Early Years ShipsGeneral Notes
Here are additional ships that can be used during the Early Years period. Some form of these ships might appear in an eventual Module Y4, most will not. Either way, these are ships that have tickled my fancy, and were permitted to appear here for my amusement and your entertainment. Please have fun with them.
General Federation Klingon Romulan Kzinti Gorn Tholian Orion Hydran Andromedan Lyran WYN
ISC LDR Seltorian Jindarian Vudar Paravian Carnivon
Master Ship Chart
Early Freighter (YF): In the beginning of the Early Years, all of the freighters were unarmed. As time progressed, and the true dangers of space were better understood, more and more freighters began to carry weapons. While no where near enough to fight off a star ship, even the humble Ph-3 was enough to scare off hostile shuttles or kill incoming drones while the freighter attempted to flee. By the end of the Early Years, most freighters were armed as shown here. (ssd)
Early Exploration Cruiser (YEC): After the unified Star Fleet ships appeared, Star Fleet Command decided that instead of forcing integration on all of Star Fleet's ships, a subset of the YCAs would be set apart as "flag ships" for each of the major member nations. These flag ships would have 90% of their crew from a single nation (the rest being a cross section of other member nations), and it would be the symbolic flag ship for that nation.
When assigned their ship, the Vulcans petitioned Star Fleet to allow them to modify "their" cruiser to use their technology. After much deliberation, fearing similar requests from the other nations, Star Fleet Command agreed. (Much to their relief, no other nation made the request, not even the Andorians.)
This decision turned out to be very fortunate for the Federation, as this ship served as the inspiration (and effectively became the prototype) for the later Galactic Survey Cruiser. (ssd)
Early Light Cruiser (YCL): If the Federation had not kept updating the WCL/YCL/CL, they would have had to make a saucer-based CL at some point. The YCL is effectively a "beefed up" YDD, being provided with larger engines and slightly more internal volume. (ssd)
Early Commando Cruiser (YCT): A commando cruiser based on the YCL. Without the old CL, this would have to serve as the base hull for the commando cruiser. While the default complement of troops is not large, its copious barracks space allows for quick expansion as needed. The cargo space is tight, and the shuttle bay is not expanded, but the large transporter bay allows for some quicker deployments. (ssd)
Early Drone Frigate (YFD): The Federation experimented with this frigate design. It replaced the photons with Andorian drone racks. The reason for the exchange was two-fold. First, the Federation wanted to determine if they could make effective use of drones on their smaller ships, since photons were so power hungry the frigates could not arm them and move at fleet speeds. Second, the Federation thought that they could be useful in a fleet context to help combat massed Kzinti drones. Not satisfied with the results, only a couple of conversions were made, and the experiment was stopped. (ssd)
The original idea for the Cygnan ships (published in CL25) was as converted Kzinti ships. Instead of just chucking the designs, they have been modified (to remove the Cygnan's E-racks) and are presented here as Federation Captured Kzinti ships.
In both cases, the forward phasers were replaced with photons, and the drones were replaced with phasers.
Captured Early Kzinti Cruiser (YZC): The 360 phasers were upgraded to Ph-2s, the weapons on each side were combined into a pair of Ph-2s, and the original forward phasers were replaced with photons. The unique photon arcs would have been an interesting experiment to the Federation captain who was assign a converted Kzinti cruiser. Standard photon doctrine requires concentrated photon fire, but the ability to fire a photon into the side arcs would provide new opportunities to the adaptable captain. [Note that the weapons pods that Kzintis used to house disruptors on their cruisers are not used here, as they hadn't been invented yet. As a result, the photons are mounted directly in the ship's hull.] (ssd)
Captured Early Kzinti Frigate (YZF): The side weapons were combined into Ph-2s, and the forward phaser was replaced with a photon. This design has the interesting effect of being much faster than the standard frigate, because of the combination of slightly more power and having only a single photon. (ssd)
Early Drone Frigate (F4D): The Klingons never fully committed to drones as an integral part of their offense during the Early Years. Instead, they simply used drones to augment their main disruptor/phaser firepower. However, they did experiment with trying to make drones a more important part of their combat force, and experimented with a few drone-heavy ships. They tried the drone ships both tactically as a counter for Kzinti drones and to break up drone waves, and experimented with them in the drone bombardment role they observed the Kzintis use against them. They chose to use the flexible frigate as the platform for these experiments. (ssd)
Unlike in the historical record, a few scattered ships survived the onslaught of the Tholians. As they fled, they simply ran in whatever direction was away from the Tholian attacks. Almost all of these ships were support ships or lightly armed ships. Of these, three different ships ended up heading into Romulan space, and were rescued by the Romulans. In one case, the Klingons fought against the Romulans, but lost and had their ship captured. The other two, however, surrendered. One of the ships was a supply ship that also had extensive records of the Klingon Empires ship designs, including the new designs just coming on line. Armed with these designs, the working examples, and the rescued Klingon engineers, the Romulans realized that they had just been promoted. Both individually, and as an empire.
