Corvettes: Paradigm vs Venture?

Discussion in 'General Wing Commander Chat' started by gavinfoxx, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    The fighter classifications don't refer to the size/mass of the ships so much as the capabilities... so no, the Tarsus is not that rare breed of fighter that ranks up there with the Sorthak, Bloodfang and military Heretic. :)

    But again, the name pretty much literally means this. It's not some random different ship, it's a ship that's different and specifically named that.
     
  2. gavinfoxx

    gavinfoxx Commodore

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    Really? I thought it talked about size and mass...
     
  3. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    No, they're just like all the other classifications (destroyer, carrier, SWACS, whatever) -- describing a ship's role. Heavier fighters tend to BE more massive by nature, of course... but it doesn't work the other way around.
     
  4. Aginor

    Aginor Vice Admiral

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    Roughly speaking a corvette or frigate in the WC universe seems to focus on destroying fighters, while a destroyer is more aimed to fight both fighters and other capships. A cruiser is specialised for destroying other capital ships.

    So for gameplay it boils down do the old Rock,Paper,Scissors, that can be used for balancing:

    Fighters are good against bombers and other fighters --> Scissors
    Bombers are good against capships --> Paper

    Corvettes and frigates kill fighters --> Rock1 (bad rock that can be harmed by scissors)
    Destroyers kill corvettes and frigates and fighters --> Rock2 (better rock, can kill other rocks and scissors)
    Cruisers kill destroyers and corvettes --> Rock3 (kills other rocks easily, but it almost can't hit paper and scissors at all)

    Carriers are killed by everything except fighters easily, but can launch fighters and bombers. Light carriers are armed like big frigates, strike carriers are armed like destroyers, and dreadnoughts are armed like cruisers.

    Of course those are guidelines. There are intervals between the classes I mentioned above, and if you but a "heavy" or "light" before the name every class can move one or two steps up or down. A heavy destroyer is almost a light cruiser and so on.
    A heavy frigate would have a lots of laser turrets and rocket launchers against fighters, but no heavy anti-capship guns or torpedo tubes. A destroyer would have these, but lack a bit of the anti-fighter armament.
    A heavy corvette would be the same as a frigate.


    So if I look at the Paradigm I think it would fit best into the anti-fighter role. A heavy frigate or light destroyer that focuses on light targets. That's why I would go with the destroyer designation.

    EDIT
    Concerning the Privateer ships: Imagine the Tarsus as something roughly as big as a heavy bomber, just with less weapons. It doesn't fit into the fighter designations. An Orion would be as big as a light bomber, but with less weapons, while a Centurion would be a heavy fighter with a bit more cargo space in it. A Galaxy would be corvette-sized but less armed.
     
  5. st3lt3k

    st3lt3k Rear Admiral

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  6. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    Unfortunately not accurate at all, since the data just doesn't exist. But it's a neat thought!
     
  7. gavinfoxx

    gavinfoxx Commodore

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    The best you could do, I suppose... is go by cockpit sizes??
     
  8. Mace

    Mace Vice Admiral

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    That Talon vs. Centurion can't be correct...
     
  9. ChrisReid

    ChrisReid Super Soaker Collector / Administrator

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    It's the "curviest," but is it out of place? Consider all of the Confed Destroyers, starting with 1990-1993: the Exeter, Gilgamesh and Paradigm. The Exeter is a blocky wedge, and the Gilgamesh is a slightly less blocky wedge. The Paradigm takes this exact same wedge shape and smooths out all the edges. Now look at both the Southampton and Murphy Destroyers from the top - they're both central fuselages with a bulge in the aft - WC3's jump to 3D polygons really shakes up the designs at least as much as Privateer, and all prominent Confed destroyers in the games actually have the same general shape once you account for engine differences...
     
  10. Aginor

    Aginor Vice Admiral

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    I can't agree with that picture above. If you look at the size of the cargo doors and remember that humans don't like to crawl around in their ships the Centurion, Tarsus, Galaxy and Orion can't be correct. They have to be much larger, especially the Galaxy. I did some math in another thread last week, it shows what I mean.
    In that picture the Privateer ships are all smaller than a Broadsword, and I am pretty sure they have to be larger than that one.
     
