‘Four weapons won the Consolidation war. The P-1 Pulse rifle*, the ‘Mad Tom’ power suit**, the fusion bazooka*** and the Terramax Cruiser. Without these weapons, we of the Hegemony would not have been able to bring the rebellious worlds of Mars, the Galilean Moons, Luna or the other colonies to their knees to kneel before the august personage of the Emperor.’
Full Item Description
Mass: 6,800 tons
Length: 200 m
Beam: 15 m (4 decks)
4 Hadley-Thyssen Bulk Ion Engines
2 Auxilliary F-type H3 Fusion Rockets
Powerplant: Model 42i Fissionable Core
Speed: 7.8 G acceleration/space, 350 mph/atmosphere
Duration: 18 months
1 Diamond-Yttrium 2.28 GW Laser Systems
2 500mm missle tubes
24 Laser guided ‘Mantis’ type Fusion missles
4 Laser guided ‘Apocalypse’ type M/AM missles
12 Garnet-Arsenic 500 MW Laser Systems
Genesis 59Kx2 Laser targeting and tracking system. K1Ay ‘Katy’ Synthetic Intelligence computer system with holographic/Organic memory core.
4 Vj-235 Spacehawk Interceptors
2 AD-81 Couric Light Shuttles
1 Amundsen class ‘Longboat’ Shuttle
10 Robison Escape Pods
Following the end of the Terran War of Consolidation, commonly known as WWIV, the Emperor and his new Hegemony faced a new challenge. While Earth lulled through a 175 year dark age, the surviving factions and colonies of the Pan-Solar war had been rebuilding their own militaries and space fleets. Since Earth had not fielded a space ship in over 170 years, there was a signifigant Warship Gap. this gap would not last long as Earth had advantages of larger population, more abundant and exploitable resources and combat experienced men and women, veterans of WWIV.
The new fleet would be built around two enormous battleships, the Crucio and the Imperio. Supporting these two 25,000 ton behemoths would be a dozen Fearless class destroyers, precursors to the long lived Valiant class destroyed to built in decades to come. While this group was planned to handle the majority of ship to ship combat, there were still a great number of targets. To this end, the Emperor commissioned the Terramax type Frigate. It was to be a rapdily deployable ship able to operate at extended operations with little to no support. The frigate type was replaced with Cruiser, and 8 of these impressive warships were built.
Terramax Class Cruisers
HSS 4551 Adolphus Soleaux, The Addie
HSS 4553 Morgan Kirk, The Enterprise
HSS 4555 Picard Halleck, Hal
HSS 4556 Lucius Ender, The Lucky Lucy
HSS 4561 Hector Adama, The Big Stick
HSS 4570 Robert Van Rijn, The Arvie
HSS 4572 Johanna Prix, The Jenny
HSS 4580 Vincent Graeme, The Cracker
Operating primarily in the Belt Region, and in the maze of gravity wells of the Galilean League, the Terramax Cruisers proved themselves time and time again in combat. Primary combat consisted of trading missle barrages with enemy ships and evading. The Admiral Morgan Kirk scored the first Cruiser kill by destroying the Martial frigate Varshok with a salvo of convention fusion tipped missles. Later, the more daring captain of the Admiral Robert van Rijn would close to point blank range to engage enemy ships with his own colossal gigawatt laser. While the van Rijn would spend a large amount of time in repair cradles on Earth and Luna, she racked up the largest number of kills, seven warships, four armed merchant marine, and 12 cargo craft and transports.
With their impressive firepower, the Terramax Cruisers had an additional ability beyond other combat ships. The Terramaxes could land on Earth, be reloaded and repaired quickly and easily. While this might have been the only initial advantage, the Martian nations were brought to heel by Terramax cruisers landing on Mars to disgorge entire contingents of Hegemony power-armored marines. Not confined to delicate shuttles or landing craft, no marines died in drop, and the Cruisers were able to provide ample fire support to the marines on the ground as they advanced. Captain Linday Ackbar of the Admiral Vincent Graeme dubbed the strategy ‘Mobile Fortress’ warfare.
This style of warfare proved violently effective as none of the Martian groundtroops possessed weapons capable of causing serious damage to one of these ships. The weapons capable of such damage were quickly taken out of commission by the faster moving warship and its complement of fighters, marines, and heavy laser weaponry.
The Age of Exploration
Following the end of the second Pan-Solar war, the entire system paid heed to a single leader, the Emperor. New funds were poured into the space transportation and propulsion labs at Jupiter, the Martian shipwrights were reactivated, and the Solar System enjoyed both peace and economic prosperity. While this was a dour sign for the destroyers and battleships of the Pan-Solar war, the Terramax cruisers would be heralds of the Age. Refit with more efficient fissionable cores and new FTL engine nacelles, these cruisers were among the first to extend the reach of the Emperor beyond Earth and Sol.
But after two decades, the Terramaxes were starting the show their age. It was decided that the cost of refitting the cruisers with new Fusable cores and replacing the aging holographic/organic memory cores would be less cost effective than replacing the Terramaxes completely. Two of the Terramaxes would be sold stripped of weapons to interested third parties, five others would be sent to scrap, and be recycled for their valuable sub-materials.
The HSS 4551 Admiral Adolphus Soleaux
Arguably the most famous of the Terramax Cruisers, the Soleaux was spared the cutter’s torch. The Martian peace accords were signed on her bridge, and five of the thirteen initial Hegemony colonies were scouted and surveyed by this venerable ship. A symbol of Hegemony Pride, the Soleaux is maintained in combat ready condition and held in reserve at the Erikkson Fleet Reserve at Luna. Getting a tour aboard the Soleaux is a sign of high regard in the fleet, and the first term of a new admiral is a six month tour aboard the Soleaux.
While later replaced by bigger, faster, more heavily armed ships, the Terramax retains a solemn place in Hegemony Imperial History and a crucial chapter of the Hegemony Space Navy. While small and cramped, with frequent brown-outs across the ship, these proved to be resilient and reliable vessels and embodied the spirit of an older age that the Hegemony refuses to let slip into obscurity. Admirals, by serving on a primitive fissionable/ion jet warship are reminded of those cavalier men and women who went into space and battle without creature comforts and plush seats.
*The P-1 Pulse Rifle - the P-1 is the first rapid fire cyclical energy weapon reliably deployed by Hegemony troops. Prior to the P-1, energy weapons required a sustained beam to cause any sort of damage. The two innovations of the P-1 were the flash capacitor and the compact nucleon battery. The Flash Capacitor enabled the weapon to fire ‘packets’ of energy much like a machine gun. The Nucleon Battery made the weapon portable by a single trooper, rather than the previous incarnation which required a gun crew of four to move and fire.
**The ‘Mad Tom’ Power Suit - Pioneering the field of electro-sensitive polymers, Doctor Edvard Tomlinson of New Oslo created the first synthetic muscle. This was later developed into a suit of heavy ablative and armor plating. Without the assistance of the synth-muscle, the 600 lb suit was nearly immovable, and with it, could move 20% faster than an unarmored soldier. Nicknamed Mad Tom’s, partly for the official designation of Tomlinson Power Armor/Heavy, and for the often reckless tactics deployed by Hegemony marines wearing the armor suits.
***The Fusion Bazooka - The F-1155 Fusion Warhead was the first stable non-radioactive nuclear weapon deployed by Hegemony troops. Use of this ultra high explosive (UHE) allowed outgunned Hegemony troops to hold their own and win against the superiorly armored and armed Martian Armored forces. The Fusion Bazooka was primarily used against reinforced bunkers, pillboxes, heavy armored vehicles and against the Mecha deployed by the Galilean League.