After over a half-decade, the Romulans started to produce their new warp powered ships. During this time, many of the old 'Eagle' style ships were retrofitted with warp engines, and a few were built new. However, even when converted to warp power, they were slow both tactically and strategically. As a result, most of their effort was focused on designing and building ships of the new 'Kestrel' style. The main shipyard was dedicated toward this direction, and so the core of the new Romulan warp-powered fleet were the early Kestrel ships. Warp-Refitted Warbirds and Vultures were kept around in some numbers, however, because of the raw power provided by their massive Pl-R torpedoes. Also, many variants were converted to warp, too, lowering the need for specialty Kestrel ships.
The masking device was developed in Y89, but it was not used as it could not protect ships that used warp engines. However, in Y119, the veiling device was created and it could veil warp powered ships. [The cloaking device developed in Y140 also worked on warp powered ships, too.] As a result, none of the ships below are shown with a masking (since it wouldn't work) or a veiling device (as it appeared too late).Warp-Refitted Cruiser (WKR): This was a theoretical design the Romulans created in case they ever found a D3 they could experiment with. However, they never did. They didn't bother with this design, as they had the much more robust D4 design to work with.
There is just about no way a Pl-G could work on those feeble engines, so it was stuck with a pair of Pl-F. Note that the plasmas are restricted to bolt-only until Y88. (ssd)
Warp-Refitted Frigate (WK3R): As with the WKR, this design never left the computers. This design would only have been used had they recovered an existing F3. As with the WKR, both disruptors would have been converted to Pl-F. Note that the plasmas are restricted to bolt-only until Y88. (ssd)
Early Cruiser (YKR): It was the designs for the Y-era ships that really blew the Romulans away. Since they were starting from scratch, they chose to just start with that design. It was determined that the D4 hull, unlike the smaller D3, could handle the larger Pl-G, but that it could not mount the Pl-R of the day. When tests with the initial prototypes proved out, production was quickly initiated and the YKR started production in Y89. It always used seeking plasma. (ssd)
Early Frigate (YK4R): In conjunction with the production of the YKR, the YK4R was also put into production. The Romulans tried to mount two Pl-G on the YK4R, but the design could not handle both torpedoes. This forced the choice of either one Pl-G or two Pl-F, and they chose the two Pl-F in order to keep the number of plasmas as high as possible. (ssd)
Early Escort (YK2R): Built after the initial set of YKRs and YK4Rs, the smaller YK2R was quickly added into the fleet to provide patrol and policing capabilities to the fleet. While there were never enough ships of any kind to be everywhere that was needed, these small ships allowed the Romulan Navy the ability to project itself much more widely than otherwise would have been possible. (ssd)
Early YKCR Dreadnought (YKCR): With the increasing numbers of ships being produced, the Romulans finally decided to commit the resources to produce a dreadnought. They did not have any plans for the C4, but by examining the designs of the C3 and D4, they were able to work out a design that was surprisingly similar to what they would have done with the actual C4 design. It would be produced in fairly small numbers, but served as an important symbol of ascending Romulan power. With the size requirements for Pl-R torpedo launchers of the time, it was not feasible to mount them on the dreadnought's engines. Instead, each engine mounted a Pl-G torpedo like was done with the YKR. (ssd)
Early Command Cruiser (YKRC): The burgeoning fleet required command elements, so the YKRC was built. It had a minor power upgrade, but was otherwise nearly identical to the base YKR. (ssd)
Early Survey Cruiser (YKRE): Intrigued by the possibilities of the D4E design, the Romulans chose to build one fairly early in the production schedule.The Romulan sublight fleet was very limited in the amount of territory it could explore in any length of time. The new YKRE class gave the Romulans much, much longer legs with which to explore their territory and allow them to expand as rapidly as possible. While not armed with plasma torpedoes, it was able to defend itself with its phaser armaments, and run away from nearly anything. Exceptionally pleased with the results, they then continued to produce more as they felt they could afford to. It was the workhorse the Empire used to push its borders out as far as possible. (ssd)
Early Commando Cruiser (YKRG): Most troop transport capabilities were handled by warp-refitted Commando Birds, or by standard troop freighters. However, the first two of these units were built in preparation for efforts that required a large number of troops to be carried in the absolutely shortest amount of time. More were built over time because of their extreme capability in base assaults. (ssd)
Early Commando Frigate (YK4G): A handful of these were built to augment the YKRG. Like that ship, these were only used in situations that required extremely rapid deployment. With its limited support systems, it was not able to deploy troops directly into combat like its bigger sibling. Consequently, the fleet attempted to only use the YK4G to move troops around quickly, and have the YKRG (or Commando Bird) deploy troops in a "hot" situation. (ssd)
Early Transport Tug (YKRT): The tug was a critical element of the newly created fleet. It was used almost exclusively to maintain and expand the network of bases. No special pods were built for it, and it only carried cargo pods or base components. (ssd)
Heavy Plasma Ships: When the Romulans first found the plans, they wanted to adapt the ships to a similar plasma arrangement to what they used in their old ships, with a heavy center-line plasma, and phasers around. Unfortunately, the conduits and neck bracing of the Klingon designs didn't really support that arrangement, and so they had to resort to the lighter plasmas as the main armaments. The following designs are what they had initially wanted to build.
