Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

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Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Siege » Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:04 pm

Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Does the title not say it all?

Iron Duke-class Airship

The Iron Duke-class fifth-generation Cavorite-empowered airship is the most advanced airship class serving with Her Majesties Aerial Corps in the early 21st century. They are set to eventually replace the ageing Queen Victoria-class on a one-on-one basis and can already be found the world over: from the rain-swept skies of Scotland and the sun-battered heavens of the Gold Coast to the star-spangled firmament over Travancore in India, the Iron Duke is there to keep the skies safe in the name of the Sovereign.

Design
The Iron Duke-class vessels are just over 190 meters in length and have a full load weight of 13,500 tons. The design was carried out by Royal Vesper & Croft Air Yards in Portsmouth. The hull design gives very comfortable air-keeping characteristics, even in stormy air states. She can carry enough fuel, stores and water supplies for an endurance of 3 months.

The Iron Duke is powered with a three-ringed fusion engine, but the arrangement of its machinery is somewhat unusual, though not entirely without precedent in Cavorite airships. When the horizontal reciprocating fusion rings were being installed it was necessary as a first step to select a position for the magnetic confinement devices with enough athwartship level to give a proper length for the cooling rings and the broadside batteries.

As the Iron Duke had been conceived with a thick undership armor belt in mind the inevitable result was that her floors had to rise considerably above the midship main reactor point, which together with the positioning of the forward Heat Ray batteries and corresponding superconductor trench meant the only practical position for the CIC was in a conning station flying above the main bulk of the vessel. Thus the Iron Duke became the first airship since the third-generation Prince Consort-class of the mid-1950s to feature a flying bridge, though unlike the airships of old the citadel on the Iron Duke is quite heavily armored.

The airship is fitted with modern LIDAR and RADAR as well as a Mk VI Palantír scrying system for magical threat detection and long-range surveillance.

Air Wing
Iron Duke has an aft helicopter flight deck and hangar space for up to four Merlin helicopters or Harrier VTOL attack craft. Usually the ship also embarks a smaller ‘captains yacht’ for use by the commanding officer. The ship can further launch and retrieve a number of UAV systems.

Weapons
Airships of the Iron Duke-class are armed with twelve 9-inch rail guns in four broadside triple-gun turrets, complimented by two regular 114mm gun systems for close-in bombardment, 48 VLS canisters, two RAM launchers for missile defense, and a number of small-caliber rapid firers. The ship further mounts two Heat Rays in dedicated prow turrets.

Ships
There are current four ships of the class in service, with three more under construction in the Portsmouth wharves. The titular ship HMS Iron Duke serves with Her Majesties Aerial Corps of India. HMS Audacious serves with the Gold Coast Garrison, HMS Minotaur is stationed at Gibraltar and HMS Lord Clyde is part of the ‘Flying Squadron’ based out of London, but operational all across the world.
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:11 pm

I find the professional presentation of the flying battleship as an actual factual "realistic" combat vessel very cool. I mean, it's described in a really prompt and proper matter-of-factly matter, in a way totally unlike how I'd describe something like, say, a Megafortress. Since I'd be totally manic and dripping radioactive splooge in describing my technological terrors.

I like how despite being only able to carry a couple of choppers, or Harriers, it still has awesome scrying magic-detectors and Long Guns and VLS cells and Heat Rays!
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Ford Prefect » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:07 pm

Yeah, it's impressively plausible. I mean, I wasn't expecting Princes of the Universe style spinships, but this managed to feel a whole lot more appropriate, technologically and setting wise, then I'd intitially assumed. I liked the little Sweeney reference too. :)
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Magister Militum » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:01 am

God, I love the British Empire. :D
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Siege » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:30 pm

HMS Thunderchild

“All I need is a tall ship, and a star to sail her by...”

HMS Thunderchild is a fully capable starship built in the 1950's for Operation Pebble Island, the British Empire's counterstrike at Mars of 1961, and retained thereafter as the Empire's premier space-borne warship. She was named after the original HMS Thunderchild, a torpedo ram which famously managed to destroy two tripods on the River Thames before being sunk by the Martians during the War of the Worlds in 1900.

