Appendix: "Fleet roles"
What follows is a brief description of major military starship classifications, both alien and Human. A more verbose description can be called up at any time by selecting the relevant subtopic:
- Blink Cannon: Capital ship. Brittle, rare, and seemingly very costly ship, specializes in teleporting heavy—often nuclear and antimatter—explosives, hard radiation bombs, suicide drones, and FTL missiles into the gut of the Human fleet. Fortunately, there is a brief phase‐in period for these devices on the other side, and objects can only appear in hard vacuum. Possible alien advances in Blink technology are a constant source of worry for Naval Command.
- Heavy Carrier: Capital ship. Launch site and rapid‐repair facilities for alien interceptor and bomber fleets.
- Interceptor: Engages closely with Human MC, interceptors, and frigates. Fleet defense against possible stealth attacks by Human MagOps teams. Cover for bombers attempting attacks on cruisers and battlecruisers. No FTL engine.
- Bomber: Heavy fire platform, intended for use against heavier Human ships such as cruisers, battlecruisers, and light carriers. No FTL engine.
- Battlecruiser: Heavy fire support, planetary bombardment, WMD deployment. Often used to delay Human fleets which are too close, to allow time for withdrawal.
- Cruiser: Heavy anti‐personnel platform. Deploys hard radiation bombs and EMP pulses, effective against unshielded targets.
- Frigate: Light anti‐personnel and patrol platform. Deploys shrapnel flak and minefields.
- Battlecruiser: Heavy fire support, anti‐cruiser and anti‐capital ship. SHERMAN gun is slow‐firing, but projectile produces anomalous gravitational fields that interfere with both FTL and sublight propulsion. Planetary Bombardment and WMD.
- Light Carrier: Provides interceptor and MedEvac support to fleet.
- Cruiser: Fleet defense and Magi Cæli support. Attempts to destroy or deflect Blink Cannon projectiles, bomber armaments, etc. Provides extensive medical facilities and armory. Anti‐frigate if the opportunity arises.
- Frigate: Fleet defense. Deploys smart flak, mine‐fields, and other anti‐fighter/bomber countermeasures.
- Interceptor: Fleet defense. Provides support to Mage Corps against interceptor/bomber squads.
- MedEvac: Magi Cæli support. Drone ships that retrieve incapacitated mages and provide medical/grief cube support. If necessary, will abandon all but soul gem.
- Stealth Frigate: Anti‐capital ship, long‐range. Agile insertion ship for MagOps teams. Stealth usually assisted by mage. FTL capable.
- Magi Cæli Corps: Anti‐capital ship and fleet defense, especially in close combat situations.
Fleet combat is a central feature of the Contact War, with each side wielding its own forces playing to their own strengths. Humans are unable to wield effective bombers and have no Blink technology, while Cephalopods have no equivalent to the wide array of magical girl capabilities. These differences given Humans the advantage in close-quarters combat, but the advantage goes to the aliens at distance.
While not explicitly listed, both sides are heavily augmented by various drone contingents.
Notably, all Human ships are in fact sentient AIs, built for the purpose. There is something of an organized naming structure as well, though the AIs in question are free to reject a given name and take on their own, as the HSS Raven does:
- Battlecruisers - Famous Generals
- Light Carriers - Famous Aces/Individual Soldiers
- Cruisers - Famous Statesmen
- Frigates - Famous Scientists/Artists/Authors/Musicians
Notably, all stealth cruisers and frigates are female as well, to match their magical girl contingents.