Strike Carrier Concept

Ghost

Emperor
Silly TC

There a re ''Wing'' people and the ''Commander'' people.

Luckily for you, you and Ghost are ''Commander'' guys!
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Sylvester said:
What about removing 2 Ion Cannons and calling it a "Medium Fleet Carrier" IE, something much cheaper and easier to produce than Midway or Vesuvius ships.

Besides, the WC Saga team already created specs for the Eagle, the're on the Fleet Tactics site.

I think this idea about 'medium fleet carriers' was already shot down in your LAST Medium Fleet Carrier thread. It comes down to the same issue I raised there - given the 'cost-cutting, more efficient' fleet of the WCP/SO era, why should they go back to normal fleet carriers which cost the same as two light or escort carriers which can cover two different systems, when you've already got power-projection capability in the Midway or Vesuvius-class vessels? They've already got fourteen Midway-class ships, plus the newer Vesuvius-class carriers for fleet engagements and areas which need a heavy Confed presence. Light or escort carriers do patrols or small task force duties, or even raiding behind the lines if there's a war going on, without the same amount of expense and time invested in building and equipping a larger vessel which is far less expendable. Quick-strike Cruisers exist to allow you to do smaller raids which require only a light fighter presence, and normal carriers provide extra fighter support to either light carriers, quick-strike cruisers, or else act as the nucleus of a small patrol group if fighters aren't really needed.

The main problem with designing a carrier is the compromises you make to support the purpose of said ship. Remember that the carrier is made to deliver and support a certain number of fighters, bombers, and other single-person strikecraft for a certain period of time. This means that it's not designed to take on whole capships by itself (which the Concordia was designed to do, though the inability to use the PTC reduced it to little more than a heavy carrier with a bit more armor and less speed or maneuverability than any other Confed capship of the time).

If you want the ship to be fast, you either sacrifice volume or you sacrifice mass - this means larger engines for the former, which reduces crew space and storage space for fighters or parts, or else less armor or weaponry. If you want to carry oodles of fighters, this means making the ship bigger, which increases mass and reduces speed unless you sacrifice armor or maneuverability.

If you want to be heavily shielded or armed, you lose both volume AND speed; volume that could be used to house crew that services fighters, pilots to fly them, storage space to carry missles or parts for fighters along with spares or broken craft is instead taken up by power generators for the weapons or storage space for capship-sized missiles or torps, shield generators, and so on.

There are a LOT of tradeoffs in ship design that have to be worked out, which is why light or escort carriers tended to carry few fighters (they had to have room to store munitions for them along with spare parts, along with the crews and repair bays) and little armor or weaponry. Fleet carriers sacrificed speed and armor in favor of fighter capacity and some weapons. The dreadnoughts sacrificed speed AND fighter space (it was almost 283m longer than a Bengal, but only carried a few more fighters despite having the space for quite a few more than that, in theory) so it could keep more shields and weapons. Midway lost some armor and a lot of speed so it could carry all those fighters and Marines, along with other starbase-style facilities. The Vesuvius is positively massive and carries a lot of fighters, but takes a horrific amount of resources to build, and despite its armor can be easily destroyed due to its design making a significant part of the ship empty space that's effectively unarmored.

This leaves the original Fleet Carrier concept out in the cold - sure, it's cheaper than a Vesuvius or Midway, but it's far less capable than either in a heavy fleet action. Light or escort carriers cost maybe a sixth, at least in WC4's timeframe, of what a normal fleet carrier costs to build, and puts more fighters into a half-dozen systems (assuming 30-50 fighters per carrier, while your normal 'fleet' carrier had up to 120 or so fighters). They're also more cost-effective from a patrol standpoint, since they're less heavily armed and easier to replace when they're too damaged or out of date to continue service. As I recall, the shift to Midway-class ships was initiated because it was noted that to continue using Kilrathi War-era fleet carrier designs would cost more to build and maintain than a single Midway-class ship... but at the same time, light or escort carriers are much cheaper and can still do the necessary jobs of patrol and fleet support. If you need heavier firepower, you've still got Vesuvius-class ships to hammer the enemy.

