1 Aug 2019 Bellator-class Star Dreadnought Redux by Fractalsponge | posted in: Capital ship, Galactic Empire, Gallery, Star Wars | 129
I noticed a small bulge ahead of the bridge. Is that a gravity well generator?
Yes it is.
That is the primary reactor. Due to the engine requirements of the engines the Bellator has two reactors, one primary, which provides power to the 14 engines, the secondary reactor, located just foreword of the hanger, is responsible for generation of the power for the rest of the ship’s systems.
I think he means on the top between the bridge and the spinal turret in front of it.
This design is so fitting for Star Wars, Its my new favorite SSD. I even made up a name for one The Kuat Leviathan.
So fractal, first of all, I love the design of the bellator(it is my favorite SSD), but how many starfighters can it carry?
Does anyone know the total armament
1,500 turbo/ion/laser cannon.
So, how heavy is this, and what’s the likely crew count?
the weight is verr heft chonk
How size the turbolaser cannon’s caliber?
Stellar work as usual Fractal! 🙂 I admit, that I too, prefer the original Bellator model. Is it still here? It is still my favourite Imperial ship, the one I’d love to command (or at least crew), and one of the best models I’ve seen. As a fan of the Resurgent-Class, I’m trying to imagine what a First Order equivalent of the Bellator would look like, and how big it would be!
Please don’t get me started on that whole Anaxes War College/size determines ship type/designation thing! The Bellator will always be a battlecruiser in my mind, as that was originally what Fractal designed it as. 😉
Still on the site: https://fractalsponge.net/?p=2633.
You can use the site search to pull up even older galleries.
Thanks for the reply. I’m not sure your subscription thing is working, it keeps saying ‘subscription fault’? And I’m not getting notifications in my email? 🙁 Nice to know the original is still here. Would still love to see that beauty shot and up on the big screen! 😀 Btw, I’ve followed you on ArtStation. I know you didn’t use Deviantart much anymore, but is it dead?! Don’t seem to be able to get the site up anymore. Plus, how do I join Discord?
Get the dicord app and the link is on the front page here.
I basically never use Deviantart. Not sure about the RSS stuff to be honest – might have to check into that.
Thanks for the info. The subscription to your site seems to be working now, I got a notification in my email. Look forward to seeing more of your projects as and when.
Sorry to bother you again, I’ve got discord now, but I’m at a loss how I connect to you/the community on it? I’ve copied the link.
When you into discord, you should see a green “+” on the left – should say add server when you mouse over. Click, select join a server, then paste in the invite link.
Thanks. All sorted. Popped on briefly just to say hi. Still trying to find my way around the app, so might be a bit slow in joining in the discussions.
How many fighters can this thing carry?
Any chance we could see the Dreadnought and Battlecruiser side by side for comparison?
These pictures seem much lower resolution than the ones for the Bellator Battle Cruiser.
The Bellator is definitely my favorite class of dreadnought. Good work!
Does anyone have an idea of what the rank for this thing would be? My guess is this could be commanded by anything from a lower level officer (for orbital bombardments and other small term operations) to admirals and warlords for flagships or frontline action ships.
This is by far my favorite ship in all the Star Wars universe. It’s just the right size for a proper dreadnought (not too small, not too big/expensive), the guns are both numerous and well-placed, and it has a ridiculous point-defense armament to make entire carrier wings rethink their attack. It’s also much faster / maneuverable than other similarly-sized craft, which can let it out-maneuver larger ships like the Executor and almost always get the upper hand if pitted against anything larger than itself. Only two things that seem to knock it down is the cliche command bridge tower and a seemingly small hangar bay / fighter complement. That being said, there are many auxiliary shield domes dotted across the ship, and the Bellator’s fighters should easily be able to work with the ship’s PD guns to create an impenetrable anti-fighter barrier across both itself and its fleet.
So does the Mandator 3 just look like this but larger and more weapons?
Yes, the Mandator 3 is 12 km long and very wide, while this ship is 7.5 km long and quite wide. (Probably around 4 km wide.)
7.61km long, ~3.1km wide.
Somewhat out-of-left-field thought: how do Bellator & Legator compare thrust-wise? The latter seems to be packing extra-beefy nacelles for its volume.
Last time I check, the Bellator is 3200g, while the Legator is 2900g.
Notable acceleration gap, then. Honestly wondering how Bellator pulls that off-more backup power (secondary reactor) + trimmer hull shape?
Not sure if this was answered elsewhere and I just missed it, but do you still consider the old version to be an existing ship and this one as a “Bellator II” variant, or does this one completely replace the old version in your canon of ship designs? (Same question goes for the other Redux ships).
Also, it would be very interesting to know if you had some ideas for the amount of crew per weapons mount of each of the types you’ve created, as well as how many crew would be involved in a wing of TIEs – it would help a lot with attempting to figure out the total crew of your ships.
A Tie wing is 72 Tie fighters or 6 Squadrons of 12.
Which isn’t all that helpful when looking at personnel numbers. The closest thing to official numbers is the Army Ground Support Wing, with 40 TIEs (24 Fighter, 12 Bomber, 4 Fire Control), 40 pilots, 25 sensor techs, 25 flight controllers and 60 ground crew personnel.
If you break down those numbers, for every TIE, you have 1 pilot, 1.5 ground crew, 0.625 flight controllers and 0.625 sensor techs. Assuming most mundane and clerical tasks are handled by droids, and that the personnel ratios per craft remain constant, a wing of 72 TIEs would have 72 pilots, 108 ground crew, 45 flight controllers and 45 sensor techs, for a total of 270 personnel. That’s roughly equivalent to, say, a tank battalion, both in personnel and deck-spot footprint.
Tells you something about the theoretical maximum capacity of ISD and ISD+ sized warships if they didn’t have to carry stuff like AT-ATs and their landers.
Indeed, which in turn says something about the doctrinal stance of the Imperial military. If fighters are essentially an afterthought used to support capital ships and ground troops, then there isn’t going to be much space set aside for them.
In fact, WEG later expanded on their original Imperial fighter wing concept by saying that it wasn’t fixed at 72 ships / 6 squadrons, but rather that it was a variable number based on the total number of ships assigned to a specific naval line. An ISD, being a line in and of itself, carried six squadrons, so therefore its wing was six squadrons. A line of four Ton Falks, however, would have a wing of 288 ships in 24 squadrons split into four fighter groups, one aboard each carrier.
That might also explain why an Army Ground Support Wing was only 40 TIEs, with the parking space required to transport all their equipment and personnel being the closest to whatever cargo transport volume the Army had set aside for a ground unit of similar size.
I don’t think it necessarily says much about the relative importance of starfighters for the whole force. If ISDs are meant to represent a platform that represents a multi-service organizational sweet spot (significant warship, fighter wing, division), and for each service those set points just requires different space, then that’s why it’s disproportionate given that space is limited. Now, one can definitely argue whether a wing is an administrative or tactical division for fighter forces, or whether it’s both. The WEG definition you mentioned suggests that it’s an administrative division only. That’s news to me, and I’m not really a fan of having the division between administrative and tactical grouping start at wing level. Such a system suggests that squadrons are the highest regular interchangeable tactical formation, and that’s just too small if fighters are routinely operated in the hundreds or the thousands.
Wouldn’t the tactical level be hugely variable anyway? Sure, you’re going to get large ships with hundreds or thousands of fighters, but you’re also going to get a lot of smaller vessels out on their own with 1-2 squadrons, as well as scratch group mission details thrown together on short notice for a specific mission. The attached fighters of all those disparate ships would have to operate as an ad hoc wing on short notice.
First, I’m going to distinguish between Wing or Group as an organizational level and the colloquial wing or group used to describe a ship or command’s combined fighter assets.
Yes, the actual tactical level varies a lot – if you have 8 fighters then it might be a Flight, but 800 you could and would arrange many different ways. What I mean is that the smallest interchangeable unit matters in organization. It says something about how a force expects to deploy regularly. So a Wing varying from 60 fighters to hundreds (or thousands if we’re talking about a line of 1 Impellor, say) of fighters is an odd thing, when Wings are routinely used as cohesive tactical units (like an ISD’s starfighters together) at similar levels of command. Now I bet a Wing of assault transports would have fewer craft and squadrons than a Wing of TIE/ln, but it would still be a Wing Commander’s billet and have roughly the same scale of support assets (and similar C&C staff) assigned to it. In my read, a Group then would be where the counts get amorphous – for an ISD it might be a fighter Wing and a transport/dropship Wing together under the senior Wing Commander. For an Impellor, maybe 4 much more homogeneous Groups each under a full Group Captain with 8 Wings or something like that. And who cares too much about small ships and small fighter detachments? Those are always going to be weird penny packets and rather outside the structure designed for the force operating in large scale.
