CAF Archer Class Missile Battlecruiser:
The CAF have never been the ones to just rely on proven designs and to take it easy. Instead, especially in the last few years, there has been a flurry of new designs coming out of the shipyards of the CAF. Good examples of this are the Champion class heavy cruiser, and the update of the Protector class battleship into the Paladin class. One thing that was still lacking in the arsenal of the CAF was a Battlecruiser design. Various ideas had already been put forward, but none showed any real promise. The Battlecruiser would have to be able to fight it out with battleships, yet it would not enjoy the armor and shields of one. In addition to that, it would need to have the speed and maneuverability of a cruiser. These are difficult things to put into one package.
Part of the solution came when the New Coventry shipyards began to rebuild old Kurganov missile Cruisers into the new Nelson configuration. A Battlecruiser which used missiles as its primary armament instead of beam weapons would be able to fight even battleships, yet stay out of range of the battleships main batteries using its better maneuverability and speed. Previously the engineers had been looking to much at the new Graser weaponry as the solution to all things, but this was still limited by its range. Even so, the engineers were not very quick to begin designing a new ship, but a new incentive came with the news that the Kreeghor had begun building their new Eradicator class Battlecruisers in large numbers. That ships long range capital missile batteries pose a serious threat to capital ships at incredible ranges, and a missile Battlecruiser would be needed to fight the new Kreeghor ships in a effective way.
As a result, the Archer class was designed and build in what for the slow moving CAF design bureaus and shipyards was record time. So far, she is the only ship of her class, but her performance in fleet trials , and the increased Kreeghor threat, have prompted the CAF to allocate a substantial amount of its budget to the production of these ships.
The Archer class is a bit unusual in its looks, rather sleek for a warship with hardly any major weapons emplacements and a number of large hatches all over the ship, but the appearance of the ship was not anything of a factor in its design, the amount of weaponry that it could carry was. The ship has not been patterned off the Warshield design, as the difference in size and type of armament was too large to just increase the Warshield design. Instead of a blocky Warshield style design the hull looks surprisingly slim for such a large ship. It is not until the large hatches open up and reveal the missile tubes that it really becomes apparent that this is indeed a warship. Much of the ships interior has been given over to cavernous missile bays and magazines, and relatively little room was left for fighters, powered armors and freight. Compared to some recent designs, the room for the crew members was also markedly decreased, with only few of the usual pleasantries. The designers did not see this as a real problem, as the ship will visit ports more often, especially after combat, to replenish its stores. The crew performing the ships trials had rather other ideas about this though, calling the ship "cramped" and saying that it would be "unpleasant to serve on for longer stretches".
The ships engines are copies of the ones fitted into the new Champion class cruiser, as these have been found to perform well, and are very size efficient. The difference is that six of them had to be fitted to give the ship enough power and acceleration. A plus to this is that because so much of the ships weaponry is missile based, relatively more power is available for the engines.
The ship may be large, but as has been remarked, most of that size is to fit the huge load of missiles. the ships main battery consists of four heavy Graser cannons which have great power and range, enabling the ship to fight frigates and corvettes with impunity, as only one or two hits will destroy such small craft. Even cruisers captains will think twice before getting caught by these weapons. However, these are the only heavy beam weaponry that the ship carries. Its secondary weaponry are six heavy mass drivers, enabling the ship to hold its own against targets that are impervious to energy as well.
The real armament are the missile launchers, and here the ship excels: It has eight cruise missile launchers, enabling it to throw twice as much of these heavy weapons than even a Protector class battleship in a single turn! These weapons are for ship to ship combat, and give the Battlecruiser a fearsome long range punch. Backing this up is a series of no less than eight long range missile batteries. The magazines for these weapons are larger than the standard CAF design, allowing the ship to carry one and a half times more LRM`s per magazine than the normal design. In addition to being capable of being used for ship to ship combat, these missiles give the Archer the added ability to provide anti fighter and anti cruise missile fire for entire groups of ships, and this is their secondary purpose. To this end, more than a fifth of all LRM`s carried are fitted as Multi Warhead missiles, allowing the engagement of enormous amounts of fighters and missile volleys. All of these weapons are normally covered by large hatches that swing open to allow them to fire ( The prototype of the class, the Archer itself, is seen in the above picture just prior to firing all of its missile launchers in a fire control and systems test.).
For its own defense the ship carries ten medium range missile launchers (also behind the hatches), and for point defense it carries eighteen GR-1000 railguns, eighteen particle beam cannons, and surprisingly, six tachyon scatter beams. This configuration of its point defense is a test by CAF engineers to see if this array, previously only found on ships build or designed by the New Coventry shipyards, is truly more effective than the usual mix of railguns, particle beams and mini-missile launchers that CAF ships carry. A added bonus is that this array has much longer range than the standard CAF Point Defense array, and this is particularly helpful when faced with large amounts of missiles or fighters. The old adage of "doing it to them before they do it to you" also applies to point defense....
For its size the ship carries surprisingly few fighters, but this should not be much of a hindrance, as it is expected to fight at ranges so high that enemy fighters will take a long time to reach the Battlecruiser. In addition to that, the ships point defense is heavy and long ranged enough to make life very difficult for most fighters. The Archer carries two squadrons of light and two squadrons of medium fighters, these are coupled with four heavy fighters to make up the ships entire fighter compliment.
Its marine and power armor compliment are also rather small, with only 180 marines and 24 Silverhawks, and this too is simply because so much of the ship is magazines and launchers. There simply is not as much interior to defend as one would expect! No Battlerams are carried, as these would be useless at most of the ships combat ranges and missions.
The last, but certainly not the least part of the ships arsenal is the Battlelink Main Control System with which all ships in the class will be equipped. Since the Archers will often work in concert with other large ships, at relatively low ranges, it was decided that the Main Battlelink computers would be a standard addition to the class.
Despite, or maybe because, the Archers large firepower, the ship has found more than its share of critics. Much of the criticisms leveled at it is its lack of diversity: when it runs out of cruise or long range missiles (not unlikely in a large engagement), the ships beam weaponry is at best mediocre for its size. Neither does it carry much of a fighter force, and although this was done on purpose, some are now criticizing the designers for building what is in essence a large missile platform.
Despite this, the CAF high command feels that it has, for the first time, a true Battlecruiser in its inventory.
This starship design uses modified starship speed and ranges. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World for more details.
Model Type: SBCM-122
Vehicle Type: Missile Battlecruiser
Crew: 520 (40 Officers, 480 enlisted)
Troops: 180 Marines (Typically 60 stay on board for ship defense), 80 fighter pilots, 24 silverhawk pilots, and can carry up to 700 passengers in addition.
Vehicle, Robots, and Power Armors:
|24||SH-CCW100 Silverhawk Attack ExoSkeleton|
|12||CAF SF-69 CAF Scorpion Star Interceptor|
|12||BIF-67 Katana Starfighters or SF-101 Black Eagle Starfighters|
|4||CAF LRF-25 Proctor Heavy Fighters|
M.D.C By Location:
|30 cm Main Graser Cannons (4):||3,000 each|
|Heavy Mass Drivers (6, 2 forward and 2 on each side):||1,200 each|
|GR-1000 Gravity Rail Gun Turrets (18):||200 each|
|Point Defense Particle Beam Cannons (18):||150 each|
|Tachyon Scatter Beams (6):||200 each|
|Cruise Missile Batteries (8):||1,000 each|
|Long Range Missile Batteries (8):||600 each|
|Medium Range Missile Launchers (10):||500 each|
|Outer Hull (40 ft/ 12.2 m Area):||200|
|Inner Hull (40 ft/ 12.2 m Area):||125|
| Auxiliary Bridge:||22,000|
| Main Engines (6):||15,000 each|
| Main Body:||160,000|
| Variable Force Field:||12,000 a side (72,000 Total)|
 In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s armor. This ship also has an auxiliary bridge. Even if both bridges are taken out, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.
 Destroying one engine means that sublight acceleration drops by 0.15 percent of light, and F.T.L. speed drops by 1 lightyear per hour. When all engines are destroyed, the ship will be able to accelerate/decelerate at 0.1 % of light per melee using maneuvering thrusters, and will no longer be capable of F.T.L. flight.
