After the fiasco of the invasion of Akdor in the Shilassen Triumvirate, it became clear to the
leaders of Earthforce
that a new kind of ship was needed. The existing Nova battlecruisers and Omega Destroyers were
lacking in the ability to
support major troop deployments. After some deliberation it was decided that the new ship would
still be a Destroyer type,
but that it would contain many improvements concerning troop housing, fighter and shuttle
deployment, and in logistics
handling. Also its ability to provide heavy support fire for ground troops would be much better
than that of
the previous classes of Earthforce ships.
And so the design work began on what became known as "The Warlock Project"
Under president Clark the project moved ahead fast, yet at the end of 2261 the first prototype of the class was nowhere near its final construction. Much work still needed to be done before its weaponry and armor could be fitted. And special weapons and armor these promised to be. Thanks to a little known alliance with a race known only as "the Shadows" and some of their minions, the EA had gotten its hands on things like Bio-Organic armor and heavy Fusion cannons. There was even talk of a Gravitic drive, but that system failed to be delivered. With these systems the Warlocks would be almost unstoppable. As it was, these systems were not integrated into the Warlock design. Captain Sheridan of Babylon 5 had mounted a offensive against the forces loyal to President Clark, and in a last-ditch effort to stop Sheridan's fleet, the advanced systems were placed on and in a group of Omega Class destroyers, creating the infamous "Advanced" destroyer. In the final battle for the Earth Alliance all of these vessels were destroyed, and the Shadows minions (the Drahk) hastily departed Earth space, taking the last pieces of Bio-Tech with them. Or so everyone thinks....
The Warlock Class Destroyers as they finally appeared from the shipyards of Earth still look
well over 1.2 miles long, and bristling with weapons, they are still the very best that the Earth
Alliance has ever had.
The Warlocks look like throwbacks to pre-Omega times, because they lack a rotating section, and their main body is a single structure into which launch bays and sensors have been integrated. The entire top of this structure is a sleek joining of armor plates, on which weapon emplacements are located. On the sides there are more irregularities. In the front third of the ship there are several cargo and ordnance airlocks, which can be used to quickly load and unload cargo and things like troopships, although at present it is unclear exactly how much material these spaces can hold. Aft of these are specialized missile launchers, holding huge missiles intended for strategic bombardment.
The normal fighter and shuttle bays have a different pattern than with the Omega. The forward bay, located under the nose of the ship, is used exclusively for launching fighters, and is sealed when not in use. Fighters are recovered through a hangar on the right aft side of the main hull, and shuttles are both launched and recovered using this bay. The flight deck of the Warlock actually runs the entire length of the ship, and is of a huge volume. On the left aft side of the hull there is a protrusion which marks the engineering and maintenance section for all the shuttles and fighters.
The engine section holds four upgraded Ion Fusion engines in a armored housing that gives rather better protection than the housing of a Omega Destroyer. A late addition to this design are two Gravimetric engines. These are placed on the top and the bottom of the drive section, and are of a Minbari design, which has been adapted and build by EA engineers. This system was obtained through the EA entering the Interstellar Alliance. It is also this system that explains the lack of a rotating section: the Warlock design is the first EA ship to have true artificial gravity, although this is only .2 or .3 G`s as opposed to the 1 G that a rotating section can supply.
Inside of the ship there are huge spaces available to house troops. The normal compliment of
Marines is five thousand.
In this configuration there is ample space onboard for training chambers, and the Marines and the
normal crew of the ship
have a lot of room. Totally different are the conditions onboard when the ship carries the
maximum amount of troops that
it can transport into a battle zone. In that scenario about thirty thousand troops are carried, and
space is at a absolute
premium, with most of the troops relegated to their bunks, coming out of them in shifts to use the
few remaining exercise
rooms, and to eat.
Even so, the Warlock design has room for a small hydroponics section, which can supply the regular crew and Marine compliment with a (limited) supply of fresh fruit. This space is also important for psychological reasons, since a Warlock has a substantial greater range than previous warships. This means that even during a trip of two years (the maximum duration of a Warlock) crew and Marines still have access to a garden, something to associate with a planet.
