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Agares Tretiak

Ordo Imperialis Spaceships

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Ordo Imperialis Ship Ratings System
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This document seeks to explain the rating system of the Ordo's interstellar fleet, rather than it's atmospheric one, but will touch on Astra's larger vessels in detail, for comparison of size and relative power.

First, one must understand how the Ordo orders and operates its two "flight" capable forces. The Ordo Imperialis divides its flight and naval forces into two Divisions: Astra and Navis. Astra's primary operations are atmospheric and transatmospheric support craft. Iconic ships such as the Thanatos bomber, the Malice gunship, and the Nemesis fighter operate strictly in the atmospere of a planetary body, and are incapable of leaving that atmosphere or operating in the vacuum of space. Other similarly planet-bound craft are generally operated under Astra.

Navis' primary operations are transatmospheric and space-faring vessels. They also transport Astra and Terra to planetary surfaces or operate in joint conjunction to assist in military operations. Navis would operate all capital warships as well as many smaller vessels outside of the capital class ratings.

Both Astra and Navis operate transatmospheric transport craft and will sometimes share the same or similar platforms for these operations (such as the Vae Victus Assault Carrier). Generally, the rule of thumb is that Navis will operate and man all interstellar fighters, gunships, and naval vessels, where Astra operates within the confines of a planetary body, and the related ships.

To explain, there is a marked difference between an atmsopheric fighter such as the Nemesis, and an interstellar fighter like the Coriolanus fighter. First, the Nemesis must be capable of fulfilling the needed requirements, such as aerodynamics, fuel effeciency, propulsion, and other engineering considerations to operate in an atmosphere. In many cases, these do not align with the needs of an interstellar craft thefulfills the same role. While there are transatmospheric (Vessels that can operate in both space and planetary atmospheres) vessels capable of fulfilling both roles, they are not generally the top of the line in performance in either capacity.

A space faring vessel should have heavy armor, pressurized interor with full atmospheric support, shield systems, the subsequently larger and heavier power generator to run these, as well as manuvering jets. Because of the nature of space combat, a space fighter generally must carrier heavier weapons to overwhelm similar fighters. The Coriolanus, while sleek and effecient, is not aerodynamic and would not be able to maintain a suffecient airspeed to operate effectively in the atmosphere of most planetary bodies in proportion to it's weight.

Thus, there is a clear deliniation between the two, and thus there is Astra and Navis.
Astra's largest craft (solely operated and run by Astra personnel) are the Intimidator Atmospheric battlecruisers. Are slightly larger than a Vae Victus Assault Carrier, and constitute the largest combat craft that regularly enters a planetary atmosphere. These lumbering vessels are utilized to provide 'close' heavy support for major ground offensives...or to level a city to it's foundations without using orbital weaponry.

The Intimidator is 300 meters long, and 75 meters at its widest point. It utilizes the most advanced anti-gravity systems to maintain its altitudes and can enter and exit the atmosphere. It carries 20 Class IV Naval turrets.

The Vae Victus Assault Carrier is an atmopsheric carrier that is used to transport, support, and resupply Astra fighter, bomber, and gunships in a mobile manner. It is also transatmopsheirc, but cannot open its hangar bay doors in space. They are also used as mobile command centers in the early stages of a planetary invasion, due to it's spacious command bridge and advanced secure communications systems.

These craft do not recieve 'naval' ratings.
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Misc Small Navis Vessels
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Navis's smallest operated craft is the versatile, but lightly armed gun cutter. It posses 2 paired Class VIII flak turrets, and possibly additional weapons. It can operate as a transport, a close support bomber, a mobile defense platform, or a heavily armed shuttle for sub-orbital drop-pod operations. It is approximately 45 meters long.

The next step up are vessels classed as 'gunboats' which should not be confused with 'gunships'. gunboats in this case mean small, nimble, heavily armed transatmospheric warships. If one wishes to find a modern analogy, one might look at a Coast Guard cutter with more emphasis on offensive capabilities. Gunboats are sturdy, relatively fast, and heavily armed compared to gun cutters, but are not as versatile. Much of the interior space is taken up by munitions storage and various ship systems, and gunboats generally do not operate for extended periods of time without the presence of a larger support ship to protect and support its operations. Gunboats tend to run escorts for vulnerable transports or a flight of three being used to soften up enemy defenses before a ground offesive by Ordo Terra.

Ignoring a variety of freighters, transports, assault barges, and carriers, we move to the true naval warships of the Ordo Imperialis Navis.

