Dalriadan Alliance

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Dalriadan Alliance Fact Sheet
Updated SD 220112

  • RELIABILITY CLASSIFICATION: B (information acquired through repeated and requent direct confrontation by Star Fleet assets but is significantly dated)


The Dalriadan Alliance is a multi-system, multi-species cooperative built around the core words of the Star Kingdom of Dalriada. The Alliance border reaches its closest point to Federation claimed space a mere 30 light years away from Starbase Omega. The Alliance is the largest (known and contacted) government native to the region coreward of the Federation, numbering over 200 star systems.

The Dalriada themseves are a group of homo sapiens native to this region of the Alpha Quadrant. The Federation does not know how they got here, although biological evidence collected from those who have visited Starbase Omega indicates they are indeed homo sapiens, and therefore probably came from Earth at some point in the past. These humans founded the Star Kingdom of Dalriada and built around the core of its constitutional monarchy and alliance of many systems.

Their technological development level is on par with the Federation, but derives from a somewhat different base. This meant that when open war erupted between the Federation and the Alliance in 2410 the Federation was not be prepared to handle Dalriadan warships.

Although the war lasted less than two weeks before a cease fire was agreed upon, though a formal treaty was not reached until 2412, the Dalriada had proven their point to the Federation. Interference in traditonal patterns of trade in the region and the Dalriadan economy would not be tolerated.

In truth, the Alliance and Federation have much in common. They are both collections of approximately 200 semi-independant worlds which have united together, freely, for mutual defense and security. Both powers value individual rights and freedoms. However, while the Federation has developed a largely socialist model where money has little value to most of its citizens, the Dalriadan Alliance is fiercely capitolistic. While the Alliance has limited government-sponsored services, the individual is financially responsible for the majority of their own needs. Even though this has the potential for wide-spread poverty and hunger, the average quality of life in the Alliance is actually higher than that in the Federation.

There are many in the pro-Federation faction of the Dalriada that have been trading with the Federation settlers for several decades. There is even a fairly large amount of Dalriadan merchant traffic in the Terebellum (SB OMEGA) system. Others, however, see the Federation as a threat to Dalridan dominance in the region.


The Dalriada were originally created for Indigo Fleet and have since made appearances in Gold Fleet which is presently responsible for their maintenance.


Contact with the Dalriadan Alliance dates back to 2351 when the first colonists of the "new frontier" region which would eventually become the Indigo Fleet partol cordon met merchant ships under the flag of the Star Kingdom of the Dalriada. For decades, a history of peaceful exchange of good progressed. But the Federation colonists became resentful of the profits that Dalriadan merchants made by selling them basic goods, which they could not obtain from the distant Federation, at what they considered elevated prices. That the Dalriada were actually helping their neighbors and selling at somewhat less than local market prices because of the volume of sales that they could obtain by trading with the colonists was lost on the Federation civilians at the time.

As the Federation presence in the sector grew, Federation mechant shipping increased and sought to aggressively compete with Dalriadan merchants. They sold goods at cost to expand into Dalriadan markets and some even resorted to outright acts of piracy and sabotage as they were far from the watchful eyes of the Star Fleet. The Dalriada complained about these practices, but Federation planetary governors turned a blind eye to the situation and wrote the Dalriadan reports off as biased and alarmist. What information reached the Federation central command was biased badly against the Dalriada. The situation would degenerate until it became clear that a fleet presence was necessary.

By the time that Indigo Fleet was established in 2408, the path to an armed conflict had already been set.