The fine starship Thunderchild is widely considered a triumph of British engineering, although it was designed by British shipwrights with the aid of the Martian Ronal Erythraeum, the XXIV Baron Elysium, better known on Earth as Lord Fahrenheit. The vessel is best described as a hybrid of Martian and British technology, incorporating many features common to Martian strategic monoliths and cylinder-ships, as well as design solutions that betray a commonality with British cavorite airships – which is not surprising considering that many of the human engineers involved in the design and construction of the Thunderchild had previously worked on the Prince Consort class of mid-1950's airships, the first to incorporate entirely domestically-built heat ray batteries and other reverse-engineered technologies.

A sleek silver cylindrical vessel fully one mile long, HMS Thunderchild is one of the biggest artificial objects in Earth's heavens, as well as one of its most powerful. Her main weapons are the 'long guns', rows and rows of ray guns and magnetic cannons capable of firing 9 pound projectiles at extremely high velocities at targets in orbit as well as planetside targets, which has earned the cannons the nickname 'long nines'. She further mounts eight heat rays in two clusters of four around her prow and aft, and has a single missile bay designed to ferry a number of 'Black Knight' atomic rockets, again usable against targets in space and on a planetary surface. It was a cluster of these rockets which the Pebble Island strike force fired at Mars as a 'parting gift' shortly after retreating from the Cydonia Labyrinth back to orbit, in the process reducing the millenia-old Face of Mars to molten slag.

As per her original design purpose Thunderchild is capable of carrying an expeditionary force of ten thousand Royal Army soldiers. During Pebble Island these were men-at-arms from the Black Watch, Royal Highland Regiment, subordinated for the duration of operations to the Royal Army Command for the Knockout of Exceptional Threats (R.A.C.K.E.T.) She further carries a standard compliment of 50 Mars-pattern Challenger III battle tanks. Thunderchild can additionally carry a number of landing barges as parasite ships docked on her outer hull, which fully doubles the number of soldiers and vehicles that can be carried.

Thunderchild is fitted with Ray Shields, and is driven by six Leighton-Saunders Velocipator Mark III engines, powered by a so-called Colour Reactor, a Martian artefact retrieved from the ruins of the Horsell Common facility in the aftermath of the War of the Worlds. Her navigation equipment runs the gamut from the technological to the magical, and later modifications made by the Quartermass Experiment in 1999 include a Postluminal Impeller which enables the ship to breach the light barrier, or 'make for supralux' in British starship terminology.

As of 2009 HMS Thunderchild and her crew of most gallant and imperious spacemen are commanded by Space Captain Dame Julia Mortimer Anderson, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Sir James Anderson, who once captained the SS Great Eastern. The ship is nominally the property of the Ministry of Space, whose mission is to establish a firm foothold in space for Queen and Empire (and to keep an eye on whatever those perfidious French are up to up there), but most of the time she is used by RACKET at the behest of Her Majesty.
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:33 pm

Mars-pattern Challenger IIIs! 8-)

While I think the damn thing is HUEG - one mile! - it IS supposed to carry ten thousand Royal Army soldiers and fifty Mars-pattern Challenger IIIs! 8-) And the long guns! Long nines and Black Knights!

Making the Face of Mars EXPLODE! An ultimate fuck-you to those betentacled pricks!

Colour Reactors and Velociraptor engines :mrgreen:

And perfidious Frenchmen!

I think the most interesting thing here is the fact that the fact that the Thunderchild was built in the 1950s, for an attack on Mars in 1961. If I remember correctly, previous stuff (or was it just speculation), made it out to have happened in the 70s. But that's alright. Still, Britain's premier starship is like half a century old - more than, even - and still kicking ass! That's definitely something. It's venerable!

EDIT:

Hang on, it's cylindrical? What popular culture thing would it most closely resemble then? Cylindrical? Hrm... *tries to visualize* ...no. I was expecting some sort of space-faring paddle-steamer or something more... ship-like for the Most Imperious Star Admirals of Her Majesty's Royal Navy!
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Booted Vulture » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:38 pm

What does the Thunderchild have in the way of contemporaries? And if it doesn't how is the ability to orbitally bombard not totally fubaring the balance of power?
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:59 pm

The Americans have the Valley Forge which is a kilometer long (probably) MURRICAN version of the Sulaco from Aliens, or the Pillar of Autumn from HALOID. Though it lacks shields, like the Autumn it makes up for it with HEAVY METAL armor, and like the Sulaco it's design is almost entirely based AROUND its weapons systems! It can insert a small number of Navy SEALS (Sea Air Land and Space forces), a platoon of Marines, or a squad of Deep Striking Omega Troops. It can also launch a small number of FIGHTERS! But mostly it sticks to its phased plasma phalanxes, strategic orbital linear guns, MACs and particle cannons.

The Russians have the Arkangel which is an enormous wedge-shaped strategic weapons platform - literally designated as a cosmic battleship! It sports inconceivable amounts of nuclear rockets, Russian Tesla-tech in the form of Mercury Ray projectors, and is probably also capable of wonky stuff by a communism-infused psychic choir. It should totally perform 'Tunguska-pattern attacks'. MIR will also be weaponized.

Siege will also definitely give the French their own clockwork cruiser!

The UN Spacy will have the Invincible II - though I am certain they also have smaller (FTL-incapable) starships, torch-vessels, frigates, cutters, destroyers, patrol vessels and the like.

The SDI article also talks about the US having moonbases where 'Silver Star' fighters are stationed. Presumably the Soviets have their answer to that, with Soyuz-capsules weaponized and equipped with radiators to make them look like TIE fighters. Back in old OZ, I also had an article about Soviet spy capsules that had telepaths with telescopes read the minds of Earthlings.

Saint also has submarines that can blow ballast to surface to outer space.
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Ford Prefect » Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:44 am

It's a good article, Siege, and it's nice to see that the Thunderchild is actually ap retty sensible design for a spaceship (cylindrical). To be honest I'm kind of leery of the FTL drive, because an FTL drive is ridiculously powerful when you think about it, but that's not really important.
Shroom Man 777 wrote:Siege will also definitely give the French their own clockwork cruiser!
That has been mentioned in the past. I think it may even have a name, though I do not clearly recall.
The UN Spacy will have the Invincible II
The unlucky Invincible II is just one of the class of capital scale torchships the UN Spacy fields. Challenge of the Dawn mentions three by name during Phaeton's approach. Of course, as the UN Spacy is a lot less 'pulp sci-fi' than Britain or Russia, their capital-scale torchships are a whole lot more fragile.
Saint also has submarines that can blow ballast to surface to outer space.
That's not quite how it works, and the submarines actually being secret space battleships is, well, a secret.
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Siege » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:42 pm

Ford Prefect wrote:To be honest I'm kind of leery of the FTL drive, because an FTL drive is ridiculously powerful when you think about it, but that's not really important.
"Ridiculously powerful" is only par for the course as far as Comix is concerned. And the Empire is still a Great Power, capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone.
Shroom Man 777 wrote:Siege will also definitely give the French their own clockwork cruiser!
Ford Prefect wrote: That has been mentioned in the past. I think it may even have a name, though I do not clearly recall.
It's down to either the Misericorde or the Marianne. 'Vic favors the former, I myself am leaning toward the latter. Either way that ship is an extension of the Mercatorian, and empowered by universe-altering mathematics.
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Magister Militum » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:52 am

Marianne sounds much better than Misericorde in my opinion, although the French have many more interesting and awe-inspiring names for their ships.

I also agree with Ford that a form of superluminal travel is kinda iffy for me, though in the grand scheme of things it isn't that important. Besides that, though, I have to say that the HMS Thunderchild is just as awsome as I imagined it to be.
And the Empire is still a Great Power, capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone.
Well, technically, Britain still is a Great Power in the real-world ;)
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Ford Prefect » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:48 pm

SiegeTank wrote:"Ridiculously powerful" is only par for the course as far as Comix is concerned. And the Empire is still a Great Power, capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone.
It's powerful in the sense that giving Russia a working time machine is powerful: that is to say that any remotely intelligent application of the technology would make you absurdly dominant in an international sense. Having an FTL drive means that Britain can go literally anywhere int he solar system with the kind of impunity which only Professor Quartermass has, meaning that they could theoretically control every planetary body in the solar system, including those which represent ludicrously important resource nodes, with literally no opposition possible because it would take everyone else years to get there.

