Sketches – European Union Troop Cruiser

The standard troop carrier for the Marine Spatiale Européenne (MSE), and the United Nations, the Bastille Class Assault Battlecruiser was regarded as an excellent transport by most navies and their intelligence services. Unlike some other ships that try to handle multiple duties (The UNA’s Kenneth Walsh Class Marine Cruiser) or were almost too small to do their job (the RSFF’s Rodin Plyazh Class Landing Destroyer), the Bastille was both large enough to carry several organic formations and drop them in one wave. The name itself however proved to be controversial. Proponents inevitably cited the Bastille as a symbol of overthrown repression and freedom, while detractors pointed to that same symbol’s history as a potent force for suppression.

Featuring the same “tower” deck layout as other MSE ships, the Bastille had minimal offensive armaments, maintaining only a few anti-shipping laser mounts in addition to a cursory point defense suite. The only reason the lasers were even considered to be installed as part of the ship’s armament was due to their use as a “clean, precision fire support option” for the embarked troops.

What makes the Bastille so effective as a troop transport was its compliment of eight Brussels Class Dropships. Designed to work in tandem with the Bastille, together they can do a full deployment of the Bastille’s organic troop capacity before withdrawing to provide organic in-atmosphere ground support and air superiority missions. The eight dropships dock to custom oversized hardpoints along the spine of the Bastille, enabling easy cargo and resupply operations when not deployed away from their mothership. More details on the Brussels Class will be provided in its own dedicated data supplement.

The biggest flaw of the Bastille is one that is almost cultural as opposed to technical. The long, spindle hull (compared to other MSE designs) required to provide enough docking space for the ships organic compliment of Brussels dropships forced the creation of multiple combination mess/berthing/maintenance decks in order to cut down on “commuting” to combat and duty stations, meaning that some segments of the ship barely come into contact with one another. While useful to promote competition between the onboard troops, this has proven detrimental to the crew’s operational readiness. This has led to the evolution of “classes” aboard ship, with command staff forward of the first docking ring inevitably referred to as “the nobility”, with status falling away the farther from the command deck one one progressed. The “Classe de clés”, or “Class of wrenches”, more commonly known as the engineering section invariably is at the bottom of the pyramid, despite their importance to the operation of the ship.

The Bastille is one of the few direct connections between the current Terran Dominion and their original “inspiration”, the New Earth Commonwealth from Heavy Gear. Still retained in her original purpose, the Bastille has seen the least change from her initial inspiration, though her physical appearance has changed as the Terran Dominion (and her UN/MSE predecessors) have evolved. She also draws some inspiration from some older Star Wars Legends Republic ships. I always liked that hammerhead design, and it’s something that I decided to try and evolve into a full design aesthetic. It’s not something that’s quite so visible in the Bastille, but it does become far more noticeable with other designs (like the Io Class Cruiser or the UN Constellation Class Fleet Carrier).

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