26 February 2013

FWS Topics: HALO 4 SPARTAN OPS Season One

On Monday, February 18th, the bold experiment in Military Sci-Fi and video games came to close, with the last episode of HALO 4's SPARTAN OPS dropping. While DLC and expansion packs are nothing new to the world of video games, SPARTAN OPS was much different. Season One was offered for free, as long as you had Gold-level Xbox Live, and bought HALO 4, and it was just not a taste, but the full meal...ten episodes consisting of five chapters per episodes, along with a cut-screen episode introduction. This allowed players to experience events six months after HALO 4, and to keep playing a story-driven HALO game active in the community of gaming, even after beating the campaign. For those that were expecting the blogpost on Space Piracy, I must confuses that the research and the writing is going slow. I hope to devote some time to the Space Piracy blogpost this weekend and get it out.

SPARTAN OPS...the Bold Experiment in Gaming
Some websites maintain that SPARTAN OPS is nothing more than a rip-off of Call of Duty's Special Ops game mode. It is my opinion that 343 Industries did indeed mimic the Special Ops missions from Modern Warfare 2, by including extra content for solo or coop play that was separate from the campaign and multiplayer experiences. Also, 343i was attempting to plant their flag into, rather than same old Firefight mode we've had since HALO 3: ODST. 343i had to set themselves apart from the godlike work done by Bungie on the HALO series, and I believe, that SPARTAN OPS was that answer. But, SPARTAN OPS was much than just a few mission or a static replacement for Firefight. SPARTAN OPS was more like HALO 4.5. For those of us that are oddballs and want a complex story-driven campaign, HALO games are one of the only shooters, and SPARTAN OPS extended that campaign...for free. The setup for these DLC were different, they were scheduled, much like a TV show, and were much more than just a map pack.

My Impressions of SPARTAN OPS
I was original excited about the prospect of continued content after the game dropped, and waging a war on this new Forerunner shield-world against a faction of the Covenant with no frakking Flood! After beating the campaign, I sat down with SPARTAN OPS and...was unimpressed. While it was more HALO and it used the jaw-dropping HALO 4 engine, there was a disconnect between the storyline of the 2nd Battle of Requiem being presented in the cut-scenes and the missions that Fireteam Crimson. From Episode One to Five, this plagued SPARTAN OPS from achieving the normal high standard level that most HALO products, and negative reviews followed.
After the Xmas break, 343 Industries (finally) integrated the cut-scenes storyline and the missions allowing for the full usage of this experiment. I actually put down MW3 and BO2, for the fresh SPARTAN OPS missions.
After all is said and done, I do believe that SPARTAN OPS was a great way for 343i to keep HALO 4 in the spotlight after its drop, because November is a brutal month for video games. Most shooter fans and Xbox 360 users would have bought HALO 4, played the teabags off of it, beating the campaign, and waging war on multiplayer. Then one Black Ops: II dropped later that month, we shooters, would have drift over to that COD game, while only the diehards and COD haters continued onward with HALO 4. Unfortunately, for HALO fans (like me) and 343i, the multiplayer is much more flat than the COD experience, there is little or no weapon customization, but SPARTAN OPS being story driven allows HALO to shine were it is superior to the COD games, in story telling.

The Story of SPARTAN OPS=MSF Greatness?
Since 2001, HALO has been one of the most visual and vital MSF properties, that has populated from video games to books, to live-action  videos, and even badass toys (yes...I have a few!). Most of the HALO stories have surrounded the Master Chief, but much like Reach, ODST, and Wars, SPARTAN OPS shows us some different, but still badass. After a recent trip to Barnes & Noble, it seems lately that there is a lack of balls in MSF works. But, when I watched the cut-scenes for the UNSC Infinity storyline, and was engaged in the mission during the 2nd Battle of Requiem, I thought to myself that this game has balls!
The cut-scenes are brutal, detail the horror of the war against the aliens and the valor of the SPARTAN-IVs. There is some solid writing here, with all of the elements of why we love HALO fully on display and Also, seeing how a space-based special operations units would operate on planet-wide scale holding operations was very cool and well-done. I only wish that more MSF works would be filled with has much enjoyment and iron as SPARTAN OPS...and cute SPARTAN-IV female soldiers!

SPARTAN OPS...will there be a Season Two?
There is no official word yet from 343 Industries on the fate of a second installment of SPARTAN OPS. From what I read online, there had to be a 70% threshold for positive reviews, and the episodes being played for 343i business development team. If there is to be another season, it will no longer be free. Rumors are putting the price at around $20 for another season of SPARTAN OPS. Other rumors say that it has run its course, because 343i doesn't want SPARTAN OPS to run-over the storyline for HALO 5, and for the series not to become HALO 4.5. Personally, I hope so. It is also great to have more HALO, and I enjoyed the storyline behind SPARTAN OPS, allowing for the games to have some time away from John-117. Also, adding to my desire for another season, was because I very much enjoyed the character (and staring at) SPARTAN IV Commander Sarah Palmer.

