Author Topic: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi  (Read 598 times)

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Offline Iain Baker

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BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
Hi all, this is simply a series of ideas that have been swirling around my noggin for the past year and a half which I figured I should get around to writing down one day, and today seems as good a day as any.

The basic idea here is that the Shivans would have adapted/evolved after their encounters with the GTVA in the second incursion. Therefore, by the time of a notional third incursion, they would be more powerful and would have evolved counters to the GTVA technology they faced. (This would presumably apply for all continuities.)

I have also taken into account the BP concepts that the Shivans have near limitless ‘potential’ that has yet to be unlocked since they have not yet faced an enemy that challenges them enough to fully unlock it. Therefore, the ships, weapons and technologies described below are NOT the Shivan’s full potential.

(I go on the assumption that the Shivan’s in our neck of the multiverse have not faced the Vishnans in direct combat like the ones in the AoA universe, and so have evolved to be GTA beaters, but not yet Vishnan beaters, since going up against Vishnan beating Shivans would be near impossible and make for a pretty crappy gameplay experience - unless the player is a masochist of course 😉)

I have generally used existing ships due to the idea that Shivan technology is more evolutionary than revolutionary. (That and it means developers can use existing models if they wish to implement any of these ideas. See, aren’t I nice thinking of you all?)

I was thinking that since Shivan’s have near-infinite resources, they can easily afford to spec into a wide range of specialised craft.
I have also embraced the idea of Shivan’s weaponizing unpredictability and creating ‘noise’, which will become evident in the varying armaments of capital ships.

Introns are assumed to be in operation too, increasing unpredictability and noise yet further.

These upgrades would be necessary to make the Shivans a credible threat to TEI era warships, since TEI warships appeared to overmatch their Shivan counterparts in AoA in one-on-one encounters.

The ideas listed below are intended to work in conjunction to make the game more complex and difficult without resorting to sheer numbers of Shivan craft. Encounters between capital ships should be major events. Taking out a Destroyer should be a major accomplishment that requires a carefully planned, multistage combined arms assault.

Feel free to take any of these ideas and use them in your campaigns 😊

NB – Many of these ideas were inspired, at least in part, by suggestions I have heard on the forums or due to models used in existing campaigns. Apologies in advance that I am unable to remember who suggested what and when. So, if you read this and think ‘Wasn’t that my idea back in…' then yes, it probably was, and feel free to comment so you get the credit that is due.



Fighter and Bomber Weapons - Primaries


Improved Shivan Primaries

Shivan primaries are less nerfed than before. Increases across the bord in power, range, projectile speed, rate of fire. See the campaign Bem Cavalgar for what these might look like in-game. Basic primaries are now akin to Balors, heavier primaries overmatch Kaysers. It can be assumed that all fighters will be armed with improved primaries of one sort or another.


Multi-Effect Disruptor

Low hull damage, moderate shield damage, high subsystem damage. Also drains energy reserves and causes a temporary EMP effect thus disrupting sensors, coms etc. Extremely annoying and disorientating if paired with the below.


‘Shivan Maxims’

(Can’t think of a better name ATM.) Essentially the same as GTVA Maxims – high hull and subsystem damage, low shield damage, very long range, high RoF, high projectile speed etc. Often found on Shivan strike bombers, used similarly as Artemis strikes in BP WiH. When they hit fighter and bomber sized craft they induce a ‘knockabout’ effect similar to the Flail / Morning star which is very disorientating.


‘Close Range Shrapnel Cannon’

Similar to the Sidhe from BP WiH Tenebra. Very effective against lightly armoured vessels such as civilian ships, transports, freighters etc. Short-range, relatively low RoF. If a fighter carrying one of these gets close to a convoy ship you are escorting, said ship is probably history.


Pulsar Beam

Shield penetrating moderately hull damaging pulsar beam weapon. Similar in effect to BP’s Vishnan Gravity Spike. Appears to be carried only by the Dragon.


Shivan Fighter and Bomber Weapons - Secondaries


Kraken 2

Shivan answer to the Trebuchet. Longer range but lower warhead payload. Uprated version of the Kraken from Gehenna’s Gate.


Mandragora Torpedo

Exclusively carried by heavy bombers. As per Gehenna’s Gate. I won’t spoil the surprise of what it can do. Go play Gehenna’s Gate to see for yourself 😊


Fighter and Bomber Abilities


EMP ECM

Shivan ECM from Scorpions and Seraphims now has a secondary short-range, short-duration EMP effect which causes disruption and breaks aspect lock, making follow up ripple launches more difficult. (Hard counter to multi-lock missiles.)


Localised EMP Field

Some fighters (Scorpions) and bombers (Seraphim) emit EMP fields which disrupts sensors and coms when close by. Makes gaining aspect lock more difficult and disrupts the target lead indicator, therefore leading the target will have to be done by eye. Gimbaled / auto-aim weapons will fire straight forward.


Self-Repairing Hull

The relative fragility of Shivan fighter and bomber hulls is partially compensated for by said hulls ability to gradually self-repair. Most effective when the player has multiple targets to engage and may not have the time to focus on one until it is destroyed.