A Medium Fleet Carrier, from this standpoint, looks even worse than a 'normal' one, much less a simple Light or Escort Carrier - you're sacrificing the speed and cost-effectiveness of the latter, for something not quite as survivable as a Fleet Carrier, and much less capable than a Midway or Vesuvius-class ship. And you're trying to reduce expenditures now that you don't have an unlimited wartime budget to boot.

Besides, it's more dramatic to have a smaller carrier going up against larger forces - why else do you think WC1 did it with us horribly outnumbered in many engagements? Heck, WC:SO did it, as did WC3 and WC4 once you were on the BWS Intrepid. The novels also tended to use the escort carrier because it was more fun than being the overwhelming power that Thrakath was in a Hvar'kann-style dreadnought.
 

TC

SubCrid
Stop talking about Medium Carriers. There's no such thing. A plain old standard Fleet Carrier is the one in the middle. It's just called a Fleet Carrier.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
TC said:
Stop talking about Medium Carriers. There's no such thing. A plain old standard Fleet Carrier is the one in the middle. It's just called a Fleet Carrier.

I know there's no such thing, but I'm trying to point out how idiotic adding a step between 'Fleet Carrier' and 'escort carrier' is, in terms of resources and mission.
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
Haesslich said:
I know there's no such thing, but I'm trying to point out how idiotic adding a step between 'Fleet Carrier' and 'escort carrier' is, in terms of resources and mission.

You mean Light Carriers? :)
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Bob McDob said:
You mean Light Carriers? :)

No, I'd say that 'light carriers' and 'Escort Carriers' are roughly on the same rung. It's just the idea of a 'Medium' between them's odd - you sacrifice speed for something not quite as survivable as a Fleet Carrier.
 

RFBurns

Spaceman
Why cant the darn things be built to overcome those weaknesses of power vs speed vs armour vs guns vs how many squads it carries etc etc? Why are designs so limited to inside a box around here? If they can cram a matter/anti-matter power core into a small agile figher like the Dragon, then why can the freaking carriers be built to be just as powerfull? Whats all this nit picking? Figher pilots and fleet commanders do not make very good engineers. Let the engineers build the ships...and let the pilots fly em.

:rolleyes:
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
RFBurns said:
Why cant the darn things be built to overcome those weaknesses of power vs speed vs armour vs guns vs how many squads it carries etc etc? Why are designs so limited to inside a box around here?

:rolleyes:

Because every carrier he's designed to date tries to be the fastest/most heavily armed/most armored ship around without consideration as to the mission. Look down below at his response regarding a 'medium fleet carrier' when it was noted that a light carrier would lose most of those precious guns that he'd put onto that 'strike carrier' below. Sylvester rehashed a concept that had been discredited in the thread before this one... and, if I remember correctly, this thread was a response to the criticisms of the last one.

The sad part is that the light carrier design he just put up is probably the closest thing to a 'normal' design so far, out of all the ships posted so far. Or do we need to quote the ultra-light yet armored-as-well-as-a-Megacarrier Bogue, and faster-than-a-Vesuvius-yet-impossibly-well-armed-and-armored Confederation II threads to start?

One of the main gripes to date is that Sylvester's trying to do this all for a WC RPG, but then throws away half the universe's backstory in order to make it 'cooler'. Or do you not remember the 2nd Kilrathi Empire? It's fine and dandy to be creative, but most of the ideas that have been thrown up to date are rehashes of the same old 'I need to have a really cool carrier that can kill anyone' idea that's been going around for years. Most of the recent ideas, including the Not Really A Medium Fleet Carrier, Yet Another Fleet Carrier, and this thread's Overarmed And Outdated-Concept Strike Carrier are basically rehashes of the supership idea, albeit a toned down one.

