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Rod Reiss is the name of my fictional aircraft carrier. It's a 1.2 km long, 180 meters wide and 90 meters high slab of metalic foam of an alloy of aluminum, designed to withstand high temperatures. It's fueled by two nuclear reactors and has several propellers along the sides.

Rod Reiss is unsinkable. Anything, short of a nuclear strike, will be just eaten up by this monster. The price of this is that this ship is extremely slow and even worse when when turning.

Warfare on land is not possible in this setting, unless you want to give the White Walters (slighly smarter zombies) free material for their own army (they can turn corpses into dumb zombies with an insanely fast healing factor). Thus, the sea became the no.1 field of war.

There are currently two countries at war and a guy, called God, doesn't like that. God is actually not a god, just genius with lots of time, resources and an unhealthy obsession with japanese cartoons.

God doesn't want to kill, he wants to turn the ships into paper and use it to print anti-war flyers. As for the crew, they'd be escorted back to home, neatly tied up.

Anyway, God built Rod Reiss as a way to end all wars forever. Its purpose is to seek out and abduct entire fleets. Good thing is that these ships have roughly the same specs as Queen Anne's Revenge after BB pimped it out. However, Rod Reiss, at maximum speed, is still slower than these ships.

God blew all his budget on the ship and drone planes, leaving him with absolutely nothing to catch the fleets with.

The drones are your standard reaper drones, he didn't even have time to swap out the armament.

How could Rod Reiss still capture ships with these tools while minimizing the chance of accidental deaths?

Capture means physically closing in on a ship, boarding it, incapacitating the crew (that's the easy part, because powered armor and kung fu). Rod Reiss has an aparatus for lifting out and grinding down ships into a wooden pulp, so that's not the problem.

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    $\begingroup$ Gotta be honest, I kinda feel like you're trolling us with these questions =P $\endgroup$ – Morris The Cat Dec 6 '19 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ @MorrisTheCat Yes and no. The prevalence of AoT references is because I love it. However, Rod Reiss and its woefully underprepared crew of two going around the globe and stopping war was the premise of one of my stories and I don't actually know how that'd be managable. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Dec 6 '19 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry crew of two? Even if they did catch up with another ship two people are not going to manage to incapacitate and tie up an entire ship's worth of crew $\endgroup$ – BKlassen Dec 6 '19 at 22:42
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    $\begingroup$ Actual (science based) aircraft carriers are one ship of a battlefleet, and do not travel alone. They allow a projection of force, (the guns on the other ships) by providing air superiority to defend the fleet, and to provide intelligence assets. They are not a force in and of themselves. Your supergenius bought himself a very expensive, very maintenance-intensive drone carrier that, without the rest of the fleet that goes with it, would be put to best use by laying dirt and planting grass on the flight deck, so that it can be converted to a golf course. $\endgroup$ – Ghedipunk Dec 6 '19 at 23:16
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    $\begingroup$ The question is not clear to anyone who is not familiar with the references, please edit to clarify what you are referring to. You needn't link to the genre, but more specifically you should include an adequate description of all the specifics. Voting to close as unclear until it is. $\endgroup$ – A Rogue Ant. Dec 7 '19 at 0:06
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By not being dependent on wind

Since you don't specify, let's put some numbers to your question.

  1. The slowest container ships today travel at around 12 knots (though they can go faster, they don't due to fuel economy). Let's say that your ship can go at least that fast.
  2. The top speed of a fast moving passenger sailing ship is around 22 knots. However, this was far from their average speed. Due to variable weather conditions, most ships actually only ever averaged about 5-8 knots.

All the carrier has to do is hunt when it's not very windy and it'll still be the fastest thing on the water. Alternatively if it can just spend several days hunting something down, it'll eventually catch up.

Also, the carrier should have much more advanced detection methods, planes, radar, etc. so it can stalk an unsuspecting ship from outside visual range, wait for the wind to die down and then close in while the ship is slow.

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This depends on your definition of "catch"

Ah a classic useless genius, has a great idea but no common sense.

  1. The carrier definition

You've equipped the carrier with reaper drones, range 1850km. Once you're within 600km of the target it can reasonably be considered caught. Being on the same side of England is good enough. They've been caught and they never even knew where you were.

  1. Queen Anne's Revenge definition

No chance. You need to be within a few hundred metres. All they need to do is sail up a river with a bend in it and you're out of the game. With the best will in the world a ship on that scale is staying out of coastal waters and isn't going anywhere near a tidal estuary. You're suffering the same problem as many of the great navies when dealing with pirates. Ships of the line were too big to sail into the shallow waters the much smaller pirate vessels used as safe havens for raiding.

In practice:

Given that you're requesting physical capture of the vessel, you've a requirement closer even than option 2 and you've gone about it in completely the wrong manner. You need to be in the smaller faster vessel to pull off your plans.

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The same way Blackbeard himself was so successful:

Demonstrate that while you don’t want to kill anyone you absolutely will if pushed, and will do so with extreme prejudice. Then also demonstrate that if your demands are met (in this case ‘turn your ship around and come straight into my docks’) you are entirely pleasant, businesslike and happy to let people live their lives. Hell, they might even have a better life with you than with their previous employer!

Then you pick a ship, ask it’s captain politely to come and surrender to you. Give the crew some large visual demonstration that their ship has been singled out as prey and make sure that everyone on the sea knows that you will be good to your word that crews that surrender will be sent on their way in series of small but perfectly serviceable drone dinghies with a small fortune in (insert lightweight high value good here) and enough high quality food and fuel to get them back to their families (you can always call the drones back after they deliver their passengers).

Then sit back and watch as crews mutiny and come straight to you rather than risk the utter rain of death that they know will come their way if they don’t do as you say.

Of course, you will have to burn a few ships with their crews still on board in order to gain a sufficient reputation to pull this off, and by the time you’ve got such a reputation you’ll probably have stopped the wars by sheer force of political pressure, but hey, you’re the one with the weaponised mobile island, right?

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  • $\begingroup$ Can I replace burning ships with having the Rod Reiss' captain just board the ship by himself, let them hit him with everything they have, then beat up everyone? $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Dec 8 '19 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles: of course! Bonus points if he also weaves pyrotechnics into his beard! $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Dec 8 '19 at 18:05

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