- Your BattleTech News Roundup For March, 2021
- MechWarrior 5 Is On Steam & Catalyst Is Having A Sourcebook Sale
- Your BattleTech News Roundup For February, 2021
- Your BattleTech News Roundup For January, 2021
- Community Outreach - The Art Of BattleTech, Renegade HPG, And The Remastered BattleTech Cartoon
- Read more →
- This article is about the specific WarShip class. For the general term, see WarShip_classification#Cruisers.
|Use|| Escort |
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Safe Thrust||2 g|
|Top Thrust||3 g|
|KF Drive Integrity||12|
|Armament|| 48 x NAC/10|
24 x Barracuda
6 x White Sharks
|Armor||750 tons of Standard Armor|
|Crew|| Total Compliment
|Grav Decks||1 x 100m diameter|
|Escape Pods/Life Boats||150/0|
Manufactured during the same era as contemporaries such as the Aegis-class heavy cruiser, Black Lion I-class battlecruiser and Dreadnought-class battleship, the Cruiser was an early WarShip constructed by the Terran Hegemony. The origins of the Cruiser lay a century earlier though, during the reign of the Terran Alliance and the fears the Alliance had that its rule would be challenged by separatist colonies.
Legends amongst those who crewed the Cruiser when it was introduced to service argued that the Cruiser had been named by a committee led by Captain Hobb V. Ess; whatever the Cruiser's original provenance, Director-General James McKenna decided that the designs created by the Alliance would be suitable for his goal of bringing now-independent worlds back into the Terran fold.
From their introduction in 2325 through until 2405 the Cruiser-class of WarShips went on to play a prominent part in McKenna's campaigns of persuasion; the first overt sign a world would have of the Hegemony intent to conquer was often the arrival of a pair of large WarShips, most commonly Cruisers, one at each primary jump point, accompanied by several JumpShips transporting AeroSpace Fighters; often, McKenna would lead the initial operation to clear the jump points aboard his flagship Black Lion I. Acting on information gathered in the months prior to the invasion, the two fleets secured each jump point before confirming that it was safe for the ground forces to arrive in a second wave of JumpShips.
The Cruiser ultimately had a relatively short career in service to the Hegemony; its obsolescence and mothballing as class was down to design limitations and operational deficiencies, faults that began with the original concept for the class. The original designers had no practical experience of space combat, and a number of the design principles were outdated before the first Cruiser entered service. The design of the Cruiser called for all of the internal cargo bays and bays for DropShuttles and small craft to be mounted in the nose, so that they could serve as sacrificial areas - based on the assumption that the nose of the WarShip would be kept towards the enemy. The various small ships exited their bays through bow and flank doors, a system that worked well enough, but the center of mass of the Cruiser shifted dramatically as each WarShip ranged between full and empty bays, often resulting in a pivot point for the Cruiser that could shift unpredictably.
Also limited was the armament aboard each Cruiser; the original designers had intended for the various capital missiles to mount nuclear warheads, but McKenna restricted the ships to conventional warheads, severely curtailing their offensive armament. While the weapons load was sufficient for facing contemporary WarShips and the armed merchantmen that were the limits of most contemporary navies, the various design problems combined with its unappealing appearance - a Cruiser being a squat, compact cylinder with flat bows and stern, leading to unflattering comparisons with kegs and cans - left it with few fans amongst both crews and admirals.
Despite the Terran Hegemony abandoning the class in the early twenty-fifth century, some Cruisers gained a new lease of life through being sold to the Great Houses; the Draconis Combine was still operating a pair of Cruisers as late as 2765.
For offensive purposes the Cruiser mounted multiple bays of naval autocannon and capital missile launchers. Each arc of the ship mounted six NAC/10s with sixty rounds of ammunition; each broadside mounted two bays of three Barracuda launchers each, as did the nose and aft. The front left and right arcs mounted two bays each of three White Shark launchers; every missile bay could draw on thirty missiles.
- Bay 1: Small Craft (6) - 2 Doors
- Bay 2: DropShuttle Bay (10,000-ton capacity) - 2 Doors
- Bay 3: 94,536 tons of Cargo - 2 Doors
The Cruiser originally first appeared in FASA's 1988 sourcebook for the Star League. When it first appeared, the class noted as being part of Directer-General McKenna's earlier efforts in his Campaigns of Persuasion, which occurred beginning in 2316. However, when ship was finally given stats in the online-PDF Field Report 2765: Draconis Combine, the publication would note the design was first launched nine years after McKenna's campaign began and had primitive technologies. 
The intent of this, according to the Cruiser's author, was to reflect the Hegemony's expanding fleet strength in the early 2300s. At the end of the Terran Alliance in 2314, the TAS Dreadnought had gained "6 sister ships and 20 escorts" . From the start of the Campaigns of Persuasion in 2316 to the Syrma Ambush of 2333, the HAF fleet had expanded to "over 300 WarShips." The original Terran Alliance Dreadnought-class was joined by a diversifying cast of WarShip classes under the Hegemony. Like other early 2300s ships (e.g., the 2300s-era Aegis and Lola I in TR:3057R, and Dreadnought in Historicals: Reunification War), the Cruiser was a primitive WarShip.
The 2325 introduction date was selected because the Star League sourcebook did not give an introduction date for the Cruisers, just that they were often the vanguard for Campaigns of Persuasion system assaults, and 2325 gave McKenna nine years to solidify his hold on power, prove the success of the Campaigns, and justify new WarShip designs like the Cruiser.
- Field Report 2765: Draconis Combine, p. 19-20, "Cruiser (Cruiser)"
- MUL online date for the Cruiser
- The Star League, p. 16, "Terra's Errant Flock"
- Official Errata Thread
- Touring the Stars: Valencia, p. 13
- The Star League, p. 16 TERRA'S ERRANT FLOCK - 2316 marks the beginning of Campaigns of Persuasion, the Cruiser-class is noted being part of its earlier years verses modern status.
- JHS:Terra, p. 146