One thing I always intended to do with the KU was to reintroduce WarShips, earlier and in far greater numbers than had ever occurred in the canon BT universe. However, when the SL game system was first constructed in its near current form, there were no provisions made for the use of WarShips within the game mechanics, an oversight which would have major repercussions for the rules down the track.So firstly, how did I plan to reintroduce the ships into cannon, well I can’t tell you yet, as that will come out over the course of the first few chapters of Book 3 – Rage’s Decent. However, one of the chapters late in Book 2 has ComStar making some well educated guesses as to how it all came about. Additionally, the ComStar of the KU universe is currently reactivating many mothballed ships, all part of newly raised Primus Myndo Waterly’s grand plans.
What I have changed, is the complete technological/industrial decline of the cannon universe, not by much, but enough to allow the powers of the KU to engage in WarShip construction. Let’s face it, in the canon BT universe mankind could build effective WarShips from the time of McKenna, with the only thing really preventing the Successor States from restarting an naval arms race, being the will to do so and a catalyst. In cannon, that catalyst was the War Fleets of the Clans, in the KU it’s Black Phoenix. Black Phoenix is the subject of coming chapters of Book 3.
So, when I made the decision to bring WarShips back into the KU, I had a problem: did I make them generic, with general stats for Corvettes, Destroyers, Cruisers, Battle Cruisers and Battleships; or did I make WarShips detailed, reflecting the power of the various classes? At first I made the decision to go with generic classes, but this felt wrong, as it did not reflect the feel of the KU. So I came up with a set of boiled down WarShip stats and some formula, which allowed a WarShip to fit into the standard stats of a regiment of the SL game.
This presented a new problem, as the new stats, at first, did not mesh with the existing regimental stats. The solution was to add two new stats, that effected the strengths of aerospace units and WarShips, far more so than ground units. These two new stats (Air Orders and Ground Orders) would allow the for the flexible use of WarShips, allow for air units to be tasked to various missions (air support, anti-ship, multi-role etc.), whilst still allowing WarShips to undertake orbital bombardments and fill the traditional roles of the various classes, all whislt not having any impact upon the current strengths of ground units.
So what is the final verdict? Well, we are only just discovering the results of the efforts to accomodate WarShips, so only time will tell, as the mighty beasts of old have only just undertaken thier first action. This action involved Corvettes manned by green sailors, crewing what have been called, by one in universe observer as “…over sized assault dropships with a jump capacity.”
Here is hoping it all works out, because the players are certainly having fun with it.