Lit Fleet Junkie Flagship- The technical discussions of the GFFA (Capital Ships thread Mk. II)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by AdmiralWesJanson, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. TheRedBlade Force Ghost

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    I was under the impression that the E-Wing lacked the intestinal fortitude to be a fleet bomber - certainly, the hull seems to dainty, narrow, and focused on speed for it to back a lot of heavy weaponry. I do like the idea that the X-Wing has longer range and better endurance - it syncs up with the Army (of all things) using the E-Wing in Mercy Kill. I wonder if the rise of the XJ is similar to the current switch from the abortive F-22 transition to the F-35 in the American military. The F-22 and the E-Wing are both fine machines, but what if the E-Wing was also to expensive and finicky to the needs of the service (and the budget-makers) at the time. In the Senate was convinced that a re-tooled X-Wing spaceframe would be a cheaper and effective answer to the New Republics needs, maybe the ordered funding to be funnelled towards the XJ project. Incom, in typical Incom fashion, then proceeds to totally exceed expectations and turns out a highly capable modernized version of the X-Wing, a craft that is different enough that it is usually called by it's variant designation (XJ) rather than an X-Wing by military professionals.
  2. DarthCane Force Ghost

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    Looking at the Wook, the E-wing's hyperdrive is listed as Class 2. The X-wing has a Class 1 unit, which would make it a superior long-range fighter. Presumably the E-wing's heavier power requirements for shields, engines, and weapons required something be sacrificed, and hyperdrive power was it. Makes sense given the E-wing was originally intended to be an escort fighter, where it would have access to carriers and be keeping pace with capital ships and cargo vessels rather than making independent "hit-and-hype" raids.

    The E-wing's probably not as outrageously durable as the B-wing, but I imagine in terms of shielding and armor it may well be on par with the Y-wing - and if you've got the wishbone's durability combined with the speed and agility of a TIE Interceptor, you're going to be a very tough target to bring down. As far as finicky, it seems it had a rocky first couple of years (problems during Operation Shadow Hand and the Lusankya-Reaper duel) but by 16-17 ABY was a reliable craft. The original EGVV states that it takes half as long to strip down and rebuild an E-wing as it does an X-wing, so I don't think maintenance costs were an issue after that.

    As far as price, according to the Wook the base T-65J costs 140,000 credits new, versus 185,000 credits for the original E-wing in 10 ABY. However, for some reason the Wook lists the T-65XJ3 as costing a whopping 315,000 credits new, which certainly doesn't seem to make it an economy purchase especially in the middle of a war. I'll take that with a grain of salt, given the source. However, it's possible that the E-wing is in wider service than the XJ and the reason the books feature more X-wings is that with their superior hyperdrive capability they're favored by "marquee" units like the Jedi and Rogue Squadron that tend to hog screentime.
  3. Tzizvvt78 Force Ghost

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    Actually, the Howlrunner is retconned into the Rebellion era, so no contradiction there.
  4. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    I just don't see the E-wing every being in wider service than the X-wing, with the possible exception of the period around the BFC. The E-wing has two models, IIRC, while the NRDF fielded AC4, Enhanced, XJ, and XJ3 models. The GADF takes this extreme even further, with the XJ, XJ3, XJ5, and XJ7 all being X-wing spaceframes.

    Now, while I love the X-wing and I do believe it to be one wicked looking fighter, I do sincerely wish that they would retire in IU. Ditto for the E-wing, A-wing, B-wing, Y-wing, and evey other Rebel or early NR-era fightercraft. The problem is that OOU, authors cannot seem to imagine writing a book that doesn't feature the same old cast of ships, both in terms of starfighters and capital ships. I am not sure if this is because they don't realize that these ships are overused or if it comes from a fear that "casual" readers will not connect with new craft, but either way it needs to stop.

    It is partly why I love the Legacy era comics so much. Brand new fighters, brand new capital ships, and a new look that is both fresh AND harkens back to older designs.