An analogy for this is like where in ground forces the break point happens around Corps or so (recently)historically – most divisions are about the same as each other and are the basis for independent action, but they can be grouped into really variable Corps formations. Saying Corps, or Army, doesn’t tell you much about how many assets are actually involved, or what level of officer might command one. In Commonwealth air forces, it happened around Group, with large potential variation in craft and squadron count between Groups (USAF Wing equivalent). But modern terrestrial forces don’t operate stuff in the tens of thousands that Imperial forces would, so it makes sense to me for that breakpoint to be higher.
The WEG version was also predicated on the idea that Imperators were pretty much the benchmark for commonly deployed large ships, with only a few larger – and far rarer – ships above that. In such a system – where larger ships qualify as larger and larger fractions of an organizational line, ships larger than an Imperator would qualify as multiple lines, or even an entire squadron, all by themselves. Once that level is reached, a single ship could carry multiple wings.
Since Lines are organized around different mission profiles, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that there would be multiple different types of Wings configured around different missions. There were at least two different types of wings described in the official WEG material; the more commonly known one is the standard wing assigned to an Imperator, with 3 TIE Fighter squadrons and 1 squadron each of Interceptors, Bombers and Recon. The less commonly known one is the Assault Wing, with 3 Bomber Squadrons, 2 Fighter Squadrons and a mixed squadron of Recon and Drop Ships (considering the mission, I would think a Fire Control squadron would be a better choice, but that’s just IMO). A ship like the Impellor could easily carry multiple wings, each configured for a different mission profile.
Under your view, a wing could still be the main interchangeable unit for the “big ship” portion of the Imperial Navy, while being the organizational equivalent of a square peg in a round hole for the small ship navy, with hugely jumbled units scattered across multiple sectors, all administratively answering to some higher command that they have been in close proximity to in years while being under the day-to-day command of whichever senior flight officer happens to be in charge of starfighter operations of whatever task force they happen to be assigned to this week.
What I meant about the doctrinal stance is that, per the WEG version, starfighters were considered subordinate to either the Navy or the Army, and almost always operated in support of one or the other. There was no independent starfighter command, ala the Alliance. Under such a system, a Wing could still be the standard interchangeable unit for organizational purposes while still being hugely muddled in practice due to the operational requirements of the Navy. The Army’s TIEs would arguably be much more standardized, but that would be in keeping with WEG’s description of the Imperial Army’s obsession with organization
I’m curious as to why it’s now considered a dreadnought as opposed to a battlecruiser? The new details are fantastic, by the way.
As I understand it: notably thicker bow, more main (and secondary?) reactor space, more main guns to match. Dunno if acceleration’s maintained or somewhat reduced WRT the original, but the relatively lesser ventral heavy-turret count implies a design still dependent more on aggressive maneuvering than all-round coverage.
I believe you are correct, as it says somewhere on the wiki that the in-universe designers wanted a more manuverable ship that still could outgun most threats, and run away from others. Not that Imperials would run away regardless…
Eh, the ‘no retreat’ thing strikes me as dependent on (a) how overmatched the commanding officer(s) feel (which might not have been too common pre-ROTJ) and (b) how much pressure’s on from immediate superiors (on a vague scale from ‘sector moff’ to ‘any Sith representatives’). Barring (b), naval strategists seem to be more careful about putting costly resources (e.g. capital craft) in harm’s way than other military branches.
One of the few consistencies between the old EU and the Disneyboot is that the Imperial fleet at Endor fled instead of standing their ground after losing the second Death Star.
We tend to think that Imperial fleet officers are authoritarian but essentially normal human beings, not frothing maniacs…. although the First Order might have that niche cornered.
Speaking of the ST’s neo-Imps & morale blows, I’d *love* to know whether losing their latest (literal) Death Star & Palpy stand-in took some wind outta the FO’s sails. Hell, I’m still headscratching WRT *nobody* at Space Monaco gawking at a fuzzy holo of Starkiller going pop.
Repeat after me: JJ and Rian are not good worldbuilders. Lucas couldn’t write the romance in the prequels, but he must be almost equal to Tolkien at creating a universe.
Disney are retards. Their Star Wars is not worth paying attention to. Any of it.
Lol. 😛 It is just a money making machine. Yes, if you make a movie, you want it to do well and make money, but you also aim to please movie goers, and in a franchise like SW, the fans. Disney forgot this with the sequels.
After all the hate and criticism GL got for the prequel trilogy, I bet there’s a lot of those fans that wish they could take it back now so he didn’t sell Lucasfilm. 😉 Though The Mouse shouldn’t be singled out, a lot of the blame is in the hands of those that currently run Lucasfilm. Despite his flaws, George actually cared about the universe he created, I don’t believe anyone at Lucasfilm actually gives a !#@!, at least beyond the ‘Ka-ching’ factor.
