Fluff Piece: Dindrenzi Naval Ranks

Hi all,

As anyone who’s been here before will know, my gaming group and I love creating fluff and detailing the adventures of our admirals and fleets. In the process of doing this I got to thinking about the naval ranks for my own fleet of choice; the Dindrenzi.

Now, we know from the System Wars booklet and Zenian League Guide that there is a rank of Fleet Marshall with sub-divisions of Gamma, Beta and Alpha; correlating to Rear-, Vice- and full Admiral status accordingly. From the System Wars booklet we also know that Fleet Marshall Gamma Bilitas is senior enough to a) train other Fleet Marshalls and b) to not necessarily be present in a fleet. Now, assuming that the rank structure for the DNS works similarly to an existing naval command structure I would suggest the following as a rough guideline for the commissioned ranking system, ranks in italics are ones I have created/altered for the setting:

  • First Naval Commander – Highest ranked member of the DNS and in overall control of all Fleet assets and strategy
  • Naval Commanders Hammer, Glaive and Tempest – Each of these three positions would be in senior command of their respective zone of space with Tempest being the “senior” of the three due to the greater weight attached to that command.
  • Arch-Fleet Marshall – According to the Zenian League Guide (ZLG) this rank sits next on the known tree, taking charge of specific Operational Warzones within the three major locations. Considering the implied seniority of this role I would expect there to be no more than a handful of these, each in operational command of a vast swathe of space.
  • Fleet Marshall Alpha – Seeing as the ZLG gives us some indication of the scale of the fleets I would imagine that they would map closely to these ranks with Alphas having control of one or more Alpha Grade Battle Groups within an Operational Warzone controlled by an Arch-Fleet Marshall. I would perceive this to consist of multiple “Grand Fleets” in game terms with each Grand Fleet representing a standard Battle Group. These individuals are likely to be the highest ranked naval officer ever found in actual combat and even then likely only from the decks of a Leviathan or a purpose built fixed space station.
  • Fleet Marshal Beta – This is the rank I’m struggling most with as Bilitas is the rank below and he is senior enough to have commanders under him and not have to necessarily take to the field to impact a battle. I would imagine based on my assumptions for the Alpha grade and what we know of Bilitas that a FMB would likely have a handful of Gamma rated Marshalls beneath them and perhaps command a Battle Group of several large fleets including specialist elements such as the PND.
  • Fleet Marshal Gamma – This rank we can infer a reasonable amount from the fluff entry for Bilitas as well as the historical definition of the Rear Admiral rank (the Admiral who commands the rear-most, and therefore least in danger, elements of a fleet). We can see from the fluff text that in the Firestorm setting an FMG would normally give up field command as Bilitas has steadfastly refused to do so, inferring that the offer has been made, likely repeatedly! He has the power to requisition fleet elements and it references multiple commanders under him so we can assume that he would at least be able to call upon a number of “Battle Fleets” but more likely given that he hands out Tier 1 assault carriers like sweets on Halloween that he has a couple of Grand Fleet level Strike Groups under his command. It would also seem that this rank would hold offices in the speciality areas of the PND and similar, with the rise to Beta level offering a more strategic position than operational.
  • Fleet Commander – I’m now working purely on inference and existing naval rank structures here. Traditionally, for the Royal Navy at least, this rank would be that of Commodore but I feel that the term seems a bit too old world for the Dindrenzi, having thrown off the ageing decrepitude of the Terran Alliance they would likely have settled on a simpler title and that of Commander seemed to fit the bill. These are the operational “Admirals” that we represent on our Flagships in game, the ones who represent us in games of Patrol Fleet to Grand Fleet level. (Yes, I know that for the Royal Navy Captain outranks Commander but this is a Sci-Fi game we’re playing here and I prefer it to Commodore)
  • Captain – The member of the DNS who commands a single capital ship, fairly self explanatory.
  • Commandant – Rank below captain, can either be found in senior bridge crew or commanding his own smaller ship such as a Frigate or Corvette.
  • Lieutenant-Commandant – Occasionally found in command of small ships though less frequently than that of Commandants.
  • Lieutenant – Most commonly found as senior bridge crew or department heads such as the Security detail in overall command of both the boarders and anti-boarding teams. In exceptional cases may be in command of smaller ships though this is by far the minority of cases.
  • Sub-Lieutenant – Generally either leading teams of people on board a ship such as the Boarding team or a repair detail or in a position under training with a Lieutenant. This is also the first rank out of the Dindrenzi Naval Academy for a newly commissioned officer.
  • Ensign – A more honorary position on board the ship than functional, this junior officer is most often found as both the adjutant to the Captain of a ship as well as trooping the ships colours on parade.

What are your thoughts on the above? Does that work with what we know about the Navy? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time.

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