Capital Ship Types

Capital ships are a class of starship larger than fighters, shuttles and simple freighters. Like other types of ship they are further classified by size and role.

The smallest ship class is the corvette. These ships are generally used for patrol and escort duties; they are large enough to carry a crew of over ten plus passengers and/or cargo. They are the smallest class of ship to carry capital-grade weaponry; these armaments are able to inflict significantly more damage than their fighter-scale analogues. Corvettes are generally the most nimble type of capital ship, able to navigate asteroid belts and other hazards when larger ships might struggle.

Examples include: the Type-22 and the Bremen-class. The Gnobo Tiburon has roughly the same qualities as a corvette.

Frigates are the larger, better armed cousin of the corvette. Ships of this class are typically military in design and alignment. Their role is usually similar to that of the corvette: escort, patrol and protection. They are the smallest class of ship to be equipped with external fighter racks. This ability only adds to their usefulness. Frigates are the most common size of human warship seen in the Rimward Territories; they are large enough to deter opponents but not so large that they require a large supply train to maintain.

Examples include: the Royal Navy Pennyroyal

Destroyers are the smallest class of out-and-out warship. They are well armed, fast moving and can be applied to a variety of tasks. In large naval engagements they are most likely to be found harassing enemy cruisers and protecting valuable assets. In the Rimward Territories the ship is more likely operate alone or as the flagship of a local force. Destroyers are usually the reserve of organised military forces, though mercenary groups and megacorporations of sufficient size can afford to deploy and maintain a small number of them.

Examples include: the European Union Cassard. The Wun’Tux Clanship is roughly the size and scale of a destroyer.

Cruisers are larger, sturdier and more dangerous than destroyers. Able to field a variety of weapons, they are traditionally well shielded, armoured and able. More at home in the well supplied environment of the human Core, Cruisers require supplies and support to operate independently for lengthy periods. Sol military forces operate a handful out of their more developed territory in the Rim, e.g. Highpoint and the Chromedent Nebula. Similarly, other militaries operate small numbers on the edges of their respective empires.

Examples include: the European Union Bulk Cruiser.

Battleships are the sturdy, slow and sizeable ships of the capital-class. Their sheer firepower and ability to take damage is unparalleled. Some naval commanders consider the ships unwieldy relics from the First Age; slow and outdated ideas of a bygone era. They are most frequently utilised to blockade planets and jump points, using their size and destructive ability to their advantage. They often carry ground forces as well as their regular crew, meaning they can land troops without the aid of unarmed troop transports. Like Cruisers, Battleships need significant logistical support in order to function, making their range limited by definition.

Carriers are capital ships designed for the sole purpose of deploying fightercraft. The crew and equipment involved in the storage, use and maintenance of even a small number of fighters means these ships are Cruiser-scale at the very least. Carriers are not traditionally well armed; they expect their fighter escort to do the fighting for them. This makes the ships a prime target in engagements, meaning they rarely travel without the escort of other capital ships. They are more likely to be seen in the Rimward Territories ferrying non-FTL fightercraft to new military bases, though their sheer hunger for supplies means they rarely travel anywhere with subtlety.

Examples include: The USEF Taft-class Strike Carrier.

The Independent Mining Guild

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The Independent Mining Guild (IMG) is a loose alliance of individuals and groups involved in the detection and extraction of minerals. The Guild works cooperatively for protection and profit of it’s members and eschews the corporate structure and shareholder interest of the large mining companies. Though human in origin, the group accepts all comers and has a large number of Trinax members.

The Guild is invite-only and close-knit. To be accepted into the organisation, a miner or mining group needs to share the location of something valuable and show willingness to cooperate. Anyone working selfishly finds themselves expelled immediately.

The Guild Militia is the paramilitary arm of the IMG; an equally loosely organised defence force made up of miners with experience of combat and conflict. They are deployed in protection of digs and extractions in the more risky areas of the galaxy and utilise a mixture of older ships and equipment. The militia gain experience quickly; they can find themselves up against human mercenaries hired by corporations trying to jump their claim to Wun’Tux scouting parties eager to locate more supplies of durillium. Casualties are not uncommon, but those militia members who survive pick up experience quickly.

The Guild is particularly well known for it’s discovery of the Taron System and it’s accompanying mineral deposits. They were the first to arrive and worked exclusively until they were famously sold out by a bunch of rogue traders tempted by the corporate dollar. Ever since, the system has been worked on my the Guild on one side and Blackmane on the other. Pirates and bandits moved in to prey on both; the Guild Militia has a now permanant presence within Taron.

Corporations from the human Core Worlds class the Guild as illegal, on par with squatters. Lawmakers, however, have limited influence in the far reaches of the the Rimward Territories and the Guild is well aware of this. Only occasionally does this animosity break into actual conflict, with corporate security clashing with the IMG Militia.

