BRAD'S COMMENTS: This battlefield behemoth is as comical to play as it is to look at. At least when you use
the A and C models. (The D model is fairly well off, but even then has some
disadvantages.) Lumbering, underpowered, and lacking the punch of torpedoes, both A and C
are a total joke. Which is why I think the L-13 is one of my favorites. Does this make
sense? Let me explain...
You see, one of the great mistakes most amateur
fanship designers make is to create vessels that are invincible! Paying no
attention to real naval history or naval construction pragmatics, they build these fantastic dreadnoughts with way too much power, way too many
weapons, and way too much superstructure; and which are (supposedly) produced in
Sure, such beasts are "fun" to fight
with because you always win and you can clobber enemy ships at will.
But in the history of the real military, it happens quite often that good intentions go awry, and lead to the
designing and commissioning of what I like to call "lemons". The L-13 is one big giant
lemon of a ship, and if you're any kind of real strategist or a gamer with a knack for
being daring, you'll give the L-13 a couple of trial runs.
There is nothing more
challenging that trying to win a match using tools you know are sub-standard. It forces
you to be creative, and not just cruise up and bash your opponent to death.
As I stated
above, any fool can build a superduperstarship that nobody can beat. But what's the fun
Yep. I like the L-13, as much for its clunky realism as for its unique
challenges during game play.
The L-13 is also one of the first ships from the old FASA
Klingon Starship manual that sports what I call "The TOS Look". Basically, this
means that the L-13 is fairly slab-sided, not terribly intricate in appearance, and lends
itself to the angular, simplistic ship designs that were common back in the 60's-era
production of ST:TOS. Nothing fancy here. In fact, the original FASA
artist went out of his way to make sure that the L-13 was indeed an oafish and
In summer of 2007 I re-drew this
class, as part of an overall clean-up on graphics for the OLD&A, and discovered
that the original size stats that FASA give are somewhat smaller than
appropriate. If the original stats could be believed, the Fat Man was not
much larger than a D-7! I thought this
unlikely, so when I examined a 10-pixel-per meter scale rendering of the Klingon
command pot bridge, superimposed over the
original L-13 artwork, I learned that the FASA stats were, indeed,
undersized. I scaled up the body of the ship so that the command pod was
in correct proportion, and the new dimensions are much better now, approaching
those of the L-24, and far in excess of the
From the FASA Star Trek KLINGON SHIP RECOGNITION MANUAL, circa 1985
L-13 (Fat Man) Class IX-XI Battleship
Known Sphere Of Operation: Federation and Romulan Borders
Data Reliability: C
Major Data Source: Klingon Sector Intelligence
The L-13 was the first attempt by Klingon ship
designers to construct a battleship. After the completion of four ships, with four more in
various stages of production, it was discovered that the vessels were no better in combat
than some of the existing cruisers and frigates.
On Stardate 2/1502, the first successful modification
was commissioned, with the L-13C models superior in every respect. Their warp capabilities
increased by 50%, allowing them to travel at Warp6. The KWE-2 gave them more efficient
power for maneuvering and additional power for the weapons systems. The old KD-7 and KD-10
disruptors were replaced with the more effective KD-9, and the shields were improved and
As the Federation and Romulans continued to upgrade
their vessels, the Klingons did likewise. The L-13D, introduced on Stardate 2/2009 with
the commissioning of two vessels, is equipped with the KWE-3 warp engine and KIF-2 impulse
drive, highly efficient engines that give the ships even more power for maneuvering and
weapons. Though the disruptor arrangement remains the same as the C model, the KP-6
torpedo has been added in both the fore and aft positions. This model also mounts more
efficient shields and has an increased superstructure strength. The KCD cloaking device is
reported to have been mounted on two of the four ships produced to date.
On Stardate 2/1403, an L-13A escorted by six
D-11Ds attacked a group of Romulan ships near the Triangle. The Romulan force
consisted of a Type I V-6 (Gallant Wing) class cruiser and three Type 7 T-2 (Death Talon)
class destroyers. The Klingon commander, confident with his new ship, pressed the attack,
only to find the Romulan cruiser his equal. After several exchanges of fire, the Klingon
force had suffered the loss of 3 D-11s, and serious damage had been done to the
L-13. The Romulan cruiser had received moderate damage and one destroyer had been
eliminated. The Klingons, fearing the loss of the battleship, began to withdraw from the
battle. The Romulan commander decided to counterattack the retreating Klingons. The huge
battleship still had plenty of fight left and was able to disable another of the Romulan
destroyers. At this point, both sides disengaged; the Klingon ships withdrew to Klingon
space while the RomuIan commander returned to the area of the battle and salvaged what he
could of his ships, taking in tow a disabled D-11. This skirmish proved to the Klingon
Imperial Command that the L-13 needed improvements. The B model was not successful during
its tests and was therefore never put into production.
Of the 21 L-13s built, 20 remain in active
service, and one A model is missing and presumed lost. The facilities for constructing the
L- 13 are located at Taamar and are estimated to produce up to two per year.
The class, named for the Klingon "kel
rianda", translates to "the dangerous fat man". The brunt of many
jokes about being more dangerous to their Klingon crews than the enemy, the L-13
is known to Star Fleet officers as 'the fat man" and as "the turtle".