The Mars-Class Battlecruiser was the first new ship that the deWulf met in their continued war with the Elysians. Not seen during the initial attack on Dave’s World, its first combat appearance was just before the 2nd Battle of Dave’s World, when the deWulf fleet encountered a single Mars-Class fleeing the system. Captured by several deWulf combat soldiers and a defecting Elysian general, the Feather of Duty was a surprisingly welcome sight to the deWulf Navy forces, as it confirmed that the planet had not yet completely fallen. Reinforced by several units of the deWulf Army, the ship was ordered to the rear for study at Y-12.
Technologically, the Mars-Class was an evolutionary rather than revolutionary development. It was a test-bed for the revolutionary “Capital” grade missiles, but this experimental status meant it couldn’t afford to trade its entire weapons battery for what was, on paper, a superior weapons system. Compared to its smaller brother the Hades-Class, it was able to mount a solid array of firepower as well as the same tractor beam combination that made it (theoretically) absolutely deadly at close range, where the heavier capital missiles could deal telling blows. More importantly, it finally found enough space to offer some point defense capability, though in the modern combat environment, the single installation was barely adequate.
Possibly the more likely reason that the Mars-Class wasn’t seen earlier was its abysmal strategic speed. Fitting the same engines as the Hades-Class, the Mars-Class lost just enough speed due to her larger mass to prevent her from achieving the same cruise speed that the Hades and Hydra classes could. It is unknown if this tradeoff was due to her weapons suite, or some underlying technological restriction.
The Mars-Class is the last of the Elysian ships that I had initially sketched out, and like the two before this one also follows the same lines as the Imperial Navy from Legend of Galactic Heroes. Like the carrier, it has a catamaran-style hull. But unlike the carrier, this catamaran is tighter, and instead of the twin shoulder boxes like the Hades-Class it has one offset box on either hull. And also unlike the two earlier designs the twin noses are notched on either side, pulled back to give the missile tubes an “inset” feel to it. While I’m not happy with the overall hullform (I do try to stick with original designs when I finally settle on something), some of these details really appeal to me. So while I might not have the main hullform yet, I think when I find it, I’ll know just how to outfit it when I do.