Ordo Imperialis Ship Ratings

The Ordo uses a rating system related to the size of the ship in terms of length (though other considerations are used) and the number and size of guns it carries, as well as other possible criteria.

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Ship of the Sixth Rate
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A ship of the Sixth rating is generally referred to as a Frigate, and can apply to warships up to the Fifth rating (usually termed Heavy Frigates).

A ship of the sixth rating meets the following classifications:
The keel (General length of the vessel class) is no shorter than 550 meters long and no longer than 650 meters.
The ship does not carry fewer than 24 Class IIIa Naval turrets, and 8 Class IV ship-to-ship missile launchers, and no more than 34 Class IIIa Naval turrets and 10 Class III ship-to-ship missile launchers.
Is not crewed by fewer than 3000 naval ratings and officers.

Details:
Frigates are generally deployed in patrol, recon, support, and light transport duties, or to escort and defend larger capital ships (ships of the Third rating and higher) from gunboats and assault bombers as well as other frigates. A common tactic utilized by Navis commanders is to use wolfpacks of 5 frigates to harrass and either cripple or soften up larger targets, before heavier warships move in for the kill. Frigates are versatile, tough, and well armed, and can, if neccessary, enter a planetary atmosphere, but this sort of manuver is risky and disruptive due to the immense mass of the ship, and the energy it must expend to leave the atmosphere again. Frigates are commonly used as well, to perform 'light' orbital bombardments, especially on targets where a balance of accuracy and hitting power are required (such as enemy command centers in urban locations), where larger ships would likely destroy more than is neccessary. Ordo fleets tend to carry larger numbers of frigates to 'screen' it's more valuble capital ships and to provide a powerful rapid strike ability.

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Ship of the Fifth Rate
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A ship of the Fifth rating can be alternatively called a Heavy Frigate or a Destroyer, generally depending on its fitting. Heavy Frigates carry more Class III weapons than ships of the sixth rate, where as a Destroyer will carry fewer weapon turrets, but devote more power to heavier shields and Class II weapons. Essentially, a Heavy Frigate is a larger, slower, but more havily armored and armed Frigate, where as a Destroyer is a Heavy Frigate meant to pack a heavier punch and stronger armor and shields to engage captial ships, at the cost of manuveriability and speed.
A ship of the fifth rating meets the following classifications:
A keel of no shorter than 800 meters and no longer than 1km.
Carries no fewer than 50 Class IIIc naval turrets and 20 Class IIIc ship-to-ship missile launchers, and no more than 25 Class IIa naval turrets and 10 Class IIa ship-to-ship missile launchers.
No fewer than 8000 naval ratings and officers to crew the vessel.
Details:
A ship of the fifth rate is a dedicated warship, and focuses less on escort duties, and more on straight up offensive ability. In the Heavy Frigate type of Fifth rate ship, you have an effective frigate killer and anti-small vessel defense platform. A battle line with Heavy Frigates is nearly impervious to all but the heaviest attacks from gunboats and assault bombers, or other frigates. With a Destroyer type of Fifth rate, the ability to handle craft smaller than frigates (or similarly sized vessels) is sacrificed for sheer offensive punch against larger ships. These ships tend to be larger than the Heavy Frigate versions, adding oversized power generators, shield projectors, and weapons. They are the least flexible of the two types, and are intended to engaged capital ships, while maintaing a higher speed and manuverability than most capital ships can manage. Destroyers also make useful addtions to smaller fleets engaged in a planetary seige, having almost three times the range of a Frigate or Heavy Frigate thanks to it's outfitting with Class IIa naval turrets. It should be noted that Destroyers are only useful en masse against a single capital ship, as despite their offensive might, a single battleship can still withstand vast amounts of damage. Thus, spearheads with destroyers are generally used to either soften or cripple enemy capital ships alongside Cruisers (which have four types and are the most common type of ships of the fourth rate).
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Ship of the Fourth Rate
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A ship of the Fourth Rate can be one of several types of vessels. Within the Ordo's ship ratings, ships of the fourth rate tend to be the most versatile, and also the smallest ship generally considered capable of serving on a line of battle against capital ships. The four primary types of ships of the fourth rating are Cruisers, Battlecruisers, Missile Cruisers, and Heavy Cruisers.

A ship of the fourth rate can vary greatly, depending on it's intended purpose, but fits the following criteria:

A keel of no less than 1.3 km, and no greater than 2km.