  11. Ijuin

    Ijuin Admiral

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    Looking at the size of the human figure in the diagram, the player craft all need to be about 50% bigger in all dimensions just to get the cockpits reasonably to scale.
     
  12. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    Well, wait a sec - why do you think frigates are designed to destroy fighters? As for cruisers, I think it's clear they're designed for a variety of roles (it actually seems like someone went and checked what real-life cruisers do). Almost every cruiser we see in the WC universe is capable of carrying fighters. We often see cruisers operating alone (especially Kilrathi cruisers). Yes, they are capable of taking on a capship, and we see this a couple of times, but it's clear that they have a much wider role than just destroying capships.
     
  13. Aginor

    Aginor Vice Admiral

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    @Quarto:
    It's mainly the armament. If you look at a Tallahassee you notice it doesn't have that many laser turrets, but heavier turrets instead. It packs a huge punch against other warships but not that much against fighters. Against fighters it is not much better than a destroyer.
    A destroyer has the same number of anti-fighter turrets, it is more nimble (so you can't hide with your fighter in blind spots that well) but it obviously lacks the firepower against capships.
    A corvette is even smaller and - except maybe a capmiss launcher - doesn't have weapons against heavier warships at all.

    So the frigate fits perfectly between the corvette and the destroyer, judging by its armament, and even if it is bigger than the destroyer (judged by the windows it is similar sized, but surely smaller than a cruiser) it could be well defined by its role as a fighter killer. It has anti-fighter missile launchers (which the Talla lacks completely it seems), no heavy turrets but light ones that can hit fighters, it is fast and nimble.

    And I don't think the real-life comparison fits, at least the modern ones. ALL warships are multi-role now, and ALL of them carry a huge variety of weapons, often long-distance (cruise missiles for example) and guided weaponry. That's the reason why big battleships have died out. Nobody needs the cool huge turrets of an Iowa class battleship, a modern frigate kills it from thousands of miles distance.
    Since the WC universe uses weapons that fire on very close distances and are unguided you can't compare that. We may use WW2 or earlier ships instead, and then the frigate is often (yes, not always) a fast, smaller ship. The big exception is the 19th century with its "armored frigate" that was later called battleship. The reason it was called frigate was that it had a single cannon deck instead of two or three. So it was heavily armored but armed like a frigate.
    Frigates were often used as escort ships for convoys and cruisers over the centuries.

    Also if you look at ranks in some navies you see a rank called "Frigate Captain" which is directly above a "Corvette Captain" in some cases, which hints at the fact that a frigate is above a corvette but below a bigger war ship, a "Line Ship Captain" rank exists above the "Frigate Captain" in some cases, for example in the old Austrian navy. In other cases that rank is just called "Captain" or "Captain of Sea"

    And the last point is: It fits for gameplay purposes. A anti-fighter ship but bigger than a corvette. If you give it anti-capship weapons as well that would make the destroyer obsolete.

    EDIT: As for the lone multi-purpose cruisers: The ship alone isn't that multi-role, judging by its armament. The fighter compliment combined with its heavy anti-capship weapons is what makes it multi-role. It's a bit like one of those russian kiew-class cruisers, just with a little bit smaller flight deck and more cannons. More like the Japanese Yamato with a small flight deck. Imagine a small fighter complement on the Yamato, that might fit.
    The advantage is that it doesn't need an escort carrier to survive fighter attacks that are its biggest weakness. It has own fighters for that.
     
  14. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    I just think you're drawing too much from too little information :). How many times do we see frigates in the WC universe? How many times do we see them performing the task that you think they are designed to perform? Generally, frigates are so poorly defined at this point, that almost any concept can be true, but nothing can be confirmed as being reasonably verified.

    Of course, this is the case for almost all capship classes in the WC universe. No one ever really tells us what a dreadnought, destroyer, corvette or cruiser actually does. We only learn about this through examples of actual usage. The only ships we really do know a little about, in terms of stated theory rather than visible practice, are the various carriers. Even then, there are vague spots - what's a heavy carrier? How is a light carrier different from an escort carrier? Is a supercarrier a separate class with its own doctrines of usage, or is it simply a really big fleet carrier?

    By the way: yes, when I refer to real-life equivalents, I mean WWII. It's always been clear that Wing Commander draws almost everything from WWII, and really only started moving beyond WWII in Prophecy, which kinda looks a little towards the present day.

