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FRENCH FLEET ANALYSIS


TALLYRAND/RICHELIEU Class Battleship

Reference: Ships of the French Arm, page 38; Star Cruiser Rules, page 17

Fleets of Service: France

Apparent Naming Convention: Famous figures from French history.

Known ships of this class: Charlemagne, Napoleon, Richelieu, Ste. Jeanne d'Arc, Tallyrand. The Ste. Jeanne d'Arc was destroyed at the First Battle of Tithonus in March or April 2298, and Tallyrand was destroyed on 18 June 2301 at Hochbaden.

Analysis: This has to be one of the most worthless designs in the game. No armor! You've got to be kidding me! Sure, she's got screens, but they don't last against a full barrage of X-Ray missiles, that's for sure. She's got lots of hull hits and power plant hits, but extensive experience in playing Star Cruiser shows she falls to critical hits long before she suffers a power plant failure or hull breach. About the only saving grace is that she has good sensors and eight communicators, which means a potent punch when paired up with the Ritage-2, but she can only fire two volleys before she is out of missiles. She also commonly carries 6 Mistral fighters (see below for analysis of this fighters). Yeah, okay, she was built for not only serving as a battleship, but also as an armed deep research and force projection vessel (carries enough marines, after all). The problem is that she is only really secure when part of a larger fleet. Then she's a pretty decent ship (although not exceptional).

 

MARIAN Class Carrier

Reference: designed by Wade Racine

Fleets of Service: France

Apparent Naming Convention: Marian is the French equivalent of Uncle Sam

Known ships of this class: Marian

Analysis: I can't find the damn design sheet for her...I hope I don't have to make her again. I do remember that the design philosophy was that the French, as usual, tried to make a ship that could do many things at once, so she isn't really superior in any of them. From my other notes, she carries 12 Mistral, 12 Riche, 12 Bufer, and 18 Bonaparte fighters, but all in a variety of bays (unlike the Nelson). If I recall, she was a pretty fair ship, all things considered, but not really able to hold her own in a standup fight...but then, she's a carrier, so she doesn't have to.

 

SUFFREN Class Missile Cruiser

Reference: Mission Arcturus, page 6; Star Cruiser Rules, page 17

Fleets of Service: France, Japan

Apparent Naming Convention: French naval and space military heros (as many as I could find...then I had to make up some names)

Known ships of this class: Algerie, Bassompierre, Colbert, Dassault, DeGaulle, DeGrasse, DeProvencal, Duquesne, Guiana, Lideaux, Suffren. DeGrasse and Suffren were destroyed in March (?) 2298 in action against against a pair of Kafer Beta class battlecruisers at Eta Bootis (Star Cruiser Rules, page 13).

Analysis: A fine cruiser, although a bit on the large side at a little over 22,000 tons (she's almost, but not quite, a battlecruiser herself). In Star Cruiser games, she always did very well. Honestly, the two that were destroyed in the Death of DC-2 scenario would probably have either won or survived had they been using Ritage-2 missiles instead of Ritage-1's. The Suffren is yet another example of the French "big-ship" concept.

 

MARSHAL Class Destroyer

Reference: designed by Wade Racine

Fleets of Service: France, Japan

Apparent Naming Convention: Marshals of France (all the ones listed in Invasion have names beginning with "Marshal," and I recognize a few of them).

Known ships of this class: (note: all names are proceded by the word "Marshal") Bayeaux, Behar, Bouchard, Bouvier, Brandt, Chaumont, Clemanceau, Devareaux, Foch, Guiscard, Guy, Joffre, Lamidey, LeClerc, Ligget, Lioncourt, Marsin, Ney, Orleans, Petain, Racine, Reims, Rochard, Suchet, Troyes, Turin (it was hard to name this many...I was really grasping for some of these names...like Petain, since he was discredited as the head of the Vichy gov't in WWII, but you never know who might be exonerated in over 300 years)

Analysis: I haven't posted this one yet, but she is basically a mini-Suffren, although a slightly older design. A solid ship in the usual French mode. I'll post the stats later, as soon as I find the stats for Marian.

 

ACONIT Class Frigate

Reference: Star Cruiser Rules, page 16

Fleets of Service: France, Germany (ex-Bavarian), Japan, Ukraine, Australia

Apparent Naming Convention: The names of towns and regions in France.

Known ships of this class: Aconit, Aquitaine, Ardennes, Austerlitz, Bretagne, Calais, Castiglione, Chateau de Thierry, Coubet, Dijon, Duperre, Imperieuse, Kersaint, Loire, Lorraine, Lyon, Marne, Marseilles, Monaco, Moselle, Nancy, Nice Normandie, Provence, Sonne, Sorbonne, St. Denis, St. Germaine, St. Lo, Strasbourg, Tonnant, Vaquelin. Aconit and Vaquelin were destroyed at the First Battle of Tithonus in 2298 (Star Cruiser Rules, page 14).

Analysis: This ship is junk. It is slow. It has no screens. It has negligible armor. It has lousy sensors. Basically, this thing is a slow, over-crewed fighter. Actually, the Martel fighter costs more than an Aconit does. The only thing the Aconit really does have going for it is that it is cheap...which is why I decided that many other fleets have either purchased ones built by the French, or licensed the design to produce on their own. Experience with this ship in many Star Cruiser games show they go real fast. As the Kafer player, I would ignore them until later, then just send a couple of Foxtrot or Golf fighters after one, and they'd usually go up in flames.

