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Old October 10 2008, 09:51 PM   #1
CuttingEdge100
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Dreadnought Question

There was a novel called "Dreadnought" which featured a 320 meter, 3-nacelled Federation-Class Starship.

I noticed it had no visible bridge, just a sensor dome up-top. Was that to avoid a visible bridge that could easily be blown-away? (The bridge I assume was buried deep inside the ship)

Also, with the third nacelle mounted on top of the saucer section, I would assume after a seperation, the saucer itself could go to warp?


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Old October 10 2008, 09:59 PM   #2
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Re: Dreadnought Question

Going by my Federation Dreadnought blueprints the bridge was indeed several decks below, twords the middle of the ship. And given no one knows for sure how TOS warp-drive works I guess you could argue that it could. I see no problem with that idea.

Furthermore there is nothing that says the ship cant attach and detach at will either. Possibly that class had some kind of multi-mode operation as opposed to the Connies needing a starbase to reattach the saucer.

Pure speculation, ain't it fun?
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Old October 11 2008, 01:26 AM   #3
CuttingEdge100
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Re: Dreadnought Question

Understood
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Old October 11 2008, 03:04 AM   #4
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Re: Dreadnought Question

I don't really consider the cover art of the book to be reliable, since the dreadnought in question seems to have been taken from FJ's manual, but the artwork could have been drawn that way to avoid getting the author in trouble. That could also account for the destroyer in the book being called a Saladin, and having a name similar to that on FJ's list, but with a different hull configuration and registry.
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Old October 11 2008, 07:18 AM   #5
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Re: Dreadnought Question

CuttingEdge100 wrote: View Post
I noticed it had no visible bridge, just a sensor dome up-top. Was that to avoid a visible bridge that could easily be blown-away? (The bridge I assume was buried deep inside the ship)

Also, with the third nacelle mounted on top of the saucer section, I would assume after a seperation, the saucer itself could go to warp?

According to FJ's daughter, both of these were intentional parts of his design.


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Old October 11 2008, 05:20 PM   #6
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Re: Dreadnought Question

According to the foldout prints I have the bridge is buried several decks below... forget who printed them originally but they are based off the Franz Joseph design. The rest is pure assumption and speculation.
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Old October 11 2008, 10:36 PM   #7
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Re: Dreadnought Question

I never saw the Dreadnought blueprints, but assumed they would follow similarly to the Fed CA in design. Hopefully some of the background information I'll mention here will reveal the intent of the DN design as understood in the game Star Fleet Battles which is rooted in Frans Joseph's designs.

The Fed CA ( TOS TREK "Starship Class" that some call the "Constitution Class" ) has in it's different versions of the blueprints a Emergency bridge in the middle of the saucer, but has it's main bridge on top of the saucer. I have always understood that due to the Dreadnought being 33% bigger would have a less pronounced bridge on top since it would look smaller in relation to the rest of the saucer. I choose not to argue with the blueprints, but I do not look upon them as official. So I've always understood the bridge was topside like the Fed CA since all the other Fed ship in the Tech Manual mirror the Fed CA in TOS Trek. But I'm not committed one way or the other as to where the bridge is on the DN. I've always felt that if all the others had it on top, then it should to to be consistant. But having a bridge buried in the center of the suacer offers the tactical benefit of protection to the bridge crew. But when enemy weapon can slice right through your ship this benefit is marginal at best.

As to the separation issue I think that the saucer was warp capable. My answers are rooted in Star Fleet Battles standing squarely on top of Frans Joseph's designs as a basis for the fgame, and I'll address the evolution of the Fed DN thru the DN+ and finally the DNG as the pinnacle of the DN hull design in the game....

As released in the Frans Joseph Technical Manual and reflected in the early Star Fleet Battles game...the Fed DN was to address the shortcomings of the Fed CA in power in combat. As initially released...the Fed DN was basically a Fed CA with 33% more power, but no substantially improved firepower. That's it. The Fed CA in the game was sporting 4 photon torpedo launchers with 6 main phaser 1's. ( 2 forward...2 left side...2 right side...) This was felt that the christening of the DN class would solve the power crunch of the Fed CA in battle due to the prosdigiously larger size to act as a damage sponge and to house greater power in through larger warp engines and somewhat larger batteries for reserve power. In essence the DN was to be a Fed CA on steroids to solve the power problems of the CA. But as introduced this revealed some obvious shortcomings in the DN design that needed to be addressed as unrealized potential the hull itself apart from the CA offered.....