Possessing no fwer than 50 Class III and 25 Class II Naval Turrets, and no more than 100 Class III and 55 Class IIb Naval Turrets. Alternatively, a Cruiser might mount as many as 120 Class II Naval Turrets, or 120 Class II Ship-to-Ship Missile Launchers.

Possessing no fewer than 14000 naval ratings and officers to crew the ship.


Details:
The Cruiser is often considered the most versatile of the Ordo's fourth rate type of ships. They're large enough they can serve on a line of battle against full capital ships, while still maintaining good "sailing" characteristics for patrol, recon, and anti-piracy operations. Their comfortable size makes them capable of extended "deep runs" like frigates, but with even more extended runs possible, well outside of most support stations or systems. Cruisers mix and match a variety of weapon systems, and some specialize in particular roles more than others, depending on the keel. Cruisers generally form the core of most medium sized Ordo fleets and many planetary defense fleets posses a handful of cruisers. The greatest downside of a cruiser is that despite it's flexibility, it is extremely expensive to produce. A single cruiser costs as much as 10 heavy frigates, and for the cost of two crusiers, a single ship of the third rate can be produced.


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Ship of the Third Rate
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A ship of the Third Rate is the backbone of all large scale Ordo fleets: the Battleship. Ships of the Third Rate are also known as Ships of the Line, because they are considered capable of serving directly, toe to toe, with capital ships on a line of battle. Battleships come in many configurations and hull types, but the most common hull is known as the Octeris Class. Three out of five serving battleships is an Octeris Class vessel.

A ship of the third rate fits this general criteria:

A keel of no less than 3km in length, and no greater than 4.5km.

Possessing no fewer than 120 Class III Naval Turrets and 100 Class II Naval Turrets, and no more than 300 Class II Naval Turrets and 15 Class I Naval Turrets. Missile launchers are not taken into consideration when determining if a ship is of the Third Rate or higher.

Possessing a no fewer than 30,000 naval ratings and officers to crew the vessel.

Details:
The Battleship is tough, heavily armed, and powerful. Most offensive fleets comprise primarily of a backbone of Third Rates, which, for their scale, are still very flexible, and pack a considerable punch. One on one, a battleship can annihilate small vessels with a single volley from its main guns. Their shields and armor make them extremely tough to destroy, and generally only other Class threes and higher can hope to directly engage one and take it out. All of this comes at the expense of speed and maneuverability, however, and smaller vessels are far more likely to be able to evade and outmaneuver a battleship. It must be kept in mind that a battleship has three times the range of a cruiser, and putting distance between the ship and yourself is not a safe bet form of defense.

Edited by Xoza
retagged

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To briefly touch on the transportation method of the Imperium:

The Ordo Imperialis Milites and the Ordo Imperialis Civitas both use similar technology for travel. Essentially, they use space time folds to travel interstellar distances. Vast distances are best traveled using two anchor points, which then use method of folding space-time between the two points into a sort of tesseract. The ship then passes over the localized fold and arrives at its destination anchor point (to blatantly rip a concept from Mass Effect, each anchor point utilizes a quantum entangled pair). Anchor points are large, station sized installations located on the border of the heliopause of the given system.

From there, a ship might use FTL to maneuver closer into the system. Note that all ships must drop from FTL within a certain radius of a given gravity well. For instance, if I was traveling in our solar system (Sol) we would be able to drop out of FTL travel closer to the Earth, than to Jupiter, but you'd need to drop out of FTL just past Venus, to approach Mercury due to Mercury's proximity to the Sun.

All civilian transports must pay a fee to utilize an anchor point, though there's a few "freeway" routes that have reduced or no fees at all. All anchor points are heavily armed stations, usually with a small fleet to guard them, and they serve as relays for not only ships, but communications as well. As a result, they are rigged to self destruct, should it be deemed that a system has been seized by the enemy. it might also be shut down to prevent point to point travel to the system, essentially cutting off the system from the Imperium. This permits the center of the Imperium to control trade and transportation throughout its empire, despite the vast distances it covers. Each system has a single anchor point, which can manage up to 30 different anchor points. The sole exception is the throne world, which has a "super" anchor of 120 points.

8-cell-simple.gif

"Here is an example of ...approximately... what happens in the space fold we use. Kinda.Think of each face of the moving object as "space" compressed or folded. If that doesn't help, dip your head in cold water and don't try to think too hard about it. Look, even I'm not always sure how we do it." - Lord Tretiak, answering an anonymous Praetorian Candidate's question abut interstellar travel.

