Liner - is a common therm, used to describe wooden ships-of-the-line in Destroyermen's World. Armed with a large broadside batteries of smoothbore cannons, placed on the multiple gun decks, liners were the backbone of both Imperial and Dominion navies for more than a century. Older Imperial liners and a large number of Dom's liners are sail-powered; more modern have both sail rig and paddle-wheeled steam propulsion, with a thick wooden boxes around wheels to protect from enemy fire.
With the advent of more modern weaponry - rifled cannons, explosive shells and naval aviation - wooden liners are considered outdated, and probably no longer built.
Imperial liners Edit
The New Britain Navy has a large number of steam liners in comission by mid-1940s. Their designs are generally comparable with early-XIX century second/third rate sail ship-of-the-lines, with the exception of paddle wheels for propulsion. The average Imperial liner have a displacement about 1900-2200 tons and capable of 8-10 knots. In actions, they serve as a main battleline, capable of withstanding and dealing more damage, than less powerfull frigates. Liners in Imperial Navy are often used as a flagships.
All comissioned Imperial liners in mid-1940s were steam-powered, with paddle wheels for propulsion. Thick wooden boxes were used to protect paddle wheels in combat. They still have auxilary sail propulsion to save coal during long voyages.
The Imperial liners were usually armed with 50-80 smoothbore cannons of 30-pdr, 20-pdr, 10-pdr and 8-pdr (the latter were non-standard). They have a number of marines on board, to fight boarding actions.
Dominion liners Edit
The Holy Dominion Navy commissioned a large number of liners, relatively larger (around 3400-3800 tons) and more powerful (in therms of firepower) than Imperial counterparts. On the other hands, the Dominion's naval design are outdated even by the therms of sailing navy; the Dominion liners have a large forecastle and after-castle, and looks more like XVI-XVII century galleons, than "real" ships-of-the-line. Due to those details, they are less stable and more vulnerable than Imperial liners.
The large percentage of Dom's liners are still sail-powered. The Dom's Pacific Fleet were composed almost entirely of sail warships (with some steam transports and tugs), but the Atlantic Fleet had a large number of paddle-wheeled steam liners.
Dom's liners are usually armed with large number (60-90) of 24-pdr, 16-pdr and 9-pdr smooth bore cannons, and carried a lot of troops for boarding actions.
New United States liners Edit
The New United States navy also have a twin-deck warships, that could be classified as liners. Hovewer, the NUSN liners are much more advanced than their Imperial or Dom counterparts, being screw-propelled and armed with a rifled guns firing explosive shells (the rifles may be the latest addition).
There were no direct our world analogues to the Destroyermen's liners. The screw propulsion was invented before anyone actually tried to put paddle-wheel propulsion on the ship-of-the-line. The general reason was the vulnerability of paddle wheels to the explosive shells (invented in 1830s), which could quickly disable paddle-wheeled warship in combat. Several large (1800-3189 ton) paddle-steam frigates were actually commissioned in 1840s, but they carried only a 20-24 guns, albeit much heavier (56-pdr and 68-pdr shell guns).
Howewer, in Destroyermen's world, neither Empire nor Dominion have any shell-firing guns, and thus the destruction ability of their artillery are very limited. The paddle wheels, protected by thick paddle-boxes, are relatively invulnerable to solid shots, unless the axis were hit (which is unlikely, considering the poor accuracy of naval smooth bore artillery).
The paddle-wheels also much easier to install on steamship than the screw: because of the high-placed axis of the wheels (in comparison to the screw propeller), there is much more space beneath of the axis to place steam engines. This is important for the era of early - and relatively bulky - steam engines, and small ships. Also, the high-placed axis of the wheels allow to place pistons and levers vertically underneath axis, and use ship's height without affecting the stability. While with the screw propeller you are forced to either:
- Place the vertical engine above the axis, which would move the center of gravity upward and so would badly affect ship stability
- Place the engine horizontally, which would severely limit the size of engine inside the relatively narrow hulls of the wooden ships
Only in mid-XIX century, the steam engines became compact enough to make screw propelled ships more effective. Neither the Empire nor the Dominion had such level of technology prior to the contact with Destroyermen.