The weapons of the Warlock are conventional in nature, although there are a lot of them. The
largest weapons on the
ship are two Particle Beam cannons. These are located under the nose of the ship, and are the
heaviest weapon ever mounted
on a Earthforce ship. Previously these weapons were only mounted in the G.O.D. satellites that
make up Earths defense.
The power drain of these weapons is enormous, and each cannon requires a recharge time of
fifteen seconds between firings.
On the plus side, their range is great, and they are so powerful that a unshielded opponent can be
cut in half with a
single burst. Secondary weapon systems are eight heavy Pulse Cannon turrets, equal to those on
the Nova class ships.
Five of these are mounted on the top of the ship, and another three are mounted on the bottom.
Also carried are three
heavy railgun turrets, one on the nose of the ship, and two on the bottom facing rearward.
Mounted on the top and the bottom
of the Recovery bay and on the other side on top and the bottom of the maintenance section are
four medium pulse cannons
like those mounted on the Omega class. These turret mounted weapons have a excellent firing
The ships lighter weaponry consists of nine light pulse cannons. One of these is mounted on the forward boom. Two are located on the rim of the top, and another two on the bottom rim of the shuttle/recovery bay, a pattern mirrored on the other side of the ship, where the maintenance shops protrude slightly.
For even more weapons the ship carries twenty four (!) particle beam guns. Eight turrets line the upper part of the ship. A further eight turrets are located in fours around the midship cargo airlocks, and four more are mounted on the front part of the engine section. The last four are located on the aft part of the engine section.
Rounding this off are two missile launchers on the sides of the ship. Each launcher holds six large missile silos and seven smaller ones. There are no direct reloads for the large launchers, but the small launchers each have ten reloads. Off course more ordnance can be carried in the cargo hold of the ship, but it takes a lengthy EVA operation to reload the launchers: this is never done in combat. Of note should be the fact that the large missiles have Multiple warheads with a *nuclear* payload. The smaller missiles (still long range missiles) can be equipped with a variety of warheads, *including* nuclear ones!
The ships armor looks unlike that of previous EA ships. It is a Crystalline/Plasteel armor mesh, and deflects large amounts of energy away. This would seem to be a copy of the Armor on the IA Victory class Destroyers, but is less effective and is in reality a development of the EA itself. It has been made possible due to the study of Shadow Bio-armor, pieces of Minbari Crystalline armor, and the study of the armor the Dilgar used.
As has been indicated, improvements have been made in the area of drive systems. Not only
are there four Ion Fusion
engines, there are also two Gravimetric engines. The Combined use of these engines yields a
acceleration normally only
achieved by Earthforce fighters: well over ten G`s. On their own either drive system can
accelerate the ship with about
five G maximum. The advantage of the Gravimetric systems is that they actually provide artificial
gravity, and dampen
the felt acceleration inside of the ship, so that even at full thrust the crew can perform its duties in
a normal fashion.
Another advantage of the gravimetric engines is that they require no reaction mass. This is one of
the major contributions
to the extended range that the Warlock ships have. In normal operations both drive systems are
run at low power, so as not
to overwork either system. It should also be remembered that the Gravitic drive is a *new*
system. It might yet suffer
from small problems in its functioning.
Because of the improved drive systems, and a improved Hyperspace navigation system, the Warlock design can achieve almost twice the speed in hyperspace of previous EA designs.
The Warlock class carries forty eight fighters, all SA-26 Thunderbolt Starfuries. Furthermore it carries a standard sixteen atmospheric shuttles, and eight intra system shuttles. For assault missions there is room for three dozen assault shuttles, although all but six of these will be carried in the cargo bay or externally, and must be boarded through docking them at airlocks.
Sources have indicated that the Earth Alliance is planning to build well over a hundred of
these mighty ships.
Considering the price of these ships that might be a overly optimistic view, for each of these ships
costs as much as the
infamous "Advanced Destroyers" did, well over fifty billion credits per ship.
