nBSG: Colonial Military Spacecraft (fanfiction) Discussion

Discussion in 'The Index' started by Rockhound, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. The old Sci-fi page for Galactica ships once listed the Space Park or the Zephyr as a civilian version of the Space Park. There was a military science vessel version for the Colonial Fleet.
  2. Lightning Count

    Lightning Count Suggester of the Peace Arbiter

    As a rule I dislike using the -star suffix too, I much prefer using standard navy designations where possible. Battlestars work because there isn't really a naval equivalent (Ignoring the Ise and Hiei) No partucular reason as it just comes across as tacky :p

    I remember coming up with a doctrine for the Colonial military quite a long time ago based on what we had seen on them. Based on aggression and constantly being on the offence as defence was a sketchy tactic at best given the nature of FTL.
    Couple of links, save me copying it all :p



    Also I generally disregard fanon ships, I accept the craft from the series and the games but that's about it. Though I do think concept art such as th eone below offers some interesting variations


    The smaller ships in the foreground are fascinating, one fits nicely while the other two are sleeker looking, perhaps atmosphere capable representing the future of Colonial design style.
  3. Rockhound

    Rockhound Für den Sieg

    Likely the "smoother" ships are civilian passenger liners, like Colonial One and the Pyxis or Olympic Carrier. They'd have both aesthetic concerns and have to handle atmospheric transition (possibly extended atmospheric flight, not just up/down).
  4. Oh yeah I remember during the Serge tweets during Caprica that the colonies had warships called Battlestars but they don't seem to be the Battlestars that we know during the Cylon War. Interpreted as different designs and lineages on different colonies.

    The original 12 seems to be a big deal since they can go toe to toe with Basestars and as a combo of battleship/carrier.
  5. Alternatively, the Basestars are what the Colonials built and used prior to the Cylon Rebellion. But the Basestars had been heavily "automated" prior to the revolt (ie, converted to have mostly Cylon crews), leading the Colonials to primarily build and use Battlestars designed to kill those Basestars.
  6. Rockhound

    Rockhound Für den Sieg

    Anyone else notice that Pegasus' main batteries occasionally go into a rapid fire mode that's ~3-4x as fast any ROF we ever see from Galactica?

    It's visible in this video, at ~0:54.

    Might be due to "robot mode", with firing being coordinated by FC computers, as opposed to Galactica, where the main batteries are presumably directed* by the expendable guys in the gun cockpits.

    *-yet the Cylons could turn the Galactica's guns on the Fleet, from Auxiliary Fire Control....or just the point defense guns?
  7. KRemek

    KRemek Small Singularity

    No telling what the CGI people meant by that little snippet. It might have been something the director demanded, or just another small part of dozens of battle renderings the CGI folks put together. Then the film editor picks and chooses the short cuts they want to include, and the director approves the whole scene with a "That's cool!"

    Then the producers watching for final approval of the completed scene don't even notice the little tiny details we fans imagine were meant to be there from the beginning. :)

    (and there's been more than one convention when creators/producers were asked about tiny, nit-picky details in an episode's visuals, and they start sweating and make up something on-the-fly to try and explain it... or in some cases, just admit they didn't notice it at all when they approved the scene in the final print)

  8. I think The Plan does show some tactics of Colonial Defense; most notably the ability to amass large forces quickly to any place being attacked. Those notes on Colonial tactics are pretty damn great hope you do that fic on Cain. In the series it is said the Colonials had around 120 Battlestars with thousands of support ships. I take 'support ships' meaning that they had their own versions of cruisers, destroyers, etc. A Battlestar Group would be in the same makeup as a Carrier Group or the WWII Battleship Groups that existed of the time.

    Given the nature of FTL I can see the Colonies being able to have a fast reaction to any attack on their assets. If a particular Colonial world is attacked there would be Battlestars and their Groups raining on them in seconds. They have an excellent command and control over their forces; being able to erect defensive posture first if needed then taking the fight to the enemy fast and hard.

    If the Cylons lauched a surprise attack on the Colonies without their back door CNP I am sure they would erect an aggressive defensive posture; slaughter Cylon forces mercilessly then take the fight across the Armistice Line. Adar wouldn't even consider a diplomatic solution to any problem; he would want them wiped out.

