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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.