Needless to say, ships that utilize alternative methods of interstellar travel are heavily restricted. The Ordo Imperialis Milites utilizes vessels that are capable of circumventing the anchor point network. The utilize similar principles of folding space-time in a tesseract, but rather than having a preset anchor point, it has to calculate a theoretical point in relation to it's particular location. This results in a maximum "safe" distance to fold, which means a ship must fold multiple times to travel to a system that doesn't have an anchor point. The reason for a the maximum safe distance is that as the points grow further and further apart, proportionally more energy is required to fold the space between them, the accuracy drops, and the risks of becoming fractured in transit increase.

Fracturing is what essentially happens if the tesseract doesn't unfold properly or folded more than the standard stable tessract method (for instance, folding into something more akin to a cantellated tesseract) and the ship gets ripped apart on a molecular level...or split into varying states of existence...or scattered across multiple dimensional planes, simultaneously. There's even a few recorded instances of test vessels infinitely folding on themselves and forming quantum singularities after a seemingly infinite number of the test vessel and its mass occupy the same space, simultaneously.

Essentially,bad, bad things happen if the maximum jump distance is exceeded.

Despite these risks, there are some advantages. First, there is no reliance on the anchor points to travel, allowing the Ordo to theoretically strike anywhere at anytime. Second, the ships can fold within a system (to a certain degree) and can allow the Ordo to move past outer-ring defenses for some systems. Third, in a bit of a paradox in space travel, the fleet is faster, the larger the ships it has. The reason for this is related to power generation and not to mass, which generally plays a back seat when it comes to traveling through a fold. A larger ship generally has excess energy,and thus generate a fold that is at a further point than most smaller ships can safely fold. Thus, a fleet with battleships will generally reach its destination sooner than a fleet without them.

Also, only a single ship is required to fold space for the fleet to move. The limiting factor, however, is that only ships with a specific form of shielding can pass through folds (something many trans-atmospheric vessels lack, not to mention fighters, which are far too small to carry the shield systems) to protect against the unique and dangerous forms of radiation (Holtzman particles and Holtzman-Effect radiation) generated during the tesseract fold and the subsequent transfer. It must be noted, this radiation is easily picked up by most sensor systems and can blot out system wide sensors, if the ships enter within the heliopause of a system. The result is a sort of double-blind effect: The enemy is aware a fleet just arrived, but they will not be able to tell where it arrived, until (usually) it is too late to respond appropriately.

Please note that not all species in the galaxy utilize this technology, and might use slower or faster, safer or more dangerous methods of interstellar transportation. Those with Imperial Warrants of Trade, however, are forced to utilize the Imperium's anchor points to transport within Ordo held territory, or be viewed as smugglers or worse and be subsequently hunted down and blasted into dust, making it the most ubiquitous form of transportation.

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A few notes on Ordo naval weaponry:

An interstellar vessel, even the smallest ship of the sixth rating, is a celestial tool of destruction. Each class of naval turret is several orders of magnitude more powerful that previous, with the most powerful weapons falling under Class Null Alpha (Special). These weapons are rarely mounted on standard warships; Rather, they require either terrestrial installations (requiring around a 1000 men to operate a single weapon) or an orbital platform or space station.

Each turret class only gives a vague sense of its destructive potential, however, and as there as many types of Ordo ships, there are weapons that can be mounted on them.

Here are a few of the more common types of naval turret along with simple explanations of their operating principles.

- Plasma: Plasma weapons in the Imperium are very destructive, capable of melting and breaking down matter at a rapid rate. This makes any plasma weapon very useful at eating through armor plating, but not very effective against powerful shields. Due to the size and volatility of Plasma cells, the larger the weapon, the less stable it becomes. As a result, only direct feed plasma weapons (which are stationary, rather than rotating turrets) get classed higher than Class IIIc. It is extremely rare for any plasma weapon to exceed Class IIa. There is only one Class Null Alpha (Special) Plasma weapon in the Imperium, which is used to destabilize stars or destroy planets, on board the Praetorian Magnus-Dreanought 'Bellum Aeternum'.

- Laser: Ordo laser technology is very advanced, but is rarely utilized on a man portable scale. Rather, the Imperium focuses this flexible weapon technology for large scale weapons and naval vessels. The Ordo uses two types of laser: Beam and Modulated.