In 2409, the Federation's came close to open hostilities with the Dalriada came because of the Tabilin system. There the Dalriada were exploiting the dilithium resources for profit, and trading minor goods with the Cabbali, the aboriginal natives of the system. Federation merchants, unhindered by the Federation and Star Fleet policy of non-interference since they are outside of Federation space, also began to exploit the dilithium resources. With the reluctant approval of the Dalriada, the Federation set up an outpost on the planet to insure trade with the surface is kept at a low level of technology and that no substances harmful to the Cabbali are brought to the planet. While the Dalriada considered these actions more than a bit silly and wasteful, they were unwilling to create an interstellar incident and accepted the Federation proposal. However, some of the Dalriada still took their trade a bit further. They provided primitive firearms, similar to those used and made by the Cabbali, but in much higher volume than the aborigines could produce. Moreover, they supplied a replicated version of a narcotic to the Cabbali. This narcotic has the rather nasty side effect of driving users insane, if used for an extended period of time. Also, as with most narcotics, it deadens pain sensation. The weapons and drugs were exceptionally inexpensive for the Dalriada, and were traded for slave labor in the Dilithium mines. With the large amount of profit to be had in the Tabilin system, they were able to convince Federation authorities to be less than vigilant in their duties. It backfired when they overproduced narcotics and underestimated the problems of large-scale addiction and the resulting insanity.

This created a major incident between the Federation and the Dalriada which resulted in an armed conflict between the Federation cruiser Hood and the Dalriadan armed merchantman DSF Special Delivery, which was later revealed to be a Royal Dalriadan Navy Q-ship. The Hood was in the Tabilin system to support the inspection network, but realized that there was wide-spread laxness and corruption in the system. The inspection system remains in effect, but it has been overhauled and it is now monitored much more closely by Federation authorities outside of the system.

In 2410, tensions came to a head with the destruction of the USS Lexington and the invasion of the Dante and Terebellum systems by the the Royal Dalriadan Navy. Only the last-minute arrival of a relief force from the Sol system which had been requested months earlier by Admiral Brooks due to growing tensions staved off the invasion. Subsequently, a truce was negotiated and has lasted since. However, tensions remain high and certain factions of both Federation and Alliance governments continue to advocate a military solution to the problem.


The Dalriada have, for the past 50 years since they discovered the first Federation scouts to this sector, made a concerted effort to remain a mystery to their cousins from the Federation. They have systematically hidden their technological differences, creating real-space warp drives when their own engineers had long used hyperspace (as with Federation dimensional warp drives) for faster-than-light travel for centuries, developing ion drives similar to Federation impulse drives rather than reveal their gravity drive technology, and, above all, hiding their ability to generate stable artificial wormholes. This has only recently become apparent to a Federation, which now finds itself ill prepared to deal with a growingly hostile Dalriadan Alliance. Most of the Federation information comes from two encounters: the Q-ship DSF SPECIAL DELIVERY and DSF APOCALYPSE. On beginning a study of Dalriadan starship technology, one thing becomes abundantly clear. The Dalriadan Alliance warships are like nothing the Federation has ever encountered.

The Dalriada have, in the span of 20 years, nearly caught up to the UFP in the area of normal space warp drive technology and ion drive systems. However, for the last century or more, their propulsion systems have been based on a gravity wedge sublight and a hyperspace (dimensional warp) FTL drive. Their ships use gravity wedge driven missiles which can deliver a variety of warhead from high explosive matter/antimatter charges like photon torpedoes use to shatter their opponent, to bomb-pumped X-ray lasers which slice through shielding and hull material with ease because the power of a laser system which can be bomb-pumped and separated from the ship is so much greater than is possible with a phaser or unphased laser system aboard a ship where the crew need to be shielded from the radiation that the system generated, to ECM drones that disrupt the target ship's passive and active electronic warfare systems.

Owing to these massive differences in design philosophy, the Dalriadan starships look much different than their Federation cousins. Owing to the traditional use of a hyperspace drive, much like dimensional warp, and only relatively recently, the addition of warp drive to make travel in Federation- controlled areas more convenient for their neighbors, the Dalriadan ships have a much different plan than a Federation ship. Their lines are sleek and their hulls are shaped like a cigar with flattened ends.

