Sunday, January 13, 2013

What is a Battlestar?

I'm back after a long vacation.  I'm still looking at completing the capital ships for the game.  In order to get a clearer picture of the role of capital ships, I'm going to post a series of blogs that will help me define them better.  This blog will cover the general overview of capital ships.

First, what is a battlestar?  Prior to the Cylon War, the term battlestar was used to define any space going warship.  In many ways, it is a similar term to warship in American society.  It did not define a class of ship, like a destroyer; it defined an entire concept of ship.  Prior to the war, colonial battlestars were very much like modern carriers.  They were designed to carry various fighter and support craft.  These smaller crafts are used to project power around the capital ships.  Just prior to the war, Caprica, a leading colony in the development of new technologies, conceptualized the first true battlestar.  These newer ships, that would take over the term of battlestar from a generic term to specific class of warship, were designed to operate as a naval station, not just a carrier.  The new battlestars would be capable of maintanence of a massive fleet of fighter and support craft, the fabrication of equipment and arms, the storage of an unprecedencted number of fighters and an extended operational "up" time.  They were designed to, not only conduct war, but supply an entire fleet of smaller battlestars with fighters, water, ammo and fuel. 

Second, what are the current classifications of battlestars?  The game currently uses a simplified size variable to track ship sizes.  Size one is anything less than 50 meters.  Each size category beyond one respresents a multiple of 50 meters.  For example, a size of five represents 250 meters.  A size of 10 represents 500 meters.  Battletars are categorized by size.  The categories are:

Escorts are small capital ships with limited support craft.  These ships usually have a small hanger bay; however, they are generally incapable of launching and landing fighter craft.  Their primary mission is to act as a mobile jump platform and are used in scouting missions.  The maximum size for this class of ship is two (100 meters).

Frigates are slighly larger than escorts and are capable of launching fighters.  Usually, a frigate is limited to two flights (approximately 10) of fighters.  Like escorts, these ships are primarily used in scouting missions.  In addition, these ships are often selected for small scale infiltration missions.  The maximum size of a frigate is four (200 meters).

Destroyers are, at least at the start of the Cylon War, the most numerous class of capital ships.  The usually have a full squadron (approximately 20) of fighters.  Some destroyers are armed with capital ship sized guns.  The mission profile for these ships vary depending on individual class; however, they are primarily a fleet ship.  They tend to operate better in groups.  The maximum size for a destroyer is a size of 12 (600 meters). 

Cruisers are, at least at the start of the Cylon War, the largest warships in any of the Colonial fleets.  They can support multiple fighter squadrons.  They are armed with capital ship sized gun turrets in addition to smaller flak turrets.  Before the inclusion of the newer battlestars, these vessels were the primary capital ships of the fleet.  The maximum size for a cruiser is 20 (1000 meters). 

Battlestars are a relatively new edition to the war effort.  After the first year of the war, the only class of battlestar was the Columbia Class Battlestar (built by the Leonis Colony; the Caprican ship was delayed due to a Cylon attack).  The Columbia measured at 1440 meters and is capable of maintaining twenty squadrons; however, most squadrons are assigned to smaller ships in the fleet.  After the eighth year of the war, a new class of battlestar is introduced to the war.  I'm still working on the design of the newer battlestar.  However, a battlestar is classified as anything larger than a size of 20 (1000 meters+).  It has large capital ship guns and represents a devastating power on the battlefield.  In addition, it houses factories that can keep a fleet supplied for extended operations. 

The game will feature each of these five classes of ships.  Since the start of the game is two years after the start of the war, there will be four Battlestars (Columbia, Galactica, Acheron and Athena) operational in the game.  This number will ballon up to nine as the progresses.  The final three Battlestars will be of a different class built within the final two years of the war.  The player will be assigned to a Battlestar at all times during the game.  However, players will be assigned a smaller battlestar (frigate, destroyer or cruiser) for temporary duty (TDY).  TDY assignment can be selected by the player based on a "prestige" cost. 

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