First off...the increased size of the DN in comparison to the CA made it much more sluggish to move and manuveur in combat. The movement cost in SFB for a CA is 1 per movement, while a DN costs 1 1/2 to move that same distance. Thus it could not turn as tightly and fast as a CA in a close in Engagement. Thus that is why DN's were more relegated to a standoff role to prevent it from being exposed to a opponent getting behind it where the shields and weapons were much weaker.

2. The increase in size was mostly in space and engines. But not in weapons. The Fed DN as introduced was basically a bloated Fed CA with 33% more power and space, but nothing more intended since the focus was solving the power shortcomings of the Fed CA and offering much larger accomodations for more crew and personnel. The unrealized potential the hull offered was when Star Fleet realized that the hull was being wasted as initially delivered, and that there was a VAST potential to beef up the hull combatwise that was not origionally envisioned since the additional power was "overbuilt" into the initial DN design. The main reason for the DN origionally being built was to provide ample power to to everything all at once during a combat scenario that a CA had to carefully balance and choose how to throw power into what was best at the moment. Basially the CA came up short in power duing a fight and the DN was meant to solve that. That's it. As a result of these shortcomings of the design in sluggish turn mode and movement in realizing that the DN now had to be assigned a fleet command standoff unit and not a close in unit as origionally envisioned and was problably not going to be put into such a tight demands of juggling limitations on juggling power for movment, weapons, shields on the fly....that it was probably safe risk to beef up it's armament. So alot of the optential of the "overbuilt" power capabilities were going to waste and not being utilized in the initial DN design. To address this the DN+ was introduced where before the DN has the same heavy weapon photon torpedo capacity as a Fed CA, it now was boosed from 4 photon launchers to 6 thus giving the heavy firepower of the hull a 50% increase. Some aditional phasers were introduced as well as drone racks to assist in standoff bombardment. But still too valueable a unit for close in fighting ( but they built it to fight and not stand on the sidelines while other units went toe to toe as this design was origionaly intended in solving the shortcomings of the CA power problems...) and became more of a nucleus of the Federation battlegroups until Fed CVA's like the Zhukov / Napoleon / MacArthur came on line. But the DN+ design was now starting to experience problems due to he capabilities now being introduced into the hull were now starting to outstrip the resources that was intentionally "overbuilt" into the DN to solve the Fed CA's shortcomings. In short they were now back to "square one" with the same shortcomings in power that the Fed CA presented.....in that the captain in combat now had to selectively choose in the moddle of a fight how to juggle and allocate power in a fight as the situation dictated. And this was not pleasant since this was the very reason the DN was designed and built in the first place. But still the hull design was not to snuff and still had to live with a standoff fleet role.

3. To solve this the DN+ was upgraded in design to the DNG to offset the shortcomings of the power demands of the DN+ hull. First he addition of G-racks for drones which brought offensive / defensive flexability to how the ship could be managed in combat. This addition alone accomdated so well that it allowed the DNG to draw into close in engagements due to the G-racks were 360 in all directions. IN addition the DNG in the desire to solve a problem of restricted firing arcs on the Fed CA, lowered the side warp engines to allow expanded LS / RS firing arcs. This also increased the DNG's flexablity to be more capable in a "close in manuveuring engagement". This was what allowed the DN hull to fully realize the potential of the design that was not origionally forseen when it was introduced. So it was no longer mandatory to turn to keep an opponent to the DN's front, cause ot can now direct much more firepower to any direction withthe exception of it's forward facing photon torpedo launchers. This made it feel more welcome in the middle of a bar-room brawl and mad the DN much more unpleasnt to go toe to toe with. The "close in" potential as origionally envisiopned with the early DN had now been realized and fulfilled.

Drawbacks....the cost of operating a DN were much more costly and were docked during wartime. When the General War broke out the DN came into regular service. During wartime is when all the above mentioned refinements were added to the design. Due to the shortage of DNs as command units the Fed BCH was built to fill the role gap between the DN and the Fed CA.

As for bridge placment....I always thought it on top.

Warp capable saucer? You bet!!! It was one of the clearly intended improvments of having to detach a saucer for escape purposes when the ship was irrecoverably damaged. What stunk about the Fed CA was having to be limited to impulse speeds to get home during an escape. The origional intent of adding a larger warp engine to the saucer to offset the power shortcomings of the Fed CA....would have the additional ancillary benefit to make the DN suacer have the capabilities of a Fed DD ( Destroyer ) after separation. At that point it would not have the full power to take full advantage of it's weapon's suite on the saucer. But it would be generally assumed that the DN saucer after separation would not be fighting and avoiding a fight. But if cornered it would be ableto put up a much better fight than a Fed CA saucer due to it's warp engine.