Additionally, Dalriadan warships have wildly hammer-headed bows and sterns to allow for bow and stern chase weapons. Their long sides provided ample room for weapons bays. Thus, the ships fight with the bulk of their firepower concentrated in broadsides which deliver a withering punch as the ship is turned perpendicular to the course of their target.

Plasma bolt projectors are large energy weapons which are mounted along the spine of some of the largest ships. The weapons is almost a one-for-one match with a type Xc phaser cannon in terms of capability and range. Dalriadan battleships may mount as many as four of these weapons, normally as bow chaser armament.

Gatling phaser turrets are the mainstay of the broadside armament of most Dalriadan warships. These are high-power, high rate-of-fire weapons with ranges on par with Type X phasers and the firepower and rate-of-fire of Type Xa phaser weapons.

Particle cannon supplement both the broadside and chase armaments. These heavy beam weapons have the ability to burrow through armor at an alarming rate.

Worse still are the missile weapons. Pulverizer missiles come in two varieties. The first is simple and much like a photon torpedo. The missile is launched by a linear accelerator up to a base velocity vector which is added to the ship's velocity. The speed is not nearly as great as that of a torpedo.

However, where a torpedo carries only small reaction thrusters which can slightly change its path, the Dalriadan missiles has a drive unit which allows them to steer and make substantial course alterations while accelerating towards their target. This is a mixed blessing as it allows point defense systems to acquire and destroy the missiles more easily. This is the reason for the second and more prevalent warhead: the bomb-pumped laser.

Normally, a laser does not have enough power to penetrate the shields of a modern warship. However, a phase modulated x-ray laser can do so quite nicely as the Romulans demonstrated long ago. The Dalriadan weapon is in some ways similar to the Romulan one, but it is mass produced much more efficiently than even the Romulans have managed and its power source is different.

A one megaton fusion bomb is used as the lasing source. The missile self destructs a short distance from the target and beams of invisible light stab through the target. Shields can not repel such an intense blast concentrated over such a small area. The effect is dramatic. By moving a beam weapon clear of the hull it means that the power source no longer needed to be safe or easily controlled. It can destroy itself as the weapon discharged without damaging the ship that fires the beam. The idea is simple and lethal and something that the Federation had never really considered before because of the advanced accelerators that were developed early in the history of the photon torpedo and which led to a different standard in missile weapons.

When these missiles are combined with warheadless missiles carrying high-power ECM equipment or with the smaller seeker drones which can carry phaser warheads, lasing warheads, antimatter bombs, or ECM equipment they are truly impressive to behold. The seeker drones are small and can be launched in great numbers to overload the ECM capacities of an enemy ship. Though not as powerful as their larger cousins, they are very effective at their task.

Since Federation ships are not accustomed to encountering advanced missile weapons of the sort employed by the Dalriada, they are not equipped with point defense systems. This leaves them extremely vulnerable to attack by these missiles, since their shipboard ECM systems can be overpowered by jamming missiles and drones.

As already noted, the Dalriada have long subscribed to a different technological base than the Federation. They have used hyperspace drives for faster-than-light propulsion systems for at least a century. These close cousins of dimensional warp drive do not allow faster travel than their Federation equivalents, but they are significantly safer to use and create less of a power drain. They also have more advanced and efficient shielding against the radiation of hyperspace.

Their standard sublight drives are gravitic drives known as impellers. This allows much more efficient source correction maneuvers including the ability to direct acceleration in any direction with equal efficiently. Where an aft- facing ion drive, like an impulse engine, needs to use thrust reversing systems which sap available drive power to create accelerations opposite the direction of motion without reversing the ship's heading, gravity-based drive systems are capable of accelerating in any direction with equal efficiency.

Moreover, the gravity drive system employed by the Dalriadan Navy has an added benefit. The system produces tightly grouped bands of gravity waves above and below the plane of the ship which are virtually impenetrable by any known weapons system. This means that an opponent cannot easily attack the ship from above or below. It has also created a tactic commonly employed by the Dalriada of rolling the ship after firing to impose the "roof" or "floor" of the gravity impeller wedge between the ship and incoming fire while the ship's weapons recycle

NOTE: While I draw on a number of different science fiction writers for my ideas on science fiction technology, I would like to make a special note crediting the work of David Weber whose Honor Harrington series has been a great inspiration for this section and for the ships of the Dalriadan Alliance.


