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Ship Classifications

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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by cthia   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:37 am

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I recall getting the feeling that a certain SLN admiral may think the Manties actually name some of their ships to intentionally belie their real firepower. "Those big assed damn battleships of theirs, if that's what you call them."

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:56 am

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Walks Alone wrote:Speaking of light units making a nuisance of themselves, I wonder why the Havenites didn't send out a few battlecruisers to chase away the pairs of destroyers that were doing just that during Operation Cutworm?

I’m sure they considered or tried it. But the destroyers are stealthy, staying well away (using drones to do the scouting), and accelerate quicker than battlecruisers.
Without a lot of luck, or dropping a net of ships behind them from hyper, it’s really hard to catch or kill a light unit swanning around out by the hyper limit - they’ll just run away temporarily or even jump through hyper to another random point around the periphery.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Brigade XO   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:08 am

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Walks Alone wrote:This is precisely why I think there should be only three types of hypercapable warship, because there are only three major roles for those ships...

1. Light units for scouting, anti-piracy, perhaps taking out LACs.

2. Medium units for chasing away light units that are making a nuisance of themselves.

3. Heavy units for system defense against other heavy units.

Speaking of light units making a nuisance of themselves, I wonder why the Havenites didn't send out a few battlecruisers to chase away the pairs of destroyers that were doing just that during Operation Cutworm?


Ah, you enter the slippery area of what you want, what you can afford, what you can get and politics. There is also the matter of naming things to clarify what they are.

Names mean something. This isn't just something that shows up in Fantasy or stories about magic, names convey- at least in shorthand- what something IS or at least what it is supposed to be and certainly a collection of attributes that everybody in a conversation THINK something is.
Destoyers have a defined set of mission expectations. What they are has changed over time but when you say Destroyer (in a naval setting -wet navy or space navy) it brings up the image and job description of what the ship is supposed to do or is supposed to be capable of doing. Think selling something to Congress, the guy next door, and the Navy to which a manufacturer is marketing a design. Time frame matters. 1901, 1918, 1941 vs 1945, 2018....or Royal Manticorian Navy ship evolution from 1850-1920 Post Disporia.
It also isn't quite that simple.

You get general classes (say Aircraft Carriers) and then you get subsets of aircraft carriers which are bullt at differnt times (say withing the the time from 1935 to 1945 by the US) as reflecting the changes in tech, lessons leared (the hard way, in combat) and fragmented needs.
In general: Fleet carriers- the big ones. Early on the were mostly converted durring the building process from cruiser hulls to what your would recognize as an carrier. Then they got larger but purpose built from the keel up to carry and deploy in combat lots of differnt kinds of aircraft. At the same time they were becomming "Fast Carriers" and could essentially haul ass with the best of the heavy warships. Heavy assault if you will.
Light carriers. Same idea but smaller, both in size and amount of aircraft. More platforms, less expensive (and you loose less if one is sunk) but you are able to provide air coverage to more places or groups of ships.
Escort carriers. Initialy built by converting merchant ships to carry and fly off-recover aircraft. Cheap, build a lot of them. Then purpose built but still cheap. Much smaller number of aircraft BUT....you have more platforms that can be deployed or tasked to a lot of stuff.
All of this comes with varioius costs. The escort carriers were called things like Steinbrenner Coffins because they were very lightly built and couldn't absorb much in the way of damage. And, to some extent, were expendable (yes, I know, there are people on those things).
BUT--you can do all sorts of things with a lot of light platforms. One escort carrier, a couple of Destroyers or Destoryer Escorts and you have a hunter-killer group to go chase down (or at least chase away or discourage) U-Boats from attacking convoys by providing effective air coverage in the middle of the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Or you put them in groups of 3 and have them stand in "close" to places like Leyte in the Philipeans to provide anti-submarine, anit-aircraft defense to the beachhead AND the invasion fleet as well as close air support to the troops invading.
You say aircraft carrier and you get one image (and job description and set of expectations)
You say Fleet Carrier and you get a much tighter expectation (and time frame)
You say Escort Carrier ....you get the idea.

Haven didn't have the BCs to be able to post in all the places that were or could have been hit in Cutworm. Even if they did, catching the Manty destroyers was going to be tough. Chasing them away also means both finding they were there and getting into a position to do something about that. Forcing the DD's to stay well out from the system is valuable, but resrourse intensive. The reason there were pairs of DDs was that eventualy one of them would head back to report what was observed and the other would stick around to both continue to gather information AND to be able to update whatever force might be sent to actualy stike at the Peeps in the system. Since they were outside the hyper-limits (this is overwatch recon) if a chasing ship was going to get too close (within missle range) they could "just" hyper out, probably to comback soon at another location outside the hyperlimit and start over. It is worth chasing them away but Haven couldn't muster the coverage. That is why you have lots of smaller ships. Very find balance between numbers and capability. What's enough to do the job (and survive)? Can you afford it, what can you do with what you can afford.