(Apologies for the small rant) 😉
The Bellator has always been classified as a Dreadnought, not sure where you got the idea that it was a battleship.
But it’s always been a dreadnought that was more lightly armed but had superior speed enabling it to hunt down smaller faster ships or flank/outmaneuver bigger slower ships.
The main difference now is that Fractal changed it so now it has a more powerful reactor, thicker hull and not only more powerful weaponry but more numerous weaponry.
Pretty sure our host considered the slimmer original model upper-end battlecruiser-grade; then it got a mention and lore-tweaking in the now-Legends Essential Guide to Warfare, which made the ‘dreadnought’ designation official (for a little while-no Disneyboot material I’ve seen has namedropped Bellator yet).
Congratulations on finishing the Redux version. You’ve really come a long way, especially when this was one of your first renders, and based on a comic version, no less.
Speaking of which, ever considered doing an artwork derived from this comic scan from Dark Empire (/revision/latest?cb=20100224015356 )? You’ve gotten at least two of the vessels in there (the Bellator and the Procursator). Consider it… a bit of a celebration for updating the Bellator-class dreadnought render. Plus, it would act as a very good homage to where the Bellator and Procursator technically originated from.
You forgot the third one the Secutor. (The one just above the Bellator)
I would like to see his Modeler Task Force Cruiser 1st
Considering that almost the entirety of the fleet in this shot are either Imperials, Allegiances, or Procursators framing around the one Bellator and Secutor near the middle, all that would leave (apart from the small freighter) to the left would the the Modeler near the bottom (a long time favorite that I would love to one day see given the Fractal tough).
There are some debate whether there were all ISD n ASD or another class or even the artists’ free hand
Can we please have a comparison of old model and the redux side by side? Just to sho how much your skills developed since then!
Yeah, that would be fun. I’ll set it up some time soon.
Yes, I’d love to see that too! 😀
Suffering sithspit, what an revision. Main-gun array, hull/fantail taper & reactor mountings all palpably (argh) beefed-up whilst retaining most of its Dark Empire(C) source-doodle’s aesthetic flow.
so when will you do another ship size chart
Hey Fractal, super nice job on the redux, any chance you’ll upload a full suite of images on your Nebula model, since it seems there’s only one picture of it in the archives?
Just give this Man a crown and his leading position at Lucasfilm and shut the f*** up..
Just freaking awsome, dude… unbelievable
Wow dude! That’s awesome
What happened to the hexagonal array of (presumably) quad turbolasers in front of the central ‘ridge’? I may have missed the change in a different WIP
The octuples? Those got changed into 2xtwin superheavies per side. When the hull got re-proportioned the smaller gun battery there didn’t look quite right.
My god she’s magnificent! Did we ever get a final count on the number of turbo’s and other weapons on her or her fighter compliment? The details are JAW DROPPING, the work that went into this is stunning!
My final running count is:
66 720TT HTL
256 240TT HTL
32 heavy ion cannon (~240TT equivalent)
224 40TT HTL
112 heavy missile tubes
1246×2 PD guns (1:1 LTL/heavy laser as shown)
Main HTL/ion armament ~50xISD alpha equivalent on ~5e26W generation
Blimey! She’s a mobile fortress! And what about fighters/small craft? I assume somewhere in the high hundreds to 1000 ish?
So, it could do a Base Delta Zero on it’s own I’m guessing? This is incredible Fractal
Even a frigate can pull off a BDZ, given enough time. The point of using a larger ship is to break through planetary shields.
And fuel – it might not be able to do it on one tank. An ISD is explicitly able to do it alone, but we don’t know how much it will be able to do before and after said BDZ.
Mulching the entire planetary crust to the point of uselessness as a habitable planetary body is probably pretty taxing on fuel for a lighter ship. But even point defense guns can have megaton yields just like 20th century city-killer fusion bombs, so depopulating a typical world should well be within the realm of possibility for even a Kontos.
I don’t know the physics well enough to say for certain, but from what I’ve looked at I’m thinking beam weapons are pretty inefficient at area bombardment compared to nuclear or chemical explosives. You can wreck something specific really well, but indiscriminate area damage is limited, because there’s really not much “explosive” action – most of the energy is spent vaporizing material and turning it into a boom rather than…just booming.
