Vir's Archive

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Fist of Mars! (Development, Art)

Introducing the Nowruz - Pride of the Martian Navy.

A Nowruz on manuvers near the Belt escorted by an Imbloc.

Jeff Cram and I have another ship for TDE to show off, this time a Strike Carrier, specifically the Nowruz Class Martian Strike Carrier.  Its one of the most powerful ships I envision for the setting - enough to lay waste to planets.  It is well armed, armored, and carries a large complement of Jammers, Drones, and Nanites making it very versatile.  The core mission of the Nowruz is not unlike modern-day carriers -- to project power and take the fight to the enemy.  Considering how delicate most planetary biomes are, its doubly important to fight when and where you want to.

Nowruz are state of the art.  They mount vectored magnetic rails to launch Jammers, torpedoes, and combat mass.  They boast multiple missile launchers, rail guns, and point defense systems.  They are defended by thick armor, electronic countermeasures, and extensive nanite swarms that orbit the ship and create a thin (but powerful) physical shield to serve as maneuverable physical shields and active chaff.  Specialized nanite swarms are also piloted across the ship"s hull to perform rapid repairs when damage does occur.  Its comms array and integrated systems are second-to-none (useful when patrolling deep space).

Aboard the ship are Jammers, planetary assault pods, dropships, pinnaces, and, other specialized vehicles depending on the mission -- including fighter-interceptors and/or ground vehicles (to augment the onbord marine expeditionary contingent).  The standard contingent of secondary vehicles support the Nowruz"s assault mission - including boarding hostile ships or taking/holding planetary points.

Unlike modern day aircraft carriers, the Nowruz is designed to operate on its own.  The combat doctrine for these ships is to have them constantly on patrol, often at high G, and just at the range that makes the other guy uncomfortable (but no closer - dont want to provoke a war).  In the event of a shooting war, the Strike Carriers strap their crew into acceleration couches and drives for the enemy, knowing full well that they are likely to be some of the primary targets.  Its not talked about much, but the other goal of the Strike Carriers is to drive the enemy's attention away from Mars.  Allowing the enemy to wage war in your near orbit is welcoming catastrophe.  So, the sailors, marines, and pilots that serve on Martian Nowruz Strike Carriers understand that it is destroy or be destroyed.  Survive the first crucial days of combat and the Nowruz could shift the initiative.  Die, and it is that much less enemy ordnance available to attack Mars.  Either way, CAID believes the fleet of Nowruz serves a valuable purpose just by existing.

Each Nowruz is home for hundreds of crew members and requires a number of specialized career paths to keep it operating at peak performance.  Besides standard living quarters and support facilities, the Nowruz calls boasts a large hab ring near the engine housings that can rotate to produce a number of different gravities.

Mars only has a handful of Nowruz in its inventory, but as things destabilize in the Gravity Well, they are looking to ramp up production at the few orbital industrial sites that can handle these beasts.  Time will tell if the Nowruz will be a difference maker or simply a giant pork-project of money better spent elsewhere.