22 February 2013


Set some thirty years after the events of the KILLZONE games, the one minute long trailer shows us a different world from the ones were are used to in the KILLZONE universe. It opens on a massive future city on the colonial world of Vektan, and it appears to be under attack from the hidden Helghast forces that have waiting to wage a campaign of terrorism. I've always been a big fan of the KILLZONE series and it's MSF universe, and this game could be a nice restart for the series that has been laboring under the invasion of Helghan for two game now. As always, KILLZONE: SHADOW FALL will be a PS4-only title. 

Since HALO: Reach in 2010, Bungie has been quiet...too quiet, while 343 Industries took of the HALO universe. It seems that Bungie is attempt to re-define the world of shooters again with the multi-platform shooter title DESTINY. This will contain elements of coop playing, MMO, and continually updating environment via Bungie, causing the game to evolve. The setting is in the deep future were mankind has spread out to the stars, but an event causes most humanity to be wiped out, only Terra is saved by 'the traveler', and this Traveler has empowered the guardians of humanity with great abilities. In the aftermath, the former human colonies are being occupied by an alien force. It is the job of the player of the game to secure the future of humanity by wiping out the threat posed by this alien force. The game could be ready in late 2013, for the current crop of consoles, but some believe that DESTINY will be one of the launch title for the PS4 and Xbox 720.

20 February 2013

FWS News Feed: New Ender's Game Image!

Here we are, the first image of the chow-hall for the training asteroid-based battle-school, along with their uniforms, the Salamander's patch, and the e-board displaying the day's results. This image has got me excited about maybe this movie being a great military science fiction flick that could raise the profile of the genre. At this moment, Ender's Game could be good...but Hollywood has a way of frakking things up! Officially, Ender's Game has a November 1, 2013 release date.  

17 February 2013

FWS Military Sci-Fi Oddities: The ROBOTECH DEFENDERS

Sometimes you never know what you might discover lurking in your old comic book boxes. During some deep cleaning, I moved out my long comic book boxes, and before I put them back, I decided to see what was in these dusty boxes. Towards the back was the two-shot 1985 ROBOTECH Defenders limited series by DC Comics. While I've covered other comic series that have become forgotten as a classic, ROBOTECH Defenders is firmly an military science fiction oddity and NOT a forgotten classic. This very much an odd-duck of the 1980's Anime/Manga/Mecha crazy that I was very much a part of. ROBOTECH Defenders was much more than a failed comic book, there was a complete Revell model kit Mecha line that culled mecha and vehicle from various Anime series, including Fang of the Sun Dougram, Macross, and Super Dimension Century Orguss. While short-lived, the ROBOTECH Defenders would go to become an influence of one of the greatest mecha-centered work: Battletech. So, here is the ROBOTECH Defenders, one of the military sci-fi oddities of the 1980's. See ya in ten days with a blogpost all about Space Pirates!

What is 'ROBOTECH Defenders' and is it Related to the ROBOTECH TV Series?
The name 'ROBOTECH Defenders' mainly refers to an Revell model military sci-fi mecha/vehicle kit series of the 1980's that was also paired with an attempt to create more fans with a limited DC Comics series by the same name that developed a story aspect ..which flopped. When it comes to relationship to the Harmony Gold ROBOTECH TV series...that greatly depends on the time frame. For a brief time, around 1985, the Revell model kit line and the TV series were in conflict. However, this was quickly settled by Harmony Gold with a co-licensing agreement. Some believe that in order for Harmony Gold to seal the deal with Matchbox Toys, the issue with Revell's line of ROBOTECH Defenders had to be settled.

The Confusing History of the ROBOTECH Defenders
The name 'Robotech' is a hallowed one among members of a certain generation, and often the introductory work of Anime that forged live-long fans of the genre. Around the time when the Harmony Gold re-dubbed Anime series was hitting American airwaves, the United States model company Revell had already bet them to the punch with their own line of ROBOTECH Defenders model kits and a DC comic book series. In 1982, the United States was in the grip of the 'Giant Robot Crazy' that was fueled by things like Gundum, Shotgun  Warriors, and of course, Transformers. Revell models figured they could import various plastic model kits of giant combat robots and vehicles, slap a new title on it, and rake in the dough. This was the thought of several other importers to the American market, some Macross model kits came into our shore as the oddball Testors R.O.B.O.T. line, and even a Mospeada cyclone became a Go-Bot model kit!
During the period of 1984-1985, the original FASA Battletech RPG, and Harmony Gold's ROBOTECH TV series, Revell's ROBOTECH Defenders and several other American model kit lines were all dipping from the same pool of plastic Japanese models!
To make matters worse for product identity and marketing, DC Comics would release their limited series based on the Revell model kit line in 1985, before the ROBOTECH TV show was in all markets. For some fans, the model ROBOTECH Defenders kits and comics were their first experience with the name 'Robotech'!. Instead of splitting hairs and market shares, Revell and Harmony Gold teamed up, FASA was told to stop using their lifted mecha designs, and the other model lines were starved under the new united ROBOTECH brand name. By 1986, the issue seemed settled, and until around 1989, Revell would crank out imported kits with very clear connections to the TV series. There were rumors that Revell was going to tapped for the model kits of ROBOTECH II: The Sentients.