    As for ship classification, I only use the *star prefix for Gunstars and Missilestars; which I envision as heavy attack ships geared toward long range bombardment and pounding of the enemy shaped like a Battlestar but slightly shorter and with fewer Viper wings. The Colonials are of course very Viper heavy. Like I said above I take their support ships meaning they have lots of Destroyer and Cruiser types including scout and Stealth ships.

    I borrowed a lot of information off of the Thin Blue Line resource.

  9. Watching the vid it looks like the turret stops firing, re targets and then starts firing again.

    could be the feed mechanism spooling back up to full speed.

    or its just "rule of cool"
  10. Spartan303

    Spartan303 In Captain America We Trust! Moderator

    I have a copy of 'Thin Blue Line' which is some sort of companion piece for Battlestar Galactica that delves into the Colonies, the military and so forth. And in it the longest running class of Battlestar was the Vesir class or as we know it, the Valyrie class. Put into production some years after the war with quite a few variants and was still running strong even during the fall. The Mercury seems to be the pinacle of Colonial engineering. Battlestar Mercury took somewhere between 9 years or more to build. With the rest of the class, 13 in total, being built in 20 years time. Only the last 6 of the class, of which Pegasus is the last in line, had the ability to produce Vipers.

    Im not sure how canon it is though but from a military standpoint this companion piece makes alot of sense in many ways and baffles me in others.
  11. Rhaka the Red

    Rhaka the Red Temping as IL-Series

    Thin Blue Line is not canonical.

  12. kclcmdr

    kclcmdr Kai The Kmpire! Amicus

  13. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    Thin Blue Line is interesting but it fails to take it the scale of the setting... 250,000 Marines? Multiple that by 100 at least.

    My take on it is that Vipers and Raptors represent only a tiny fraction of available combat aerospace craft available in the Colonies, with the most significant percentage stationed either on stations like Scorpion Fleet Yard or on the planets (since ground to orbit is pretty easy for them).

    Military units would probably be widely dispersed, with no bases housing more than two brigades, maybe three. Many major cities would probably have an army base somewhere outside the city limits or a series of smaller bases spread throughout the region so a nuke doesn't take out everyone.

    In this regard I could see the Colonies having a robust National Guard/Reserve system, where citizens are given incentives to join which would probably be fairly lucrative. There would probably be dozens of armories dispersed throughout Colonial cities with man portable weaponry like shoulder fire missiles of various sorts, machine guns, rifles, and body armor. In the event of nuclear attack able-bodied men might be ordered to make their way to the nearest armor. Which might also be a shelter, too.

    Equipment would probably have to be stored in mountains or underground. A lot of bases might be drilled into mountains and make places like NORAD like absolutely tiny in comparison.

    The Colonies would need to accept that an opening battle will see significant loss of forces, both on the ground and in space due to their FTL. Most ships would need to be on a continuous patrol with repair ships and maintenance ships being sent out to them for everything but the most dire of need. Realistically I could see years-long deployments being the norm, much like in the age of sail. Warships would have to rely on contracted liners to come and ferry personnel to fleet stations and it'd make little sense to have warships moored to fleet stations in any significant numbers. Only for big overhauls or major maintenance because there is almost no warning of attack.
  14. MonCapitan

    MonCapitan Magic Emperor Ghaleon!

    My guess is that with a population somewhere between 20 - 50 billion people, the Colonies could easily support an armed force that employs as many as 500 million people. They have both the population and economies of scale to field massive armies and fleets easily. I could see the number of capital ships in the Fleet easily numbering in the higher thousands.
  15. Starbug

    Starbug Funk & Justice for all! Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    I always assumed that “Battlestar” just meant warship in their language.

    But if you want to go down the insert-word-here-and-add-star-at-the-end line, I want to see a Sexstar, a ship built purely for fleet R&R away from a home port ;7
  16. I agree that those ships, Vipers, Raptors, etc are only a small fraction. I also would say that there are other star systems which have military bases or training areas including experimental craft.

    What are all of your thoughts on Fleet vs Fleet tactics; I know Lightning Count gave a good lecture on Colonial doctrine and tactics which seems mostly for ship to ship but how about a Fleet V Fleet showdown?