Contrary to popular belief there is no single Destroyer with the name "Warlock", as this was the project name. At least one of the commissioned ships has the name "Damocles". Other, rumored, names sound more ominous and include designations like "Sorcerer", "Necromancer" and "Enchantress".
Listed is the formula to allow player and game masters to calculate the Destroyers velocity and distance traveled:
Model: Earthforce Warlock Class Destroyer
Class: Battleship / Assault Carrier
Crew: 1,200 (60 Officers and 1,140 Enlisted)
Troops: Standard; 5,000, Maximum; 30,000
|48||SA-26 Thunderbolt Star Fighters|
|16||Standard Atmospheric Shuttles|
M.D.C. by Location:
|Heavy Particle Beam Cannons (2, forward ):||4,000 each|
|Heavy Pulse Cannons (16, 10 on top, 6 on bottom in double turrets):||1,300 each|
|Heavy Railguns (6, two on top, four on bottom in double turrets):||1,100 each|
|Double Turrets (11, 6 on top, 5 on bottom):||2,600 each|
|Medium Pulse Cannons (4, aft):||900 each|
|Light Pulse Cannons (9):||750 each|
|Particle Guns (24):||250 each|
|Missile Launchers (2):||3,000 each|
|Launch Bay (1, front):||10,000|
|Recovery Bay (1, right side):||10,000|
| Auxiliary Bridge:||25,000|
| Main Sensor cluster (1, front):||9,000|
| Main Body:||160,000|
| Engineering Section:||46,000|
| Ion Fusion Engines (4):||14,000 each|
| Gravitic Engines (2):||11,000 each|
| Interceptor Grids (6):||5,000 a side|
 In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ships armor. This ship also has an auxiliary bridge. Even if both bridges are taken out, 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.
 The Main sensor cluster is located below the Launch Bay. Destroying it means that the ship loses all sensor bonuses vs. ECM. The ship will have -30% to read sensory rolls, all sensor ranges are half ranged, and all long range weapons have a -1 to strike. Hyperspace speed will be reduced to 15 LY/Hour maximum.
 Depleting the MDC of the main body will put the Destroyer out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support, but *excluding* artificial gravity. The ship will be a unsalvageable wreck. The hull of the ship has the ability to repair itself (sadly its internal systems do not) The hull regenerates damage at 2D4 x 100 MDC per minute. The hull cannot regenerate more than a third of its total MDC.
 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).
 The Destruction of one Ion engine reduces the ships maximum acceleration by one eight. The destruction of two Ion Engines reduces the ships maximum acceleration by one quarter. Destroying three Ion Engines will reduce the ships maximum acceleration by three eights. Destroying all four Ion Engines means that the maximum sublight acceleration is reduced to half. Destroying one Gravitic engine means that sublight acceleration is reduced by a quarter. Destroying both Gravitic engines reduces maximum sublight acceleration by half, and destroys the ships artificial gravity system. Destroying all engines means that the ship can accelerate at five percent of normal (using navigational thrusters).
 The Interceptor Grid gives only partial defense against energy weapons and as the system absorbs more damage this percentage of damage will be reduced. The system will absorb up to 5,000 MDC per side. Initially, the system will absorb 80% of damage from plasma weapons and pulse cannons (Actually another style of plasma cannon - does not work at this higher efficiency on other weapon systems that fire in pulses). This is because it is much easier to disperse plasma than an actual energy beam. The system does not absorb damage from rail guns, other projectile weapons, and from missiles. Initially, the ships will also absorb 40% of other styles of energy weapons as well (This includes non plasma style pulse weapons as well). For every 500 MDC that the system absorbs, the system will be reduced in effectiveness by 10% for subsequent strikes (Example:If an Interceptor Grid absorbs 1000 MDC, the Interceptor Grid will only absorb 60% of plasma damage and 20% of the damage for any other energy weapon when struck next.) The defense grid recovers at the rate of 150 MDC per minute. The missile decoy portion of the system is described separately below.
