Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Second Cylon War (Part I)

The Second Cylon War began with a massive surprise strike against the Colonies by the Cylons.  Nearly all Colonies were attacked at the same time, a quarter of the fleet was destroyed in the early hours and civilian losses ran into the tens of millions.

Many Battlestars found their systems disabled during the fighting, seemingly remotely switched off by the Cylons using a backdoor in the Command Navigation Program.  This vulnerability meant the loss of hundreds of ships in the initial engagement.  Only a handful of Colonial ships had not been upgraded with the CNP, while others were saved by a faulty update, which by sheer coincidence prevented the Cylons from accessing the targeted ships, though many were lost to sleeper viruses and logic bombs later on.

For three days the Colonial fleet fought for the survival of Humanity.  By which time nearly half the Fleet was lost, but the Cylons withdrew with substantial losses and the Colonies struggled to regroup.

One of the first casualties of the war was President Adar.  Many other cabinet members were killed or severely injured, leaving the secretary of the Treasury as the new President.

Within days reserves were called up and tens of thousands of volunteers joined up with the Fleet, reserve ships were hastily rearmed and refurbished and long range patrols were sent deep into Cylon space.

The fact that the Cylons had been able to attack all Colonies simultaneously, meant that they had an increased jump range and that no system was safe from attack.  Extending the safe zone would be the primary concern for the Fleet in order to buy the extra vital minutes to prepare defences in case of another attack.

Meanwhile the Fleet prepared a strike force that would look for the Cylon homeworld and annihilate the Cylon presence once and for all.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Battlestar Profile 019 : BSG 175 Pandemonium Class Battlestar Pandemonium

Designed at the height of the Cylon War the Titan Class Battlestars are the largest and most powerful ships in the Colonial Fleet.  Completed after the Armistice they have often been criticized for being too big and costly, lingering fear of renewed hostilities with the Cylons saved them from the scrapheap, but as time moves on, rising costs and budget cuts are increasingly threatening the Titans.

The immediate post-war trend of increased ship size was reversed nearly three decades ago with a return to  Battlestars of a more moderate size, incorporating advanced technology making them just as potent as their larger counterparts, it seemed it would only be a matter of time before the larger vessels would be a thing of the past, until the introduction of the Nova Class.  Designed as Fleet command ships, the Nova Class, while not as massive as the Titans, it is significantly larger than the Mercury Class, long considered to be the modern mainstay of the Colonial Fleet.

With an eye on the impending demise of the Titans and the need to replace their massive firepower, a new Novastar, the Pandemonium was recently launched for trials.  This highly unusual Battlestar mounts three separate flight pods, allowing the Pandemonium to handle 16 Squadrons of Vipers with room to spare and up to 20+ in wartime conditions.

Another unusual feature is the lack of turrets.  The Pandemonium relies on its fighters and massive forward battery to deal with any threat, backed up by an impressive CWIS array.  The theory being that the forward battery allows the Pandemonium to stand off enemy vessels while offering a lower target profile.  A number of turrets are mounted in the flight pods.

Despite being nearly as long as a Titan, the Pandemonium is much lighter and requires a much smaller crew of around 3500, comparable to the original crew complement of an Atlantia Class Battlestar.

Fleet headquarters are reluctant to give this class the go-ahead, hoping to retain the Titans as long as possible, but they are facing increased political pressure to yield to the Pandemonium.

The Pandemonium has performed well on its initial trial runs.  The flight pod array has been described as unusual, but elegant, giving the Pandemonium a fast, sleek and menacing appearance.  There are some concerns that the relatively limited number of turrets might put the Pandemonium at a disadvantage should enemy ships attack from the sides and rear.  A change in armament is being studied and could be implemented on the next vessel, possibly leading to a completely new class and leaving the Pandemonium as the sole example of her class.

Commander : Commander Warren Langley
XO : Colonel Jordan Vallenor
CAG : Captain Sam Tipper
Complement :  16-20 Viper Squadrons and up to 50 Raptors
Armament : 5 Deathbolt XXX Forward batteries, 3 Starfire rapid fire forward batteries, 2 Broadsword heavy forward batteries.  16 double turrets, 980 Derlam Shield II heavy quad CWIS, 1240 Derlam Shield III heavy double CWIS.  28 missile bays.

Supportstar Profile 20 : Odyssey Class Tanker Almaron

Based on the flexible Archeon cargo transport the Odyssey class was a modified version capable of carrying a detachable Tylium fuel tank.  This allowed a much faster turnover rate as the fuel tanks could be filled up and loaded onto the Odyssey.  Only five tankers were made for use during the Cylon War and were primarily used to refuel ships equipped with Vulcanus engines, which required a specially refined Tylium fuel.  Since less than a quarter of ships in the fleet had such engines, the Odyssey, alongside other tankers were quite adequate in serving their needs.

Well armed as a tanker, it carried ten single barrel barbettes in the forward section and over a 120 CWIS batteries to defend against enemy fighters.  Additionally the Odyssey had a small flight pod on the Starboard side holding several service craft and small tankers in addition to a squadron of Python fighters for added defence.

Though often hunted down by Colon forces the Odyssey suffered only a single combat loss.  Of the four surviving vessels , three were scrapped after the war and one remains in the reserve, should older Vulcanus-equipped ships be sent back to active duty.

The Almaron, named for a region on Caprica, famous for its ancient tar pits and oil reserves was actively used to combat the drought on Aerilon shortly after the Cylon war and saving millions of lives.  Converted to carry water the ship made 25 runs, delivering millions of JP's of water from Aquaria.  The effort involved people from all over the Colonies and is considered one of the major events bringing the Colonies closer together.