You're comparing apples and squirrels. A spacecraft is not a water-borne ship, and vice versa (Space Cruiser Yamato and the Promethius from Macross/Robotech aside).

As much as, in general, I often don't agree with Delance, I do think he pretty much nailed it, here:

The mass numbers on WC are arbitrary, it's sci-fi, there's no profund reasoning behid it. The impact it has on story and gameplay is none.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
First of all, I allowed a fudge factor of 4.0 in my calculations, which I think is plausible if not accurate.

Second, there ARE certain attributes forced on the battleship by its design. First of all, prewar armor in Wing Commander was supposedly made of durasteel. Assuming that the name means that it is composed chiefly of iron alloyed with lesser amounts of other materials, I would venture to assume that it has a comparable density to modern steel (unless it is actually porous)--about 8.0 g/cm^3.

From the illustration, the Illustrious class battleship has a length of 950 meters, a beam of about 200 meters, and a height of something like 80 meters plus bridge and engines. This gives a hull surface area of about 500,000 m^2. Let's assume half of that to err on the conservative side--250,000 m^2.

Now, let's say that the Illustrious has 10 cm of durasteel armor (i.e. about half as much as the Tiger's Claw in WC1). This means that we have at least 25,000 m^3 of armor. At 8.0 g/cm^3 density, this means that the Illustrious' armor alone must mass at least two hundred thousand tons. This leads me to believe that a half-million ton mass is realistic.

However, if you want to ignore realism and just go with WC canon, I would go with the fifty-five thousand ton mass based on Action Stations.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The mass numbers on WC are arbitrary, it's sci-fi, there's no profund reasoning behid it. The impact it has on story and gameplay is none.

They're not arbitrary -- they're contextual. It doesn't matter that a particular destroyer is 1,000 times as massive as Battlestar Galactica... it matters how its mass compares to all the other ships in the Wing Commander setting.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
Bandit LOAF said:
They're not arbitrary -- they're contextual. It doesn't matter that a particular destroyer is 1,000 times as massive as Battlestar Galactica... it matters how its mass compares to all the other ships in the Wing Commander setting.

In relative terms, but in absolute terms it's still an arbitrary standard that has no complex explanation behind. It's fine that the compared numbers of the WC ships make sense to one another, but why those numbers are that way to being with we really don't know,
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Delance said:
In relative terms, but in absolute terms it's still an arbitrary standard that has no complex explanation behind. It's fine that the compared numbers of the WC ships make sense to one another, but why those numbers are that way to being with we really don't know,

Of course it has a complex explanation, mass is a real concept.
 

Spertallica

Rear Admiral
Does anyone actually know the material used to build warships in that time period? I mean... sure, you can speculate that it was built of the same material, but as WC3 v. WC2 showed us, the thickness of durasteel (or whatever the substitute was in WC3 that was measured in cm. of durasteel) didn't really impact the mass of the fighter- is it all that improbable that this ship was constructed by a lighter or less dense material that later became obsolete?

Additionally, such a change in materials isn't all that improbable- imagine going back in time to the 1940's and trying to explain plastic or kevlar to someone- able to stop a bullet like iron, but WAYYYY lighter. Last, as I don't think we know what ship building materials are used in WC- and using modern warships (and the materials they are built out of) is not a good comparison.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Well, the implication seems to be that before the war, durasteel was used directly--Knight's description of the Scimitar having an extra three centimeters of durasteel over the Hornet sounds to me like he is describing actual thickness and not equivalent strength. Later on, Confed changes to use Plastisteel/Tungsten armor, and then in WC3 upgrades to Isometal.

However, for the sake of argument, let us say that the Illustrious incorporates Plastisteel armor instead of Durasteel, and let us assume that Plastisteel has a density equivalent to Iron (i.e. same value we used for Durasteel). In that case, the Illustrious can have the same armor strength as the Tiger's Claw for an armor mass of fifty thousand tons.

If we assume that weaker weapons in the past meant that ships needed less armor and allow the Illustrious to have the 10 cm equivalent armor that I speculated in my earlier post, then it only needs twenty-odd thousand tons of armor. This would fit within the fifty-five thousand ton ship dry mass derived from Action Stations. As such, I support the 55,000 ton figure.
 

fongsaunder

Spaceman
Guns can be more accurate in terms of hitting, lasers cannot be avoided, you can only manouver to break the enemy's lock on you, thats all, and they cant be shot down like torpedoes or missiles.
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
I don't think you can or even really need to try to apply modern physics to every aspect of fictional ships and weaponry...most especially for one that isn't even canon. If you are inventing a battleship you can say it has the mass of 1 ton or 5 gabillion tons...no one is really going to care. It's just a spaceship in your head, there are no rules that govern what it has to be. Your not designing the next space shuttle for NASA.
 

Mav23

Swabbie
Banned
Maj.Striker said:
I don't think you can or even really need to try to apply modern physics to every aspect of fictional ships and weaponry...most especially for one that isn't even canon. If you are inventing a battleship you can say it has the mass of 1 ton or 5 gabillion tons...no one is really going to care. It's just a spaceship in your head, there are no rules that govern what it has to be. Your not designing the next space shuttle for NASA.

I wholeheartedly agree.
 
Maj.Striker said:
I don't think you can or even really need to try to apply modern physics to every aspect of fictional ships and weaponry...most especially for one that isn't even canon. If you are inventing a battleship you can say it has the mass of 1 ton or 5 gabillion tons...no one is really going to care. It's just a spaceship in your head, there are no rules that govern what it has to be. Your not designing the next space shuttle for NASA.

Agreed completely, a big cheers to you mate.

Cheers!
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Once again, it's contextual -- it doesn't matter what mass is "realistic", but it does matter how its mass fits in with the existing Wing Commander ships...
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I agree with LOAF in changing the main battery to plasma weapons as AS makes it very clear that they are the main weapon used to down opposing capital ships. otherwise nice looking ship
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
Not to mention the little detail that this design is set to be in service around the beginning of the war, 2 decades or so before the wreckage of the Sivar dreadnaught from SM1 was investigated to allow for the design of the PTC. :)
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
And that Confed decided to build mega-carriers with a massive socket just in case they ever captured a gigant alien anti-fleet gun.

(Uh, I'm kidding, it was just a happy coincidence)
 

Ijuin

Admiral
~~~.

Actually, the Confederation was designed around the PTC. Given that it forms the keel, I would expect that the tube for it would have to be a couple hundred meters long minimum--definitely too big to put on a turret, but possibly small enough to make the primary weapon of a cruiser if Confed cared to do so (e.g. if they were desperate and figured that it was worth the chance of a PTC blowing itself up as long as it was mounted on a cheap throwaway light cruiser instead of a fleet carrier).
 
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