Wolfship

Description

Hobgoblins have never had as much of a presence in space as orcs, goblins, ogres, or kobolds, however prior to the first Unhuman War the hobgoblin Wolfship was a vessel that wise captains avoided. Feared largely for the tenacity and viciousness of its crews, the Wolfship was ruthlessly hunted down by the Imperial Elven Navy following the war, and all but disappeared from the spacelanes. Recently, in the more dangerous times brought about by the second Unhuman War, Wolfships have begun to raid the spheres once more.

The Wolfship is long and narrow, with a snarling wolf head as a ram. Triangular sails rise out of the open top deck, which also houses the ship's weaponry. The gunwales of the Wolfship are pierced by numerous oarlocks, since the ship will usually be powered by multiple pairs of oars of the void (Wolfships using oars of the void will typically operate with as many pairs of oars as they can get their hands on, and so will usually have a high SR). Ships powered by a shaman or witchdoctor manning a more traditional helm will typically cover these oarlocks with shields. There is only one private cabin on board a Wolfship, reserved for the captain and any mates that he may have brought aboard (lesser hobgoblins are not usually allowed to bring any females on board the ship). The rest of the crew bunks down in a communal barracks. The only other internal rooms are usually the mess hall, galley, and the cargo hold (intended to carry stolen loot), although ships powered by a minor helm will sometimes add dividing walls in one of the other rooms to cordon the helm off.

Crew

The full fighting crew of the Wolfship is 40 hobgoblins, far more than the ship's air envelope can sustain for long. As a result, any items or individuals capable of refreshing the air are highly prized by hobgoblins. It is quite common for a Wolfship to hire one or more mercenary hurwaeti specifically to keep the air envelope fresh. Such mercenaries are treated well, since the survival of the entire crew often depends on them. The rest of the crew usually consists of a captain (treat as either a 3 HD sub-chief, or a 4 HD chief - typically only 1 ship in a wolfpack will be led by a 4 HD captain, who will also serve as the commander of the entire pack), a first mate (treat as a 3 HD sub-chief), two sergeants (1+1 HD sergeants with 9 hp each), four crew bosses (9 hp each), and 32 normal hobgoblin warriors. Wolfships powered by minor helms will always have 1-2 shamans or witchdoctors of levels 1-4.

Ship Uses

Reaver: The vast majority of Wolfships are used as hobgoblin reavers. These ships travel in wolfpacks of 3-7 ships, and use their superior numbers to overwhelm even the largest ships. A wolfpack will usually attack any ship that it encounters, and they have proved to be highly effective when attacking lone ships. Convoy tactics have begun to prove effective in areas of space plagued by wolfpacks, and elements of the Imperial Elven Navy are dedicated to hunting down these menaces. It seems that the resurgeance of the hobgoblin Wolfship is due largely to the fact that the hobgoblins operating them have allied themselves firmly with the scro, and have coordinated their attacks intelligently with scro actions.

Other Configurations

Tradewolf: A number of Wolfships siezed from hobgoblins have been converted into serviceable cargo vessels. These Tradewolves strip out the ballista to provide an extra 2 tons of cargo capacity. Typically whitewashed to distinguish them from Wolfships operated by hobgoblins, Tradewolves always fly their colours prominently on their sails lest they be treated with hostility. Since most captured Wolfships have been captured by the Imperial Elven Navy, most Tradewolves can be found in elven hands, being used to supply elven fleets. Elven Tradewolves use sails made from starfly plant leaves as their distinguishing feature. These sails must be carefully and lovingly maintained by plant experts to keep them from deteriorating, thus guaranteeing that hobgoblins will not be able to disguise their own Wolfships as elven Tradewolves.

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