They are still a Clan-oriented society, though there is a single King which rules all of the clans. The formal name of their government is the Star Kingdom of Dalriada. They are the center of the Dalriadan Alliance, an organization not too different from the Federation. The Dalriada are very territorial, and many are not happy about the Federation's encroachment on traditional lands of their clans.

Their lineage appears to originate in the Celtic tribes of the British Isles and Northern Europe. They seem to be, basically, Scots and Picts. Their customs, dress, language, culture, and genetics all show signs of this descent. According to Federation geneticists, two millennia away from Earth has given them a significantly different perspective in many affairs. However, at their core they are still very much human, although they have been separated from Earth about as long as the Vulcans and Romulans have been apart.


Naval Units

Federation designates Dalriadan Military ships as RDN (Royal Dalriadan Navy). The internal Dalriadan designation seems to be to refer to them as HMS (His Majesty's Ship) which clearly is not a viable distinction since there are several nations whose internal designations would have an identical translation into Federation Standard.

No data is currently available to the Federation on the exact specifications of Dalriada Naval units; however, it is speculated that a warship would be at least equivalent to a Q-ship of equal displacement with combat systems and weaponry in place of space used for disguising itself. Since Q-ships still typically include large cargo bay areas to pass close inspection, this means that the projected capabilities of any warship are far above those of a Q- Ship. The USS Prometheus encountered a warship RDN REMORAL on 90429, but no evaluation of combat performance was made.

The Federation does not have this information, but it is provided for comparison. These numbers are for Dalriadan warships with hyperspace FTL drives only. Those which are equipped with conventional space, Federation- style, warp drives displace approximately 25-30 percent more. NOTE: At the start of the conflict, no Dalriadan warships have normal-space warp drives.

TYPICAL DISPLACEMENTS Dalriadan (mt) Federation (mt)
DN 8,500,000-10,000,000 N/A
BB 5,500,000- 7,500,000 10,000,000
BC 3,000,000- 4,500,000 6,500,000-7,500000
CA 1,000,000- 1,500,000 4,500,000-6,500,000
CL 750,000- 1,000,000 3,500,000-4,500,000
DD 400,000- 500,000 1,000,000-1,500,000
FF 100,000- 200,000 250,000- 400,000

As one can readily see, most ships in this region of space are considerably lighter for the class (weaponry, shields, and armor being the primary factors that go into classification) than Federation ships. They gain this advantage by sacrificing comfort for the crew and extensive multi-mission capabilities. BC's and BB's mass with Federation ships since the Federation also sacrificed luxury and multi-mission capability in its big warships. However, a light cruiser capable of going head to head with a 5Mmt Galaxy or 4Mmt Hood might only displace with a Federation DD, like a 1.5Mmt Franklin.

The Royal Dalriadan Navy subscribes to a philosophy of fast striking battlecruisers and static defense by battleships which are far less costly than their dreadnought counterparts. Because of the difference in technology, however, a Dalriadan battleship is still the match of a Federation battleship. The relation between battlecruisers is the same. The Dalriadan dreadnoughts have no rival in the Federation inventory. Without the cumbersome normal space warp drives, the ships are far more heavily armed and armored than a Federation ship of similar mass.


Think what kind of armament a 12 million mt superfreighter can carry if, inside its hull and outside of a few cargo bays, it is really a warship. A United Federation of Planets Zeus-class battleship only displaced 10Mmt. Certainly, there is a lot of tonnage dedicated to making this ship look and behave like a merchantman both to visual scans and on sensors. It handles like any big ship does at sublight speed, but with military grade drives and inertial compensators, a superfreighter-sized Q-ship is easily capable of pounding it out with a Federation battlecruiser of 7Mmt. The real advantage of a battlecruiser in such an encounter is that it is more maneuverable and faster to accelerate because of her lesser tonnage.