    I think given aggressive Colonial tactics and circling the enemy in a way to draw fire while maintaining aggressive posture; with Battlestars most of their firepower rests broadside instead of front but with the front maintaining a good portion of firepower too. I can see Fleet tactics going a few ways.

    A Colonial fleet with Battlestars, destroyers and cruisers will dive into the fray instantly focusing their firepower in front on individual targets or more than one. Once inside of an enemy formation they will use the firepower broadside to take on more ships in the fleet and soak up their firepower too while Vipers go in and pick off other fighters or even capital ships.

    Or the Colonial Fleet could circle an enemy fleet saturating it with firepower, a smart Commander would split the fleet and have one part going the opposite way circling them to split the enemy fleet into two parts allowing other ships to come in and attack both sides of the fleet while the Colonial fleet moves closer in. An interesting variation of divide and conquer.
  17. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    Due to their FTL I think a war will have difficulties... you will basically be back to the doctrine of "one decisive battle." Each side can FTL away if battle conditions are not favorable unless they have to defend something. In the case of the Cylons they only have the Colony. Having a mobile infrastructure isn't as good long-term since economy of scales are less, but it provides some very advantageous benefits, strategically, if you consider their FTL system.

    The Colonies could have space ports fifty kilometers across and capable of building 20 battlestars at once. The Cylons may have half a dozen mobile dockyard capable of only building two baseships at once yet require more resources (like fuel and the train of ships required for fuel to keep it mobile) and more hard to manufacture parts, like FTL engines and just engines to keep it mobile. It "costs" a lot more for mobility.

    But in a war the Cylons have it. Their shipyards are long-term invulnerable (provided they keep jumping) while Colonial ones are big nuke targets.

    Fleet battles would probably develove into inchoerent messes like you see on TV in Braveheart with no side discernably doing anything other that "charge and shoot!" at the enemy and pray to the Lords of Kobol they survive. Hence heavily armored warships like Galactica and Pegasus.

    Their maneuvering is probably going to be nothing more than "try to take out their engines, go in a circle around the target, roll us when our facing side sustains damage" and that's about it. Missiles don't need line of sight and Cylons seemed to use missile heavily since the Cylon War if the Battle over the Ice Plant in Razor was an indication.

    BSGs FTL system makes warfare a right fraking mess and an big gobblegook of a fight. If you can't catch small groups of Cylons on their own then you're going to have to rely on that "one decisive battle" and your war will probably be over within a week or two. Because your fleet will either be the victor or a debris field.
    LONE WOLF 666 likes this.
  18. Agelastus

    Agelastus Ageing Roman

    Why? Other than boarding ops and internal security on ships I don't see the need for a large scale Colonial Marine Service; there's no need to maintain units designed to invade hostile shores such as the MEUs of our time. The Colonies are united, and Cylon planetary targets would simply be nuked from orbit.

    250000 may be a tad low, but the actual size isn't going to be anywhere near 100 times that figure in my opinion.
  19. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    The armed forces of the Colonies probably numbers in the low single digit billions. Not active duty, but if you include paramilitary forces (like colony-wide FBI groups or planetary police- think state police), and all their reserve personnel and "planetary guard" you'd have billions.

    TBL is just horribly not comprehending the scale here. Each planet could probably field 100,000 Vipers. The Fleet and the Marines are both going to have pilots. Even 10,000 Vipers flown by Marines necessitates a force far larger than 250,000 just in pilots + maintenance crews. Take a look at real life fight squadrons. The pilots are in the minority. There are tons of enlisted men and women running maintenance on those things... though a Viper is less maintenance intensive.


    The United States with 300 million fields about 5,000 combat aircraft. The Colonies have 180 times the population of the US and if you just scale up could field 900,000 combat aircraft of various sorts plus another 900,000 support aircraft. Assuming their aerospace craft are as numerous, which we can, due to their technology level.

    The Marines controlling even a tenth of that invalidates the 250,000 number.

    A large military would also be very necessary to act as disaster relief forces and to fight the Cylons if they invaded and to repel Cylon attacks.

