"Star Emperor" class Heavy Clipper:

Heavy Cargo ships are less common than Medium sized vessels but are still an important component of the trading within the Three Galaxies. Many do not operate direct to the final destination of cargos but the loads of multiple smaller vessels are combined to be carried by these vessels and then broken up into smaller loads at transportation hubs. While less common than medium sized vessels, there are still thousands of heavy cargo ships operated in the Three Galaxies.

As with medium sized vessels, the vast majority of the heavy cargo ships are fairly slow. In many cases, there is no need to transport cargo particularly quickly. While this is the majority, there are plenty of exceptions. Many food items need to be transported quickly. Sometimes materials will have a deadline for manufacturing. Clients often do not want to wait for their cargoes. There are a myriad of reasons. As well, fast vessels have the advantage of being able to outrun many pirates operating within the Three Galaxies. Because of these, insurance rates are often less for fast cargo vessel types. Of course, these ship’s basic operating expenses are greater than standard merchant ships.

Clippers back in the days of sail were extremely fast sail merchant vessels. This same name was chosen for fast cargo vessels in the Three Galaxies. Unlike smaller clipper types, there is only a few Heavy Clipper classes operated within the Three Galaxies. The "Star Emperor" class is fairly typical. It is approximately the same size as a Freight King class heavy cargo ships and is about the same size as a Packmaster class fleet carrier. The Star Emperor class is considered extremely reliable and a number of cargo lines operate these ships exclusively.

There are two basic versions of the Star Emperor class. One carries bulk cargo while the other carries it cargo in containers. A massive forty million tons of cargo can be carried on these vessels. In versions which carry containers, the ship can carry 11,520 of the larger type containers. These are 200 feet long by 50 feet wide and tall. Eight times as many of the smaller containers, which are 100 feet long and 25 feet wide and tall, can be carried. Containers can be rapidly loaded and unloaded. Specialized containers can be carried to support a variety of conditions including refrigeration containers. There are also versions of these ships which carry vehicles.

These ships have a top speed of four and a half light years per hour, as fast as many military designs. Power is provided by fusion reactors unlike most military designs. The fusion reactors are far less expensive to operate than anti-matter power systems and are far safer. Like the slower Cargo King class, these transports cannot land on planets.

Because these ships often carry extremely valuable cargo, most are armed. Standard weaponry are twelve pulse laser mounts, a pair of long range missile launchers, and eight medium range missile launchers. Most heavy clippers also carry light shielding. This is enough that many pirates will go after easier pickings even if the ships are often lucrative prizes. Some are unarmed with the owners trusting the vessel's speed to escape pirates but they are less popular with their crews. Pirates operating retired military equipment can keep up with these ships and find them to be easy pickings.

In general, these ships are quite popular with their crews. The ships are quite comfortable having luxuries which are equal to that of many liners. These ships have extensive automation and have crews of only around one hundred and forty. Each officer and normal crew have his or her own stateroom. The ships have a hydroponics section as well as extensive crew facilities including a swimming pool in many. Unlike most smaller clipper type vessels, these ships do not have passenger facilities.

These ships are operated by the Consortium and Human Alliance in some roles. These speed makes them ideal for supporting roles including carrying supplies and vehicles rapidly to where they are needed. Military versions generally have upgraded shields, sensors, and weaponry. Sensors are approximately equal to those on most cruisers. Shields are military class variable type and are far more powerful than those carried on standard versions of the vessel. For weaponry, most carry an extra pair of long range missile batteries, four additional medium range missile launchers, and four addition pulse laser mounts. As well, a pair of heavy lasers are mounted to deal with heavier warships. Much of these additional weapon mounts cut into crew comforts and these ships are more like military vessels in the crew quarters. Not many purely civilian versions of the vessel are upgraded to this level because few are operated in areas considered hazardous. There are none known to have been converted into pseudo-warships.

This starship design uses modified starship speed and weapon range rules. See Revised Starship Rules for Phase World / Three Galaxies for more details.

Model Type: SSH-4000
Vehicle Type: Heavy Fast Freighter
Crew: 145 (15 Officers and 130 Ordinary Crew).


2Light Shuttles (for Crew Emergencies but can be used for light cargo)

M.D.C. By Location:Standard:Military:
[1] 12 cm Laser Cannons (2, top and bottom): None800 each
Point Defense Laser Cannon Turrets (12 or 16):250 each250 each
Medium Range Missile Batteries (8 or 12):300 each300 each
Long Range Missile Batteries (2 or 4):500 each500 each
Outer Hull (40 x 40 ft/ 12.2 m x 12.2 Area):100100
Inner Hull (40 x 20 ft/ 12.2 m x 12.2 Area):7575
[1] Bridge:10,00010,000
[2] Main Engines (2):12,500 each12,500 each
[3] Main Body:60,00060,000
[4] Force Field:12,000 (Regular)6,000 side (36,000 total)

[1] In reality this is how much damage needs to be done for a weapon to hit the bridge through the ship’s hull. This ship does not have an auxiliary bridge. Even if the bridge is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but ship is -3 to dodge and all weapon systems will be at local control. Weapon hits near the bridge that do not penetrate the ships integrity can injure crew members on or near the bridge.
[2] Destroying the main engines means that the ship’s faster than light systems are destroyed and maximum sublight speed is reduced by half.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will put the cargo ship out of commission. All internal systems will shut down, including life support and internal gravity. The ship itself will be an unsalvageable floating wreck.
[4] Standard ship shields are not variable regenerate at the rate of 5% (600 M.D.C.) per melee. Military versions carry variable shields (all could be combined in one shield) and shields regenerate at the rate of 5% (1,800 M.D.C.) per melee.

Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Has a special sublight engine that allows the ship to travel up to 20 percent of the speed of light maximum due to civilian shields. Some have military class shields and can reach 60 percent of the speed of light. Star Ship can accelerate/decelerate at the rate of 0.7 percent of light per melee.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Maximum speed is 100 mph (161 kph), can enter an atmosphere and can leave but is not designed for atmospheric flight. The ship would likely come apart in an atmosphere and are only operated in space.
Stardrive: Uses a Gravitonic Drive system that allows the ship to reach a maximum of 4.5 light years per hour.
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited by either drive system. Carries about two years worth of supplies on board as well as a small hydroponic section for the small crew but normally does not operate for that long without resupply.

Statistical Data:
Length: 6,500 feet (1,981.20 meters)
Height: 1,000 feet (304.80 meters)
Width: 1,400 feet (426.72 meters)
Weight: 45 million tons (40.8 million metric tons)
Power System: Advanced Fusion with a 20 year life span. The ship normally only goes 5 years between refueling and refitting.
Cargo: Can carry up to 40 million tons (36.3 million metric tons) of cargo in addition to crew’s supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are take up by extra ammunition, armor, troops, weapons, engine, and other equipment.
Market Cost: 16 Billion credits (Military versions about 20 billion and non armed version about 12 billion)


  1. Two (2) 12 cm Heavy Laser Cannons: These cannons are only mounted on the military version of the ship and in these cases, this is the ships main battery. The cannons are capable of destroying frigates and destroyers. They are also capable of damaging larger ships. All the 12 cm laser cannons on a side may be combined as one attack or used separately. The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities. Weapon has standard penalties to hit fighters and small targets. The barrels can be can be rotated 180 degrees in all directions. Up to two may be fired as one volley.
    Maximum Effective Range: 16 miles (25.8 km) through atmosphere and 16,000 miles (25,800 km) in space.
    Mega Damage: 2D6x100 M.D.C. each. Two laser cannons can be combined for 4D6x100 Mega Damage.
    Rate of Fire: Maximum of two (2) times per melee each.
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Twelve (12) or Sixteen (16) Laser Batteries: Civilian versions of the vessel carry twelve while military versions carry sixteen. Weapon system is used as an anti-missile, anti-power armor, and anti-star fighter. Weapons system has no penalties to hit fighters and small targets and can be operated by a gunner or a gunner program (+2 to strike, 3 Attacks per melee). The weapon system cannot be used to engage targets while traveling at faster than light velocities.
    Maximum Effective Range: 200 miles (322 km) in space and 4 miles (6.4 km) in an atmosphere.
    Mega Damage: 3D6x10 M.D.C. each.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Two (2) or Four (4) Long Range Missile Batteries: Civilian versions of the vessel carry two while military versions carry four. Missile has a top speed of Mach 20 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 8% of light per turn (faster than any starship.) Since star ships will no longer engage at Whether weapons can be shot down is calculated from the speed of target, battery, and missile. When drive goes dead, missile will continue to travel in a straight line unless set to self destruct but has very low odds of hitting star ships (Great for hitting bases and planets because target does not move and missile, when unpowered, is at -25% to be detected.) Long range missiles do not have penalties to hit small targets unlike cruise missiles and are all considered smart missiles. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.
    Maximum Effective Range: Long Range Missile range is 3,400 miles (5,470 km) in an atmosphere and 1,800,000 miles (2,897,000 km/9.7 light seconds) in space.
    Mega-Damage & Properties: See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details (Fusion warheads inflict 2D4x100 M.D.C. each.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), eight (8), sixteen (16), or thirty-two (32) missiles per battery, per melee attack.
    Payload: Civilian Versions: 512 total, Military Versions: 1024 Total (256 long range missiles per battery.)
  4. Eight (8) or Twelve (12) Medium Range Missile Batteries: Civilian versions of the vessel carry eight while military versions carry twelve. A slightly higher capacity version of the medium range missile batteries carried on a normal Merchantman. Missile has a top speed of Mach 15 in an atmosphere and in space has an acceleration of 6% of light per turn. Normally used for anti-fighter and point defense. Batteries can launch on multiple targets each at the same time.
    Maximum Effective Range: Medium Range Missile range is 160 miles (257.5 km) in an atmosphere and 80,000 miles (128,750 km/0.43 light seconds) in space.
    Mega-Damage: Varies with medium range missile type (See revised Phase World / Three Galaxies missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or eight (8) missiles per battery
    Payload: Civilian Versions: 384 total, Military Versions: 576 Total (48 medium range missiles per battery.)

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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