You are asking questions, good questions. Keep asking questions. We will try to answer or at least explain what we think and why:)
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by HungryKing   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:52 am

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This has got me thinking.
Most honorverse navies are indeed small things, given that they are system defense forces, which realistically do not need any hyper capable vessels beyond destroyers. The thing about BCs being rare is that, although they represent a sweet spot of economic force, most navies that can build or buy bigger likely tend towards heavy cruisers because the force projection capabilities of a BC are in excess to requirements at that point, heavy crusiers after all are also capable of area defense. Navies that are restricted to BCs likely cannot afford very many of them, so again they likely go with heavy cruisers. There is also the point that CAs are not capable of significant force projection, which some politicians might prefer.

Anyway, this led to a thought about the SLN Reserve's enormous size: we know that the size is the result of the ossification of authorizations based on doctrine from the dawn of the drednaught era. Well that means that the underlying doctrine was likely formulated before the drednaught itself, when the battle squadrons only had battleships of 2mt or less, and the spherical sidewall was probably not yet invented. Which means that the fort, which many nations capable of possessing wallers prefer because they are not hyper capable and are cheaper and more capable per ton, is yet to be developed. This means that the various system defense forces of the league, and major powers outside the league, such as they existed, were probably building ships of the wall; therefore ships of the wall were probably much more commonplace. All of which is supported by the fact that Manticore was able to license what seemed to have been a state of the art design, which also suggests that places outside the league, and the Andermandi, had managed to design battleships as well.
Although SDs are cheaper per ton than BBs or DNs, a force of 10k BBs should actually have most of the units in active commission, going by the numbers. It was this sort of reasoning that had the SLN originally rejecting the SD as too much ship, after all.

WLBjork wrote:
Walks Alone wrote:This is precisely why I think there should be only three types of hypercapable warship, because there are only three major roles for those ships...

1. Light units for scouting, anti-piracy, perhaps taking out LACs.

2. Medium units for chasing away light units that are making a nuisance of themselves.

3. Heavy units for system defense against other heavy units.

Speaking of light units making a nuisance of themselves, I wonder why the Havenites didn't send out a few battlecruisers to chase away the pairs of destroyers that were doing just that during Operation Cutworm?


We'll, *most* Honorverse navies are dinky little things. Ships of the Wall are extremely rare. Heck, I'm left with the impression battlecruisers are rare enough. Consider Silesia - quite a large area of space, yet only a few yards capable of building battlecruisers.

As for chasing down RMN destroyers with battlecruisers...seriously? The RMN destroyers are stealthier than anything Haven can deploy, and significantly faster to boot. They don't know where the RMN destroyers are, nor could they catch them if they did. Finally, most of the data would have come from the Ghost Rider recon drones, the destroyers would be well out of the system.

kzt wrote:I have an idea! We'll build little crappy ships, that cost 30% of the cost an an actual warship, have 50% of the crew and 5% of the firepower and can sometimes run for almost a month between engine overhauls in shipyard. That will save us!


Or you could build a new ship, about 50% larger displacement that is grossly expensive and significantly less capable than the class it replaces...which, unlike the Culverin, isn't going to be redeemed.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Brigade XO   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:55 am

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HungryKing wrote:This has got me thinking.
Most honorverse navies are indeed small things, given that they are system defense forces, which realistically do not need any hyper capable vessels beyond destroyers. The thing about BCs being rare is that, although they represent a sweet spot of economic force, most navies that can build or buy bigger likely tend towards heavy cruisers because the force projection capabilities of a BC are in excess to requirements at that point, heavy crusiers after all are also capable of area defense. Navies that are restricted to BCs likely cannot afford very many of them, so again they likely go with heavy cruisers. There is also the point that CAs are not capable of significant force projection, which some politicians might prefer.


It does boil down to what you want, what you need and what you can afford.
Actual need should be 1st tempered by what you can afford. If you have the SLN protecting you with Battle Fleet, then you might only need (and mostly are shown) are SLN style LACs and perhaps up to DD sized ships for customs enforcement. If you are not a SL member or even if you are, like Beowulf, you have a SDF up through BC levels but to cover a miltitude of needs. Your own commerce protection outside of regularly patrolled SL space? Not an SL member and worry about your neighbors or parties unknown/pirates, same thing.
Have plans to become a multi-system political entity (or grow the existing one) more ships and some larger ones.
Have a wormhole terminus next to your system, need protection:). Who is likely to be a problem and what do you need to prevent that?
Have a major wormhole terminus you are part owner of and your partner is at war with one of the largest 10 star nations then you, like Beowulf, will probably build SDs as a warning and threat against Haven to protect your asset and major income source and make you a very expensive target to make a grab for.

Crusiers are (or have generaly appeared to be) the best all around class if you need lots of commerce protection across a large area. DDs give you more ships but Crusiers have more range, heaver- and typicaly longer ranged- weapons/better defences. Typicaly the most capable general purpose platforms. DDs for scouting and small (pirate hunting range) problem resolution plus fleet screen or just "light" reminder that a gunboat can arrive and beat the crap out of your port if needed.

Battleships (SD and Dreadnoughts in Honerverse) are expensive, make massive political statements, can beat the snot out of anything else (except when totaly outclassed like SLN SD against RMN BC) and you can't afford a lot of them. But you can buy a lot of DDs or several Crusiers for 1 SD. More coverage in more places at the same time.

What do you NEED. What do you WANT TO DO. Protect X? Become a small empire? Now pay for it.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by ldwechsler   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:23 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:
HungryKing wrote:This has got me thinking.
Most honorverse navies are indeed small things, given that they are system defense forces, which realistically do not need any hyper capable vessels beyond destroyers. The thing about BCs being rare is that, although they represent a sweet spot of economic force, most navies that can build or buy bigger likely tend towards heavy cruisers because the force projection capabilities of a BC are in excess to requirements at that point, heavy crusiers after all are also capable of area defense. Navies that are restricted to BCs likely cannot afford very many of them, so again they likely go with heavy cruisers. There is also the point that CAs are not capable of significant force projection, which some politicians might prefer.


It does boil down to what you want, what you need and what you can afford.
Actual need should be 1st tempered by what you can afford. If you have the SLN protecting you with Battle Fleet, then you might only need (and mostly are shown) are SLN style LACs and perhaps up to DD sized ships for customs enforcement. If you are not a SL member or even if you are, like Beowulf, you have a SDF up through BC levels but to cover a miltitude of needs. Your own commerce protection outside of regularly patrolled SL space? Not an SL member and worry about your neighbors or parties unknown/pirates, same thing.
Have plans to become a multi-system political entity (or grow the existing one) more ships and some larger ones.
Have a wormhole terminus next to your system, need protection:). Who is likely to be a problem and what do you need to prevent that?
Have a major wormhole terminus you are part owner of and your partner is at war with one of the largest 10 star nations then you, like Beowulf, will probably build SDs as a warning and threat against Haven to protect your asset and major income source and make you a very expensive target to make a grab for.

Crusiers are (or have generaly appeared to be) the best all around class if you need lots of commerce protection across a large area. DDs give you more ships but Crusiers have more range, heaver- and typicaly longer ranged- weapons/better defences. Typicaly the most capable general purpose platforms. DDs for scouting and small (pirate hunting range) problem resolution plus fleet screen or just "light" reminder that a gunboat can arrive and beat the crap out of your port if needed.

Battleships (SD and Dreadnoughts in Honerverse) are expensive, make massive political statements, can beat the snot out of anything else (except when totaly outclassed like SLN SD against RMN BC) and you can't afford a lot of them. But you can buy a lot of DDs or several Crusiers for 1 SD. More coverage in more places at the same time.

What do you NEED. What do you WANT TO DO. Protect X? Become a small empire? Now pay for it.


The most obvious thing is that most active navies have a lot of different tasks. Note that Manticore at the start of the series was three planets. They did have ships around Basilisk. And they felt obliged to have destroyers, light cruisers, regular cruisers, battle cruisers, dreadnaughts and (just starting) pod dreadnaughts.

There are some missions designed for destroyers (note the original mission to New Tuscancy). And cruisers handled the job in other places. And then you had the big guys. Note again that you had the pod-laying battlecruisers and the Nike class. Again, different missions.

The LAC carriers only really came into existence (aside from some carried inside some ships) when the fission LACs became feasible.

Times change. We don't really use battleships in our world anymore. They are of limited use and really big targets. And cruisers are being used more as missile and anti-missile platforms.

But we like to keep the names.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by pnakasone   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:32 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:
You get general classes (say Aircraft Carriers) and then you get subsets of aircraft carriers which are bullt at differnt times (say withing the the time from 1935 to 1945 by the US) as reflecting the changes in tech, lessons leared (the hard way, in combat) and fragmented needs.
In general: Fleet carriers- the big ones. Early on the were mostly converted durring the building process from cruiser hulls to what your would recognize as an carrier. Then they got larger but purpose built from the keel up to carry and deploy in combat lots of differnt kinds of aircraft. At the same time they were becomming "Fast Carriers" and could essentially haul ass with the best of the heavy warships. Heavy assault if you will.
Light carriers. Same idea but smaller, both in size and amount of aircraft. More platforms, less expensive (and you loose less if one is sunk) but you are able to provide air coverage to more places or groups of ships.
Escort carriers. Initialy built by converting merchant ships to carry and fly off-recover aircraft. Cheap, build a lot of them. Then purpose built but still cheap. Much smaller number of aircraft BUT....you have more platforms that can be deployed or tasked to a lot of stuff.
All of this comes with varioius costs. The escort carriers were called things like Steinbrenner Coffins because they were very lightly built and couldn't absorb much in the way of damage. And, to some extent, were expendable (yes, I know, there are people on those things).

