Cambrian System Tristan class Escort / Scout Cruiser:

In some cases, star systems which were prominent in the early Human Alliance were far less so later in the history of the star nation. One of these is the planetary system of Cambrian. They had yards which built both the Chevalier class escort cruiser and the Wasp class scout carrier. Even after construction stopped, the system continued supporting the two classes. Still, they were soon considered obsolete and retired from Human Alliance service.

Considered military yards, the shipbuilding facilities were mothballed at that point in time with the hope of eventually getting new contracts with the Human Alliance. This never happened unfortunately and the shipyards were all but forgotten. In the intervening time, the shipyards themselves were looted and stripped of much valuable equipment.

These yards might have remained forgotten if not for the fact that a number of companies showed an interest. Approaching the government, the idea was that they would reactivate the yards to use to begin construction of warships again. At the time, the Cambrian system was in a state of economic depression and the reactivation of the yards. In addition, the system defense forces showed interest because it might allow them to modernize and upgrade their own forces. As it was, their military forces were badly obsolete and funds for maintenance were sorely lacking.

Many system defense forces purchase warships through the Consortium military but such warships are often extremely expensive especially for larger warships. One of the worst is the Warshield class cruiser which is prohibitively expensive. As a result of this, there is a read market for affordable warships for both system forces and mercenary companies. To some extent, this is covered by older vessels but older vessels tend to have weaknesses compared to newer designs.

As the basic design of the Chevalier and Wasp class were available, these were looked at for the basis for the vessels built by the reactivated shipyards in the Cambrian system. The scout carrier became the Vespa class while the new escort cruiser became the Tristan class. While the new classes are based on the old Human Alliance vessel designs, they are both heavily modified to the point where the designs look far different.

While the Vespa class was increased a fair amount in size compared to the original Wasp class carrier, the Tristan class remained much closer to the Chevalier design in size. It has been sometimes criticized for only having the missile firepower of a destroyer, it is far better shielded and has much greater magazines. Most crews consider it an excellent design. In some cases, the term “escort cruiser” is used while others prefer the designation “scout cruiser” for the vessel.

Replacing the original 18 cm particle beams, far more powerful 20 cm lasers are mounted in their place. The lasers are far longer ranged and are considered to have over twice the energy output. They generally are not considered the cruiser’s main weaponry however. Instead the Tristan mounts a pair of long range missile batteries. While the Longbow class patrol ship mounts the same missile battery, the Tristan has fifty percent more long range missiles in the ship’s magazines.

Inner point defense is vastly upgraded compared to the original escort cruiser design with four medium range missile batteries being key to the cruiser’s point defense and in most ways far more effective than the mini-missile batteries. Backing these up are a total of twelve point defense gun mounts including six variable focus particle beams and six heavy point defense rail guns. The rail guns are identical to those carried on the Scorpion light fighter and extremely heavy for a point defense mount. The variable focus particle beams are the same models which are carried on Consortium Assault Shuttles and are extremely effective against missiles.

Even though the escort cruiser is sometimes compared to the Long Bow with regards to its main missile battery, the larger vessel has three times heavy shields and is far better armored. As a result, it is able to withstand far greater damage. There is an ancient saying with regards to warships which is “Steel is cheap.” This is still the case with the advanced modern composites and alloys. Such materials are still far less expensive than the electronics and weapon systems of a warship.

Unlike the original Chevalier class, power is not provided by a fusion plant. Instead, the ship uses an anti-matter plant. This allows for far greater power produced by a much smaller plant. The anti-matter reactor is however backed up by emergency fusion plants. While the engines are the same as are mounted in the Vespa class scout carrier, the lighter mass of the escort cruiser gives it slightly greater acceleration. Interestingly, even though the Tristan is a much larger ship, it has much greater acceleration in normal space than the Long Bow patrol ship. Still, the escort cruiser and the patrol ship have the same faster than light speed of five light years per hour.

With regard to crew compliment, the escort cruiser has extensive automation allowing it to be run by a crew of only around one hundred and fifty compared to over two hundred for the old Chevalier class cruiser. Compared to the Long Bow class patrol ship, crew quarters are quite spacious. Still, the escort cruiser lacks a secondary bridge. The ship has the ability to embark up to sixty marines as a result although many of the owners of these cruisers do not embark any troops. If troops are embarked, in many cases about a dozen space power armors are embarked. Most common is the Silverhawk power armor but some knock off designs are also common.

Fighter compliment is increased to some extent with the ability to embark a “light squadron” of light fighters. Up to ten light fighters or six medium fighters can be embarked aboard the escort cruiser although most operators prefer to embark the ten light fighters. A variety of different fighter models may be embarked with several Bushido and Consortium designs being popular. Upgraded older Human Alliance fighter designs are carried as well on some as well.

While only a handful of prototype vessels have been produced, the builders of these destroyers would like to begin manufacturing a fast minesweeper version of the Tristan class escort cruiser known as the Tempest class. There are large numbers of old Cobra class minesweepers in service with various systems and this would be an economical replacement for the ancient design. The minesweeper version of the Tristan replaces the 20 cm heavy lasers with powerful minesweeping sensors.

This starship design uses modified starship speed and weapon range rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

Model Type:


Tristan class Escort / Scout Cruiser.



Tempest class Fast Minesweeper.

Vehicle Type: Escort / Light Cruiser or Minesweeper.



152 (12 Officers, 140 Enlisted.)



165 (14 Officers, 151 Enlisted.)



50 Marines maximum and 15 Fighter Pilots.



15 Fighter Pilots.

Vehicle, Robots, and Power Armors:

Power Armors:



SH-CCW100 Silver Hawk Power Armors (Or other space power armors.)

Fighter Compliment:

Can substitute six star medium fighters for the ten light star fighters.



Light Starfighters (Various).

M.D.C. By Location:


20 cm Main Laser Cannons (2 - Tristan Escort Cruiser Only):

1,200 each.


Sensor Suite (Replaces main battery on Tempest Minesweeper):



GR-1000 Point Defense Rail Gun Turrets (6):

250 each.


Variable Focus Particle Beam Cannon Turrets (6):

150 each.


Long Range Missile Batteries (2):

600 each.


Medium Range Missile Launchers (4):

500 each.


Outer Hull Section (40 ft/12.2 m area):



Inner Hull Section (40 ft/12.2 m area):



[1] Bridge:



Hanger Bay:



[2] Main Engines (2):

8,000 each.


[3] Main Body:



[4] Variable Force Field:

3,000 a side (18,000 total).


[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s armor. This ship does not have an auxiliary bridge. Even if the bridge is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.

[2] Destroying the main engines means that the ship’s faster than light systems are destroyed and maximum sublight speed is reduced by half.

[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the cruiser out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.

[4] Shields positions can be varied and all could be combined in one shield. Shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (900 M.D.C.) per melee round.


Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.

Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.95 percent of light per melee.

Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 650 mph (1,046.1 kph), can enter an atmosphere and can leave but is not designed for atmospheric flight.

Stardrive: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 5.0 light years per hour.

Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either drive system. Carries about three years worth of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:

Length:                499.34 feet (152.2 meters).

Height:                106.63 feet (32.5 meters).

Width:                 190.94 feet (58.2 meters).

Weight/Mass:      46,850 tons (42,500 metric tons).

Power System: Anti-Matter with a 50 year life span. The ship normally only goes 10 years between refueling and refitting. Backed up with emergency fusion plants.

Cargo: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 2,204 tons (2,000 metric tons) of cargo in addition to standard compliment of supplies and ammunition. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.

Market Cost: The Tristan class Escort Cruiser costs approximately 700 million credits to produce and the Tempest class Fast Minesweeper costs approximately 780 million credits to produce. These vessels sell generally for 1.0 to 1.5 billion credits. In any case, cost does not include embarked craft.


  1. Two (2) 20 cm Heavy Laser Cannons: Cannons are located on the front of the starship and are used as anti-capital ship weapons and can take out frigates in one shot and can do large amounts of damage to bases or larger starships. The Laser cannons can be combined together or each one used separately. They cannot be used faster than the speed of light. Weapon has standard penalties to hit fighters and small targets for large starship weaponry. The barrels can be fired either forward or behind and can be rotated 60 degrees horizontally or vertically. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.

    Replaced by sensor suite on Tempest class Fast Minesweeper.

    Maximum Effective Range: 100,000 miles (161,000 km) in space and 100 miles (161 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: 1D4x1000 M.D.C. each and can be combined for a total of 2D4x1000.

    Rate of Fire: Maximum of two (2) times per melee per cannon.

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  2. Six (6) GR-1000 Heavy Point Defense Rail Guns: Gravity rail guns are in a turret that can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. The GR-1000 Rail Guns both are more powerful and have more range than the conventional rail guns and is the same rail gun which is carried in the C.A.F. Scorpion Starfighter. Considered extremely effective even compared to other gravity rail guns. Even so, the mounts are not really for use against capital ships but can devastate a fighter quickly. They are also extremely effective against targets which are imperious to energy. Rail gun rounds are fired out of rail gun at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Gravity rail gun fires a 30 mm projectile. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.

    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (26 km) through atmosphere and 1,600 miles (2,575 km) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Rail gun inflicts 4D6x10 M.D.C. for a 40 round burst.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: 10,000 Rounds (250 bursts) each cannon.

  3. Six (6) Variable Focus Particle Beam Mounts: These particle beams are copied from those carried on the CAF Assault Shuttle and will fire a very powerful narrow beam and can fire a scatter effect that is less powerful but is capable of striking multiple targets. The weapon system is quite useful against missiles although the cone is not as wide as Tachyon cannon sprays are (Gives +2 bonus vs fast moving targets such as missiles.) Weapons are mounted in turrets that can rotate 360 and have a 180 arc of fire. Each mount can be operated by a gunner or a gunner program (+2 to strike, 3 Attacks per melee).

    Maximum Effective Range: 300 miles (480 km) in space and 3 miles (4.8 km) in an atmosphere.

    Mega Damage: Single Target: 4D6x10 per blast. Wide Beam: 5D6 to all targets within a 5,000 foot (1,524 meter) diameter area. When fired as a wide beam, the cannon cannot be used on targets closer than 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) away.

    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).

    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.

  4. Two (2) Long Range Missile Batteries: Missile has a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, launcher, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile, when unpowered, is at -25% to be detected.) Long range missiles do not have penalties to hit small targets, unlike cruise missiles, and are all considered smart missiles. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Long Range Missile range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space.

    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire long range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), eight (8), sixteen (16), or thirty-two (32) long range missiles per launcher, per melee attack.

    Payload: 768 total, 384 long range missiles per battery.

  5. Four (4) Medium Range Missile Batteries: Weapon system is used for hitting enemy robots, fighters, and against incoming cruise missiles. Like other Phase world systems, weapon system range and speed has been greatly increased compared to Rifts Earth systems. Missile has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.

    Maximum Effective Range: Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.

    Mega-Damage: Varies with medium range missile type (Multi-warhead heavy warheads inflict 5D6x10 M.D.C. each - See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) missiles per launcher.

    Payload: 1,280 total, 320 medium range missiles per launcher.

Sensor System of Note for Minesweeper:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2015, Kitsune. All rights reserved.