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design by Lewis Roberts
The Manticores, which have been used up to now in the system defense of Aubaine, will be used as "battle riders," carried into combat one or two at a time by RCN clippers configured as "tenders." The battle rider concept is an old one, and reflects a permanent principle of interstellar combat. Given the fact that interstellar jump driver and their supporting systems make significant demands on the mass and volume of a starship, two spacecraft of equal size, one equipped with jump drives, and one without, will demonstrate vastly differing utilizations of space. The ship without jump drive will have a great deal of additional space that can be allocated to weapons, armor, defensive screens, fire control, ammunition, greater maneuverability, and fuel, and will therefore be a better warship, albeit unable to travel between star systems on its own. In a confrontation between these two ships, the nonjump-capable vessel should beat the jump-capable starship every time. This fact is the basis of the system defense boat. By extending this concept to include large jump-capable ships which carry these nonjump capable warships from star to star, the battle rider concept is born.
The jump-capable ships. called tenders, carry several nonjump-capable ships, called riders, or battle riders, into enemy star systems. The battle riders detach and engage the enemy, and are recovered by the tender following the battle. The drawback to the battle rider concept is the fact that a losing battle rider force has a very hard time withdrawing, as battle riders cannot simply jump out of the battle to a safe system. The requirement to rejoin the large, non-maneuverable, and poorly defended tender in order to escape creates a vulnerability that ensures that a defeated battle rider force is usually annihilated, where as a defeated jump-capable force is usually much less severely mauled.
from Challenge #74
Its impossible to build a TL-12 meson gun with the stats from Battle Rider, so John Macpherson designed a TL-15 meson gun. Aubaine salvaged these meson guns from pre-collapse submarines which patrolled the oceans of Vras.
Manticore-Class System Defense Boat
|Displacement: 400 tons||Hull Armor: 101|
|Length: 60.59 meters||Volume: 5,600 m3|
|Price: 289.94 MCr||Target Size: S|
|Configuration:Streamlined Slab||Tech Level: 12|
|Mass (Loaded/Unloaded): 6,896.5 / 6,673.6|
|80 Mj Laser Turret||2: 200||4: 89||8: 45||16: 22|
|800 Mj Meson Spinal Mount||2-141||4:71||8:35||1:18|