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Assault Scout

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Assault scouts (hull size 3) are patrol ships that can attack larger ships much like fighters and bombers, but their larger size and crew of 4 to 6 give them much more versatility. What makes assault scouts different then most corvettes is better weapons, and aerospace capability. They are big enough to operate without a base station or carrier, and can make interstellar trips, but they require an overhaul after each jump. They serve as scouts and rescue ships as well as combat vessels. Like fighters, they are lightly armed and easily damaged.

Although it is widely believed that they land on a planet's surface on their bellies like an aircraft, these ships actually land on their tail like a scoutship. The landing struts are found on the half-point of the wings. Landing an assault scout on its belly on a planet is impossible, as it is difficult to navigate inside of the ship with everything tilted to the side, the ship lacks aerodynamic control surfaces, and the ship would need a runway (or be propped-up) to take off. On space station docks, they are placed on their bellies, as gravity is not an issue — docks are usually placed in a station's hub. (Note: one image exists of an Osprey-class AS landed on its belly on a planetary surface, but it is clear that the artist was unaware of the nature of space flight in the setting.)

Classes

Assault Scout ships come in a number of variations, or "class," that best suit their role. They include:

Stiletto-Class

Assault scout ortho by jaythurman-d7g90k3

Stiletto-class in Outer Reach Militia colors
(by Jay Thurman @ Deviantart)

This is the workhorse of the UPF Fleet. As it was the first class in production, its basic design is the template for all other Assault Scout classes.

Osprey-Class

WoWL Cover

The crew of the CMS Osprey, in the micro-g dock of Clarion Station

If the Stiletto-class is the one favored by the UPF, this is the one typically used by the planetary militias. It is slightly longer than the Stiletto-class and sports a second crew deck and a life support capacity of 16 beings. It has a command crew of 4 and can hold a boarding party of up to 12 troopers. This class is used for cargo inspections and boarding of other (non-military) vessels.

While capable of interstellar travel, it would be a little cramped if fully crewed as the crew quarters are designed around short stints in space of only a few days on patrol and then off time on station or planet-side.

The Osprey-class Assault Scout has the same armament and performance as the Stiletto-class.

Lancet-Class

An older model of assault scout, this class lacks the heavy hitting power of the Laser Battery, which at the time of its development was unavailable for such a small hull, for a Rocket Battery with four volleys. This variation on the Assault Scout has been mostly phased out from service (being sold to militias or the private sector) or upgraded by replacing the rocket battery for a more compact modern Laser Battery.[1][2]

This class has a typical crew compliment of 8 beings, though upgraded refits have reduced crew needs to 6.

Endeavor-Class

The Endeavor-class is geared more toward Scout rather than Assault. It is more of a system survey ship than a warship. This class, like the Lancet-class, trades in its assault rockets for a second laser battery.[3] This class is larger than the other Assault Scout classes as it also sports two atmoprobes and a laboratory deck plus a second and third crew’s quarters deck for a total crew capacity of 16 beings. It also carries the deluxe astrogation package instead of the standard one. This additional capability adversely affects performance, meaning that the Endeavor-class only has an ADF/MR performance of 4/3 instead of the 5/4 typical of the standard Assault Scout ship design.

This class was originally designed to supplement dedicated exploration scouts like the famed UPFS Eleanor Moraes in the establishment of new interstellar routes, but their cost relegated them to a secondary role.

Pigeon-Class

From the outside, the Pigeon-class looks like a normal military or corporate Stiletto or Osprey-class Assault Scout, but this is to fool observers.[4] This is not a warship, but is designated as a "packet ship", which is used to discreetly deliver important cargo, parcel or dignitaries.[5] It carries no Assault Rockets, but is still armed with a laser battery. It has an extra deck for luxury accommodations for up to two passengers, with a dedicated steward to serve them. This suite has a bar, kitchenette, head (bathroom) and a large bed for two. The cargo hold holds a large strong-box for important cargo.

The Pigeon-class packet ship is not meant to go into battle like with other Assault Scouts, and has to rely on escorts (usually one or more dedicated Assault Scouts), stealth or speed for defense. Nor is it meant for missions into unknown systems, as is just a light delivery ship.

