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Venator-Class Star Destroyer
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:29 pm    Post subject: Venator-Class Star Destroyer Reply with quote

So, as part of this , I've gone back and done some research on the Venator-Class Star Destroyer, both as a basis for statting out the Veragitor and because I've noticed a couple discrepancies. The most obvious (IMO) is that all official material completely ignores the fact (as seen on film) that the Venator is equipped with at least one lateral gun deck, equipped with heavy cannon firing through mag-shielded Hull ports. In addition, during an exchange of broadsides with the Invisible Hand, fire can be seen coming from positions in the ship's lateral trench which does not correspond with any of the ship's officially acknowledged armament.

While this is the most glaring omission I can find, there are enough others that I intend to write up my own version of the stats, along with a gun-heavy Venator II-Class based on the Veragitor from the link above, using the Victory-Series as a guideline.

However, before I get started, I'd like to get some opinions on the sheer, massive amount of starfighters this ship can carry. 420 starfighters works out to just under 6 full combat wings, which overwhelms every other starfighter carrier in the SWU save for some of the Separatist ships. Granted, the fact that they would need that many fighters to counter the swarms of Separatist droid fighters is noteworthy, but I'm on the fence as to whether the stock number of fighters should be kept or whether it should be downgraded.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be possible, based on how long the Venator is, the hanger stretches almost the entire length of the ship. When you look at the top side picture, the red stripe down the middle is the hanger opening.



Which means approximately 3/4 of the length of the ship is one giant hanger bay.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which, in turn, says interesting things about the ship's structural integrity. Vast open holds for storing starships do not lend themselves to absorbing and containing combat damage. Maybe the Hull needs to be reduced by a D or two to reflect that, as well.

I'm mainly looking at this ship with an eye toward using it in the Classic Era, so the number of fighter squadrons presents another problem, in that it doesn't match with the standard Imperial starfighter wing. Would the Empire just leave the empty deck space, or maybe fill it in with Skipray blastboats and such?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I swear in episode III we see one Venator shoot a giant disruptor or somesuch from its bow and tear apart a CIS ship, but I can't recall seeing that capability described in fluff terms.

Post-Clone Wars, I assume there would be less need for that many fighters, and much of that space would be reclaimed for troops/vehicles and supplies/fuel for long patrols in the Outer Rim. I always wonder what the 'shelf life' of SWU ships is, though. 20+ years later, I kinda figure most Venators would have been retired.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm disinclined to accept anything seen in the Clone Wars as Canon.

And don't assume that ships automatically have a short lifespan; we have naval ships now that have been in service 30-40 years. In addition, WEG specifically identified some of their own ships as being that old or older.

EDIT: Okay, I misunderstood your reference. When you said the beam was fired from the bow, I assumed it was something done for the Clone Wars TV series. It sounds like what you are actually referring to is the beam fired from the central landing bay during the Battle of Coruscant. This is explained in canon by saying that Anakin suggested mounting the main cannon from an SPHA-T in the bay to cover the ship's underside.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I agree with Mcneill, there are ships still in use that are sitting happily at hundreds of years old, it's relatively inexpensive to bring an older ship up to modern specs, compared to buying a brand new model.

I could see dropping the hull some, but, from what I've seen on the inside, they have numerous pillars, wall segments, and such to help maintain structural integrity, although, my own knowledge of ship construction is limited, to say the least. Maybe start with reducing by -1D, and see how that compares to CIS counterparts?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do agree there's nothing preventing ships from being in service for many generations or even centuries. It's just that when I think of the nearly unlimited resources of the Empire, I figure they have the capability to replace all their frontline ships in a frequent, rapid cycle. So Venators were replaced by Victories 10 years or so after the Clone Wars; Imperials replaced Victories by the time of Episode IV.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
I could see dropping the hull some, but, from what I've seen on the inside, they have numerous pillars, wall segments, and such to help maintain structural integrity, although, my own knowledge of ship construction is limited, to say the least. Maybe start with reducing by -1D, and see how that compares to CIS counterparts?

