Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ultimate Star Trek: Starships and a Word on NCCs


Funnily enough, as I write this I am watching Empire of Dreams.  Heh.

So the uniforms are in the bag, for the most part, so next up is the other most important part of Star Trek that is always very personal.  Yes'sir it's time to talk about starships.  Specifically the ships of Starfleet.

Now instead of getting into a big intro about what Star Trek ships are and whatnot, I am going to launch right into it by saying;


Isn't she beautiful?

That's the deal for me, the movie gen of starships is what I think of when I think of Star Trek.

See that blue thing at the front?  It is NOT a "Navigational Deflector" it is a "Sensor Dish", which is why the Enterprise is such a good science vessel.  Think about it, the Reliant doesn't have one and is unable to detect human lifeforms on Ceti-Alpha V.  I bet the Enterprise would have found them right quick... but I digress.

Now which is my favourite Starfleet ship?


Yarp!  The Reliant is my baby.  In fact the USS Athena (NCC 26282) was the first ship I ever commanded in a Star Trek campaign and she will always hold a special place in my heart.

Now the other thing I love about the movie era of ships is that between FASA Trek, modellers and fan artists, there is literally hundreds and hundreds of designs to draw on allowing for a diverse and exciting Starfleet!

Here are some of my favorites;



There you have it...  Oh right... I promised you a word on NCCs.

First up it is the name that matters, not the number.  So no 1701A or any of that nonsense in Ultimate Star Trek.

Second is that NCC, in Ultimate Star Trek stands for Naval Construction Code, indicating this is the number assigned to the ship on the day she leaves drydock.  More on why I choose deployment later.


Much like Stardates, nothing generates for fan discussion than the purpose and sequencing of NCCs. FASA took the ideal that each Starship class had a similar numbering scheme (IE; all cruisers are 1000 - 1999), but that doesn’t hold up due to on screen evidence that showed us Connies with NCCs as low as the USS Eagle’s NCC-956 and as high as the USS Intrepid’s NCC-1831. Too be fair though, FASA did list the Eagle as 1738, the later one comes from a chart in Star Trek VI.

At first I figured since this was Ultimate Star Trek I could just retconn the whole thing and make it work. But then I started wondering why the USS Excelsior would be NX-2000 and other ships could be later 2100 and 2200. Confusing just a tad and required heavy handed reasons. Not making me happy it was.

So I decided to use the linear timeline of NCCs. Using the Daedelus in 2162 as NCC-001 and the Excelsior or NX-2000 in 2249 as the guide. I get 87 years of time, leading to 23 ships a year if production is constant, giving us 2000 ships commissioned in that time frame. Obviously it would be inconsistent, less ships to start, more during war time or other expansions, etc…

My other first choice was to decide that the first batch of Connies, 14 in all, would have sequential hull numbers as they were ordered up in a batch.

So with a rough guideline I add in this variable; the USS Constitution (NCC-1700) is commissioned in 2225, a difference of 63 years since the Daedelus. That averages out to about 27 ships a year, leaving 300 more to be commissioned by 2249. With 300 more ships to be commissioned in the next 24 years (taking us to 224) that gives us about 13 ships year.

If we take 23 ships a year from 2162 to say 2200 we will be at NCC-874. That means to jump the next 826 ships by 2225 we need to see production increase to 33 ships a year. Again these are not absolute numbers, just guidelines. We have wars in this period that would require more ships built in those years, and less in the non-war years.

Still given this basic numbering we can, through a little math, figure out roughly when a ship would be deployed. A ship with the NCC-1821 would be commissioned roughly in 2235, since we know from the timeline that the USS Miranda (NCC-1800) entered service in 2234. Again this is not exact science, but certainly something that can be used as a guideline. So the question becomes do we go by commission or deployment? Those deployments might go faster during wartime and slower during peacetime. So from this point on, we will use deployment as it is an easier and more solid point of reference. A ship might be commissioned up to 5 years before being constructed and that would throw a monkey wrench into the whole works. The notable exception is the Excelsior, since she was hailed as “The Great Experiment”, I measure her NCC from commission.

So in conclusion, while not an exact science, it does give a basic idea and as they say “Is close enough for government work.”.

As a side note I should mention that the term NX has only been used 5 times on screen (USS Enterprise NX-01, USS Dauntless NX-01-A, USS Excelsior NX-2000, USS Defiant NX-74205, USS Prometheus NX-59650). 4 of those times are not canon for Ultimate Star Trek, but the 5th (and the original) is very much so. NX-2000 was meant to show a great experiment  Therefore I agree with certain camps that suggest like the rank of Fleet Captain, NX designations are rare and very very special. Ships that break new ground and change the norm deserve this, not simply the first ship in the line.

Of course your mileage may vary, but that is why I made Ultimate Star Trek, to have a playground for my ideas.

Below is the table I use to track ships from the first right up to campaign start.  You will find an easter egg or two within as well.

Year
# of Ships
NCC Range
Notable Ships
2162
5
001–005
USS Daedelus NCC-001
2163
10
006–015
USS Horizon NCC-008; USS Essex NCC-013
2164
15
016–030
USS Archon NCC-020
2165
20
031–050
2166
25
051–075
2167
23
076–098
2168
22
099–120
2169
20
121–140
2170
30
141–170
USS Demarko NCC-169
2171
27
171–197
2172
22
198–219
2173
21
220–240
USS Anisantae NCC-222
2174
28
241–268
2175
33
269–301
2176
25
302–326
2177
33
327–359
2178
31
360–390
2179
21
391–411
2180
21
412–432
2181
21
433–453
2182
21
 454–474
USS Albert & Walter NCC-461
2183
21
 475–495
2184
24
 496–519
2185
23
 520–542
2186
24
 543–566
2187
25
 567–591
2188
24
 592–615
2189
24
 616–639
2190
20
 640–659
2191
24
 660–683
2192
28
 684–711
2193
24
 712–735
2194
25
 736–760
2195
23
 761–783
2196
23
 784–806
2197
23
 807–829
2198
23
 830–852
2199
22
 853–873
2200
23
 874–896
USS Atlas NCC-874
2201
24
 897–920
2202
30
 921–950
2203
34
 951–984
2204
34
 985–1018
2205
35
1019–1053
2206
30
1054–1083
2207
25
1084–1108
2208
30
1109-1138
2209
25
1139–1163
2210
20
1164–1183
USS Arrow NCC-1171
2211
35
1184–1218
2212
40
1219–1258
2213
60
1259–1318
USS Valiant NCC-1300
2214
50
1319–1368
2215
60
1369–1428
USS Kelly NCC-1402
2216
23
1429–1451
2217
25
1452–1476
2218
22
1477–1498
2219
22
1499–1520
2220
45
1521–1565
2221
45
1566–1610
2222
22
1611–1632
2223
22
1633–1654
2224
23
1655–1677
2225
29
1678–1706
USS Constitution NCC-1700; USS Enterprise NCC-1701; USS Republic NCC-1702; USS Hood NCC-1703; USS Bismarck NCC-1704; USS Yamato NCC-1705; USS Farragut NCC-1706
2226
20
1707–1726
USS Constellation NCC-1707; USS Excalibur NCC-1708; USS Lexington NCC-1709; USS Eagle NCC-1710; USS Exeter NCC-1711; USS Yorktown NCC-1712; USS Defiant NCC-1713; USS Ticonderoga NCC-1717
2227
10
1727–1736
2228
11
1737–1747
2229
7
1748–1754
2230
10
1755–1764
2231
7
1765–1771
2232
7
1772–1778
2233
11
1779–1789
2234
14
1790–1803
USS Miranda NCC-1800
2235
14
1804–1827
2236
12
1828–1839
2237
14
1840–1853
USS Reliant NCC-1846
2238
10
1854–1863
2239
15
1864–1878
2240
15
1879–1892
2241
13
1893–1905
2242
20
1906–1925
USS Rodger Young NCC-1918
2243
10
1926–1935
2244
15
1936–1950
USS Grissom NCC-1940
2245
15
1951–1965
2246
14
1966–1979
2247
10
1980–1989
USS Constellation NCC-1974; USS Stargazer NCC-1987
2248
8
1990–1997
2249
8
1998–2005
USS Excelsior NX-2000
2250
11
2006–2016
2251
13
2017–2029
USS Bannockburn NCC-2028
2252
13
2030–2042
2253
18
2043–2060
USS Enterprise (formerly Ticonderoga) NCC-1717
2254
22
2061–2082
2255
25
2083–2097
2256
30
2098–2127
USS Voyager NCC-2117; USS Proxima NCC-2123
2257
45
2128–2172
2258
20
2173–2192
 USS Farscape NCC-2181
2259
15
2193–2207
2260
16
2208–2223
USS Enterprise (formerly Proxima) NCC-2123

More to come...

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