All the energy has to go somewhere, it doesn’t just magically expend itself in a small space because it is in beam form. If you dump gigatons of energy onto a planet there are going to be pretty horrific results. The blast radius will absolutely have to do with the yield. Unless you assume that the bolts maintain integrity and sorta just go straight and annihilate anything in a straight line more gradually dissipating energy as they burn through hundreds of kilometers of rocks.
In reality, no « beam » weapon (be it a laser or something similar, using massless particles) would be able to achieve that kind of effect. The vaporized matter expanding omnidirectionally would instantly counter the beam inexistent momentum (kind of like the effect of reactive armor against shaped charges (and yeah, I know it’s not really a proper analogy, but…) and you would just get a normal explosion. The energy would still have to go somewhere, but penetration would be minimal compared to a purpose-built physical device… and all of that may have nothing to do with turbolasers anyway since we’re not even sure what they are or how they work.
Energy is energy, it’s true – but the efficiency of effects are different things. You can melt the crust of a planet and burn off the atmosphere with enough energy, but if you just want to knock over buildings and cause functional destruction of comparatively light structures then it’s more efficient to use “regular” explosives. You won’t get the same blast effect with turbolasers. Fire enough of them and the planet dies all the same though. But the efficiency might be several orders of magnitude less, depending on what effect you want to create.
Right, the SPHA-T didn’t create a mushroom cloud when slicing through core ship shields. There’s a possibility that turbolasers have different settings for the concentration or dispersal of the blast effect, kind of like how there might be options for a flak burst. The opposite extreme is the Rogue One scenes of the Death Star blasting continents to pieces, but we don’t know how much reactor output was allocated to those shots.
Off topic, but I can’t find the post where you touch on the new Starhawk…
What are your thoughts on Force Beam weaponry, by which I mean weaponized tractor tech or something along the lines of the Rattler weapon from Hull 721 second arc?
Off the top of my head, as much as LF/D pushes the tractor beam capabilities of the Starhawk, I’m wondering if that my parlay into weaponized tractor beams as a main battery.
Theoretically, it would bypass shields and act directly on structure, which *could* be powerful in a ship to ship melee, but there are too many unknowns. Do we know the tractor beam range? How efficient conversion is from reactor power to beam intensity? Those types of details would determine if they are really viable main battery weapons or just gimmicks (albeit situationally very powerful).
While never canonically shown, there was one particular quote from somewhere (probably one of the essential guides) that mentions tractor beam ripping a ship apart. I just assume it’s not more commonly seen since its a savage act (treated the same as serrated ridges of a bayonet in WW1 and the like?) and possibly way more power draw than just conventional “pull enemy over” routine.
I’m picturing something like an oscillating version that switches between “push” and “pull” thousands of times per second, causing the target to shatter from the induced vibration.
There’s some precedent in-universe: the Squib Tensor Rifle. https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Tensor_rifle
While it’s the only weapon of its type with official stats, its description hints at a “tensor weaponry” as a general classification.
As far as effective ranges, the tensor rifle’s listed range was comparable to a blaster carbine, but that doesn’t really track with the effective range of cap-ship tractor beam projectors (~25% of turbolasers).
Of additional note, the tensor rifle was a continuous beam weapon that inflicted cumulative damage, but required the gunner to re-roll subsequent attacks, while tractor beams stayed “locked on” until dropped or if the target successfully broke free. The “grab” effect could be tied in to the limited range.
If you just take the cinematic evidence for tractor beams, the case for tractor weapons as an anti-capital weapon seems weak. An Imperator at point blank range wasn’t able to tractor a light corvette until conventional batteries knocked out the main reactor. In the next film, destroyers and even the Executor weren’t able to lock onto the tiny Falcon with their tractor beams despite passing within tens of meters of it, while the one example of an effective long range tractor beam was generated by a Death Star with a practically infinite edge in power generation capacity. This suggests to me that you need orders of magnitude more power to tractor in a ship that is actively resisting, and you need to hold the beam on them for several seconds to get a lock, making them nearly useless against maneuvering targets.
I tend to agree with this until we see other evidence. In theory, shearing tractor beams should work against ships. But the gap between theory and practice is pretty large in the existing setting. Though Disneyboot fluff has not really been shy about using technological Macguffins 🙁
There was brief mention in one of the WEG Sourcebooks of anti-tractor beam shielding, specifically a “shearing plane”, but it was purportedly still experimental 2-3 years after Endor.
Also, if Tensor doesn’t work, then gravity tech is a possibility (and more in line with the Rattler concept from 721). I recall an off-hand mention in a WH40K Battlefleet Gothic novel of a gravity based weapon called a Graviton Pulser, which might be a useful starting point for a technobabble explanation of the physics involved.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen Graviton weaponry used in WH40K, but the original premise was that a target hit by such would have its effective mass increased, thus reducing its mobility. At that point, WH40K was still a surface combat game (Battlefleet Gothic hadn’t been introduced yet), so there’s no mention of how it affects space craft, but I picture ships suddenly forced to divert excessive amounts of power to their acceleration compensators (and away from other systems, like weaponry, shields, and drives of all kinds) in an attempt to off-set the effects…
On a somewhat related note, another idea I like (from the Honorverse, specifically) is using tractor beams as a power transfer conduit, when one ship is “beaming power” to another ship. Most media has this as a thing done by ships assisting a friendly or allied vessel that’s been disabled, but the possibility of a weaponized version (inflicting ion damage, for example) isn’t too much of a stretch.
When converting from space opera to hard sci-fi, it’s safe to assume distances are somewhat compressed for cinematic purposes. It’s also likely that scenes that appear sequential are actually occuring simultaneously for the same reason. Artoo may have been reactivating the Falcon’s hyperdrive at the same time Admiral Piett was “readying the tractor beam,” but it wasn’t possible to show both on the screen at the same time.
As far as the opening scene is concerned, the official explanation (from WEG) was that the CR90 and the ISD were evenly matched in speed, and while the Tantive was within turbolaser range of the Devastator, it was outside of tractor beam range, which forced the Devastator to try and disable the Tantive’s engines (which disabling the main reactor does pretty decisively).
And again, the “grab” of a tractor beam may be a different, more complex effect than simply hitting something for damage.
That WEG explanation doesn’t work. Devastator was on a closing vector well before the disabling hit, and they were within easy visual range from the beginning of the portion of the engagement seen on screen. So, either Devastator jumped immediately behind Tantive (possible if a little iffy compared to the Scarif entry as she wouldn’t have had access to the local sensor picture beforehand and was presumably extrapolating the destination), or she jumped in near Tantive and had hauled the corvette into visual range in the part of the chase before ANH opens up. So if tractor beam range was *less* than that on screen, then it’s basically ship-lengths only at least for the type on a destroyer (the Death Star one, who knows).
Totally down for a complex tractor effect – shearing with multiple beam elements for instance would make a lot of sense – assuming they can lock through shields, and can lock at a reasonable range where continuous pounding by turbolasers on closing the distance wouldn’t make the point moot to begin with.
There is precedent in the EU for hyperspace wake-homing tech that would explain jumping in immediately behind. The combination of Improved Hyperwave Signal Interceptors and Soliton Wave Tracking would allow a pursuing ship to get a read on the target’s initial jump vector, then follow it through any potential course changes and jump out of hyperspace at roughly the same point. All that’s missing from official tech is some sort of navigation interface that allows the pursuit ship to alter its course to follow the soliton wake.
That’s a reasonable explanation, if that’s the official line for the intercept. That said, what about the description of tractor range? Mind you I haven’t read the text of the WEG explanation, but if the Tantive wasn’t in tractor range before the disabling shot, then tractors are useless in open combat (i.e. not a closed-off slugging match tied to a static location). Devastator was looming over the Tantive before the disabling hit – if tractors can’t work by then, then how are they going to be generally useful? Are they blocked by combat shields?
By WEG errata, no. The specific reference is from Wanted by Cracken, where a scientist who defected to the Empire had been working on Shearing Plane tech (https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Shearing_plane). That’s the only reference, and nothing even close to gaming stats.
As to the other, I suppose it boils down to how literally one wishes to take the ranges we see on screen. A lot of things that work for cinematic purposes fail on a hard science level.
I don’t think anyone has tried to apply that concept to ANH before. The source on Soliton Wave Tracking seems to be a single mention in a Black Fleet Trilogy novel rather than some sort of widely accepted technology. I personally go with the idea of Vader using the force to plot a safe yet close realspace entrance point, which might explain why he was on the bridge for a few moments instead of leading the boarding party again.
Besides, if every Imperator was capable of accurate hyperspace tracking, the plot of ESB wouldn’t make much sense, and half of the rebel hit & run raids in the EU would have been horrible ideas.
There are tech limitations to the concept that fit with ESB. Per the ImpSB, even Improved HSIs (the only type that could generate a bearing on an outbound jump) still had to be relatively close to be effective (that was the mission description for Pursuit groups, and the Carrack was particularly well suited to it), so if a ship was far enough from pursuers when it jumped, it could get away clean.
As to soliton wave tracking, I agree it wouldn’t be standard equipment, but the ships that /would/ have it would be the ones with the mission of tracking down Rebels and pirates. And if it can be fitted to a glorified corvette in what’s essential a planetary defense force, it’s not too much of a stretch to believe its in wider, but hardly ubiquitous usage.
The Vader method is also on-point, but that just means there were at least two methods by which the Devastator could’ve performed a pin-point hyperspace exit.
Choice discussion. I’m liking the thought of hyperspace tracking with a couple practical caveats WRT range, approach angle & the difficulty/inability to change course once *in* hyperspace, thus retaining high sublight thrust (as opposed to, say, just buttoning up with shields and/or deterrent fire ’till your escape course is plotted) as a crucial factor for pursuit or evasion.
As for tractor-shear weaponry…I get the impression that at best you might hope to compromise (much) lighter & less structurally-sound vessels (as if Nebulons didn’t already have spinal issues), *or* spindlier components (PD barrels? Sensors/comm aerials? Shield projectors??) on closer-to-peer-tonnage targets, but at a proximity which usually involves plenty of conventional energy-weapon pounding beforehand anyway. Still, this does leave me damned curious WRT the potential of something like the apparently-all-tractor Arrestor ‘cruiser’ (more like a trumped-up corvette) which was cut from Solo.
Some of the Solo promotional material describes the Arrestor as a vessel designed to steer civilian traffic away from prohibited zones. It seems more like a coast guard vessel than a dedicated warship.
The impression I have of tractor beams as weapons is like that of putting a flamethrower on a WW2 cruiser. It would be visually stunning if you got to use it, but the way that mobility and combat ranges for your primary battery work means that you’re never actually going to get to use it on something that’s fighting back.
I don’t see how this resembles a flamethrower at all. If inflicting damage was all it did, sure, but a weaponized tractor beam mount has a lot of possible ways it can manipulate physical targets (grab, push, pull, immobilize, rend, etc). Tractor beams set to a wide angle might even be feasible for point defense use, effectively putting a solid wall of “push” energy in the path of incoming missiles like a miniature shield projector.
That traffic-control angle actually makes sense. Missile/asteroid/mine/debris deflection strikes me as a handy secondary function if power and/or range issues mitigate tractor-mount effectiveness barring uncommon circumstances.
There’s precedent in the WEG material for changing course in hyperspace: the Nav-Computer Route Astrogation Bypass, or N-CRAB (Nav_Computer_Route_Astrogation_Bypass). It allowed ships to alter course in hyperspace by effectively hacking their own nav-buffer mid-flight. It’s presented as experimental and rare, but fiddling with the availability to make it somewhat more accessible helps explain some seeming contradictions from official sources.
Considering how the galactic map is laid out by WEG, there pretty much has to be some sort of mid-course correction ability in hyperspace, because a simple initial vector won’t be enough to follow a target ship through the various twists and turns of the trunk-and-branch system of hyperspace routes.
I recall reading somewhere that ships in hyperspace retained whatever sublight velocity they had on entry when they exit. YMMV.
That sort of nullifies the line from ESB about identifying all possible destinations along their last known trajectory. If ships are forced to exit hyperspace and calculate new jump trajectories when taking long twists and turns, that enables the piracy and commerce raiding that is incredibly prevalent throughout the EU.
What I meant with the flamethrower analogy is how visually different and appealing to laymen it would be compared to a normal main battery, and mostly how it would be too short-ranged to actually be useful in 98% of situations. Based on Death Squadron’s (supposed to be elite crews representing the best of the fleet?) atrocious tractor targeting performance against a target as big as the Falcon, I really doubt that tractor beams are going to be that effective against much nimbler torpedoes, or even that a wide angle setting exists.
But if we’re looking at accuracy, it should be noted that even supposedly elite Imperials generally have crappy accuracy when shooting at the heroes or their ships, save when the plot requires it. There was a running gag in my gaming group that the easiest way to ID the hero of the story was to compare Dodge skills, as the character with the highest rating was statistically least likely to get shot, and thus had a degree of script immunity.
So yes, the Imperials weren’t that great with tractor beams, but they weren’t really that great with anything else, either.
And I’m not quite sure what you’re saying about having to drop out of hyperspace. Routes with bends and curves, as well as routes that make turns from one route to another, have long been an established part of the canon. Factoring in curves, waypoints and course changes would be part of the initial calculations, and would greatly contribute to why hyperspace are so complicated.
