The Thrawn Offensive Part II - The Imperial Fleet
Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:35 AM
Tie Series developments:
The GCW era saw a number of improvements to the TIE series, with the ubiquitous TIE Fighter, and the only slightly less common TIE Fighter x2 with GCW-era enhanced lasers. The Tie Interceptor similarly introduced “chin” blaster cannons just before Endor, and the Tie Bomber upgraded to the Bomber x 2 with increased ammunition capacity at about the same time. The TIE Bomber is also often supported by the Xg-1 Star Wing on many missions. While the Tie Avenger and Tie Defender had both been developed past prototype stage, very few units were built.
The Empire has, however focussed much more effort into a range of armoured transports, gunboats and heavy shuttles. The Skipray, for example has seen a large number of variants, from the prevalent GAT-12h with concussion missile launcher and the modern 12j variant with increased warhead capacity. Delta DX-9’s are very common, and see active service alongside the older Lambda T4a & b models, as well as the heavily armed Sentinel-class Landing Craft, which has recently been upgraded to give increased warhead capacity.
Corvettes, Frigates and Cruisers
These craft have mostly fallen out of favour with the Imperial fleet, as the roles for the late Clone-Wars era craft have largely been superseded by the second generation heavily armed transports on the one hand and light cruisers on the other. The Bayonet Light cruiser, for example has been surpassed in every respect by simply retrofitting the Carrack Light Cruiser and Dreadnaught Heavy Cruiser to improve shielding and combat durability, with that added bonus of a basic fighter compliment to the Dreadnaught Mark II, making these designs a common sight in most fleets. The only real holdover is the venerable IPV-2, which with a decent torpedo compliment, makes for a handy customs inspection vessel and is common on smaller worlds.
A notable addition to the frigate line is the Lancer-class, which performs admirably in an anti-fighter role, but unlike the EF-77 Escort Frigate, is unable to withstand the firepower of even medium cruisers for long. The direct opposite of this ship is the Strike-class Medium cruiser, which adds good long range firepower with a heavy barrage of turbolaser fire, but us vulnerable to starfighter attack.
As expected, Thrawn has made considerable changes to the fleet composition, and in particular has paid significant attention to the problem of limited resources, much effort has been made to reduce raw material consumption. Enter a new generation of shielded fighters and bombers. All of the basic TIE variants are now manufactured with basic shielding to extend product life. Furthermore, Thrawn has personally overseen development of the elite Avenger and Defender models to modern specifications. While the Avenger sees a modest shield upgrade, the Defender has been completely overhauled, making it the deadliest starfighter in the galaxy, featuring better acceleration, upgrades to advanced proton torpedoes and an improved countermeasures system. In addition, Thrawn has introduced two new concepts with massive payloads – the heavily shielded Scimitar Assault Bomber designed to immolate targets with 8 fire linked torpedoes and the ugly Xm-1 Nova Wing, whose hump-backed design carries both concussion missiles and proton torpedoes.
As expected, the Imperial-class Star Destroyer forms the core of the Imperial Fleet, and it is of particular note that nothing larger than this is currently available to the Empire, although there is a reasonable quantity of vessels built on the Imperial-II space frame, including a few Dominator-class Star Destroyers. Overall there are over 60 Star Destroyers in the fleet supported by almost 200 cruisers and light support vessels. The only limitations of the fleet are the limited number of hyperdrive-capable strike fighters, but the new elite designs should redress this balance. While the lack of Super-class Star Destroyers may seem a problem to standard Imperial doctrine, the precise balance of forces masterminded by Grand Admiral Thrawn should easily make up for this deficit, ensuring a swift takeover of many vulnerable systems once the Offensive is launched.
Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:32 PM
Posted 12 July 2009 - 05:45 AM
Dynamically upgrade them, you mean? Heh, if that were feasible, there would be no need for a complement mechanic in the first place.
Would it be too much to ask to do something similar with carrier-based fighters?
Linking independent fighter upgrades to those that launch from carriers was my original idea of how to handle spawns all along (well, after hoping to do them as "true" carriers, Rebellion-style), something I soon realized would not be possible in the context of EaW. Believe me, I wish it were. We'll just have to accept that the mechanic we're using is flawed, but, as of v1.2, I believe it will be the least flawed of our possible options - the basic operating principle of it being that old carriers are assigned old complements, and vice versa. Given that the carriers will be newer for TO, my hope is that it won't be too much of an issue.
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