Capital Ship Weapons

Anti-Fighter / Bomber


Trinity PDGs (Point Defence Guns)

Shivan upgrades to point defence weapons to supplement flack guns. Fires three shots in a rapid burst, several bursts per second. Range approximately 2000M. Very high projectile speed. The three shots are each optimised for different targets. First is anti-shield, second is anti-subsystem, third is anti-hull. If all three hit the target then all three aspects might be compromised, dependent on shield strength, whether subsystems are hit etc. Built-in inaccuracy is very low. Excels at fighter suppression and warhead intercept. Somewhat useful as secondary weapons against lighter warships, as the high RoF somewhat compensates for the relatively low damage per shot. All Shivan capital ship ‘blob’ turrets have been upgraded with these weapons as standard.

(This is to make Shivan warships as dangerous to approach as TEV and UEF ones.)


Shivan Slammers

Upgrade to the ‘Fighter Killer’ and similar systems so that they are a threat to fighters and bombers, not just an annoyance.


Anti-Capital Ship


Rapid Red (RReds)

Low power, high RoF beam weapon. Half-way between AAA beams and ISReds. These are found on Evolved Cains to optimise them for their role of convoy interdictors. Very effective against lightly armoured civilian ships, cargo freighters, transports etc. Less effective against cruisers than ISReds. Able to fire pulses near continuously, with near zero power up / power down / cooling delay, thus able to switch fire between one destroyed convoy ship to the next without pause.


Improved Small Red (ISRed)

The subspace heat sink technology that enables the near-zero cooldown time possessed by LReds and BFReds has evolved to serve smaller weapons, including the ISRed. Damage per beam salvo is still relatively anaemic but is more than compensated for by its near-continuous fire.


Medium Red (MRed)

Halfway between ISReds and LReds, the MRed is commonly found as the primary weapon on corvette and frigate class vessels, and as secondary weapons on Destroyers. Also features subspace heat sinks for near-continuous fire.


Sniper Disruptor Beam (SDB)

Long-range, high accuracy, high subsystem damage, low hull damage anti-capital ship weapon. Longer recharge time than other Shivan beam weapons. Serves a similar function to UEF Gauss cannons. Very useful for disabling or disarming ships at a distance, or crippling coms and sensors. Due to being a beam weapon, it does not require a spinal or large turret mount. Therefore, it is more versatile and has a wide field of fire.


Shivan Capital Ship SST (Sub Space Torpedoes) - Unitary Warhead

Long-range, meson warhead equipped SSTorpedoes.


Shivan Capital Ship SST - Swarm Warheads

Long-range, antimatter warhead equipped SS torpedoes. After exiting subspace, they split to form a swarm of fast-moving warheads that follow an irregular path to the target. The combined yields are less than the single unitary warhead, but it is more likely that at least some warheads will get through GTVA defences. 


Shivan Capital Ship SST - EMP Warheads

Low yield, but causes significant EMP disruption, thus reducing the effectiveness of point defence weapons and the fighter screen of any fighters caught in the blast. Effects are cumulative - the more warheads hit the target, the longer it will be disrupted. Often used as a prelude to conventional SST strikes as a one-two punch.

Inspired in part by ST:R and Homeworld Cataclysm

Upgraded Shivan Fighters and Bombers – Great War Era


Scorpion

The GW era scout has evolved into being an ECM asset similar to the TEV Aurora. Its abilities include short-range jamming of sensors and coms, degradation of point defences, degradation of capital ship missile accuracy, detection of stealth fighters, and breaking through allied Electronic Warfare (EW) emissions to enable other Shivan craft to operate normally. Their vertical tail spike is a targetable subsystem - destroy that and the Scorpion loses these abilities.


Shaitan

High-speed strike bomber. Has received a notable increase in speed, acceleration and afterburner capacity. Often armed with Shivan Maxims and utilised similar to how Artemis bombers are used in BP WiH. Often deployed to soften up and de-fang allied capital ships before heavier bombers and capital ships show up to finish the job.


Basilisk

Further specialised for its role as anti-convoy assault craft. Often armed with an additional underslung ‘Close Range Shrapnel Cannon’. Will usually make a beeline toward a target ignoring all distractions. Will launch swarm missiles and fire conventional primaries at medium range then unleash shrapnel rounds when close. Notable increase in shield strength, presumably to allow it to ignore threats when closing in on its target. Once the primary target is destroyed it may attempt to tie down escorting fighters via close range circle-strafing attacks.


Manticore

Largely unchanged except for a significant increase in top speed and afterburner capacity, making it hands down the fastest fighter in a straight line. Enormous afterburner capacity allows it to cover great distances quickly. This makes it a serious threat to bombers and a superb interceptor. However, its paper-thin hull, relatively weak shields and average primary armament make it vulnerable to space superiority fighters.


Dragon

The dreaded Dragon space superiority fighter just got deadlier. Its second primary bank – the single weapon asymmetrical port side emplacement is now replaced with the Pulsar Beam. Other characteristics remain the same, except it appears to utilise lateral thruster and circle-strafing technique far more frequently now.


Nephilim Bomber

The Nephilim bomber has been updated with an afterburner, thus allowing it to reach the firing range of its bombs and torpedoes more quickly. Turrets have a greater rate of fire and range making attacking them more dangerous. NB – after launching their warheads they will now employ short-range circle-strafing tactics against capital ships in an attempt to weaken said ship further via primary fire. This may result in the bomber’s rapid destruction due to the capital ships point defences, however it appears that mission survival after launching its payload is a low priority


Upgraded Shivan Fighters and Bombers - Second Incursion Era


Aeshma

The Ashem appears to be a heavy assault fighter with unremarkable capabilities, save one – its role as a NAGARI booster. Nagari sensitive player characters will experience audio-visual hallucinations when they are around (similar to what the Lucifer did in AoA). Nagri sensitive NPC pilots may react erratically when they are around, either warping out in pure terror or having their A.I. profile reduced to ‘coward’. Aeshmas should be considered a support class that rarely enters battle on its own.