In-universe reasons against these ships' presence have been pointed out; namely that, in the post-WCP/SO era, cost-effectiveness is what drives a lot of fleet construction and that normal fleet carriers are redundant when you've got supercarriers and megacarriers present for the heavy combat and light or escort carriers for patrols and small task forces. The Strike Carrier's mission is also in question, given that the main reason for one of those to exist - the ability to go alone into enemy territory - no longer exists. The strike carrier in question can be easily taken out by modern heavy fighters or bombers, or even ship-killers mounted on much cheaper destroyers... much less the fleet-killing plasma cannons that the Nephilim (and now Confed) have. You don't have enough firepower in one strike carrier to make a difference in any of those cases, and you lose the ship and its fighters should even one single Devil Ray get through your fighter screen... and that strike carrier probably cost at least as much as a fleet carrier to produce, if not a whole lot more due to the guns and speed you gave it.

When you build something like that, you end up sacrificing one thing to get another - if you want something fast, it either has to be light or has huge engines which take up internal space. If you want it to be armored, it'll either have to move like a slug or else you're going to lose internal volume which is critical to supporting fighters (storage space for missiles, spare parts, spare fighters or broken fighters to be taken back to base for repair, repair bays, hangar areas for fighters when not being prepped for flight, living quarters for the fighters' ground crews). If you want to carry a lot of fighters, you're going to lose speed or armor due to the above reasons. If you want to have all three components (fast, well armored, lots of fighters), then you're going to have a HUGE ship which won't turn very well, will be terribly expensive, and take a lot of time to build. This doesn't even count the fact that losing that carrier is going to be a horrendous blow to your army, given that the resources and time you've sunk into that ship could've probably built four or five 'normal' fleet carriers with the same or even greater fighter capacity overall. You're still going to lose some armor on there, since the strength of the carrier's superstructure may not take the extra mass of that armor without sacrificing space for fighters or crew for support girders.
 

RFBurns

Spaceman
Ahh I see. Well its neat to just read thru these concept design ideas and imagine how they would perform in the field.
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
Haesslich said:
No, I'd say that 'light carriers' and 'Escort Carriers' are roughly on the same rung. It's just the idea of a 'Medium' between them's odd - you sacrifice speed for something not quite as survivable as a Fleet Carrier.

Light carriers carry more armor than escorts, and are slower besides. They're considered more valuable assets than escorts, almost mini-Fleet Carriers - I hardly think they're "on the same rung" as CVEs.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Bob McDob said:
Light carriers carry more armor than escorts, and are slower besides. They're considered more valuable assets than escorts, almost mini-Fleet Carriers - I hardly think they're "on the same rung" as CVEs.

Given their use in the Kilrathi War, I'd rank them fairly equally in that context - similar numbers of fighters, similar weaponry, and the same or at least similar mission profiles. The only real difference in WC is that the light carriers we saw in WC were all old, pre-War designs, while escort carriers were modern and had taken up most of the roles that might have once belonged to light carriers.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
It seems that the escrot carriers were more expandable than the light carriers. And if the victory is an example, light carriers operated with a small fleet, making it quite a force.
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
Delance said:
It seems that the escrot carriers were more expandable than the light carriers. And if the victory is an example, light carriers operated with a small fleet, making it quite a force.

You mean 'expendable', ja? And in End Run, they sure were - but so are light carriers, when you come to it. The Tarawa also operated with two destroyer escorts, IIRC, during that novel. The only reason the Victory operated with the Ajax and another destroyer was, at least in WC3, because it was the nucleus of a small task force which soon picked up the Behemoth - something that Tolwyn had planned even before he put you onboard the Victory, if you believe the novel.
 

psych

Destroyer of assclowns
Haesslich said:
You mean 'expendable', ja? And in End Run, they sure were - but so are light carriers, when you come to it. The Tarawa also operated with two destroyer escorts, IIRC, during that novel. The only reason the Victory operated with the Ajax and another destroyer was, at least in WC3, because it was the nucleus of a small task force which soon picked up the Behemoth - something that Tolwyn had planned even before he put you onboard the Victory, if you believe the novel.

Hey Haesslich, I hate to correct a guy as accomplished in the WC community as you bro, but the Tarawa had a destroyer and a corvette as escorts in End Run.