    You simply cannot do that with 250,000 Marines. That is just a woefully inadequate number. I think Pegasus alone had something like 300 Marines. You're going to need like 5,000 Marines to properly secure a facility like Scorpion (just eyeballing it you'd probably need 10,000). Let alone all the other shipyards, ships, and bases the Colonies have. Colonial tactics would necessitate large Marine contingents (far larger than what we have in US Navy vessels) due to the Cylon tactic of boarding and being walking murder robot who are almost impossible to take down.

    And Vipers are horrendously easy to build if the Laura was any indication you can scrap together some sort of fighter craft on the cheap... while it might die fast, there is strength in numbers. I'd put forward a Viper probably costs what an old WWII propeller plane did or early jet plane. Every indication is they are dirt cheap relative to the capabilities of the Colonies. I'd be surprised if the Colonies didn't have millions between active and reserve status.

    Just out of sheer numbers I'd be hesitant to engage a Cylon if I didn't have at least 5 to 1 odds in favor of humans or some very, very good chokepoint I could manipulate or ambush.
    Lord Hierarch and LONE WOLF 666 like this.
  20. Agelastus

    Agelastus Ageing Roman

    Why would the Marines be flying Vipers?

    You're equating the Colonial Marines with the US Marine Corps; the US Marine Corps maintains the capability to land large forces on hostile shores. There is simply no call for that capability in the Colonial Armed Forces. They have no human enemies and the first option when coming across a Cylon base would be "bring out the nukes".

    The occasional hostile boarding and base security duties; that's it. I don't see you needing 25 million plus Marines for that.

    And yes, while you'd think that Colonial tactics would require large Marine contingents on ships due to their known boarding tactics...there's no evidence that this is true from the series. For example, other than Tigh Galactica's officers seem to have no clue regarding Cylon boarding tactics...it's simply not part of their curriculum.

    The Galactica's senior marine seems to be a Sergeant, if I recall correctly. That would indicate a small force, although given the Galactica's status at the time this may be aberrant compared to normal Fleet practise.

    Now, as for planetary defence forces...yes, I can easily see them having thousands of Vipers based on the current US National Guard system, and billions of personnel in total.

    Do you think the Colonial Marine Corps is a "Fourth Arm of the Military" as it is in American practise, or simply a "Specialist Part of the Navy" as it is in British practise? I'd go with the latter personally, despite the show's origins, simply because none of the Galactica's pilots are ever referred to as Marine personnel and we know that many of them were picked up by the Galactica in the aftermath of the Holocaust.
  21. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    Why wouldn't they? It's been established that the Colonies are Space America.

    Even with nukes you're going to have billions, tens of billions of survivors who will need protection. The idea you can adequately see to the defense of 50 billion with 250,000 Marines is just... laughable. Like in a bad way.

    Why do you assume Marines are useful only for boarding actions and space actions? You're going to need many if you want to capture enemy positions or defend your own.

    We saw in the Cylon War massive ground campaigns occuring simultaneously. The Battle of Hypathia seemed to be infered as a Stalingrad or Berlin-like battle.

    The Cylons land troops you will want Marines or Army personnel to combat them. And we saw they landed a significant number of Cylons.

    Lazy writing. If they are not concerned about the tactic then Pegasus having 300+ Marines is a waste.

    Gunny Mathias was the senior enlisted who was named. But there was a Marine leuitenant. You're attempting to rationalize out the show's confined into a broader world and build from there when you can't. Galactica's focus was the pilots and CIC, not the Marines. Marines were only used as extras to the action but never with the action centering around them. If a Marine had been a main character we'd have seen a much more developed environment.

    Millions of aerospace craft.

    We know of one "refugee" and that was Crashdown, from the Triton. Galactica would not have Marine pilots because it was a Fleet ship and having Marine pilots would not facilitate the story in any way other than to have Marine pilots. There was no point in the show.

    But you would want ships and pilots trained in atmospheric operations and ground support rather than space combat with ground support a secondary training goal. I see the Colonial Marines as like the US Marines; they are a large "branch" of the military who more than likely has seen significant mission creep.

    That would be an absolute necessity. If Cylons nuke the local Army base you may need to send down a brigade of Marines to hold the line.