    Getting back to the frigates - we really have no information on how they are armed. Remember, there has always been a large discrepancy between the armament information specifically stated in various Joan's updates & other Joan's-like sources, and the information that we get when we put everything together from all sources. Take the Bengal class, for example - according to Joan's, it carries 8 dual laser turrets and nothing else. But just looking at the darned picture, we can see about twenty turrets altogether. Worse still, we can see that some are different sizes - even if they are all lasers, is it not reasonable to assume that a bigger caliber laser will cause more damage than a small caliber? That's just the manual... when we get into the game, we see the next discrepancy: the Tiger's Claw fires a different colour beam at a planet. Maybe those green things are still lasers, but if they're being fired at a planet, I'd say they probably do a little more damage than usual.

    ...Then we get to the Academy cartoon, and good luck working out if the turrets seen there match up with the game. Finally, we have the Movie, which retroactively adds... forty torpedo tubes! Suddenly, the Tiger's Claw becomes capable of destroying any other capital ship in a single salvo. But there's more! Because in the meantime, there had been a number of books, which added a bunch more weapons to other ships. If we hear about other capships having a large number of small point-defense turrets, isn't it reasonable to assume the Bengals also carry them?

    What it all comes down to is that the manuals usually reflect the game. They don't tell us about all the weapons a capship has, only about the weapons we, the players, will see. Wing Commander 1 had a limit of eight weapons per ship - so, that's all the Tiger's Claw had in the manual and in-game. But even the original game was willing to add more on top of that.

    So, when it comes to frigates, what can we tell about their armament? All we have is an unknown and poorly armed frigate mentioned in the WC3 manual, which, as LOAF pointed out, is not necessarily the same as the Caernaven frigates seen in WC4. If we do assume that it's the same ship, we'll have a noticeable discrepancy, because in WC4, the ship has more turrets than the WC3 manual reveals. Worse still, it carries fighters (with no visible hangar or launcher!), and it seems to have two missile launchers (at least, judging from the pictures - I don't remember if they were used in-game). Here's a few things we don't know, but which are possible:
    - The Caernaven class frigate may have a capship missile launcher.
    - The Caernaven class frigate may have torpedo tubes (maybe even a sizable number of them).
    - Other known (more appropriately: unknown) classes of frigates may carry more turrets, missiles, or fighters - or they might carry less. Who knows?

    All in all, we can't determine either way what a frigate is supposed to do and how it is armed. At the same time, it goes without saying, this openness makes like easier for modding, you can add more information about an existing or new frigate type without worrying too much about being contradicted. We in Standoff did add a Kilrathi frigate (the Targu II class - which, very noticeably, did not get "canonised" in the Arena manual), and I did actually make it into something similar that you're proposing. It was a fast capship with strong anti-fighter armaments, the kind you may see escorting a convoy or providing picket defenses ahead of a fleet. It was also based on a transport hull, which was meant to imply that the ship can be used as a fast transport. But it was also used to pursue and attack the Firekka, firing torpedoes - so it was capable of taking on smaller capships, too, and in a bigger "wolfpack", presumably the Targu II class could take on a big capship, although they would risk heavy losses. None of this, however, is based on anything we see in official sources - at best, we can say that the Targu II class doesn't contradict any sources.
     
  15. Aginor

    Aginor Vice Admiral

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    Well, frankly I keep ignoring both the movie and the animated series for most purposes, and same goes for most of the manuals. Not because I don't like them, but because it is not necessary to balance things for a movie or a cartoon series. And because of that many things are just poorly balanced. I need something usable for a game, which is the reason I take things that ARE balanced (which may also be the reason why the manuals are so vastly different from ingame values in the first place) and try to fit something new into it.

    The reason why I think it has to be somewhere in the lines of what I wrote is just that the alternatives hardly make any sense otherwise. But that's the reason why I like discussing it. If someone has a better idea I'm equally happy.

    And yes, of course I'm pulling things out of my ass most of the time I write here, because just as you said: We don't know it. And if every thread here ended here because we don't know something there wouldn't be any long threads at all.
    So what I'm trying to do is look at what we have (which is not very much quite often, but has highest priority not to contradict), and then I try to fill gaps with something that is only suggested by something canonical. Then I search for logically derived assumptions that could contradict or support it, for example if frigates in a theory were that good that destroyers would become obsolete. And if those don't help I take the last step and compare to real life things. As we know from the Privateer ships thread sometimes no real life thing fits. That might happen.

