A Sathar freighter?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 4, 2016 - 8:18am
A sathar freighter would be a useful ship for the setting.

Stats, deck plan, image/pic, 1/4" X 1/4" counter, even a miniature. 

(I was working on a KHs encounter and realized I needed stats for a sathar freighter).

Your thoughts?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 4, 2016 - 8:25am
One thought I had was that the economics of the setting suggest that the majority of UPF freighters are ion drive which makes them sluggish and complicates KH encounters for UPF players especially since UPF/Spacefleet ships tend to be fast & maneuverable. 

Sathar ships are already ponderous and less maneuverable so making their freighters less maneuverable seems like a double whammy for them. In addition we cannot be certain that the economics of sathar society enforce the use of more economical engines. 

So what about something that can roughly keep pace with the sathar destroyer or frigate?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

KRingway's picture
KRingway
June 4, 2016 - 8:48am
Maybe their freighters are somewhat spindly, with their cargo stowed outside the hull? Fully loaded, a Sathar freighter might be none too fast, but perhaps they run them at 75% capacity? Or, perhaps they favour smaller faster freighters and have alot of them. This in turn might suggest that they're 'disposable' but losses are outweighed by numbers. Another idea is that the Sathar don't have a concept of a freighter as the Frontier races do and instead have capable armed ships that can carry cargo. After all, freighters arise from the concept of commerce and perhaps Sathar society has no need of this.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 4, 2016 - 1:03pm
One of my back burner projects is using one of Chris Donavan's ship designs as a HS:6 Sathar freighter. I have some deck plan sketches done I just need to render them in MS paint. I revamped his basic ship to look like this for the project:

I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 4, 2016 - 1:26pm
I like the idea of their "freighter" not arising from commerce but from simple need to move material hence its still a warship though the trade off is less capability weapon or defence wise. 

 If these are brought with an invasion Armada they dump their cargo then support the ground battle from orbit freeing up destroyers from that role. Or the support the main battle fleet as a ready reserve. Fully loaded with cargo modules thier performance in speed and maneuver is degraded a little. 

 So if it's based on a HS 6 hull that's the same as a destroyer; should we start with destroyer stats and tweak them down?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

KRingway's picture
KRingway
June 4, 2016 - 2:18pm
Perhaps the modules have a small powerplant and can be flown back to the ship once an emergency is over, assuming the ship survives? They could either be steered back by crew aboard the freighter or are capable of homing and can rejoin the freighter automatically.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 4, 2016 - 6:31pm
Based on what we know from canon --- specifically the Volturnus moduels --- a sathar transport (not a troop transport) would have to be equipped with some form of space-to-ground deployment. Things like the automatic cannon, cybots warbots & combat robots, electrical field generators, ground transports flled with powerpacks to support the cybodragons, and even the cybodragons (along with quickdeaths & slithers) themselves as they would be too large/fierce to use the troop transport shuttles with troops (this would suggest that the cargo areas would be pressurized).

So a group of shuttle craft would be mandatory for deploying such equipment to the ground in an efficient manner. I may have to add a shuttle dock or two to each cargo nacelle in my proposed transport.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 5, 2016 - 2:00pm
Knight Hawks wrote:
sathar destroyer (advanced game) Hull Points: 50, ADF 3, MR 3, DVR 75, Weapons: LC, RB x4, LB x2, EB, Defenses: RH, MS x2, ICM x5
Would gutting the defenses (nixing the MS ICM) be enough for the change of design from destroyer to transport or should we dump a weapon system?

Also if it's fully loaded scale back ADF & MR to 2 each?

And if its got a full compliment of cargo modules should we not give it 10 extra hull points?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
June 5, 2016 - 2:31pm
KRingway wrote:
Maybe their freighters are somewhat spindly, with their cargo stowed outside the hull? Fully loaded, a Sathar freighter might be none too fast, but perhaps they run them at 75% capacity? Or, perhaps they favour smaller faster freighters and have alot of them. This in turn might suggest that they're 'disposable' but losses are outweighed by numbers. Another idea is that the Sathar don't have a concept of a freighter as the Frontier races do and instead have capable armed ships that can carry cargo. After all, freighters arise from the concept of commerce and perhaps Sathar society has no need of this.


While most of the Sathar probably don't have an idea of traditional commerce -- at least if we go by some of the fan-based ideas of the race -- some of thier clients... er slave... races might have that idea and the upper caste probably likes receiving goods and services such as fresh slime for their baths.

