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    • By Agares Tretiak
      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.
    • By Xoza
      Star Conflict

       



       

      Pretty epic, round/objective based game, feels a lot like World of Tanks, Freelancer, Freespace, Eternal Silence and some other games.

       

      Free to Play, On Steam, YUPlay account based.

       

      Choose Empire... of course.

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