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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Why Petrick Is Slowly Going Mad, Mad I Tell You, Mad

This is Steven Petrick posting.

SVC is working on Romulan ship graphics for the Romulan Master Star Ship Book, and a trickle of reports on the book itself continues to come in.

One report noted that the fighter squadrons in the carrier/escort data tables is hard to understand, saying that previously the different groups were delineated by "or" but now "or" appears all over the place.

In an effort to clear this up I am going to use the Romulan SUB as an example.

In Y182 the fighters are listed (currently in the book) as

12xG-III, 12xG-SF or G-FSF
or 12xG-SF or G-FSF, 6xTrib
or Trib-F
or12xG-III, 6xTrib-D or Trib-K

The carrier can have 24 spaces of fighters. The first group listed says that the 24 fighters are usually one squadron of torpedo fighters (G-III) and one squadron of superiority fighters (either 12 G-SF or 12 G-FSF in this year). Note that the comma after G-III splits the two squadrons, the "or" between 12xG-SF and the G-FSF entry is not followed by a number (whether 6x or 12x in this case, but in other carriers it might be 2x or 4x or 8x).

So the first line is one possible "fighter group" that might be operated in this year (technically two since the second squadron can be either G-SFs or G-FSFs).

The second line begins with "or" and is immediately followed by a numeral, i.e., "12x". So it is starting a new fighter group. It notes that the first squadron could be either 12 G-SFs or 12 G-FSFs, ending in that comma which is followed by another numeral, i.e., "6x" for the second squadron which is composed of heavy fighters. Now, note that space limits have forced the "or Trib-F" down to the next line. There is, however, neither a comma after 6xTrib (so it is not a new squadron), nor are the Trib-Fs started with a  number, i.e., 6xTrib-F. So the Trib-Fs are part of the second group and the second group's heavy fighter squadron could be either six Tribs, or six Trib-Fs.

Note that while there is space, nothing follows the "or Trib-F" on its line. That is because every new squadron arrangement does begin on its own line.

So the "or 12xG-III" is the start of the third possible fighter group. This one composed of (12) size one torpedo fighters and one squadron of (6) size-2 superiority fighters, either tribune-Ds or Tribune-Ks.

There are two other issues defined by the rules and not shown in the tables themselves. The first is that no carrier can operate two squadrons of heavy fighters. Thus there can be no group of "6xTrib, 6xTrib-F".

The second is that the rules provide that you cannot (NOT) increase the number of torpedo fighters (there can be 12xG-III, there cannot be 13 or more G-III). You CAN however, replace torpedo fighters with superiority fighters (always bearing in mind that there cannot be more than one squadron of six heavy fighters in either case). Thus it would be perfectly legal to operate the SuperHawk-B with a group of 24xG-SF, or 24xG-FSF, or 12xG-SF and 12xG-FSF.

All of this applies to the tables for the Federation, Klingons, and Hydrans. No Federation ship can have more than 12 A-10s, and only if it is configured to operate those fighters normally, but a Federation ship configured to operate A-10s could choose to replace them with F-18s.

Beyond the above, I have a pretty complete initial draft of the Lyrans, but I need to review their use of fighters against the Klingon book, and I am making a stab at integrating the Lyran Democratic Republic into that book.