The Model Kits of the ROBOTECH Defenders
Revell would import a number of model kits from 1984 through 1989, the majority of these were sourced from Takara and Arii. These two companies produced the bulk of the plastic model kits for Fang of the Sun Dougram, Macross, Crusher Joe, and Orguss. For the original 1984 initial line of model kits, most traditional mecha 'giant robot' warriors were taken from the mostly unknown Frang of the Sun Dougram Anime 1981-1983 TV series. With the success of the ROBOTECH TV show, Revell would import more of the Macross transforming Veritechs model kit types, but there were combat vehicles, helicopters, and even support vehicles packages with various mecha with new labels.
Most of these vehicles came from Fang of the Sun Dougram and Crusher Joe, but added a new favor to the mecha kits that were already out. One of the more interesting sets that came out, and one I personally drooled over in the catalog was the uber-cool Arii 1:100 Macross Factory. Another interesting mecha model kit released was from the 1983-1984 Super Dimension Century Orguss Japanese TV series that was same from the creators has Macross and Southern Cross.
Oddly, unlike Macross, Southern Cross and Mospeada the Orguss TV series was never made available to the US market until the 1990's, long after the model kits and toys arrived on US shores. Hell, even I had a few of the Orguss mecha toys back in the day! Revell released at least one Orguss transforming mecha , under the ROBOTECH CHANGERS line and christened it 'Nebo' (Damn stupid name for a war mecha, if you ask me).

The 1985 DC Comics ROBOTECH Defenders Limited Series
Mecha was rare in mainstream comics of the early 1980's, especially with the Big Two, but in 1985, DC Comics attempted to marry the Revell Japanese import mecha and vehicle model kits to a military sci-fi story. They hoped for  a new franchise, that would generate into possibly a cartoon series. The proposed three issue limited series was cut-down into two issues, and became lost in the cheap comic bins and recycling of the world. The '85 comic told the story of a heavily populated star system with seven sentient races, on eight heavily populated worlds. Six of these worlds were united under the United Worlds Confederation, and attempted to 'uplift' the seventh primitive race called the Grelon, who look like Gollum. These Grelon resist the advances of the UWC, they wanted relocation, instead of technology because their world was dying. When the council ignores heir requests, the Grelon ambassador uses his mental powers and kills the bulk of the UWC council. This starts a war with the primitive beings that looks to be one sided until...they should up to the each battle with advanced warship well beyond their stone age era tech, and even the UWC.
It is not only before the UWC is on the run, with their worlds burning, and has the series opens up, one of the oldest and greatest cities in the UWC, Zoltek city, is destroyed by the massive Grelon warship. When all hope is lost, one of the pilots discovers that the still-standing ancient statue in the middle of the city is a giant Class-III mecha, and when she enters the robotic warriors, a mental link is established and she is informed that on every populated world in their solar system is a 'Robotech Defender'. The mixed race team of fighter pilots, breaks up and locates the mecha hidden in the various terrains of their native worlds.
When these new war machines go after the Grelon warship...and get their metal ass kicked and captured. But, using the magical red button, the pilots released the consciences of the mecha to fight back. Much like the old Robotix toy storyline, the conciseness of the mecha creators are transferred into their machines. The sentient mecha tell their biological pilots that they are actually at war with another older race called the S'Landrai, who feed off of the living energy of other races, and now they are awake and using the Grelon has a proxy force to weaken this solar system for a culling...maybe this is where Stargate: Atlantis got the idea for the Wrath? These sentient tin-cans were just waiting for the right time for the S'Landrai to make their move, and the time is now.
During this lovely chat, the S'Landrai agent drains the entire Grelon race of their energy and awakens a portion of the hibernating race. That sets the stage for the next big battle between the tin-cans and the space vampires. And guess what? The tin-cans win by overloading the S'Landraianing siphoning equipment, and kill the race before they have the chance to rise up and drain the living. At the end, there is a campfire, and the tin-cans tell the pilots that there are more Robotech Defenders spread through the galaxy and are ready in a time of need...and the last panel shows the planet Earth...so, be on the watch out for a talking 60 foot robot with laser blasters.