Modulated Laser: Modulated Lasers utilize a frequency modulator to punch through shield systems. It is usually fired in short bursts, let the modulator on it burns out, and this makes it less effective for cutting through armor. However, against lightly armored vessels (fighters, bombers, gunships, and the like) it makes a highly ideal weapon for point defense, as a Class IIIa Naval Modulated Laser turret can easily destroy one in a single shot. The other advantage is that a modulated laser is slightly more power efficient than a beam laser, making it ideal to place on smaller vessels, including deep-space fighters and gunships. Large scale Modulated Lasers are used to target enemy shield projectors and cripple or weaken them, to allow for heavier and more powerful anti-armor weapons to finish it off.

Beam Laser: Beam lasers operate on a single stable frequency, which permits it to be fired continuously without burning out. This makes beam lasers excellent for cutting through armor and can break through a shield if its frequency is not set to repel the operating wavelength of the Beam Laser hitting it. However, most modern warships deploy multiple shield projectors which can alternate and shift their frequency fast enough to mitigate damage from a beam laser. Thus, the Ordo developed a method of "sweeping" its beam lasers across the hull of an enemy ship, trying to find shield projectors which are weaker than others. Generally, a batter of beam lasers will be set on different frequencies to allow multiple sweeps to do large amounts of damage to an enemy ships shield array. Once it breaks through the shields, large beam lasers can cut a ship in half with terrifying ease, which is why the Ordo has been researching new anti-beam laser shield systems and laser resistant armors. Beam lasers require more energy to operate than a modulated laser, which is why they are rarely mounted on turrets on anything smaller than a Fifth Rate vessel.

- Railcannon: Railguns, Gauss guns,and Coil guns all operate off of the same general principles of electromagnetism, which allow a vessel to fire solid projectiles at near light speeds, creating massive kinetic damage. They are somewhat power-thirsty compared to modulated lasers, but can create substantial damage to both armor and shield systems, and thus are widely used.

- Solid Projectile: Solid Projectile weapons in space are rare and somewhat antiquated, but some recent weapons of this type allow a surprising diversity in warhead types. A solid projectile weapon is usually fairly small, due to the logistical problems of storing large quantities and types of the larger solid projectile warheads (and their volatility).

- Mass driver: Mass drivers are deceptive by name. Rather than launching a standard projectile, they launch concentrated spheres of dense null-state matter, relying on the mass of the projectile to deal damage. When the weapon is fired, the matter becomes increasingly dense until it destabilizes and dissipates. The effect is to completely by-pass all shield countermeasures and directly affect the hull integrity of the target. Mass drivers require vast amounts of energy to operate and fire, and are very fragile compared to most other weapon types. They also have extremely short ranges. These facts restrict mass drivers to Third Rate ships and larger, as only they can approach another large ship and hope to be able to fire their weapons before suffering damage. Mass drivers are somewhat rare and arcane weapons for all these reasons.

- Ion: Ion weapons are a type of energy weapon that is designed specifically to overload shield arrays on enemy ships. When they achieve this, they do relatively little damage to the target vessels armor, but leave it vulnerable to other weapons. Ion weapons fire in silver colored beams that look extremely 'fuzzy' to most observers. Ion weapons are notoriously unreliable, since recent technology has reduced their effectiveness on some shield systems.

-

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Your descriptions of Modulated Lasers and standard ones kinda made my Star Trek fanboy-ness squeal a bit, as I used to literally READ canon starfleet engineer manuals and learn this stuff for shits n' giggles. It also kinda reminds me of the Borg though, and their adaptive shielding that nullified phasers after a few shots, requiring either hardcore strategy or constant remodulation. (Unless it's the I-MOD that Seven of Nine made, but then again, Voyager don't count in my book. )

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I thought of phasers. I used to read those technical manuals when I was a little kid, and aI thought it made some sense. The theory is similar, but the concept is applied in a different way. The "raking" fire of a beam laser battery, depending on the scale, can be short, "scattering" shots, or slow , massive sweeps that will move over the length of a vessel.

Many Ordo vessels utilize a combination of weaponry, to maximize the destructive potential they can wreak on enemy ships. The most common weapons the Ordo uses are Lasers (of both types) and railguns (and related technology).

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hey, throwing asteroids is the best way to eliminate a race, just watch out for those two that may get away.

