The StarForce is the Confederation’s military arm. It is charged with the defense of the Confederation, the enforcement of Confederation law in space (and, when necessary, on member planets to the limited extent allowed by the Confederation constitution), and exploration. Most of the Confederation budget goes to its support.
StarForce Ship Designs
Due to the requirements of Confederation hyperspace drive technology, most large starships are a snub-nosed wedge with twin outrider hyperdrive pods containing the hyperdrives port and starboard toward the aft. Small starcraft (under 75 meters in length) are more varied in design.
StarForce capital ships generally fall in one of the following classes: Scout, Destroyer, Light Cruiser, Heavy Cruiser, Starcruiser, Battleship. Except for the Battleship (and the Battle Crusier variant of the Heavy Crusier), all of these vessels are useful in peacetime exploration and police missions as well as in war.
Most StarForce vessels are equipped with some or all of the following weapons systems:
PLASMA GUNS: These weapons fire gravitationally-contained bursts of plasma at the enemy and do not require ammunition as they are powered from the vessel’s power plant. Plasma guns are the main anti-ship weapons, since they can be made powerful enough to penetrate any shield and still do severe damage to the target ship.
SCAM MISSILES: These are self-guided missiles with a small anti-matter warhead. They do a large amount of damage if they get past the target ship’s shields.
NM TORPEDOES: These a high speed, short range unguided projectiles formed of pure energy. They are very effective at taking down the target ship’s shields by overloading them.
Due to the long duration of the average StarForce capital vessel’s overall mission (five years), the StarForce pays extra attention to the needs of vessel personnel. Each person aboard a capital StarForce vessel is normally assigned approximately 120 square meters of living space (about 20 square meters less for enlisted personnel and about 20 square meters more for senior officers). A crew member’s quarters typically account for about 60% of this space and include a bedroom, a work area, and a small bathroom. Crew members who wish to live in a group may have their space allocations combined to form a single larger area. Quarters decks are designed with movable walls with that in mind. A number of amenities are available, depending on one’s rank and needs, from the food synthesizers, computer terminals, and ultrasonic showers in all quarters to holographic walls and null gravity sleeping chambers.
Ship computers are programmed with several elaborate worlds which they are able to create in the minds of most sapients via neural induction through headbands called “dreambands”. Time in these DreamSpaces passes at the speed of thought, so 15 to 20 minutes of real time connected to the ships computer is normally about a day in DreamSpace. DreamSpace is used for relaxation in the StarForce universe much the way the Holodecks are in that TV series. In most humanoids, connection to DreamSpace for more than 45 to 60 minutes a day causes severe headaches.
Confederation StarForce Ranks
While all officers are trained to give orders and command StarForce personal, there are two classes of officers: line officers and staff officers. Line officers are those in the direct chain of command of a vessel, the highest ranking line officer present would assume command of a vessel if something happened to his superior line officers — even if there were still superior in rank staff officers present. Midshipman are officers in training and are seldom assigned to capital ships. The commanding officer of a ship, no matter what his actual rank, is always addressed as “Captain”.
Technicians are highly trained specialists who are considered officers, but only have authority over crewmen assigned to aid them in their duties and only in areas related to those duties. The various Technician ranks are actually pay grades. They are addressed as “Mister” unless they have a more appropriate honorific (e.g. “Doctor”). Technicians are not actually in the normal chain of command of the ship.
Chief Petty Officer
Master Petty Officer
Senior Petty Officer
Crewman First Class
Sample Capital Ship
Here is a sample StarForce capital vessel designed to fulfill a similar function in the PSC to the main ship of that popular TV show.
KAISER CLASS Starcruiser
Form: snub-nosed wedge with aft outrider hyperdrive pods Length.............................617 m Aft Forward Beam...................227 m ...... 45 m Draft..................105 m ...... 25 m Mass.............7.3 million metric tons
Officers.............................112 Technicians..........................450 Crew.................................600 Marine Officers........................5 Marines...............................95 ==== Standard Ship's Complement..........1262
Turbolifts................8 systems of 6 cars each Transporters.............14 personnel, 10 Cargo Fighter Bays..............2 (20 fighters each) Shuttle Bays..............1 Oracle Sensor Array.......1
2 Emacs Limited Hyperdrive Mark J7 Hyperpods 5 Skardu Thruster Technologies Thruster Drive Units
Command Launch...................1 Shuttle craft...................18 Runabouts/landing craft..........6 Heavy Fighters (Angz class).....10 Light Fighters (Saris class)....30 Marine Dropships (Wyvern class)..4
Plasma Guns...............12 banks (6 forward, 2 port/starboard/aft) SCAM Missiles..............6 banks (4 forward, 1 port/starboard) NM Torpedoes...............3 banks (2 forward, 1 aft) Tractor/Pressor Beam.......1 bank (lower)
Deck by Deck
Deck # Length Main features 1 1/4 Main Bridge, Ready Room, Observation Lounge, Operations 2 1/3 Senior Officers Quarters, Oracle Sensor Array 3 1/3 Officers Quarters, Oracle Sensor Array Computer core 4 1/2 Administrative 5 1/2 Science Labs 6 1/2 Science Labs 7 2/3 SCAM Missile Banks 8 3/4 Configurable Mission Specific 9 3/4 Configurable Mission Specific 10 3/4 Configurable Mission Specific 11 3/4 Communications, NM Torpedoes 12 Full Ship's Services 13 Full Technician Quarters 14 Full Sickbay, life science labs, medical labs, recreation, gym 15 Full Battle Bridge, Engineering, computer core, environmental support, Plasma banks 16 Full Crew Quarters, life support, 17 Full Crew Quarters, Thruster Engineering 18 Full Maintenance, Hyperdrive Engineering, Fighter Bays 19 3/4 Petty Officer Quarters, SCAM Missle Banks 20 3/4 Mission-Specific, NM Torpedo Banks 21 3/4 Mission-Specific 22 3/4 Mission-Specific 23 2/3 Cargo and Storage 24 1/2 Cargo and Storage 25 1/2 Shuttle Bay, Shuttle Maintenance 26 1/2 Power Generation, Fabrication 27 1/3 Power Engineering, Accumulators, Tractor/Pressor 28 1/4 Oracle Sensor Array 29 1/4 Marine Quarters, Marine Dropships
Notes: Starcruisers are the StarForce’s compromise between the terribly expensive to operate battleships and multi-mission heavy cruisers. Starcruisers as as large as a battleship and as well-armed as a battle cruiser. They mount the Oracle long range sensor system which makes them great multi-mission exploratory vessels in peacetime and an excellent fleet command vessel in conflict situations. Many of a Starcruiser’s lab and office areas are designed for easy and quick conversion to other uses in time of conflict. Additionally, three decks (decks 8-10) are designed to be easy to reconfigure to match the needs of the ship’s current major mission. Three decks (decks 21-23) vary from Starcruiser to Starcruiser based on StarForce needs at the time the ship is built.
While not much more powerful than a battlecruiser, due to their size, Starcruisers are far more impressive when there is a need to “show the flag” and far less expensive to operate than a battleship.