Early YKCB Dreadnought (YKCB): The Romulan designers planned to mount a Pl-R torpedo on the main center-line of the forward hull pointing straight forward, with two auxiliary Pl-G torpedoes pointing to the sides for better arc coverage. The engine mounts would then hold phasers. But, after tests with the single YKRB prototype, they determined that this arrangement wouldn't even work on the dreadnought's boom, and went with the primary design instead. This ship was never built. (ssd)
Early Cruiser (YKRB): The initial prototype of the YKR used this design. But, they determined that the structure of the neck system just wasn't strong enough to support the Pl-R, and it was only able to fire as a Pl-S without causing damage to the ship. (If fired as a Pl-R, the ship suffers from an immediate breakdown.) Still, the initial prototype was kept and given this designation. It was immediately relegated to be a training vessel and never saw open combat. It always used seeking plasma. (ssd)
Early Battle Frigate (YK4B): The YK4B was the initial design of the frigate, using a single Pl-G (which gave a configuration similar to the venerable Snipe). While having the heavier plasma was desirable, along with its ability to more quickly reload, halving the damage potential of the ship's heavy weapons was deemed too high of a price to pay. Still, a few examples of this variant were produced. (ssd)
Old Style Ships: After first gaining warp technology, the Romulans immediately refitted multiple of their contemporary ships to warp. They had multiple warp-powered Warbirds, Hawks, and Snipes. They did not initial convert any Vultures, as they understood this effort was temporary and they decided to wait until they had their fleet strategy decided before they made any systemic decisions. These initial conversions were always intended to be a temporary effort to provide immediate resources while the full solution was developed. These initial set of ships were slower than the versions presented below, and are not presented here. Any of these initial batch of ships that continued in service were all upgraded to the designs below.
When developing their long term solution, the Romulans were severely disappointed that none of the new designs could manage to operate the Pl-R torpedo. Therefore, they decided to continued to refit Warbirds and Vultures to use warp engines in order to keep relevant numbers of Pl-Rs in the fleet. Unfortunately, the existing hulls were not able to be adapted to warp engines very well, and their operational and tactical speeds were significantly slower than the new hulls. They were able to improve the performance from their initial attempts, but even the improved conversions were significantly slower than the new ships. Therefore, the Romulans accepted the lower plasma output of the Kestrels in order to have a faster fleet. They used the refitted Warbirds and Vultures as heavy weapon platforms to augment the fleets, and used them as base-busters and on assaults against fixed targets. Likewise, many Commando Ships were also converted in order to take advantage of their ability to land on planets.
Early Vulture (YVU): Vulture converted to work with warp engines. Still fearsome with twin Pl-R. Note that the plasmas are restricted to bolt-only until Y88. (ssd)
Early Warbird (YWB): Warbird converted to work with warp engines. Note that the plasmas are restricted to bolt-only until Y88. (ssd)
Early Commando Ship (YCO): Commando variant of Early Warbird. Can land on planets. (ssd)
Star Drive Romulans
I made a submission that would allow the Romulans to move faster than one. There were problems with it, and it is not at all the direction ADB wanted to go, so it was rejected. But rather than just throw it all away, I thought I would go ahead and put it up here.