Astaroth

Fast, lightly armed, lightly armoured fighter that is a negligible threat in of itself, but is a considerable nuisance when employed in large numbers. It appears the Shivan’s use these as a ‘distraction fighter’, who’s sole role appears to be to tie up interceptors and space superiority fighters in pointless dog-fights, thus preventing said fighters from attacking real threats such as inbound bombers. Often deployed ahead of bomber wings for this purpose. Now uses lateral thrust and close circle-strafing similar to the Dragon.


Mara

The superbly balanced Mara is deadlier than ever. Its speed and agility have been increased to match that of the Terran Special Forces version. Primary firepower has been increased due to the inclusion of an underslung spinal gunpoint, resulting in three separate banks. The craft has very high weapons compatibility and it is not unusual to see them armed with three separate primaries, with the underslung hardpoint often armed with a single Shivan maxim, Close Range Shrapnel Cannon’ or Multi-Effect Disruptor. Greater use of lateral thrusters and circle-strafing have also been reported. The Mara’s versatility sees the Shivans employing them in a multitude of roles meaning you will encounter these frequently.
Often carried by Moloch corvettes due to their versatility compensating for the Moloch’s limited fighter and fighter capacity.


Nahema

The Nahema is classed as a bomber, however, fighter-bomber is probably more apt due to its versatility. Very high weapons compatibility allows it to fulfil several roles. Typically armed with either light or heavy Shivan primaries and a pair of Shivan maxims. Secondaries often comprise of a mix if anti-fighter missiles, Kraken 2s, Shivan EMP missiles, anti-subsystem missiles, light torpedoes etc. You can never be sure what you will be facing when facing a Nahema. Often carried by Moloch corvettes due to their versatility compensating for the Moloch’s’ limited fighter and bomber capacity. Some examples have been seen sporting a pair of defensive guns covering their rear aspect.
Inspired by the ‘Nahema Guns’ model from… a campaign I can’t remember, sorry.


Taurvi

The Taurvi appears to have evolved into something akin to a Uriel gunship. It now sports a spinal long-range rail gun providing additional long-range anti-subsystem firepower (greater range than the Shivan Maxim). Often armed with Kraken 2 missiles and Shivan equivalents of the Slammer, making these very difficult to approach. The Shivans appear to deploy these at the edge of the battlefield from where they can snipe capital ships weapons and subsystems from a safe distance. They lack the Uriel’s defensive turret and are less effective at dogfighting, which makes them vulnerable to attack if fighters can get close enough. However, they are often guarded by wings of disposable Astaroths which make getting into dog fight range difficult.

Command recommends against rushing out to meet them, as the Shivans may use these as decoys in an attempt to draw away a destroyer’s fighter screen so they can swoop in with more conventional bombers. Command advises instead to utilise long-range missiles instead where possible.

Inspired by the Turvi model in the ‘Railgun Bombers’ test missions.


Seraphim

The mighty seraphim has become even deadlier. In addition to its new abilities seen in Gehenna’s Gate they appear to have gained a considerable Electronic Warfare suite hosed in the bombers ‘arms’ - targetable subsystems. If they get within 1000m of a capital ship this EW suite can seriously degrade the accuracy of said capital ship’s point defences, leaving them even more vulnerable to incoming torpedoes. EW field also affects the player, forcing them to engage both the bomber and any torpedoes it launches by eye. Command advises targeting the EW subsystems with Trebuchet missiles from outside of the Jamming radius. Destroying either of the subsystems reduces the jamming field by 500M. Destroy both and the field collapses, allowing the Seraphim to be engaged as normal, and will return capital ship point defences to normal.


New Fighters


Chimaera Stealth Fighter

Possibly a response to our Pegasus and Ptah fighters used during the second incursion. The Chimera is invisible to sensors, therefore acquisition will have to be done by eye, as will leading the target. Aspect seeking missiles will not lock. Thankfully its firepower is average at best and its shield and armour are paper thin. The difficult part is hitting them in the first place. Chimaera stealth fighters appear to be carried exclusively by the Wraith stealth corvette.

As per the Existing Chimera fighter, but perhaps faster than it appears in some campaigns so it more closely resembles the Pegasus in abilities.


Phantom Stealth Bomber

A fast, nimble but lightly armed and armoured tactical stealth bomber. Think of an Artemis that cannot be detected on sensors and you cannot get a lock on and you have the right idea. Players may not be aware of their presence until after they have launched their torpedoes. Thankfully, their secondary capacity is limited, therefore they will only be able to launch a single salvo before needing to return to base to re-arm. These too appear to be carried exclusively by the Wraith stealth corvettes.

Inspired by someone saying something about a stealth bomber once.


Limpet Defence Fighter – (Will require a new model)

This new small fighter appears to be an entirely new class of ship. It appears to lack both a jump drive or afterburner. Its speed is low, however, it can pivot on its axis with astonishing speed, which allows it to bring its many gimbaled guns to bear on a target at a moment’s notice. Both shields and armour are heavy. The Limpet appears to be a dedicated short-range fighter devoted to protecting capital ships from incoming fighters, bombers and torpedoes. It has never been seen straying more than 1000m from the ship it is protecting.