Decks and Crew

AssaultScoutDecks

Typical deck plans for Assault Scouts.
(top-left down to top-right down; some may sport an extra deck for quarters) ------ Deck 1: Sky Bridge
Deck 2: Lower Bridge
Deck 3: Crew Deck
Deck 4: Crew's Quarters
Deck 5: Engineering
Deck 6: Storage


Color Key:
Black = Wall/Hull
Green = Floor
White = Elevator
Blue = Chair/Table
Red = Station/Computer
Orange = Machinery
Purple = Bed
Tan = Kitchen/Head

As noted, Assault Scouts are manned by a small crews. This is a tight fit compared to most ships, but also, not too crowded.

In the UPF Spacefleet, they are typically under the command of a Lieutenant, with the Co-pilot, Astrogator and Engineer being Junior Lieutenants, and the Gunner being a Warrant Officer. Militia and corporate fleets tend to maintain different systems of rank and authority.

Additional crewmen may include Techs for greater damage control measures, or Marines for boarding actions. Techs and Marines are usually not officers, but are enlisted Crewmen (or equivalent).

Typical crew compliments

Stiletto-class Assault Scout:

  • 1 Pilot (commanding officer)
  • 1 Co-pilot (first officer)
  • 1 Astrogator (second officer)
  • 1 Engineer (second officer)
  • 1 Assistant-Engineer
  • 1 Laser Gunner

A Co-pilot and Assistant-Engineer are optional, but they allow the ship to be manned by a crew at all hours, otherwise the Astrogator would have to monitor the ship while the Pilot rests. A gunner is not necessary for the assault rockets, as they can be fired by the pilot's station.

Osprey-class Assault Scout:

  • 1 Pilot (commanding officer)
  • 1 Astrogator (first or second officer)
  • 1 Engineer (first or second officer)
  • 1 Laser Gunner
  • 12 Marines

Lancet-class Assault Scout:

  • 1 Pilot (commanding officer)
  • 1 Co-pilot (first officer)
  • 1 Astrogator (second officer)
  • 1 Engineer (second officer)
  • 2 Assistant-Engineer
  • 2 Rocket Gunners

Endeavor-class Assault Scout:

  • 1 Pilot (commanding officer)
  • 1 Co-pilot (first officer)
  • 1 Astrogator (second officer)
  • 1 Engineer (second officer)
  • 1 Assistant-Engineer
  • 2 Laser Gunner
  • 1 Unspecified
  • 8 Researchers and Specialists

Pigeon-class Packetship:

  • 1 Pilot (commanding officer)
  • 1 Astrogator (first or second officer)
  • 1 Engineer (first or second officer)
  • 1 Laser Gunner
  • 1 Steward

Deck Features

Deck 1: Sky Bridge

The sky bridge is where the Astrogator or the Commanding Officer (C.O.) sits.

This deck as access to communications, detection/sensors, the main computer and data banks. Much of this deck holds machinery.

Deck 2: Lower Bridge

The lower bridge is where the Pilot and Gunner sit.

This deck has access to communications, detection/sensors, engineering controls, environmental controls, damage control systems, weapon systems, the main computer and data banks. Nearly half of this deck is machinery.

Deck 3: Crew Deck

The crew deck, or common area, is were the crew spends their off-hours. The deck has a kitchen with mess, a head with shower, and a lounge with six chairs, a table, computer station and exercise equipment.

This deck has access to environmental controls, damage control systems, the main computer and data banks.

Deck 4: Crew's Quarters

This deck holds crew quarters. the commanding officer gets a private room (usually; sometimes shared with another officer), while all other crew make do with bunks.

Assault Scouts with multiple gunner stations often place the second gunner's station here.

This deck has access to environmental controls and data banks.

Deck 5: Engineering

Engineering is where the Engineers work. There are two Engineering stations, which can serve in a limited capacity as an emergency bridge. The deck holds repair systems, maintenance robots, machine shops, and the main weapon lockers.

This deck has access to internal detection/sensors systems, engineering controls, environmental controls, damage control systems, drive controls/monitors, power monitors, repair systems/tools, main arms lockers, emergency controls, the main computer, auxiliary computer and data banks.