For what it's worth.....
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Last edited by Robert Simmons; October 11 2008 at 11:15 PM. Reason: typos...additional thoughts...
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Old October 14 2008, 11:21 AM   #8
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Re: Dreadnought Question

The SFB interpretation of the dreadnoughts has a slight bias in that SFB thinks that warp nacelles produce power, like the boilers of a steamship, while most other Trek thinks that warp nacelles consume power, like the propellers of a steamship.

So amending power problems on the standard CA wouldn't happen by adding a nacelle, not outside the SFB universe. What exact effect Franz Joseph hoped to portray when he designed the dreadnought is unknown, because he gives essentially the same performance specs to his one-nacellers, two-nacellers and three-nacellers. At the end of the day, we may interpret it in any way we please: perhaps a heavier ship needs more engines in order to move at a given speed, or perhaps multiple nacelles give combat redundancy - or perhaps a ship with three nacelles laid out like that is essentially two starships, essentially a cruiser and a destroyer joined at the hip, and the ability to separate the saucer with one nacelle is crucial for the design and its intended mission profile.

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Old October 14 2008, 01:28 PM   #9
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Re: Dreadnought Question

Well, the general concensus on the TOS-era nacelles around here has long been that they house their own warp reactors, and produce power. It wasn't until the new TMP-style reactor system that they appeared to be powered from a single central reactor.

Thus an FJ-style DN should have 50% more power available.
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Old October 14 2008, 01:43 PM   #10
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Re: Dreadnought Question

Would a nacelle have any power to spare for the ship, even if it did contain its own power source?

And TOS power production hardware was always something that Scotty could access in a more or less hands-on fashion. Whatever the ship had in the nacelles, it also had key power production elements within the hull (although which hull, we may debate on and on), and these were the ones worked on when the ship lost power, either to the drives or to other systems.

The blinking core thing of TMP may have been showier than Scotty's earlier toys, but it didn't really beat TOS engineering hull hardware in terms of importance or extensiveness. Why, from the looks of it, Scotty had three or four large engine rooms with different floor plans at his disposal in TOS!

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Old October 14 2008, 05:42 PM   #11
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Re: Dreadnought Question

My understanding is that the warp and impulse engines are basically a large power reactor producing power from their reactors. They would power the ELECTRICAL FIELD to the field coils to move the ship, and should be expected to have ample left over to power all other power needs of the ship. I would think having a main engine producing power with that intent would in essence be serving a dual purpose. In "The Ultimate Computer" Scotty comments that M5 would have unlimited power when it tapped the matter-antimatter reserves. ( * Special Note...see below at bottom of post...) Otherwise those "reserves" as "power" would not be available and not be quoted as "power". So I would think it would follow that if Frans Joseph's Dreadnought, Tug, Scout, Destroyer were based off of the Enterprise in TOS, then it would seem most probable that in this light that the Dreadnought's engines would be intended to produce mroe power. First I call attnetion to the Dreadnought not only having 3 warp enignes, but that he engines are substantially larger than those on the Fed CA, Tug, DD, SC and DD. So if the 3rd engine takes care ofhte additional needs of driving a larger hull....then why are the engines about 33% larger than those on a Fed CA in the Tech Manual? Surely the 3rd engine would be sufficient to address the extra demands the hull would have for propulsion? This is to point to having a 3rd engine and having the engines 33% larger points to "overkill". So somewhere the 3 warp engines would be runnigbn a surplus. it would seem poor designing to have that much overdesign in a hull for all of that...to just break even? That mere prospect alone I think would attrest that he combined total of the DN's engines would address more than the needs of "movment".

I do agree that warp nacelles CONSUME POWER and do not generate it. But the dreadnought would need a separate warp core independant of the warp core in the DN secondary hull. So I am not saying the nacelles produce that power, but are consuming the power of a larger warp core on the secondary hull and a slightly larger warp core on the saucer for the 3rd warp engine. It would need and indenpendant warp core anyway if the saucer was expected to be warp capable after separation. SFB for simplicity shows on the SSD the power boxes available that the "engine" generates. But the base understanding is that the warp core is producing the energy. But for easy visual reference on the ship SSD looking to the engines is the easy quick and dirty way to look at it. ( warp engines=power....any where the power comes from is really of no concern fort he game player. He is ohnly interested IF IT IS AVAILABLE. But for the sake of symantics...yes it is the core tha produces the pwoer and not the nacelles...)