It has also been seen being deployed as an extension of the capital ship’s point defence screen. In this ‘mode’ Limpet fighters will form a spherical screen around the capital ship and match its movements. It appears that power to guns and shields will be boosted in this mode since the need for movement will be negligible at best.

We have witnessed Limpets being used as a form of sacrificial armour, placing themselves in the path of untargetable missiles and ‘taking the hit’, thus protecting their host ship from damage.

Since it lacks a jump drive it is reliant on its host ship for transport. Destroyers will usually house large numbers of these within their fighter bays and will deploy them as they would conventional fighters.
 
The limpet is capable of attaching to a capital ship’s hull via a universal docking surface on the fighter’s squared-off stern. It will then ‘ride’ the host ship through subspace, detaching once the host ship reaches its destination. This is its usual mode of carriage by capital ships of corvette class and below.

The limpet remains fully functional when attached, and it’s gimballed weapons are still free to target and engage ships that cross its frontal arc. The Shivans have been seen utilising this ability by employing the limpet as a hull-mounted gun turret.

Limpets have also been seen being deployed as sentry guns around nodes.

The Limpet is notably smaller than other fighters. This, combined with the Shivan’s using them in such a sacrificial nature led some to believe that they were unmanned drones. A successful capture operation by GTVI, however, resulted in a startling, and somewhat horrific discovery. Each is piloted by a single Shivan – whose limbs have been surgically amputated to make room. Integration with the craft is total, and the ship’s controls appear to be wired directly into what serves as the Shivan’s central nervous system. It is clear that once a Shivan is integrated with a limpet it is then sealed inside the craft, permanently.

Inspired by the defence fighters from Homeworld.



Shivan Capital Ships


Abilities


Local Shield Emitter Blisters

The Shivans have made maxim attacks against subsystems and turrets far less effective due to retrofitting their capital ships with hull-mounted ‘Shield Emitter Blisters’. Each ‘blister’ covers a certain amount of the ship’s hull, and thus a certain number of turrets and subsystems. Larger ships naturally require more of them to provide full coverage. The shields created are relatively weak, and thus do not require multiple reactors to run them (unlike the Lucifer’s sheath shield) and do little to stop beam fire and high yield torpedoes.

However, Maxim guns, Gauss cannons etc. are notably weak against shields, so these localised shields provide adequate protection from these – for a while at least. To de-fang a Shivan capital ship with Maxims or Gauss cannons one must first destroy the blister or blisters protecting its weapons. Thankfully the blisters themselves are relatively weak and easily destroyed – a salvo of twin Trebuchets or Stilettos should suffice.

(Inspired by a similar mechanic used in Wing commander V: Prophesy)




Capital ships Classes


Asura Gun Boat

The smallest class of Shivan capital ship, the nimble Asura appears to fulfil the anti-fighter screening role for capital ships and convoys. Essentially the Shivan equivalent of the GTVA Cretheus or UEF Custos.


Aslesa EM Cruiser

Essentially the Shivan’s equivalent to the GTA Charybdis and GVA Setekh. Abilities include long-range jamming of sensors and coms, degradation of point defences, degradation of capital ship missile accuracy, detection of stealth fighters, beam jamming, painting targets for SST strikes and breaking through allied EW emissions to enable other Shivan craft to operate normally.
The craft also appears to possess unique subspace manipulation abilities as well, including:

Subspace Inhibition Field - jump points are unable to form within a 5KM sphere of the vessel. This prevents allied ships from executing short-range shock jump attacks against capital ships within this range. Also prevents SSM strikes. Larger vessels, such as juggernauts, may require multiple Aslesa craft to form a complete cordon around it. Destroying one of them may create a gap in the subspace inhibition field coverage that allies could exploit to conduct a close-range shock jump attack. The inhibition field also prevents allied ships from escaping into subspace whilst within this sphere of influence.

Subspace Exit Point Prediction - Allows the Shivan’s to calculate a vessel’s likely exit point from subspace with pinpoint accuracy. This has been used to devastating effect to conduct ambushes.

Subspace Interdiction – The Aslesa appears to be able to ‘pull’ vessels from subspace if the said vessel’s subspace vector runs close to it. This too has been used to carry out devastating ambush attacks.

Due to these abilities command classes the Aslesa as a class A threat. Thankfully the Aslesa is fairly fragile, and its rotating subsystem especially so, therefore taking out this subsystem should be a top priority. Unfortunately, Aslesa’s are usually escorted by more conventional cruisers and typically have a substantial screen of Limpet fighters.

The rotating section is a targetable subsystem – damage to this will progressively degrade these abilities. Destruction of the subsystem will shut down these abilities completely.

Inspired by the model and similar ship found in Scrolls of Atankharzium


Cain

The Cain has evolved from being a general-purpose attack cruiser to a dedicated convoy pursuit craft. Its engines have been expanded considerably giving the class a ‘fatter’ rear end, which helps to further distinguish it from the more gracile tailed Lilith. This has resulted in significantly increased speed and agility, allowing it to easily run-down fleeing convoy ships. Its chin-mounted SRed has been substituted with and RRed which is better suited to engaging multiple lightly armoured ships in quick succession. These updates have made the Cain less effective in the anti-capital ship role. However, the Cain was obsolete in this role anyway, and its original role has been taken over by the Rakshasa.


Akuma AAA cruiser (May require new model)

Shivan equivalent to an Aeolus, but with a higher emphasis on AAA beams across its frontal arc. Lacks any anti-capital ship weaponry as it is intended to escort vessels of destroyer class and above, and its role is dedicated to protecting these vessels from bomber attacks and ‘de-fanging’ tactical strikes. Any fighter, bomber or gunship that wishes to take out a Ravana’s or a Sathanas’ main guns will have to run the gauntlet against these cruisers, and will likely find themselves in a withering crossfire of AAA beams which will destroy craft and torpedoes alike long before they reach their target.


Rakshasa

Shivan shock-jump cruiser that punches above its weight. The type has received a boost in firepower. Now all six of its forward ‘prongs’ are weapons. These can be a mixture of ISReds, RReds, AAAs, SDBs and Trinity PDGs. The ratio between them and which prong will be fitted with what weapon is essentially random. The prongs look the same which will make distinguishing them from one another difficult in a heavy EW (Electronic Warfare) environment since pilots will have to do so by eye.

The type now has both dorsal and ventral AAA beams thus increasing its defences from strike craft. However, it remains weakly armoured and relatively vulnerable to massed strike craft attacking from the flanks and rear. It exhibits especially good subspace agility, even by Shivan standards, and often performs short-range shock jumps against a target’s most vulnerable aspect - often its rear.

Often deployed in groups against targets larger than itself, even a destroyer can be in trouble if caught by a Rakshasa wolf pack, especially if their weapons mix favours ISReds. Its relative lack of durability makes it a poor choice for patrolling and blockading missions, however.


Lilith

Aside from its anti-fighter weapons being upgraded to Trinity PDGs and Shivan Slammers, the Lilith remains relatively unchanged. It was overpowered before and it remains overpowered now. Its low speed, high firepower and high durability often see it deployed in either protecting nodes or as part of large fleet actions against durable but relatively immobile targets such as stations and capital ships caught between jumps. It tends to attack from a distance, leveraging the range of its LRed.


Moloch

The Moloch has undergone a significant change in both its abilities and the manor which Shivans employ them. Its offensive firepower has been increased as its relatively anaemic SReds have been replaced by MReds, a far more fitting weapon for a corvette class vessel. The distinctive ‘eye’ now sports a Sniper Disrupter Beam, which enables the type to defang warships from a distance. Molochs have been seen executing tactical micro-jumps, whereby they jump from one side of the battlespace to the other near instantaneously. This has allowed a pair of Molochs to perform jump-pincer movements against fleeing convoys and front-line destroyers alike.

A particularly fiendish tactic has been seen used against an upgraded Orion. The Moloch entered the battlespace at the maximum range of its SDB, which outranged the Orion’s artillery. The destroyer headed towards the Moloch in an attempt to reach firing range, whilst simultaneously deploying fighters and bombers to attack the Moloch. The Moloch responded by launching Mara Space Superiority fighters to engage the Orion’s incoming fighters and bombers before executing a short range tactical micro-jump shock attack against the Orion’s Starboard side. The Moloch concentrated its three MReds in a broadside attack against the Orion’s fighter bay, crippling the destroyer’s ability to launch any further fighter craft. The Orion’s previously deployed strike craft were now too far away and too tide up fighting the Mara’s to assist. The Moloch then executed another tactical micro-jump to the opposite side of the battlespace, placing it far out of reach of the destroyers’ main guns.
 
The Moloch appears to possess especially good self-repair abilities and especially quick subspace drive recharge times. This allows it to execute successive hit and run attacks, gradually wearing down even the largest warships by attritional damage.

Inspired by the campaign Boomerang and the Lucifer’s tactics in BP AoA


Wraith Corvette

This appears to be an evolution of the Moloch line focused on stealth. Ships of this class have been suspected of operating behind the lines, carrying out surgical strikes and harassing raids on civilian targets, supply depots and other ‘soft’ targets. Command is concerned that the Shivans have begun employing Special Forces and psychological warfare tactics which they have not done in previous encounters and are wondering what might be behind this change (Hint – who /what was Ken?)


SCv Scylla

With its trio of forward-mounted MReds, the Scylla appears to be a response to the effectiveness of TEV Chimera and Bellerophon corvettes and fulfils a similar role – that of a dedicated shock jump attacker specialising in attacks on larger warships. The fact the class was not encountered until after TEV corvette hunter-killer teams started to inflict major losses on Shivan capital ships suggests the following:

1)   The Shivan’s did not possess them at the start of the conflict.
2)   The Shivans were able to evolve them from scratch in a matter of weeks.

If correct, this indicates we may have gravely underestimated the Shivan’s ability to adapt and the speed at which they can do so.

Straight rip off of the SCv Scylla from Inferno Nostos.


Behemoth Heavy Corvette

In stark contrast to the finesse the Moloch now possesses, the Behemoth appears to be an uncompromising bruiser of a corvette. Subspace agility is poor by Shivan standards, and both ‘realspace’ speed and agility are low. However, it’s firepower and armour are considerable. It appears to be a defensive corvette, intended to delay GTVA attacks by soaking up punishment whilst dishing it out in all directions against multiple simultaneous targets. Often paired with Lilith Cruisers, these are a common site at nodes.

What is interesting is that much of this firepower comes in the form of ISReds, which it has in considerable numbers (16 – eight up front, two per flank, two on dorsal surface firing up, two on ventral surface firing down). These are placed to provide both near-spherical coverage and considerable overlap in their fields of fire. It is hypothesised that this has evolved due to the effectiveness of GTVA ‘de-fanging’ tactics during the second incursion. By utilising a multitude of weaker weapons as opposed to a small number of very powerful ones (The Lilith being the most extreme example) any successful de-fanging attempt will only slightly degrade the corvette’s offensive firepower. To defang the corvette sufficiently to render it combat ineffective will require a large percentage of its many ISReds to be destroyed, a process that will take time and likely result in many GTVA casualties.


Ravana

The Ravana remains much as it was, save for a notable increase in firepower. All four of its frontal ‘claws’ are now weapons. The lower two tend to remain LReds. The upper two tend to be MReds. One of the two dorsal and the single ventral beams tend to be MReds too, whilst the second dorsal spike may be either an MRed or a AAA. Which of the two dorsal spikes will be what weapon will also be randomised.


Vassago

Not to be confused with the single Capella era mutated Ravana of the same name, the SD Vassago class destroyer appears to be the Shivan’s main front line destroyer. Similar to the GTD Erebus its fighter complement is reduced compared to most Destroyers, apparently likewise sacrificing carrying capacity for pure firepower and protection. Its quartet of prowl mounted LReds make short work of any capital ship that enters their range and firearcs. The flanks of the destroyer are armed with banks of MReds making attacks to its flanks a risky proposition. A decent complement of AAA spikes and other anti-fighter weapons make the Vassago a tough target all round. It appears to lack the subspace agility of the Ravana and has not yet been seen carrying out close-range shock jumps. The Vassago appears to be a less specialised unit than the Ravana or Demon, suited more towards stand up fights and fleet engagements where sheer firepower and endurance are key. The one saving grace is that the Erebus’ Winter King spinal beam outranges the Vassago’s LReds.

Inspired by the Vassago class destroyers from Ancient Shivan War


Demon

With the Ravana retaining its niche as shock jumper per excellence, and the Vassago filling the role of ‘battering ram’ and fleet engagement Destroyer, the Demon has evolved to fill a new niche, that of area control and logistics hub. The Demon has extensive hanger facilities capable of housing a vast number of fighters and bombers. It is believed to also be capable of creating new fighters and bombers as well as SSTs within its hull so long as it is fed sufficient raw resources to create them with. This alone makes a Demon a major strategic concern.

The Destroyer also appears to serve as a mobile hyperspace gate – the dorsal ‘Arch’ has been seen creating jump points within it for both entering and exiting ships. It is believed that by creating jump points for these craft that the craft do not need to expend as much energy as when creating their own, allowing them to charge up their own drives far more quickly ‘at the other end’. Command suspects that this may account for why standard Shivan transports and freighters have been able to escape through subspace as soon as they have been attacked, making interdicting such craft far more difficult.

Inspired by some of the comments in the updated Demon model thread.


Tartarus Shivan Mobile Ship Yard

The enormous Tartarus shipyard at first glance appears to be an installation, however, it possesses engines and subspace motivators, so it is technically a ‘ship.’

The majority of the craft’s internal volume is a hollow space within which ships up to and including destroyer class are ‘built’. Exactly how Shivan craft are built withinside it remains a mystery.  Some hypothesis state that Shivans build their vessels in much the same way the GTVA does, other theorise it may be due to a form of inorganic crystalline growth. Other more outlandish theories suggest it may make use of the ‘Black Ash’ technology encountered once during the Capella campaign, or even that matter is gathered from the accretion disks of black holes and sent through an internal standing subspace gate and then ‘coalesced’ into ships in situ. It may, of course, use a combination of these, or something completely different. The hull of the Mobile ship Yard appears to be impenetrable to all attempts at scanning, so whatever secrets it contains will have to remain secret for now.

It appears that the time it takes to create new craft is directly proportional to the mass and complexity of the craft being created.
It has been noted that the newly encountered Iksura freighters appear to service Demon destroyers and the Tartarus shipyard exclusively, suggesting these freighters are hauling the raw materials needed to create more Shivan craft, and possibly new Shivans themselves.

The Tartarus is extremely well defended by multiple Sathanas juggernauts and several fleets worth of smaller capital ships. Therefore, a direct attack would be suicidal. It is also suspected that if the Tartarus was in jeopardy it would escape through subspace. Instead interdicting the Iksuras and harassing resource gathering operations might be more effective in the long run. Unfortunately, the Shivan’s appear to have fielded more than enough units up to and including juggernaut class to crush the GTVA already, so disrupting their resourcing and construction operations may have little impact at this point.

Inspired by Homeworld.


Iksura freighters

As per Gehenna’s Gate. If you haven’t played it yet I won’t spoil the surprise 😉
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 09:43:27 am by Iain Baker »
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
Wing commander 4 wasn't prophecy.

Are you making a mod then?

 
Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
I'd mention the Astra weapons that I intended to use in my FWFTM game thread, but those were never intended to really be put in an ingame mod, as most of them couldn't really be done, and those that could wouldn't be remotely fair or balanced in the context of the Freespace engine.



Shivans view most other species the way we view infectious diseases. They think they are doing good by curing the universe of them. After all, no one mourns the fate of smallpox.

The Final War For The Multiverse

 

Offline Iain Baker

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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
Wing commander 4 wasn't prophecy.

Are you making a mod then?

My bad - WC 5 Prophecy. You kids with your damn Roman numerals confusing us old folks  ;-) NB - fixed it now.

Re making a mod - sort of. I'm part of the Series Resurrecta team, although this isn't related to that specifically. It's just some ideas I'm throwing out there in case someone wants to something with some of them.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 09:49:51 am by Iain Baker »
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Offline Iain Baker

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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
I'd mention the Astra weapons that I intended to use in my FWFTM game thread, but those were never intended to really be put in an ingame mod, as most of them couldn't really be done, and those that could wouldn't be remotely fair or balanced in the context of the Freespace engine.

Oooh, I'm intrigued now. Tell me more. For a start what is/was FWFTM? What were the weapon and what made them so unfair and unbalanced?
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
Some very cool ideas in here.

When you're designing stuff meant to be used against the player, consider how much fun it is to fight. One of the advantages of the BP fiction is that there's room to make pretty much any change required to Shivan technology to make it fun to fight against.

The shrapnel cannon, for instance, would probably be a negative experience for players. Either it's out of range and not being fired (so players don't know it's coming) or it's in range and doing huge chunks of damage (so players become disoriented and die very quickly).

I think it's also a mistake to try to balance the Shivans for one-on-one encounters against TEI warships. We already have a faction balanced as a peer opponent against the GTVA; it's the UEF! What about gameplay scenarios where we throw a lot of red at the player, where they get to feel like a hero?

 

Offline Iain Baker

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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
Some very cool ideas in here.

When you're designing stuff meant to be used against the player, consider how much fun it is to fight. One of the advantages of the BP fiction is that there's room to make pretty much any change required to Shivan technology to make it fun to fight against.

The shrapnel cannon, for instance, would probably be a negative experience for players. Either it's out of range and not being fired (so players don't know it's coming) or it's in range and doing huge chunks of damage (so players become disoriented and die very quickly).

I think it's also a mistake to try to balance the Shivans for one-on-one encounters against TEI warships. We already have a faction balanced as a peer opponent against the GTVA; it's the UEF! What about gameplay scenarios where we throw a lot of red at the player, where they get to feel like a hero?

Thank you, glad you liked some of it. As always, feel free to appropriate :-)

Fair point about the shrapnel cannon. It could have its anti-shield stats nerfed so that it is only a threat to unshielded transports and the like, which is what I was intending anyway.

Re fun - that depends upon the player's idea of 'Fun'.  :p  I sometimes play MISERY mods for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. because sometimes it is fun seeing how many ways a game can hand my ass to me 😊

RE balance - this can be remedied by the smart application of mechanics and difficulty levels. (That and playtesting. A LOT of playtesting, amirite?) For example, the unfair or unbalanced weapons could be restricted to higher difficulties, same too the Shivan’s propensity to circle strafe, use lateral movements, what EMP / EW abilities they can use etc. I was very impressed back in the day with Half-Life’s assassins – I was not expecting them to gain cloaking devices on the hardest settings so that came as a welcome shock. So too BP’s introns – another welcome shock, well done 😉
 
Changes like this help with replay value too, since each time you do a playthrough on a higher difficulty you will be facing something new.
My view is that it is ok for a game to be punishingly and unfairly hard on the highest difficulty setting since it is supposed to be unfair. The fun comes not from playing it, but from being able to overcome something the devs deliberately didn’t want you to. Devs throw the Gauntlet, the player accepts the challenge if you will.

As for sending waves of red so the player can be the hero, I wanted to go down a different path. We have had twenty years of campaigns that do that. For me at least, such campaigns are getting a bit 'samey'.

As a thought experiment, I wanted to see what fighting smart, well organised Shivans would be like. Considering they have it-which-shall-not-be-named-because-spoilers-but-you-know-what-I'm-talking-about-and-what-it-used-to-be as a psy-war asset this would be the ideal time to try it out. It would also make taking out said psywar asset a major win since the Shivans might then revert to their steam-roller-via-numbers strategies and thus be easier to predict.

I also generally dislike the whole ‘power fantasy’ thing. I actually prefer the challenge of being disempowered but overcoming anyway, and I don’t consider a game ‘beaten’ until I have done so on its hardest setting. And if the hardest setting is too easy – Crysis 2, I’m looking at you – I’ll probably find a mod or two to make it harder.

Hummm… perhaps I am a masochist after all   :lol: :lol: :lol:


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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
I'd mention the Astra weapons that I intended to use in my FWFTM game thread, but those were never intended to really be put in an ingame mod, as most of them couldn't really be done, and those that could wouldn't be remotely fair or balanced in the context of the Freespace engine.

Oooh, I'm intrigued now. Tell me more. For a start what is/was FWFTM? What were the weapon and what made them so unfair and unbalanced?

See the link in my signature. It got off to a good start but people eventually lost interest.

There would be a lot of Astras, used by the Shivans and some other factions like the Vishnans. Not all Shivan factions would have access to all of them, and I generally wasn't planning to use them until the players reached a level where they could reasonably deal with them. Unless they did something foolish like attacking the strongest Shivan groups without adequate preparation. One example would be the Garudastra, which is basically the Lucifer's sheath shield, except it also functions in subspace. That's one of the weakest of the Astras.
Shivans view most other species the way we view infectious diseases. They think they are doing good by curing the universe of them. After all, no one mourns the fate of smallpox.

The Final War For The Multiverse

 

Offline Iain Baker

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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
I'd mention the Astra weapons that I intended to use in my FWFTM game thread, but those were never intended to really be put in an ingame mod, as most of them couldn't really be done, and those that could wouldn't be remotely fair or balanced in the context of the Freespace engine.

Oooh, I'm intrigued now. Tell me more. For a start what is/was FWFTM? What were the weapon and what made them so unfair and unbalanced?