    --Adm. Nick
  5. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

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    Truth be told, I wish the Rebel fleet had some more fighters than the classic 4. For a rag-tag group its fighter force is very uniform, even more so than the Empire which did not value fighters.

    I know we had this discussion before but still....some Geonosian and Mon Cal fighters to spice things up now and again would be nice.
  6. DarthCane Force Ghost

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    Actually, the alphabet soup of X-wing variants might point to it being more of a niche craft - cheaper to upgrade or replace those with new "tweaked" models than it would be to roll out such improvements to a large fleet. More likely though, we just haven't seen the E-wings featured often enough. We know that around 10 ABY there were two variants, the stock "Type A" with flawed laser cannons and the jury-rigged "Type B" with full-powered but glitch-prone guns ("glitch-prone" being defined as "may burn out or blow up"). From then we have no updates shown until the "Series IV" of the NJO, which is stated to have fixed the gun problems. My own headcanon was that the E-wing variants go by a series/type designation system, i.e with the DE ships being the Series IA and IB, respectively. If that were the case, then you have at least five different models of the E-wing in service between 10 ABY and 27 ABY, assuming there weren't multiple types fielded for the Series II, III, and IV.

    As far as Legacy, I completely agree - it was great seeing ships that had familiar elements and lineages but were in and of themselves definitively new.
  7. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    All this discussion about the E-wing made me want to take a second look at the sourcebooks that it appears in. Namely, the Dark Empire Sourcebook, the NEGTVV, and the 1st and 2nd SOTG. Let's start off with the original source, the DESB.

    Dark Empire Sourcebook
    For starters, it is defined as a "attack and close support" fighter, as opposed to the X-wings designation as a "space superiority" fighter. It was designed to take out Imperial convoys and is also designated as a "defensive interceptor". Interestingly enough, the DESB doesn't refer to it as a sucessor to the X-wing or a vessel intended to replace it. It is interesting to note that the vessel is very tough, described as being "akin to the B-wing and Y-wing designs: ddesigned to take punsihment and eager to dish it out." So for it's initial EU appearance, it really does sound like more of an assault fighter than space superiority fighter.

    New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
    In the NEGTVV, the vessel is classified as an "escort starfighter". It was designed by FreiTek to be and improvement over the A-wing, implying that it was designed at least in part to be an interceptor. It is interesting to note that the guide mentions the E-wing "doubles as a medium-range assault craft" due to it's sixteen proton torpedoes. Again, there is no mention of the vessel being viewed as a replacement for the X-wing or for it to be in a similar role.

    Starships of the Galaxy (1st Edition)
    Described as being "a replacement for the A-wing fighter, a fast and maneuverable starfighter able to protect convoys." No mention at all of the assault fighter role that the two prior sources mentioned, the only other interesting thing of note is that it is only available in "limited numbers" during the NJO-era and is normally only flown by ace pilots. This seems to put the E-wing into a F-22 like position of being a expensive and rare fighter reserved only for elite units. One other interesting note is that the T-65AC4 X-wing is just as expensive new (200,000 credits) as the E-wing and is described as being a new built design, though older X-wings can be upgraded to AC4 specs.

    Starships of the Galaxy (2nd Edition)
    The secong edition of this guide doesn't add much more about the E-wing, other than that they are "available only in small numbers". Early models did see action against Thrawn's forces in 10 ABY.

    I also did some digging in the NJOSB, to compare the E-wing to the XJand XJ3 models of the X-wing. The XJ is cheaper (130,000 credits), but as of Vector Prime is still relatively rare and assigned only to elite squadrons on NRDF battle cruisers and Star Destroyers. The XJ3 X-wing is more expensive than the the E-wing is (XJ3 = 315,000 credits), but apparently Incom "retooled their lines completely to crank out these new starfighters, reinforcing the depleted starfighter ranks of the New Republic Defense Force."

    So, it is clear that the E-wing is less numerous than the X-wing, given the large numbers of AC4, XJ, and XJ3 models in service. What isn't clear to me is exactly how do we define the E-wing? Is it an escort fighter, an interceptor, a convoy raider, or an assault fighter? Or is it truly all of those things and it is a multi-role spaceframe?