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the cruiser out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
 Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (3,600 M.D.C.) per melee round.
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 1 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 450 mph (724 kph), can enter an atmosphere and can leave but is not designed for atmospheric flight
Stardrive: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 6.5 light-years per hour.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either Drive system. Carries about one years worth of supplies on board.
Length: 2,750 feet (825 meters)
Height: 620 feet (186 meters)
Width: 513 feet (154 meters)
Weight: 6.3 million tons (5.7 million metric tons)
Power System: Anti-Matter with a 50 year life span. The ship normally only goes 10 years between refueling and refitting.
Cargo: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 40,000 tons (36,300 metric tons) of cargo in addition to standard compliment of supplies and ammunition. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.
Market Cost: An Archer will cost approximately 25 billion credits to build. No ships are available on the black market, and the CAF will not sell them to member states of the C.C.W.
- Four (4) 30 cm Heavy Graser Cannons: Grazer cannons use focused gamma radiation and are very powerful. The weapon mounts have about a 25% increase in both range and damage over standard laser cannons of the same size. These cannons are capable of destroying frigates in one hit or quickly crippling heavier vessels. The cannons are mounted in the sides of the ship in two batteries. Batteries can be fired up to 180 degrees toward the rear on either side (can fire two cannons at a target at that angle but can spin to be able to bring both batteries to bear) and can fire at a 45 degree angle up or down. Because of the placement of the weapons, all four guns can fire in the forward arc. Weapon has standard penalties to hit fighters and small targets for a large starship weaponry. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
- Six (6) 20 cm Heavy Mass Drivers: This weapon replaced the heavy G-Cannon turrets because the G-Cannons did not inflict enough damage on targets and when ships are against other ships that had the spell impervious to energy, the problem was a severe handicap. A new weapon system was developed around the concept of firing a massive high density projectile at a target at incredible velocity. The projectile masses around half a ton and relies on pure kinetic energy instead of explosives.
- Eighteen (18) GR-1000 Heavy Point Defense Rail Guns: Used as an anti-Starfighter and missile weapon and against targets that are impervious to energy. Each Rail Gun is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Projectiles are fired from rail guns at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Cannon uses a 30 mm projectile. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
- Eighteen (18) 25 mm Point Defense Particle Beams: These weapons are used for anti-missile, anti-power armor, and anti-starfighter defense. Each Particle Beam is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
- Six (6) Point Defense Tachyon Scatter Beams: The main purpose of this system is as an anti-missile point defense. They do this by firing a wide blast that affects all targets in a cone that can destroy whole volleys of missiles before the strike the ship (Roll once against a volley and unless the missiles roll to dodge greater than strike roll, they are all destroyed.) The stream lasts for significant fraction of a second and missiles tend to run into the stream (Gives +4 bonus vs fast moving targets such as missiles.) This system has an interesting property that the system can actually be used at faster than light velocities because Tachyons travel faster than the speed of light. Each tachyon scatter beam is in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire.
- Eight (8) Cruise Missile Batteries: Missile has a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship.) Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launching starship, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless preset to self destruct or receives a destruct code but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) See modified starship rules for more details - Cruise missiles have minuses to hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles. This launcher is a standard CAF launcher. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.
- Eight (8) Long Range Missile Batteries: Missile has a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile when dead at -25% to detect.) Long range missiles do not have minuses to hit small targets unlike cruise missiles and are all considered smart missiles. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time, and carry more reloads than standard CAF launchers.
- Ten (10) Medium Range Missile Batteries: Weapon system is used for hitting enemy robots, fighters, and against incoming cruise missiles. Like other Phase world systems, weapon system range and speed has been greatly increased compared to Rifts Earth systems. Missile has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.
Maximum Effective Range: 125,000 miles (201,000 km) in space. and 125 miles (201 km) in an atmosphere.
Mega Damage: 2D6x1000 M.D.C. each and two can be combined for a total of 4D6x1000. All four guns can fire combined in the forward arc for a total of 8D6x1000 M.D.C.