Early Heavy Cruiser (YCA): The Kzinti didn't start using disruptors until very, very late. The Marquis would have found his forces heavily challenged by the combat power of the Federation fleet. This design occurred very late in the Early Years and was effectively a test bed for disruptor technology. They had not yet thought of using "weapons pods" to hold the disruptors, so mounted them in the forward phaser mounts. To make up for the missing phaser power, the central phasers were upgraded to heavier phasers. (ssd)
Early Dreadnought (YDN): Module Y2 introduced an early dreadnought for the Gorns, but it was based on the earlier battleship. This early dreadnought is based on the early cruiser design. Since I like this design, I have kept it here. It is made under the assumption that putting a rear bubble on any ships had just never occurred to them yet. It is still pretty powerful. (ssd)
Strike Cruiser (YCS): This is a Gorn answer to the Warbird. This takes a YCL and replaces its plasma armament with a single Pl-R. Since the wings are way too weak to support the requirements of an early years Pl-R torpedo tube, it is mounted centrally at the front of the saucer. Some systems are moved, and others are lost, as a result of the volume taken up by the larger tubes.
Obviously, such a variant is impossible, as, if it was made, there would be a later CL and CA version. That there are no such ships indicates that this couldn't exist. (ssd)
The Early Years Tholian ships are all already in the main game. As such, it is simply a matter of listing what ships are available when.
Y83: NDD, NFF, PC
Y85: Cargo Pack
Y115: DD, Pol
The Tholians operate skiffs equivalent to GW era skiffs, but operate normal freighters and (when published) auxiliaries.Tholian shuttles are full GW equivalents, move speed 6, and have a Ph-3.
The CPC may carry Caro Packs, Base Pods, and Civilian Cargo Pods. They cannot use Federation cargo pods, as the Federation did not sell them to the Tholians until much later. (Their primary use was to set up bases. They will rarely carry cargo pods except in support of that mission.)
The Hydrans have an interesting history of technological development. Their pre-warp fleets are so bad that, unlike any other empire, they were incapable of converting those ships to be their first warp powered ships. Instead, the Hydrans were forced to create entirely new designs to use. And new designs they created! Their first warp ships were much better than anyone else's, and they were built with significant foresight. The Hydrans appreciated how technology was likely to improve, and their new designs anticipated that.
However, when the second generation of ships came around, their effectiveness significantly dropped. And dropped to such a point that they ended up getting completely conquered by the Klingons. One has to believe, however, that had the Klingons not been able to take advantage of the sudden technological shift so quickly, the Hydrans would have addressed their relative drop in effectiveness. The primary means to accomplish that would have been to improve their weapons.
There are two likely paths for that improvement. Prior to the introduction of Y2, the most obvious improvement would be an earlier introduction of fusion beams. Obviously, there are no overloads (of any kind), but other than that, they would be normal fusion beams. However, with the introduction of Y2 there is another possible path: the hellgun. While historically the Hydrans were only able to deploy it on their command ships (the YDN and YCC), there is no reason to believe that, had they not been conquered, they would not have rolled the hellgun out more broadly through out their fleet.
The Hydrans were continually attempting to improve their weapons. Historically, it took them until the late Y120s to finally develop the fusion beam over the nova beam. However, it is possible, had they not been conquered by the Klingons and Lyrans, that they could have developed fusion beams in two stages: the basic non-overload-able fusion beam, then the "advanced" fusion beam that could be overloaded and suicide overloaded.
The obvious way to implement this is to simply replace the nova beams on the Grenadier and Voltigeur one-for-one with fusion beams. But where is the fun in that? Instead, this postulates that the Guild that created the fusion beam did not work well with the Guild that built the main early ship designs and instead created their own (totally unneeded) designs to make use of these weapons. This would have created competing designs that the Hydran Navy would have used for a period of time before finally standardizing on the more advanced designs.
Early Ranger (YRG): This is the cruiser design built to use the new fusion beams. It is comparable with the Grenadier, but has slightly improved systems and carries more phasers, in addition to the more powerful fusion beams. This design eventually evolves into the Ranger seen in the Middle Years. (ssd)
Early Lancer (YLN): The destroyer built to use the new fusion beams was not as significant of an improvement over the YDD, as the Ranger is over the Grenadier. The Lancer has fewer redundant systems than the YDD, but it does have slightly more phasers (though in more spread arcs) and the more powerful fusion beams. (ssd)
The Hydrans gave a peek at what they had hoped to be able to do with their fleet in the introduction of the YCC and YDN. Both ships replaced their nova cannons with the brand new hellgun weapon. Unfortunately for the Hydrans, getting their kingdom conquered and their economy completely destroyed put a rather damaging crimp in those plans. Had they been able to survive with any sort of decent economic base, they would have done a much more extensive refit of their fleet. While there would still have been plenty of ships with the nova cannon (the guild system would have seen to that), a significant minority of their fleet would have been fitted with the hellgun. The continued reliance on the nova cannon is especially true for the smaller ships, where they suffer a reduced weapons load to mount the hellgun. Many of them (maybe even most) would have been left with nova cannons. But, with the capital ships, the hellgun would likely have reached parity in numbers.
