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Civilian Ships

Countless traders, merchants, holiday makers and other civilians travel from world to world every day, and there is a huge market for civilian vessels to fill these roles. Civilian vessels are generally weaker for their size compared to military vessels, and tend to have little or no armaments. It is generally more productive for a trader to hire armed escort vessels if there is perceived danger, than it is to rely on second rate weapons and unskilled gunners to try and defend against pirates and privateers themselves.

Rules Modifications


It is assumed that PDS systems can fire on other ships without requiring a fire control system. This allows merchant shipping to have light weapons for defence without needing a full set of fire control systems (at which point they may as well use Class-1 beam batteries).


The following classifications are used for civilian vessels:

Classification Code Mass
Landing Craft LC 1 - 50
Free Trader MF 1 - 50
Light Freighter ML 1 - 50
Medium Freighter MM 51 - 150
Heavy Freighter MH 151 +

A freighter is a civilian vessel which has the majority of space dedicated to cargo. If the bulk of space is dedicated to passengers, then it is considered a liner, and has the 'ML' prefix rather than 'M', e.g. MLL, MLM or MLH for light, medium or heavy.

Private vessels may be suited for cargo or passenger use in terms of design, but are used for private activities rather than commercial. Luxury yachts are the most common type. These have the 'MP' prefix, e.g. MPL, MPM or MPH, however MPL are by far the most common since such vessels tend to be small.

Landing Craft

Landing Craft are designed to ferry cargo (either passengers or goods) to and from a planet's surface. Many are streamlined to allow landing within an atmosphere.

Most landing craft are actually small shuttles, and are treated in a way similar to fighters.

Antares Shuttle

Antares Shuttle Antares Shuttle Class: Landing Craft (LC)
Mass: 40
Points: 64

The Antares Shuttle is a jump capable transport designed for landing on planets with atmospheres. It is often used as a military support vessel, though has no defences so relies on fighter escorts for landings around hot targets. It has full streamlining, allowing it to move 2“ in an atmosphere, and has powerful enough engines to enable taking off from most worlds smaller than Earth which do not have an atmosphere. There are variant designs (the Antares/B) which has smaller engines to allow for greater cargo capacity, but they have a greater reliance on an atmosphere to get into orbit.

Free Traders

Free Traders are generally privately owned vessels of small size, which don't make scheduled runs but perform whatever work is available. They are the most likely to be armed.

Wraith Free Trader

Wraith Free Trader Wraith Free Trader Class: Free Trader (MF)
Mass: 30
Points: 65

The most common of the Free Traders, it mixes a good cargo hold with armaments and a fast drive.


Freighters are designed to carry large amounts of freight on regular runs. The following ship classes are commonly found in civilised space. They are little more than a hull wrapped around cargo containers, with a drive at one end and a crew section at the other.

Atlas Light Freighter

Atlas Light Freighter Atlas Light Freighter Class: Light Freighter (ML)
Mass: 40
Points: 64

A small freighter.

Resolution In-system Cargo Hauler

Resolution In-system Freighter Resolution In-system Freighter Class: Medium Freighter (ML)
Mass: 60
Points: 69
The Resolution class of In-system hauler is a common sight in many systems. Designed to ship low value goods around a system, it has no jump drive and only the barest minimum of standard drives. It may not be fast, but it is cheap and reliable.

Centaur Medium Freighter

Centaur Medium Freighter Centaur Medium Freighter Class: Medium Freighter (MM)
Mass: 80
Points: 128

A medium freighter, designed to carry hazardous material. The crew compartment is far from the cargo hold, providing some measure of safety in case of an accident.

Tradewind Freighter

Tradewind Freighter Tradewind Freighter Class: Medium Freighter (MM)
Mass: 80
Points: 128
The Tradewind class of medium freighters were built in a number of different configurations. This, the standard cargo model, was the basic design from which the others were based. It is a typical medium freighter, with no frills, and a good sized cargo hold.

Tradewind Tanker

Tradewind Tanker Tradewind Tanker Class: Medium Freighter (MM)
Mass: 80
Points: 128
The Tradewind class of medium freighters were built in a number of different configurations, of which this example is the tanker variant. Modified to allow easy refuelling of ships 'in flight', the Tradewind Tanker is a common sight around major spaceports.

Marlow Freighter

Marlow Freighter Marlow Freighter Class: Medium Freighter (MM)
Mass: 110
Points: 166
The Marlow class of modular freighters can be configured to carry a wide range of loads. The independent external loading mechanisms makes for easy attachment/detachment of cargo modules.

Behemoth Medium Freighter

Behemoth Medium Freighter Behemoth Medium Freighter Class: Medium Freighter (MM)
Mass: 120
Points: 206
The largest of the medium freighters, the Behemoth is capable of shipping 8,000 tonnes of cargo. For a freighter, it is surprisingly tough and well armed, carrying two class 1 beam weapons as well as anti-fighter point defence systems. Designed to carry cargo at the edges of civilisation, it is capable of fighting off small scale pirate attacks. However, it is not a military class vessel, and several have been lost when their crew assumed that just because they could fight, that they should.


Vantage Luxury Yacht

Vantage Yacht Vantage Yacht Class: Light Private (MPL)
Mass: 32
Points: 66
The Vantage class of luxury yacht is a spacious vessel designed for private use and ownership. It is fast, much faster than most civilian vessels not specifically designed for racing. Most owners are company executives, rich playboys or nobility. It has plenty of room for staff accommodation as well as staterooms for the owners. A few variants include defensive systems at the expense of living space.

Horizon Liner

Horizon Liner Horizon Liner Class: Light Liner (MLL)
Mass: 40
Points: 76
The Horizon class of passenger liner is typical for its type, though has a reputation of being more robust and reliable compared to alternatives such as the Olympus. Because of this it has slightly less passenger space, and is a bit more expensive, so tends to get limited in use to long range cruises which are further from the core systems.

Olympus Liner

Olympus Liner Olympus Liner Class: Light Liner (MLL)
Mass: 40
Points: 72
The Olympus class Passenger Liner is a small, fast liner designed to cater to the upper class. It is comfortable on the inside, with spacious staterooms, along with the support infrastructure to keep such passengers happy.

ft/merchants/index.txt · Last modified: 2015/05/10 10:19 by sam