And the “last known trajectory” scene is something of a stretch since there was no actual hyperspace jump to track…
Re: accuracy in general, I’d argue that main characters who either may be Forcemonkeys or spend enough time rubbing elbows with ’em (not to mention Vader’s ‘take them alive to bait Luke’ ploy in ESB) kinda wreck that curve for judging Imp (in)competence. The (much patchier) survival rate of fleet personnel, Hoth grunts & pilots whose last names aren’t Antilles or Dameron might paint a picture closer to justifying 3P0’s odds calculations.
As for spoofing/deflecting missiles with an exotic tractor setting: they may be nimble, but I sure can’t recall much in the way of ‘smart’ behavior beyond super-persistent tail chases in two separate PT incidents (both involving Obi-Wan, oddly) and the ANH exhaust-port turn. ECM might tax their homing capabilties and/or proximity sensors enough for even split-second tractor ‘wall’ input to further scramble things. Still, I’d need to be *much* more sure about tractor-tinkering’s potential before making that any kind of tactical centerpiece.
True. A lot of it is theoretical, and also depends greatly on what exactly a tractor beam is; I’ve seen both gravitic and tensor-field / strong molecular energy tech suggested (and I’m partial to the latter). IMO, the seismic charges would also be this type of weapon, using tractor-based energy fields to transfer kinetic energy to a physical target in the absence of a conductive medium. It’s also possible concussion missiles work on a similar premise.
Given these numbers, I’m wondering whether the Mandator III, officially (in Legends) a cousin of this design, could outfight an Executor. Indeed it seems like this vessel could actually give the Executor a decent fight.
My amateur assessment: Ex still outbulks the ‘new’ Bellator enough that you’d need, oh, 4 or 5 to threaten one given comparable crew skill & no party-crashers (or lightspeed retreat). Speaking of Mandator III, the very same book which briefly made it official (Essential Guide to Warfare) mentions one slugging it out with an Executor to mutual destruction shortly after the New Republic was forced off Coruscant.
I didn’t mean to imply that a Bellator could take on an Executor one-on-one. Just that it would put up a good fight.
Eh, I just found your post an interesting jumpoff point WRT musing over relative ship capability. I also seem to recall some of our host’s early notes on Bellator’s role denoting the ability to pursue, harry & damage heavier battlewagons during major engagements, so you’re close to the mark anyway.
Mandator II is 7.7e26W power. Current Bellator is 5e26W. Assertor is 4e27W.
Mandator III and Executor (and Sovereign and Eclipse if you’re so inclined) are simply un-statted in terms of power generation. My personal feeling (totally draft and disavowable numbers) is Executor is probably 2-3e27W, Sovereign is likely similar. Mandator III 1-1.5e27W, Eclipse is possible pushing 1e28W. All are dangerous enough to each other (especially any superlaser armed ships) that they can’t ignore any of the others completely. A pure duel in isolation (which never happens), then the odds can be heavily stacked in favor of the bigger ships, but there are no guarantees at this level of power. The margin of error is slim. Take an alpha strike at a bad time and that’s a Very Bad Thing(TM).
The Eclipse series has never struck me as particularly agile (even Eclipse II contends with a large-ish NR ship pulling the Endor pointblank thing in one panel of Empire’s End), so there’s one example of raw output stats alone not sealing the deal. Despite the ‘fleet-killer’ quote in TLJ, Mandator *IV* seems liable to do even worse if faced with a ‘conventional’ superheavy that didn’t stop to pose for the phallocannon.
Would you be able to do a render where you label the different weapons and hardpoints, in each section? because that would be amazing.
33 x Dual Super Heavy Turbolaser Turrets (720TT)
64 x Quad Heavy Turbolaser Cannon (240TT)
32 x Heavy Ion Cannon (~240TT equivalent)
56 x Quad Turbolaser Cannon (40TT)
164 x Medium Turbolaser Cannon
623 x Dual Point Defense Heavy Laser Cannon
112 x Heavy Missile/Torpedo Launchers
Would that be about right?
What does ‘TT’ mean in this context?
‘Teratons’ I believe.
That level of detail is incredible. Must’ve been a ton of work, but it’s turned out great.
My favorite FractalSponge ship gets a major upgrade!!!
Epic redux. The original is still good and my old favorite, but this is my new favorite. Is it the same size as the original or bigger? Also, what is fighter the fighter compliment for this beauty?
According to fractal, the new model is now 7,5 km instead of 7,2.
fantastic work. Is there any chance you could put that starry backdrop on a few more of the shots?
Thank you Mr fractal Sponge really love this ship
Awesome beyond any level.
The Assertor and Bellator shot is perfection.
Oh, it’s beautiful.
Beat me 2 it