“Drop sail-shift, change to half fusion, open gun ports ensign!”
Throughout the Sea of Stars a variety of spacecraft sail through the depths of the vacuum. Most are registered with the internal archives of the Artificiers Guild and others are hidden from the sight of the Triad. Legends are abound of ghost ships, lost civilizations are found across Known Space. Within the span of this area and beyond the Guild in all its greatness created a basic system of categorization for its vessels. The first of these being the Transport Craft which can be defined as anything that moves a small amount of cargo to large manifestos of passengers. Strike Craft are fighters and corvettes that are capable of carrying a small crew or only two pilots. Finally there are the Capital Craft, the massive combat vessels used by the Houses and others in wars across the Avalon Cluster itself.
While the three categorizations are quite vague and at times broad, there are within them a series of “classes” used to further label starships. Some of these can include fairly large vessels or small ones. Even then ships within a given class can vary widely in shape and designs.
Transport Craft: Haulers and Liners
The backbone of spatial transport and commerce are the bluntly named Transport Craft series of classes. Coming in various shapes, sizes, and configurations Transport Craft are one of the most essential forms of spacecraft found across the Triad and beyond.
- Shuttle Class – The Smallest and least open of the Transport Craft. Shuttles generally can only carry a maximum of ten individuals and small amounts of cargo at a time.
- Ketch Class – The Ketch Class is a small personal vessel used by the wealthy and others to transport their own personnel outside of traditional Shuttles. Ketches can be slightly larger than shuttles and yet are smaller than Starliners. They are often fitted with two Solar-Sails allowing middle Factor speeds (Factors 4 to 5).
- Cog Class – Cogs are larger ships that can carry large amounts of cargo (several thousand kilolivres at a time).
- Starliner Class – Starliners are one of the largest of the known Transport Craft in the Triad and can hold a total of several hundred personnel at a given time. They can transport hundreds of passengers as well. Some are outfitted as exploration vessels or as mobile labs.
Strike Craft: Gunships and Fighters
Strike Craft are the fist and sword of war across the Triad. Their quick ability to out maneuver and out flank the enemy makes them a necessity in war. Strike Craft are used as pickets, raiders, and much more. Most are able to enter atmosphere and launch attacks on both planetary and space based targets.
- Range Fighters – A long range fighter that usually carries two individuals and supplies for prolonge flights. They are designed for atmospheric and space flight. Range Fighters also possess their own AFD engine which enables them to enter half Fusion Drive speeds.
- Patrol Fighter – Patrol Fighters are shorter ranged ships which must recharge at regular intervals to allow energy from a larger AFD Cor to energize their Fusion drives. Patrol Fighters can often reach full Fusion speed, but often drain their batteries quickly in doing so.
- Gunship Corvette – Gunships are a heavy armored and armed Corvette which are capable of transporting troops and items out into a battle field. This means they often serve as support in combat and are often used in atmospheric and space based warefare.
- Light Corvette – A lightly armored patrol ship that can act as a support combat vessel for Capital or Strike Craft, and can even be outfitted with a Solar Sail to achieve Fulring Factor 1 travel.
Capital Craft: Heavy Guns and More
Whereas Fighters form the front line, it is Capital Craft that form the muscle and meat of war. From the lowly Clipper Class advanced frigate type to the heavy weapons of the Ship-Of-The-Line, they are the main line in spatial warfare. Most Capital Craft are quite costly and smaller Houses can usually only afford a few (requiring them to band together to fight larger forces).
- Brigantine Class – The Brigantine Class is light frigate used in escort and general patrol missions. They are often three heavy guns on either broadside and five light guns. Their speed is generally between 5 to 6 in max and they often possess three Solar Sails.
- Clipper Class – The Clipper Class is a medium frigate designed for speed and long distance travel. They are lightly armed and medium armored making them good long distance patrol and exploratory vessels. Their speed is due to the six Solar Sails they are equipped with.
- Ship-Of-The-Line – A heavy cruiser that is often the lead ship in an attack fleet or squadron of ships. Ships-Of-The-Line are so named as they form the spine of the general broadside combat found within large scale spatial battles. They can also carry three Chevaliers and a small complement of fighters if necessary (this reduces crew complement however). They generally have the standard four Solar Sails of Capital Craft.
- Carriers – The largest craft found in the Triad and one of the slowest. Carriers are massive ships which can take years to complete and generally become the flag ships of their given Houses. So unique and power they are they are rarely put into service unless for defense, or for prolonged warfare (as they are an active base of operations for multiple reasons). They generally have eight Solar Sails and a max speed of Factor Seven.