Earthforce Nova class Battlecruiser (Babylon Five):


The Earth Alliance Nova Battlecruiser is the original design basis for the later Omega class destroyer and look like a Earth Alliance Destroyer without the rotating crew section. The first of this class was commissioned fifteen years before the Babylon-5 station came on line. The maiden voyage of one of the very first Nova Class Battleship, was into Minbari space and played a strong role in the tragedy that began the Earth/Minbari war. Until the introduction of the Omega class destroyer, the Nova class was the most powerful ship in the Earth fleet. The ship is also sometimes referred to as a Dreadnought due to the ships size when it is compared to the Roosevelt class heavy Cruiser.


Most of the Nova class battlecruisers were destroyed in the Minbari war but the remaining ships of the class have been heavily upgraded and the ship remaining are still very potent warships able to defeat ships of the same size of many of the other races.


The ships propulsion is by four Ion fusion engines that can put out a good thrust to weight ratio but the ratio is much less than the engines of the Minbari, Centauri, and the races of the Three Galaxies. This is not significant because without inertial dampening systems, high accelerations like those race's ships perform would kill the Nova's crew.


Because the remaining ships of this class have been heavily modified, weapons systems differ markedly between ships of this class. Standard retrofitting of the ship is 44 heavy pulse cannons and 6 particle guns for point defense. This makes the ship weak in terms of point defense but the ship is capable of holding its own against most ships its size. There are other configurations possible, most notably the missile variant. The ship also has an interceptor grid for defense of the ship against weaponry. The interceptor grid fires low powered energy beams to intercept incoming fire and uses electromagnetic fields to disperse energy that is fired at the ships. The interceptor grid also employs a system designed to decoy incoming missiles. The systems is more effective against plasma cannons and pulse cannons (Actually another style of plasma cannon - does not work as efficiently on weapon systems that simply fire in pulses) than the system is on other energy weapons. The system quickly get overloaded though and cannot operate continuously and is not as effective as the shields on Minbari and Centauri ships.


When the Nova Class went into service, the Earth Alliance had not yet perfected the drive shaft design required to build a rotating section on a ship. Thus Battlecruisers (unlike Omega Destroyers) do not have artificial gravity. The whole crew of the ship live in a "zero-gravity" environment. For long terms, this has a degrading effect on the human body. Because of this, these ships have been equipped with a special device referred by the crews as a "ferris wheel". This is a large ring inside the ship that rotates to provide 20 crew members an exercise area in an artificial gravity field produced by the centrifugal force of the rings movement. All crew members are required to spend at least one hour a day exercising in the "ferris wheel"


The ship carries only 24 fighters as apposed to the 32 fighters that the Omega class carries. The replacing of Aurora starfuries is also a lower priority than it is on the Omega class. The ship can carry a large number of assault troops when required for a mission but normal compliment is 150 marines.


Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the Battle Cruisers velocity and distance traveled:


Model: Earth Force Nova Class Battlecruiser
Class: Battleship / Light Carrier
Crew: 400 (20 Officers and 380 Enlisted)
Troops: Standard; 150, Maximum; 1000


Vehicle Compliment:

24SA-23E Star Fury or SA-26 Thunderbolt Star Fighters
4Standard Shuttles
4Atmospheric Shuttles


M.D.C. by Location:

Fixed Pulse Cannons (16 fixed, more ptional):500 each
Particle Guns (6 fixed, more optional):300 each
Missile launcher batteries (6 - optional):800 each
Mass Driver (one, optional):2,000
Launch Bay (1, front):4,000
[1] Main Sensor Cluster (1, Front)3,000
[2] Main Body:45,000
[3] Engineering Section:12,000
[4] Bridge:10,000
[4] Emergency Bridge:10,000
[5] Ion Fusion Engines (4):3,000 each
[6] Interceptor Grids (6):4,000 per side
[7] Extra fire control systems (2, sides, optional):1,000 each


