Escort CarriersI am listing the following ships as "Escort Carriers" in order to differentiate them from the standard carriers. They are, however, intended to be alternatives to the existing carriers, not supplements.
SFB carrier "doctrine" is built around making carriers combat capable ships, but then surround them with almost totally defensive ships. This means that the ship that is least expendable (the carrier) must be pushed farthest into combat to make effective use of the weapons of the carrier group.
Instead, why not make the carrier itself the defensive ship, and surround it with standard warships? This forces the fleet commander to keep the non-offensive carrier away from the direct combat, and put the less valuable escorts directly into combat. To implement this, the carriers are built basically as a combination of the standard carrier and the escort based on the same hull. (E.g. the FVE is a combination of the FFV and FFE.) They include limited aegis and are later refitted with full aegis when available. Those ships introduced after full aegis automatically include it.
Note that the escort requirements are unchanged in that SC4 carriers must have at least 1 escort, SC3 carriers must have at least 2 escorts and SC2 carriers must have 3 escorts. The difference is that standard warships are used to fulfill this requirement.
This really fits well with the established history of the Federation, in that gatling phasers are rare and difficult to produce, and they are supposed to be all about the photon. In a traditional arrangement, the extremely valuable carrier is thrust into direct combat (to use what are usually the only offensive weapons in the carrier group), and the difficult to produce gatling phasers are spread across relatively easy to kill escorts. The traditional arrangement is also always a source of temptation to turn those gatling armed escorts to offensive pursuits. With the Escort Carriers, the carrier is held back from combat, but is then also given weapons with which to defend itself. These carriers are not unarmed (like some older carriers), but rather are defensively armed and able to fully defend themselves against drone and fighter attacks. The carrier's escorts, being standard warships, are then able to directly press the combat with the fighters.
Heavy Escort Carrier (CVAE): The Heavy Carrier simply trades its photons in for more drone racks. Its other weapons were already at escort levels. It can control a number of drones equal to double its sensor rating. (ssd)
Strike Escort Carrier (CVSE): The CVSE gains a pair of gatlings and drone racks. It can control a number of drones equal to double its sensor rating. (ssd)
New Escort Carrier (NVE): The NVE would be the most common carrier. The Federation would attempt to make sure every significant fleet contained at least an NVE, if not a larger carrier. It can control a number of drones equal to double its sensor rating. (ssd)
Light Escort Carrier (NVLE): The precursor to the NVE. It has only two drone racks, but still has the full suite of gatling phasers. The NVE quickly replaced and superseded the NVLE, relegating the few examples to training ships. It can control a number of drones equal to double its sensor rating.
Medium Escort Carrier (CLVE): The CLVE swaps out the side phasers for gatling phasers. It already has the drone racks expected, and just needs to gatling phasers to increase its effectiveness. The ship is otherwise unchanged. It can control a number of drones equal to double its sensor rating.
War Destroyer Escort Carrier (DVE): Same conversion as the NVE. It can control a number of drones equal to its sensor rating. (ssd)
Frigate Escort Carrier (FVE): The FVE is much more effective than either the FFV or the FFE. It could be assigned singly to frigate squadrons to provide attrition units, or it could be deployed in pairs to larger squadrons or fleets as a replacement for heavier carriers. It can control a number of drones equal to its sensor rating. (ssd)
Note that the CVL and CVE are unchanged, as they are both simply survey cruisers with fighters, not purpose-built carriers.
The Klingon escorts are significantly less effective than Federation escorts. That said, they are still quite good at providing cover against incoming drone waves. The Klingons would therefore be much more interested in this approach as it allows the carrier to be highly resistant to drones, and allows the carrier's escorts to be much more effective regular warships.
Heavy Escort Carrier (C8VE): Changes the disruptors out for drone racks. This ship is about as drone-proof as you can get without gatling phasers. It can control a number of drones equal to double its sensor rating. (ssd)
Escort Space Control Ship (C8SE): This is configured just like the C8VE, except that the drone racks on the center engine are swapped out for special sensors, giving it incredible flexibility. (ssd)
Strike Escort Carrier (D7VE): A combination of the D7V and the AD6. An effective ship that doesn't have to make the compromises of the D5VE. (ssd)
Escort War Carrier (D5VE): Changes the carrier to adopt the AD5's wing P-3s and replaces the disruptors with drones. The AD5's engine phasers would have been nice, but the drones were more important. It can control a number of drones equal to double its sensor rating. (ssd)
Escort Frigate Carrier (F5VE): This directly combines the F5V with the AF5. It is a surprisingly powerful and effective escort carrier. (ssd)
Romulans have three separate lines of carriers, but the vast majority of their carriers are all based on their Hawk series of ships. With the modular Hawks, there is no real way to implement this strategy, as the modules are either escort modules, or carrier modules. The core of the ship is always the same. As such, the Romulan Hawk carriers don't change. This means that, unlike the Feds or Klingons, they will make some or all of their required carrier escorts actual escorts.
The Kzinti are configured exactly as the Klingons, and work out very similarly. This strategy provides for drone resistant carriers escorts with normal warships.
Light Escort Carrier (CVLE): Just changed the disruptors to phasers, and changed the drone racks to type G. (ssd)
Medium Escort Carrier (MCVE): This directly combines the MCV with the MEC. Again, changed the disruptors for phasers and changed the drone racks to type G. (ssd)
For most of the Gorn escorts, all that is done is changing the Pl-F torpedoes out for Pl-D racks. As most carriers do this as a matter of course, there aren't a whole lot of differences in the Gorn carriers.
Heavy Carrier (CVA): This is just the normal CVA with the refit Pl-F replaced by Pl-D racks. It is kind of inexplicable why this isn't done with the "real" CVA, as it breaks the normal carrier patter. (no ssd)
Heavy Destroyer Escort Carrier (HVE): The HVE is a major exception to the other carriers. The HDE makes significant changes (unlike the BDE or CE), therefore the HVE is quite different. Takes the HDV, changes the Pl-S to 2 tractors, and adds the HDE's wings. (ssd)
Page last modified Thursday, 9/5/09.
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