Aotrs203 Blackhole Drone Carrier

Aotrs203 Blackhole Drone Carrier

Xenos Wargames Ltd

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Army Of The Red Spear

Fleet scale

30.80mm x 28.61mm x 11.31mm

First carrier vessel of the 10th generation, Blackhole Drone Carrier is little more than a pocket carrier designed to transport a single fighter squadron, most often of twelve Foul Wings or six Craters. Given the advances of 10th generation technology, it is both much faster and better protected than similar designs from prior generations, but that merely means its agility is average and its shield-strength above average for its size. The Blackhole sports an unusual ventral drop-launch hangar bay, which in theory makes it less vulnerable to attacks aimed at the hangar.

Its distinctive shield-plates are just that, though not quite in the same sense – they are a holdover from the 9th generation shield technology, where these structures were the primary emitters. Similar devices can be observed on the early 10th generation Howling Void, Bloodsteel and Havoc. Early 10th generational advances rendered further use of these structures unnecessary, and later ship classes ceased using them. (The dismal failure of the first Dark Fear prototype was attributed in part to problems imparted by that system.)

The Blackhole’s main role is to operate in small groups or even independently, carrying its squadron of fighters to perform policing and security operations, particularly with an eye towards stemming small pirate attacks. Early versions had a mix of light coldbeam and small anti-capital ship weapons, but the latter was quickly replaced by additional light coldbeams. This renders the Blackhole capable of dealing with small groups of pirate fighters quite respectably, even without its fighters, but against modern military heavy starfighters, it requires assistance.

On the larger battlefield, the Blackhole falls into the escort role, using its point-defence systems to support larger capital ships (which in turn, tends to mean the Blackhole itself suffers less fire).

The Blackhole A configuration replaces half of the hangar space with troop quarters, and hold typically six Fallen Soul multirole AFVs (most commonly in their ship-side role as boarding pod) or a single Murder Fighter Cruiser and a pair of Dirge War Droid Transports. Half of the coldbeam weapons are also replaced by fighter-scale ion pulsars for disabling enemy vessels. Blackhole A vessels are almost exclusively used in the policing operations and are not common in a fleet battle unless capturing an enemy ship is a specific objective.

Even more rarely seen – in both a figurative and literal sense – are the Blackhole –S configurations. The –S is a Blackhole or Blackhole A fitted with stealth systems, used by covert operations units. Not as effective as a full cloak, the stealth system only protects the ship from passive sensors, but this is often the edge it needs to sneak a team in. Blackhole AS are the more common of the two versions. The actual number of Blackhole –S that exist is a matter for debate. Given how rarely they are spotted suggests the number is small – but the counter-argument is the Aotrs preference for surgical, small-unit operations and a successful operation conducted by a Blackhole S or AS means the ship is not spotted to be counted. Some quarters even suggest the name itself (and the way it is a single word, not two), may be a clue to the vessel’s true purpose, referencing not the spacial phenomenon, but a rumoured type of Aotrs covert operation. Lending some credence to the theory is that the –S configuration appears no externally different to observation than the regular Blackhole, so in truth, the regular Blackhole may simply be a derivative of the stealth version.

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