(Unless it's the I-MOD that Seven of Nine made, but then again, Voyager don't count in my book. )

and.. VOYAGER IS CANNON, don't be hatin

I prefer to avoid the more common terms and ideas from other sources and stick to more basic stuff, mixed a little with new ideas. Think.. Freespace 2, Freelancer, our current day tech, and other sci-fi geeky stuff.

Edited by Xoza Tyron

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Well, hence why our "mass drivers" are not some sort of particle accelerator or railgun. Our ion guns operate on a separate principal than most. Lasers, similar to startrek, but they cut through things, rather than rattle the ship a bit. Solid projectile weapons are a rarity in space, aside from rail/gauss/coil guns. Plasma weaponry is...fun. :(

I'm open to interesting and novel weapon systems, though! discussion fuels my imagination! Questions and suggestions let me create new things!

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I have that. Solid projectiles. They're there. There's a few issues with a standard artillery shell. One, they require oxygenated atmosphere's to operate properly. Two, they can only reach a certain velocity, at which point, they cannot travel any faster. This makes them more susceptible to gravitational forces which will slightly alter their trajectory. While the former can be salvaged by space techno-magic, the latter has the issue of not being able to penetrate most shields. The advantage is that, like missiles and other guided munitions, the warheads could be changed out, which can cause varying types of damage, should a defensive shield go down.

The Ordo makes more use of railguns, which while technically solid projectiles, utilize solid slugs of tungsten or depleted uranium and fire them at two-thirds the speed of light. This can cause significant damage to shields and of course, the physical hull of a vessel. The largest size slug utilized is a 55 meter wide, by 120 m long slug of solid tungsten, which is mounted on several Magnus-Dreadnaughts, and utilized in planetary defense installations to knock out battleships in a single shot.

On ship shielding systems:

Ordo vessels and ships that utilize Ordo technology, are renowned for slapping on layers of armor plating and overlapping shield projectors. This is part of the reason Ordo ships are so large, in order to incorporate oversized power generators to pump energy into the shield systems ordo ships have. As a result, most Ordo vessels are massively protected, but this comes at the cost of not being particularly stealthy. In fact, the level of emissions from a single battleship can be registered behind an approximately Earth sized planetary body without too much difficulty. Planets under invasion from the Ordo notice that their skies are filled with brilliant auroras, the result of the shield emission signatures interacting with a planet's electromagnetic field, and large Ordo fleets can alter tidal patterns and create freak storms if they are too close to a planet.

For all you science geeks, I'm not clear yet on the operating principles of Ordo's shields, but they seem to cover a wide range of defensive abilities, and thus, I'll venture to say that they are very complex and somewhat fragile systems.

Shields operate to defend from physical and non-physical attacks, and also will reinforce the local hull. They are not projected far from the hull of the vessel, perhaps a matter of somewhere around 3-5 meters, which is why a super-dense mass round can damage a hull without ever actually touching the shields. Shield systems are susceptible especially to overloads from either extended attack on the shield, or an "ion" weapon that overcharges and then overloads the shield system, causing it to burn out. More recent shield systems offer reactive multi-frequency defense against modulated and beam lasers, higher safe output levels (making them more resilient), and a revolutionary breaker fuse that allows repair crews to quickly replace burnt out ones in the event of a massive overload or ion discharge.

Shield emissions from naval vessels are, as stated, immense, and exposure to an active shield system, unprotected will literally cook a person within a few milliseconds

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Not quite light speeds, no. But it'd do some very serious damage. And you need to consider that a battleship tends ot have huge shield systems. Magnus Dreadnaughts are about 15 kilometers long, mind you. Tiri stated it'd disrupt and displace plate tectonics. Not exactly a planet killer, per se, but definitely a doomsday weapon capable of one-shotting a continent.

A note about Ordo super-weapon systems. The Ordo does not possess straight up planet killers. It has means to depopulate planets in short order and even kill all life, but to outright annhilate a single planet requires massive scales of energy. The Ordo could theoretically deploy weapons on that scale, but it so far has not. The closest it has is the Praetorian Magnus Dreadnaught with its Class Null Alpha Plasma weapon, which has been theorized to be capable of destabilizing a star's fusion processes.

All large scale weapons (Class Null Alpha) are rarely utilized and when they are, with extreme care. The expenditure, to fire one of those rail guns, for example, excedes the cost of most small invasions, for instance, when one takes into account the cost of logistics surrounding loading, firing, crewing, maintaining, powering, and then repairing the weapon. This doesn't include transportation costs, or the costs of what repairs would need to be made on either planetary surfaces, or any ships caught in the resultant shockwave when the round hit a targeted vessel. The plasma weapon is even more expensive to use.