 

ORAGE Class Frigate

Reference: Ships of the French Arm, page 12

Fleets of Service: France, Mexico, Inca Republic

Known ships of this class: Orage, Pluie. The Pluie was apparently damaged during a battle in the Augereau system during the War of German Reunification, and has never been recovered (it was either abandoned or all the crew died due to life support systems failure). I designated the other as a training vessel for the Imperial French Navy at Tirane.

Analysis: How is it that the Aconit, which came after the Orage, is really only better in price? Sure, the Aconit mounted a couple of communicators for missiles, but the Orage can be modified that way. Either way, the Orage is about as effective as the Aconit (which is to say very little at all). SotFA says that France sold most of its Orages to Mexico and the Inca Republic, but I imagine that this ship was also license-built by a few other countries as well.

 

YPRES-12 Class Frigate

Reference: Ships of the French Arm, page 14

Fleets of Service: France, Azania, UAR, Mexico

Apparent Naming Convention: I have no idea.

Known ships of this class: Foudroyant. The French originally built five, and retain only one, having sold off the other three. I made the last one the Foudroyant, which the French decided to station at Vogelheim, where, by treaty, they can only have one frigate. Since the Ypres doesn't fit into the French fleet structure anymore, putting here there as a single ship counter to the German Sachsen made some sense.

Analysis: A wee bit big for a frigate, but it is explained as an aberration in SotFA (due to her large power plant, screens, etc.). Although expensive, they list other Ypres as belonging to other countries, so I guess some folks license-built a few, too. Star Cruiser experience with this one shows she is best suited to remaining with a larger ship you want to protect (like a Tallyrand) and using her as a point defense ship against missile attacks (all those lasers are good for something, after all).

 

BONAPARTE Class Fighter

Reference: Ships of the French Arm, page 24

Fleets of Service: France

Number of ships in service: Unknown...I call it 42

Analysis: The French should give up on all other fighters except for this one and the Riche. The Bonaparte is one of the best fighters in the human arsenal, if not *the* best. Great hull hits on this one, backed by really, really good armor. She's a bit weak in the sensor department. The laser and the submuni-dispenser is a good combo. She suffers from the class French weakness of very few power plant hits. Never got to run this one in Star Cruiser, but I always wanted to.

 

BUFER Class Fighter

Reference: Ships of the French Arm, page 8

Fleets of Service: France

Number of ships in service: Said to be low in SotFA, but no figures given. Since there are 12 on the Marian, I figure they pulled them from another base to put them on the carrier. How about another 12 "deployed sparingly along the French Arm" for good measure? Total of 24.

Analysis: A good design. At least the French are imaginitive in their fighter designs. Four missiles...a nice complement. She can only take one power plant hit before she is dead in the water, though (and for fighters, a dead power plant means abandon ship). In Star Cruiser, these would charge the enemy, drop *all* their missiles, and then retreat, leaving the missiles to be controlled by Suffrens, Marshals, and Aconits to the rear, in addition to their own communicators. This was very effective. The size and cost of this ship make it more of a fighter/bomber, really.

 

MARTEL Class Fighter

Reference: Star Cruiser Rules, page 17

Fleets of Service: France

Number of ships in service: At least 52 (Invasion, page 7), which (due to their high cost) is probably all of them.

Analysis: Really, really good fighter. Nice speed, twin lasers and twin submuni-dispensers...very nice. And look at that armor! 10! We had to make special rules for that when we played Star Cruiser. However, with the price of these things, you could buy an Aconit and still have spare change. I'd bet on the Martel to take the Aconit out, though. Since they are so expensive, I would bet the 52 at Kimanjano are all of them, really...and they all belong to the French Foreign Legion.

 

MISTRAL-IIIBIS Class Fighter

Reference: Ships of the French Arm, page 4

Fleets of Service: France

Number of ships in service: No idea...I'll just deploy some throughout French space.

Analysis: A good combination of a missle and laser armed fighter. One problem, though...most ships shooting at it have x2 lasers...and hull hit is as good as a critical for this one, as she has only two hull hits (boom!). Same goes for the power plant, with only three hits. It is also a bit slow, but it is pretty cheap, too. When working in groups of six or more (as deployed off the Tallyrand class BB's and the CV Marian), they can be pretty potent. Star Cruiser expeience showed me I wouldn't want to make a character who was a veteran Mistral pilot...because nobody would believe it. Life expectancy was *maybe* three missions in major fleet actions.

 

RICHE Class Fighter

Reference: Ships of the French Arm, page 6

Fleets of Service: France, Ukraine, UAR

Number of ships in service: Unknown, but in SotFA, it says the French purchased them in "quantity." Call it fifty. They say they are stationed at the Core...so 25 each at Earth and Tirane.

Analysis: An interesting design, really. Very inexpensive. I don't know if she'll get all six shots from both submuni-dispensers off, as she can only take a couple of hits, but not bad over all. Nice and fast, too. In Star Cruiser, we used to use this one as a mine layer, basically...it ended up herding the Kafer ships into a killzone for missiles (sometimes, that is).


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