I mean, you could convert the Thunderchild into a ludicrously huge Helium tanker and rule the world. There's 'great power', which I am cool with and there's 'actually should be even more ahead of the curve than America is in the real world'.
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Siege » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:53 pm

You'll have to forgive me but that sounds rather contrived coming from someone known for writing how his ruthless businessman character reverse-engineers post-singularity technologies, fields mercenary teams including unstoppably powerful magical girls, and outfits fleets of secret spacegoing warships. And who could forget the homing lasers...

Who cares if the Empire is ahead of the curve space-tech wise anyway? They're fighting a Cold War with Mars, an entire planet so far ahead of the curve that as far as they're concerned we haven't even started climbing the gradient yet. You can't damn well concern yourself with resource nodes or helium when Lord Phobos could throw a strategic monolith your way at any moment.
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:10 pm

That's Sir Phobos - Knight of Mars and Beater of Ass, thank you very much. Though he might as well have gotten a promotion after REPULSING the Redcoats from the Red Planet. 8-)

To be fair, Murrica did end up burning an entire Orionian moon with an experimental Space Megafortress FTL test-flight. And today the Valley Forge, aside from helping out in British patrols over Mars, also keeps a close eye at those goddamn Greys and performs deep reconnaissance into the Mogarian Fringe, probably.

A possible French warship name would be the Richelieu. I've already suggested this to Siege. Because Cardinal Richelieu is the quintessential perfidious Frenchman, kicks ass, and I think Tim Curry played him once.

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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Ford Prefect » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:02 am

SiegeTank wrote:You'll have to forgive me but that sounds rather contrived coming from someone known for writing how his ruthless businessman character reverse-engineers post-singularity technologies, fields mercenary teams including unstoppably powerful magical girls, and outfits fleets of secret spacegoing warships. And who could forget the homing lasers...
So your response to 'hey, I have a pretty reasonable concern here' is 'hey, you've got a powerful supervillain character'? Was that really necessary? You could have just said 'actually, it's necessary because of the Space Cold War with Mars which requires a faster response', something which I didn't know was happening, and it would have been acceptable. We're all bros here.
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:49 am

Though if Mars is still in Sol (it is, rite? :D) then what use would FTL be? Unless the Martians are also cavorting over at deep-space.

But Earth has also gotten dicked over by Mogars and Damasks and other alien species' - so having FTL-capable warships to keep an eye out on those shitpieces would make sense.

Knowing that the Thunderchild or the Valley Forge (or the Interstellar Megafortress Valkyrie, back when it had FTL) could warp in and fuck over their planets would do well to discourage aliens from fucking us over.
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Ford Prefect » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:05 am

Mars is very far away indeed; I'm most familiar with travel to planets like Jupiter (which takes years), but it would still take months to get from here to Mars. While the Martians may not have FTL travel themselves (their spaceflight technology seemed curiously underdeveloped prior to the War of the Worlds, going by the Lord Fahrenheit article), it would still be a pretty useful equalisier, like our hugely superior population and resources.

Also in hindsight I should have known that there were still tensions between Mars and Great Britain ... because I actually off handedly mentioned them in Knights of Cydonia. :)
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Siege » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:36 pm

Ford Prefect wrote:So your response to 'hey, I have a pretty reasonable concern here' is 'hey, you've got a powerful supervillain character'? Was that really necessary?
Accusing me of upsetting the status quo with a single spaceship when you've got businessmen outfitting fleets of spaceships in secret with no ill effect on said status quo sounds like cognitive dissonance to me, so yes, I thought it was necessary to point that out.

As for the War of the Worlds, the small force of the warlord Dzígai was only the vanguard of the actual armada. Their job was to secure a beach head on Earth and wait for reinforcements. The reinforcements however never came, because whilst the warlord was away Sir Phobos grabbed power, beat the crap out of Faction Eschewal, and rescinded the invasion orders.

The Martians also do have spaceships apart from the space cannons, but they require even more energy than they and that's not exactly something the Red Planet had (or has, for that matter) in great abundance.
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Re: Imperial Armaments: Weapons of the British Empire

Post by Ford Prefect » Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:43 pm

SiegeTank wrote:Accusing me of upsetting the status quo with a single spaceship when you've got businessmen outfitting fleets of spaceships in secret with no ill effect on said status quo sounds like cognitive dissonance to me, so yes, I thought it was necessary to point that out.
Really, it's not an accusation, and they're submarines, I tell you. Submarines! It says so in the catalogues!
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