Sketches – Elysian Hades-Class Heavy Cruiser

Elysian Hades CA

One of, if not the first armed warships of the Elysian Imperial Fleet that the deWulf identified, the Hades-Class is both a more and less advanced design compared to the Director-Class ships that serve in the Corporate Navy. In contrast to their blocky, slab-sided ships, the Hades has smooth lines that flow from bow to stern, featuring (mostly) minimalist design aesthetic. Were it not for the rapid-fire missile launchers on her upper hull (most likely a refit to accommodate the bulky weapons) she would be aerodynamic enough to actually pass through atmosphere without ripping itself apart.

Beneath the hull plating, the Hades features more advanced engineering techniques, better shields, and higher combat speed compared to the Director. One special addition was a compact “military” tractor beam that allowed the Hades to lock onto ships at close range and achieve a virtually perfect target lock, all but guaranteeing hits for every launched missile. But in turn the Hades suffers from several issues. It’s reliance on missiles meant it was reliant on a reasonable but still finite volume of magazine space, and crucially it entirely omitted point defense systems. It’s reliance on the high speed “tactical” drives means that while in combat it can dictate the range, strategically it can be outmaneuvered and isolated.

Finally, it suffers from the same fundamental issue that dogs the Director; there’s just not enough space inside to fit everything. While some systems become more space efficient (like passive defenses and onboard life support systems), weapons and EW have steadily outstripped these gains, forcing heavy cruisers to leave the front lines as they become increasingly unable to deliver the survivability and throw weight modern combat requires.

So. No bonus points on guessing where THIS design got inspired from. The Hades is effectively a standard imperial battleship from Legend of Galactic Heroes. This isn’t even really an “inspired by” kind of hull form. The sketch even has a very crude Goldenbaum logo on the side of the ship. As such this design can be at best considered provisional. That all being said, it does an excellent job of setting up the overall design aesthetic that I’m aiming for with the Elysians. Smooth, refined, imperial. And with a good bit of ego to come along with. Elysian warships are meant to be just as much artful symbols of the State as much as they are combat craft. After all, if you’re having to put the time and effort into making them good, why not make them look good at the same time?

I’m hoping in the future to spend a bit more time digging into the overall aesthetic and come up with something that feels more them as much as anything else, but I don’t have anything really concrete yet I feel I want to explore. They’re avian, yes, but just having “bird space ships” risks looking at best like a Star Trek knockoff, and at worst something out of Flash Gordon. Neither are really keeping with the aesthetic of this universe.

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