    --Adm. Nick
  8. DarthCane Force Ghost

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    As far as the E-wing being a "defensive interceptor," remember that in general NR convoys aren't going to be facing just TIEs; they're going to be facing their carrier ship. In this case, the "interceptor" role might get fuzzed a bit to include killing or driving off capital ships. Thirty-six E-wings with sixteen torps apiece would turn a converted bulk cruiser-carrier into a very lethal joke. As far as the late-model X-wings, I imagine they were a mix of some new-build ships and a larger number of overhauled vintage models. Perhaps another component to the issue is how pre-NJO the formal "five fleets" are just one component of the overall New Republic military, with planetary defense forces that may have their own procurement goals and budgets making up the remainder.

    As to your last question, I think that's the reason I like the darn thing; out of all the NRDF/GADF's fighter's it's the most versatile. It has the performance to match anything short of the Empire's ultra-rare superfighters like the Avenger and Defender in a dogfight, has heavy shields and armor, and carries as much of a torpedo punch as a standard B-wing. If I were a Starfighter Command officer stocking my hangars for a deployment, E-wings would make up the bulk of the force on the basis that they're useful in most situations. After that, I would perhaps add some B-wings and K-wings for additional strike options (ion cannons, plasma torpedoes, etc.) and only add a limited number of X-wings and A-wings if there was a specific mission profile those craft would be ideally suited for.
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  9. TheRedBlade Force Ghost

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    Are the Avenger and Defender even considered superfighters by the NJO? The Avenger was only somewhat better than the A-Wing in its prime. and the Defender was cutting age around the time of Endor, but the Republic had 20 years and a much larger defense budget to match it before the Vong invaded. I figure that the XJ was on par with at least the Avenger. Again, for the ship to be referred to primarily as an XJ, it has to be substantially more capable than its predecessor.
  10. DarthCane Force Ghost

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    It's a thought, but there's only so much tweaking you can do to an established design. It wouldn't be just a matter of more powerful engines and maneuvering thrusters; the basic spaceframe is going to have certain design limitations. It brings to mind the US Department of Defense's efforts to establish the F-111B Aardvark as the Navy's main air defense fighter in the 1960s; the design was essentially a medium bomber and the F-111B prototypes weighed about 80,000 pounds at full load. Congressional hearings led to the legendary outburst from Vice Admiral Thomas Connolly - "There isn't enough power in all Christendom to make that airplane what we want!"

    The Avenger and Defender, IIRC, got their performance from miniaturized technology and some masterful engineering. That may have been a hard act to duplicate for a reasonable cost, especially since the Avenger and Defender were extremely uncommon opponents. Also, NRDF pilots were pretty well used to taking on faster and more agile craft, and I'd imagine the upgraded X-wings and the E-wing were close enough in performance to make it a fair fight with a good pilot in the seat.
  11. KansasNavy Force Ghost

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    I think it could be said that the E-wings took over much of the roles held by A-wings, as well as some of the Y-wings. A-wing are seen rarely in the NJO, although still around. I could see Incom, proprietor of both designs, selling its own E-wing design in favor of the A-wing that it inherited from the Alliance design teams.

    For K-wings, BFC describes them as close-in, precision attackers; and describing B-wings as standoff, long-range designs. You could make a case that after the Yevethan Crisis, the NRDF kept the B-wings as the space/anti-ship fighters of choice, and made the K-wings planetary assault fighters. It seems that K-wings would make excellent close support craft and would be superior to B-wings in atmospheric conditions. Also, since we hardly see planetary battles post-RotJ (in the way we see them all the time in the Clone Wars), that could explain why we don't see them much.

    Since I bring up B-wings, is it safe to assume that most/all B-wings post-RotJ are the expanded models? The SotG editions seem to imply this, and Mindor and one of the AoC NJO books specifically point this out. Both the E and E2 seem superior. In fact, SotG 1ed says that the E2 is a pure fighter, and Ackbar's shuttle is a modification of it, not the E2 itself. Wonder if there are More E-series after the E2.