Maybe as Jedion has conjectured, what if they use universal designs for their ships and just swap out what they need depending upon the mission? What if their ships are actually modular? Just unclip the the center of the destroyer hull and insert a cargo module... OK, maybe that's too easy. It might be something they just build at their shipyards as the need arises, but they might be able do do "fast" conversions from a freighter to a destroyer, something that might take weeks instead of months.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 5, 2016 - 3:46pm
jedion357 wrote:
Knight Hawks wrote:
sathar destroyer (advanced game) Hull Points: 50, ADF 3, MR 3, DVR 75, Weapons: LC, RB x4, LB x2, EB, Defenses: RH, MS x2, ICM x5
Would gutting the defenses (nixing the MS ICM) be enough for the change of design from destroyer to transport or should we dump a weapon system?

Also if it's fully loaded scale back ADF & MR to 2 each?

And if its got a full compliment of cargo modules should we not give it 10 extra hull points?

Considering what a civilian ship has to give up just for adding a weapon above & beyond what it can accomodate, I would posit that similar amounts of weaponry would have to be coughed up to accomodate a unit of cargo. Personally I would dump it to just the pair of laser batteries at the most, and even that is pushing it based on the canon rules for civilian ships.

Granted we are talking military ships, or in the sathar's case, para-military at the very least...so there's wiggle room to retain some semblence of armament. My house rule for para-military craft allows for 15 cubic meters worth of weapons & defense per hull size (total, not each), so that wouldn't be a bad place to start --- you'll never get full on warship grade weaponry but it's a generous boost from the canon civilian ship rules. 15 cubic meters x HS:6 would be enough for a pair of laser batteries and almost enough left over for a masking screen system --- for the sathar ship it's an easy hand-wave to allow the defensive system without penalty.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 5, 2016 - 4:58pm
Re: Fast conversion, certain weapon systems will be built into the ship, ie the laser canon will be part and parcel of the boom end, you're probably not in clipping that for extra cargo space. In all likelihood it's design trade outs at the ship yard and after the fact ships likely only go through refits and simple mods. 

I'm for retaining the LC, LB x2 and jettisoning everything else
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 5, 2016 - 8:58pm
FWIW I just found a canon sathar freighter in the Warriors of White Light module (from The Traitor section):

HP:40 / ADF:3 / MR:1 / DCR:40
Weapon: LB
Defenses: none

Also noteworthy, the three sathar destroyers from the final battle are equipped the same as the UPF ships (LC, LB, RBx4, EB, Tx2)
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

KRingway's picture
KRingway
June 6, 2016 - 1:59am
JCab747 wrote:
Maybe as Jedion has conjectured, what if they use universal designs for their ships and just swap out what they need depending upon the mission? What if their ships are actually modular? Just unclip the the center of the destroyer hull and insert a cargo module... OK, maybe that's too easy. It might be something they just build at their shipyards as the need arises, but they might be able do do "fast" conversions from a freighter to a destroyer, something that might take weeks instead of months.


I've always liked the idea of modular ships - in fact, awhile back I started some artwork depicting one for the 2300AD RPG. The basic idea with that is that you have a front end command module containing the bridge, and a back end containing the engines, and between that is a long spine which can have sections added or removed as needed. Various things can be fitted to any given section, as needed:

http://jerryboucher.deviantart.com/art/WIP-spaceship-558178212
http://jerryboucher.deviantart.com/art/WIP-spaceship-558179081

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 6, 2016 - 5:55am
Shadow Shack wrote:

Also noteworthy, the three sathar destroyers from the final battle are equipped the same as the UPF ships (LC, LB, RBx4, EB, Tx2)

I always considered this a problem. Why have sathar at all, nothing distinguishes them. 

@ KRingway: nice one looks like the ship in Avatar and the other reminds me of the UpF frigate
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 6, 2016 - 7:07am
jedion357 wrote:
Shadow Shack wrote:

Also noteworthy, the three sathar destroyers from the final battle are equipped the same as the UPF ships (LC, LB, RBx4, EB, Tx2)

I always considered this a problem. Why have sathar at all, nothing distinguishes them. 

Since they end up hundreds of light years from home every time they pop into Frontier space, it behooves them not to bone up on weapons that need replenishing. As such I even have an issue with them boasting rocket batteries. ;)
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

KRingway's picture
KRingway
June 6, 2016 - 7:22am
Maybe it's more a case that Sathar agents have reported back about what UPF ships have, and thus the Sathar are choosing to fight fire with fire on a like for like basis.

That or it was just some quick game balancing Foot in mouth

JCab747's picture
JCab747
June 6, 2016 - 7:34am
KRingway wrote:
Maybe it's more a case that Sathar agents have reported back about what UPF ships have, and thus the Sathar are choosing to fight fire with fire on a like for like basis.

That or it was just some quick game balancing Foot in mouth


I have a feeling it was "game balancing" because few people want to fight "unfair battles."

