The 20th Fleet in STA

So, we know (Vice) Admiral April Hebert is, since “recently”, in command of the 20th Fleet. Her headquarters is at Starbase 364 aka “Narendra Station” and her fleet consists of several ships that have been “honed (…) into an effective first-line defense against potential threats from the Shackleton Expanse and beyond”. Her “newest trio of vessels” are the USS Bellerophon, the USS Thunderchild, and the USS Venture. That is, notwithstanding the USS Ross that is probably newser (and/or joins during the events of the Shackleton Campaign, depending on when a campaign takes place).

What else is known about the fleet? Apparently, in the Decipher Edition of the Star Trek Roleplaying Game, the fleet consisted of several Orberth class science ships, with newer Akira and Steamrunner ships added recently.

Is there anything else established within the STA lore about the 20th fleet? Size, composition?

I’m thinking about fleshing it out a little bit more for my group, as playing an admiralty (side) campaign is discussed. Using the Squadron rules of the Command supplement, the fleet sums up to at least 22 squadron points (35, if you include Narendra Sation). So I’m wondering whether it would make sense to break down the fleet into two or more squadrons under the command of Rear Admirals?

Comments welcome! :slight_smile:


This isn’t canon, just thoughts which assume that there aren’t any other canon vessels in the SE beyond the Bellerophon, Thunderchild and the Venture (nor any specific restrictions, like saying there are only X number of ships, etc).

It really depends on the circumstances of the campaign and what role you want for the Player-Ship (PS from here-on).

In my one that I’m setting up, it’s set not long after the Dominion crosses the Celestial Temple and headed to the Cardassian Union. That explains why Starfleet allows such a young and untested crew to head up such an important venture and without having their spotlight taken by other major ships exploring the expanse - all the big guns and experienced crews are back in the Alpha Quadrant, ready to counter any Dominion threats. That also means the 20th fleet will be minimal - the Venture is going to be the biggest stick the Federation has in the area. We’ll have colony ships, construction ships and freighters to follow up and support what the PS manages to dig up. There’ll be science ships, but mostly old ones that are barely staying in the game, like Oberths. There’ll be military ships, but again, apart from the Bellerophon, Thunderchild and Venture, they’re going to be the scraps that the Alpha Quadrant isn’t so bothered about. Maybe a few Mirandas, you get the idea. Ships that were cutting edge…for Kirk.

My goal is to allow the PS to be in the spotlight, allow their decisions to be what they want to do while not bogging them down with logistics that being on their own would bring. So my 20th fleet is shaped to meet that. A help, but not the big stick they can rely on to solve their problems for them or taking over. You should adjust the fleet to what role you want it to play. You might want them to be bigger and stronger so you can have large set-piece battles, so having Sovereigns, Galaxys, Akiras, Defiants and so forth would make sense. Or, you may want to just have the three ships (or fewer!) so that the PS has to rely on the crew’s abilities to forge the relationships by themselves (no “we’ll get the Bellerophon to deliver that vaccine for ya!”).


In my game, I interpreted the 20th Fleet as being the ships dedicated to supporting and defending the Federation colonies lying between the Klingon Empire and the Shackleton Expanse. They’re mostly older vessels, as quite isolated from the rest of the Federation, and spend most of their time watching for raiders, ferrying medical supplies and attending to various emergencies. They don’t have much time for scientific or exploration missions, which is why they’re not seen as a plum assignment by new graduates.

The Special Research Flotilla (Thunderchild, Bellerophon, and the Nebula-class Lexington) is a trio of ships that have assigned specifically to explore the Expanse. They’re officially attached to the 20th Fleet, but their responsibilities are to the exploration mission, not the colonies.

Generally speaking, the two sets of ships never interact, 20th Fleet vessels are too far away to be of any help in the Expanse. That said, the Klingon War is just kicking off, and Bellerophon was lost at Candidate Three, so there are a couple of 20th Fleet vessels assigned specifically to defend Starbase 364 until the emergency is over.


In both the games I run the 20th fleet is the garrison fleet for Narendra Station and all other star bases in the area. But the Federation got it’s manpower and ships creamed in the Dominion War, so their strength is greatly reduced, but is slowly being restored. In my post Dominion war games the Federation had a lot of infrastructure damage from the War, and anyone on that side of the Federation had worlds raided or bombarded, Shipyards destroyed, Factories and facilities obliterated. Mean while any one living on the other side of the Federation, other that feeling the bite of some rationing, and maybe a Changeling scare, only heard of the war on the news. It’s allowed my players to choose if they fought in the war or not and how it affected their families, and some interesting character dynamics between Dominion War vets, and non-vets.