We’ve done very little space ship combat in our Traveller games, so it’s an aspect of the game that I’m not hugely familiar with. Designing warships then has the risk that I’m missing important tactical considerations that would affect the designs.
Nonetheless, I’m giving it a go. Note that I haven’t included floor plans – I actually find the external view of what a ship looks like far more useful than floor plans, though I do map out rough internal volumes so that I know the ship is the correct size and proportions for its internal systems.
The Stormhaven Republic is a polity in Beyond sector of about twenty-one worlds with a shared navy. They don’t get involved in massive engagements with any of their neighbours so the most common use of their navy is as convoy defence against raiders.
However their raiders are not just small pirate groups but also two major polities – the Aslan Hierate and the I’Shred*Ni Heptad.
Attacks from the Aslan are in the form of Ihatei raiding parties, which normally consist of sub-10,000t vessels such as assault carriers or pocket warships. Actual heavy capital ships are rarely used against the Republic, and if the Aslan ever wanted to start a full scale war then it’s unlikely that the Republic would last more than a few weeks.
This means the largest armaments tend to be small bays, often with heavy fighter or missile complements. The sort of ships that the Ihatei use are rarely large enough to be equipped with spinal mounts.
The I’Shred*Ni are more likely to invest heavier warships into raids, but IMU they’ve never made use of spinal mount weapons. It’s either not part of their doctrine or they’ve never mastered the technology for it. Their favoured tactics are to overwhelm their opponents with missiles from a long distance before moving in to clean up with laser and particle bays and turrets. Unlike the Imperium, the I’Sred*Ni have no compunctions against the use of nuclear weapons, and have traditionally used nuclear warheads on their missiles.
This affects what the Stormhaven Republic needs to be capable of defending against. The Republic doesn’t need to keep ships under 2,000t to avoid spinal mount weapons, but a larger size provides defence against smaller turrets and barbettes.
This means a lot of Republic warships tend to be in the 2,000t to 5,000t range. This is about as big as the Republic can afford and manage, whilst being capable of taking on almost anything being thrown at it.
The Aslan can overwhelm with numbers, but haven’t had the desire to do so, and the I’Sred*Ni have similar resource limits to the Republic so will unlikely to be able to outnumber them.
The Hurricane Class Heavy Destroyer
The 120m long, 4,000t Hurricane class heavy destroyer was designed as a general purpose warship for use against all likely threats. It was one of the early TL11 ships that went into service for the Republic (the first was the 1,600t Gale class frigate), and is likely to be replaced by the Typhoon class at some point (which is smaller and cheaper to maintain, and the first of the TL12 designs).
Principle design decisions include:
- Heavy anti-missile defences. Without the availability of nuclear dampers, point defence systems was the best option to shoot down I’Shred*Ni missile salvos. With each Web Spinner class ship able to launch a salvo of 72 nuclear missiles it was very easy to get overwhelmed.
- Armour is useful against missiles, and 10 points of armour can reduce damage from multi-warhead missiles to almost nothing.
- Use of long range particle weapons to start attacking enemy ships as early as possible, forcing opponents with large missile salvos to use them early in order to provide greater chance of reducing their numbers with electronic warfare.
- Good electronic warfare defences.
The rules are unclear on how multi-warhead missiles work. Point defence systems shoot down missiles just before missiles make their attack roll. Multi-Warhead missiles are multiplied by three just before they make their attack roll. So which comes first? If point defences can shoot down 60 missiles, whether a salvo of 72 is multiplied by three before or after they are shot at is going to make a big difference.
Given that multi-warhead missiles give a negative DM modifier to point defence, my interpretation is that the modifier takes into account the ‘multi’ aspect of that type of warhead, so the multiplication comes after point defence.
Why the interest in multi-warhead missiles? The assumption was that given a good anti-missile defence, plus the prospect of nuclear damper technology in the future, the I’Shred*Ni might switch from nuclear warheads to multi-warhead missiles. With the arrival of the TL12 Typhoon class, this assumption has turned out to be correct.
The Hurricane class has a J-2 drive, which was the maximum that the Republic was capable of at the time. Several important routes within the Republic require J-3, and patrol of border worlds also need J-3, so the ship has enough fuel for two full jumps. This greatly eats into its offensive capabilities, but a simple J-2 capability wouldn’t have been sufficient for its needs.
It also has enough fuel for eight weeks of operation, allowing for long patrols between refuelling. If necessary, it can jump to a border system, spend time patrolling, and then jump back to base without having to stop at a gas giant or star port.
A double jump also provides the capability to jump into a system to perform a strike, and then leave again quickly before a counter-strike can be mounted by local forces.
Troops and Boarding
The Hurricane class carries two boats to aid in boarding actions, and a compliment of 8 marines. This is considered enough to handle anti-piracy actions rather than full scale war, but is a side effect of the multi-role aspect of the Hurricane. There is an argument that this space would be better put towards extra offensive or defensive systems, but the Republic is trying to keep the number of ship designs to a minimum so has preferred multi-role options.
|TL11||Hurricane Class Destroyer||TONs||Power||MCr|
|Hull||4,000t close structure||–||800||180|
|Power Plant||TL 8 Fusion (Size -30%)||175||-2500|
|TL 8 Fusion (Size -30%) Secondary||70||-1,000|
|Fuel||Jump Fuel – 4 Parsecs||1,600||–||–|
|8 weeks operation||50||–||–|
|Fuel Processors TL 11 (30/t)||55||110||–|
|Bridge||Main bridge (inc 4 sensor stations)||60||–||20|
|Extra Sensor Stations x 4||4||–||2|
|Advanced Fire Control/1 ||–||–||12|
|Electronic Warfare/1 ||–||–||15|
|Point Defence/1 ||–||–||8|
|Virtual Gunner/0 ||–||–||1|
|Launch Solution/2 ||–||–||12|
|Sensors||Military (Jammers, Lidar, Radar)||2||2||4|
|Improved Signal Processing||1||1||4|
|Weapons||4 x Medium Particle Bays||400||180||160|
|4 x Small Missile Bays||200||–||48|
|20x Triple Pulse Turrets (Long Range)||20||100||80|
|4x Triple Sandcaster Turrets||4||–||7|
|2x Point Defence II||40||40||20|
|Staterooms||12x Standard (officers)||48||–||6|
|60x Double rooms||240||–||30|
|12x Low Berths||6||1||0.3|
|Systems||2x Docking Bays (Launch, 20t)||44||–||–|
|1x Medical Bay||4||1||2|
|Armoury (10 marines)||2||–||0.5|
- 3x Pilots
- 1x Astrogator
- 18x Engineers
- 8x Maintenance
- 1x Medic
- 72x Gunners
- 4x Administrators
- 10x Officers
- 8x Marines
Total Crew: 126
Total Construction Cost: MCr1,954.2
Life Support and Supplies (Monthly): Cr76,000 (life support) + Cr126,000 (food)
Maintenance (Monthly): MCr1.625