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Dead in the Water Question

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It appears the adventure that ships with the GM screen repeats a common "factual error" with respect to the EF76 Nebulon-B frigate.

 

With regard to whether these craft were ever supposed to have internal hangar bays or not, I seem to recall some kind of error (maybe even as far back as the WEG days) that incorrectly started the rumor of the Nebulon-B having internal bays, when scale studies (with the Falcon docked on Redemption's central spar) seem to suggest otherwise.

 

redemptionfalcon.jpg

 

Even the AoR core rulebook seems to split the difference on this issue, saying that yes, the Imperial version of the Nebulon-B does carry starfighters, but only 2 squadrons, mounted externally on the central spar. This works for TIEs (and is a concept repeated with the more recent Gozanti-class cruiser), but would not work for any Rebel craft.

 

Anybody recall where this "Nebulon-B internal hangars, yes or no?" issue first cropped up?

 

 

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As the guy who wrote the adventure, I would point at a few sources. The two I relied on most heavily, of course, were West End Games' Far Orbit Project (which has a number of deckplan images for the Nebulon B Frigate, and both versions of the Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels, which mention interior landing bays, as well as the spar's docking ports. The X-wing series of video games also allowed Rebel Fighters to launch from the Neb Bs, which would be less likely to work with a docking tube, due to their particular cockpit design. I did look over several other sources as well, including the most recent Complete Vehicles from DK books, which also mentions hangar bays for TIE Fighters being a former feature, since that image is specifically of the medical frigate.

Consider that the Nebulon B Frigate is a modular craft, particularly in the forward hull. If you look closely at the forward hull, the modular container style pods are about 3 decks high each, with some variance, attached along a bracket that runs the height of the ship. I imagine these can be exchanged at a shipyard to achieve a container load out for a custom purpose, be it starfighter interdiction/escort, medical, communications, light destroyer, scoutship, and I'd imagine even more. The Neb B in ESB is generally known as a medical frigate, and as a result, it may have a design that is without a hangar.

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Most of the people who claim they can't have internal bays overestimate how much space such a bay would take IMO. In history there have been much smaller ships have carried fighters internally, and Star Wars fighters don't require nearly as much space to launch as historical fighters.

 

The Long Island class Escort carriers from World War II were less then half the length of a Nebulon-B but carried 16 fighter or fighter bomber craft in an internal hanger with more then twice that being stored in the flight decks..

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So I used to work on a US Aircraft carrier. The USS Theodore Roosevelt is 332 meters, give or take. That is only 82 meters longer than a Neb B. We carried 80 aircraft. The F/A 18 Super Hornet is 17 meters long. The X-wing is 12.5 meters long. Just in case you are looking to put a real-world take on things. Granted, this was split between the flight deck and internal hangar, but still.

However, if, at the end of the day, Star Wars to you means a Neb B with no internal hangar bays, then have at it. It's your table, so you do whatever feels right. But if you want to go by canon, as far as I'm concerned (and apparently LFL also, as they approved it), the ship has internal hangars as well as spar docking ports for larger ships. If you can find a source that specifically says they don't have internal bays, I would be fascinated to read it.

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Anybody recall where this "Nebulon-B internal hangars, yes or no?" issue first cropped up?

 

Honestly, I don't think it's an issue.  X-wings are smaller than YT-1300, and we don't get a good look at the size of the Falcon compared to Nebulon-B's fore and aft superstructures.

As to where it started, at least back in the early 90's.  WEG's "Rebel Alliance Sourcebook" (1994) states the Neb-B has "the capacity to carry up to two starfighter squadrons into battle." (pg. 60), and they had a similar capacity in the "Rebellion" game from 1998.

 

That's canon enough for my tastes.  If you have scale studies that suggest otherwise, I'd invite you to cite them.  But remember that even estimates about the size of the Falcon have varied substantially between sources over the years.

 

IIRC, the Neb-B also had a number of separate configurations (Medical frigate and escort carrier being two notable examples).  The different configurations could be a possible explanation for what you describe as an "issue".  The Empire may simply prefer using external racks because it better suits how TIEs dock, which leaves more internal space for other systems.  The rebels may prefer internal bays for a similar reason: they're better suited to house Alliance fighter craft.

 

Maybe the Falcon could have berthed inside the frigate it's shown attached to, but the bays were full of fighters, or that specific frigate was configured to not have internal bays.  /shrug.

 

Like I said above, I don't think it's an issue overall.

