Roughly translated from the esoteric Wun’Tux language, the ‘Clanship’ is the most common warship and the first of their craft ever encountered by mankind. Human warships had experienced very little combat with alien powers in their early stages of exploration, so the aggression of the reptilian Wun’Tux came as a surprise. Human warships were outmatched psychologically as well as physically; the Clanship’s durillium armour plating shrugged off the majority of damage from the human direct-fire energy weapons. Although the development and deployment of the Linear Cannon finally levelled the playing fields, the sight of Clanships continues to instil terror and panic to all but the battle-hardened.
Like most of Wun’Tux technology, the ship is all about brute force firepower – not weighted down by automation or other modern quirks. To this end, the Clanship needs around 50 slaves of various humanoid denominations. Humans, Oroso, Trinax, Illayko, Gnobo – the reptilian masters aren’t what could be called fussy. These slaves take the most grim and hazardous jobs within the bowels of the ship. Their Wun’Tux slavemasters rule with an iron fist, working them often to death.
Even with the deployment of the Linear Cannon and other slug throwers, the ship’s durillium plating provides formidable protection against capital ship weaponry. Four flak turrets provide protection against opposing starfighters. The main offensive asset is the photonic shell cannon, mounted on the ship’s “chin”. This weapon is typically Wun’Tux: forward-firing and requiring precise helmsmanship. When the shells hit, they inflict heavy damage on shields and armour. The cannon is crewed by one Wun’Tux master and ten slaves. Fatality rates amongst photonic cannon slaves are high; in part explaining the Clanship’s hunger for more slaves.
Clanships are seen throughout Wun’Tux territory and their design differs little in-between BroodClans. It is not uncommon to see one at the centre of a group of Enforcers and Gunships along with some form of support ship capable of hauling Twinfangs through FTL jumps. Although ostensibly the same size and tonnage as a human frigate, the combination of thick armour plate and devestatingly potent photonic shell cannon makes the vessel a thread to a range of targets – especially merchantmen. Skilled Clanship gunnery crews are able to blast holes in engine blocks and drive systems with one or two shots, leaving ships full of would-be slaves dead in the water and ready to be boarded. Warships are not immune to being ‘slave-jacked’ – the older human capital ships lack and agility to evade and the strength of weaponry to resist Clanships and are often easy prey.
A posting on a Clanship is a prestigious assignment for Wun’Tux warriors; commanders get first pick of soldiers and crew from their BroodClans. Crews generally well drilled and efficient. This prestige leads to talented but prideful crews – and clashes amongst them are not unheard of. Any losses through fights and brawls erupting from his pressure are easily replaced from smaller ships – crew from Gunships and Enforcers are more than happy to upgrade to the more respectable vessel.
The Clanship was used extensively in the Wun’Tux war against the Illayko. Illayko ships were poorly suited to defending static targets (e.g. planets, space stations) against masterfully organised Clanship formations. The latter were able to overwhelm even heavy Illayko ships with concentrated fire.
In more recent days, Clanships have become prey to the mobile, flexible tactics of the USEF and other human forces. The ships are at a disadvantage when caught unaware by quicker opposition; unable to target accurately with their main weapon and often lacking fighter cover of their own. Warhead carrying fighters in particular zone in on Clanships; armour piercing ammunition can have a devestating effect – providing the fighters can evade the ship’s flak defence.