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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Background Consistency

This is Steven Petrick Posting.

One of the Empires in Star Fleet Battles is the Andromedans, invaders from another Galaxy. They have "motherships", cruisers and larger vessels, that carry smaller ships (called "satellite ships") in internal hangars. The satellite ships range in size from the diminutive "Mobile Weapons Platforms (essentially PT boats) to frigates and destroyers. In addition to ships, the Andromedans have an array of bases, but the bases (despite being as large or larger than the ships) do not have internal hangars for satellite ships. Clearly, something is wrong, right?


The background for the Andromedans establishes that the Motherships are able to move at extremely high speeds along the "Rapid Transit Network" as a function of their displacement devices. These devices are not found on most Andromedan Satellite ships (mounting them requires so much of a ship's internal capacity that a ship the size of a satellite ship would have an extremely limited offensive combat capability. In short, a displacement device is as large as it has to be and as small as it can be. Things get worse in that no more than two ships equipped with them can use them in a given volume of space, meaning that having two motherships with six satellites might give you the capability of having eight displacement device units, but only two would be able to use them. So mounting displacement devices on multiple satellite ship is self-defeating. The satellite ships thus bring more guns to the fight than the mothership alone could carry.

Further, the high speed that the mothership uses when traveling on the RTN is so great that an externally docked small ship would literally be ripped from the docking station from the limited impacts with the few random molecules of dust, debris, and other elements that are in the vacuum of space (even space is not a perfect vacuum). So in order to move the satellite ships, they must be internally docked inside the mothership.

The upshot is that a base does not need internal hangars because it is never going to move faster than speed one (and that only if it is orbiting a planet or moon). Since it does not need internal hangars (being able to dock the satellite ships externally), it can devote the space that would be needed for the hangars to other uses (additional power systems, repair systems, cargo capacity) to better support the operations of Andromedan combat units. It is quite capable of repairing and resupplying ships that are docked to it externally. Whether the ship so docked is a full blown mothership, or nothing more than the smallest of satellite ships.

Installing hangars on Andromedan bases would be inconsistent with their background.