Deck 6: Storage

This is an open cargo hold, with a smaller storage area on the side. Along the floor of the hold, is the ship's primary hatch. When the ship lands on a planet, the hatch lowers like an elevator. The hatch is only big enough to accommodate bikes.

This is the only deck with no system access points.

Ships of the Line

Known UPF Ships: Known Militia Ships: Known Independent Ships:
  • UPFS Arrow
  • UPFS Avenger
  • UPFS Blade
  • UPFS Broadsword
  • UPFS Dagger
  • UPFS Dauntless
  • UPFS Devastator
  • UPFS Dirk
  • UPFS Doboru
  • UPFS Dorboru
  • UPFS Garvath
  • UPFS Halberd
  • UPFS Klik'ittl
  • UPFS Hrrai
  • UPFS Justifier
  • UPFS K'Riss
  • UPFS Lancet
  • UPFS Morning Star
  • UPFS Needle
  • UPFS Rapier
  • UPFS Razor
  • UPFS Remora
  • UPFS Phoenix
  • UPFS Scimitar
  • UPFS Shooting Star
  • UPFS Spear
  • UPFS Starpacer
  • UPFS Stiletto
  • UPFS Talon
Clarion Royal Marines Ships:
  • CMS Falcon
  • CMS Flitter
  • CMS Osprey
  • CMS Swallow
  • CMS Wasp



Inner Reach Militia Ships:

  • IRMS Draminid
  • IRMS Odessa
  • IRMS Scrapper
  • IRMS Bruboo*
  • IRMS Glarm*
  • IRMS Borlo*



Outer Reach Militia Ships:

  • ORMS Golenrod
  • ORMS Maltharia
  • ORMS Shark*
  • ORMS Trident*



Minotaur Militia Ships:

  • MMS Dragonfly*
  • MMS Gnat*
  • MMS Mosquito*
  • MMS Wasp*
Pirate Ships:
  • Carnarian (Malthar)
  • Zebbalow (Malthar)

(* unofficial names from Star Frontiersmen)

Gallery


House Rules and Ideas


There are a number if rules and ideas that could give new life (and survivability) to the old Assault Scout ships.

Hull Points: 15 HP is fine for a paramilitary ship with a Hull Size 3, but Assault Scouts are top-of-the-line attack ships that are at the vanguard of the spacefleet, and are the first line of defense in a planet's space defense force. With its small crew size and ability to do damage to small warships, it the perfect ship for player character parties wanting to partake in some space skirmishes. Unfortunately, it would not to the characters any good if the ship falls apart form a few hits. To give the Assault Scout more survivability, and to account for their HP as a military ship, retroactively give them a Hull Size of 25. This is based on military ships having around 8 HP per point of Hull Size. Small paramilitary ships, like the Rim-Song Yachts would still have 15 HP. (This is based on a post on Delta's D&D Hotspot.)

Mini-Lasers: To give the Assault Scout more kick and to emphasize its fighter-like design, one could mount nose- and/or wing-mounted Mini-Lasers. Basically, they are weaker than a Laser Battery, that are forward firing weapons.

Notes & ReferencesEdit

  1. Knight Hawks pp. 22
  2. Original form of the ship sported two LB, with no ADF/MR/HP reduction, making it significantly more powerful than the standard AS; this requires the use of House Rules: Knight Hawk construction rules require that a ship be either HS 6 to mount a second Laser Battery (pp. 18, 22) OR remove a Proton or Electron Battery (pp. 22); Assault Rockets cannot be removed for a Laser Battery. Only the UPFS Eleanor Moraes mounts two LB on a size-3 hull, but it has 4/3 ADF/MR performance.
  3. This requires the use of House Rules. Knight Hawk construction rules require that a ship be either HS 6 to mount a second Laser Battery (pp. 18, 22) OR remove a Proton or Electron Battery (pp. 22); Assault Rockets cannot be removed for a Laser Battery. Only the UPFS Eleanor Moraes mounts two LB on a size-3 hull, but it has 4/3 ADF/MR performance.
  4. The Pigeon is not, by definition, an Assault Scout: it is a "scout-class yacht".
  5. Assault Scouts are the most common warships in the Frontier, but they are far from common; Ships of this class usually board passengers on a planetary surface and travel directly to the surface of the destination world, bypassing any space stations that might allow a better look.

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