Though it would be fun to come up with some different weapons for the Sathar and even more advanced and less advanced versions of weapons, defense and engine systems. The worms are supposed to be very resourceful.

Shadow Shack wrote:

Since they end up hundreds of light years from home every time they pop into Frontier space, it behooves them not to bone up on weapons that need replenishing. As such I even have an issue with them boasting rocket batteries. ;)


Maybe they have a robotic rocket battery factory near Frontier space? Outpost One perhaps (to use that Zebs' reference)? The worms might be able to spit these types of weapons out cheap and fast.
Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
June 6, 2016 - 8:28am
Maybe some freighters are also factory ships...?

KRingway's picture
KRingway
June 6, 2016 - 8:31am
JCab747 wrote:
While most of the Sathar probably don't have an idea of traditional commerce -- at least if we go by some of the fan-based ideas of the race -- some of thier clients... er slave... races might have that idea and the upper caste probably likes receiving goods and services such as fresh slime for their baths


Yes, but it's doubtful whether they'd need front-line combat freighters for that. I'd assume they have non-combat ships to do all of that sort of stuff if it's really needed. Possibly their client races have such ships, and they do all of the transport work, whilst the Sathars instead only have combat freighters for their own strategic needs.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
June 6, 2016 - 9:06am
KRingway wrote:
JCab747 wrote:
While most of the Sathar probably don't have an idea of traditional commerce -- at least if we go by some of the fan-based ideas of the race -- some of thier clients... er slave... races might have that idea and the upper caste probably likes receiving goods and services such as fresh slime for their baths


Yes, but it's doubtful whether they'd need front-line combat freighters for that. I'd assume they have non-combat ships to do all of that sort of stuff if it's really needed. Possibly their client races have such ships, and they do all of the transport work, whilst the Sathars instead only have combat freighters for their own strategic needs.


Sorry, yes, combat freighters/transports would be a different kettle of fish.

And, I'd agree that the Sathar may have factory ships operating near the Frontier too. I suppose it would depend upon which clan one is dealing with and what their design philosophies are.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 6, 2016 - 9:29pm
JCab747 wrote:
Maybe they have a robotic rocket battery factory near Frontier space? Outpost One perhaps (to use that Zebs' reference)? The worms might be able to spit these types of weapons out cheap and fast.

Even so, all it takes is one battle --- win or lose --- to deplete the bulk of your arsenal, and then you have to make it all the way back to Outpost #1 to re-arm and hope nobody intercepts you along the way. Prenglar & Cassidne are a long way away from Outpost #1...

The only real solution here is to have a dedicated supply vessel tag along with the fleet that carries torpedoes, seeker missiles, rocket salvoes, & interceptor missiles; and you'd want more than one just in case it takes a hit. Also noteworthy, you probably don't want to be in the vicinity of an exploding ship that was ferrying a few hundred nuclear weapons. 

Cool
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

iggy's picture
iggy
June 6, 2016 - 10:08pm
Now that would be a nasty Sathar thing to do, detonate all the nukes on the support freighter when the UPF defeats the warships and comes looking for the support and supply ships lurking in deep space.   Six or so UPF warships follow a small courier ship back and surround the freighter.  The freighter draws the warships in and boom!  The UPF thought they were out of weapons range because the freighter didn't have the launchers and batteries, oops!
-iggy

KRingway's picture
KRingway
June 7, 2016 - 12:12am
Shadow Shack wrote:
The only real solution here is to have a dedicated supply vessel tag along with the fleet that carries torpedoes, seeker missiles, rocket salvoes, & interceptor missiles; and you'd want more than one just in case it takes a hit. Also noteworthy, you probably don't want to be in the vicinity of an exploding ship that was ferrying a few hundred nuclear weapons.


Such ships wouldn't necessarily have to be near the fleet. They'd just have to be at some other point in space known to the Sathar, and they could then jump to that point if need be. The Sathar could have a whole string of supply stations stashed away at various points that only they know about.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 7, 2016 - 1:48am
The Von Neumann machine article is an excellent example of a sathar factory in an advanced position. Though I would rewrite it to be a tubed sathar brain in control. And allow it to produce other material than robots and tanks. 

Also I think the relationships between clans might be what necessitated armed freighters. These ships fulfill the purpose of moving material but are also another means of projecting force because all other clans are always looking to change the pecking order. 

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
June 7, 2016 - 11:28am
A discussion of a Sathar frieghter is very premature unless you have worked out the entire economics of the Sathar race.

Are the Sathar frieghter military ships which every clan uses to support their warriors?
Are the Sathar frieghters run by a separate clan with their own goals like in the Battletech Clans?
Are the Sathar supported by an outside race like the Zurraqor?
Do the Sathar use a slave race in support roles and how do they keep them in control?