Early Hellgun Cruiser (YCH): This would have been the core of the Hydran fleet with its two powerful hellguns in place of the nova cannons. The use of hellguns would have caused a rather dramatic reduction of fleet speed, however, due to the heavy power requirements of the hellgun without any increase in power generation. (ssd)
Early Hellgun Destroyer (YDH): The destroyer would not have been able to handle two hellguns (either power-wise or structurally), and therefore it carries a single hellgun in place of its two nova cannons. Due to this, the hellgun in located at the very front of the ship, and the forward phasers are moved to where the nova cannons were located. (ssd)
Early Hellgun Frigate (YFH): The frigate made the same compromise as the destroyer, and had to settle for a single forward hellgun and phasers replacing the nova cannons. (ssd)
Heavy Survey Pod (PAL-YSH): The Survey Pod was originally intended to be based on the double-weight Troop Transport Pallet. Unfortunately, the established history stated that the Troop Transport Pallet was the largest pallet the Lyrans ever made and that it was the only double-weight pallet. That pretty much eliminated the original idea. However, if the established history had allowed room for it, the survey pod would have been much more impressive, and more effective. This is a double-weight pallet. If a second pallet is carried in the forward position, it will NOT block the phaser arcs on this pallet. (ssd)
Warp-Refitted Experimental Cruiser (WCE): When the ESG was developed, they fielded it on a couple of WCLs and sent them into battle against the Kzinti to determine its effectiveness. They were so encouraged by the results that they immediately put it into the design of the next cycle of ships. The size of the ESG caused some problems in finding room for the device, and the tractor and battery suites were reduced. However, since they were only reduced to the level seen in the WDD, it was considered acceptable, particularly for prototype ships. (ssd)
Early Police Cruiser (YCP): The ISC fleet was more of a "coast guard" style organization rather than a true military organization. Therefore, it is likely they would have build some ships that accentuated those responsibilities in addition to the more combat oriented ships that would make up much of their fleet. The police cruiser was built on a YCL hull, and served as a "swiss army knife" style ship able to answer a wide variety of missions. (ssd)
The Vudar were conquered early by the Klingons; no later than Y76. It can be presumed that they had some ships prior to the conquest, but considering the difficulties they had building their initial clandestine fleet, they couldn't have been that good. In fact, they probably were completely sublight, and only gained warp technology from the Klingons. Their earliest warp capable ships were probably the DD and FF, which were built in Y130.
But that isn't a whole lot of fun in the Early Years, so let's give them some ships to run around in prior to their conquest. That way the Klingons will at least have to put up somewhat of a fight to integrate them. No reason to let it be the cake walk it likely really was.
The Vudar did not convert prior sublight ships to warp power, but rather built brand new warp-powered ships. (Much like the Hydrans did.) The Vudar impulse technology was second to none, but they had difficulties with their warp technology. Whether the issues were purely technological, or partially psychological, is completely unknown. The result, however, was known: the Vudar Warp ships were slow. They had power comparable with the warp-refitted ships of other empires, but they don't have as much warp power, as so had a lower top speed.
Warp Heavy Cruiser (WCA): The Vudar Warp Heavy Cruiser is a powerful ship. While it does not have the same top speed as other comparable ships, it easily has the same operational speed due to its large impulse engines and ion reactors. It was well armed for a ship of its time, and put up a very stiff fight against its primary opponent, the Klingon D3. (ssd)
Warp Destroyer (WDD): The Warp Destroyer was not nearly as impressive. It nearly had the same armament as the cruiser (coming only a phaser short), but did not have the same redundancy of systems, nor the power. It also suffered from the same lower top speed, and had trouble rearming everything if everything was fired at once. (ssd)
Heavy Destroyer (YDH): The Gorn assault on the Paravian home world took many months to accomplish. During that time the Paravians were building ships as fast as they could to counter the continuing assault by the reptilian demons. One desperate measure they took was to modify their destroyer design to upgrade its weapons at the expense of its flexibility. They chose this for the destroyer because it was the biggest hull they could quickly produce in large numbers. (ssd)