Indigo Fleet has encountered two Q-ships to date. The first was DSF Special Delivery, which was destroyed by USS Hood in self-defense in the Tabilin system. The second was DSF Apocalypse, which severely crippled USS Prometheus in battle and subsequently enabled the Dalriadan Alliance to claim Burrakis, the source of bursite (see below).


Designated as RDN (Royal Dalriadan Navy), they are armed with one weapon, possibly gatling phaser or plasma bolt projector. These smallest of all FTL- capable starships are mostly used for covert surveillance and signal interception.

Royal Dalriadan Marine Corps

The Dalriadan shock troopers of the Royal Dalriadan Marine Corps are the most highly trained and highly feared soldiers in the Dalriadan sphere of influence. Clad in metallic-gray-colored ablative armor, and armed with only the most technologically-advanced weapons available, they are a feared fighting contingent, known and respected throughout the Dalriadan sphere of influence.

Highly capable and remarkably agile, the shock troopers are sent into the fray when the job had to be done right the first time. A shock trooper has a keen, analytical mind, because, to be the perfect soldier, one must have brains as well as brawn. A shock trooper has the reflexes of a machine, because the perfect soldier, one must be able to evade enemy attack and strike like lightning.

Their preferred weapons are a particle beam or neutral blast rifle. A hit from the neural blast rifle floods the victim with sensations of intense, horrific pain leaving them convulsing on the ground while all of their neurons fired simultaneously for several minutes before the overload in the nervous system caused death. It is not a pretty sight, and the sheer intimidation factor of the weapon has often won battles quickly. They also have the advantage of not damaging equipment, which made capturing enemy ships much easier. The standard assault weapon of mainstream military personnel is the particle- beam carbine, an efficient and effective rifle capable of maiming or killing an opponent. There is no equivalent of the phaser stun capability on these weapons. Dalriadan shock troop officers also carry disruptor weapons as sidearms.

The Dalriadan shock troops are the result of rigorous training of only the finest soldiers of the Dalriadan military. They were specially trained in all methods of destruction, killing, and slaughter. They are first sent to a 24-Terran-month-long training school where they are taught how to kill in every conceivable way. They are instructed to show no mercy. They know no surrender.

Royal Dalriadan Merchant Marine

Almost all mechant ships within the Alliance are government-owned ships operated by the Royal Dalriadan Merchant Marine and contracted to companies which operate at the pleasure of the government.

Freighters are designated as DSF (Dalriadan Star Freighter) both by Dalriadan and Federation intestests. Freighters are the workhorses of the Dalriadan commercial sector. However, as disscovered in recent confrontations with Q-ships, sometimes a freighter may turn out to be more than just a simple merchantman.

Combat Effectiveness

This document is intended to give a rough estimate of the probably outcome of a conflict between two ships of different class or two fleets of ships. If the weight of fire (WOF) of one side is equal to the defensive value (DV) of the opposing side, then it is likely that there will be a definitive outcome to the combat. That is, the attacker has a good change of crippling of destroying the defender. The larger the ratio of WOF/DV, the less likely the attacker is to suffer significant damage in the course of the battle.

Of course, this ratio is not the only important one. The defending fource may also have a substantial WOF. If this is equal to or greater than the DV of the attacking force, then it is likely that they will drive off the attackers. Thus, one must consider *both* WOF/DV ratios in determining the likely outcome of the battle. These numbers are never absolute, though there are some general rules of thumb. If the ratio of attacking force WOF to defending force DV is greater than 2:1, then it is unlikely that the defending force will survive any engagement once weapon fire has been exchanges (ie if it cannot flee before entering weapons range). If the ration is less tha 1:2, then the battle is likely to be drawn out and to have an inconclusive resolution.