What Happened to the ROBOTECH Defenders?

Given the comic's rushed story-line and poor quality 'flex-o-graphic' art failed to impress buyers, causing the three-part series to be cut to two when sales were extremely low. Originally, the comic series was to testing of the waters for a continued endeavor between DC and Revell...but, it died right there, causing the 'story' portion of the ROBOTECH Defenders to never go beyond those two 1985 comics. However, the model kits were fairly successful, and Revell continued to push new kits onto the American market until the late 1980's. However, like all things, the giant robot crazy of the 1980's died out, and so did Revell's Japanese imported kits. Due to the limited time frame and the niche market it was aimed, ROBOTECH Defenders is one of those products that was of it's time. Some of the unopened model kits are sold on eBay, including the rare and highly cool 'Robotech Factory'. Today, the ROBOTECH Defenders exists only as a footnot on various hobby/mecha/ROBOTECH wiki and informational websites.

My Memories of the ROBOTECH Defenders
I was first introduced to the Revell ROBOTECH Defenders model toy line was via my brother's birthday party, when a friend of his gave him the 'Aqualo' ROBOTECH: Defenders model. Around the same time, I had come across the ROBOTECH: Defenders comic book at a grocery store, and bought both issues. Tucked into that 'Aqualo' model was a complete catalog of the rest of the line up and I coveted the 'Talos' urban combat mecha. For a period of several yeas, I would see these model kits at local toy and hobby stores around Bartlesville and Tulsa on a regular basis, along with imported Japanese model kits at Starbase 21 comic book store. In late 1985, my brother told me to come watch this cartoon show called 'Robotech'. I was excited, because I thought it was related to the Revell model kit line! As I watched episode 13: 'Blue Wind' of the Macross series, I kept wondering were the characters I knew from the comic where. Yeah...it wasn't long before I forgot all about that crappy comic and was under the spell of ROBOTECH.   

Read the original 1985 comic book...if you dare!

Here is the list of the vintage Arii Macross Model Kits

13 February 2013

FWS Topics: Why I Did Not Buy ALIENS: Colonial Marines

I really thought that right now I'd be knee-deep in dead xenos, kicking ass and taking names with the campaign of ALIENS: Colonial Marines. But, that didn't happen. I was at work Monday night, when news started to leak out that ALIENS: Colonial Marines was not all it was cracked up to be...in fact it was much worse. I read words like 'broken', 'ugly', and 'boring' to describe the game that the majority of us ALIENS fans were waiting on to be the one. I was all set to buy the game, I'd save for months getting the money together to buy this title on day one, but when I read the review, and after my trauma of Medal of Honor: Warfighter, I decided to wait until after more reviews. And I was glad it did. So, I saved my hard-earned money from dancing afternoon shifts at Le Bare, and bought the new Bond movie Skyfall and decided to use the rest of the money for a game of paintball with my friends.
The fucking sad thing was this was to be the one ALIENS game that was to finally give us the experience that we have wanted since 1986. But the reviews don't lie. IGN and GameSpot have rated it a 4.5 on a 10 scale, JoyStiq was much worse, 1 out of 5, and Kotaku.com has rated it a 'poor'. Even from video I've watched, the game looks nothing like we've been seeing lately on the Xbox 360 in terms of graphic technology.
Some have even said that it looks like a great PS2 title! I feel fucking lied to, like that guy from the Crying Game, and I feel sick, because Gearbox promised us that this time it would be different, like some abusive asshole begging his girl back. Worse yet, some are saying that Gearbox didn't even do the work on the campaign, they farmed it out to another studio, while Gearbox worked on the multiplayer. WTF?! ALIENS: Colonial Marines is not some Call of Duty title, I don't want to play it on Live, I wanted a campaign that would finally show us the dark beauty of that world of 2179. Gearbox really fucked up on this one. The dream I had for ALIENS: Colonial Marines looks like it is gone, and this was, most likely, the last shot we ALIENS fans had a truly great game based on the dark science fiction work that we've come to know and love. I will buy this game when it is ten bucks at Gamestop, but until then...Game over, man! Game over...
Just read below and drink...I have:

11 February 2013

FWS: Ships of the Line-The Dreadnought

Nothing quite says 'I'm going to kick your metal ass up and down the solar system' in space combat games more than a dreadnought class combat starship appearing on the scene. During my misspend childhood of playing pen-and-paper space combat starship games, the Dreadnought was a hallowed name reserved for your greatest and most powerful warship that was like the Wolf from Pulp Fiction. These were your brawlers, able to take on several hostile warships, and win the day while taking a pounding. Since the 1970's and continuing onto today, the Dreadnought is often the premier warship of any future space fleet, which is inline with the historical super battleship from the Great War. In the continuing series of Ship of the Line, FWS will spelling out the details of the Dreadnought class, both in historical naval combat, and in the realm of science fiction.

