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RE: Fleet Design (was: Target rich system)

From: "Bell, Brian K" <Brian_Bell@d...>
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 08:43:14 -0400
Subject: RE: Fleet Design (was: Target rich system)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew Apter []
> Sent: Friday, September 08, 2000 3:17 PM
> To:	gzg-l@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU
> Subject:	RE: Target rich system
> At this point I was mainly trying to get as many Ideas together as I
> before I start narrowing things down.  Also it might allow a forum for
> to
> discus Fleet organization. What is a good reinforcement or raiding
> and
> what is a bad one?
> How do use a fleet that has political strings attached?  What limiting
> factors can come with an allied fleet. How to you emulate a flaky
> commodore?
> Can you make good use of forces you only have for short time? I would
> like to see how different players use or set up there initial
> and
> reinforcements.  It might be interesting to see how one player uses
> another player considers an ideal force.
> Andy A
-----End Original Message-----

Good Fleet verses Poor Fleet depends on what their mission is and how
equipped they are to handle it. Here are some of my thoughts.

Part of the answer depends on how FTL is figured. If FTL is related to
(as it is in my group's play), then speed can become important in a
of fleets. If all ships can jump the same amount regardless of MD
rating, it
is somewhat less important. The examples below assume FTL jump distance
charge rate is based on MD (power from MD is channeled to the FTL; the
the MD rating the less far a ship can jump or the slower it charges the

Reinforcement Fleet: 
One of the things a reinforcement fleet would need would be speed. It
no good to reinforce a fleet that has been defeated or destroyed.
you want reinforcement fleets to be spread out so that they can
more than one group, not at the same time but support the group that
the enemy. It should be flexible (as they do not know what they will
This fleet would also have a fair to large number of scout/couriers
back and forth between the fleets it is supporting and sector HQ (unless
have FTL communication).

Raiding Fleet:
Somewhat depends on what you mean by raid:
1) Hit and Run
H&R fleets need to be fast and have a fair punch. They can afford to be
protected as they usually only make one or two passes at the enemy (to
their losses down). The purpose is to draw strength away from the
main force.
2) Supply Disruption
Supply Disruption fleets still need some speed to get away when the
fleet arrives or plans an ambush. The difference between H&R fleets and
Supply Disruption fleets is that the goal is to destroy the freighters
supply depots. Thus the SD fleet would need to be a little better
(may take more than a couple of attack runs to destroy the convoy or
3) Piracy or Supply Acquisition
Piracy or Supply Acquisition fleets are another animal altogether. The
object is to disable the enemy ships, board them, and make off with
Usually SA fleets have a number of elements: Std Warships to take care
any escorts; Needle Ships to disable the freighters; Boarding Specialty
Ships to launch boarding parties and small craft; and sometimes
to remove cargo from the disabled target freighters. Piracy fleets
rely on Std Warships and Larger Crew (mark as passenger spaces) to man
captured ships. Often Pirate fleets will destroy the target freighter if
does not surrender (a subtle, but definite difference. Piracy fleets
the line between Supply Disruption and Supply Acquisition fleets. The
best choice is to obtain the ships, but will settle for destruction of
freighters and the bounty it brings).

Commerce/Convoy Protection.
These are usually smaller fleets/task forces. They usually include
ships (Corvettes to Hvy Cruisers). One or two scout/couriers are often
included. The main purpose it to protect against privateers and pirates;
make it too expensive to attack the convoy for profit. During wartime,
hostile areas, Patrol Fleets often augment the normal Convoy Protection
Fleets. Some fleets utilize an ADAF/PDS specialty ship in this role and
do not (also dependant on war/peace status).

System Fleet: 
A system fleet should have a mix of FTL ships and non-FTL ships. The mix
FTL to non-FTL depends on the doctrine of the power that holds the
and its proximity (in number of jumps) to the neighbor systems. Usually
50/50, 33/66, or 25/75 mix is used of FTL to non-FTL. Systems use the
non-FTL because of the cost efficiency, but they want FTL ships so that
and neighboring systems can be mutually supportive until the main fleet
arrives. Umpteen couriers are a given on planet in a system that rates a
defense fleet. The system fleets should consist of faster picket task
to catch/delay/report enemy forces and a slower, more powerful task
force to
defend the system assets.

Occupation Fleet:
Basically this is the opposite of a System Fleet. This fleet is to
support to the newly appointed government of an occupied/conquered
It is usually all FTL ships (plus any captured in-system ships). These
usually few in number and are concentrated in Ortillery and small
These ships are primarily used to quell disturbances. Most ground forces
have already landed and fighters are usually ground based, although the
light carrier may be assigned.

Patrol Fleets:
These fleets are the workhorse of the Space Navy. They are used to
the borders, act as a fast response unit to trouble, used to "show the
for diplomatic/political purposes, perform hit and run attacks (when a
dedicated fleet is unavailable), support Main Battle Groups, commerce
protection, and be jack-of-all-trades. Basically do everything. Because
this they need a mix of speed and power. Patrol Fleets come in a variety
sizes. Many are of the smaller, faster size (Corvettes to Destroyers)
act as a warning bell for any trouble. Other Patrol Fleets can be of the
Cruiser range. Often these assignments are the most active in the fleet
can also be the most boring, patrolling empty space for months on end).

Battle Groups:
Battle Groups are the heavy weights of the fleet. They are usually
to one of two tasks:
1) Home Defense. Used to protect the vital systems.
2) Strike Unit. A sledgehammer to crush opposition and gain territory.
Battle Groups (BG) consist of units that are heavier than Patrol Fleets.
They usually consist of Light Cruisers up through Superdreadnoughts
(majority of ships running in the Hvy Cruiser to Battleship range) and
supported by carrier units. Again, as major units they have a large
of scout/couriers to stay in touch with the other fleet elements and
command. Often Patrol Fleets will be assigned to support Battle Groups.

Brian Bell	 

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