Even more basic what is the Sathar economy like? Are they traders or do they move in strip all available resources and move on? (Think Independence Day)

Since Logistics is the basis of all warfare, how the Sathar do thiers is an rathar important. Since the Anniversary of D-Day here's some quick numbers
6460 ships were involved in the Operation Neptune
Only 200 were Warships
About 4100 were landing craft (Troop Transports and Shuttle like ships in SF used to transport both men and material ashore)
That leaves about 2160 supply ships (Okay some might be specialist like hospital ships but the overwhelming majority were not fighters)

Also check out usmma.edu for some more details



Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 7, 2016 - 11:39am
I don't think any sathar clan would trust another clan to do its transport, too risky from a worm's perspective. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
June 7, 2016 - 11:49am
rattraveller wrote:
A discussion of a Sathar frieghter is very premature unless you have worked out the entire economics of the Sathar race....

Since Logistics is the basis of all warfare, how the Sathar do thiers is an rathar important. Since the Anniversary of D-Day here's some quick numbers 6460 ships were involved in the Operation Neptune. Only 200 were Warships.About 4100 were landing craft (Troop Transports and Shuttle like ships in SF used to transport both men and material ashore).That leaves about 2160 supply ships (Okay some might be specialist like hospital ships but the overwhelming majority were not fighters).



Good thinking. Real world examples can certainly help when it comes to designing the economics of the game... Of course one problem is that everyone has their own version of what the Sathar since the TSR "canon" pretty much describes them as an "evil race."

Granted, Star Trek fans didn't have much to go on about the Klingons and the Romulans until other fans created the whole mythos around them with various books and conventions before The Next Generation brought us more "canon" stuff... Of course that's gotten mostly dumped with the reboot movies.

I'd love to see some more stuff about our favorite worms in Frontier Explorer and I think Tch has been working on something to that regard... but probably not about Sathar freighters and commerce.
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 7, 2016 - 4:48pm
Alright here is my summation of sathar economy:

1. The various clans interact in some way to determine pecking order and most importantly who's on top. Clan Y had plans in play to boost its position through grooming a client/slave race. Optimal point is worms are seeking advantage constantly through spies, agents, hardware, new weapon systems. (This of course brings up the question of why the sathar can't seem to effectively innovate and their tech seems to stagnate but that was another thread). 
At any rate communication, show and tell, trade and very probably tribute must go on amongst the clan's for the ranking system to be in play. In fact I'm betting with the whole pecking order it's about intimidating others into paying tribute. If your clan calls for war and you are not able to execute the campaign properly then you lose face and there will be a round of in fighting till a new lead clan emerges. 

In fighting looks like war but when odds are stacked such that is obvious that one side will win then the other capitulated and offers tribute in material and ships. The "Victor and his tribute ships and slave/ client races move on to force tribute from other clans. If things are equal on both sides real fighting can ensue.

Bottom line the sathar need ships to move tribute.

If clan F has called for a campaign against the Frontier several things could happen client/slave races might be detailed to protect the home territory of the premiere clan (just in case). Or they might be brought along.
Subject Clans are obligated to send along ships and material.

A. A subject clan will send some of its ships but to under support the lead clan it only sends the freighters, they are considered warships but the subject clan is hoping the lead clan won't be victorious. 

B. A subject clan might send a real war fleet in support. Thus is them announcing they're looking to upset the apple cart and change the pecking order dynamic. The lead clan can't refuse their help and it better have committed more ships or it could have trouble with the subordinate admiral. Should opportunity present the subordinate admiral will go loose canon and take action that undercuts the lead clan's prestige. 

C. A clan may commit the required tribute ships but purely to watch and see what happens. These clans may band with other clans as the situation developes to change this.

All of that makes a premiere sathar clan Leary of rashly going to war. Instead most opt to collect tribute in material from those it can intimidate, shore up its position and prepare for future power struggles. Hence the long period of peace after SW1. 

Small sathar incursions or incursions by client/slave races represent clans seeking to enhance their position. 
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 15, 2016 - 5:14pm
Really late to this thread (I've been out of the country) but just wanted to chime in on the modular ship idea.  If you look at the Sathar destroyer I did the deck plans for, the forward bridge and aft engineering sections are completely isolated from the rest of the ship.  You could easlily use the same design and just put a different central section to get a different ship.

Other wise, I love all the great ideas here.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
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Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
June 16, 2016 - 3:48am
TerlObar wrote:
(I've been out of the country)

Welcome hone!

Quote:
If you look at the Sathar destroyer I did the deck plans for

Where would these be found? As manager of the project, you know how much I like a set of Deck Plans. ;)
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 16, 2016 - 3:54am
http://frontierexplorer.org/special_issues

Special issue by FE
http://frontierexplorer.org/special_issues
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!