A key component of keeping damage contained is compartmentalization, with reinforced bulkheads and blast doors keeping damage confined to one area. Pillars and wall segments help maintain that compartmentalization, but aren't truly enough all by themselves. Read the capsule on the Carrack Cruiser for details; compartmentalization is why it has such a high Hull for its size, but also why it has to carry it's starfighter complement on external racks.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BluMax wrote:
I do agree there's nothing preventing ships from being in service for many generations or even centuries. It's just that when I think of the nearly unlimited resources of the Empire, I figure they have the capability to replace all their frontline ships in a frequent, rapid cycle. So Venators were replaced by Victories 10 years or so after the Clone Wars; Imperials replaced Victories by the time of Episode IV.

I am somewhat in agreement with your conclusions, but not your reasoning. While the Empire has a vast amount of resources, it is still not unlimited; unlimited resources would allow the Empire to station Star destroyers in every system, which is not the case. Resources on an unprecedented scale, yes, but far from unlimited. Ships are not simply replaced because they are old; they are replaced when they can no longer efficiently complete the roles and missions assigned to them, which is why ships like the Dreadnought and Carrack remain in service, despite their age. While the Victory-Series may be a newer class of capital ships, they are not designed to replace the Venator, as they have a fraction of the Venator's small craft capacity (2 squadrons vs. 35).

A more likely reason for retiring the Venator would be a change of fleet doctrine, such as the Empire's shift of emphasis from starfighters to capital ships. In that sense, a Venator would be under gunner compared to a Victory Class, in addition to being older. Ultimately, as of around the time of the Battle of Yavin, I can see Venator still filling a few roles:
    1). Star Destroyer / main combatant for low priority sectors.
    2). Converted assault transport, with the interior bays reconfigured for troop transport.
    3). Escort carrier for star destroyer task forces, hauling extra starfighter wings to bolster fleet defense if stiff opposition is expected

Of course, at their age, they are a lot more likely to end up in Alliance service, where their carrier capacity can really be put to good use.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I am still working on this, but it has been a pretty busy week for me.

One thing that bugs me about the Venator is the main armament, with 8 dual heavy turbolasers and 2 dual medium turbolasers. The main reason for this is WEG's coordination rules; I realize you can combine the fire of weapons of different types in the same manner as you can combine the actions of characters of different skill levels, but the OCD in me would prefer to have the ship's main batteries be all weapons of the same type, for the sake of stat simplicity if nothing else.

Right now what I'm thinking is to either upgrade the ship's Dual Medium Turbolasers to Heavy Turbolasers (giving the ship a total of 10), or convert the Medium Turbolasers into Ion Cannon.

Thoughts?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been meaning to get around to this for some time, but I needed to nail down how I wanted to do it, and I've had a lot of other stuff to wade through to get to this point.

What I have here is a concept for how a Venator would still be in use around the time of the Battle of Yavin, with neither side making full use of the ship's small craft capacity (the Alliance unable and the Empire disinterested).


Venator-Class Star Cruiser

The Venator was the Republic Navy's primary heavy combatant during the Clone Wars, but is strictly second- or third-rank status as of the Battle of Yavin. While it remains a capable warship, on par with the Victory-Series ships, it has been side-lined by a shift in Imperial doctrine, toward capital ship combat, and away from the massed starfighter combat that was the Venator's specialty. Further, despite massing more than a Victory-Class Star Cruiser, it is actually more fragile, mostly due to massive central hangar bay.

Some Venators have found their way into Alliance service, where their small craft capacity is much appreciated. However, where the Empire has no interest in filling the bays of its remaining Venators with TIE fighters, the Alliance lacks the starfighters required to fully equip a Venator for combat (Alliance starfighters are too badly needed dispersed across the galaxy, as opposed to concentrated aboard a single ship). As a result, Alliance Venators are almost exclusively used as armed tenders, serving as a mobile base not just for starfighters, but also serving freighters, gunboats, shuttles, and even fast attack corvettes.

The Empire, on the other hand, has found a new use for many of its Venators, converting large portions of the hangar bay into troop barracks and vehicle garages. The result is an armed, fast troop transport capable of carrying a Fully Reinforced Imperial Army Legion. As such, the Imperial Venator has found new life as a mid-range troop transport in the Imperial Navy's Assault Fleets.

