Having read the ship descriptions in the rulebook it quickly becomes apparent, that the are patterns across the different tonnages where ships with similar armament are present in the different designations. For instance; the Scourge have a close action vessel in the frigate, light cruiser, cruiser and battle cruiser designations – ships in different sizes but similar roles.
I found this relation interesting but somehow difficult to get a proper overview of while reading the book. I had an idea that if I organized this information, some patterns and strenghts / weaknesses might become more visibile. From this stems the ship succession overview which I will go more into detail about in this post.
First of all, the file with the overview is available on the Ressources page of the blog. In this post, I will go a bit more into detail with the findings from the individual fleets, but first a note on the classification work.
In each fleet I organize the ships in designations based on hull (and tonnage classification). I disregard corvettes and the voidgate since they generally have no similarities to the other ships in their fleet.
For each ship, I classify it in one (or more) of the following classes based on their main armament;
- Combat – A ship with the primary purpose of ship-to-ship combat.
- Close combat – As above, but using close action weapons as its primary armament.
- Carrier – A ship with fighters / bombers as its main armament.
- Bombard – A ship with the primary purpose of bombarding sectors.
- Escort – A ship (frigate) with an ability to protect itself and/or other ships.
- Troop deploy – A ship in the business of putting soldiers on the ground or in a spacestation.
- Ship control – Ships that have armament to control other ships (Impel weapons).
- Scanning – A special category for the Lima.
Some ships can cover multiple roles but I tried to simplify and only assign one role, unless it very obviously can handle more roles (Shaltari excels at this).
This overview focuses on the observations that came from the work of organizing the ships in these relations. Observations that can be made easily in another context is generally not mentioned here.
With this intro over, let’s start off with the UCM.
The UCM has two main lineages; combat ships with either (big) railguns or lasers. As for many of the other fleets, when we get to the battle cruisers and battle ships the lines get slightly more muddled. There are also three secondary lineages; carrier, troop deploy and bombardment.
There were not that many revelations for me, when I made this – it is rather straight forward. The most interesting observations are about what is not there – no close combat besides frigates, bombard in cruiser and battleship designations, etc.
They do have one peculiarity around their light crusiers – as the only fleet, they have the same point defence as their cruisers and the close action of the frigates. For all other fleets light cruisers have the same (or less!) point defence than their frigates, but close action weapons of the cruisers. I think the UCM combination is slightly better, as the low point defence of the light cruisers are one of their main weaknesses.
Also, they are the only fleet with three ships with a battleship hull.
The Scourge have – as UCM – two main lineages; plasma tempest / storm (close action) and oculus beams (distance fighting). As the only fleet, their standard distance fighting have a class in every designations from frigate to battleship. In addition it has three secondary lineages; troop deploy, furnace cannons and carriers.
As for UCM there are not that many peculiar observations, but there are a few.
Their light cruisers have a pathetic point defence – even worse than their frigates. Their battleships break the pattern where cruisers and above all have the same armour save – the Scourge battleships are tougher (the Shaltari also break this pattern). They also have a slightly better point defence than the normal pattern, matching that of the Shaltari battleships.
The last peculiarity is that they have one ship class less than all the other fleets – which reduce flexibility somewhat.
The PHR is by far the most complicated fleet to trace lineages in. Where for instance UCM basically have two main types of weapons (Cobra laser and UF-6400 railguns) and two types of secondary (carriers and UF-4200 railguns) PHR have four types of main armaments (light calibre, medium calibre, heavy calibre and carrier) and four types of secondary armament (medium calibre turret, supernova laser, twin supernova laser and torpedoes). In addition, they have bulk landers who are just as heavily armed (and armoured!) as ordinary cruisers and all of this makes the picture quite complicated. Hence PHR do not have the same clear lineages of armament that the other fleets have.
The closest they get to lineages are a medium calibre lineage in the Europa – Theseus – Orion – Hector – Leonidas / Agamemnon but it is not really clear. The other lineage is the carrier lineage of the Andromeda – Ikarus – Bellerophon – Scipio / Priam that also have a fair share of deviations. Besides this, there is a weak troop deploy lineage but the rest is just an odd mix which is very difficult to properly map.
The conclusion is that the PHR ships vary tremendously which complicates matters and at the same time give PHR a lot of flexibility.
Looking at patterns in the ship designations, PHR have more heavy ships than the other fleets. One less light cruiser and one less with a cruiser hull but five with heavy cruiser hull – two or three more than the other fleets (and the two bulk landers count as medium tonnage!).
Looking at the patterns in the different tonnages there are quite a few interesting observations. The most significant is also the most obvious; all ship hulls share the same armour save. This is especially significant in the frigates.
Another deviation is hull; all hulls are 1 hull point better than UCM and Scourge counterparts – except the battleship designations which is 4 hull points greater. These two combined give the PHR significant durability.
Point defence of the (single) light cruiser is also horrible – as for the Scourge light cruisers.
Finally, another pecurilarity appears – the battle cruisers of the PHR are as fast as frigates whereas they for all other fleets are as fast as cruisers. This gives som interesting options in combining these in battle groups.
Shaltari is, like PHR, an odd ball when it comes to clear lineages. They have three main weapon systems (Ion storm generators, Disintegrator batteries and Particle lances) and they mix them somewhat freely in the bigger tonnages.
They do have still have two major lineages; a particle lance and a disintegrator battery. In battle cruiser and battle ship designations they blend together into one ship in each designations mixing the weapon combinations. They also have some other minor lineages; a ship control, a bombard / close action and a carrier line.
Looking through the designations quite a few peculiarities emerge and they almost follow no standard.
Point defence is deviant across the line, but better than most (the shields messes this up, though). Armour also breaks the pattern with all but battleships having the same armour. Speaking of battleships, as the only battleship designations they do not have an improved scan range – but it is already formidable. Hull is (for all but frigates and battleships) one point lower than UCM and Scourge.