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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Aotrs Shipyards Nov 2017 Release: Wodef Enclave

Aotrs Shipyards is a webstore on Shapeways.com, a 3D print house which had production and shipping facilities located in the USA and the the Netherlands.

After a fair break most of this year because of the ground forces and Accelerate & Attack's long-awaited publication, for the next few months, we have more starships!

Firstly, this month, we have the first of three sets of the releases for the Wodef Enclave!

Before we get into the fluff, there's a bit of background, as this one has a more personal connection than usual. The Wodefs have been on the cards for a long time (about three years), in odd spots and it was only earlier this year I finished enough designs to make a viable set of releases (and got around to painting them up for play-test so that the fluff was not completely just nonsense…!)

I known pretty exactly the date, though as I was working on the first ships of the then-working title of "train fleet" at the time of my grandfather's death. He had been a railway engineer, so it was appropriate that my contribution to his funeal wreath was a prototype of first cruiser design (Jodinf-Kaylo). (The funeral parlor did a great job, bless 'em, placing it as if it was just cresting over the top of the flowers, like it was crusing over a floral nebula.) The name "Wodef" itself is taken from the syllables of his name.

So Bampy – this release is dedicated to you. *salutes*

The Wodef Enclave

The Wodef Enclave

The Wodefs are one of the elenthnar races.

(A breif overiew of the elenthnar is here TMP link in the release post for the Xyriats.)

The Wodef Enclave is a prominent Elenthnar power (though in their language, Fantif, the race is more correctly "Fofrye"). The Enclave dates back to a scant few tens of years after the elenthnar achieved FTL transit, founded by a colony of international scientists in the Wodef system. The colony enjoyed a period of relative peace an isolation to expand to the local system and surrounding area, but eventually, the Wodef colonies began to be hemmed in by the larger powers, especially the Xyriat Hegemony, and so the colonies united to become the Wodef Enclave. Despite its small size. From its inception, it has had a tumultuous, adversarial relationship with the Xyriat Hegemony, which desires its bountiful territories. The two powers are bitter rivals and have fought many wars.

A hundred and twenty years ago, the Enclave successfully won a war with the Hegemony, finally securing a corridor region and allowing the Enclave unfettered access to neutral space for the first time for two-and-a-half centuries.

The Wodef Enclave is a technocracy, overseen by a council of scientists. The Enclave principle focus is science and technological advancement for the benefit of all (or at least as far as "all" pertains to the population of the Enclave). It has the highest proportion of robots, drones, synthetic and non-organic citizens of any of the elenthnar powers.

While many of the elenthnar powers use a base-ten system, the Wodef use the competing base-12 duodecimal system and are the loudest advocates, citing the various mathematical advantages[1].

Wodef military technology is high, above galactic average and above the majority of the elenthnar powers – it is second only to the Hegemony itself. The two areas where the Enclave has a significant advantage are in energy weapons and targeting. Thanks to the heavy AI-focus of the Enclave, targeting systems are almost or actually sentient programs. This grants the Wodef's weapons exceptional accuracy. This particular technology is a very significant spike above their average level.

The primary focus of Wodef warships is in their heavy lazer beams. While they have a moderate number of particle beam weapon systems, doctrine focuses on spinal mount heavy lazer beams and a variety of turreted heavy lazer beams. When used with sustained precision fire, these weapons can match the accuracy of their point-defence systems.

Secondary weapons are typically missile racks – usually a few on every vessel, rather than specialised ships – and a number of railguns.

Enclave vessels use a slightly different form of GVD. Rather than the Xyriat's distinctive ventral exhaust port, the Enclave vessels use a ventral radiative block across much of the lower hull. This allows thermal dispersion over a wider area, and less of vulnerable spot. However, it also means that the exhaust is not as efficient, and the Enclave vessels are incapable of using the exhaust in some of the non-standard ways the Xyriats have been known to. (Such as a crude engine or plasma torch.)

Wodef ships also lack the Xyriat's forward dish that serves as the shield hub and GVD focussing array. Instead, they have a more standard shield grid and for focussing the GVD, a series of coils along the length of the vessel. These are typically mounted around a cylindrical central core, which gives the Wodef vessels their distinctive plan.