What Does the Name 'Dreadnought' Mean?
According to several naval sources, the name 'Dreadnought' is an old English word for 'fear nothing', and has a long naval tradition and history within the British Navy. The first Dreadnought was a wooden sail warship that fought against the Spanish Armada in 1588, and another British Dreadnought fought at Trafalgar in 1805. So, it only made sense that harbinger of a new era of warship would be christened 'Dreadnought'.

Naval Dreadnought of the Early 20th Century
At the beginning of the 21st century, the USA and China are the world superpowers, Europe is at peace, Germany makes the best cars, and the Aircraft Carrier is the ultimate symbol of military and national power. When the Dreadnought class vessels roamed the seas at the beginning of the 20th century, things were quite a bit different. Europe was the center of power, with three major empires dividing up the 3rd world, the car was not quite there technologically, and the ultimate symbol of military and imperial power was the battleship. That all changed in 1906, when the British Navy launched the HMS Dreadnought. Between 1905 and 1906, there was crisis within the three empires of Europe over the question of Moroccan independence, due to Germany's actions in Morocco, the British believed it was a direct threat to their security, and at the end of the crisis, the Dreadnought was launched to increase Britain's naval security.
What shaped the design of this new sea monster was the events of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, specifically, the Battle of Tsushima. Naval experts witness that long-range naval artillery combined with speed and a well-trained gunnery crew allowed for the Japanese warships to a crushing defeat of the Russian naval taskforce. The HMS Dreadnought was directly influenced by that battle...she was fast and heavily armed with good gun crews. At this time, it was the apex of that era's naval power, making all other battleships at the time obsolete, like an 8-bit game in the era of 16-bit. While the British navy now had the envy of all imperial naval powers, it also leveled the playing field for everyone else. France and Germany could never break the supremacy that the British Imperium had on seaborne power, that was until the Dreadnought era. Now, all Germany had to do was construct ships up to the standard of the HMS Dreadnought and while Britain had to start all over with their navy. This created what I like to call the Imperial European naval dick-measuring contest of the early 20th century....soon to be appearing in a professional historical journal. The 527 foot long HMS Dreadnought was venture into new thought and technology in naval warfare, being faster by using turbines, more heavily armed with long range guns, and thicker armor (11-to-12 inch thick) than any battleship on the high seas at that time.
Dreadnought was armed with five twin-barreled turrets that fired 12-inch 850 lbs shells at a nearly ten miles meaning it could pound hostile warships at a greater range with bigger shells, while their target could not return fire. Given this new standard, the other major naval powers at the time immediately began constructing their own Dreadnought warships, giving the battleships a 'pre' and 'post' Dreadnought label. All of this was costly, the original HMS Dreadnought cost 2 million pounds in 1906! This didn't stop German from fielding their own copy of the British sea-monster in 1908.
From 1908, there was a naval arms race in Europe, as tension rose in Europe, charging the conditions for war. All of this added to the factors that led to the Great First World War. The key naval engagement of the First World War, was the Battle of the Jutland in 1916 in the cold seas between Britain and Norway.
This battle is noted for massive amounts of fire exchanged between the British and German taskforces. The British had an iron ring of Dreadnoughts that landed down heavy fire, but despite a numerical advantage of more Dreadnoughts (23 to 10) and Battlecruisers, the British suffered high losses, 14 warship and nearly 7,000 killed, but not a single Dreadnought on either side was sunk. What killed the Dreadnought type warships, in only 10 years, was simply the conditions for these types of naval engagement disappeared, the vaguer of the Battle of the Jutland, there was only a single one in all of WWI, this coupled with advancements in seaborne air-power and submarines. Then there was the debt from World War One and the naval warship treaties in the post-war years. For millions and millions invested in these massive warships, there was little pay out, has the Battle of Jutland demonstrated  Sadly, by 1921, this usher of an entirely new class of warship was decommissioned and sold for about $80,000 as scrap. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Some of the design elements of the Dreadnought-era of warship did influence Second World War battleships.