See the link in my signature. It got off to a good start but people eventually lost interest.

There would be a lot of Astras, used by the Shivans and some other factions like the Vishnans. Not all Shivan factions would have access to all of them, and I generally wasn't planning to use them until the players reached a level where they could reasonably deal with them. Unless they did something foolish like attacking the strongest Shivan groups without adequate preparation. One example would be the Garudastra, which is basically the Lucifer's sheath shield, except it also functions in subspace. That's one of the weakest of the Astras.

Was this the thing about the Shivans finally killing the Great Darkness via necrotic space and then deciding to wipe out all non-shivan life in the multiverse to ensure no-one ends up creating one again? All shivans ships were to have shields, all weapons unlocked to their full potential etc etc. It was going to have Homewolrd ships, Star Wars, Babylon 5 etc. in it. Or am I thinking of something else?
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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
I'd mention the Astra weapons that I intended to use in my FWFTM game thread, but those were never intended to really be put in an ingame mod, as most of them couldn't really be done, and those that could wouldn't be remotely fair or balanced in the context of the Freespace engine.

Oooh, I'm intrigued now. Tell me more. For a start what is/was FWFTM? What were the weapon and what made them so unfair and unbalanced?




See the link in my signature. It got off to a good start but people eventually lost interest.

There would be a lot of Astras, used by the Shivans and some other factions like the Vishnans. Not all Shivan factions would have access to all of them, and I generally wasn't planning to use them until the players reached a level where they could reasonably deal with them. Unless they did something foolish like attacking the strongest Shivan groups without adequate preparation. One example would be the Garudastra, which is basically the Lucifer's sheath shield, except it also functions in subspace. That's one of the weakest of the Astras.

Was this the thing about the Shivans finally killing the Great Darkness via necrotic space and then deciding to wipe out all non-shivan life in the multiverse to ensure no-one ends up creating one again? All shivans ships were to have shields, all weapons unlocked to their full potential etc etc. It was going to have Homewolrd ships, Star Wars, Babylon 5 etc. in it. Or am I thinking of something else?

Yes. Too bad it never got off the ground.

Shivans view most other species the way we view infectious diseases. They think they are doing good by curing the universe of them. After all, no one mourns the fate of smallpox.

The Final War For The Multiverse

 
Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
Yes, "realism" =/ fun. Storywise the Shivans might be unstoppable by conventional force. For the player however, they should be a challenge, but also an enemy that can still be triumphed over.

In Freespace, winning is survival.

 
Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
Well in my story it would definitely be possible to defeat them, but only if different races and factions from across the multiverse all worked together.
Shivans view most other species the way we view infectious diseases. They think they are doing good by curing the universe of them. After all, no one mourns the fate of smallpox.

The Final War For The Multiverse

 

Offline Androgeos Exeunt

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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
You...might want to shorten the thread title a little (edit the subject in the first post). ;)

I haven't read all of it, but the one about the Taurvi struck my interest:

Taurvi

The Taurvi appears to have evolved into something akin to a Uriel gunship. It now sports a spinal long-range rail gun providing additional long-range anti-subsystem firepower (greater range than the Shivan Maxim). Often armed with Kraken 2 missiles and Shivan equivalents of the Slammer, making these very difficult to approach. The Shivans appear to deploy these at the edge of the battlefield from where they can snipe capital ships weapons and subsystems from a safe distance. They lack the Uriel’s defensive turret and are less effective at dogfighting, which makes them vulnerable to attack if fighters can get close enough. However, they are often guarded by wings of disposable Astaroths which make getting into dog fight range difficult.

Command recommends against rushing out to meet them, as the Shivans may use these as decoys in an attempt to draw away a destroyer’s fighter screen so they can swoop in with more conventional bombers. Command advises instead to utilise long-range missiles instead where possible.

Inspired by the Turvi model in the ‘Railgun Bombers’ test missions.

The 1-2 gun config of the Taurvi is unique amongst Shivan bombers. While looking through the unused primary weapons in BP, I came across the Shivan Malak Lance, a fighter-mounted beam cannon. Of all the Shivan bomber gun mounts I plonked the Malak Lance on, I liked the end result of it being mounted on the Taurvi's single-gun bank the best. It wasn't the most powerful setup (Nephilim hepta-bank is second to none but looks absolutely retarded; same goes for the Seraphim's hexa-bank) and the beam doesn't last really long, but damn did it look awesome to see.

(edited mistake pointed out in post below)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 08:54:40 am by Androgeos Exeunt »
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Offline Svedal

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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
While looking through the unused primary weapons in BP, I came across the Shivan Malak, a fighter-mounted beam cannon.

I think you're conflating two weapons. The Malak is roughly a Shivan Balor, and the Shivan LanceSlowSlash is a beam that can be found on fighters. Both are currently used by the Intron system in the Vishnan AoA missions.

 

Offline Androgeos Exeunt

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Re: BP Third Incursion Shivan ships and Weapons Headcanon / Random Ship Ideas You Mi
I think you're conflating two weapons. The Malak is roughly a Shivan Balor, and the Shivan LanceSlowSlash is a beam that can be found on fighters. Both are currently used by the Intron system in the Vishnan AoA missions.

...oops. Yeah, I meant the Lance, not the Malak.
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Quote: Monday, 23 November 2020, 1135hrs UTC, #general
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So I achieved all the endings in Nier: Automata except E and Y, not looking forward to that at all >_<

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E is easy, Y is a bit of a chore

The_E
excuse you I am not "easy"