    A ship the size of Galactica devoted to hauling around Marines could hold in excess of an entire division, with ground vehicles and suitable transport. The Galactica outmasses a CVN Nimitz-class by something like 100 times or more yet only has the same number of crew... Galactica-sized vessels are significantly under utilized in their personnel-carrying capacity. Or what should be their capacity unless 99% of the ship is filled with armor, ammo, and fuel. Which I doubt.
    LONE WOLF 666 likes this.
  22. Rastamon

    Rastamon Valar Morghulis

    Emphasis mine.

    As discussed in your RAAB post analysis, Caprica bankrolled the military while Tauron provided the military philosophy. Now who provided the military organization?

    I'd propose Virgon.

    The information we have from the nbsg world-building efforts shows that Virgon had an empire stretching throughout the Colonies and was a rival of the Leonis Empire. Both Leonis and Virgon once ruled Tauron before being driven off by the Taurons. Virgon seemed to have ruled Picon.

    From the descriptions, it seems that Picon is the Colonial version of Canada. By this, we could infer that the Virgon Empire is the Colonial version of the British Empire (especially when we know Virgon has a monarchy and a powerful parliament) while Leonis is France (reinforced by the fame of Leonis wine and decadence).

    From hints provided by RDM and Serge, Virgon had a great cultural influence on other Colonies including Caprica, which lead me to suspect that Virgon-Caprican relations may be similar to British-American relations.

    The Colonial military HQ is on Picon. It may have been as if the British Empire still existed and is still strong then something happened to force the world to unite against an enemy. America bankrolls the global military, while the Soviets provided the philosophy needed to win and Great Britain provided the location for the military. Canada would be "neutral" enough not to offend the other great powers. Something like that may have happened at the signing of the Articles of Colonization.

    As for the organization of the Colonial military, I would say it's rather similar to the way the Union military was organized during the American Civil War. Back then, we had the 7th New York, 22nd Massachusetts, etc. So in the Colonies, they may have the 7th Tauron, 22nd Libris, etc.

    The Colonial Admiralty may be organized in a similar way to the Nazi German High Command. The flag officers would be rotated between desk jobs and field duties. So for a period of time, Admiral Helena Cain would be working in the Picon HQ, then the next rotation put her in command of the Pegasus. This has the advantage of making sure that flag officers do not fall out of touch with the ground reality and troops, as well as keeping them in practice. How often do we hear about generals and admirals not really knowing the ground reality and making mistakes that way?
  23. Rockhound

    Rockhound Für den Sieg

    What exactly are the "cruisers and destroyers" going to be doing?

    Destroyers? They evolved in terrestrial navies due to the need for specialist (ASW, AAW, torpedo platforms, etc) ships. Battletars certainly seem to be all-in-one packages.

    Cruisers (and Frigates)? The historical usage of the term referred to a small but fast warship, capable of operating on their own, and often assigned to light targets or escort duty. I do see an analog to this role in space. One that is taken up by the Valkyries.

    Small, fast (Operationally and Strategically) spacecraft are weak (thin armor, smaller magazines, less endurance)...and FTL makes every Battlestar just as fast as we want.

    The more I think about it, the more I see every combatant being a Battlestar. Just different scales (Galactica/Mercury and Valkyrie).
  24. Bryan

    Bryan <font color=yellow>The Great Goof!</font>

    I'd wager and guess they would have anti-aircraft roles, mainly. Some of their "destroyers" or something like a "battlecruiser" might have some sort of FTL engine allowing faster jumps (or multiple engines) for scouting purposes or quick hits and retreat attacks.

    I can't see every ship being a battlestar because there comes a point where your hangers aren't worth having Vipers. A battlestar capable of handling 20 Vipers should probably just convert the hangers and landing pods into some sort of armored gun pods at that point.

    Depending on how large the Valkyrie is and how many Vipers she can launch I'd say she's probably right on the edge of whether it is worth it or not to even have the capability to launch Vipers and Raptors like that.

    If necessary ships could just clamp on Raptors and Vipers, FTL in, then launch. Though you'd need to be sure of your victory or at least go in with overwhelming numbers or your Vipers won't be able to get out.