The Science Fiction Classification of the Dreadnought Warship

The term Dreadnought has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? And that name coupled with the WWI era Dreadnoughts has inspirited many sci-fi creators to dive head first into using this label to describe what Samuel L. Jackson would call their 'bad mother fucker'of their space navies. The common usage of the Dreadnought in a space fleet is the very lethal tip of the spear, the crown jewel of a planet's space fleet, and the vessel that they bring out to rattle the saber. These are the most expensive, largest, and mount the heavies of weapons. Most space navies can only afford a few Dreadnoughts, even Starfleet with over 600 starships, only had 20 Dreadnoughts. In terms of size, most science fiction Dreadnoughts are massive vessels, normally 800+meters with crew members to match, and have the largest the directed energy weapons, like the Reflex Cannon from ROBOTECH or even the largest kinetic energy cannons, similar to the Dreadnought-class warships from the Mass Effect universe.
As for the role of a spaceborne Dreadnought, I can foresee two. One being the standard vision of the Dreadnought, as the heaviest armored and armed warship in the fleet that is designed for capitol ship-to-capital ship slug-fests, mch like the Andromeda class from Starblazers. I can also envision Dreadnoughts being  the 'one ship fleet' concept. Think of the Yamato from Space Cruiser Yamato or the UNSC Infinity from HALO 4. These Dreadnoughts are designed to fight a guerrilla space war deep in enemy territory affecting supply lines and planetary will to fight without any support and able to deal out maximum damage to the enemy. For me, the best

Could There Be An Hard-Science Dreadnought?
I do believe there could be a purpose for a hard-science dreadnought type combat space vehicle, if we use the historic definition of a warship with 'all big gun armaments'. Most hard science warship would be armed with defensive and offensive armaments, and one of the best weak spots of these ships would be the massive heat radiators or the power plant. To counter incoming fire, a combat starship would most likely turn its whipple shield, and given this factor, you would need a vessel that could punch through and kill. That role primarily belongs to kinetic energy weapons. My term for this hard-science dreadnought is a 'kinetic bombarder', and is designed to be the killer of combat starships, a real brawler of a warship. Think of it like boxer George Foreman...he may not be the fastest fists in the ring, but if he hits you with that freight train of a fist, your ass is going down!
Our kinetic bombarder is the same way, (and could be an AI controlled warship) it is designed to delivery a hard knockout punch by firing a storm of low-heat generating kinetic energy weapons: rail guns, Gauss guns, and kinetic kill missiles. Because KEW systems are powerful, but slower than DEW systems, KE rounds could be dodged by an alert starship, but it cannot avoid all of them if our kinetic bombarder is designed in the correct way. All it would take is a few hits to critical damage the hostile hard-science warship.
I can see it unfolding much like this: The USS Cottontail detects the incoming USS Rolling a Hard Six, and turns it's whipple shield turns the attacking vessel. Rolling a Hard Six burns delta-vee on a parallel course, has the Cottontail launches missiles and its kitty-litter shields. Rolling a Hard Six closes the gap, and when it comes into range, unleashes a hailstorm of KE weaponry at an angle on the Cottontail's whipple shield. When the shield gives way, the Rolling a Hard Six shows no mercy, and pounding the heat radiators and body of the Cottontail. It is likely that Rolling a Hard Six is an AI warship and destroyed herself by the Cottontail's own attack. Hard science naval space battle had be a cruel bitch.

The Progenitor: The Federation class Dreadnought from Star Trek

Here is the long and strange trip of the first science fiction Dreadnought type warship. As far as I can research, the first mention of a dreadnought concept being applied to a combat space vehicle was in 1975 semi-canon Franz Joseph authored  Star TrekStarfleet Technical Manual. On page T0:01:04:00 (no shit, there are no traditional page numbers in the frakking thing!) there is an outline of a heavy tri-nacelle Federation warship called 'dreadnought' and is under construction, no solid image appeared of this Starfleet Dreadnought class for some time. But, it was enough for fans to fully adopt this heavy warship into their collective consciousnesses  In 1979, a fully fleshed out Starfleet dreadnought appear in the form of quasi-canon blueprints by artist Allie C. Peel III. Starfleet blueprints were popular items for fans until the 1990's, and many were published without the consent of the studio. However, according to Memory Alpha, Gene Roddenberry did official signed off on the design of the Federation class, but the debate still rages if the tri-nacelle design is 'canon' or not. It is believed that the name of the class switched from Dreadnought to Federation around the time of these blueprints.
 The next piece of the puzzle that is the Federation class came in 1986 with the Pocket Books Star Trek novel Dreadnought! The basic plot is that terrorists (damned terrorists!) capture the newly minted USS Star Empire, the NCC-2116 , a dreadnought type vessel, and is the most powerful vessel in Starfleet or even the galaxy. The cover art for the book clearly shows a tri-nacelle, but not the Federation design we are used to. Instead, the USS Star Empire is a completely different design with more similarity to the Excelsior class than the Constitution class. The odd thing was during the run of the highly successful and much loved FASA Star Trek: Starship Tactical Combat Simulator from around 1983-1989(?), the Federation class Dreadnought was not officially a part of Strafleet. There was never a FASA die-cast gaming model piece, nor did it appear in any of the rule-books. That didn't stop gamers from including them, even kitbashing their own Federation class Dreadnoughts. The only two mentions of the Federation class were minor in canonized ST sources. One being an audio mention of the NCC-2120 USS Entente during the Epsilon IX starbase scenes in ST:TMP and a profile outline of the Federation class is seen for a split-second on a read-out monitor screen behind Kirk's shoulder during ST:TWOK. When the final episode of ST:TNG was seen, fans went nuts over the alternate future Enterprise-D that was modified by Admiral Riker, and featured a third nacelle, causing this to be a visual homage to the old non-canon Federation class design. Speaking of design, the base starship class used for the Federation class switches from non-canon source to source. Some use the familiar Constitution class heavy cruiser, like the original 1975 design.
 However, DC Comics in April of 1987 printed their Who's Who of Star Trek: volume II and listed among the Starfleet starship classes was the dreadnought class...not the Federation class dreadnought, which was very odd. Also odd was DC Comics using the completely non-canon Decatur class heavy cruiser has the foundation for the Dreadnought class. Other sources, used the Constitution class refit for the foundations...and even others mounted the third nacelle on the secondary hull, making for zero inconstancy among non-canon source material. I've always liked the idea of the tri-nacelle Federation badass warship, but its design left something to be desired. The placement of the third nacelle was on the primary 'saucer' hull, and not the secondary hull, give the vessel an odd profile, much like Meryl Streep or Sofia Coppola. I remember reading that why three nacelle starships were never really seen on-screen in either TV series or movies was because they felt it was stupid and made no logical or scientific sense, plus was over-militaristic...in other words...tacticool!

