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The Gcruiser... Ah, yes. what a tremendous amount of modelling. Months. The final tally is 220,000 triangles. Which forced me to learn new methods of modelling and rendering, because if I tried to work on it whole it brought my machine to unacceptably sluggish levels. This was an interested project aside from sheer polycount, too. I really went insane with the lights on this, over 200 discreet lights. I also worked a lot more with UV projections, and even tried some mapped textures. The most noticable technical thing, however, is the general style of the picture... This was done deliberately. The raw render is quite contrasty and has a very 'hard sci-fi' look. This business of washing out the contrast a bit, and blurring the bright points, an experiment. I really like the style, others say not so much.

The scene overall... I'm told that it's busy. It is meant to be busy, a chaotic loading area with ships hustling all over. But apparently it's too busy. Too chaotic. Alas. I tried to convey distances, scale, and motion with careful laying of ships. Not very well, judging by feedback.

Overall this ship is another 'huge' design, but it's not so silly as the Gcarrier. It's big but it's believable, or at least, as believable as such things go. I love the thing's top profile. The side is too square, but you can't win them all. This was the first 'ship schematic' I made, to help illustrate just how much firepower this thing is packing since it's not all obvious.

The Gcruiser has some fiction written for it, as follows:

"Inevitable"
(Gorgon-II modified heavy cruiser GHC11b-1-000)

Though they served with distinction for 40 years, the Gorgon class heavy cruisers of the fleet were as a whole beginning to feel their age. Too many experiments, hasty patches and decades of hard wear had begin to lower their reliablity and offensive power. The final nail in the coffin was the abrupt closure of several manufacturing plants run by Kaerwin Industries, who were responsible for designing and supplying most of the reactor and thrust systems used on the old cruisers.

With spare parts and properly equipped repair services increasing in price almost exponentially overnight, Fleet Command was forced to accelerate their cruiser upgrade program faster than General Starflight could deliver new cruisers based on the Theigoth design (GHC12). Instead of pushing for the licensing of further shipyards to meet demand on the Thiegoth, General Starflight forwarded a proposal to drastically overhaul the Gorgon class to bring them back up to modern capabilities. The initial funding was granted, and the "Inevitable" is the first ship of that line, prototype 000 of series 1.

Instantly recognizable as the descendant of the Gorgon because of its long and slender construction, and distincitve arrow-shaped bow, the Gorgon-II also adds enough new hardware that it blurs the line between overhaul and rebuild. An array of 4 weapon pylons was added just aft of the reworked hangars, offering new locations to mount turreted weapons both light and heavy; a pair of 25-tube anti-ship missile launchers was slung under the command/power module; the existing PB-620 space-to-ground bombardment missiles were removed in favor of the new PB-652f model; and the ship's ancient Tactical Ballistics frag-8mm point defense systems were upgraded to Blue L850 laser quads on high precision gimballed mounts. Where a Gorgon would mount an array of 4 Pac-9 particle cannons on midship pylons, the Inevitable adds a pair of Pac-4.1c's and a pair of 3-meter mass drivers, giving it slightly less overall punch but a longer effective range and more tactical flexibility.

The reactor and thrust systems were completely scrapped, in favor of the much higher capacity antimatter technology that Kaerwin Industries now specializes in. The Inevitable runs at upwards of 220% of the old Gorgon's power output spec, lending it overall better offensive power and maneuverability. Its jump engines are now rated for 53 successive activations of up to 2.6 lightyears on a single capacitor bank charge, letting it range farther from home than even the Thiegoth that supposedly replaces it.

Despite packing firepower nearly that of the newer Thiegoth and requiring quite a bit less money to overhaul than to build from scratch, the Gorgon-II program does face one major hurdle. Most of the old Gorgon cruisers previous to series 5 have had their keel begin to deteriorate, an unfortunate flaw in the ngrav-steel used in construction of series 1 through 4 which was discovered only after these ships were pushed far beyond their expected operational lifetime. Thus, upgrading the more than 250 Gorgon's from these older series would necessitate ripping apart the ship completely, re-laying the keel, and assembling the ship again. The Inevitable was built from the Remo Blackthorn, GHC11-6-503, a ship that was relatively new and unabused. Restricting the upgrade and modification program to only series 5 and 6 reduces the potential number of ships that could be economically upgraded to just over one third.

Still, even though the number of Gorgons that can overhauled isn't as high as initially hoped, the program will take significant pressure off General Starflight and their efforts to supply the fleet with new Thiegoth class cruiers. If the Gorgon-II overhauls hold up as well as their forebearers, then they'll be a common sight for the next 40 years.

Tactically, the Gorgon was a good brawler when faced with enemy vessels of similar tonnage, but weaker when facing agile opponents and with little ground-support ability. Its fixed guns provided an overwhelming punch, but only in a very limited arc; and its ballistic point defenses were adequate against torpedoes and mines, but left much to be desired when facing enemy fighters or smaller AI-equipped warheads. The Inevitable seeks to address both of the GHC11's weaknesses without compromising its strength.

Firstly, much of the Inevitable's firepower is now contributed by turreted particle cannons. While having less punch than the Gorgon's exceedingly powerful Pac-9's, the 4.1c model has a higher rate of fire and a tighter beam focus which should enable more surgical and precise fire missions against enemy warships. And the simple fact of being turreted means that the ship can project a good portion of its primary offense in a wide arc, which makes the Inevitable difficult to flank. Long range capability is taken up by the pair of RenWorks-32A's, which fire semi-guided armor-peircing slugs. The neutronium-faced projectiles can devastate light and medium warships with a single hit, but overall the weapons should be used judiciously given the extreme power requirements and limited, bulky ammunition. Sharing long range duties are large racks of AS-6 anti-ship missiles, well known since their inclusion on the series 6 destroyers. With a total salvo of 50 missiles, and 3 full salvoes, the Inevitable has the potential to even the odds facing it very quickly indeed. The missile racks can be loaded from within the ship, but it is much faster to load them externally from ports on the exterior bottom using a special mechanized-loader missile storage pod.

Given that the Inevitable's long range firepower consists entirely of weapons which consume ammunition, it's good that extensive efforts were made at reworking the hangar modules to house more strike craft. GHC11b carries three more squadrons than the original Gorgon, though only one of those additional squadrons is able to respond to a Scramble. The rest of the added fighter capacity requires movement from storage to the flight deck

  • Length: 2747 meters
  • Crew complement: 2900 skeleton; 16720 nominal
  • Hangar space: 84 fighter berths, 14 shuttles, 4 light transports (on external hard docks), 154 utility drones
  • Discretionary payload: 137400 cubic meters
  • Armament:
    - 2 fixed guns, RenWorks-32A 3-meter mass drivers. Long-range/first strike, tactical guns
    - 6 turrets, Blue Pac-4.1c particle acceleration cannons; medium-range, primary guns
    - 8 turrets, 2 190mm massdrivers + 2 M19 medium lasers; secondary multi-role guns
    - 14 gimballed turrets, L850 point defense laser quads;
    - 4 launchers each w/ 4 tubes * 68 in magazine; AF-2b autoloader flechette missiles, long-range antifighter defense
    - 2 launchers each w/ 25 tubes * 3 in magazine; AS-6 heavy antiship missiles
    - 4 launchers each w/ 4 tubes * 1 in magazine; PB-652f bombardment missiles;
    - 2 minelayers each w/ 4 tubes * 120 in magazine; NN317 seeking mines or NF4 fusion proximity mines

Last updated 4th August, 2005
Contact: momaw@nhvt.net
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