[1]Standard practise adopted here for Romanised where appropriate is to use * as ten and # as eleven.

Jodinf-Kaylo Class Cruiser

Jodinf-Kaylo Class Cruiser

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The Jodinf series cruiser family is the workhorse of the Wodef Enclave fleet. Like all Enclave ship designs, the Jodinf family is built around central core, to which weapons and systems are added to emplaced hardpoints. The hardpoints are not strictly modular in that they cannot be refitted after construction (at least not without a full regular overhaul and refit). However, given the Enclave's small size and corresponding smaller number of shipyards, it enables their main shipyards to concentrate on building the core hulls, which can then be sent to subsidiary shipyards for the final outfitting. It also allows new class variants to be designed relatively quickly. This method, though somewhat unorthodox, allows the Enclave to field a smaller, but powerful navy while reducing the amount of component or hull variety.

This approach is not without its drawbacks. The hardpoint systems can be prone to difficulties, especially with new designs and power connections especially have been known to cause period issues with the vessels. The Enclave's tendency to tinker does not assist this issue, and sometimes an upgrade will fix one issue only to introduce (or re-introduce) another.

In the Jodinf, these issues have been almost entirely worked out and the vessel is considered one of the most reliable warships in the fleet. It has above-average armour and shielding for a vessel of its size, though typically for Wodef vessels, strictly average manoeuvrability.

It shows the typical features of a Wodef Enclave vessel. Rather than use the ventral thermal exhaust port like Xyriats use, the Wodefs instead use a large ventral radiator block, which covers the majority of the bottom of the vessel. This allows thermal dispersion over a wider area, and less of vulnerable spot. However, it also means that the exhaust is not as efficient, and the Enclave vessels are incapable of using the exhaust in some of the non-standard ways the Xyriats have been known to. (Such as a crude engine or plasma torch.)

In place of the Xyriat Hegemonic Navy's distinctive dish, which serves both as shield grid and Garrast-Viyroub FTL Drive, the Wodef Enclave fleet has a more standard shield grid. The role of GVD focussing device is instead fulfilled by a coil. This is mounted around the central cylindrical core that forms the centre of a Wodef vessel.

The Jodinf-Kaylo configuration is the one of most commonly seen. This version is the standard warship. The primary offense is provided by the forward hardpoint mounts, which consist of six Dalaon 348M Heavy Lazer Projectors, granting a considerable weight of fire. The six side hardpoints are occupied by Gerfery 279 Heavy Lazer Cannons on 0151-class turret mounts.

The upper hull hardpoints are occupied by two fleet-standard Solon Missile Pods for extended range firepower. A third pod is mounted over the upper spar, slightly behind them.

Running along the sides of the central core are two Faypri Railgun arrays. The Faypri arrays use a trio of lighter railguns, fired in sequence. Faypri arrays are clearly recognisable by their open accelerator channels. The merits of such a system over a more conventional single, enclosed weapon barrel are debated. The Faypri was an experiment to begin to catch up to Xyriat railgun technology, which is significantly more compact. In practise, the Faypri is popular with the Enclave military because of its lower price tag – but less popular with the engineering crews, since it is more prone to failure or battle-damage.

Completing the weapon fit are twelve Rulifnoor Point Defence Turrets, the standard point-defence laser weapon of the enclave.

All these weapons are guided by the Kil-Dusi-Paor 9 firecontrol system, a series of targeting computer and semi-sentient software almost without peer. This allows the Jodinf-Kaylo's main weapons the same accuracy as the point-defence weaponry of the galaxy's mid-range technology tiers, making it a highly dangerous opponent.

Jodinf-Noalo Class Recon Cruiser

Jodinf-Noalo Class Recon Cruiser

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The Jodinf's Noalo configuration is outfitted for reconnaissance. It mounts a large Caymafu 336 Grand Sensor Array on the front of the central core. The upper hardpoints each have a single Rulifnoor Point Defence Turret and three broadcast towers, which are linked to the Jodinf-Noalo's sensor, communications and ECM array. Sixteen more Rulifnoor PDTs are placed around the hull, and along the sides of the central core are situated the larger Sul Rulifnoor Heavy Defence Emplacements, the Rulifnoor's bigger brother. Finally, two Solon Missile Pods occupy two of the side hardpoints, those these are typically loaded with point-defence missiles.

