Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Traveller Tuesday: Two More Subsidized Liner Variants

Remember when I promised I'd do more of these?

It's that time again.
My use of Traveller setting and dress falls under
fair use guidelines for both Mongoose and Far Future Enterprises.
Unlike last time, which compared the profitability of commercial ventures, these two variants are an example of lateral thinking when it comes to the question of "What else can you do with a 600 dton, jump-3 ship?"
Art by the amazing Ian Stead.
(link opens Google document)
As I may have mentioned before, a Broadsword-class Merc Cruiser can only transport a platoon or so of combat effective personnel. While this make it great for high-value SEAL-equivalent insertion and extraction, it's not at all suited (or cost-effective) for transporting a company of knuckle-draggers.

However, a Subsidized Liner with J-3 range is just perfect for that sort of thing.

First you strip out all of the frippery and most of the nice appointments. Keep the staterooms; the captain, the troop CO and the chief engineer get their own room; everyone else gets to double up. After the ship's crew has been taken care of, you can fit between 60 and 66 troops inside (it depends on whether or not the gunners are ship's crew or from the merc unit; if you turn the mercs into gunners you get more room for nice things like a ship's surgeon [who gets his own room] and a medical suite).

I mentioned gunners? Well, a lot of merc insertions are likely to be hot. Let's use those 6 hardpoints for their intended purpose. A mix of lasers and particle beams gives the ship acceptable punch from short to long range (moreso if you make use of the weapons upgrade system from High Guard), with pulse lasers and sandcasters for defense. Speaking of defense, let's add some armor too: 4 points of Crystaliron is about all that will fit, although and expensive upgrade to BSD will increase that 6. And of course, this has my signature "reflec and rad shielding only cost money, not tons" add-on.

Since the ship already has a power plant rated for jump-3, it doesn't take much room or money to replace the 1G engines with 3G. This gives the ship speed for running, assaulting, and evading.

In addition to the usual Ship's Boat (which ought be turned into some kind of gunship), there's room for four air/rafts (good as utility vehicles or technicals) and four 10-dton tanks or APCs or whatever you want to bring the bang.

Cargo space is quite limited, though, and likely restricted to ammunition, spare parts, food and medical supplies. 

Now that I've made a Liner for war, let's see one made for peace. 

Hospital Liner (Mercy Ship)
This pairs well with the Refugee Liner I mentioned in my previous post. But while that ship is designed to evacuate the healthy, this ship is designed to provide critical care to the wounded and dying.

Most of the space has been converted to a medical ward, able to treat up to multiple casualties at once. The stabilized are offloaded to the refugee transport, and the ones who are likely to die regardless are put into emergency low berths with the hope that they can be revived and saved at a later time (usually at a class A starport with a state of the art trauma unit). The in-betweens can use their gurneys as beds for the week in jumpspace if necessary.

Out of 15 staterooms, only 5 are used by the crew, which allows carriage of up to 20 medical personnel to a disaster site. A full complement of autodocs -- one per surgical bay -- act as nurses for patients, meaning that all carried medical personnel can be specialized doctors (brain surgeons, cyberneticists, psychiatrists, etc).

There are three versions of this variant: Far, Fast, and System. The Far version retains J-1 capability and is most efficient as a fleet adjunct or as a response craft to a disaster in other systems. The Fast version drops to J-1 in exchange for 6G thrust; this gives increased utility within the system (as a response craft to passenger ships in distress) and additional treatment capacity, while still retaining the ability to jump should a disaster occur in a nearby system, or if it would take too long to reach via maneuver drive. The System version strips out all jump drives and can treat even more patients.

In instances where non-injured must be taken aboard (such as when a passenger ship is in distress), they are typically routed to the Passenger Lounge, where they are looked after by a Steward (or whoever has the lowest Medical skill).

The Mercy Ship has only token defenses (one triple sandcaster and a reflec coating), because 1) it can't spare the room for more and 2) any such ship venturing into a hot zone will have an armed escort --preferably a ship in the 1,000 dton and up range, bristling with weapons and possessing zero tolerance for anything that would try to capture a hospital.
Art by Ian Stead

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