Rather, they are used when facing enemy armadas, or as a last resort when handling exceedingly risky or dangerous situations. There's only a handful of these Dreadnaughts in Navis, and few species have weapons to match them in scale and defensive ability, though offensive weapons used by some enemies could be compared to the destructive potential of a Magnus-Dreadnaught.

The other (non-magnus) Dreadnaughts serve generally as mobile logistical platforms, producing, gathering, anf storing large amounts of war materials, and can produce replacement ships up to the 4th Rate, though not at the same rate of a full on space-dock or forge. Magnus-Dreadnaughts have reduced production capabilities, but greater outright offensive ability, and sit in the center of the largest Ordo fleets, usually in orbit over key strategic assets. For instance, there is a single Magnus-Dreadnaught fleet that defends the Throne World.

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Accuracy doesn't matter when you have the quantity of ammunition. Considering ships have shields, it's much more practical to knock it down with overwhelming fire from weak weapons rather than to waste more expensive, harder to find and harder to produce munitions on it. After they are down, it's much more practical to just hose it down too! I imagine smaller ships would be fitted with more lethal weaponry than the largest of battleships (size wise) as with larger vessels, quantity of smaller weapons would count for most offensive firepower. A single, small gun turret might not be effective against a battleship, but imagine a thousand firing at once. Why put a dozen high class turrets on a battleship that will likely have significant trouble resupplying rare munitions, when it can just send a shuttle or twelve to fetch more available standard ammo?

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First, the Ordo's naval assets work on a scale that sometimes overwhelms what a simple turret count would indicate alone, much less munition stores.

Lasers don't require ammunition. And smaller caliber railguns don't require expensive munitions, either. In many cases, a fleet with a single mining support ship can find an asteroid belt, and replenish the slugs used in an engagement from minerals taken through procurement in a star system. This is more effective than lugging around vulnerable cargo ships or having vast stores of expensive and less effective munitions (which, I might add, could destroy the ship if hit or sabotaged) A class III turret can use shells up to 3 meters in diameter for a solid projectile weapon like you describe. Alternatively, it's difficult to set a bomb in your railgun slug storage, and expect it'll destroy the ship form the inside... and a critical hit to that magazine won't cook off the slugs, either. The distances the ships fight at require some degree of accuracy, as well, as most fleets will not close distance until they feel they've done enough damage to risk boarding actions and broadsides.

Secondly, the munitions for a space cannon like you suggest, would be more expensive than your standard Terra artillery shell for a wide range of reasons. Simply saturating larger targets with heavy fire is generally not enough. The steps up in scale for each class of weapon, is exponential compared to the previous step. So a Class I is almost 200 times more powerful than a Class II, and in comparison, it is more economical in most cases to utilize a single Class I turret, over 200 Class II turrets. The most expensive ammo the Ordo uses, aside from some rather exotic test weapons, are mass driver munitions, which are validated by the effects they have on the target vessel, in spite of all their setbacks.

Finally, larger ships can absorb large amounts of "pecking" or constant fire from lower level weapon systems. The shields do not wear down under mthose conditions, because when you reach the scale of a battleship, the ships are trying to cause instantaneous, minor burnouts in the opposing vessels shield systems.

For an analogy, think of using rocks of different sizes, trying to splash water out of a pool.

You can throw lots of pebbles in there, and try to splash the water out.

You might splash significant amounts, with enough small rocks, but the amounts you splash will more than likely be replaced by the pool's water pumps before causing a noticeable drop in the water level. It'll be a slow process, unless you can find a dump truck and pour in a huge amount of pebbles.

Now, imagine dropping more, larger rocks. You displace more water, faster. THe water pumps are going to have less time to refill the pool before you cause the next large splash with the next rock. This means you can cause noticeable drops in the water level, more quickly.

Now imagine, you're dropping boulders in. Now you're overwhelming the water pump's ability to replenish the pool at the same rate that you're removing the water.

Battleships require boulder sized splashes, so that the shields are incapable of regenerating the lost protective attributes the provide. Granted, you could field a ton of frigates against a single battleship, and after a while, the battleships shields will collapse. But it's a long while. It's a pretty big pool. And all that time, that battleship is firing boulders at your much smaller pools. At longer range. And more accurately.

To continue to the water analogy, ion weapons, rather than trying to remove water from the pool, are trying to flood the pool over it's container, so that the water will then short out the pumps.