Craft: Kuat Drive Yards' Venator-Class
Type: Star Cruiser
Scale: Destroyer (+12D)
Length: 1,137 meters
Skill: Capital Ship Piloting: Venator
Crew: 7,400 (2,500 @ +10) & 354 Gunners
Crew Skill:
Astrogation 3D+2
Gunnery 4D+2
Piloting 5D
Shields 4D
Sensors 3D+2
Passengers: 2,000 (generally, 1 Fully Reinforced Stormtrooper Battalion)
Small Craft Complement:
--576 Starfighters (48 Squadrons / 8 Wings)
--Generally, 1-2 Wings worth of Deckspace is devoted to carrying assault vehicles and shuttles
Cargo Capacity: 20,000 metric tons
Consumables: 2 years
Hyperdrive Multiplier: x1
Hyperdrive Backup: x15
Nav Computer: Yes
Maneuverability: 2D
Space: 6
Atmosphere: 330; 950 kph
Hull: 3D+2
Shields: 3D
Sensors:
Passive 40/1D
Scan 70/2D
Search 150/3D
Focus 4/3D+2
Weapons:
10 Heavy Turbolaser Batteries (Fire Separately)
Fire Arc: 2 Front, 4 Left, 4 Right
Crew: 5
Skill: Capital Ship Gunnery
Fire Control: 1D
Range:
--Space: 3-15/35/75
--Orbital: 6km-30km/70km/150km
--Atmosphere: 300m-1.5km/3.5km/7.5km
Rate of Fire: 1/2
Damage: 7D
40 Turbolaser Batteries (Fire Separately)
Fire Arc: 10 Front, 10 Left, 10 Right, 10 Rear
Scale: Frigate (+10D)
Crew: 2
Skill: Capital Ship Gunnery
Fire Control: 3D
Range:
--Space: 2-10/25/50
--Orbital: 4km-20km/50km/100km
--Atmosphere: 200m-1km/2.5km/5km
Rate of Fire: 1
Damage: 6D
4 Heavy Proton Torpedo Launchers
Fire Arc: Front
Crew: 4
Skill: Capital Ship Gunnery
Fire Control: 2D
Range:
--Space: 1-6/15/30
--Orbital: 2km-12km/30km/60km
--Atmosphere: 100m-600m/1.5km/3km
Rate of Fire: 1/4
Damage: 9D
40 Dual Laser Cannon (Fire Separately)
Fire Arc: 10 Front, 10 Left, 10 Right, 10 Rear
Scale: Starship (+6D)
Crew: 1
Skill: Starship Gunnery
Fire Control: 3D
Range:
--Space: 1-3/12/25
--Orbital: 2km-6km/24km/50km
--Atmosphere: 100m-300m/1.2km/2.5km
Damage: 5D
10 Tractor Beam Projectors
Fire Arc: 4 Front, 3 Left, 3 Right
Scale: Special*
Crew: 4
Skill: Capital Ship Gunnery
Fire Control: 4D
Range:
--Space: 1-5/15/30
--Orbital: 2km-10km/30km/60km
--Atmosphere: 100m-500m/1.5km/3km
Rate of Fire: 1 (Full Round)
Damage: 5D
*May switch between Destroyer (+12D), Frigate (+10D) and Starship (+6D). Switch takes one round, during which the projector can not be used.
Variants: (Use Above Stats, except as noted)
    ASSAULT
    Description: This version of the Venator has had a large portion of its hangar bay converted to troop barracks, allowing it to transport a Fully Reinforced Imperial Army Legion. Much of the remaining hangar deck space is devoted to assault shuttles and landing barges needed to deploy the Legion into combat.
    Passengers: 40,000 (generally, any Fully Reinforced Imperial Army Legion)
    Small Craft Complement:
    --24 Starfighters (2 Squadrons)
    --Various Shuttles, Landing Barges and Ground Assault Vehicles

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"No set of rules can cover every situation. It's expected that you will make up new rules to suit the needs of your game." - The Star Wars Roleplaying Game, 2R&E, pg. 69, WEG, 1996.
Amazing. Everything you just said was wrong.


Last edited by CRMcNeill on Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I found an inconsistency in your fluff/capsule and in the corresponding Passenger stat. First, a bit of background:

One important detail that's easily missed from the Imperial Sourcebook is this: Legions are stormtrooper-only units, so they're not part of the Imperial Army's Order of Battle (aka "OrBat" or "OB"). The stormtroopers (according to the Imperial Sourcebook, anyway) are an entirely different branch of the Empire's war machine from the Imperial Army. The Imperial Army's corresponding unit to the stormtrooper legion is known as the battlegroup (which, like the legion, consists of four regiments). So the first thing to correct is that if this is a transport for Imperial Army units, rather than stormtroopers, then the sentence saying: "The result is an armed, fast troop transport capable of carrying a Fully Reinforced Imperial Army Legion." should instead read as: "The result is an armed, fast troop transport capable of carrying a Fully Reinforced Imperial Army Battlegroup."

Now for the inconsistencies: the Passenger stat says "Passengers: 2,000 (generally, 1 Fully Reinforced Stormtrooper Battalion)" It says "Battalion" here, but the fluff refers to a legion (when it should say "battlegroup" if it's an Army unit, rather than a stormtrooper unit).

So my questions are these:
1) Does this ship carry a battalion (which is 4 companies, roughly 500 men in a non-reinforced unit) or does it carry a battlegroup (which is 4 regiments, which is 16 battalions?

2) Also, if the ship can indeed transport a battlegroup-sized unit, does it transport Imperial Army battlegroups or does it transport stormtrooper legions? If it can transport both types of units, thats fine, even plausible, but the terms need to be made consistent.

(Hell, considering that, according to the ImpSB, stormtrooper units are purely combat units with no support personnel, it might [theoretically] even be somewhat easier for the Venator to transport stormtrooper units that don't need to worry about logistical equipment.)

Just my $0.02.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
I think I found an inconsistency in your fluff/capsule and in the corresponding Passenger stat. First, a bit of background:

One important detail that's easily missed from the Imperial Sourcebook is this: Legions are stormtrooper-only units, so they're not part of the Imperial Army's Order of Battle (aka "OrBat" or "OB"). The stormtroopers (according to the Imperial Sourcebook, anyway) are an entirely different branch of the Empire's war machine from the Imperial Army. The Imperial Army's corresponding unit to the stormtrooper legion is known as the battlegroup (which, like the legion, consists of four regiments). So the first thing to correct is that if this is a transport for Imperial Army units, rather than stormtroopers, then the sentence saying: "The result is an armed, fast troop transport capable of carrying a Fully Reinforced Imperial Army Legion." should instead read as: "The result is an armed, fast troop transport capable of carrying a Fully Reinforced Imperial Army Battlegroup."

I reject the WEG argument for using Battlegroup in place of Division. Battlegroup is only ever used in WEG material, yet Legion is used to refer to a Division-sized unit in the Prequels and Clone Wars TV series. The whole concept works better if you remove "Battlegroup" in the description of the Battlegroup origin and replace it with Legion. This frees up the use of the word Battlegroup to describe Star Destroyer Taskforces, and also frees up the word Legion to be applied to any Division-sized unit of ground forces, whether it is Stormtroopers or Regular Army. After all, "Legion" at least has the benefit of being canon.

Quote:
Now for the inconsistencies: the Passenger stat says "Passengers: 2,000 (generally, 1 Fully Reinforced Stormtrooper Battalion)" It says "Battalion" here, but the fluff refers to a legion (when it should say "battlegroup" if it's an Army unit, rather than a stormtrooper unit).

I found out early on that the listed Troop numbers for ship stats rarely come even close to corresponding Army units. However, the Army OB is set up so that units can be expanded to as much as double their nominal strength. A battalion can be composed of anywhere from just over 800 to almost 1,100 organized in four companies and a Battalion HQ, but can also tack on up to 4 additional companies, essentially doubling in strength while still being a nominal battalion.

So, if a ship lists 2,000 troops, that's way more than a standard battalion, but also way less than a standard regiment (3,500-4,000 personnel). The only way to fill in the gaps is to assume that the battalion is a (Reinforced) Battalion, either fully (4 additional companies) or partially (1-3 additional companies).

Consider also that the Imperial Star Destroyer purportedly carries a Stormtrooper Legion of 9,700. The problem is that, by the numbers in the ImpSB, a Legion would consist of 16 Battalions (organized into 4 Regiments) of 820 troops each, which would total out to 13,120.

The numbers don't match.

However, if you assume that that same ISD carries a Fully Reinforced Stormtrooper Regiment (~8,000 personnel), you end up with a more manageable number, with room left over for additional units like Storm Commandos or Spacetroopers.

Quote:
So my questions are these:
1) Does this ship carry a battalion (which is 4 companies, roughly 500 men in a non-reinforced unit) or does it carry a battlegroup (which is 4 regiments, which is 16 battalions?

The Star Cruiser variant (the version seen in ROTS and the Clone Wars) carries a Fully Reinforced Stormtrooper Battalion, with a total of 8 Companies. Bear in mind that the four additional companies also include the crews of all the Ground Assault Vehicles, like the Walkers, Juggernauts, etc.

Quote:
2) Also, if the ship can indeed transport a battlegroup-sized unit, does it transport Imperial Army battlegroups or does it transport stormtrooper legions? If it can transport both types of units, that's fine, even plausible, but the terms need to be made consistent.

As I said above, I consider Legions to be the equivalent of Divisions in both the Imperial Army and the Stormtrooper Corps. The Assault-modified Venator is primarily an Army Transport, but is more than capable of transporting Stormtroopers, since organizationally Stormtroopers are one of the lightest troop units (in terms of both equipment and personnel).

I view Stormtroopers as the Imperial equivalent of the Marine Corps or the Airborne: relatively light, strategically mobile troops that can be put on the ground and in combat as quickly as possible. If they need a little stiffening because of tough opposition, just tack on a few Walker units. You can easily fit an entire infantry battalion onto one company of AT-ATs, then tack on a couple companies of AT-STs or AT-AVs for escort, then top it off with a mixed company each of AT-APs (artillery walkers) and AT-AAs for artillery support and air defense.

That light, rapid-response capability is why the larger Stormtrooper units are based aboard Star Destroyers; the Destroyers can get them in close to their targets fast and with the firepower to back up light forces, either on short-term surface missions or to "kick in the door" and establish a beachhead for follow-on heavier units from the Imperial Army.

Quote:
(Hell, considering that, according to the ImpSB, stormtrooper units are purely combat units with no support personnel, it might [theoretically] even be somewhat easier for the Venator to transport stormtrooper units that don't need to worry about logistical equipment.)

This was always one of the sillier parts of the ImpSB. It is a well-known maxim that an Army marches on its stomach, yet some idiot somewhere thought it made sense to say that an entire Battalion of troops has no support personnel at all.

It's important to note that, for Army units, the OB makes a distinction between combat troops and support personnel. Personally, I find it far more likely that the Stormtrooper Battalions have the standard complement of Support Personnel, but that all of those support personnel are also fully trained stormtroopers (medics, techs, logistics specialists, etc.) much in the same sense that "every Marine is a rifleman."
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:

Small Craft Complement:
--576 Starfighters (48 Squadrons / 8 Wings)
--Generally, 1-2 Wings worth of Deckspace is devoted to carrying assault vehicles and shuttles

Why is the potential starfighter capacity so high? 420 was pretty ridiculous as it was. That is in between 5 and 6 wings. Why 8 wings? I'd go 5 wings (360), with 1-2 wings worth of those devoted to carrying assault vehicles and shuttles. Even if rounding up to 6 wings, that would be 432 starfighters. Why a 576 starfighter base capacity? I read the thread, but what am I missing?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Why is the potential starfighter capacity so high? 420 was pretty ridiculous as it was. That is in between 5 and 6 wings. Why 8 wings? I'd go 5 wings (360), with 1-2 wings worth of those devoted to carrying assault vehicles and shuttles. Even if rounding up to 6 wings, that would be 432 starfighters. Why a 576 starfighter base capacity? I read the thread, but what am I missing?

Eight wings would be the capacity if you stripped out all the ground vehicles and had the Venator function strictly as a carrier. My presumption is that the AT-TEs and SPHA-T's carried by the Venator during the Clone Wars would've been parked on or near the hangar deck, and taken up quite a bit of room that otherwise could've gone to starfighters.

But ultimately, there wasn't really a way around at least having deckspace for a ridiculous number of starfighters. Instead, I went with the idea that neither side (Alliance or Empire) actually put that deckspace to that kind of use. The Empire had shifted doctrine away from massed starfighter attacks, and thus didn't need 420 starfighters, converting their Venators to troop transports at the expense of starfighter capacity. The Alliance, on the other hand, would've loved to make full use of that many starfighters, but lacked the sheer numbers to be able to do so. Instead, their starfighters are scattered around the galaxy in squadron-sized units, not concentrated in one place aboard a relatively fragile carrier. So the deckspace is instead used to land and service assault shuttles, fast attack and patrol ships, gunboats, etc.
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