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Old Ships, New Tech

suggestion regarding the abalative armor then, it was done as a special project by the engineering cadets at the academy to show them how to add abalative armor to a space frame. with the way abalative armor works, knowing how to patch that stuff in the field is a legit important skill to teach

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One consideration that I was reminded of when looking something up in the TNG Tech Manual, is that a vessel’s shape is partially defined by the needs of the warp drive: the engines need to generate a warp field around the whole ship, and certain shapes and configurations of vessel have been proven to be more efficient as the science of subspace fields has advanced. You can see a design trend over the decades: ships getting leaner, sleeker, with smoother integration between saucer and engineering section.

This would be a solid reason why older ships are phased out: a Constitution class, even with a 2360s warp core and field coil assembly, may not be able to achieve the same kinds of speeds as, say, an Intrepid-class, and it’ll certainly need to spend more power to achieve those higher warp factors. That would in turn limit the power available to other functions, and limit the vessel’s abilities.


@Modiphius-Nathan Good points all. That’s why I’m keeping my Constitution Refit in this thread at Warp 8 maximum speed.

Being sleeker would help allow bigger ships like the galaxy exist because I could see a warp field not being stable for such a large ship without that consideration, but the connie is a sturdy ship that could probably be robust enough to survive newer generations of tech. Or maybe… connie 2.0, connie 5.0, connie 10.0 etc

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This is backed up by lore that says that the up/down moveable warp nacelles of the Intrepid Class (Voyager) are designed like they’re designed because that way they’re able to generate a more ‘environment friendly’ warp field (cf. TNG ep. 7x09, ‘Force of Nature’).

New materials (e.g. new duranium and/or tritatnium alloys) that provide better overall structural integrity, new coatings providing better background radiation protection…

Starfleet building their bleeding-edge technology ships from scratch just makes perfectly sense. :slight_smile:

(That being said: I like the take on the training vessel. I might steal this idea. But as well the hint with the EMH instead of ablative armour. There are cadets, afterall and we all know that this lot is able to get in trouble all the times… :smiley: )

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Personally, I would have gone with an Ambassador, Excelsior, Constellation, or Miranda class over the Connie in that case. They are still not top of the line new ships, but they are somewhat newer, and closer to what the cadets may encounter on their assignments. They could (while assigned to the ship) take a course of classes similar to a History Class in the Holodeck over the operation of older vessels like the Connie.

Here is an example of what I would use for those purposes. The vessel itself is 85 years old: CD is the Commissioned Date, it was Decommissioned 41 years later, then pulled out of mothballs after 40 years for an emergency situation. Had a minor refit performed earlier in the year to give it the EMH and Armor.

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@SSiron I was thinking along the lines of Starfleet Academy keeping the Hornet and other similar ships for training due to the prestigious history of such a vessel as well as for having cadets perform spacefaring duties a little more manually and thus gaining better understanding of operating a starship - similar in concept to the US Coast Guard Academy’s use of the sailing ship “Eagle.”

Ok, I can partly understand that. You could have them serve a few months on a each ship… Like 4 months on 3 different ships for their ‘Cadet cruise’. Start with the Hornet, then go to a ship like the one I suggested, then a more modern ship like a Nova. Or rotate them however you might want to, since the Nova has such a small number of personnel.

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@SSiron I like the idea of rotating training ships. I’m keeping ablative armor for reasons as previously stated by @BrianDavion. The upcoming Starfleet officers and crew members will need to know how to repair and install ablative armor panels when they deploy to the newest vessels throughout Starfleet.

I plan on using that myself in a few months once my campaign starts. My players will be assigned to a starbase that has a starship in detached service. (Similar to how the Defiant worked while attached to DS9.) I originally planned on them having an Oberth, Constellation, then a Nova, but I may change around the two other ships (start with Oberth), and get a list of ships they may want to test out and roll for which ship once they switch.

