For my part a lot of my view of gates comes from the Starfire novels by David Weber and Steve White.
Atarlost wrote:This theory of military roles is from long ago IRC discussions between myself and Wolfy regarding TX2. The theory is mostly based on the Ares and Sung force mixes. The Marauders also manage a poor man's version of the force mix used by the major powers.
A serious defense would start with a ring of turrets about 10 ls less than their range in radius, a fortress about 10 ls beyond the expected range of enemy doorknockers, a squadron of heavy gunships, and a substantial number of light gunships. Cruisers and more gunships would guard stations deeper in the system and more cruisers would be on patrol.
- Turret: These are deployed around lightly defended stations in contested areas and in rings around border stargates. Example: Ares turret, Commonwealth turret, Sung turret
- Fortress: These are larger fixed installations guarding stargates around capitals and other critical systems, and on peaceful borders where they act as customs stations. They require too long to build and add too little value to use on hostile borders, though the Commonwealth may attempt to use CSCs in this role. Examples: Sung Fortress, CSC
- heavy door knocker: These are big heavily shielded and armored ships for breaking through the above mentioned defenses. They are typified by fast firing or very numerous medium weapons and possibly a single big gun for tackling fortresses. Such ships are the first things through a hostile stargate. Examples: Phobos, Dragon Slaver, Tripoli (when using brutes or broadswords)
- light door knocker: This is an alternate method of breaching a stargate, trading the risk of an expensive dreadnought for the certainty of losing many cheaper gunships. This role is typified by fire and forget missile armaments. Examples: Britannia, Tundra, Corsair II (with stiletto or broadsword missile load)
- Heavy Gunship: These are expensive gunships with powerful weapons capable of threatening capital ships. Examples: Tundra, Chasm, Barbary, Steel Slaver (not a typical example, but capable of filling the role because of their cyberdecks)
- light Gunship: These are cheap gunships for commerce raiding, protecting capital ships and stations from heavy gunships, and acting as cannon fodder. Examples: Centurion, Ronin, Sandstorm, Wind Slaver, any Charon or Marauder gunship except the Barbary
- cruiser: These are the workhorses of the fleet to be sent through to secure a system once the stargate defenses are breached, or to prevent an enemy who breaches your stargate defenses from having free run of the system. They tend to be smaller and cheaper than doorknockers because they don't have to go through a choke point one at a time, mount the longest range weapons they can, and carry base busters. This can be subdivided into purer bombardment platforms like the Drake and Cometfall and more balanced designs like the Tripoli, Charon Frigate, and Deimos. Examples: Cometfall, Drake, Tripoli, Charon Frigate, Deimos, Aquila, Earth Slaver, Urak Destroyer, Hurin Destroyer
- Logistical Support: freighters. Examples: Drake, everything with freighter in the name
A serious assault would be lead with a heavy doorknocker to draw fire from defending turrets, followed by light doorknockers to mop them up faster, gunships to drive away defending heavy gunships, and cruisers and light and heavy gunships to secure the system.
A probe would lead with light doorknockers, wait for one to gate back and report the gate clear, and then follow with various gunships and then cruisers.
Not all factions need all roles, but any faction that fancies itself a major player should have most of them. Unless there's a good reason not to we should probably try to have EU art assets for all the roles for all vanilla factions. In my thinking the Huari don't need doorknockers because of their purely defensive strategic posture, and other factions may be in a similar situation. Low tech factions may not be able to practically fill all the roles, especially the heavy gunship which to a significant degree only exists because a few advanced weapons have poor range and need a fast ship to bring them to bear.
In TSB the CW has gained a heavy doorknocker mounting several Katanas and multiple NAMI heavy launchers, a bombardment "cruiser" with sustained XM900 capability, and a heavy gunship using the Earth Industries Plasma Cannon. The Ares have gained a battlecarrier for the fortress role. I believe the Ranx are filled out, though I'm not clear on the details with all the revisions. They may lack doorknockers other than the experimental superdreadnought.
I believe the Huari have adequate coverage, lacking only doorknockers and heavy gunships in TSB. The Urak, unless they're supposed to be expansionist, only really need a freighter, though a heavy gunship using the advance mass driver is possible.
Notable oddballs are the Kobol, who manage to fill the cruiser roles surprisingly well with their missile gunships and massed omni gunships, and the Dwarg, who, if they're expansionist, should probably have a cruiser variant of the behemoth with a longer ranged main gun and certainly need a freighter.
