Hi all, my first zeppelin design using the new Zeppelins and Bombers rules. I thought I would go with the Sussex Class which suffered fairly badly against the Germans. From the book, the Sussex is a medium zeppelin.
(Oh, should this section now be renamed simply 'Hanger' as it can include a lot of different types of flyer? )
Class: Sussex Class
Type: Medium Military Zeppelin
Gas/Armour rating: 180
Hanger capacity: 18 aircraft
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 1, Port
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 2, Starboard
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 3, Port
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 4, Starboard
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 5, Port
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 6, Starboard
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 7, Port
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 8, Starboard
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 9, Port
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 10, Starboard
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 11, Port
Dual 40 calibre turret, Engine Pod 12, Starboard
2 x 2" Siege Guns (long), Broadside, Port
2 x 2" Siege Guns (long), Broadside, Starboard
Heavy turret, Nose, Forward
Heavy turret, Tail, Aft
Heavy turret, Gondola, Ground
Improved aircraft control system
Construction time: 1.51 years
In the service of: Great Britain
Crew: 102 + pilots
CP used: 142 out of 160
The Sussex Class was designed as a long range patrol and anti-shipping zeppelin able to provide security for Great Britain along the English Channel, the North Sea and coastal regions. Because of this patrol role, the Sussex Class of zeppelin was not designed to go toe-to-toe with other warships, but instead to provide a constant stream of reconnaisance for other vessels of the fleet. However, it was deemed to need defensive weaponary because no enemy is going to just sit back and allow itself to be watched and thus, the engine pods were outfitted with dual 40 calibre machine guns - a potent deterrent against enemy aircraft, heavy turrets were equipped fore and aft and 2" Long siege cannon installed for anti-zeppelin defence. As part of its anti-shipping role, the Sussex has an additional heavy turret installed for use against naval vessels. The weapons load is thus seen as acceptable for a vessel of this kind.
The Sussex is a fairly numerous vessel in service with Great Britain and can be found patrolling coastal areas and shipping lanes, providing support and sometimes assistance when needed. It's fighter complement is usually a mix of aerial dogfighter and ground attack and sometimes the odd seaplane is included. While the Sussex can hold itself against same weight zeppelins, it is a not a solid combat platform - the broadsides are designed to keep the enemy at distance rather than inflict massive damage. It's speed is its best defence but when cornered by a plucky enemy captain, the Sussex will take damage. The most infamous example of this is when the Sussex Class Thunderchild was assaulted in an unprovoked attack by the German Kyritz Class Doppelganger and severely mauled; an incident stil fresh in the minds of many captains and an incident which almost led to Great Britain and Germany going to war.
Partially because of this incident, the Sussex Class has undergone a modernation programme including adding strafing wire (even though to date no Sussex has been boarded) and a better system for getting its aircraft back into service as quickly as possible. This last improvement has been welcomed as aircraft are becoming increasing important in expanding the detection range of the zeppelin. In fact the Sussex class is turning in a aerial light carrier where its air wing do all the main patrol work and the zeppelin is simply the home base. Many Sussex Class ships stay on station for months at end being resupplied as and when by other ships.
The Sussex Class is not considered a distinquished posting but it is considered solid groundwork for later postings and many captains on larger vessels have started out on the Sussex. It is a solid work horse and likely to be in service for many years to come.