Special Note: That is the feul intended for the warp engines. But it does also appear to support that the engines were intended more than propulsion...or a reservoir to draw off of like a city from a power grid would do as a similar example. Idea being that the engines in the matter / anit-matter reaction produced a whole lot of power for whatever they need...whether it be for movement or life support, or weapons or sheilds. The main power plant of the ship would not olny be generating the pwoer to move but supply the rest of the ship as well in it's power needs. The TMP warp reactor using a liquid plasma as a concuting conduit to the "warp coils" would be doing it's thing not contrary to the engines in TOS. The plasma may be a coolant as well as a conducting conduit. But if the warp coils need electricity to power them, then it follows that he warp engines are used to produce humongous amounts of electricity. So why not siphon some off for the rest of the ship? It kills 2 birds with the same stone with one system of the ship.
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Last edited by Robert Simmons; October 14 2008 at 05:58 PM.
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Old October 14 2008, 09:03 PM   #12
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Re: Dreadnought Question

From what I've been able to glean from my studies of the subject, the TOS writers and producers never seemed to make up their minds for certain as to whether or not the nacelles consumed energy or generated it, at least not until the third season when they seemed to settle upon a model of a central, internal power plant feeding the nacelles and rest of the ship, although even then there are a few instances of confusion.

A lot of it hinged upon (a) something going on with the power systems that, left unchecked, was going to result in the ship going boom, and (b) whether or not the method of fixing the problem actually played a part in the story. If it was some outside force acting on the ship, and Scotty couldn't do a thing, then the writers tended to write something that indicated the nacelles. But if Scotty actually had to go crawling through a Jefferies tube of some sort and start mucking about with the GNDN lines, the writing would indicate a central reactor that was going wonky.

Since I put a lot more weight behind plotlines that required a little more thinking through than I do behind meaningless technobabble, I favor the central warp core model, and have for a very long time.
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Old October 14 2008, 09:05 PM   #13
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Re: Dreadnought Question

As for the matter of Diane Carey's dreadnought vs. FJ's, there are more than a few differences, most likely for copyright reasons.

Here's a comparison pic I came across a while back...

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Old October 15 2008, 04:25 AM   #14
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Re: Dreadnought Question

Timo wrote: View Post
So amending power problems on the standard CA wouldn't happen by adding a nacelle.....
Timo Saloniemi
Larger Warp engines = Points to a Larger Warp Core

More Warp Engines mounted on different hull sections = more than one Independant War Core.

So the FJ Fed DN as origionally introduced should have buttloads more power than a Fed CA.

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
Since I put a lot more weight behind plotlines that required a little more thinking through than I do behind meaningless technobabble, I favor the central warp core model, and have for a very long time.
DITTO!!!

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
A lot of it hinged upon (a) something going on with the power systems that, left unchecked, was going to result in the ship going boom, and (b) whether or not the method of fixing the problem actually played a part in the story. If it was some outside force acting on the ship, and Scotty couldn't do a thing, then the writers tended to write something that indicated the nacelles. But if Scotty actually had to go crawling through a Jefferies tube of some sort and start mucking about with the GNDN lines, the writing would indicate a central reactor that was going wonky.
DITTO!!! IF threat was outside.....the worry was if the outside threat would tear something up outside. If it needed fixing on the inside.....the it was pointless to be concerned where the problem was not.

In...out....Scotty didn't get a break. Why do you think he kept liquor in his cabin?
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Old October 15 2008, 06:58 AM   #15
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Re: Dreadnought Question

As for the matter of Diane Carey's dreadnought vs. FJ's, there are more than a few differences, most likely for copyright reasons.
...Of course, it's also a huge plot point that Carey's dreadnought is unique, the first of its kind. IIRC, the heroes refer to the dreadnought concept as something Starfleet pondered but abandoned, until along comes this villainy admiral character who presses on with construction of the Star Empire. Carey then describes the Star Empire in a manner that jibes with the cover image, specifying for example the faceted, armored saucer that sets the ship apart from the usual Starfleet hardware.

It could be a copyright thing, yeah - at least insofar as combining the word "dreadnought" with the name Star Empire goes. But it's probably also what Carey intended all along, and the similarities to FJ's creation are actually something inserted there because they fit the already intended storyline, a bit of sweetening to make the FJ fans happy. That is, the origins of the ship are in Carey's head at least to an equal degree to Schnaubelt's, and probably more so.

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