Wolfy wrote:Ok, so I added this just this morning, and am going to give it a spin (note that in my tests I discovered I break the forum tables if I messed up, so I'm keeping it off the main posting panel for now)
I got a start here, thuogh I haven't done all of them yet
[EDIT - pardon the massive space, I need to figure out how to negate that]
Code: Select all
[tr] [td]Faction[/td][td]Orientation[/td] [td]Turret1[/td][td]Turret2[/td] [td]Fortress[/td][td]Fortress2[/td] [td]Hvy Doorknocker[/td][td]Light Doorknocker[/td] [td]Cruiser1[/td][td]Cruiser2[/td] [td]Adv.Gunship[/td][td]Gunship1[/td] [td]Gunship2[/td][td]Gunship3[/td] [td]Freighter1[/td][td]Freighter2[/td] [/tr]
*Someone found references to this in a TODO list in the source code
Faction Orientation Turret1 Turret2 Fortress Fortress2 Hvy Doorknocker Light Doorknocker Cruiser1 Cruiser2 Adv.Gunship Gunship1 Gunship2 Gunship3 Freighter1 Freighter2 Ares Offensive Ares Sentinel - Battlecarrier (needs name) Canonical Carrier?* Phobos Tundra Deimos - Chasm Tundra Sandstorm - Polar - CW Balanced? CW Turret - Militia Fortress CSC Monitor (forgot name) Britannia Aquila Scorpio EIPC gunship (need name) Britannia Centurion - NAMI freighter (in progress) Aurochs Sung Offensive Sung Turret - Sung Fortress Sung Citadel Dragonslaver - Earth Slaver - Steel Slaver Wind Slaver - - Sung Transport - Ranx Empire Offensive Heavy Turret (WIP) Light Turret (WIP) Ranx Fortress - Super RDN (WIP) Adv. Gunship (WIP) RDN - Adv. Gunship (WIP) Gunship - - Military Freighter (WIP) - Marauders Diffuse Offensive - - Fortress - Tripoli Corsair II Tripoli Drake Barbary Corsair I/II Viking I/II - Drake Raid Platform Ansabi Defensive Positron Turret Ion Turret Fortress (WIP) - Neutronium CS - Oxygen (WIP) - Silicon (WIP) Carbon - - Cesium (Hvy, WIP) Hydrogen (Light) Domain Balanced Micronode (WIP) Subnode Defense Node (WIP) - Nodeship No name (WIP) Cruiser (need name) - Heavy Gunship (need name) Drone Gunship (need name) - - Heavy Freighter (WIP, name) Light Freighter Coalition Defensive Turret (WIP) Heavy Turret (WIP) Fortress - Komodo Cobra Perentie Wolf (CI, WIP) Cobra Viper Drone ship Coyote (CI) Husky (CI) - Solarites Offensive ? ? Fortress (WIP) - No name (WIP) No name (WIP) No name (WIP) - No name (WIP) No name (WIP) - - No name (WIP) -
Wolfy wrote:Right, the roles themselves are idealized; you can sort of think of it in a way like Plato's ideal forms - the planners & tacticians & military theorists create this idealized nomenclature (like physicists describing physics with their mathematical models), and then the engineers take this information and make the best of what they can fulfilling the design requirements that the brass want (which in turn is usually governed by their own budgets and strategic views)
I definitely agree that we don't want to have cookie-cutter factions. To that end, we've been pretty careful about ensuring diversity. For example, the Phobos is still rather centric around its main gun, and has much less secondary weaponry than the CW's Monitor (which has no truly primary weaponry, though it does carry a set of heavy NAMI launchers); this means that the actual ideal function of each ship is different. Its also an older design (if by merit of the CW Monitor design being of the same vintage as the Gen 4 CSCs)
I also have syrtian war era Ares ships planned for example (I'm thinking of making a library of Syrtian War era content for the people who want to make registered mods of the area; I've already gotten two requests on IRC) - a number of the factions will have older-era ships (though not all, for example, the Coalition gave most of their old, dated ships to the Rean Empire), but some still have them in active military service (such as the Gen I and Gen II CSCs by the CW Fleet; the smaller carriers built prior to the CSC Gen 1 have been mostly given to the militia, and a number were sold off as surplus; for example, we were thinking that one or two mothballed ones may have been obtained by Korolov, and would play heavily in an assault-on-charon mission)
There is also a good deal of duplication/overlap going on where some ships can be used in multiple roles, but the table doesn't show that very well without becoming ridiculously large and complex.
Atarlost wrote:Yeah, the way a role is filled varies.
As an example, the Heavy doorknockers of the major vanilla powers:
The Phobos is the quintessential brick: slow and very tough. It uses a small number of rapid fire turrets to mop up hostile turrets and a single big gun to take out fortresses.
The Worldship is also a brick, but it uses a bunch of guns the same size with a slightly weaker high WMD weapon for station killing.
The Dragon Slaver is not a brick at all. It's fast and maneuverable even for a small capital ship and should actually be able to sweep along the turret ring blasting them with its main gun faster than it can kill them with its particle beams, which it uses more for defense against gunships.
The current Phobos and Worldship are capable of a supercruiser role. The Dragonslaver is not capable of the traditional cruiser role with its short ranged main gun, but with its superior speed it can probably be used as cavalry support for an Earth Slaver battle line.
Not every faction needs every type either. Defensive factions don't need doorknockers. Low population/wealth ratio factions may skip the lighter gunships. If a faction lacks a type, though, there should be a reason. Every faction is looking at what their neighbors are doing and should be trying to answer those roles as best it can within its technological and sociological constraints.
Filling all the roles is also good prep work for the possible future Transcendence RTS.