These numbers do not include exceptional tactical brilliance on the part of one of the commanding officers in the engagement. However, brilliance can only do so much. For instance, unless there is a horrible mistake on the part of a ship of the first rate, no single ship of less than first rate stands any chance of destroying or even significantly damaging one. It is even unlikely for two ships of the first rate to have a conclusive outcome without a protracted engagement. Of course, the longer the engagement, the more likely that one side or the other will make a mistake. (And it will certainly not always be the Federation that comes out on top in that eventuality.)

Defensive Value
Weight of Fire Immobile Mobile Ship Rate
(Either) Federation Dalriada
DN 150 150 300 300 1st
BB 100 100 200 200 1st
BC 75 40 120 160 2st
CA 50 20 80 100 3rd
CL 25 10 40 60 4th
DD 15 4 20 30 5th
FF 5 1 10 20 6th

Weight of fire is a term used to give a rough estimate of total damage that the ship can inflict with a single full weapons volley. In the case of Federation ships, this will be a full forward weapons volley. In the case of Dalriadan ships, this will be a full broadside. This is meant to indicate the amount of potential damage inflicted upon the shields by the firing unit. Weapons fire may miss of be deflected by the shields.

The weight of fire is influenced by a number of factors. These include allowances for weapon types, weapon numbers, targetting systems, weapon support systems on the ship (larger capacitor banks and better cooling equipment in larger units), etc.

The defensive value is a general collection of a variety of factors that account for a ship's ability to sustain and/or avoid damge. These include the handiness (maneuverability and acceleration) of the ship, shield strength, armor strength (if any), electronic countermeasure equipment, etc.

Immobile defensive values are meant for use when a ship is caught by ambush with a low velocity realative to the attacker. This means that it is less capable of evading incoming fire. In starship combat over vast distances with extremely destructive long range weapons, speed can often be life. If a target ship is moving slowly, then it is easier for long range weapons (missiles and torpedoes) to make terminal maneuvers which increase the likelyhood of inflicting damage on the target.

The immobile category gives a sense of relative toughness of hull and shields. The factor separating the immobile and proposed category give you an idea of how important maneuvering is to the ship. This also gives an idea of how truly magnificent a weapon a BB is and how monstrous a DN is. The Dalriadan numbers take into account how much more maneuverable most Dalridan warships are because of the lower tonnage.

The rate of the ship is determined by a combination of the weight of fire and defensive value of the ship. The above values are typical of both Federation and Dalriadan ships of a given class regardless of the displacement of those units. The classification of a unit into one of the various ship rates is meant as an evaluation of these two factors, not of its displacement. However, there is usually a clear corellation between the displacement of a unit of a given technological base and its rate as a warship.


The primary key to strategic operations between the Alliance and the Federation has been economic in nature. However, a secondary interest of the Alliance has come to the attention of the Federation, bursite. Bursite is an alien crystal originating on the planet Burrakis. The source of its power is not known. All scientific evidence to this point suggests the source of the power-producing element or compound is contained inside the crystal and may be released by burrowing through the inert matrix with a laser or other energy beam. Alternatively, the power source may be split from the matrix by applying a strong magnetic field to the crystal.

The origin of the power source is unknown. It seems to react in much the same manner as anti-matter, but scans of bursite crystals clearly indicate it is not. What is known is that the crystals can generate a tremendous amount of power, making them a very powerful resource for whoever controls Burrakis.

On its last mission, the USS Prometheus discovered Burrakis, but was driven from the planet by a Dalriadan Q-ship. It is to be expected that the Dalriadans will utilize this unique resource of power, but it is not known how.

Recent incursions by the Dalriada into Federation space near the Romulan border seem to have arisen from interest in the apparent Romulan discovery of a source of bursite somewhere accessible to their Beta Quadrant home.



  • The Dalriada pages were developed by Jeffrey Jenkins for OSFI and BATA. They were updated by Scott Lusby.