Aeran Cruiser Lore: Lessons of the Rlaan-Aera War

Upon its introduction, the Anaxandridas was able to stem the tide of Aeran capital losses to Rlaan capital blitz tactics, destroying or disabling sufficient numbers of Shundi, Ruizong and, when Anaxandridas cruisers could be deployed en masse, even Dezong class battleships to give the Rlaan pause about continuing their tactics, even given the Assembly's deep reserves. However, while superior to the Anaxander in fleet engagements against the Rlaan, the Anaxandridas proved insufficiently powerful in its standoff role to completely replace the Anaxandridas, necessitating that both designs be kept in production as well as service if the Aera were to make an attempt to press their gains deep into Rlaan territory. As these limitations became clear to the Aeran command, and as it became equally clear to both the Aeran and Rlaan commanders that a swift and decisive victory was unlikely to arrive for either side any time soon, the Ascendancy embarked upon a plan to design a new generation of ships - not for this war, but for the next. As the war ground on, and new lessons, such as the vulnerability of both the Anaxander and Anaxandridas to Janissary class assault craft, were learned, these too went into the design of the new Aeran fleet.

The Anaxidamus class would need to be able to fight the Rlaan, but it would not be a Rlaan specialist, constantly bracing for a capital blitz. Instead, it would be skewed slightly toward the Ascendancy's other front, where Humans, Klk'k, Shmrn and Uln did not share the odd Rlaan aversion to missile warfare, and advanced and plentiful point-defense emplacements were dire necessities. The Anaxidamus would be a larger platform than the Anaxander or Anaxandridas, and aimed to be a more survivable one as well, taking lessons from the Rlaan on practical redundancy. With the Anaxidamus, the Aera would move closer to their pre-war standoff tactics, but with a shift from projectile to missile weaponry. While ballistic projectile assault on orbital infrastructure was still a primary goal of any Aeran incursion into a system, the responsibility was for siege and for strike were now to be split between the upcoming Leonidas class and the Anaxidamus. With a missile-oriented armament, it was hoped the Anaxidamus could excel at anti-capital stand-off engagements while still being able to perform infrastructure raids, if not system sieges. Learning their lessons from the Anaxander, however, escort vessels are no match for a suicidally determined enemy capital vessel, and some form of close-range weaponry would still be necessary. The laser arrays of the Anaxandridas were effective, but very inefficient weapons. For the Anaxidamus, the Aeran instead opted for turreted Xiphos emplacements, which, if easy to dodge at range due to low exit velocity, can sustain high burst fire rates and have warheads powerful enough to make an enemy vessel feel every blow that lands.

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    • ~3 km in length
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    • The latest and largest Aeran cruiser at 3km to the Anaxandridas' 2.5km (the Leonidas, at 6km, isn't a cruiser). The logical extension of the thread of design started by the Anaxander, the Anaxidamus is more refined, and more elegant than the chimeric Anaxandridas, and a more fully realized war machine than the Anaxander. The Anaxidamus has three sets of radiator towers, 6 in the rear, 3 in the center, and 6 at front. Unlike the Anaxandridas, the hammerheads and central tubing are scaled up smoothly to match the full size of the ship. The front and rear 6-fin sets are somewhat fat, especially toward the bottom, indicating both their internal storage and providing an insertion point for both rear and forward facing outward-angled thrusters (out-and back at rear, out-and-forward at front), and each feature a single capital missile port per radiator tower, as well as several sub-capital missile tubes. Each fin in the three-fin middle set rests atop a slight reactor bulge, but not as obvious or unseemly as in the Anaxandridas. Each of these fins is crowned with fore/aft steeple faces, rather than a single flat cant. Each face is topped with 3 very large Xiphos turrets, their short barrels probing for substantial opponents, and 3 much smaller laser lens emitters for discouraging uninvited guests of the corvette and smaller variety. The hammerheads are large enough to support a turret in addition to an Aegis point-defense cluster, a somewhat smaller Xiphos turret, similar to those on the Agasicles, one on each of the side faces of each hammerhead (4 in total). The normally unbroken plains of radiators on the radiator towers are, in this case broken up by the presence of Aegis point-defense clusters on each face of the 3 middle radiator towers.
    • For all of the guns present, the pride of the this ship is its missile armament, and this, far more so than the projectile storage, leaves visible indicators of the armored ordinance bays bulging out from the hull and the feed tracks running from the hammerheads (where cargo is received) to the storage areas and then from there to the launch ports.
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