And about the Behemoth Squadron. I noticed that there's actually three ways of talking about the task force. The first is WC3, we know that the Victory had the heavy cruiser Ajax, and destroyers Coventry and Sheffield. The WC3 novel had Melek tell Trakhath "five capital ships, one carrier Victory. the others, a cruiser, and three destroyers."

Yet another thing is in the Tolwyn's last breifing when Blair comes in, when he says "we're about to hit the jump point to Kilrah, cover the Behemoth" - this was the mission in which the Behemoth was destroyed. I counted Victory, Behemoth, and amazingly, nine other capital ships.

behemothfleet1.JPG
 

Haesslich

Spaceman
psych said:
Hey Haesslich, I hate to correct a guy as accomplished in the WC community as you bro, but the Tarawa had a destroyer and a corvette as escorts in End Run.

And about the Behemoth Squadron. I noticed that there's actually three ways of talking about the task force. The first is WC3, we know that the Victory had the heavy cruiser Ajax, and destroyers Coventry and Sheffield. The WC3 novel had Melek tell Trakhath "five capital ships, one carrier Victory. the others, a cruiser, and three destroyers."

Yet another thing is in the Tolwyn's last breifing when Blair comes in, when he says "we're about to hit the jump point to Kilrah, cover the Behemoth" - this was the mission in which the Behemoth was destroyed. I counted Victory, Behemoth, and amazingly, nine other capital ships.

*slaps forehead* The Kagimasha was supposed to be a corvette. Mea maxima culpa, there - thank you for pointing out the error. Given how Kagimasha ended up, I'm not sure if another destroyer would've made that much of a difference in that mission... but another carrier sure as hell would've.

And that does raise the question - which task force was Delance talking about? I can't remember if Ajax, Coventry, and Sheffield were always with the Victory, or if they joined her in the pre-Behemoth missions. Granted, the engine wasn't exactly up to simulating a full carrier group, but still... I wonder if any of those smaller capships were corvettes or frigates.
 

psych

Destroyer of assclowns
Who knows.

From that picture, I'm picking up three larger rectangles, four small rectangles, and two of those triangular capship icons. Maybe the large rectanges are cruisers, the small rectangles destroyers, and the triangular icons frigates or corvettes? I got no idea. Maybe some of them are transports? Maybe there were other capital ships that rendezvoused with the Victory just before they were about to jump from Loki to Kilrah? I don't know

The Victory had the Ajax, Coventry, and Sheffield as escorts. She's not a fleet carrier, and she was the second-string carrier, and of all the other carriers in the fleet, the absolutely last one in the list to recieve new fighters, equipment, and spare parts.

I think what Delance was talking about was the small battlegroup of the Victory. But as the False Colors novel had said, "a cruiser and two destroyers offers little threat." The Karga in that same novel had four other escorts, and it was referred to as "scratch built".
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
Haesslich said:
And that does raise the question - which task force was Delance talking about? I can't remember if Ajax, Coventry, and Sheffield were always with the Victory, or if they joined her in the pre-Behemoth missions. Granted, the engine wasn't exactly up to simulating a full carrier group, but still... I wonder if any of those smaller capships were corvettes or frigates.

The task force I was talking about was the Ajax, Coventry and Sheffield. It seems that yes, they were almost always with the victory, and could be seen on the o-deck and the bar. And they were also close to the Victory when it jumps (the games uses the same cut scene for almost all situations).

I'm not sure, but i think they were around on the cut scene that shows Blair arriving in a shuttle. Well, it's not a fleet carrier with a major battle group, but it can do well, considering the operations they perform during WC3. If End Run and WC3 are examples of how Escort and Light Carriers were used, the later were less expendable and more powerful.

My take is that the LCs were sort of small fleet carriers, with an accordingly smaller fighter complement and escort fleet. But still, this mini-fleet of a cruiser and a couple of destroyers are a force to be reckoned with. On a war were carriers were so rare and valuable, even an old one like the Victory had its function, doing something a lesser force couldn’t, when a larger one couldn’t be spared, wasn’t convenient, or would attract too much attention.
 
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