Notes:
[1] The Main sensor cluster is located above and below the Launch Bay. Destroying it means that the ship will have -45% to read sensory rolls, all sensor ranges are halved, and all long range weapons have a -2 to strike.
[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the Battlecruiser out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
[3] Destroying the engineering section means that ship FTL propulsion systems are destroyed and maximum sublight acceleration is reduced to ten percent of normal (using navigational thrusters).1
[4] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ships armor. This ship also has an auxiliary bridge. Even if both bridges are destroyed, 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.
[5] The Destruction of one engine reduces the ships acceleration by one quarter. The destruction of two Ion Engines reduces the ships acceleration by one half. Destroying three Ion Engines will reduce the ships acceleration by three quarters. Destroying all four Ion Engines means that the maximum sublight acceleration is reduced to ten percent of normal (using navigational thrusters).
[6] The Interceptor Grid gives only partial defense against energy weapons and as the system absorbs more damage this percentage of damage will be reduced. The system will absorb up to 4,000 M.D.C. per side. Initially, the system will absorb 80% of damage from plasma weapons and pulse cannons (Actually another style of plasma cannon - does not work at this higher efficiency on other weapon systems that fire in pulses). This is because is it much easier to disperse plasma than an actually energy beam. The system does not absorb damage from rail guns, other projectile weapons, and from missiles. Initially, the ships will also absorb 40% of other styles of energy weapons as well (This includes non plasma style pulse weapons as well). For every 500 M.D.C. that the system absorbs, the system will be reduced in effectiveness by 10% for subsequent strikes (Example: If an Interceptor Grid absorbs 1000 M.D.C., the Interceptor Grid will only absorb 60% of plasma damage and 20% of the damage for any other energy weapon when struck next.) The defense grid recovers at the rate of 100 M.D.C. per minute. The missile decoy portion of the system is described separately below.
[7] The extra Fire control systems are mounted on the sides of the central module. When one is destroyed, the ship has a 20% penalty to lock on with its missiles. when both are destroyed, the ship has a 40% penalty to lock on with its missiles.


Speed:
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Space Propulsion: The starship does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. The Earth Force Battlecruiser can reach a top acceleration of 4 G but due to high fuel consumption and extra strain on the engines, the ship will normally travel at 0.5 G for any extended trips. Top acceleration is only meant for emergencies and combat maneuvers.
Because the Battlecruiser is mostly unshielded from the effects of radiation and hypervelocity atomic particles (It is not completely unshielded), the destroyer is not operated at speeds exceeding 20% of the speed of light.
Atmospheric Propulsion: The Earth Force Battlecruiser cannot operate within an atmosphere. If the ship enters an atmosphere, it will crash.
Stardrive: Uses a hyperdrive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 11 light-year per hour. This means that the Earth Nova Battlecruiser can cover the Galaxy in about 12 month (will need to refuel periodically). The ship enters hyperspace by means of a Jump Point. This ship can use an already made Jump Point or can form its own Jump Point.
The Nova has enough power to open a jumpgate every fifteen minutes (60 rounds). The gate then takes one round to open, two rounds to traverse, and another to close.
Maximum Range: Conditionally unlimited, while the fusion reactor gives power for almost a decade of service, the ships propulsion is limited by the ships reaction mass. The ship can be refueled at ground based facilities, space stations, and other star ships as long as they have the special facilities. The ship can also be refueled by fuel shuttles.
The Battlecruiser carries six month of reaction mass for travel at 0.5 G of acceleration. Double the consumption of fuel for 1.0 G of acceleration and double the consumption again for every 1.0 G of acceleration beyond 1 G. This means the ship will burn the fuel 16 times faster than at 0.5 G of acceleration at maximum speed. The ship will often accelerate for a period of time and then shut down the engine and travel using the ships velocity. If the ships uses more than half of its reaction mass when accelerating, the ship will be unable to decelerate fully and the ship will normally only use a third or less of its fuel on accelerating so it does not run into a problem.. If the ship runs out of fuel then it must be refueled by another vehicle traveling faster or be lost.
If the ship has a large amount of flight operations, the ship is limited to about four months endurance at cruising speed from the fighters using the ships reaction mass.