Dreadnoughts and Science Fiction 
The seaborne naval dreadnought battleships were phased out of the imperial navies of the Europe  when my grandmother was a teenager...so, why does the mere mention of these nearly-ancient and outdated warships cause sci-fi geeks  to get their Batman panties wet? In 1975, the Star Trek Starfleet Technical Manual by Franz Joseph was, from my research, the origin of  'dreadnought' being applied to a uber space combat vessel. That 1975 technical manual was widely read and became the founding text for much of the early homebrew starship combat games and the 'official' FASA Star Trek: Starship Tactical Combat Simulator in 1983. During most of my misspent youth, along with others of my generation, the term Dreadnought quickly gained nearly universal understanding has THE premier warship class. Even when I was a kid playing with my Legos, I understood this concept. When I constructed Lego warships, the best of the best, was always the Dreadnought, and served at the front of the space flotilla.
This idea filtered down through the years, even other pen-and-paper space combat RPGs used the Dreadnought label, I can remember Renegade Legion: Levithan having the best of the TOG navy being a Dreadnought, along with RPG Dreadnoughts in Traveller and in Star Frontiers. Despite the among of space-based science fiction shows in the 1990's, there was only one Dreadnought seen, the Earth Force Nova class on Babylon 5. Dreadnoughts were in the Honor Harrington Universe, has combat vessels in the five and six million ton range. Dreadnought type space warship are popular among sci-fi artists, and it seems that Dreadnoughts in space are not going anywhere!

Examples of Science Fiction Dreadnoughts

The Starfleet Federation class Dreadnought from Star Trek
After the Federation-Klingon Four Year War in the 2250's, Starfleet put forth the construction of a more purely combat vessel based around the Constitution class heavy cruisers. To generate the required power output projected by Starfleet, this Federation class dreadnought was  an unorthodox tri-nacelle design. After the NX-2100 Federation passed its shakedown, Starfleet approved the construction of a total of twenty Federation class Dreadnoughts.    According to several sources, there about 14 out of 20 Federation class Dreadnoughts in service with Starfleet around the time of ST:TWOK...2285. Other says that only four were actually constructed, and one was destroyed, and three were mothballed.
Either way, the Federation class were phased out and placed in mothball status after the Excelsior class battlecruiser was officially approved by Starfleet in 2285. The high cost, low-flexible (a hallmark of Federation starships) and aggressive nature of this warship class, were all reasons cited has causes for the phasing out of the Federation class in the 2280's with only four being refitted. Some where stationed on cold-standby status at key starbase locations and where the command flag-vessels of Admirals if the balloon went up. Some believe that during the crushing Federation-Dominion War of the 24th century, some of these old ladies of battle were resurrected and refitted for service, due to the high losses of Federation combat starships.