SPECIAL: The ships armor is a copy of the new Earth/Minbari armor used on the Victory class destroyer and deflects 40% of all incoming energy away, not counting purely kinetic energy weapons. Subtract 40% of all damage done to the ships hit locations by energy weapons and explosions! Kinetic energy weapons do full damage.
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Space Propulsion: The starship does not have an effective top speed but is limited by acceleration. The Warlock Destroyer can reach a top acceleration of 10 G but due to high fuel consumption and extra strain on the engines, the ship will normally travel at 1 G for any extended trips. Top acceleration is only meant for emergencies and combat maneuvers.
Because the Warlock Destroyer IS shielded from the effects of radiation and hypervelocity atomic particles , the destroyer can be operated at speeds of up to 40 percent of light.
Atmospheric Propulsion: The Warlock destroyer cannot operate within an atmosphere. If the ship enters an atmosphere, it will crash.
Stardrive: Uses 4 "Lockheed Mitchell Corp." HSI-10C Vortex generators to enter hyperspace, they allow the ship to reach a maximum of 25 light-years per hour. This means that the Earth Destroyer can cover the three galaxies in roughly 6 months (will NOT need to refuel periodically). The ship enters hyperspace by means of a jumpgate. This ship can use a already made jumpgate or can form its own jumpgate.
The Warlock has enough power to open a jumpgate every ten minutes (40 rounds). The gate then takes one round to open, two rounds to traverse, and another to close.
Maximum Range: Conditionally unlimited, while the fusion reactors give power for over a decade of service, the ships Ion Engines are limited by the ships reaction mass. It is not recommended to fly the ship on Gravitic drives alone, because they are a new system and might prove unstable over longer periods of time. Therefore it is recommended to always refuel the ship when possible. The ship can be refueled at ground based facilities, space stations, and other star ships as long as they have the special facilities. The ship can also be refueled by fuel shuttles.
The Destroyer carries seven months of reaction mass for travel at 0.5 G of acceleration using only Ion engines. Double the consumption of fuel for 1.0 G of acceleration and double the consumption again for every 1.0 G of acceleration beyond 1 G. This means the ship will burn the fuel 32 times faster at maximum acceleration than at 0.5 G of acceleration, using only Ion Engines! There is no fuel consumption for the Gravimetric engines, other than the fact that they drain large amounts of power. The ships fusion reactors can cope with that easily though. The ship will often accelerate for a period of time and then shut down the engine and travel using the ships velocity. Should the ship use more than half of its reaction mass when accelerating, the ship will be unable to decelerate fully using only Ion engines. Therefore the ship will normally only use a third or less of its fuel on accelerating so it does not run into a problem. If the ship runs out of fuel then it can be refueled by another vehicle traveling faster than it, or it must decelerate using gravitic drives only, which is currently discouraged for safety reasons. If the ship has a large amount of flight operations, the ship is limited to about five months endurance at cruising speed from the fighters using the ships reaction mass.
Height: 1,700 feet (550 meters)
Length: 6643.4 feet (1,993 meters)
Width: 1131.1 feet (344.5 meters)
Weight: 66.8 million tons (60.6 million metric tons)
Power System: 4 Tokamak Corp. 650 Fusion Reactors (12 year duration). 2 Tokamak Corp. Ultima 2000 ADV gravimetric Fusion Reactors (15 year duration) However, it is recommended that the drive and power system have routine maintenance every 5 years. Also, the ship only carries about a seven month supply of reaction mass for the ion engines. (Note: the Gravitic drives don`t need any!)
Cargo: 500,000 tons
Cost: 50 billion credits to construct . Any race in the three galaxies would pay several times that amount for a fully functional Warlock due to the Shadow technology that is incorporated into it.
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Technical Information from Babylon5 Technical
Manual and The Warlock Project !
CGI of Ship courtesy of one of the developers of the B5 combat sim. Lets hope it gets finished one day.
Design of Warlock by Tim Earls.
By Mischa (E-Mail Mischa) and by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Rifts Conversion Copyright © 1999 & 2000, Mischa & Kitsune. All rights reserved.