Edited by LethalDose
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Yeah its specifically mentioned that the frigate in questioned sacrificed much of its hanger space, along with many weapons, for more space to add medical facilities in its Wookieepedia page.

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Good discussion.

 

I like (thematically) the idea of internal starfighter hangars, but I was under the impression that wasn't the case for this vessel. As I mentioned, I also seem to recall this being a flip-flopping point of contention in the past.

 

 

Any ideas why the adventure appears to disagree with the AoR Core Rulebook (which specifically mentions the TIEs mounted externally along the spar)?

 

 

I am onboard, to some degree, with the analysis of the Nebulon-B being highly configurable, and I can see the scaling info with regard to real-world fighter planes on a real-world aircraft carrier and the space required, etc. The Neb-B is adequately sized to carry the 24 smaller ships, I guess. Launching and recovery would likely take very little additional space (tractor beams and repulsorlifts).

 

I personally feel this ship is a bit small to carry a complement of starfighters internally; it is a picket-type support ship, not a carrier-type capital ship. Also, the Alliance favors hyper-drive equipped craft which usually don't need to be carried.

 

 

As a side note, I appreciate the fact the adventure author is gracious enough to chime in (I don't mean to be too nit-picky here!). I am just befuddled about what is the correct situation. I hope my comments aren't construed as overly critical, as I don't mean to be negative. Thanks for the background on your sources, too. Very interesting.

 

 

 

For my part, I try to keep the following George Lucas quote in mind (even though it irks me a bit, being a physics and math guy): "Star Wars isn't about answers."

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I like (thematically) the idea of internal starfighter hangars, but I was under the impression that wasn't the case for this vessel. As I mentioned, I also seem to recall this being a flip-flopping point of contention in the past.

 

 

Any ideas why the adventure appears to disagree with the AoR Core Rulebook (which specifically mentions the TIEs mounted externally along the spar)?

Is the justification that the Rebels and the Imperials prefer different configurations an insufficient answer?

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The "problem" with the Neb-Bs size stems from that you can actually measure it's "true" length in the films. If you use the window that Luke and pals peer out of at the end of Empire, you can use that to generate a scale and get a fairly accurate measurement, which comes out to around 300ft, not 300 meters. In all likelyhood when someone wrote one of the early fluff bits they actually got this measurement about right and listed it in feet, but as Star Wars is a metric universe, the editor just changed it to meters without adjusting the math. That established the size, and it's been reprinted as 300m ever since.

 

So the issue of how many craft you think it carries depends on if it's super bloody important to you that everything match the films perfectly.

 

If it's important, then the Neb-B is smaller then a CR90 corvette and probably can't carry a squadron of fighters.

 

If you're ok with it being 300m long, then as Mr. Kappel points out, it's got more then enough space for a dozen or so fightercrafts, and maybe even a TIE/sh or two.

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Its also possible that the original was supposed to be 300 meters, and the model maker was the one who had feet and meters mixed up. Though honestly this is far from the only case where a craft's official size doesn't fit with what we see on screen in Star Wars. If memory serves isn't the Falcon's interior bigger then the official size of the ship?

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Its also possible that the original was supposed to be 300 meters, and the model maker was the one who had feet and meters mixed up. Though honestly this is far from the only case where a craft's official size doesn't fit with what we see on screen in Star Wars. If memory serves isn't the Falcon's interior bigger then the official size of the ship?

The Falcon is a freakin' TARDIS!!!

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Its also possible that the original was supposed to be 300 meters, and the model maker was the one who had feet and meters mixed up. Though honestly this is far from the only case where a craft's official size doesn't fit with what we see on screen in Star Wars. If memory serves isn't the Falcon's interior bigger then the official size of the ship?

Yep, tha'ts also part of the problem with the Neb-B actually. The falcon docked model was just the falcon model they had, not a special one custom built to match the Neb-b scale.

 

Personally I think this is issue is sorta like arguing that all Stormtroopers carry thermals, or is the E-11 a blaster rifle, or a carbine...

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It appears that the original source material is missing due to the change in the Star Wars site, but:

 

"The resulting model was 247 centimetres (97 in) long, 99 centimetres (39 in) tall, and included a "window" where a still from the scene in the medical bay could be inserted for filming.[2][3] Following the completion of filming, Lucas decided to revisit the end of the movie to better establish the characters' final locations, requiring a section of the frigate to be built that corresponded to the scale of the 2-foot (0.61 m) Millennium Falcon model.[2]"

 

So, using measurements from the movie will be messed up since the model's scale was readjusted after filming to work better with a 61cm model of the Falcon.

