TYPE-C ARMSTRONG-CLASS CRUISER
The first of the new generation of Terran Protectorate
starships, the Type-C Heavy Cruiser has proven to be one of the most successful
ship designs in history, though it has yet to be tested in a
full-scale war situation. The first hulls for the Armstrongs were laid down
about 20 years ago, and two years later the first six went into operation. It
quickly became the backbone of the fleet. Even though their missions, until
now, have been during peacetime, they quickly earned a reputation as a
powerful, flexible ship class.
The Armstrongs may not have the firepower of a battleship, or
the long-range strike capability of a carrier, but they are the heart of the
Protectorate fleet. They are the largest ship capable of long-range,
independent operations, and nearly a quarter operate in just that fashion.
While in fleet operations they function as escorts for carriers and
battleships, as well as having considerable strike capabilities in their own
right, but it is operating solo where they really shine. Their most successful
missions to date have centered on exploration, first contact and anti-piracy.
They are built to handle virtually any situation alone, a strength that just
multiplies their effectiveness in fleet operations.
First and foremost, however, the Armstrongs are space combat
vessels. A powerful mass driver built into the lower bow of the vessel is its
primary weapon, capable of firing a deadly, 2-ton projectile at speeds so fast
that most enemies mistake it for an energy weapon. Inside the depleted uranium
projectile is a half-ounce of anti-matter in a magnetic bottle. On impact, the
magnetic field dies, and the anti-matter and the surrounding material of the
projectile connect with several megatons of explosive force that disintegrates
the projectile into millions of dense, high-speed fragments. Needless to say,
the damage is fairly spectacular. The anti-matter cores are not loaded into the
projectile until it has almost cleared the firing chamber, and there are
numerous safeties to prevent premature detonation. The weapon’s main drawback
is that the cruiser is limited in the amount of rounds it can carry, and cannot manufacture new ones.
In addition to the mass driver, the Armstrongs are armed
with four high-powered, long-range particle beam cannons. The inclusion of the
cannons in the original design was controversial. After all, energy weapons
have a greatly reduced affect versus the Protectorate’s historic adversary; the
Arkhons. But it was believed that with the limited
ammunition of the mass driver it was better to have a powerful ship-to-ship
weapon that did not have a finite amount of ammunition. What’s more, the
Type-C’s were designed to explore beyond the borders of known space. That means
it was likely they’d encounter new alien species, some of which might not be
friendly. It was deemed better to give the cruiser a variety of weapons, to
allow it the flexibility to deal with virtually any adversary. The Armstrongs
are also armed with long-range missile launchers, and a number of anti-star
In addition to its potent arsenal, the Armstrong is equipped
with the most advanced sensor suite in any capital class vessel, and has a
well-equipped command and control center that allows any cruiser to operate as
a fleet command ship, if necessary. While it has no fighters, the cruiser does
have a small shuttle bay for four small shuttle craft.
In fleet operations, the cruisers are designated a Holstein
Pinnace, but generally do not utilize them when on long-range missions. But
like carriers and battleships, Armstrongs have a special docking collar that
allows them to link up with
Armstrongs are commanded by a Captain when on solo or fleet
operations, and generally commanded by a commodore or rear admiral when
operating as a command ship. As the Second Arkhon War progresses, in many cases
the Armstrongs will find themselves operating as command ships for fleets of
older escort carriers, destroyers and pinnaces. They are also often placed in
command of fleets of convoys and entrusted with their safety. Virtually every
officer that rises to command a carrier or battleship has experience commanding
an Armstrong. Armstrong-class cruisers are named for famous explorers,
including astronauts. Some examples include the Neil Armstrong, the Magellan
and the Marco Polo. There are several
variants of the Armstrong, including hospital and communications
Model: CA Type-C Heavy Cruiser
Crew: 40 officers, 490 crewmen, 40 marines and five shuttle
pilots. Can carry up to 200 additional passengers and includes four diplomatic
suites for important passengers.
Other craft: Three STS-5 Shuttles and one Captain’s Launch
M.D.C. by location
Anti-star fighter rail guns (9) – 300 each
Long-range missile launchers (4) – 2,000 each
Particle beam cannons (2) – 6,000 each
Mass driver – 7,500
Forward sensor booms (2) – 3,000 each
*Command tower – 8,000
Communications array – 1,500
Outer Hull Section (40ft/12.2 m area) – 100
Inner Hull Section (40ft/12.2 m area) – 75
***Main Body – 40,000
*Destroying the bridge will eliminate the master controls,
fire control and the communications center. The ship can be controlled from the
engineering section, deep inside the ship, but those controls are less
sensitive and -2 to strike and dodge. Hits on the bridge may injure crew
members even if they do not destroy it; see Ship Combat Rules in the Phase
World Sourcebook. Destroying the command tower and bridge also destroys the
communications tower, which rests atop it.
