Torch class System Defense Boat

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Torch class System Defense Boat
Wiki Navy.png
When An Interceptor Gets Big
Type: HSVL System Defense Boat
Agility 0
Also see Interceptor - Bay
Architect Adrian Tymes
Blueprint Yes
Canon No. Unpublished, non-canon fan spaceship design.
Cargo 0.2 Tons
Cost MCr190.79. MCr171.711 in quantity.
Crew 5
Enlisted 4
Officers 1
EOS Examples still operate post-Collapse
Era Third Imperium
Hardpoints 2
Hull Wedge Hull
Illustration No
IOC 1049
Jump J-0
Maneuver 20 G
Manufacturer various
Marines 0
Model Model/9
Origin Third Imperium
Passengers 0 High/Med 0 Low
QSP HSB-BAJ0
Reference EXTERNAL LINK: MGT Forums
Size 200 Tons
Size-cat ACS
Streamlining Airframe Hull
Tech Level TL–15
USP HSB-F280JA-E
Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.

The Torch class System Defense Boat is a fast, armed spaceship.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

The Torch class of system defense boats is a series of apparent paradoxes, starting with its name.

There are old Solomani tales of a "torchship", which uses something like maneuver drive to accelerate to appreciable fractions of the speed of light. Almost any ship with a maneuver drive is theoretically capable of this (...though most require the presence of a big enough star to provide a wide enough area to accelerate over). While the Torch class is capable of much greater acceleration than most ships, it derives its name from a simpler metaphor: a ship of fire and light.

Likewise, a Torch is too big to be classed as a fighter even if that is how it is designed to be used (with multiple canard wings to give superiority in atmospheric combat, whether invading or defending an atmosphere), and too small to be properly termed a battle rider even if it often fills that role. It at least fulfills the definition of a system defense boat: an armed spaceship of at least 100 displacement tons without a jump drive. Just one Torch can defend a highport or a small world against casual pirates, though it has no staterooms and thus can only stay deployed for 24 hours at a time; best practice is no more than 6.

Nomenclature aside, a Torch is a spaceship large enough to carry a weapon bay, that dogfights. This doctrine does not always work, but when it does it can be devastatingly effective, packs of Torches hounding entire fleets until their quarry is destroyed without suffering a single shot landed in return. Speed is a Torch's primary defense, though it also carries significant armor (...by spaceship standards) to help it survive the attack run, and to shrug off most attacks from smaller opposing vehicles, spaceships or otherwise. The short range of its primary weapon makes it ill suited to a typical "stand back and attack" doctrine.

Among the known countermeasures are uninvolved ships picking off the Torches (...best handled by having enough Torches to dogfight and harass every ship in the enemy fleet, preventing all but the most disciplined crews from tending to each others' troubles), deploying true fighters (smallcraft which can out-dogfight a Torch) with heavy enough weapons to pierce the armor, firing missiles to take out the jump-capable carrier the Torches rode in on (...which usually hangs well back from the fight), and firing large enough missile salvos at a Torch to overcome its point defense (...attacking every Torch in a squadron at once, lest they help each other against one-at-a-time salvos). Torches carry a laser turret as a secondary weapon to deal with fighters and missiles.

Image Repository[edit]

Not available at this time.

General Description & Deck Plans[edit]

  1. Deck Plans for this vessel.
    1 torch deckplans.png

Basic Ship Characteristics[edit]

Following the Imperial Navy and IISS Universal Ship Profile and data, additional information is presented in the format shown here. [1]

Basic Ship Characteristics [2]
No. Category Remarks
1. Tonnage / Hull Tonnage: 200 tons (standard). 2800 cubic meters. Airframe Wedge Hull.
  • Dimensions: maximum 54 meters long by 30 meters wide by 4 meters tall.
2. Crew Crew: 1 Pilot, 2 Engineers, 2 Gunners. The pilot is typically the captain.
3. Performance Acceleration: 7-G maneuver drive and 13-G reaction drive installed, for a total of 20-G.
4. Electronics Model/9 ship computer.
5. Hardpoints 2 hardpoints.
6. Armament One fusion gun weapon bay.
7. Defenses One triple-mount beam laser turret.
8. Craft None. Vacc suits required for EVA (extra-vehicle activity). Rescue Balls for crew escape normally carried.
9. Fuel Treatment It is not equipped with a fuel purification plant, though it does have fuel scoops.
10. Cost MCr190.79 standard (no architect's fees, the naval architects having donated their labor). MCr171.711 in quantity.
11. Construction Time 6.5 months standard, 4.5 in quantity.
12. Remarks One of the fastest non-smallcraft spaceships in Charted Space, designed to intercept and destroy capital ships.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

This class of ships was designed by Vargr naval architects working for the Third Imperium in Deneb Sector. They claim this is an evolution of designs found in the Vargr Extents. The teeth-like canards and the bridge arrangement (see Ship Interior Details below) lend credence to this claim. Similar designs have been spotted in shipyards of higher tech Vargr, Aslan, Zhodani, and even Droyne worlds, though it is surprisingly rare in the Solomani Sphere. Hivers view this design as too direct for their tastes, and K'kree prefer automated drones for ships of this sort.