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I like (thematically) the idea of internal starfighter hangars, but I was under the impression that wasn't the case for this vessel. As I mentioned, I also seem to recall this being a flip-flopping point of contention in the past.

 

 

Any ideas why the adventure appears to disagree with the AoR Core Rulebook (which specifically mentions the TIEs mounted externally along the spar)?

Is the justification that the Rebels and the Imperials prefer different configurations an insufficient answer?

 

 

 

Sure. It could be an answer, but I don't think the "evidence" agrees.

 

I don't actually care about this tidbit as much as this thread implies, but....

 

I take the "...externally along the spar" comment to be an indication of the lack of internal hangar space. Or at least an indication from the CRB writers that they aren't sure about where the TIEs are supposed to go.

 

I realize that my inferences drawn from such a minor sentence fragment are not entirely justifiable, but dragging externally mounted ships through hyperspace seems less "ideal" than carrying them inside a protected (environmentally controlled) hangar space.

 

Why? TIE repairs or refits while the Neb-B is underway, for one. Any ships larger than this don't carry their TIEs that way, so I am led to believe it is not the optimal or preferred carriage method.

 

Carrying ships externally could likely shave a few seconds off launch times, but such a piggy-backing arrangement seems an unnecessarily inconvenient arrangement if you had the option for internal hangars (fitted with TIE racks).

 

 

Good points about the scale of models used in filming. We likely can't "learn" all that much from a careful study, frame-by-frame, of movie props. I am convinced George Lucas doesn't care as much about this subject as we appear to (and I think that is true across the width and breadth of the Star Wars universe). He is/was looking to make a cool Space Opera story, not build a fully-formed alternate reality of hard Sci-Fi. The fact that the Star Wars canon almost works this way is incredibly remarkable.

 

 

As another side note, the CR90 that supposedly has been retrofitted to carry starfighters has additional "pods" installed that fill in the empty space between the engineering section aft and the hammerhead bow, if I recall correctly.

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The following sentence should not be taking as mocking:

 

LOL TIE Repairz!

 

Seriously though, there's evidence that the Imperial Navy has a pretty "disposable" mindset when it comes to equipment.  I honestly doubt they'd spend much effort repairing damaged TIEs, and probably handle maintenance in more amenable situations (e.g. stations or the bays of larger vessels).

 

It may be that internal bays just aren't an option for the TIEs.  Remember, they have those big launch clamps:400px-Av10.jpg

 

I agree that keeping the TIEs in internal bays would be easier, but maybe it's just easier to mount TIEs outside the ship given the size constraints of a Neb B.

 

Really, it's all conjecture about fiction anyway.  You can choose to continue to see it as contradictory, or you can choose to accept there's a good reason for the rebels and the Imperials to carry the vessels in different ways.

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Most of the people who claim they can't have internal bays overestimate how much space such a bay would take IMO. In history there have been much smaller ships have carried fighters internally, and Star Wars fighters don't require nearly as much space to launch as historical fighters.

 

The Long Island class Escort carriers from World War II were less then half the length of a Nebulon-B but carried 16 fighter or fighter bomber craft in an internal hanger with more then twice that being stored in the flight decks..

 

While that is true, at the same time those ships were completely given over to being Carriers.

 

Presumably, a Nebulon-B wouldn't be in the same boat and would only have a small bay with enough for a couple fighters/freighters.

 

Some space is also going to be taken up by spare parts, servicing equipment, and munitions for the fighters in question. And comparing the Falcon to the Frigate will give us an idea of how much space could be given over to Hangers. Not a ton if you wanted to maintain other capabilities.

 

A dedicated carrier will be able to carry more fighters for its size than a ship which only has a small docking bay.

 

IE: You have 2 identical ships, one being a dedicated carrier and another only having a small hanger bay taking up 20% of its volume. If the carrier can carry 100 fighters, that doesn't mean the other ship will be able to carry 20, it will have to dedicate proportionally more of the hanger space to support equipment and might only have half as many fighters.

 

This is because the second ship needs a bunch of space for its primary armaments and other systems. While a dedicated carrier would strip those out in favor of some compact fighter storage in addition to the hangers themselves.

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In my opinion, this is a proper internal hangar configuration for a massive ship (or a superweapon!). Space to move around in; breathable atmosphere, the tech can work without a spacesuit, etc. etc.

 

13+TIE+Fighter+Hanger.jpg

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In my opinion, this is a proper internal hangar configuration for a massive ship (or a superweapon!). Space to move around in; breathable atmosphere, the tech can work without a spacesuit, etc. etc.

Right, and if there wasn't enough space for a "proper internal hangar" for TIEs, carry them on the outside.  However, there may be enough room for a "proper internal hangar" for alliance ships, that land in a more traditional capacity.

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Most of the people who claim they can't have internal bays overestimate how much space such a bay would take IMO. In history there have been much smaller ships have carried fighters internally, and Star Wars fighters don't require nearly as much space to launch as historical fighters.

 

The Long Island class Escort carriers from World War II were less then half the length of a Nebulon-B but carried 16 fighter or fighter bomber craft in an internal hanger with more then twice that being stored in the flight decks..

 

While that is true, at the same time those ships were completely given over to being Carriers.

 

Presumably, a Nebulon-B wouldn't be in the same boat and would only have a small bay with enough for a couple fighters/freighters.

 

 

FarorbitDeck5.jpg

 

Looks like enough for 25 (including the maintenance rack) TIE fighters to me... Will be a bit trickier to cram in 12 X-wings, but it's doable, especially if you can reconfigure the racks to accept them. and this deckplan includes a couple small shuttle/transport bays to boot.

 

Landing a Lamda shuttle might be tough because it's so tall, but Delta-class transports and Gamma-class shuttles should doable. Maybe even Gamma class transports if you rescale them to be their depicted size instead of the ludicrous size listed in the tech library.

 

 

 

 And comparing the Falcon to the Frigate will give us an idea of how much space could be given over to Hangers.

 

 

And has already been stated, you can't. The medbay window insert, the full frigate, the falcon, and the docking spare were all made to different scales, so you can't really use them for anything other then their original intended purpose, to act as a visual cue for the audience to know where each character was. Use the models as reference and the Neb-b is smaller than a CR90.

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In my opinion, this is a proper internal hangar configuration for a massive ship (or a superweapon!). Space to move around in; breathable atmosphere, the tech can work without a spacesuit, etc. etc.

My gripe would be trying to work on the ruddy things  while hanging from the gantry. You could probably lower the TIE needing maintenance onto a specialized platform (like you see in some of the A-Wing art work) and haul it away, but basic servicing would be a pain with all the fall PPE you'd need to wear. That is unless the Empire views its maintenance personnel like it does it's TIEs.

 

Another thing I just thought of. The launch platform is very reminicent of a bomb rack you'd see in a bomber. Having been around B-1's and a few B-52's my thought goes to when (not if) one of the TIEs get hung up, what then? If one up front hangs, the ones behind it are boned. I suppose there is an opening behind them, but trying to turn in place in that tight of an enviroment would be all sorts of 'fun'.

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In my opinion, this is a proper internal hangar configuration for a massive ship (or a superweapon!). Space to move around in; breathable atmosphere, the tech can work without a spacesuit, etc. etc.

Right, and if there wasn't enough space for a "proper internal hangar" for TIEs, carry them on the outside.  However, there may be enough room for a "proper internal hangar" for alliance ships, that land in a more traditional capacity.

 

 

In the case of both the Rebels and the Empire, but most particularly the TIEs, I would assume the pilot gets the craft close enough to the hangar opening and then the capital ship takes over via tractor beams, etc, to actually dock the fighter on the rack; especially when space it at such a premium.

 

I would think you could pack more TIEs into a given space than Alliance starfighters, (or even pack TIEs, hanging from the ceiling, into an altogether different space, not at all suitable for Alliance fighters) but the FFG RPG stuff says otherwise.

 

 

Two squadrons each.

 

AoR CRB: 2 squadrons TIE/ln (Qty 24) docked to central spar. I would assume this is the "baseline" model Nebulon-B frigate

 

AoR Dead in the Water: 18 X-wings, 6 Y-wings; effectively two squadrons, in forward hangar. Mention is made of TIE racks removed from the baseline model.

 

 

I guess the best bet it to assume that the ship called EF76 Nebulon-B is highly customizable, and the various pods and modules seen in the bow, particularly, can house all sorts of things.

 

I would assume the medical frigate configuration doesn't carry starfighters, but who knows.

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I would assume the medical frigate configuration doesn't carry starfighters, but who knows.

 

 

A medical frigate would still have to have at least a minimal hangar bay.  If nothing else shuttlecraft would need to be able to off-load patients for treatment.  I guess they could dock externally and transfer through a tunnel, but in an emergency (when time is critical) having the shuttle just land inside a conventional docking bay would be much more expedient.

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