The Earth Alliance Nova class Dreadnought from Babylon 5
When the spacefaring Terra took her place among the more advanced races of her corner of the Milky Way galaxy, her warships were at a serious disadvantage. This was painfully demonstrated during the Earth/Minbari War of 2245-2248, when most of the Earth Force fleet was crushed. To counter this technological gap, Earth Force constructed the Nova class Dreadnought armed with 18 twin-barreled plasma cannons in 2225. To fuel this amount of firepower and prevent long recharge times, the most powerful spaceborne energy reactor at that time was fitted to the Nova class. Helping take the load of the reactors, the Nova was a stripped down vessel, with less crew comfort areas, less armor plating, and less secondary weaponry. The main crew area was heavily reinforced to counter this weakness, which crews of the Nova class referred to has 'the iron cube'. During engagements, the Nova class would serve has the artillery, weakening alien ships while faster vessel attacked.
When the shit got close, Novas would pound their target with the massive firepower, overwhelming the advanced technology of their enemy. The Nova class met with great success during the Dilgar War, but was outmatched by the firepower of the Minbari. But that didn't stop the Earth Force from constructed nearly 100 during the war. These were being phased out just prior to the Shadow Wars, but still used for certain mission, much to the discomfort of the crew. Unlike the Omega class, the Nova lacked centrifugal generating gravity, making tours onboard more taxing, like most of the Earth Force ships prior to the Earth-Minbari War that lacked spinning section for artificial gravity.  The successful Omega class destroyer was based off the Nova base design. Personally, this is my favorite science fiction Dreadnought, and to me, it truly captures the spirit of the original naval concept...plus it is really badass looking.

The Earth Defense Force Andromeda class Dreadnought from Star Blazers/Space Cruiser Yamato
In 2200, the Gamilon Empire was defeated and the Cosmo DNA has begun to heal the Earth from the damage of the radiation
bombardment. It seems the moment the Yamato returned from their holy crusade, the EDF began rebuilding their navy, using the Yamato and its Iscandar technology. Within one year, not only had the United Earth Government rebuild most of the Earth's surface, but also field a good number of combat warships, including the new apex EDF warship, the Andromeda. Our own government can't even pass a tax bill in a year! The Andromeda was the flagship of the Earth taskforce at Saturn when the White Comet Empire attempted to invade the Sol System. While the taskforce was successful in wiping out the bulk of the White Comet Imperial Fleet, their mobile planetoid HQ destroyed the Andromeda after only one month of service...that's right...one month...the paint wasn't even dry yet!  In most of the official Starblazers/Space Cruiser Yamato literture, the Andromeda class is a battleship, but due to its extreme firepower, and mount twin Wave Motion Cannons, I personally believe that the Andromeda is a dreadnought. 

Dreadnoughts from Eve Online
Due to their size, Dreadnought type warships in the Eve Online universe cannot use the standard stargates, but have their own FTL system. While less powerful(!) than a battleship, the role of the Dreadnought is as a siege platform, causing maximum damage to starbases and outposts. So, that means the Dreadnoughts of Eve Online are more akin to an orbital siege platform designed for bombardment than anti-capitol ship work....interesting.

The High Guard Siege Perilous class Dreadnought
Just before the fall of the Systems Commonwealth, the High Guard was given their most powerful ship-killer, the Siege Perilous class. This was a combination of the two roles for a Dreadnought I spoke of, it could operate in a naval taskforce has the artillery, and then also has a lone warship, operating behind enemy lines. The Siege Perilous was armed with the most powerful kinetic energy vehicles, massive amounts of missile tubes, and Anti-Proton cannons, like 100+, dotted the thin profile of this class. The best of High Guard naval technology was poured into the class, allowing for the Siege Perilous class to emerge from Slipspace, unload on the enemy target with overwhelming firepower, then re-enter Slipspace before anyone knew what hit'em. Sadly, only four of this class were constructed before the Nietzschean Revolt.

The Systems Alliance Dreadnoughts from the Mass Effect universe
Coming in at 800-to-1,000 meters, Dreadnought class warships are the most powerful warships in the Mass Effect Universe. Their offensive power comes from their ability to launch hard-hitting 20 kilogram slugs at 1.3% of Light Speed, and the impact of just one of the rounds is equal to 38 kilotons of TNT. Much like the post-World War One, there were limits on how many Dreadnoughts could exist, Terra only had eight while the Turians had 37.

The Imperial Navy Executor class Star Dreadnought from Star Wars universe

Big doesn't begin to describe the steer mass of this big bastard...coming in at 100 time larger than the standard Imperial Star Destroyer, with a crew of nearly 300,000 and armed with 5,000 weapons systems...turbo lasers, and missile launchers. According to several sources, the power output needed for this class is equal to an medium sun! Adding to its offensive firepower, a single Executor class could delivery nearly 40,000 troops along with support equipment (including some pre-fab bases) and vehicles to a planetary battlefield, and hang in orbit to prevent an counter-attack. Along with just the firepower, these class of uber warship could carry thousands of fighters. A single Executor took six years in the shipyards, and the combined economic output of several star systems to fund the project. This being said, these were extremely rare vessels in the navy. At the time of the battle of Holt, there just four in service with the Imperial Navy. This is one of largest warships n the whole of science fiction. I'd like to thank a reader of FWS that caught my mistake at not including this well-known dreadnought!

Some information on the Nova class

links to some good information on the Federation class