Sketches – Elysian Gunboat

The Elysian Doru-class Gunboat, code named “Shutter” by deWulf Naval Intelligence, was first seen by the deWulf during the initial attack on Dave’s World. A completely new weapons system, the Gunboat proved to be a devastating weapon. First developed over three years before their first use on the initial attack on Dave’s World, the Doru proved to be a sea change for the Elysian Navy. Fast, maneuverable, and hard hitting, it offered for the first time in almost a hundred years a return to the small crew, independent strike force that was previously a hallmark of air-breathing combat craft. Built around two missile bays on the dorsal and ventral sides, the Doru is capable of matching the damage of an Elysian Mars-class Battlecruiser in a single volley. Small laser mounts, fitted in pop-up turrets along the sides provided the Doru with some staying power, but they were at best of limited value in an engagement.

Fortunately for the Elysians, they already had some (albeit badly outdated) ideas on how to operate strike craft, and it took only a year for the Hydra-class Carriers to be designed and put into construction alongside the Doru, letting them evolve their older doctrines to serve modern weapons. Unfortunately for the Elysians, the deWulf worked out several tactics and technologies that served to blunt, if not completely negate the Doru in combat. Most strategies centered around disrupting their formations before they steadied down on their attack runs; even the deWulf Navy could do little to stop an attack from a flight of Dorus once launched.

While I had been drawing fairly heavy inspiration for the Elysians from Legend of Galactic Hero’s Empire, I wanted to go in a deliberately different direction for their small craft. Paradoxically, this meant I actually followed the overall lines of the Empire space ships, but instead copied and mirrored the general outlines, and then made the parts that flared out large missile bays for the gunboat’s “external” ordinance. This is very different from the LOGH Empire’s “Valkyrie” fighters, though it does somewhat resemble their heavier “destroyers”, which turned out to actually be carried parasite craft as well! The downsides of not being fluent in Japanese…

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