    But "we don't know" is never a reason to throw a theory away. If something canonical (which is "real" for our use here, albeit there is the possibility that there are various canon facts that contradict each other) contradicts it then the theory is likely to be wrong and has to be changed. So that's what I'm searching for. I know we don't know it and I know this is just a theory, but as long as it isn't outright ridiculous and it doesn't contradict canon I'll just run with it to derive things that I can use in mods. It's not canon after all. Not even "fanon" if nobody likes it. :)

    btw: I have an idea how to fit the 40 tubes to the claw from the movie: We don't know about the torpedoes but we know that the movie is pretty early in the timeline, so maybe those are not the kind of torpedoes we know from WC2 but maybe something more in the line of Dart DF missiles. In the early stages of the war they had no shield-piercing torpedoes so the torpedoes were weapons that were just fired in huge numbers on the enemy's shields to break them. That would also explain why capships had so many of them.
    Also a theory because I really like to fit the movie into the rest, it just happens to be quite difficult...
     
  16. capi3101

    capi3101 Rear Admiral

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    I got it - could the Paradigm be a destroyer escort? You know, somewhere between a corvette and a full fleet destroyer?
     
  17. Aginor

    Aginor Vice Admiral

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    Maybe. For me it fits, so if you want to include that into some non-canonical info sheet, I'll be happy with it. It is a class of ship that the WC universe lacks until now. But the description seems to fit.
     
  18. Ijuin

    Ijuin Admiral

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    Destroyer-escort, eh? Meant to fight mainly against targets quicker and lighter than itself (e.g. bombers/torpedo boats/raiders) in order to protect shipping? That sounds like something that Confed would have deployed in a place like Gemini sector. It would also explain why it has all of those anti-fighter guns but not apparently a lot of torpedo tubes or anti-capship guns--it's not intended to go up against anything bigger than itself even as a group.
     
  19. Aginor

    Aginor Vice Admiral

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    Yeah. Judging by the armament a Fralthi or even a Ralaxath would have two or three Paradigms for breakfast if there isn't anything else around. (which of course wouldn't be the case). For light ships the Paradigm is a tough nut to crack with all those lasers.
     
  20. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    This was discussed at the top of the thread. The issue is that there's no reason for it. A closer look at the Paradigm reveals that it's dotted with large turrets and actually seems to be larger than other destroyers... plus the description that it's a particularly advanced warship from Origin FX... and the fact that even in terms of in-game weaponry it's more heavily armed than destroyers that came before it...

    I would say we actually have a remarkable amount of information about frigates' roles... and it doesn't square with the idea that they're for destroying fighters at all. For example...

    ... in Wing Commander IV, a pirate/Project frigate serves as a platform for raiding fighters.
    ... in two instances, Border Worlds frigates act as armored transports: transporting refugees from a Confederation attack early in the Wing Commander IV novelization and then again in one of the Circe missions.
    ... Confederation frigates act as flagships twice: for Duke Grecko in Fleet Action and then for Paladin in Wing Commander III.
    ... Kilrathi frigates are used alongside destroyers for escorting transports, according to Baron Jukaga at the start of Fleet Action.
    ... the Kilrathi used frigates in an anti-piracy role; Kruger runs awfoul of them early in Action Stations.
    ... Confederation frigates are kept on station at jump points as pickets. There's one blocking the Tarawa in the Sol System in Fleet Action and then one on station outside McAuliffe in Action Stations. There's also a Kilrathi frigate on picket duty near Gar's in Action Stations.
    ... Admiral Long considers using a frigate to run out to check the listening post near McAuliffe.
    ... three Kilrathi frigates (and a cruiser) bomb a Confederation outpost with nuclear weapons in Action Stations.
    ... Action Stations specifically says that Kilrathi fleet doctrine has a screen of frigates jumping first to secure an area before carriers and battleships move in.
    ... frigates escort fighter strikes in Fleet Action, launching additional chaff.
    ... whereas fighters escort frigates in an attack on Kilrathi capital ships in Action Stations.

    The 40-torpedo tubes thing is just to explain the Tiger's Claw's "broadside" scene from the movie.
     

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