Statistical Data
Height: 848.4 feet (258.4 meters)
Length: 3651 feet (1,112 meters)
Width: 782.7 feet (238.4 meters)
Weight: 16.5 million tons (15 million metric tons)
Power System: 4 Tokamak 620 Fusion Reactors (8 year duration). However, it is recommended that the drive and power system have routine maintenance every 4 years. Also, the ship only carries about a six month supply of reaction mass.
Cargo: 400,000 tons
Cost: 15 billion credits to construct


Weapon Systems

  1. Pulse Cannons (Fixed Mounts -16): Each mount is much larger than those on the more modern Earth Force Destroyers but is only slightly more powerful than those mounting. The weapon also takes longer to recharge which means the firepower is about the same between the weapon mounts. These cannons fire rapid fire bursts of super charged Plasma and while not as powerful as the Heavy Ion Laser cannons mounts on the Destroyer, both their rapid fire and extended range makes up for this fact. Pulse cannons are mounted in pairs and each pair has a 360 degree rotation and 180 degree arc of fire. These weapons have standard penalties to hit small targets such as fighters and cannons each fire individually or in pairs. The ship has four double mounts in the front of the ship where the hanger bays are located at, four double mounts on the hull between the hanger bays and the central module, two double mounts on the central module, eight double mounts on the hull in front of the engines, and four double mounts on the engineering area. Author Note: The source on this weapon system lists the weapons range as 180,000 km. It has been reduces to fit more with Palladium frameworks
    Mega Damage: 1D6x100 per cannon (2D6x100)
    Maximum Effective Range: 11 miles (18 km) in an atmosphere and 11,190 miles (18,000 km) in space.
    Rate of Fire: Two Times per melee
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Particle Guns (Fixed Mounts - 6): These guns fire bursts of atomic particles at close to the speed of light. They are very effective against fighters but are not as effective against larger ships. Each mount has a 360 degree rotation and 180 degree arc of fire.
    Mega Damage: 3D6x10 per cannon
    Maximum Effective Range: 6.2 miles (10 km) in an atmosphere and 621.8 miles (1,000 km) in space.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to gunners hand to hand (Usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Weapons configurations: The ship can carry a variety of different weapons on its mounts. Only the mounts on the main body are variable, the four mounts next to the hangar bay are permanently fixed with Pulse Cannons, as are the four mounts on the engineering section. Other combinations of hardware are possible, but seldom encountered.
    1. Type 1 (standard) Pulse Cannons (28): This is the standard configuration of the nova class dreadnought. The remaining 14 mounts are all occupied by double pulse cannons. Essentially the same weapons as those on the fixed mounts. Four double mounts on the hull between the hanger bays and the central module, two double mounts on the central module, eight double mounts on the hull in front of the engine.
      Mega Damage: 1D6x100 per cannon (2D6x100)
      Maximum Effective Range: 11 miles (18 km) in an atmosphere and 11,190 miles (18,000 km) in space.
      Rate of Fire: Two Times per melee.
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
    2. Type 2 (missile platform): This variant gives the Nova a truly impressive missile launching capability at the cost of a large amount of its energy weapon capability. The 8 mounts on the hull in front of the engines and the 4 mounts between the hanger bays and the central module have been replaced with 6 long range missile launchers. The 2 mounts on the central module have been fitted with particle guns and extra fire control sensors needed for control of the stupendous amount of missiles the ship can launch.
      1. Long Range Missile Batteries (6): Each battery consists of 40 launch tubes recessed in a silo which looks a bit like a (Armored) freight container. These have been bolted in a vertical or upright manner against the ships sides, each silo occupying the space of two mounts. Missiles are launched from the outward facing side of the silo. Each silo carries its own internal magazines. These launchers are both used to launch anti-ship strikes and to launch against starfighters. Missiles are assumed to accelerate at 2 times normal mach speed in Gs greater than the starships speed when used in space. Since star ships will no longer engage at rock throwing distances, 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 are all considered smart missiles. Each of these launchers can be targeted and fired at multiple targets.
        Maximum Effective Range: varies with missile type, long range missiles ((Powered range is 8 x normal in space - Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
        Mega-Damage & Properties: Varies with warhead type (Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Heavy fusion inflicts 2D4x100 M.D.C.
        Rate of fire per Silo: One at a time or in volleys of 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20 or 40 per melee attack. The ship can fire a total volley of 240 missiles in one turn.
        Payload: 9 reloads per launch tube for a total payload of 400 long range missiles per battery. This means that the ship carries a total of 2,400 long range missiles.