The Shadowspines

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The Shadowspines are a Gnobo mercenary brigade infamous for their long standing cooperation with the Hirudin Sphere. They are kept on an informal retainer; the crux of the arrangement being their obligation to drop any job at the behest of the aquatic overlords.

This means the ‘Spines clash frequently with enemies of the Hirudin; including humans. Skirmishes around European Union colony worlds are not rare; the reasons and rationale behind the Hirudin assaults lost on both the humans and Gnobo. The conflict has led to obvious poor relations between the races. Negative stereotypes about the entire Gnobo race are unfortunately predicated on the actions of this one brigade.

The Shadowspines are famous for their use of armoured troops – on ground as well as in space. Their most recognisable ship is the Konnspur, a troop transport able to push through enemy resistance and deploy infantry in hostile areas whether on planet or in deep space. These Gnobo warriors are rightfully feared for their commitment and ferocity in battle.

Amani Nocosta

The Nocosta

The Amani have no organised military, no true warships. Their vessels are built to protect the families who serve upon them. The Nocosta is the smallest known Amani vessel and serves as a scout, shuttle and deep space mining platform. It is built to stand up to the rigours of such a dangerous industry: heavy armour plates and strong heat shielding. The fusion cannons above and below the cockpit are primarily used to break up deposits of valuable minerals.

The Nocosta

However, the galaxy is full of hazards both natural and sentient. The Nocosta also serves at the first line of defence of any Amani caravan. It is manoeuvrable enough to trouble opposition fighters and sturdy enough to go toe-to-toe with the smaller grade of capital ship.

The Nocosta

It’s flexibility is, however, also it’s weakness. The ship suffers against masses of nimble fighters. It is often not quite fast enough to evade the heavy weapons of larger ships. However, the crews of the Nocosta fight for not a cause or a faction but for their lives. They are hard targets to attack and many a pirate has learnt this the hard way.

Manufacturer: Amani Forgeworks
Role: Scout, shuttle, mining vessel.
Length: 22m
Crew: 3. Passengers: 10
Weaponry: 2 x fusion cannons
Shields/Armour: Medium/Heavy
FTL: Capable

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The Konnspur

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The Shadowspine Mercenary Brigade are famous for their infantry; on planet and in space. Troops need to be moved and deployed quickly. The Konnspur-class Hauler was built specifically for this brigade and this purpose. It’s appearance is deliberately odd; the thin and flat shape limits it’s profile when it is charging headlong into danger, making it harder to hit.

The Shadowspines use this quality extensively, throwing caution to the wind on a regular basis. As the brigade known for working with the Hirudin, various factions of human and Oroso have been victim to hostile boardings in the middle of a battle. The Konnspur is almost always the craft able to get through to do so.

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Ever on the look out for opportunity, the Shadowspine shipsmiths found demand for this ship from other races and groups. An export version was thusly built and sold – at significant profit to the Gnobo.

Manufacturer: Shadowspine Shipsmiths
Role: Troop Transport and Insertion
Length: 21m
Crew: 3. Passengers: 25 armoured soldiers.
Weaponry: 1 x pulse cannon (belly mount, anti-infantry)
Shields/Armour: Medium/Heavy
FTL: Capable, short-range

The Yuan Gui

The Yuan Gui

“The poorer you are, the more devils you meet.”
– Captain Chen, the Yuan Gui on accepting his first mercenary contract

The Yuan Gui started life as a Asian Coalition prototype strike fighter. Both the Coalition and their European Union opponents ended the Pan-Eurasian War with bloody noses. Their militaries had been devastated by modern mercenary forces; the pressure to upgrade was felt throughout each faction.

The Yuan Gui

Coalition soldiers started the war with the least advanced equipment. These war-weary warriors were the ones expected to deliver the next generation technology to allow the Coalition to defend itself. They were placed under immense pressure. Given no rest, no solace.

The Yuan Gui

The test crew behind the experimental Coalition strike fighter were pushed the hardest. They were the only human faction to lack a strike fighter, to lack their versatility and reach. Their masters pushed them for months on end. In turn, the team lied. They cheated. They put on a charade of struggle and then one day they up and vanished.

The Yuan Gui

The test crew had gone rouge. Styling themselves the ‘Yuan Gui’ (loosely translated as wronged spirit) as a slight towards their Coalition masters, the ship became a one vessel crime wave throughout the Outer Rim. Jump-capable, heavily armoured and equipped with beam weapons and warhead capability, the ship packs a genuine punch. The crew hold a real grudge against their old masters and take any opportunity to target Coalition admirals and governors they find.

There remains a significant bounty on the ship and her crew. Various prospective takers, including the Border Fleet, have yet to collect.