This particular class was developed toward the end of the Second Survey, in response to certain diplomatic problems incurred while surveying the Vargr Extents, to protect against potential Vargr reprisals with "a Vargr ship". In order to encourage use, its designers donated their labor "to the Vargr of the Third Imperium", though even without architects' fee it was not manufactured in particularly large batches, largely because it was marketed as an anti-capital ship defense and to Vargr officers in Third Imperium planetary navies (not the largest of markets). It saw modest success as a battle rider in the Fourth Frontier War, but the results of the war saw the Third Imperium veer away from battle riders in general. Later, in the Fifth Frontier War, Torch squadrons saw much greater success in the system defense boat role.

Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities[edit]

Ship Interior Details (Peculiarities):

  • The bridge is laid out with gunners on the outside so they can directly adjust the main gun's potentials, then engineers, and the pilot in the center. The pilot is the designated captain due to having the most prominent chair - which, should the pilot fail to protect the ship, is also the seat furthest from the airlocks.
  • Like most fighters, there is little crew-accessible space within the ship. Most repairs and maintenance must be conducted from outside, preferably while the Torch is docked or landed.
  • Although the main fusion gun is mostly aimed by pointing the ship, fine aiming is achieved via magnetic deflectors packed around the triple beam generators. Adjusting these deflectors is the main activity of the gunner crewing the fusion gun. This weapon takes up the entire forward third (by volume) of the ship, using TL-15 to miniaturize the weapon to make the Torch design feasible. Some say the Torch was designed around this gun - that the miniaturized gun was developed first, and the Torch mostly just a platform to give the gun some mobility.

Class Naming Practice/s:

  • Torch names are usually dictated by the planetary government that commissions their construction, resulting in squadrons having a consistent naming pattern within themselves but incoherency of names between systems. That said, the official recommendation is to name them after light or fire sources, resulting in one incident during the Fourth Frontier War where two squadrons of 4 attached to two different battle tenders arriving at a rendezvous point were both named Explosion 1 through Explosion 4. One of them renamed itself by colors, becoming Explosion Red, Green, Blue, and Black. Both squadrons were lost in battle a week later. After the Fourth Frontier War, further use of the name Explosion for Torch class ships was officially discouraged.

Selected Variant Types & Classes[edit]

Paramilitary Vessel - Defensive Vessel - System Defense Boat:
Type HSB class System Defense Boat AKA Type SB class System Defense Boat

  1. Type HSVL class Very Light System Defense Boat
    1. Avoram class System Defense Boat
    2. Caryatid class System Defense Boat
    3. Condor class System Defense Boat
    4. Dragon class System Defense Boat
    5. Drakkon class System Defense Boat
    6. Dzegkno class System Defense Boat
    7. Eclipse Serpens class Light System Defense Boat
    8. Exarch class System Defense Boat
    9. Farnex class System Missile Defense Boat
    10. Fazachu class System Defense Boat
    11. Flash class System Defense Boat
    12. Frundsberg class System Defense Boat
    13. Grunt class System Defense Boat
    14. Gundong class System Defense Boat
    15. Harrier class System Defense Boat
    16. Holdfast class Heavy System Defense Boat
    17. Jugendworld class System Defense Boat
    18. K1074 class Heavy System Defense Boat
    19. K282 class Heavy System Defense Boat
    20. K56 class System Defense Boat
    21. Khanate class System Defense Boat
    22. Kuomsi class System Defense Boat
    23. Nassin class System Defense Boat
    24. Penner class System Defense Boat
    25. Pounce class System Defense Boat
    26. Ramrod class Missile Boat
    27. Reginald class System Defense Boat
    28. Ronix class Asteroid Patrol Boat
    29. Roye class System Defense Boat
    30. Scorpion class System Defense Boat
    31. Sentry class System Defense Boat
    32. Shukugan class System Defense Boat
    33. Stedlas class System Defense Boat
    34. Thele class System Defense Boat
    35. Torch class System Defense Boat
    36. Wasp class System Defense Boat
    37. Wolvesbane class System Defense Boat
    38. Wyvern class System Defense Boat
    39. Wyrm class System Defense Boat
    40. Zhodatl class System Defense Boat
    41. Zhodq class System Defense Boat
    42. Zydpedallion class System Defense Boat
    43. Zydpharn class System Defense Boat

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

  1. Timothy B. Brown. Fighting Ships (Game Designers Workshop, 1981), 10.
  2. Timothy B. Brown. Fighting Ships (Game Designers Workshop, 1981), 10.