Jodinf-Apparso Class Drone Cruiser-Carrier

Jodinf-Apparso Class Drone Cruiser-Carrier

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The Apparso configuration of the Jodinf is a pocket carrier. Like the Jodinf-Noalo upon which it is a derivative, the Jodinf-Apparso carries eighteen Rulifnoor Point Defence Turrets and six Sul Rulifnoor Heavy Defence Emplacements, though it lacks the missile pods. Instead, the Apparso carries a hangar bay, which is typically filled by a full Himlof Drone Swarm of 72 drones.

The Apparso configuration primarily is used in a supporting role, providing point-defence for its accompanying squadron with its own systems, and to others with the Drone Swarm. The Jodinf-Apparso sometimes sees use in smaller engagements against lightly-defended targets; two or three Drone Swarms can inflict significant damage over time. Against heavily shielded or armoured targets, however, neither drone nor cruiser have much penetrating power and typically fare poorly.

Himlof Drone

Himlof Drone

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The Himlof Drone is a light-weight combat drone, deployed in larger numbers and considered disposable. Perhaps contrary to what one might expect, the Enclave spent considerable time and effort on the design, down to the last rivet and seal, to minimise the cost to performance ratio.

This is evident even in the Himlof's primary weapons, a quartet of basic light laser cannons. Using traditional lasers and not the more advanced lazer (i.e. Laser Amplified with Zircronion-Emitter aRray) technology reduced the power-output by 20%, but weight and cost were dramatically lower, as the power-core could be downgraded from a military drone core to use the Modou 914 core. The reliable Modou core was commonly available on the civilian market for larger ground vehicles.

The Himlof is small, perhaps only a third the size of a typical fighter, with average manoeuvrability. It has no shields or armour, relying instead on sheer weight of numbers to overwhelm a foe. However, this lack of protection makes them very vulnerable to even glancing hits. While the cost-saving certainly were effective, there is some debate as to whether in the long-run, they impede the drone's functionality.

Himlof drones are frequently used to screen capital ships, however, where their shortcomings have much lesser relevance, especially against missiles.

Refdeiof Nurl-Kaylo Class Dreadnought

Refdeiof Nurl-Kaylo Class Dreadnought

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The Refdeiof Nurl superdreadnought family is the largest vessel in wide deployment in the Wodef Enclave fleet. Typically a strike force command ship, it bears considerable firepower, but is also lacks the manoeuvrability of the smaller vessels. The Refdeiof has an atypical design of not one, but three central cores, bearing a primary GVD focussing coil and two secondary coils. This provides almost the same output as a single larger coil, but greater redundancy and damage tolerance.

The Refdeiof Nurl-Kaylo is by far the most common version in use, to the point where it is almost the only configuration. The vessel's primary striking power come from the twelve Dalaon 350A Heavy Lazer Projectors, situated in three groups of four at the front of the central cores. These are supplemented by no less than twenty-four Gerfery 279 Heavy Lazer Cannons, located on the hardpoint on 0151-class turret mounts. Long range firepower is provided by six Solon Missile Pods and four Faypri Railgun arrays. Point defence coverage is provided by twenty four Rulifnoor Point Defence Turrets.

All photos are in WSF. (The Wodefs just barely predate us getting our Replicator!)

December and January will see the next couple of releases of the remaining Wodef ships. February will bring another round of releases for the Xyriats- carriers and fighters (and that may be one and a bit releases itself!)

Accelerate & Attack: Aeons of War is also out now (a generic build-your-own ships system suitable for any set of models) is also now available of Wargames Vault here:

There is also a free Web Enhancement Pack; this contains the markers and the QR sheet the latter of which is an indicator of the level of the game if you want to have a quick nosey.

And, of course, I'm always happy to answer questions about it (though your best bet is to contact me through the Wargame Vault or Shapeways PM, since that PM system here isn't open to everyone and these days, putting your email address on a forum is a no-no!)

Shapeways, Aotrs Shipyards