    I always felt that the XJ-series was a re-imagined T-65 X-wing. Like the Super Hornet is to the Hornet or C-130J is to Legacy Hercs. They have common design elements, but are different enough that they can't be upgraded to the same spec and are essentially new designs.

    Lastly, as for the standard alphabet soup fighter of the Rebellion, you actually see a pretty good mix beyond the big 4. CloakShapes, Z-95s, R-41s, T-wings, H-60s, and R-22s.
  12. KansasNavy Force Ghost

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    I think it could be said that the E-wings took over much of the roles held by A-wings, as well as some of the Y-wings. A-wing are seen rarely in the NJO, although still around. I could see Incom, proprietor of both designs, selling its own E-wing design in favor of the A-wing that it inherited from the Alliance design teams.

    For K-wings, BFC describes them as close-in, precision attackers; and describing B-wings as standoff, long-range designs. You could make a case that after the Yevethan Crisis, the NRDF kept the B-wings as the space/anti-ship fighters of choice, and made the K-wings planetary assault fighters. It seems that K-wings would make excellent close support craft and would be superior to B-wings in atmospheric conditions. Also, since we hardly see planetary battles post-RotJ (in the way we see them all the time in the Clone Wars), that could explain why we don't see them much.

    Since I bring up B-wings, is it safe to assume that most/all B-wings post-RotJ are the expanded models? The SotG editions seem to imply this, and Mindor and one of the AoC NJO books specifically point this out. Both the E and E2 seem superior. In fact, SotG 1ed says that the E2 is a continuation of the E, and Ackbar's E2 is a modification of it, not the actual E2 . Wonder if there are more Expanded variations after the E2.

    I always felt that the XJ-series was a re-imagined T-65 X-wing. Like the Super Hornet is to the Hornet or C-130J is to Legacy Hercs. They have common design elements, but are different enough that they can't be upgraded to the same spec and are essentially new designs.

    Lastly, as for the standard alphabet soup fighter of the Rebellion, you actually see a pretty good mix beyond the big 4. CloakShapes, Z-95s, R-41s, T-wings, H-60s, and R-22s.
    Last edited by KansasNavy, Feb 11, 2013
  13. KansasNavy Force Ghost

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    double post
    Last edited by KansasNavy, Feb 11, 2013
  14. DarthCane Force Ghost

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    I'm not sure about the XJ being that hugely different; IIRC it's implied Luke was flying the same X-wing between ROTJ and HoT (possibly longer, if he ever got that fighter back from Niruan), under which it presumably had at least three major upgrades (one being the abortive DA1 rebuild). The StealthX of course would have to be an entirely new ship. Doesn't seem like the XJ is so radically different that it would preclude older X-wings being rebuilt into XJs; for example Boeing has developed a conversion kit that would allow F-15E Strike Eagles to be rebuilt as semi-stealthy "Silent Eagles." Grumman had some *****in' plans (http://anft.net/f-14/f14-history-f14x.htm) to revamp the F-14 past the final D model (of which only 18 were factory-new examples and the remaining 37 were rebuilds of older F-14As), but those were turned down in favor of first the Navy Advanced Tactical Fighter (which would have been a swing-wing, two-seat F-22 - http://www.f-16.net/attachments/f22_natf_893.jpg) and then the Super Hornet.

    As far as the "good mix," remember those fighters were essentially whatever the Rebellion could scrape up. I'm sure the instant they had anything to replace them with those ships were out the door. The Y-wing soldiered on for as long as it did because it was reliable and available in large numbers; it was given a pass to stay in service with the B-wing's teething problems. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Y-wing units ended up being converted to E-wing or K-wing squadrons.
  15. AdmiralWesJanson Force Ghost

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    In Real-world terms, I can see the X-Wing and E-Wing sharing duties like the F-15 and F-16, the F-14 and F-18, or the F-22 and F-35. One is designed more for superiority, the other for more of a strike role. Regardless of cost, the X-Wing has a better design for superiority, with heavier laser based firepower, four engines, and strike foils that spread the engines and increase maneuverability. It carries some proton torpedoes to give it more punch as needed, but an F-22 can carry a pair of JDAMS. The E-wing likely has heavier engines, but only 2 of them, is more heavily built, lesser laser power but far more warhead capacity. X-Wings have the range, as they seem to have a better hyperdrive, but E-Wings are more heavily built. As for using them as escort fighters, that makes a lot of sense. K-Wings are full up bombers (grumbles about them another time), while E-Wings are strike fighters. They are not fleet defense interceptors or superiority fighters that would need to range out and take on bombers, but they stay close to their bombers and keep them safe. They can take more damage, and also have a larger strike package as well to contribute to the bombers attack in addition to just escorting them.
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  16. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Special thanks to @Gorefiend for this image from Star Wars #2:

    [IMG]

    The Redemption and a presumable MC80 cruiser (Home One-type with artistic license?) are clearly visible, but what stands out most to me re the several other warships that appear to have vaguely Gallofree or Mon Cal influences. Actually, they remind me alot of the Valor-class from TOR, which isn't all that suprising as those cruisers had elements of the GR75 medium transport as well. Several vessels of this type also appeared in issue #1. I would love to see what sort of vessels they are.

    Really, the more I look at them, the less I see Mon Cal influences and the more I see those Gallofree influences. Given that in this period (just months post-Yavin) that Mon Calamari hasn't joined officially yet and and the only Mon Cal warships in the Rebel Navy at this point are a handful of MC80's under Ackbar's leadership, I think these new ships need to be designated to be from some other builder. Any thoughts? Do we know if Gallofree had any warship designs? Or could these be other classes of Gallofree transports modified for Rebel service as escorts, transports, support ships, etc?

    --Adm. Nick
  17. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Gallofree has always been mentioned as just a builder of transports, though the new design might be something along the lines of those modified Republic Assault Ships that had been turned into Cargo Ships (the ones from the Rebellion comics).
  18. boomx2sjk Jedi Grand Master

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    I've always wondered why so many Gollofree transports were at the Battle of Endor...
  19. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Per the novel Kamikaze boats.
  20. AdmiralWesJanson Force Ghost

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    I personally see a bit of Gallofree influence, with the smooth top hull and functional lower hull, but like Gorefiend said, they are mainly a transport company. My initial guess on seeing them was Mon Cal, related to the MC-30 series, or maybe SoroSuub, as they kind of remind me of the Dauntless-class. That was based off of a cruise ship IIRC, so these could be SoroSuub Bulk Cruisers. Other potentials would be TransGalMeg, or Hoersch-Kessel.
  21. boomx2sjk Jedi Grand Master

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    Remote controlled? Droid controlled? Surely not dedicated Rebels who wore a Hachimaki on their heads with the Rebel crest on it and drank ceremonial shots of Weequay pirate brew before heading to Endor...
  22. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    The ROTJ novelization mentioned that the crews abandoned ship to "unknown fates", so the Rebels were not committing ritual suicide. But, abandoning ship in the midst of a massive, violent fleet battle was bound to be risky no matter what.

    @AdmiralWesJanson

    Hmm, good point about SoroSuub. There are some infulences there that harken back to the Dauntless cruiser. Considering how few we see, it would be cool to learn that those vessels were some sort of SoroSuub frigate or escort that were donated to the Rebellion by Sullustans with Rebel sympathies.

    --Adm. Nick
    Last edited by AdmiralNick22, Feb 14, 2013
  23. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    As Jello sometimes likes to point out some of those Rebels are fanatics.
  24. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    There are some interesting CEC looking designs in that shot as well. Kinda reminds me of those random CEC New Republic ships we see in DE and DEII.

    --Adm. Nick
  25. AdmiralWesJanson Force Ghost

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    I thought that too. Perhaps other ships in the DP series?
  26. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Yeah, those would be perfect vessels to add to the DP or CR series of ships. We need to see more of these sorts of CEC series.

    --Adm. Nick