Manufacturer: Coalition Military Research [stolen]
Role: Strike fighter
Length: 12m
Crew: 3
Weaponry:4 x Particle Cannons, 1 x Warhead Launcher
Shields/Armour: Medium/Heavy
FTL: Capable, short-range

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The DX-77 Virago

“Hell hath no fury like a Virago scorned,” – Blackmane promotional material

The DX77

The DX-77 Virago is a hi-tech starfighter from Blackmane Industries. It has a unique shape and profile; a single-pilot cockpit sat above the weapons package and gravimetric stabilisers. The ship’s designers believed the best defence to be a good offence; it is the first ever fighter to sport miniaturised Linear Cannons. Originally deployed on capital ships to counter Wun’Tux armour plate, even the fighter-scale iterations are immensely powerful. Be that as it may, the cannons have a limited supply of alloy slugs. They are slow to fire and have a significant chance of jamming mid-reload. Most significantly, the ship lacks the ability to travel faster-than-light on it’s own making it less versatile compared to almost equally expensive strike fighters.

The DX77

The Virago has polarised pilots. Some love the raw power of the ship, the ability to tangle with fighters and capital ships alike. Others consider the idea folly; the benefits far outweighed by the risks and flaws. Apart from it’s superior armament, the ship is distinctly average in other areas. Skilled and canny pilots are a must.

The DX77

The Virago is well suited to life in the Core Worlds; where supply bases and back-up are never far away. Although small number of Rimward mercenary outfits utilise the ship, it is far from suited to the rough and tumble life on the galactic frontier. It is comparable to the Tarasque-class, although this ship is less fancy and more suited to work out on the Rim.

Manufacturer: Blackmane Industries
Role: Attack fighter
Length: 6m
Crew: 1
Weaponry: 2 x Linear Cannons (undeslung)
Shields/Armour: Medium/Light
FTL: Incapable

The Type-27

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The British Leyland Type-27 Fighter was cutting edge at the start of the Second Age, serving on Royal Navy carriers and bases at home and abroad. The ship provided excellent security against human threats as the British Empire expanded into the Core Worlds and beyond.

New adversaries illuminated the Type-27’s flaws, however. It’s two pulse cannons lacked the raw power to break through the armour of new antagonists like the Wun’Tux TwinFang. It’s sensor package wasn’t precise enough to pick out Hirudin Blackfins through their layers of stealth jamming.

The original priority of Leyland was to minimise the space the Type-27 would take up in cramped hangar bays. The design team integrated a lot of the ship components, compressed them together into compact dimensions. This complicated relatively simple repairs; field engineers would have to pull out large parts of the ship build just to change a blown inverter.

The Type-27 is gradually being replaced by the superior Keepsake; improving the weapon output and reliability in the field. Older carriers still favour the Silverfish as they can store more ships per square foot of hangar space. Remaining surplus 27s were bought by various groups; most famously the privateer Magpies.

Manufacturer: British Leyland Spaceworks

Role: Carrier-grade Fightercraft Length: 6m

Crew: 1

Weaponry: 2 x Pulse Cannons (forward facing)

Shields/Armour: Light/Medium

FTL: Incapable

Saturn Solutions

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Saturn Solutions are one of the more modern ‘corporate security’ companies. The term ‘corporate security’ has long been a pleasant synonym for mercenary and this trend continues, although Sol-based outfits tend to work solely for the bigger megacorporations within the Core Worlds.

Saturn Solutions are famous for their merciless work during the Far Planet Revolution. Their use of heavily armed shuttles and airborne troops combined with a liberal use of violence marked them as one of the more blood-stained companies to emerge from the conflict. Viewed as violent but effective – more business came their way.

Iona Cromwell defected from the company with equipment and personnel and escaped to the Rim. Although Saturn Solutions have a bounty on her head, their reticence to work outside of the relative safety of the Core has prevented them from pursuing it.

The Free Brigades

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“sans peur et sans reproche.” – Admiral Dupont, speaking at the Brigades launch ceremony

The Free Brigades formed from the ashes of the Pan-Eurasian War. The European Union military had emerged battered and bruised and in need of an overhaul. The modern ships pushed into production required less in the way of crew; large swathes of the Union military were placed into reserve or even told they were surplus to requirements.

These men and women felt abandoned: three years of toil, struggle and violence and with nothing but a government bond to show for it. Such severance pay wouldn’t last forever. A number drifted off into the employ of various mercenary groups but most of them joined together under a new banner: The Free Brigades. Led by Admiral Dupont – an old-fashioned commander famous for being routed by a squadron of Tailored Saints – the Brigades purport to stand up for everything the Union who abandoned them did: truth, fidelity and liberty. Behind the rhetoric they are a paramilitary outfit equipped with old Union equipment and remain for sale to the highest bidder.

What they lack in modern equipment the Free Brigades make up for in battle-hardened experience and determination. Their commanders favour regimented formations and organisation. Their old fashioned tactics and equipment are effective in most cases but vulnerable to modern technology – e.g. the use of ECM, drones and strike fighters.

They remain equipped with older Union capital ships, such as the Cassard-class and Bulk Cruiser.