Dree’Dok “Battlewagon” Heavy Cruiser
The “Battlewagon”, as most humans call it, is the main ship-of-the-line for the Arkhon SAS Fleet. It has been in service for about 200 years. It has a devastating weapons array, fighter craft, combat flexibility, and excellent maneuverability for a ship its size.
These ships are the backbone of most Arkhon fleets and task forces. Whereas Terran fleets tend to use a battleship or a carrier as an “anchor” for the entire fleet, the Arkhon generally will deploy three Dree’Dok to command an “Imperial Taskforce,” with one designated as a fleet command ship. Each of the three Dree’Dok will have three Huntsman attack frigates and six scout vessels under its command. They will also generally travel with a quartet of cargo ships for long-range missions. This means that a standard Imperial Task Force is much smaller than a standard Protectorate Fleet. Unfortunately, the Arkhon will often deploy multiple task forces; usually three if they anticipate meeting a full Protectorate fleet in battle. In the new war, however, the Arkhon are set to unveil a new dedicated “strike cruiser” which will be added to SAS task forces as a command ship meant to handle the new, larger, Protectorate battleships. These strike cruisers will regulate the Dree’Dok to more of a heavy cruiser roll if they are deemed successful.
The Dree’Dok by itself is a powerful vessel, even more powerful than its counterpart, the Armstrong Heavy Cruiser, deployed by the Protectorate. This is due primarily to the superior technology of the Arkhon, and also to the fact that the Dree’Dok is also a light carrier, able to deploy a full Triangle of Clawfish II fighters. Unlike Terran ships, which generally house their fighters in a centralized storage area leading to a launch tube, Arkhon ships use a “launch ring,” a centralized rim circling the front half of the hull that operates as a large, but shallow, docking bay. This is the yellow-lit depression visible when the ship is seen from head-on. One equalizing factor is the Dree’Dok’s armor. It, technically, is more heavily armored than the Armstrong, but the Protectorate’s extensive use of ballistics weaponry halves the combat effectiveness of Arkhon ceresteel armor. Unfortunately, the Dree’Dok’s tri-beam weapons have the same effect on most solid matter, making those weapon systems the primary targets of Protectorate commanders.
During the first war, the Dree’Dok were vulnerable to fighter attack. However, most of those currently in service (and all on the front lines) have been refitted to be able to fire spreads of short-range missiles from launchers inside the launch ring. Dree’Dok commanders will usually fire them in large spreads at enemy fighters, without attempting to target them specifically.
Model: Dree’Dok Heavy Cruiser
Crew: 310 crewmembers, plus 12 pilots. It does not contain troops or ground vehicles, as the ship is not designed to land.
Combat Spacecraft: 12 Clawfish II fighters.
M.D.C. by Location
Long-range missile launcher pods (4) – 2,000 each
Heavy Tri-beam blasters (2) – 4,000 each
Wingshield long-range sensor spines (4) – 3,000 each
Wingshields (2) – 15,000 each
Large AMM cannon – 6,000
Engineering section and thrusters (rear ¼ of the ship) – 12,000
*Armored command center and bridge – 5,000
**Main body – 50,000
*Destroying the bridge will eliminate the main computer and controls, but the ship can be controlled from the engineering section, deep inside the ship. The secondary control system is less sensitive and is -2 to strike, parry and dodge. Hits on the bridge may injure crew members even if they do not destroy it; see Ship Combat Rules in Rifts Dimension Book 3: Phase World Sourcebook.
*Depleting the M.D.C. of the Main Body causes the anti-matter core to overload, destroying the vessel and doing 2D4x1,000 M.D. to anything within a quarter-mile radius.
Max Acceleration/Deceleration Rate: 7G’s per melee round.
Maximum Space Speed: .25 C (one-quarter of the speed of light)
Spacefold Capabilities: Approximately 1 light year per day.
Top Atmospheric Maneuvering Speed: Mach 9 (can achieve escape velocity on a full engine burn).
Height: 286.5 ft (includes wingshields)
Length: 1,010 ft
Width: 803 ft
Cargo: 20,000 tons
Power Plant: Anti-matter generator
Range: Two years of travel supplies are standard
FTL System: Arkhon Spacefold Generator
Cost: Not for sale.
1. Large Antiproton Magnetic Missile Cannon: This individual weapon system is probably one of the most feared weapons in Arkhon arsenal, with the exception of the primary weapons on the Motherships. It’s not that the weapon does a large amount of damage, its damage is fairly standard for a cruiser or battleship. It is the “chase” ability of these devastating energy missiles, making them nearly impossible to avoid, that is their real threat. Also, the Arkhon commanders are able to use a dispersion burst setting, causing them to explode across a wide area of effect when reaching a particular range. They will sometimes fire these into dense formations of incoming missiles or medium ships. Fighters are generally too fast and agile to be targeted. At short range (under 10 miles) the missiles are almost impossible to avoid or destroy. But beyond that range, the magnetic field can be disrupted by kinetic attacks. If enough damage is done to the field, the missile will explode. The magnetic field has 500 M.D.C. and the missile travels at a speed of about 400,000 m.p.h.
Primary Purpose: Anti-ship
Mega-Damage: 2D4x1,000 M.D. per missile when used for direct damage. Dispersion setting does 4D4x100 M.D. to a 500-foot radius.
Rate of fire: Once per melee round.
Bonuses: +3 to strike.
Payload: Effectively unlimited.
2. Heavy Tri-beam Blasters (2): High-powered tri-beam cannons comprise the Dree’Dok’s secondary weapon system. Like all tri-beams, they do double damage to most solid matter.
Primary Purpose: Anti-Ship
Mega-Damage: 1D6x1,000 M.D. A dual blast does 2D6x1,000 M.D., but must be aimed at ships with a profile of at least 150 feet wide facing the cruiser. This is one of the main reasons so many Protectorate ships have slim forward profiles.
Rate of fire: Twice per melee round.
Payload: Effectively unlimited.
3. Long-range missile launchers (4): These missiles are generally used to attack smaller ships, like frigates and destroyers. They are located on the wingshields with two facing forward and two facing to the rear. They are virtually identical to standard long-range missiles, except double the range. They are also used to intercept enemy missiles and bombard planetary targets and space stations. Unlike most Arkhon missile systems, these are capable of firing large spreads.
Primary Purpose: Assault
Mega-Damage: Varies with type.
Rate of fire: Each launcher can fire individual missiles, or volleys of 2, 3, 4 and 8
Payload: 80 missiles per launcher, for a total of 320 missiles.
4. Short-range missile launcher system: The floors and ceilings of the launch ring that houses the ship’s fighter squadron are lined with short-range missiles tied into one launch system. These are fired in massive, random, spreads at incoming enemy fighters and missiles. They are fired blind; their guidance system causing them to lock onto the nearest enemy vessel once launched (see missile rules for space combat in the Rifts Phaseworld Sourcebook).
Primary Purpose: Defense
Mega-Damage: 2D6x10 M.D. for armor piercing missiles, the standard missile for this system.
Rate of fire: generally fired in spreads of 20 or 40 missiles at a time.
Payload: The ring contains 8,000 missiles, which are shielded from outside attack. However, Protectorate command theorizes that it is possible for an infiltrator to sneak onboard, or for an assault team to land, and set the defense ring to chain react, destroying the cruiser.
Sensors: The Dree’Dok has advanced sensors that are a match for those of the Armstrong. It is able to detect both mass and general data from one light-year out, with the same general size restrictions as the Armstrong. Its more detailed short-range sensors have a range of 500,000 miles.
Bonuses: The cruiser has a +2 to dodge weaponry from other capital ships.