Constellation’s a pretty big ship to be attached to a starbase defiant like, what about a Saber? they’re a pretty good choice, small compact, lowish crew number (40 according to the DS9 TM)

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I disagree about the arguement of it being too big. There is at least one Excelsior class attached to the Academy, and we don’t know what ships may be attached to other starbases for whatever reason. I mean, from one way of looking at it, Narendra Station has 3 ships on detached duty assigned to it. (Granted, the crews for the ships came with the ships, but still.)

Also, my campaign is starting in 2369. The Saber doesn’t roll off the assembly line until 2371. By the time my campaign reaches the time frame where a Saber may be available, they may no longer be on the starbase, but on to their own ship and exploring.

On the Old Ships, New Tech theme.

I have a frame for my next STA campaign.

The basic idea is that at the height of the Dominion War, the Federation was was loosing badly and needed to pull every starship they had to the war front. Throughout the series, they have shown or alluded to need for patrols to counter raiders or pirates on the fringes of the Federation territories. This woudln’t go away during wartime, in fact it would probably increase as the regular fleet is pulled back to concentrate for war. The problem is that they cannot simply abandon the all the worlds, colonies, stations and outposts to themselves. The war effort would need the production and resources from the entire Federation and someone would need to provide security.

In this campaign, the Starfleet reaches back to the mothball fleet for ships to be sent to areas away from the war-front to take over the security mission and release the state of the art ships to go to the front. The old ships are crewed by young academy grads, old Starfleet retirees recalled to service and Merchant Mariners attached to Starfleet for the duration of the war. All of the refits have the traits of “old warhorse” and “hasty refit”.

The ships I will be using are the ones I have good usable deckplans at 11x17. The Archer class scout and the Constitution class cruiser. I am also using the Shiva class destroyer as a stand in for the Saladin class destroyer. Basically I am using the Saladin stats with the Shiva deckplan. Maybe not 100% canon, but I can actually have game aids in hand and the Shiva and Archer plans look and feel TOS era, so they are perfect as recommissioned ships from a mothball fleet.

The game will have the PC’s start on a archer class scout on patrol in the posterior end of nowhere. Raiders, pirates, spies, saboteurs, smugglers as well as regular dangers on the fringe. The long range plan is for the PC’s to start on a scout and then progress to a destroyer and then a cruiser.

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@SSiron In my campaign I added a Saber class attached to Narendra Station; either Captain Akul’s ship or the Saber class vessel will always be near or at the station on rapid response duty.

Yeah, I can agree with that, and may do the same once my campaign reaches that point. (I do plan on giving them their own ship and send them towards the Expanse.) However, it may be a while before they get that far, if they even want to continue playing that long. As I said, my campaign will start in 2369, with them being assigned to a Starbase within Federation space.

I planned on giving them up to 6 months in-game with an Oberth attached to the station, then 6 months with a Nova, then giving the station a Constellation. At that point, one of their characters might be high enough in rank and rep to command the Constellation on the detached missions. After that, they may be given their own ship and sent to the Shackleton Expanse to explore. It’s possible that may be in 2371, but it may still be 2370.

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It’s worth noting that the training ships we see are NOT exactly old-tech.

  • In ST II, the enterprise is 5 years post-refit; she’s still technologically first rate at that time.
  • In DS9, the training ship is a Defiant-Class…
  • In TNG, we don’t see training ships - but we are told they are using high-end shuttlecraft. Presumably disarmed fighter-shuttles.
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In DS9, there was more than one vessel noted as being assigned to Starfleet Academy to train cadets. The Valiant (Defiant class) was presumed lost behind the lines, but there was also an Excelsior class outfitted with advanced tech near earth during the failed attempted coup. (My guess, Technical test-bed mission profile, but I can’t remember the name of the Excelsior class off the top of my head.)

Think of it, more as a Heavy Explorer - “battleship” implies a focus on firepower.

Remember the upgraded warp scale increase with TNG. The CONSTITUTION went a lot slower than the GALAXY class, so much so they had to change the speeds represented by the warp scale.

Nah, in peace time Heavy Explorer. In war a Battleship :sunglasses: