A starship was any manned spacecraft that was capable of viable interstellar travel, i.e. any manned spacecraft that had the ability to transport and support a crew across interstellar distances. Most starships accomplished this via the employment of some form of faster-than-light spacecraft propulsion technology.

A class of starship was a term referring to the design of a group of vessels built to the specifications, capabilities, modifications, or type arrangement and outfitting. Many cultures named separate series or classes based on these qualities. A starship classification was usually used to refer to the general abilities of a vessel, but a specific class designation referred to its shape or layout in differing degrees, according to how specific species and cultures used the term.

In military terms, space fleets form the most important aspect of controlling a stellar nation, or sending one into war. Infantry forces and planet-based tools of war will always be a part of occupations and defensive engagements, but a stellar nation, corporation, or private individual with an advantage in space assets has the upper hand in most conflicts. In the Second Galactic War, this was proven true. The epic battles of the conflict were the clashes of stellar navies. The stellar nations divided their assets into task forces and sector groups that defended their own territory or charged into the heart of their enemy's. When a fleet moved into enemy space, drivespace detectors recorded the invasion; a dispatch to the nearest task forces guaranteed that a battle would ensue shortly after the enemy's arrival. Only after the battle in interplanetary space was over could assault ships land and establish a beachhead on enemy shores.

Strategies vary from nation to nation, as do techniques of building and philosophy of design, but military vessels fall into classes that describe their mission and capabilities.

Ship types

Fortress Ships

The largest vessels built by human hands, fortress ships range from 2,500 to 4,000 meters long and carry crews of up to 50,000. They travel 50 light-years in a single starfall and carry 200 to 500 fighters and scouts. A typical fortress ship is armed with a main battery of plasma cannons in five turrets, a secondary battery of mass cannons or particle beams, and a tertiary battery of MRB missiles from 24 launch tubes. There are also up to 100 defensive turrets of various types, and an internal drivespace communication relay. Fortress ships are often the centerpiece of a fleet, since they can carry dozens or hundreds of smaller vessels with them through drivespace. The average stellar nation commands eleven fortress ships.


The largest vessel designed strictly for military purposes, dreadnoughts are about 500 to 1,000 meters long and carry crews of 1,000 to 2,000. A dreadnought can stand up to a fortress ship for a short time, but is quickly outgunned. Four or five together are a match for a lone fortress ship. Dreadnoughts are almost always driveships, capable of 25- to 35-light-year starfalls, and always equipped with an internal drivespace communications relay. Light dreadnoughts are typically called battlecruisers. They're faster than dreadnoughts, skimping on either protection or armament in exchange for speed in normal space. Dreadnoughts and battlecruisers are expensive, and most stellar nations don't have more than 70 such ships in their fleets.


As military fleets rededicate themselves to peacetime operations, the carrier grows in popularity. The full carrier bears some 200 fighters, useful for patrols, escort missions, and exploration.

Light Carriers

The light carrier usually supports between 50 and 70 fighters. In a confrontation between carrier and dreadnought, the dreadnought usually proves victorious; carriers succeed only when they keep the dreadnought at a distance while the carrier's fighters do their work.


Cruisers are the backbone of every space fleet, consisting of both drive cruisers and system cruisers. Cruisers fill a wide variety of missions, so heavy cruisers, light cruisers, missile cruisers, and survey cruisers are common. On average, a stellar nation's fleet includes 1,000 cruisers; cruisers also em- body the heaviest form of military craft owned by independent planets and corporations. Cruisers range from 200 to 400 meters long and carry crews of 200 to 500. Most naval personnel are guided by a dream of commanding their own cruiser, leading independent expeditions across the galactic arm.


Used to screen capital ships and convoy merchant vessels in wartime, destroyers and frigates are escort vessels detached for scouting duties or special missions. Produced in equal numbers as driveships and systemships, destroyers range from 150 to 250 meters long and carry crews of 100 to 150 people.


Frigates generally dispense with secondary weapons systems and make do with one main battery, in some cases, this main battery is mounted along the spine of the ship. A typical frigate is about 75 to 125 meters long and supports a crew of 50 to 75.


Mass-produced in wartime to provide large numbers of cheap, expendable units, corvettes form the bottom end of military craft. Many of these are systemships. Corvette class driveships make useful pickets and scouts; Corvettes are 50 to 75 meters long and have a small crew of twenty to thirty people. Cutters are smaller, lightly armed by military standards, and crewed by only ten to twenty (and can be operated by two to six in a pinch).


Mass-produced in wartime to provide large numbers of cheap, expendable units, cutters form the bottom end of military craft. Many of these are systemships. Cutters are patrol craft designed to counter pirates, watch for smugglers, and keep the space lanes safe for travel.


A small one- or two-man fighter has neither the punch to threaten anything larger than a frigate nor the armor and size needed to survive a clash with capital ships. Even squadrons of fighters have a difficult time attacking larger craft, and losses in such battles can be high. During fleet com- bat, they see best use in harrying escorts and performing specialized attack runs against individual ships. Squadrons of fighters can be based on any warship of cruiser size or larger, and even smaller vessels with dedicated hangar bays can carry one or two fighters. Typically, though, fighter groups launch from carriers and fortress ships. The vast majority of these small craft function without stardrives.

Assault Ships

Delivering marines and other assault forces to the battlefield is the job of an assault ship. Fortress ships, dreadnoughts, and cruisers often carry marine detachments, but an assault ship is specialized for the job. It carries 500 to 2,000 marines and their accompanying equipment-including light artillery, skytanks, armored assault vehicles, comm and jamming satellites, and airborne weapons platforms.

Concord Starships




Heavy Cruiser





Light freighter

Heavy freighter

Bulk freighter





Veskarium Starships

Base Ship





Light Freighter




Titanomachy Starships

  • Wolfship, destroyer
  • Worg, Battleship

Corpsefleet Starships

Light freighter

Mindflayer Starships

Neogi Starships

  • Mindspider, Light Cruiser
  • Neogi Deathspider, dreadnought

Rigunmore Starships


Voidcorp Starships

Thuldan Starships

  • Citadel, ultranought

Aventi Starships

Dragon Starships

Devil Starships

  • Desolator, battleship
  • Slaughter, light cruiser
  • Idolator, raider
  • Despoiler, battleship
  • Acheron, Heavy Cruiser
  • Iconoclast, destroyer

Drow Triumvarate Starships

  • Drow Deathspider, light cruiser
  • Great Mother, dreadnought
  • Torture
  • Corsair
  • Shrike, bomber
  • Dying Sun, battleship
  • Bleak Soul, cruiser
  • Blade, fighter

T'sa Starships

Beholder Starships

  • Tyrantship, destroyer


  • Arrowing, battleship
  • Armada, dreadnought
  • Voidstalker
  • Phoenix
  • Man o war, Battleship
  • Flitter, fighter
  • Doombat, interceptor


  • Boreworm, shuttle
  • Nautiloid, Light Cruiser
  • Dreadnought, dreadnought
  • Lance, interceptor
  • Octopus, Heavy Cruiser
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