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So, I'm starting to write a few things about Ordo ships in my spare time and I sat here wondering, what kind of in system propulsion do Ordo vessels use? Ion engines combined with inertial dampeners as we see in Star Wars, which allow for incredible mobility and ziping around. Or something similar to the anti-matter torches in the Praxis series, where commanders essentially choreograph a series of high G burns where crews are strapped into acceleration couches.

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So, I'm starting to write a few things about Ordo ships in my spare time and I sat here wondering, what kind of in system propulsion do Ordo vessels use? Ion engines combined with inertial dampeners as we see in Star Wars, which allow for incredible mobility and ziping around. Or something similar to the anti-matter torches in the Praxis series, where commanders essentially choreograph a series of high G burns where crews are strapped into acceleration couches.

Or Deuterium Slush / Anti-matter drives like in Star Trek. The funny part is that the Slush would be completely feasible in a distant-future setting, as the main component needed for it (Heavy Hydrogen, which is found in MINUSCULE amounts of Sea Water) can likely be found in various Nebulas or areas of Space, and can be obtained via Bussard Scoops.

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The biggest problem with a matter to antimatter system is that Anti-matter and matter obliterate each other on contact. To contain it would require some kind of inert solution and or magnetic fields. In physics you cannot travel faster than light, and even travelling at near light speeds would be next to impossible.

That said however, there is no law in physics that says you can't bend the rules, which is why I always have been more in favor of systems that bend space and time.

Edited by Jayce Iredell

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The biggest problem with a matter to antimatter system is that Anti-matter and matter obliterate each other on contact. To contain it would require some kind of inert solution and or magnetic fields. In physics you cannot travel faster than light, and even travelling at near light speeds would be next to impossible.

That said however, there is no law in physics that says you can't bend the rules, which is why I always have been more in favor of systems that bend space and time.

inb4 Warp Drives, Warp Field Bubbles, and bending the fabrics of Space-Time.

and actually Jayce, that was what the Star Trek goonies would describe as an "Anti-matter containment breach". Either the casing TO the Matter / Anti-matter would rupture and knock the process off-balance, or the ship would take a large-enough hit to knock a Magnetic Coil (Or the matters themselves) out of place, which would otherwise cause a chain reaction that can / will completely destroy the ship and anything within a decent radius around it.

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I've already outlined the super-luminal and trans-galactic travel capabilities of Ordo vessels and the transportation system we use.

They travel through space time folds.

The running explanation is that they use a system called Holtzman Logic Drive, to do so.

All ships with a Holtzman Logic Drive, run off of a simulated singularity reactor, though there are a few that do not run off of simulated singularities and use actual gravity wells to generate vast amounts of energy.

A simulated singularity is, in essence, a manufactured miniature blackhole. When created, a complex conversion process turn it into a sustainable energy source. The problem is, to run the containment fields, fusion reactors are required to power them up and run them under load. The output of a reactor using a simulated singularity is limited by the strength of the containment fields. Since there is limited space in a ship, larger vessels can support larger (and thus more powerful) reactors. The advantage of a simulated singularity is that it will collapse instantly if there is a containment breach, preventing a ship being pulled into the singularity.

Class three and higher ships actually use a stabilized blackhole, and using the same conversion process, generate massive amounts of energy. This also requires equally massive containment fields, thus the need for a ship to refuel regularly. All interstellar Ordo military vessels can try ot harvest the fuel for thier fusion reactors through a few 'foraging' techniques, but these are sub-par to the manufacture fuel that is available at any decent sized Imperial planet. This more powerful, bigger brother of the SSR is more dangerous if there's a containment breach, but all reactors of this nature are designed so that the fusion reactors will detonate (thus collapsing the blackhole) before it can run amok. There are also emergency shut down systems that can destroy the blackhole, but it means the ship cannot use its Holtzman Logic Drive, without another vessel creating a fold.

The Ordo do have a sort of warp like FTL travel system, but compared to the speed and uses of folding space, it is only used to maneuver quickly into position near a planet once they've folded.

Standard, sublight travel is achieved by using high impulse ion drives (as a low impulse ion drive is very slow). These can be powered by either the main reactor or the back up fusion reactors.

It is against Ordo law to allow a vessel with a gravity reactor to enter the atmosphere, or to build a gravity reactor on a planet. For most of their power needs, the Ordo relies on fusion and solar power on planetary surfaces.

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