Confederation Manassas class Light Cruiser (Wing Commander):

Construction on the Manassas class light cruiser was begun near the start of the Kilrathi War. These ships were designed to be mass produced to make for loses occurred during the McAuliffe Ambush in 2634. During their heyday, these ships were considered the Confederation Fleets primary cruiser. They were better armed and more than a match for the closest Kirathi equivalent, the Fralthi class cruiser in a one to one combat. Unfortunately, the Kilrathi light cruiser probably outnumbered the Confederation cruisers at least two to one.

The Manassas class light cruisers were retired in the late 2650s and was replaced by the heavier Waterloo class heavy cruiser. By that time, even though the Manassas class were fine ships when they were first built, they could not effectively compete with the new Kilrathi vessels which they encountered. Losses were extremely high over the years although there was still a surprising number of surviving hulls. Most of these were put into inactive reserve for possible reactivation at a later date.

Throughout their service, the Manassas class light cruisers had a reputation as a grizzled warship that could absorb and dish out serious damage. They had powerful force fields for the time which they were built along with being well armored. For the main battery, these ships were equipped with a pair of triple neutron cannons. As well, these ships carry six cruise missile launchers. If the ships can get these anti-ship torpedoes through another ship’s defense, they can inflict incredible damage. For a medium battery, these ships carry heavy lasers which are useful against both capital ships and fighters. Finally, these ships are defended by a battery of eight light lasers.

The design of these ships were drawn up before the perceived need for fighters and there is no able to embark any small craft beyond a pair of general purpose shuttles. The later Waterloo class could at first embark sixteen fighters and was later modified to be able to carry a full forty fighters, making them effectively light carriers as well as being cruisers. The Manassas class are outfitted with only a single bridge and only have the most sketchy facilities to act as flagships.

These ships have all been decommissioned but every few years, a plan is devised for reactivating these light cruisers. Budget constraints, along with the need to keep as many carriers in operation as possible, always has ultimately prevented these plans from reacting fruition. There also has been a lack of escorts and the reactivation of these light cruisers would reduce the pressures on existing escorts. Some plans have included the simple upgrade of these ships including more powerful shields and the replacement of both neutron cannon mounts with anti-matter cannons. A more radical upgrade would be to modify these ships into escort carriers similar to what was done with several Kilrathi Fralthi class light cruisers. In this configuration, they would probably be limited to under a couple of dozen fighters but would likely be better armed than Wake Island class escort carriers.

Notes of game conversion:

Because of the nature of the Video Game / Novel series “Wing Commander” and the needs to put the starship into game mechanics, the starship has several modification compared to the Video Game and Novels. The most important change it to change top speed to acceleration. Like fighters in Star Wars and original Battlestar Galactica, the fighters appear to act as if they are in the atmosphere even when they operating in space. This is incorrect. The Television series Babylon 5 and the new Battlestar Galactic are good series to watch to get a clearer idea on how space vehicles would probably maneuver although still not a perfect perspective. The starship has been modified to uses my revised phase world starship rules and can hold their own against most C.A.F and Kreeghor starships. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

Model Type: Manassas Light Cruiser
Vehicle Type: Light Cruiser
Crew: 300 (25 Officers, 30 Chief Petty Officers, and 345 Enlisted)
Troops / Passengers: Can embark up to 50 additional personnel


2General Purpose Shuttles

M.D.C. By Location:

Triple Heavy Neutron Cannon Turrets (2):800 each
Heavy Laser Cannon Turrets (6):250 each
Light Point Defense Laser Cannon mounts (8):100 each
Cruise Missile Launchers (6):400 each
Hanger Bay (1):600
[1] Bridge:3,200
[2] Engineering section:5,500
Main Engines (2):3,800 each
[3] Main Body:9,500
[4] Variable Force Field:3,000 per 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 engineering section means that ship FTL propulsion systems are destroyed and maximum sublight acceleration is reduced to ten percent of normal (using navigational thrusters).
[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.

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 0.38 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: The cruiser cannot operate within an atmosphere. If the ship enters an atmosphere, it will crash.
Stardrive: The cruiser mounts a jump drive which is capable of jumping instantly from a fixed point in a system to another fixed point in a system. These points are weaknesses in the fabric of space and have been mapped in most cases. Fuel is hydrogen which the destroyer scoops from space to fuel the jump engine.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either drive system. The cruiser has about two years worth of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:
Length: 1,574.80 feet (480 meters)
Height: 336.29 feet (102.5 meters) for hull
Width: 1,117.13 feet (340.5 meters)
Weight: 14,881.2 Tons (13,500 metric tons) fully loaded
Power System: Fusion with a 20 year life span. The ship normally only goes 5 years between refueling.
Cargo: Cargo holds are scattered about the ship that allows for carrying up to 1,000 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. Ships officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ships spaces are take up by extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.
Market Cost: The Manassas class light cruiser costs around 4.5 billion credits to manufacture.


  1. Two (2) Triple Heavy Neutron Cannon Turret: This is a heavy mount which is larger than the standard mount carried on fighters and are longer ranged. On later generation vessels, such as the Gilgamesh class destroyers and Waterloo class cruisers, these are replaced by anti-matter guns. The weapons are mounted near the nose of the destroyer and are the main anti-capital ship weapon of the vessel. They are shorter ranged than the anti-matter guns on later vessels but are longer ranged than standard neutron cannons. Weapons system has half the normal penalties to hit fighters and small targets as standard heavy anti-ship mounts.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,213.7 miles (10,000 km) in space. and 31.07 miles (50 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 3D6x10+40 per cannon, 6D6x10+40 for two cannons, and 1D6x100+100 for all three cannons (each mount fires indivdiually)
    Rate of Fire: Equal to gunners hand to hand (Usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Six (6) Heavy Point Defense Lasers in Dual Mounts: Six total on top, bottom, port, and starboard side. All can fire forward and aft. Each Turret can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Individually more powerful than the lasers mounted on fighters and have a longer range. Compared to point defense weaponry carried on most starships within the Three Galaxies, the weapon mounts have a longer range.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,971 miles (8,000 km) in space and 24.85 miles (40 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega-Damage: 4D6x10 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  3. Eight (8) Light Point Defense Lasers in Single Mounts: Four total on top, bottom, port, and starboard side. All can fire forward and aft. Each Turret can rotate 360 and has a 180 arc of fire. Weapon is equal to standard fighter laser mounts. Compared to most point defense weaponry carried on most starships within the Three Galaxies, the weapon mounts have a longer range.
    Maximum Effective Range: 3,106.8 miles (5,000 km) in space and 15.5 miles (25 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega-Damage: 1D6x10 M.D.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the Gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited
  4. Six (6) Cruise Missile Launchers: Missile has a top speed of Mach 25 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 10% of light per turn (far faster than any starship). Since star ships will no longer engage at rock throwing distances, 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.) Cruise missiles have penalties to hit small targets but are all considered smart missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: Missile range is 8,000 miles (12,875 km) in an atmosphere and 4,000,000 miles (6,437,376 km/ 21.5 light seconds) in space.
    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Anti-Matter does 4D6x100 M.D.C.).
    Rate of Fire: One per launcher per melee attack
    Payload: 24 cruise missiles total (4 each launcher)

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Rifts Conversion Copyright © 2007, Kitsune. All rights reserved.