**Destroying one of the engines reduces the ship’s
acceleration rate and sublight speed by half and has a 40% chance of disabling
the FTL drive. Destroying both engines leaves the ship with maneuvering
thrusters only (top speed of about Mach 4) and causes enough damage to disable
the FTL system.
***Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body means that the ship
is in tatters, with life support, artificial gravity and power disabled, along
with multiple hull breaches. The escape pods are unlocked and the crew should
be attempting to abandon ship. If the ship is reduced to -10,000 M.D.C. it
explodes, doing 4D6X1,000 M.D. to anything in a half mile (.8 km) radius.
Maximum Sublight Speed: 0.2C (20% of the speed of light)
Max Acceleration/Deceleration Rate: 6G’s per melee round.
FTL Speeds: Cx365 (roughly a light-year per day)
Top Atmospheric Speed: Not possible (safely)
Height: 239.5 feet
Length: 749 feet
Width: 162 feet
Cargo: 20,000 tons
Power plant: Anti-Matter Reactor
Range: 730 light years
Cost: Absolutely not for sale.
Mass Driver: A massive
gauss cannon accelerates a two-ton slug of depleted uranium through a series of
magnetic rings to incredible speed. The slug contains an anti-matter core in a
magnetic bottle that ruptures upon impact with the target, shattering the slug
and causing tremendous damage. The weapon system is only hindered by its slow
rate of fire and limited payload.
Mega-Damage: Each slug does 2D6x1,000 M.D.
Range: 1,000 miles (actually has a range of
3,000 miles before the magnetic field dies, but it is much easier to dodge or
shoot the projectile down)
Rate of fire: 2 shots per melee round
Payload: 200 rounds
Particle Beam Cannons (2): These two twin-barreled PBCs are the large turrets located amidships.
They can rotate 360 degrees and can angle up to 60 degrees away from the hull.
They are essentially the equivalent of a two-megaton thermonuclear bomb
channeled into two streams of charged particles. Non-military ships struck by
the blasts (those that survive) will discover that an electromagnetic pulse
traveling along the beam has disabled most of their electronics. Military
vessels are hardened against such attacks.
Mega-Damage: 1D4X1,000 each. A dual blast from these cannons
does 2D4X1,000. Dual blasts are only possible against ships at least
frigate-sized or larger.
Range: 5,000 miles
Rate of fire: 4 shots per melee
Payload: Effectively unlimited
Long-Range Missile Launchers (4): Two pairs of these launchers are located in the bow. They
are often fired in large spreads against multiple targets, used to shoot down
enemy missiles and are also used to perform planetary bombardments of hardened
installations. The Armstrongs carry a wide variety of warheads that can be
fitted to its missiles in seconds.
Mega-Damage: Varies with missile type.
Range: Varies with missile type, generally about 5,000
Rate of fire: Can fire individually or in volleys of 2, 4,
10 or 20.
Payload: Each launcher has a magazine of 50 missiles.
Point Defense rail gun turrets (9): Heavy rail gun autocannons are
spread out across the ship to give it full anti-star fighter and anti-missile
protection. They can be controlled by individual gunners or set by the chief
weapons officer to fire in pre-set defensive patterns, filling space around the
cruiser in a deadly cloud (make a strike roll at +4, all enemy ships must beat
this roll on a dodge while within a mile of the cruiser or take standard
damage). These weapons can also be used to fire massed broadsides against enemy
ships at point-blank range.
Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D. for a 20-shot burst. Only fires in
Range: 5 miles
Rate of fire: Equal to hand-to-hand attacks of the gunners.
When set to auto-fire, fires the equivalent of four bursts per melee
Payload: Each gun has a belt feed of 10,000 rounds. There is
enough ammunition in stores to reload each gun twice.
Sensors: The Armstrongs have a powerful sensor suite capable of
receiving basic information on mass and composition that covers a 1 light-year
radius. Of course, the system is limited by the time it takes light to travel,
so if it detects a planet from a light year away and the planet was destroyed
by a comet six months before, the sensors wouldn’t detect that. The long-range
sensors can only detect objects the size of a small planetoid that far out.
They cannot detect large vessels until they are within four astronomical units, and ships of cruiser size or smaller until they are
within one A.U. The cruisers have powerful short-range sensors that are much
more detailed, able to receive in-depth mass, energy, molecular composition and
radiation and are able to penetrate most unshielded substances. The short-range
sensors have a 500,000 mile range.