(a.k.a. “The Fierce Falconets”)
I decided to use the organization statistics rules in GURPS Boardroom and Curia to be sure I understand the capabilities of the organization commanded by Fleet Captain Sem (the villain). I wanted to really flesh out the adversaries the PCs will face in the first part of the Deeps of Lyrae campaign. Here are the worked-out details for the fleet. They should also work for any sector fleet in a quiet sector of any Traveller-inspired seetting.
The “Fierce Falconets”
The 261st is based at Freedom’s Reach Naval Station. Its permanent objectives are to keep the peace, uphold Imperial law, protect commerce and free trade, and render assistance to those in distress. Its ships are most commonly assigned to patrol and training (including war games). Occasionally there are other missions, such as search and rescue, customs interdiction, diplomatic escort, or acting as a courier.
Wealth: Very Wealthy
Contacts: Starship Operations Skills-12 , Beam Weapons (Pistol)-12 , Savoir-Faire (Military)-12 , Soldier-12 , First Aid-12 , Brawling-12 .
Attributed: Legal enforcement powers  (space and spaceports only), Legal Immunity (against local law-enforcement only) .
Startup Cost: $250,776 [modifier +29%]
Equipment: Ships $48.4B Base/Other: $2B = $50.4B
Resource Value: $2.5B
Patron Value: 30 points (due to the plot of my campaign it would NOT make sense to have this organization as a Patron for the players, but you might use it that way!)
Enemy Value: -40 points
Ally Value: 75-point Space Marines, 75-point Naval Officers, or 100+ point sector leadership
Dependent Value: 50-point Enlisted Crew, Technicians, or Civilian Stewards and Clerks
Type: military, aid, enforcement, government
CR: 4 (military discipline; considerable control)
Loyalty: Very Good (17)
Rank: Military Rank 0 (Spacer Apprentice) to 7 (Rear Admiral)
Income Range: 0 (average) to 1 (comfortable) – civil service wages
Reaction Time Modifier: +2 (complex)
Capabilities (Table of Organization and Assets)
- Flag Squadron (“The FLAGRON”): 2 Light Cruisers, 3 Destroyers, 1 Tanker (3 x $8.1B, 4 x $900M)
- 12 Destroyers divided into 3 Destroyer Squadrons (DESRONs) (12 x $900M/ea.)
- The Patrol Flotilla: 10 Patrol Cutters usually patrolling independently (10 x $70M/ea.)
- 4 Tankers and a variety of supply and logistics vessels (10 x $900M)
- Cruisers are Sword-equivalent, Destroyers are Tiger-equivalent, Patrol cutters are Vixen-equivalent (see GURPS Spaceships vol. 2).
The cruisers are the largest ships of the squadron, and contain marines, drop ships, land assault vehicles, and a wing of heavy fighter/bombers. Destroyers contain marines and carry a small number of light fighters. At any given time about half of the ships are at base and half are sortied.
The 261st is known as a “good hitch.” They are well-supplied, overstaffed, and get plenty of shore leave and port time. Freedom’s Reach, their HQ, is a desirable location. Although personnel here acquire no combat experience, they are effectively trained and equipped with ships that are only a little worse than an equivalent fleet defending a “hot” sector or a hostile border.
The “Fierce Falconets” are a little sensitive about their animal designation, which is depicted as a small, cute bird and appears on their ships and their uniform’s shoulder patch (it’s a black-thighed falconet). They like to say “it’s a bird of prey” and do not mention that it is one of the smallest.
It is very relevant to the early adventures in the Deeps of Lyrae campaign that the fleet maintains the normal complement of specialists for a force of this size. These specialists will be key for Captain Sem to monitor and attempt to control the party. (see the plot). He can deploy special operations marines (slang: “seals”) who are adept at unarmed combat, camouflage and stealth, supported by stealthy in-system boats, small landers, and other vehicles. There is also a naval intelligence detachment (“spooks”) that can operate surveillance drones and sensors; cyber warfare teams (“cyberops”) that can hack computers and intercept communications; medical personnel familiar with psychological warfare (“psyops”), interrogation, and mind control; engineers (“seabees”) who can modify buildings and ships to hide items and create or defuse traps; and diplomatic attaches (“suits”) that can mobilize the bureaucracies of friendly governments.
For the GM to realistically roleplay the Falconets as adversaries for the party the fleet should not seem omnipotent. The 261st has some weaknesses: Sem is a smart, mean guy—even an evil one—but he is hatching an audacious plot for the first time. He’s not a well-practiced criminal mastermind. His men are professional, but they are used to soft duty and have likely never seen action. Sem must act through others, and his troops don’t know the overall plan (and they can’t be told about it because they probably wouldn’t want anything to do with it). Since this is the first time Sem has tried anything like this, he has no troops that are used to some of these strange duties, or adept at them. When Sem is not personally in-system himself commanding things, it will take at least two weeks (a round-trip jump with a fast ship) for his subordinates to obtain new orders.
Military personnel of the 261st should not perform well if pushed too far beyond the duties of a navy in a quiet subsector. They should be neither bumblers nor superspies, but somewhere in between. While they have an intelligence detachment, they aren’t really spies — they are a military organization. Intercepting communications from orbit is “on mission” for naval intelligence, but ask a navy spook from the 261st to follow someone on a city street of an unfamiliar and it might be a task she’s ever considered before.
If Sem ordered his regular crew to quickly forge some identity documents and come up with a cover story for a double agent, the crew wouldn’t know how to do so and they wouldn’t have the right equipment. Impeccable night camouflage is no problem for Sem’s marines, but impersonating an old friend of the PCs while wearing a fake nose? Unlikely!