A sturdy warship that sees a lot of combat, the blockade runner is the place to be for those who want to get plenty of action.
Drop ships are gunboats designed to transport troops to other vessels and planetary surfaces more efficiently than outfitting a cruiser for atmospheric duty. More heavily armed versions are often used as patrol craft. Because of their short-distance service, they generally don’t get interstellar drives.
An interstellar cruise ship and transport vessel, the Galaxy’s Wings offers a means of getting around the universe without purchasing an entire ship. The vessel is one of many in its corporation’s fleet. It offers numerous amenities, such as exercise and sports rooms, theaters, shopping, restaurants, and more. It has a strict schedule and visits only the most popular planets. This is partly for safety (it has minimal armaments and thus sticks to patrolled space) and partly for economic reasons.
Patrol craft are the “space cops” of a given planetary system. They are meant to find and capture smugglers, customs violators, and independent pirates. If anything bigger comes their way, the patrol craft are supposed to high-tail it for home or help, depending on their orders.
In one form or another, nearly every high-tech worlds have these small vessels darting about their planets or battleships. Light defenders are commonly carried on battlecruisers and used for the protection of those vessels.
The workhorse of the mercantile industry, light freighters make short runs between established and colony worlds. Unfortunately, it’s also popular prey for pirate assaults more often than megacorporate executives care to admit.
The carrier is a huge military vessel used to ferry sublight fighters via interstellar travel and to launch them into combat. The carrier’s flight compliment includes six squadrons of six fighters each. The carrier usually also holds four shuttlecraft for administrative duties or ship-to-shore travel (as carriers are too huge to operate within the atmosphere of a planet). Most carriers are not as heavily armed as their massive size would imply, instead devoting more space to hangar and launch facilities and entrusting their defense to the fighters they carry, as well as to the escort vessels that usually accompany the carrier in fleet operations.
Primarily used by military or police organizations for patrol and anti-piracy operations, this small vessel has an 18-person crew that usually operates within a given patrol zone for two to three months at a time. Some other common names for this ship include customs frigate or interdictor.
Pirate vessels come in all shapes and sizes. This example is fairly typical, being a refitted cargo vessel with much of the portage space being used for additional weapons and shields. Many of the components come from several black-market sources, making the typical pirate ship look like a ragtag collection of parts welded together.
The pleasure yacht takes its passengers in private comfort from system to system. Some smugglers like to use them as many systems fear inconveniencing an important military or corporate executive by what seems like a meaningless search.