      2. Particle Guns (2): the same mounts as the fixed particle guns. They are usually used to defend the extra fire control systems. Each mount has a 360 degree rotation and 180 degree arc of fire.
        Mega Damage: 3D6x10 per cannon.
        Maximum Effective Range: 6.2 miles (10 km) in an atmosphere and 621.8 miles (1,000 km) in space.
        Rate of Fire: Equal to gunners hand to hand (Usually 4 or 5).
        Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
    3. Type 3 (Planetary bombardment unit): A variant of which few people know, for the simple reason that the Earth Alliance never deployed it. The 4 mounts between the hanger bays and the central module have been replaced with two Long Range Missile batteries, and all of the 8 mounts on the hull in front of the engines and the mounts on the central module have been replaced with a Mass Driver! Before this version was finished it was rendered obsolete by treaty banning Mass drivers as planetary bombardment weapons. Unknown to all but a very few Earthforce Generals is the fact that 10 of the mass drivers WERE finished and are now sitting in mothballs.
      1. Long Range Missile Batteries (2): The same weapon as described above, these would have been loaded with the heaviest warheads for bombardment purposes.
        Maximum Effective Range: varies with missile type, long range missiles (Powered range is 8 x normal in space - Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
        Mega-Damage & Properties: Varies with warhead type (Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Heavy fusion inflicts 2D4x100 M.D.C.
        Rate of fire per Silo: One at a time or in volleys of 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20 or 40 per melee attack. The ship can fire a total volley of 80 missiles in one turn.
        Payload: 9 reloads per launch tube for a total payload of 400 long range missiles per battery. This means that the ship carries a total of 800 long range missiles.
      2. Mass Driver: This is a weapon that is primarily used against ground targets. A cumbersome but very powerful weapon. The energy requirements are so high that the weapon must charge for one round before it can fire. The weapons "barrel" lies on top of the Nova, along most of the length of the ships spine. Along the sides of the ship are munition stores and large banks of capacitors. It fires very large high density projectiles that are themselves about the size of a fighter. This severely limits the payload for this weapon. When fired at a planet, they due huge amounts of damage and can easily obliterate whole cities. While this weapon can be used on starships, it has huge penalties to strike. All targets that can dodge can make full dodges from this weapon no matter how large the vehicle is. The cannon has -4 penalty to strike moving targets within 6,218 miles (10,000 km), -8 penalty to strike moving targets within 31,092 miles (50,000 km), and has a -12 penalties at all ranges beyond that. The projectiles can be shot down and have a total of 800 M.D.C. The projectiles travel at 10% of light faster than the ships launching.
        Mega Damage: On starships and space stations: 4D6x1000. Ground Targets: 2D4x10,000 to all targets within 3.1 miles (5 km) radius, 1D4x10,000 to all targets within a 6.2 miles (10 km) radius, and 1D6x1000 to all targets within a 15 miles (25 km).
        Maximum Effective Range: Effectively unlimited but suffers sever range penalties.
        Rate of Fire: Once per two melees.
        Payload: 40 total.
        Note: This weapon is banned by treaty by all races!
  4. Missile Decoy System: These systems launches clouds of chaff and electromagnetic decoys around the ship. This system is the final part of the interceptor grid. The decoy cloud will remain around the ship for a period of time unless the ship accelerates, decelerates, or changes course which will take ship out of the chaff cloud within one melee. The system is a series of decoy launchers that are placed around the ship. Even if the main interceptor system is not functional, this system will still operate.
    Mega-Damage: any vehicle flying through take 2D6 M.D.C.
    Effects:
    1. Has a 50% chance of confusing or deflecting missiles from most younger races. This system does not work on missiles from Centauri, Minbari, or other Race with similar or more advance missile systems.
    2. Disguises ships radar signature. This gives a -2 penalty to strike. (Does not work on Centauri, Minbari, and races that are as advanced or more advanced than the Centauri and Minbari)
    As long as the ship does not accelerates, decelerates, or changes course the chaff will take five melees to disburse. If the ship accelerates, decelerates, or changes course, the ship will leave the chaff cloud in one melee.
    Maximum Effective Range: Ship and 1,000 feet (305 m) radius around ship
    Rate of Fire: Once (1) Per Melee.
    Payload: 50




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Technical information sourced partially from Babylon 5 Technical Manual!


CGI of starship created by John Quach. Picture taken from Guidos Galaxy.


Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa) and by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Rifts Conversion Copyright © 1998, 1999, & 2013, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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