Since the Nova is the ancestor of the Omega, the two classes have a lot in common. The front end is essentially the same, with a forward-facing hangar. The engine section is also roughly identical, with four engines. The midsection of the ship is similar to the Omega, but the Nova was created before the advent of rotating sections or artificial gravity.
Until it began to be upgraded, this ship, like the Hyperion-class heavy cruiser, had crews that were forced to operate in zero-g. Thus, crews had to be rotated out on a regular basis to avoid the negative effects of zero-g, including bone and muscle degeneration. Also, to operate efficiently, crews had to use handholds when moving from place to place and use straps to remain seated at command consoles.
Hyperions are light warships with moderately powerful guns, but lack the heavy firepower to go after reinforced or simply massive targets. Nova-class ships, on the other hand, are armed for fighting capital ships, but rely exclusively on their fighters for short-range defense. As such, this ship is a dreadnaught, but it doubles as an aircraft carrier, capable of holding 36 Starfuries.
Nova-class ships were originally armed with a total of eighteen medium dual plasma pulse cannons. While the forward set of four guns is fixed in place, the other fourteen can actually swivel between the front and sides - something the later Omega is incapable of.
Upgraded Variant Edit
The original Nova design was phased out of Astragon service in the year 2281, but the ships were not scuttled or used as target practice. Instead, they were upgraded to agree with changing times.
Much like the Ustinov-class (see below), the original Nova got Warlock-style engines, which bestowed artificial gravity. Its fighter capacity was not upgraded, and it did not get a long sensor boom. The front end looked virtually the same as before.
The major change was the weapons system. The eighteen medium dual plasma pulse cannons were swapped out for eighteen heavy dual plasma pulse cannons. Not only were they bigger and more intimidating, but they added so much extra firepower that it could challenge the Omega-class for the dominant design once more. One prototype was made by the EA in the years following the Drakh war, where it completely destroyed an old, unmodified Nova in one volley. However, it overloaded and shut down the weapons system in the process. Since it would be too expensive to redo the whole circuitry system, it was instead used for target practice by a Warlock.
Ckasaron, however, was not cash-strapped. He also had plenty of time to burn preparing for the full-scale assault on Earth and any of its allies. So, he essentially took a whole Nova apart, reworked its circuitry and weapons, and got an improved ship that did not overload its weapons during the firing sequence. Once it was tested multiple times to make sure it did not overload during pitched combat, all original Novas were given this upgrade.
The Nova was created back in the 2220s, as the realization of a need for a dreadnaught/aircraft carrier. To go with this ship was the latest fighter, the Nova-class Starfury. Design-wise, it was not that special, since it is the direct ancestor to the Aurora-class used currently.
These ships were used to provide long-range heavy fire support to the lighter Hyperions, which they attempted to do during the Earth-Minbari War. Unfortunately, neither the light Hyperion or the giant Nova could get a target lock on Minbari warships. However, the Nova's weapons were more than powerful enough to noticeably damage the hull of their warcruisers.
After the abrupt end to the war, the Nova-class continued service, but was gradually phased out of active duty once the Omega-class went into action. Plus, construction of new Novas all but stopped once they made Omegas. Thus, not many were built after the war, and the few that remained were mostly phased out of active duty. The few that remained in dedicated service were relegated to low-priority missions.
Once Ckasaron stole the EAS Lurker, an Omega-class destroyer, as his new flagship, he began deceptive raids on single ships, then went to small engagements. In most of these he was quite successful in stealing the ships, using his telepathy to project false thoughts into the crew's minds. After he stole about 15 ships, he began to dig up information on all the remaining Novas, since he realized the older ships did not have some of the same shortcomings as the newer Omegas.
After tracking then down, he stole them in three seperate battles, and they numbered about 20 in all. He also stole the ships supporting them, totaling 35 more vessels. Unlike the current war situation, Ckasaron decided to not focus on just one class, but use them all to their best possible potential. Novas would jump in from one or both sides of enemy forces once they were throughly engaged, and they would find overwhelming firepower coming out of nowhere from both sides.
Once Ckasaron disappeared from known space, he found the habitable planet Astragon to set up a permanent base. After he made contact with the elder races just beyond the rim, they eventually pledged allegiance to him to teach their younger siblings a lesseon: respect those that came before. Driving them out of your home for your own benefit was anything but respect.
After heavily modifying a Death Cloud into an orbiting shipyard, he suddenly found plenty of free time to modfiy his ships. All zero-g ships were docked at once, and given copies of the newer Warlock-class Destroyer's hybrid gravitaional engines, which bestowed artificial gravity.
Novas were one of several zero-g classes that got this upgrade, including the Hyperion, the Olympus corvette, the Avenger carrier, and a few others. He also transplanted the weapons of Novas onto several Omegas, producing new, more powerful classes of ships. He also modified the original Nova design, making it much more powerful than before, as well as better targeting systems that could lock onto Minbari ships.
The Nova design, like the later Omega, diversified into a few newer designs. The original ship got its weapons modernized and artificial gravity added, while its hangar got slight modifications to allow thunderbolts into their fighter complements.
- Ustinov-class Dreadnaught- Due to many design shortcomings with the Warlock, a stand-in ship was built to fill its role, much like the Omega-based Chelone-class Destroyer. This ship is armed with the Nova's weapons, but it has the lower hull boom extending from the front, below the hangar like the Warlock. New engines greatly improved manuverability, while better circuitry prevented problematic overloads in weapon systems. Better circuitry was also added to the original Nova. Like the modified Nova, it also has artificial gravity.
- Apache-class Escort- This ship takes the same basic shape as the Nova, but it is much smaller. Lighter weapons make it a good support ship of the larger classes.
- Shinano-class Carrier- This ship is longer than the Nova, and it more heavily armed due to its larger size.