You say aircraft carrier and you get one image (and job description and set of expectations)
You say Fleet Carrier and you get a much tighter expectation (and time frame)
You say Escort Carrier ....you get the idea.


One reference to escort carriers was their designation as
CVE Carrier Vessel Escort.Their crews naturally had their own interpretation of it as Carrier Vulnerable Expendable.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by saber964   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:18 pm

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n7axw wrote:The key to dealing with this is not to expect consistency, which should be fair because comparatively little around us is consistent. So it's best to just go with the flow.

Terms change meaning. An example would be that word frigate. In the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, that word designated a ship that would approximate a battlesruiser in the honorverse. In the honorverse, a frigate's pride of place would be less than a Revolutionary War sloop.

So...go figure!

Don

-


No, Frigate designated a ship of a certain size and number of guns and one gun deck. During the ARW era a frigate was typically 30 to 40 guns with 36 and 38 guns the most common. 38 gun frigates would remain the standard until the end of the war of 1812. With the introduction of the U.S. Navy heavy frigate at 44 guns (actually 50-56 guns). He size of frigates jumped radically in size. The RN razeed a number of 64 and 74 gun ships to counter the U.S. 44's. They also built the Black Rose and Marlboro class 50 gun frigates but they weren't commissioned until late 1815 or early 1816. The SOL class that most closely associated with the Battle Cruiser is the 4th rate which typically carried 50 guns. The 4th rate was mostly gone by the war of 1812 and relegated to distant stations like India and China for the RN.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by n7axw   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:40 pm

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saber964 wrote:
n7axw wrote:The key to dealing with this is not to expect consistency, which should be fair because comparatively little around us is consistent. So it's best to just go with the flow.

Terms change meaning. An example would be that word frigate. In the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, that word designated a ship that would approximate a battlesruiser in the honorverse. In the honorverse, a frigate's pride of place would be less than a Revolutionary War sloop.

So...go figure!

Don

-


No, Frigate designated a ship of a certain size and number of guns and one gun deck. During the ARW era a frigate was typically 30 to 40 guns with 36 and 38 guns the most common. 38 gun frigates would remain the standard until the end of the war of 1812. With the introduction of the U.S. Navy heavy frigate at 44 guns (actually 50-56 guns). He size of frigates jumped radically in size. The RN razeed a number of 64 and 74 gun ships to counter the U.S. 44's. They also built the Black Rose and Marlboro class 50 gun frigates but they weren't commissioned until late 1815 or early 1816. The SOL class that most closely associated with the Battle Cruiser is the 4th rate which typically carried 50 guns. The 4th rate was mostly gone by the war of 1812 and relegated to distant stations like India and China for the RN.


Thanks for the nice detail. But it really expands upon my point rather than invalidating it, the point being that the word frigate meant something very different than now or in the Honorverse. Were there frigatzes in the 20th century? If so, what were they like?

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:55 pm

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n7axw wrote:Thanks for the nice detail. But it really expands upon my point rather than invalidating it, the point being that the word frigate meant something very different than now or in the Honorverse. Were there frigatzes in the 20th century? If so, what were they like?

Don

-
Yep. And a bit of a mixed bag as different Countries used the term differently.

During WWII the Commonwealth countries called their small anti-submarine escorts, built to military standards, frigates (differentiating those even smaller, and slower, designs build to civilian standards; corvettes). For example the River class frigates were a 20 knot design, massing just 1,350 tons, and carried a couple 4" guns, hedghog anti-submarine mortar, and depth charges. (No proper fire control directors)

Then post war the Royal Navy (UK) continued to use the Frigate designation for their anti-sub focused designs, culminating in the Type 23 Duke class, 4,900 ton ships capable of 28+ knots and carrying a helicopter.

Australia called their 1980's primary air defense ships Adelaide-class frigate, but also used Frigate for their later, smaller, slower, and not AAW focused Anzac class ships.

The USN had their Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates from the mid 70s designed as an inexpensive general purpose ship.

Heck this wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_f ... by_country) has dozens of 20th century Frigate classes and it only covers from 1940 onward.

Welcome to navy terminology where different navies don't use ships designations the same way, and even a given navy doesn't necessarily use it consistently from class to class and certainly not from decade to decade :)
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