Rate of Fire: Maximum of two (2) times per melee per cannon.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
The weapon system is not unguided but instead has limited maneuverability using a low powered contra-grav system. Guidance is through a relatively short range tachyon guidance system (Gives +3 to strike.) Because of the low maneuverability of the projectile, it has standard penalties to hit small targets such as fighters, power armors, and missiles. When projectile reaches maximum range, it is no longer guided but can be used effectively against unmoving targets in a similar manner to missiles (has same penalties.) The projectile is slower than light speed and cannot be used effectively when the starship is traveling at faster than the speeds of light.
In addition to a single heavy anti-starship projectile, the mass drive can fire a larger projectile containing eight smaller kinetic kill projectiles. Like the full scale projectile, each smaller projectile is guided and is extremely effective against smaller target such as missiles, power armors, and fighters. These smaller projectiles are extremely useful as addition point defense against missiles. These projectiles are also guided by a relatively short range tachyon guidance system (Gives +3 to strike.) Unlike missiles, volleys of four or more of these projectiles can be dodged. So that projectiles can be fired through an atmosphere, the main projectile casing is fitted with a heat shield.
Each mass driver is mounted in a special turrets that are partially recessed into the ships hull. The turrets have a limited firing arc. Each has a 30 degree arc of fire. Two mounts are in the front of the ship and two mounts are on the sides of the ship. The ship will make radical side turns to allow the side launchers to fire forward if on a direct approach to the target.
Maximum Effective Range: 20,000 miles (32,200 km) in space. with range of 40 miles (64.4 km) in an atmosphere.
Mega Damage: Standard Kinetic Projectiles: 2D6x100+200 M.D.C. each (optional rule is that projectiles gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration.) Sub-Caliber Kinetic Projectiles: 2D6x10 M.D.C. per projectile (8 smaller projectiles per larger projectile - optional rule is that projectiles gets a critical on a natural 18, 19, or 20 due to its high penetration.)
Rate of Fire: Maximum of four per melee (Each larger projectile when loaded with sub caliber kinetic projectiles has eight projectiles.)
Payload: 100 projectiles for each mass driver (600 total) -Usually 70 standard and 30 sub-caliber loaded projectiles per mass driver.
Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (26 km) through atmosphere and 1,600 miles (2,575 km) in space.
Mega-Damage: Rail gun inflicts 4D6x10 M.D.C. for a 40 round burst.
Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: 10,000 Rounds (250 Bursts) each cannon.
Maximum Effective Range: 600 miles (960 km) in space and range is 6 miles (9.6 km) in atmosphere.
Mega Damage: 3D6x10 M.D.C. each.
Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
Maximum Effective Range: 99.4 miles (160 km) with a width of 12.4 miles (20 km), range and width is one sixteenth in an atmosphere.
Mega Damage: 2D4x10 M.D.C. each.
Rate of Fire: Maximum of four (4) times per melee each.
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
Maximum Effective Range: Cruise Missile range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space
Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World missile tables for details (Anti Matter inflicts 4D6x100 M.D.C.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), eight (8), sixteen (16), or thirty-two (32) missiles per launcher, per melee round, for a maximum of 256 missiles per melee. Launchers are reloaded on the same melee and can be fired again on the next.
Payload: 256 total, 32 cruise missiles per launcher. Ship has 9 reloads of missiles (2560 cruise missiles in all!)
Maximum Effective Range: Long Range Missile range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space.
Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World missile tables for details (Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), eight (8), sixteen (16), or thirty-two (32) missiles per launcher, per melee attack.
Payload: 3840 total, 480 long range missiles per launcher.
Maximum Effective Range: Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.
Mega-Damage: Varies with medium range missile type (See revised Phase World missile tables for details.)
Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) missiles per launcher.
Payload: 320 per launcher for a total of 3200 medium range missiles.
- Battlelink Main Control System: The Main Battlelink computer provides the Archer with the ability to share targeting data with other capital ships in the area, which provides all ships participating in the link with improved targeting solutions and hit chances, both for their point defense, as well as their capital weapon systems. For more information regarding the Battlelink, go to Phase World Battle Link.
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By Mischa (E-Mail Mischa)
Revisions by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 1999, 2008, & 2011, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.