Communications Vessel

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X-class Communications Vessels serve communication functions throughout Charted Space.

Technical Data.jpg

Library Data Referral Tree[edit]

Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:
Starship:

  • Speed of Travel

  • Description (Specifications)[edit]

    Communications Vessels is a ship hierarchy category that covers a variety of vessels that have a primary mission of conducting communications and connecting mainworlds and/or fleets. Not every polity has a well developed X-boat system, but every polity uses starships to conduct communications missions, varying electronic messages, couriers, diplomats, envoys, and a variety of sophont messengers as well as message mediums. [1]

    Image Repository[edit]

    This image repository contains a selection of communications vessel images:

    Type XB Express Boat:

    1. An image of a Xavier class Express Boat.
      X-boat Ian-Stead 50865284 27-June-2019a.jpg

    Type XC Commercial Courier:

    1. The familiar wedge-shaped Messenger class Commercial Courier.
      J2 100dT Courier.jpg
    2. The Tathoe class Scout/Courier, one of the most common courier ships within the Vargr Extents.
      Tahoe-Courier-MGT- Marco-Morte-RESIZE-pg-73 26-Sept-2019b.jpg

    Type XT Express Boat Tender:

    1. A typical Purcell class Express Boat Tender, one of the prototypical Express Boat Tenders.
      Xboat-Tender-Keith-Supp7 Pg11-15 13-Jan-2019a.jpg

    Type XUA Armed Packet Ship:

    1. A top down image of the most common Imperial Armed Packet in a common livery.
      Armed-Packet-T5-Core-Rules-FFE 29-May-2019a.png

    Strategy & Tactics (Doctrine)[edit]

    Communications Vessels are rarely armed or armored. They are combat multipliers meant to affect battles by getting the right information and intelligence to the right forces at the right time. Every combatant fleet protects its auxiliaries and its communications lines, commo vessels included. When engaged, the commo vessel has only two choices, run as fast as possible, or hopefully hide out in jumpspace if the jump drives are charged and ready. [2]

    Supraclass Roles[edit]

    Communication Vessels typically serve the following roles:
    Largecraft & Bigcraft:

    1. Armored Packet (XUA)
    2. Commercial Courier (XCL)
    3. Communications Vessel (X) (Namesake)
    4. Courier Vessel (XC)
    5. Diplomatic Courier (XUD)
    6. Dispatcher (XC)
    7. Far Courier (XCL))
    8. Express Courier (XCF)
    9. Fast Courier (XCF)
    10. Fleet Courier (XCF)
    11. Fleet Dispatch Courier (XUD)
    12. Frontier Courier (XCL)
    13. Long Range Fleet Courier (XCF)
    14. Mail Ship (XU)
    15. Messenger Ship (XU)
    16. Packet Boat (XU)
    17. Relay Boat (XC)
    18. Relay Ship (XC)
    19. X-Boat (XB)
    20. X-Boat Tender (XT or VXT)

    Size-Class Roles for Communications Vessels[edit]

    1. Communications Craft (UQX) (1 to 99 tons)
    2. Light Communications Vessel (XL) (100 to 999 tons)
    3. Medium Communications Vessel (XM) (1,000 to 1,499 tons)
    4. Heavy Communications Vessel (XH) (1,500 to 2,499 tons)
    5. Super Heavy Communications Vessel (XS) (2,500 or more tons)

    Civilian Subcraft[edit]

    Civilian subcraft (...both smallcraft and bigcraft) are carried by some of these vessels:

    1. Barge (WB)
    2. Utility Craft (U)

    Supraclass Archetypal Roles[edit]

    These vessels typically serve the following archetypal roles:

    Selected Communications Vessel Archetypes
    Archetype Type Code/s Exemplar Remarks
    Communications Vessel X (Namesake) Type X class Express Boat Charted Space possesses no FTL communications devices or ansibles. Thus, communications is generally limited to a pony express type of communications network, as in a network of couriers, packets, and the like. The Third Imperium maximized the efficiency of its courier system by developing X-boats, ships dedicated solely to communications functions, but there are other solutions used by other polities: relay systems, fleet couriers, postal unions, military express messengers, X-mail, etc.
    • X = eXchange
    X-Boat XB Xavier class Express Boat The Express Boat (…also called an xboat) is a small, fast ship filled with a pilot compartment, message data banks, and jump drives. The fit is so tight that there is no room even for maneuver drives. Each is capable of Jump-4 (…four parsecs per week); it jumps, relays its messages to the station on arrival, and then waits to be picked up by a tender, to be refuelled and sent on its way with a new load of messages. The local station, meanwhile, accepts messages, encodes them, and transmits them to a tender at the edges of the stellar system. Messages brought by the arriving xboat and intended for further down the line are consolidated with the new data and all are sent on to another xboat already fuelled and standing ready to leave. The entire network operates like the pony express — messages are always moving at top speed. Transfer time for messages from one xboat to another can be as short as ten minutes, and is rarely more than an hour. [3]
    • X = eXchange
    • B = Boat
    Courier Vessel XC Yetsabl class Courier Courier Vessels are communications ships, ships intended to carry communications in a universe where communications are limited to the speed of travel. This includes vessels that would be XB class but do not fit one or more of the criteria (such as having a Jump rating less than 4, a total crew count other than 1, or any form of maneuver drive) and thus do not fit into Imperial x-boat service.
    • X = eXchange
    • C = Courier
    Heavy Communications Vessel XH Echtovr Dazhia class Council Cruiser None
    • X = eXchange
    • H = Heavy
    Light Communications Vessel XL Dhaztuen class Far Merchant None
    • X = eXchange
    • L = Light
    Medium Communications Vessel XM Iris class Armored Packet None
    • X = eXchange
    • M = Medium
    Super Heavy Communications Vessel XS Kahk'rik'kreng class Yacht None
    • X = eXchange
    • S = Superheavy
    X-Boat Tender XT Purcell class Express Boat Tender The express boat system would not work without the express boat tender. These tenders, stationed in each system that express boats stop at, serve two purposes. First, they tend express boats, recovering them when they arrive, refueling them and repairing minor problems, and then sending them on their way. Second, they serve as a relay station between the planetary surface based message center and the express boat itself. Messages are forwarded to the tender for transmittal to the xboat just before it leaves for the next star system. [4]
    • X = eXchange
    • T = Tender
    Packet Boat XU Xerxes class Armed Packet Ship Packet Ships conduct similar missions to liners and courier vessels. They are generally understood to perform unscheduled missions where postal routes do not exist. Most are equipped with mail vaults and secure staterooms. [5]
    • Vessels such as Armed Packet (UF-CA33) perform unscheduled passenger service for those in a hurry. The crew can be trusted, but these little ships can still find themselves jumping into harm's way. [6]
    • Generally, packet trade is any regularly scheduled cargo, passenger, and X-mail trade conducted by space or starship. The ships are sometimes called "packet boats"—in the same manner as IISS communications craft are called "x-boats"—since their original function was to carry x-mail. However, in modern times they only supplement the official system. While "packet" can mean any small parcel, its usage here most likely comes from its meaning during the pre-spaceflight Terran Age of Sail, where it meant a parcel of important correspondence—usually governmental—or valuable items for urgent delivery. [7]
    • X = eXchange
    • U = commUnication
    Communications Craft UQX Yaeai class Recon Pinnace Communications and intelligence smallcraft serve at roles below the more common 100 ton scout vessels, often star system monitoring or fleet picket duties not requiring FTL jump capabilities.
    • U = Utility, Multipurpose, etc.
    • Q = Quartermaster, Combat Support, Logistics, etc.
    • X = eXchange
    NOTES: There is semantic overlap between many of the classes and codes. Some codes organize by mission or capability, others by size and tonnage, and yet others by other characteristics.

    History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

    Charted Space possesses no FTL communications devices or ansibles. Thus, communications is generally limited to a pony express type of communications network, as in a network of couriers, packets, and the like. The Third Imperium maximized the efficiency of its courier system by developing X-boats, ships dedicated solely to communications functions, but there are other solutions used by other polities: relay systems, fleet couriers, postal unions, military express messengers, X-mail, etc.. [8]

    Selected Variant Types & Classes[edit]

    Paramilitary Vessel - Express Boats:


    Paramilitary Vessel - Courier Vessels:

    Paramilitary Vessel - Fleet Couriers:

    Paramilitary Vessel - Express Boat Tenders:


    Communication Vessel - Packet Ship: Civilian ship - Communication Vessel - Packet Ship:

    1. Type XU class Packet Ship
      1. Mercury class Long Range Fleet Courier
      2. Rapid class Fleet Courier

    Ship Summary List[edit]

    Some of the most commonly used vessels in this role include:

    2 Representative Communications Vessel (X) Classes

    Class Mission Code TL Tons Jump G Origin Canon Quick ship profile
    Class Mission Code TL Tons Jump G Origin Canon Quick ship profile
    Adlerstein class Fleet Courier XCF 15 400 0 0 Third Imperium TBD
    Jumpmax class Courier XC 15 100 6 2 Third Imperium XC-AL26


    0 Representative Express Boat (XB) Classes
    No results


    2 Representative Courier Vessel (XC) Classes

    Class Mission Code TL Tons Jump G Origin Canon Quick ship profile
    Class Mission Code TL Tons Jump G Origin Canon Quick ship profile
    Adlerstein class Fleet Courier XCF 15 400 0 0 Third Imperium TBD
    Jumpmax class Courier XC 15 100 6 2 Third Imperium XC-AL26


    1 Representative Fleet Courier (XCF) Classes

    Class Mission Code TL Tons Jump G Origin Canon Quick ship profile
    Class Mission Code TL Tons Jump G Origin Canon Quick ship profile
    Adlerstein class Fleet Courier XCF 15 400 0 0 Third Imperium TBD


    0 Representative Heavy Communications Vessel (XH) Classes
    No results


    0 Representative Light Communications Vessel (XL) Classes
    No results


    0 Representative Medium Communications Vessel (XM) Classes
    No results


    0 Representative Superheavy Communications Vessel (XS) Classes
    No results


    0 Representative Express Boat Tender (XT) Classes
    No results


    0 Representative Packet Ship (XU) Classes
    No results


    2 Representative Multipurpose Communications Craft (UM) Classes

    Class Mission Code TL Tons Jump G Origin Canon Quick ship profile
    Class Mission Code TL Tons Jump G Origin Canon Quick ship profile
    Deployment Shuttle UMS 0 0 0 0 Third Imperium Yes. Published, canon smallcraft design.
    Runabout class Small Transport UM 9 10 0 1 Vland No. Unpublished, non-canon fan smallcraft design. UM-1S10


    0 Representative Dedicated Communications Craft (UQ) Classes
    No results


    References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

    62px-Information icon.svg.png This article is missing content for one or more detailed sections. Additional details are required to complete the article. You can help the Traveller Wiki by expanding it.
    This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.
    1. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
    2. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
    3. Marc Miller. Traders and Gunboats (Game Designers Workshop, 1980), 8.
    4. Marc Miller. Traders and Gunboats (Game Designers Workshop, 1980), 11.
    5. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
    6. Marc Miller. T5 Core Rules (Far Future Enterprises, 2013), 738.
    7. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
    8. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak